I always say I love your Style and Advice, what you have to say is sooooo TRUE!!
ONE SIZE DOESN'T FIT ALL, in shoes or real estate marketing plans.
Rich Jacobson reinforces in my mind the value of social networking for business generation. In his counterpoint to a post by Liz Provo, Rich provides a need for balance in real estate promotion. I agree and will take the need for balnace one step further and stress the need for agents to focus on what works for them and not be concerned about what others think. If one wishes to spend 4 hours a day participating in social networks, fine If one wishes to spend a Saturday knocking on doors in their area, fine.
Rich also describes that value of more traditional real estate marketing. Smart thinking. We can all benefit from traditional agent "self promotion". However, since so many consumers, primarily prospective home buyers, use the Internet to begin their home search (looking at pictures of homes for sale), it behooves agents to have an Internet presence, whether traditional web sites, or through social networking.
DOOR TO DOOR or LINK TO LINK? Participating in social network sites is not a substitute for other types of real estate services marketing. That said, a quality presence on the Internet can enhance your existing business plan. I engaged in many types of traditional advertising for years before going "All Internet all the time" marketing in 1995. Agents licensed within the past 5-10 years are far more likely to feel comfortable with Internet marketing. In fact, it may be the only thing in their business plan.
WHAT DID THE BROKER SAY ABOUT THE INTERNET WHEN THEY HIRED YOU? New agents are likely to take their lead from their broker. Of course, many newly licensed real estate sales persons are shocked, shocked to discover in their first week following joining a brokerage that the broker is not going to hand them buyer or seller leads. I know from experience, many years ago, that it was a shock to me. Newly licensed with no buyers or sellers means no business??? What to do? Back in the 1980s, the best source of new business for new agents was opportunity time, manning the telephone for specific times and, if a buyer or seller called or walked through the door, they were yours. Things have changed and, for many real estate offices, telephone time either doesn't exist or offer limited "opportunities".
If the broker doesn't maintain an Internet presence, they are not likely to recommend it to their new agents. They'll continue to recommend the marketing systems that worked for that broker over the years. It may be all that broker knows. Yes, I know brokers like that and agents who are wondering what to do and when and how and "will someone please help me".
ENTER SOCIAL NETWORKS. Not a day goes by that I don't get e-mail inviting me to "join" or "link to" a fellow agent's page on Twitter or other networks. I'm happy to oblige since I understand the value of ubiquity with Internet advertising.
YOUR MOST VALUABLE RESOURCE IS YOUR TIME.
- Time is running out.
- Time is of the essence.
- Time goes by.
- Time to get busy.
- Time is money.
All true and all critical when considering where to spend that most valuable resource, your time. Social networks have proliferated in the past year or two. So, when asked to link to or join this site, network, blog, etc., or that, I spend some time examining the site or group and deermining how that network fits into my marketing and business plan. However, I join few because they don't have the saturation I seek for a web site. Of course, the best social network for me is ActiveRain. ActiveRain is fully integrated into my marketing plan and enhances my business in many ways.
FOCUS, FOCUS, FOCUS. What I've found over the years is that it really doesn't metter what type of advertising, marketing, promotion, networking, etc. we use, the important thing is that we are serious and use them.
HAVE A PLAN AND EXECUTE IT! Brokers and agents with a plan and a budget (time or money) will benefit from their promotion if they take their business and their time seriously.
ADVICE FOR NEW AGENTS. Get out of bed and go to work every day, even if your "office" is 15 feet away. Work through social networks, web sites, direct mail, e-mail promotion, etc. Just work it.
LEARN FROM YOUR OWN SUCCESSES and DON'T RELY ON YOUR BROKER FOR BUSINESS. How did you meet your first buyer or seller client? Build on that. Learn from that. Network with other agents. Network on the Internet and connect with others. Network in your community and learn from your neighbors and local businesses. Listen to your broker, but don't expect them to provide you with enough business to succeed financially. Brokers are pulled in many directions and expect new agents to develop their own sources of business.
SUCCESS IS A FOUR LETTER WORD - WORK.
Get the word out! "Hey, Home Buyers and Sellers, I'm here and I can help!"
Courtesy, Lenn Harley, Broker, Homefinders.com, 800-711-7988.