Let's Talk About What Is REALLY Wrong In Real Estate

Services for Real Estate Pros with Real Estate Pipeline, Inc.

You can barely toss a random trade magazine or scan through a blog post without there being some reference to fact that real estate agents should be embracing social media. Whether that be blogging to help market themselves or having a business page on Facebook...just about everyone everywhere is agreeing that this should happen on as many levels as can be handled.

The really funny thing is I think this phenomenon is actually hindering a fundamental issue that has plagued (and continues to plague) the real estate industry as a whole --- the fundamental lack of communication between agents and clients.

This issue is no more prevalent than where I work. I deal with this very thing on a daily basis. And, the number one complaint that I get from the prospects that we send out to our member agents is that they never hear from the agent. Yet, when I go to check on the agent, I can see that they have updated Twitter 14 times during the day and have 12 new Facebook status updates and written 2 new blogs.

Really?? You told me you "didn't have time to speak with that client" I sent you....yet, you had time to play Mafia Wars for 3 hours??

Now, before you start to judge me and my position on this matter, I understand the need for the social media profiles. I get it. I actually created the marketing position I am in at my company because of them. I understand. I don't knock you for that.

But, to apply effort in that direction without taking the required time to speak with your clients is cyber-slashing your own wrists. Sure, you might get an additional client or two...maybe pick up a new listing thanks to that blog you wrote. Awesome.

Here's the real deal -- If you suck at follow-up communication with the clients that you already have, getting more clients isn't going to make it any better for you. AND, if you cant follow up on the people you are working with right now because you feel the need to increase the size of your mafia or play Texas Hold'Em with your college buddies on Facebook, all you are doing is turning another good client into a real esate agent hater. Now that person is going to tell everyone they know what a schmuck you are and to never use you (probably naming your company or brand in the process).

Thus...All you are doing is making your actual job HARDER! And, you are making it harder for everyone else in your office, your company, your brand, and your general line of work. 

Nice job. Those agents that are out there busting their tails really appreciate it. (Can you smell the sarcasm yet??)

One of the best things anyone ever told me with regards to sales is to do all your follow-up first. Get the hard stuff out of the way so that you have time for the fun stuff. (That is why we have dessert AFTER dinner!) Calling your mom or your beer-drinking buddies can wait. Call your clients first. Get that handled. After all, they are the ones that will be paying your commissions!

Why in the world would you want to hinder your potential income by pushing them away?? Seems counter-productive to me. Can you afford to just push away money?? Yeah, I didn't think so...

Your clients are expecting to hear from you. Making them wait for information they requested is not smart. In fact, it's rude. Don't push them off. Don't wait until the afternoon or the next day. Making them wait only causes them further frustration and builds up a level of disdain for you and your profession.

Call them. Get it over with...it will relieve them...AND it will relieve you because it has been dealt with -- good or bad.

Social media is a power tool. And with great power comes great responsibility. That responsibility lies right on your shoulders. Don't push away the things that pay your bills -- your clients -- because you have to get a new status update posted about your pedicure or feel the need to tweet about your football team's shoddy performance the night before. That's dessert. Take care of your meat and potatoes first.


If you would like more information on getting more clients, follow me on Twitter. If you are on Facebook, fan us up!


Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Dana Devine 10/27/2009 11:09 PM
  2. Gary Swanson 11/05/2009 12:27 PM
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Li Read
Sea to Sky Premier Properties (Salt Spring) - Salt Spring Island, BC
Caring expertise...knowledge for you!

Such a good post, and follow up comments, too.    This is truly where a lot of us "fall down".    Is it because real estate is a "forward momentum" job description?    Thank you for this timely reminder to pay attention to the gold we've already mined -- our client base.

Oct 27, 2009 10:05 AM #95
J. Philip Faranda
J. Philip Faranda (J. Philip R.E. LLC) Westchester County NY - Briarcliff Manor, NY

I can SO relate to this. I get 3 day late phone calls from agents claiming to have lost their voice or sick in bed when their facebook page tells a different story.

Oct 27, 2009 11:08 AM #96
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

Clint:  Cover the basics first and then incorporate social media.  Social media is not a get rich quick scheme to those newbies starting real estate careers, or experienced agents looking for a way to stay in the business. 

