Is Social Media killing your Real Estate business?

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Charlottesville Real Estate Solutions

I know this may sound a little crazy but here is what I am observing...


killing real estate

1. Many people are jumping all over the lastest Social Media (SM) bandwagon. Have you noticed that radio and tv stations are now on twitter and facebook? I am not saying there is not a place for these SM outlets in your business, but when you have 20,000+ comments on twitter about your favorite shoes, there may be an issue...


2. For real estate are you really creating relationships that are furthering your business? I am seeing a lot of people that offer services to real estate agents like SEO services and even some builders. This might be good for their businesses and I applaud them for the ingenuity, but are you getting real clients? Or are you a good source of business for some other industry?


3. Blogging works! ... I am still not convinced that 140 characters on twitter or my facebook page are giving me a better return than I get from Blogging. Sure blogging is more work but the results are easy to see...


4. This is a biggie... I see agents who I know are having a difficult time in the current market spending a great deal of time on facebook and twitter. The sales tell the story. What they are doing is hiding behind a keyboard t0o much and not getting out in the public. I have gotten some of my best results from open houses, face to face, toe to toe with people!


Maybe SM is the latest buzz, but is that buzz killing your Real Estate business?


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Rick Schwartz
William Raveis Real Estate - Danbury, CT

There is a way to waste time on Twitter and there's a solid way of using it productively.   If you spend a lot of time of it and don't understand what to do, you could very easily get caught up in the addictive nature of it. 

I have made direct contact with at least 20 local people in the last few months by using Twitter.  All were people that had no idea I existed and now they do - and they read my Twitter updates - and some read my blogs as well. 

If can multiply that result over the next 12 months, I will have well more than 100 new people in my SOI - all from a few hours a week on Twitter.  I cannot conceive of any mindset where someone would deem that a negative thing.

Jul 21, 2009 03:17 AM #57
Dan Magstadt
Paramount Residential Mortgage Group, Inc - Lake City, FL

I agree with you 100% Charles.

The new social media is definitely something to incorporate into your marketing strategy, but spening all your time on those things vs. getting out & doing the things that make you money is not wise.


Jul 21, 2009 03:44 AM #58
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

I agree with what you say.  I think it is about balance.  I have not gotten my head around how to really effectively use Twitter.  Blogging and AR work.  I am getting into Facebook, but do not get caught up in all the stuff there.

Jul 21, 2009 03:44 AM #59
Robby Leviton
Keller Williams Realty - Kirkland, WA
Knowles Team

I feel the big Ah Ha is not to get comsumed by it all. Pick what works for you, and use it with direction and intellegence as you would anything else you take on. Measure it for value and make future decisions from there.

Jul 21, 2009 03:53 AM #60
Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089
Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers - Haiku, HI
Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info

Yup they don't call it networking for nothing - if you work it right, it should produce results.  Just be sure to budget your time appropriately.

Jul 21, 2009 04:01 AM #61
Rick Schwartz
William Raveis Real Estate - Danbury, CT

Quick real time example of how to use Twitter. 

I volunteer sometimes with the local teen center.  About 10 minutes ago I got an email from the director of the center which she sent to her mailing list - she is not on Twitter.

Her message was notifying her email list of contacts that they desperately need more volunteers for a car wash they are holding this Saturday to benefit the victims of a few recent local house fires.

I posted that information on my Twitter page.  I have 87 followers about half of whom live within 10 minutes or so of where the car wash will be. 

As of about 5 minutes ago, two people had "re-tweeted" my post to their own list of followers.  Probably a few more will do so.

My entire time investment in this was about 90 seconds. 

I have no idea if my spreading the word will make the car wash more successful.  But if this were "pre-twitter" and I got the message from my friend, I surely could not have spread the word as quickly and easily as I did. 

The value of this medium is in being part of a community - not an "online" community - just a community. THe method of communicating happens to be online but it's real people I am connecting with.  I often hear that the 140 character limit on posts seems "silly" and the posts have to be "trivial".   Not so -  I did my carwash message in about 120 characters. The limitation actually makes you think about the substance of what you have to say.




Jul 21, 2009 04:16 AM #62
Charles McDonald
Charlottesville Real Estate Solutions - Charlottesville, VA
REALTOR®, Blogger, Principal Broker®, Owner

Well this topic sure did bring on a lot of discussion.

It seems to me that moderation in all things is good and there is a place for these SM's in any business, but you can certainly go overboard.

My example of agents who are not selling but sitting behind a computer is still the point.

We need to be face-to-face , toe-to-toe with the public more :)

In my opinion

Jul 21, 2009 04:27 AM #63
Bill Risser
Fidelity National Title - Saint Petersburg, FL
Fidelity National Title - Tampa District

Charles - Your last comment echoes my sentiments exactly...  Moderation in everything is good.  Real Estate is ultimately a face to face transaction, but well thought out, targeted, social media marketing can lead to plenty of face to face time...

Jul 21, 2009 04:54 AM #64
Paddy (Patricia) Pizappi
Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty - Pine Bush, NY
Real Estate Associate Broker Hudson Valley NY

Great post Charles. I am still feel blogging is the best because the old blog posts remain and get hits far longer than Tweets or facebook status.  I do Facebook and some Titter but try to focus on AR and blogging cause it works for me

Jul 21, 2009 04:58 AM #65
Evie Cohen
Keller Williams Front Range Properties, Boulder, CO - Lafayette, CO

Can someone help me save time . . . by suggesting a system to check in on Twitter and Facebook without spending much time? That is, I agree about moderation. I want to use the SM sites but don't want to be glued to them. I haven't taken up blogging yet because I don't see how I can that without taking away lots of "face" time with people.

