"DON'T REST ON YOUR LAURELS". Or, past success doesn't guarantee future success.

Real Estate Agent with Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate 303829;0225082372

ACTIVERAIN MEMBERS EPITOMIZE THE "SOCIAL NETWORKING SUCCESS".  However, they are a small cog in a very large wheel that represents real estate industry advertising. 

Joe Manausa responded to a comment on his post, ACTIVE RAIN MEMBERS EPITIMIZE SUCCESS, in which I commented that social media isn't the only road to success for real estate agents.  Joe asked: 

"Hey Lenn.    So what are saying, you don't need to take advantage of the internet and social networking if you are willing to work hard? ..."


Seems to me that many ActiveRain members often believe that, because participating in this real estate network brings success to them, that participating in social networks is the only answer to success in a real estate business.

I don't believe that is true. 

ALONG CAME GOOGLE.  I do believe that the unique benefits that rodound to active members are valuable and real.  That said, after 15 years actively marketing on the Internet, I have seen them come and I have seen them go.  HA!  12 years ago, YAHOO! was the place to be found on the Internet.  Along came Google with the unique concept that, if a company was in the business of offering an advertising site, SEARCH was the answer to attracting visitors and profit.  No complicated crowded portal, just a simple one line search line.  The profit from advertising was also more subtle with AdWords, virtually invisible platform and AdSense, showing those unobtrusive little 3-4 line ads in response to your unique search term. 

What are the remaining 94% doing???  The NAR says that only about 6% of REALTORS participate in online marketing, web sites/blogging.  What are the remaining 94% doing?  Just what agents have done for 100 years since real estate brokerage became a recognized business:  meeting people, networking, working geographical spheres, working personal spheres, working office leads, working relocation leads from affiliates, etc., etc.  Some are so busy with new business, they have no interest in expanding their marketing efforts to the Internet and see no need. 

ACTIVERAIN STAYS AHEAD OF THE CURVE.  As more and more social media web sites proliferate, there is a natural tendancy for online advertising consumers to give them a try.  Some become successful, some do not.  Fortunately, for ActiveRain members who grow with this unique real estate network, we continue to realize the benefits of online marketing through the use of one simple, yet comprehensive platform.  Many of us venture into other sites and realize success.  Fortunately, the ActiveRain braintrust is on top of this tendancy and brings other platforms into the ActiveRain umberella to benefit our membership.  Of course, the members have to take advantage of these offerings to realize the benefits. 

ACTIVERAIN IS OUR UNIQUE PERSONAL ADVERTISING COMPANY.  Just as Google was unique in 1997, ActiveRain is unique in 2009.  That said, the numbers and percentage of agents and brokers taking advantage of this unique advertising platform is minute as a percentage of real estate industry members.  That's why. . . . . I STILL SUBMIT THAT:  Blogging isn't the way to generate business.  It is, of course, an efficiant way to extend your personal profile to the world via a real estate online publication. 

If I had to cease participating in social media today, would my business suffer?  I don't believe so.  The time that I spend on ActiveRain, which is considerable, would be spent on other online advertising.  For me, ActiveRain is more fun and efficiant than other forms of  online advertising or networking with consumers and other real estate industry representatives.

However, don't make the mistake of believing that blogging or social media is the only way to market your Internet Advertisingservices.  Agents who make that mistake risk getting lost in the crowd as the percentage of agents/brokers participating in social media increases. 

IN JUNE 1995, when I first went online, my website, Homefinders.com, was one of the few in my area.  That lasted for about 1-2 years until other local agents got the message.  As competition grew, I had to continue to improve and expand my online presence, which, thankfully I did. 

What's the old saying???  "DON'T REST ON YOUR LAURELS".  Previous success doesn't guarantee future success. 

Courtesy, Lenn Harley, Broker, Homefinders.com, 800-711-7988.

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Re-Blogged 3 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Sybil Campbell 12/25/2009 01:12 PM
  2. Pat Laracy Baker 12/25/2009 11:45 PM
  3. Dana Devine 01/05/2010 03:44 AM
Real Estate Sales and Marketing
The Ninety-ninth Percentile
Club Chaos
AR Twitter Users
Real Estate Trends
online marketing

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Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

Lenn:  Great article.  Congrats on another gold star.  I am with you.  Success in this business is based on hard work.  Not all 96% of those Realtors not participating in online social networking are actually working.  There are those that get a license and keep preparing to prepare to work, or are just waiting for clients to fall from the sky.  This business is not for anyone who is afraid of hard work. 

Dec 26, 2009 03:33 AM #75
Karen Rittenhouse
www.JKKPropertyInvestors.com - Greensboro, NC
Real Estate Investor

Ultimately, to do real business, people want face to face.  It's great to be able to do so much online, but we can't forget the basics - one-on-one human contact!  That's one area of the business that will never go away!

Dec 26, 2009 04:08 AM #76
Kimo Jarrett
WikiWiki Realty - Huntington Beach, CA
Pro Lifestyle Solutions

Isn't it amazing that many business owners will spend over 50% of their time on returning less than 10% of their profits? Being #1 on Google doesn't guarantee profits, you still have to convert and close sales, so AR, Zillow, Trulia and other marketing networks are simply tools as you so effectively stated.

