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.