"Social Media Won't Help...
...if You Suck!"
This post is the beginning of a series of articles I will be publishing and are based on a presentation I gave at ActiveRain's RainCamp here in Seattle.
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My name is Rich Jacobson, and I'm a real estate broker with Windermere West Sound over on the scenic Kitsap Peninsula, just west of Seattle WA. I've been an ActiveRain member since the summer of 2006, shortly after it launched. I also blog on several Word Press platforms, including SoundBiteBlog.com, CrabbingInTheHood.com, and a community blog for our local newspapoer, Everyday CK. My twitter account is @KitsapAgent. You can find my virtual biz card HERE.
The title for my topic is "Social Media Won't Help If You Suck!" with the basic premise being this - that if your business execution, the way in which you perform your primary services, your attitude, your core fundamental business model and principles of practice, if they 'suck' then no manner of social media engagement is going to improve or enhance your degree of 'suckiness.' In fact, it may actually compound or spread more rapidly the fact that you suck!
Over the course of this series of articles, I want to share some observations derived from my own social media journey, offer a brief pep talk about the value of ActiveRain, reveal 5 Common Misconceptions about Social Media, and conclude by presenting 7 Ways to 'Suck-Proof' Your Real Estate Business."
Before I begin, I would like to acknowledge several sources that have provided inspiration for this particular topic:
"The Go Giver" by Bob Burg and John David Mann; 'The Purple Cow" by Seth Godin; "The Thank You Economy" by Gary Vaynerchuk; and lastly, a truly amazing sales training experience, Ninja Selling, by Larry Kendall.
We've all been impacted by the severe downturn in our nation's economy, especially as it relates to the housing market, and the way it has negatively affected our livelihoods.
Every month I receive a spreadsheet from one of our local title companies that shows all of the pending foreclosures in Kitsap County WA. It's incredibly sad and sobering to see the familiar names of brokers in our area losing their rental properties or even worse, principal residences.
In these challenging times, many of us are hanging on by a thread. We desperately seek for something that will provide meaningful practical help and positive impact in our business.
That is my end goal for what I will be sharing with you here. That something I've written will be an encouragement to you and have a positive practical application in your life and business.
The Advent of Web 2.0
With the advent of Web 2.0, the marketing paradigm experienced a major shift. The way we communicate and share information on the Internet changed significantly. Until this time, information was strictly static. Your webmaster created content on your site and it just sat there, somewhat sedate and boring, never changing. The conversation was completely one-sided.
Web 2.0 empowered a virtual flood of sharing. It has allowed dynamic content, meaningful engagement, and interaction. With the explosive growth and popularity of sites like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and others, Social Media has become all the rage and people everywhere have jumped onto the Social Media bandwagon.
For those of us in real estate business, we've been told that becoming involved in social media can enable us to expand and connect with our sphere, to attract and interact with potential clients, generating more leads, and hopefully experience more closed transactions.
I started drinking the social media kool-aid back in 2004. My Managing Broker at the time, who was fairly tech savvy, suggested that I try blogging. I already had a MySpace account, so I started blogging there.
Here is my very first blog post:
For the most part, my efforts on MySpace were unfruitful, with the exception that I became friends with Matt Thiessen, lead singer with the band Relient K. They stopped by for a visit during one of their tours. I took them out crabbing, we got boarded by the Coast Guard, and they had dinner at our house.
Then I decided to join Blogger.com, and proceeded to talk to myself there for 6 months or so. One of my few RE industry-related friends on MySpace was a mortgage lender down in San Diego, a guy named Brian Brady. Brian invited me to a new social network he had joined that was specifically for real estate professionals called ActiveRain. And the rest, as they say, is history!
My ActiveRain Pep Talk
Now here's my 2 minute ActiveRain Pep Talk!....
To say that ActiveRain revolutionized my real estate business would be an understatement. In my 12+ years as a real estate broker, nothing has more positively impacted my business than ActiveRain! It has been through my involvement on ActiveRain that I really began to learn and understand about social media and the basics of conversational blogging. ActiveRain has been a 24/7 continuing ed class that has provided a wealth of excellent, timely, and relevant information about our industry. I've often described it as taking a drink from a fire hydrant! ActiveRain helped to initiate and foster deep meaningful relationships with other like-minded professionals, creating valued referral partnerships, and cherished friendships that will last a lifetime.
Let me give you just one example among many of how ActiveRain has improved my business:
Last year, I had a nice waterfront listing up in Port Ludlow WA. This isn't an area I usually market within, but over the years, I've listed and sold homes several homes there. Plus the Sellers really wanted my expertise in marketing their home. As is typical, I did my usual stellar marketing job, creating a strong Internet presence for the home, which included several articles posted on ActiveRain.
Within a very short period of time, I had achieved the first page on Google for 'Port Ludlow WA Waterfront Properties,' outranking other area agents/offices who have been working that market for many years. About this time I received a phone call from a retired business man over in Edmonds who was interested in buying a waterfront home in Port Ludlow. He had found me through one of my blog articles on ActiveRain. As a result, I sold him an $800K waterfront condo!
Stay Tuned for my next installment in this series where I'll share 5 Common Misconceptions about Social Media!
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Rich Jacobson is a licensed real estate professional with Windermere Real Estate, providing knowledgeable empowerment and relentless representation for his clients of residential properties and vacant land throughout all of Kitsap County WA and portions of Pierce, Mason, and Jefferson Counties. You can also find him at KitsapLife.com, SoundBiteBLog, and Crabbing in the Hood, or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org