I have rediscovered that direct marketing to targeted marketing areas continues to be the most successful means to real estate. Working smarter not harder is key and while some Realtors are successful using social media marketing to produce the majority of their profits, most all of the successful and profitable Realtors I know in my marketing area are either doing the basic marketing of farming territories or face to face marketing.

This is a great opportunity for invading targeted markets where Realtors once dominated but have abandoned their brand by spending their time marketing primarily over the Internet, providing competitive Realtors to seize their territory and thus establishing brand recognition and credibility.

Dec 26, 2009 04:23 AM #77
Christine Hynes
American Capital Corporation - Laguna Beach, CA
Orange County Senior Loan Consultant

Lenn - I think tools are there for everyone to figure out which one or ones they can make work for them and their personality!  I have had much success with real estate agents sending me their business and my clients referring clients as well as coming back.  The internet and blogging has also added to those initial sources. I am always trying news ideas to grow as a business woman and offer the best service that I can. 

Dec 26, 2009 04:46 AM #78
Debra A. Jason
Na Pali Properties, Inc. - Hanalei, HI
Kauai Realtor - Kauai Homes For Sale, Kapaa to Haena

Aloha Lenn,

A couple of months ago, I wrote an article about social networking and stressed the importance of good 'ol face-to-face contact. While social media is bringing people together, as you suggested, personal interactions still carry a lot of weight.

To read my article, please visit my marketing web site (in addition to being a Realtor, I'm a freelance copywriter) at http://www.writedirection.com/articles/BeingSocialKBR.html

Happy holidays.


Debra A. Jason, Kauai realtor-associate

Debra A. Jason, RA, ABR

Na Pali Properties, Inc. - Hanalei, Kauai, HI

Dec 26, 2009 05:21 AM #79
Lenn Harley
Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate - Leesburg, VA
Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland

Christine.  Good for you.  We need to determine what works for us.

Kimo.  VERY INTERESTING.  I suspect that many previously successful agents have "slacked off" working their old techniques.  That means opportunity time for others.

Karen.  Agreed.  That's why the completely online home sales services do little to nothing.

Chris.  Of course, which is why the stats from NAR are always suspect.  I for one am not included in that 6% because the NAR surveys always have questions that don't apply or that are designed to elicit a predetermined stat.

Tere.  I like Internet leads.  They work fabulously well for me.

Scott.  For me, it's all in the numbers no matter what your marketing program.

Esko.  Agreed.  However, it supports my prediction of about 2 years ago that said that there will not be a huge percentage of REALTORS who blog.

Dianne.  Thanks.  I got a running start.

David.  HA!  Sounds like a plan.

Tanya.  Thanks.  Don't ignore a web site or it will cease to work.  They need attention, like a farm.

Tina.  The challenge these days is to find the gems in online marketing sites. 

Bill.  In deed.  We're really like a private club where anyone can join but not everyone will enjoy.

Gary.  So do I.  I love it when I get e-mail from an agent somewhere asking "Lenn, can you tell me in a few words how to get business from the Internet. 

I just send them to the Google Webmaster Guidlines.

Lyn.  I don't believe that my business would suffer if I stopped my AR activity, but I'd have to work other blogs instead.  AR has everything working so well. 

Justin.  Not to worry.  You'll figure out where to devote your time.

Joe P.  That's very good and very true.

Bo.  Just let me know when you're in my area and I'll take you to the range and we'll "shoot a few".

Andrea.  One of the most important benefits for me from AR is meeting new and wonderful referral agents.


Dec 26, 2009 05:37 AM #80
Jean Hanley
Coldwell Banker Kivett Teeters - Hemet, CA
Specializing in Folks Who Want To Buy/Sell Homes

Lenn, you know it's quite interesting that such a high percentage of active agents do not have an internet presence, and MOST don't know what one is.  I cannot tell you how many times I have invited other agents I know to get onto ActiveRain.  I talk about it all the time.  Everyone thinks it sounds really great.  So, I send them an email with a link to follow and get a very low percentage who actually do it.  I have even told them that I truly believe I learn more in the Rain that half the seminars and webinars I have attended.  I just don't get it.  Oh well, more Rain for the rest of us.

Dec 26, 2009 07:13 AM #81
Michelle Francis
Tim Francis Realty LLC - Atlanta, GA
Realtor, Buckhead Atlanta Homes for Sale & Lease

Lenn, We definitely need to SHIFT with the times, as real estate information, our clients needs and wants change.  I just started with AR this year.  It's fascinating, informative and part of my marketing for the future.  All the best in 2010!  Michelle

Dec 26, 2009 07:23 AM #82
Dana Voelzke
loanDepot (203) 733-9408 - Bethel, CT
Loan Officer/ First time home buyer specialist

Hi Lenn,

I get finding referral agents, learning best practices, current trends & national real estate news. I get making a blog available for consumers to read, for the percentage of consumers who might be interested in reading a blog. Other benefits of social networking include learning enough about it to be able to bring value to my business networking groups. I look forward to attending RainCamp in NYC to learn more about Social Networking.