Evie in Boulder, CO

Jul 21, 2009 06:08 AM #66
Lynn Johnson
Coldwell Banker Home Connection - Owatonna, MN
Owatonna, MN Real Estate

Charles - you bring up several good points and hopefully those who need to listen will be open to your points.  SM has become a part of my marketing.  It's just another tool that I use to expose my listings to potential buyers.  Above all else, I hope that REALTORS who engage in SM remember that everything they contribute can potentially be viewed by possible clients and consumers.  It's an open book.

Jul 21, 2009 06:17 AM #67
Kerry Jenkins
Prime Properties - Crestline, CA

Facebook is a time suck...but....I.....lllloooooove it....can't shut it down.  I have been making more of an effort to not sit on it all day.

Jul 21, 2009 06:36 AM #68
Eileen Hsu
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Manhattan, NY

Fantastic post. I agree with #4 on hiding behind the keyboards, it is important to balance the SM and REAL LIFE Real Estate business!

Jul 21, 2009 07:50 AM #69
Tracy Crane
Home Warranty of America - Buffalo Grove, IL
New Media/Interactive Marketing

Time management is the key to success. Of course if you spend too much time doing any one thing your business will suffer. It's also about knowing your client (and potential client) base - everyone has their preference where to go to get the info they need, so testing out different social media sites and seeing what your clientele responds best to (in the form of actual business) is definitely a good use of your time.

Jul 21, 2009 08:59 AM #70
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg IL Area Real Estate

I think when you first start blogging you are trying to learn so much that you become 'consumed' by it.  Before your realize it, hours have gone by and you've accomplished?  I am just going to talk about what works for me - blogging, that's it.  Sure I like to hide behind the keyboard a bit, it's better to learn something here on AR than sit around bit**ing about the bad market in the coffee room at the office!

Jul 21, 2009 11:29 AM #71
Mike McCann - Nebraska Farm Land Broker
Mike McCann - Broker, Farmland Broker-Auctioneer Serving Rural Nebraska - Kearney, NE
Farm Land For Sale 308-627-3700 or 800-241-3940

I had all of the accounts set up on twitter and all and I keep forgetting the 10,000 passwords that I have so it is now foreign to me and that is okay by me!! I like activerain and I am getting the hang of it...but I have to be honest...some people spend way too much time on this and other sites...I can;t, I am too busy with clients.

Jul 21, 2009 12:56 PM #72
Susanne Novak, ABR, FIS, GRI
RE/MAX 24/7 - Columbus, OH

SM is just one of the tools to use. Nobody expects you to be online 24/7. After all, real estate is, like the name says, "real" and not virtual. Meaning, you have to get out and meet with people, heck, even let them into your car. Yikes. Maybe you can twitter about it afterwards?

Jul 21, 2009 02:42 PM #73
Mike Henderson
Your complete source for buying HUD homes - Littleton, CO
HUD Home Hub - 303-949-5848

I'm trying to create a balance on a plan that I can follow through with.

Jul 21, 2009 04:52 PM #74
Rick Schwartz
William Raveis Real Estate - Danbury, CT

I already commented on this thread but I think there's one more point that needs making.

First - my disclaimer - I am not advocating spending all your time on S/M.  I would also not advocate spending all your time on floor time, or spending all your marketing dollars on farming via snail mail, nor focus on putting your face on every shopping basket in a 30 mile radius.  You have to do lots of things.

MYTH 1:  People who use Twitter are teens and tweens posting what they ate for breakfast or when they are going to hang out at the mall.

TRUTH Sorry - I can't find the exact stat that I read recently but the gist of it is that the average age of people who use Twitter several times a week is something like 30 - 49.

MYTH 2:  People who use Twitter are not "real" people.  They are geeky, computer nerds who are only interested in technology and they sit at their computers 24 hours a day occasionally getting up to eat or use the bathroom

TRUTH: The folks on Twitter are Dentists, Mechanics, Retail Workers, Corporate Managers, Nurses, Soccer Moms, Artists, Reporters, Natural Food Activists and on and on.  They have real lives and jobs and friends and they do leave their houses to go to work, school, shop for groceries, hardware, cars AND houses.

Here's the big fact that a lot of people in our business ignore.  ALL of the people on Twitter have one thing in common ---  They all live in a house, apartment, Mobile Home, Condo, Co-op, Cottage etc. - and guess what - they have the same real estate needs as people who don't even own a computer.  At varying points over the next several years- most of them will have need for a Realtor. 

And guess what else - they all have friends, relatives, co-workers, etc ---  just like "real" people.

So   - the idea that connecting with these people is somehow contradictory towards selling homes really befuddles me.

Is Blogging better than Twitter? They are two different components that can complement each other.  If you write a great blog post in the forest and no one hears it, did it earn you a commission?  Why not write fabulous blog posts and then make lots of friends and build relationships with people who are online and let them come to your blog?

Blogging and Twittering together is better than any SEO planWith SEO, no matter how much time and money you spend the goal is to get complete strangers to find your blog in a google search.

By meeting the strangers FIRST on a site like Twitter and letting them get to know more about you besides just the fact that you are Realtor, you are dramatically increasing the odds that they will not even do a Google search but come directly to you.

Jul 22, 2009 03:12 AM #75
Mark Velasco
Sharpstone Realty, Inc - Whittier, CA
Listing Agent-Whittier & Surrounding ciities

Very true Charles. There are a handful of people who are doing the Social media thing right. However, the rest of us should stay with Blogging and face to face until we learn more about EFFECTIVELY using the other stuff.

Aug 15, 2009 06:42 PM #76
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Charles McDonald

REALTOR®, Blogger, Principal Broker®, Owner
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