Oct 27, 2009 11:45 AM #97
Joshua Schaubach
ERA Matt Fischer Realtor - Yuma, AZ
e-Pro Your Yuma, AZ - Realtor Only a Call or Click Away!

I believe social networking sites definitely help but I agree we cant get away from our bread and butter and we have to keep up the face to face contact.  If someone is so antisocial they cant get out and meet people they are in the wrong business.

Oct 27, 2009 11:52 AM #98
Lisa Matykiewicz
United Brokers Group - Gilbert, AZ

Clint...I really loved this post. After entering real estate from corporate America I have been APPALLED at the lack of communication/collaboration between agents.  Sometimes I feel like we rely so much on electronic communication that we forget that a 5 minute conversation can save hours of work and prevent mis-communication. Thanks for the blog, good stuff.

Oct 27, 2009 11:55 AM #99
Melissa Zavala
Broadpoint Properties - Escondido, CA
Broker, Escondido Real Estate, San Diego County

I agree with you. But, you did not mention Farmville. Everyone seems to be plaing Farmville. What a colossal waste of time!

Oct 27, 2009 12:55 PM #100
Sabrina Kelley
ERA Herman Group Real Estate - Woodland Park, CO
Woodland Park Colorado Mountain Homes and Land

I can never understand how agents have time to play mafia wars and bejeweled. I update my status and perform all my other social media duties after I make my calls, e-mails and comps. or stat. information for the day. Prioritize your client to the beginning of your day not the end.

Oct 27, 2009 01:11 PM #101
Lisa Ludlow Archer
Live Love Homes-Keller Williams, Charlotte, NC Ballantyne Area - Waxhaw, NC

No matter how one communicates we have to make it a priority right? Thanks for the great post. Blessings for a great week!

Oct 27, 2009 03:50 PM #102
Gina Tufano
Ask Gina & Company with Pearson Smith Realty - Sterling, VA
Ask Gina & Company, Northern Virginia Real Estate

Clint - Great blog! Social media can do wonders in complementing your business, but it does have to be treated with care. But no matter what industry you choose, customer service is always key. Especially in a service industry like real estate!

Oct 27, 2009 04:33 PM #103
Christine Donovan
Donovan Blatt Realty - Costa Mesa, CA
Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M

Buyers and sellers both get nervous during transactions, especially in today's real estate world.

Communicating with them makes a huge difference.

Oct 27, 2009 04:45 PM #104
Jim Paulson
Progressive Realty (Boise Idaho) www.Progressive-Realty.info - Boise, ID

Great blog.  Does that mean I need to quit reading it all and work on my presentation due in another four hours (grin).  I have already seen this re-blogged and personally don't care for that feature since if I am not a big fan of the office of the redundancy department!

Oct 27, 2009 11:46 PM #105
Clint Miller
Real Estate Pipeline, Inc. - Missoula, MT

Linda -- LOL!! Im a recovering Mafia Wars addict. ;-)

Wayne -- The distraction isnt about getting to know your clients better...thats not a bad thing, I dont think...The distraction is doing it IN SPITE of your clients.

James -- EAT THE FROG!

Rebecca -- Sure, distractions are everywhere. But, some of them are in direct control of the individual. I like your screening process....awesome!

Dee -- LOL! Yeah, that scenario would be suicide, i would think.

Jason -- Thanks! I cant believe the disconnect that exists in this industry. It is truly amazing to me.

Leah -- Glad to hear you hit the phone :-)

Michael -- Isnt it funny how people can get confused with busy work and think it is actually producing results??

Tim -- Sure, the net is addictive. It's a complete break from reality. With regards to this post and your time....If you learned something by reading it, it was worth it. But, dont read 100 of them and walk away empty handed.

Patricia -- Communicatino is THE key!

TLW -- ROAR!!! Love you, sweetheart!! Im glad to hear your nose works..LOL!

Vickie -- Oh, dont get me wrong...Im a SM junkie!! Good follow up skills you listed there.

Katerina -- Thank you so much!! I have a sign above my desk that says "You are trading a day of your life for the things you are doing today. Is what you are doing worth that trade??"

Renee -- You are dead on accurate...Once you stop prospecting, you are a goner.

Sybil -- Sites are addictive. So much so that people actually think that by being there all the time, they are getting something done.

Jeff -- Thank you so much for the kind words on the article!

Bob -- Exactly!! And unless you are actually engaging clients, it could be a waste of effort.