I guess the key questions each of us must define are how much fun do you have blogging and how does it actually fit into your business plan/generating real business for you. 

Thank you for bringing a challenge to the conventional wisdom & an interesting discussion.

Dec 26, 2009 08:35 AM #83
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

I am always trying to figure out what will be next, before the other guy.  I love Active Rain and will continue to use it.

Dec 26, 2009 01:07 PM #84
Gail Robinson
William Raveis Real Estate - Southport, CT
CRS, GRI, e-PRO Fairfield County, CT

Social media brings in business, but the majority of my business is through face-to-face contact.  I find that one reinforces the other.  When people who have met me do a Google search and run across my profile, my online presence makes me more credible as an Internet savvy agent.

Dec 26, 2009 03:41 PM #85
Frank Castaldini
Compass - San Francisco, CA
Realtor - Homes for Sale in San Francisco

As the internet gets clogged with tons of ways to access information and realtors add so much more information available with all these blogs, I say the old fashioned method will work even better than before. Face to face, belly to belly, referral based, snail mail, open houses, meet and greet will always work the best.  I never bought anything significant until I met the sales person.  And often, most often it's from a referral.  Anyone who found me online actually had heard of me before and comfirmed their interest by researching about me.

The basics work the best.  I hope this isn't forgotten.  I'm with you on the other 94%.

Dec 26, 2009 03:54 PM #86
Lenn Harley
Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate - Leesburg, VA
Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland

Jean.  I enjoy watching developing trends.  I invited a number of agents/brokers in my network to join AR some time ago.  To date, not one of them has created a significant presence on AR.  They joined but never really participated.

There's a missing link here and I'm working the "little gray cells" to figure it out.


Dec 26, 2009 09:27 PM #87
Lenn Harley
Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate - Leesburg, VA
Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland

Michele.  Thanks and welcome.  I'm sure you'll benefit from your participation here.

Dana.  I enjoy my participation in ActiveRain.  If I didn't, I wouldn't be here.   That said, I believe that the benefits are largely more subtle than most think.

Gene.  Good thought.  AR participants may spot trends far earlier than most real estate practitioners.

Gail.  My business is largely referral so face-to-face is no longer paramount.  Contacts, however, are.

Frank.  My first contact is usually online and has been for 15 years.  That said, I work the Internet quite differently than most agents.


Dec 26, 2009 09:33 PM #88
Ty Lacroix
Envelope Real Estate Brokerage Inc - London, ON


What works for you or me or the person in the next city is different as is the clients we attract or do not appeal to. If the marketing that you do brngs you the financial goals you want, that's great. If not, then change the marketing


Dec 27, 2009 03:23 AM #89
Tim D. Wilson - The Horseman's Agent ™
HomeSalesLexington.com @ Rector-Hayden: Lexington, Kentucky - Lexington, KY


 This is exactly the kind of sound, level headed advice from a trusted source that we all need to remember as we head into a new year!  

I am not exactly a genius, but I do like to think that I am smart enough to recognize great advice when I see it.  And often times even take it!   :-)

Thank you so much for taking the time to share this.

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!


Dec 27, 2009 05:00 AM #90
Marian Goetzinger
Pine Knoll Shores Realty 252-422-9000 - Pine Knoll Shores, NC
Crystal Coast Real Estate NC

Lenn,  I always look forward to your blogs because they are REAL.  I love Active Rain and I love to write so this is a great place for me to do some writing that "might" be productive.  I also find that I can relax, find encouragement and motivation here.  So I think I'm here to stay.  But I'm also an old-timer, having been in business now for 15 years, and I know that much of what works for me has nothing to do with social media.

Happy New Year!

Dec 27, 2009 11:20 PM #91
Dona Reynolds
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Stein Summers - Saint Joseph, MO
St. Joseph MO

Lenn, Your blogs are always right on top and I really enjoy them.  I have invited many agents to AR and they have signed up and never followed through.  Face to face is still a very strong part of my marketing as well as referrals.  Our local area is rapidly changing from baby boomers (with no computers) to employers now looking to expand on nursing, life science jobs.  Diversification, diversify, diversify and be ready to change as needed.   I personally have made many friends on AR and the knowledge is endless.  Happy Holidays!

Dec 28, 2009 03:55 PM #92
Patricia Beck
RE/MAX Properties, Inc., GRI, CDPE - Colorado Springs, CO
Colorado Springs Realty

I don't think it is a good idea to put all your eggs in one basket...my business comes from more sources than the Internet alone.

Dec 30, 2009 07:38 AM #93
Beverly of Bev & Bob Meaux
Keller Williams Suburban Realty - West Orange, NJ
Where Buying & Selling Works

Lenn, this is so true. Too many replace social media for face-to-face. It's never meant to replace the personal touch, it should be seen as an enhancement that can work well.

Dec 31, 2009 01:36 AM #94
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