Tori -- Yeah, me too! :-)

Esko -- Discipline. Agreed.

Jason -- Hey, my man....Love seein you on my posts. ;-) And, thanks!

Marian -- Thank you so much! Solitaire??? OMG!

Nicki -- CS is King!! :-)

Jon -- Thank you! It is a bit of a lost art...

Jerry -- And, best of luck to you!

Tray -- Jason is a smart man. ;-)

Geoff -- I think that needs stated again..... The most important tool in social networking is the PHONE!!

Bryant -- And, If you go and look at the ethics committee violations that have been filed by CUSTOMERS, Id bet 99% of them involve a lack of communication in some form. Its a death sentence.

Gary -- Critical is a great word for it.

Shelly -- I hate Farmville. LOL! And, your analysis on the YES debate is dead on accurate.

S2S -- Thank you so much! There is a distinct difference between forward MOMENTUM and THINKING you are moving forward.

J. -- Just makes you sick, doesnt it?

Chris -- I agree completely!!! There is no magic bullet.

Joshua -- SM is a tool...nothing more. Just like a hammer wont build you a house, Social media wont bring you clients. It can HELP! But, its not the answer.

Lisa -- Thank you! The lack of communication is STAGGERING to me!! Unreal!

Melissa -- I hate Farmville. I used Mafia Wars because Im overcomming that addiction. LOL

Sabrina -- Clients should always come first...that includes returning phone calls to agents about their clients as well. That part gets lost a lot in this industry.

Lisa -- Agreed.

Gina -- Thank you so much! The point there most people miss is it is a compliment TO your business, not a replacement FOR your business.

Christine -- When I bought my house, my agent MONICA RAY (find her on ActiveRain) would call me just to tell me that nothing is happening and that she is working on getting things happening and would tell me when something changed. It was a WORLD of relief to me as a buyer

Jim -- Thank you! Not a fan of the re=blog, huh? I think youre the first I have talked with that isnt..

Oct 28, 2009 12:35 AM #106
rob aubrey

As far as being to early to make calls that is self talk that is destructive


I have gone to the office at 5:45 AM MST and called Salt Lake Property owners on the east coast from 6-7AM, the mid west from 7-8 am, the mountain region 8-9 am and then the west coast from 9-10 am. I have listed may of propertry that way.


One east coast guy, new yorker realized it was 6am my time and listed several properties with me over the years.


Calling non owner occupied properties is great prospectiong, the odds of hitting a productive vein are greater.


Think about the out of state owner is one of the following

left your state and wound up with a property their

they are investors and have many properties

or last but not least they are wealthy and have homes in a lot of places

I want to have a conversation with any one of the three.


What about you.


buuuutttt rob I don't want to make calls, great don't good luck




Oct 28, 2009 01:27 AM #107
Clint Miller
Real Estate Pipeline, Inc. - Missoula, MT

Rob -- Agreed! I am in the office by 6am to start making calls on the East Coast.

Oct 28, 2009 01:38 AM #108
Susie Blackmon
Ocala, FL
Ocala, Horses, Western Wear, Horse Farms, Marketing

Guess I can't add anything here... so I'll just say 'Aloha.'

Oct 28, 2009 05:27 AM #109
Clint Miller
Real Estate Pipeline, Inc. - Missoula, MT

Susie -- Aloha, sweetheart!

Oct 28, 2009 05:28 AM #110
Dennis Duvernay Broker/Owner
Hillview Realty - Northbridge, MA

I am old school...while I use social media.....nothing in this world will ever take over for a face to face, eye to eye and a hand shake.

Oct 28, 2009 05:45 AM #111
Clint Miller
Real Estate Pipeline, Inc. - Missoula, MT

Dennis -- Im a disciple of social media...I love it. But, even with that in mind, there is no substitude for picking up a phone even and touching base with someone one on one.

Oct 28, 2009 05:48 AM #112
Wendy Hodges
Re/Max Southern Shores - Myrtle Beach, SC
Davis & Hodges

Follow up and communication are key, they lead to referral buisness. If you can not commuicate with clients real estate is not the buisness for you.

Oct 29, 2009 02:28 AM #113
Clint Miller
Real Estate Pipeline, Inc. - Missoula, MT

Wendy -- You are dead on accurate!

Oct 29, 2009 02:47 AM #114
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