Hand signals and social media. Don't get rear ended!

Real Estate Agent with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties Licensed in Connecticut

Doing business the old fashioned wayRemember the good ole days when you could use hand signals if your brake lights or blinker when out? Try that now, let me assure you that those who are of a younger generation do NOT know what those hand signals mean. They think you are waving, cooling off your arm, or are just nuts, or they smack into the back of your vehicle as you are slowing down to make that turn. 

I lost my right turn signal late yesterday afternoon. Of course I had places to go, people to see and there was no chance of fixing it until this morning.

Do you have ANY idea how difficult it is to make only left hand turns and arrive at your destination? Just sayin...

This got me to thinking about how we practice real estate "these days". I was at a meeting yesterday where the guest speaker, an agent out of Manhattan from Prudential Douglas Elliman, was talking to the dumbstruck group about social media.

"How many of you have websites?" All the hands gleefully shot up in the air and waved excitedly. My, everyone was so proud of their websites.

"How many of you have NON Prudential owned websites?" Me and one other lonely gentleman kept our hands in the air. Although he had just purchased his website and it was not up and running yet, someone was working on that for him. 

"And how many of you are blogging?" Yep, it was only me.

no right turnsThen he spoke about Facebook, you could see eyes glazing over and the quite whispers in the back of the room became louder and louder, talking about the state of the market, about weekend plans, anything to keep from having to talk about social media.

The speaker was very patient, as if he seemed to understand that the average agent wants things to be the way they were. They don't want to have to build a website, understand SEO, they certainly don't want to blog if they even understand what blogging is, AND there is no way they want to hear about Facebook and Twitter.

As I was trying to get to my destinations while only making left hand turns, lamenting the fact that hand signals are certainly a thing of the past, I realized that many agents are probably feeling the same way about real estate. But times have changed, those that don't understand, who don't move forward with the times will find themselves getting rear ended as they wave their arm out the window trying to let everyone know they are slowing down trying to make that right hand turn.

Posted by

Andrea Swiedler, Realtor, Southern Litchfield County Real Estate

2017 President, Greater New Milford Board of Realtors

2017 Connecticut Magazine 5 Star Realtor


 Search homes for sale in Litchfield County, CT.


Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

Litchfield County Regional Office,375 Danbury Rd, New Milford, CT 06776


© Andrea Swiedler 2009 - 2017

 Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest. - Mark Twain


Re-Blogged 1 time:

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  1. Louise Thaxton NMLS 69996 06/29/2011 03:41 PM
Real Estate Sales and Marketing
Active Rain Newbies
The Art Of Marketing You
POSITIVE ATTITUDE for the Weary Soul
social media
old fashioned real estate

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Valerie Zinger
House Proud Ottawa-Ontario-Canada - Ottawa, ON
Home Organizer

Andrea - you are so right about times are a changing.  I only wish that the good fairies did most of the work on social networking - okay, except for AR.

Jun 29, 2011 05:46 PM #47
Lorraine or Loretta Kratz
Crescent Moon Realty, Inc. & Land N Sea Auctions. - San Marcos, CA
Certified Negotiation Consultants

I recall those days when it was required to know when taking the drivers exam how to manually signal a left or right turn, back in the day when I got my driving license it could be confusing trying to read the drivers intention, because  they would forget to use the proper signal or signal at all. Enjoyed your post. 

I recently was surprise also at a Tom Ferry event how many agents new and season that are not blogging or doing much in the way of social media.

Jun 29, 2011 06:13 PM #48
Vickie Nagy
Palm Springs, CA

Andrea, just from reading this post I can believe that you are probably one of the leaders in your office now. In the current market it's challenging to depend on the traditional methods of generating business.

Jun 29, 2011 06:32 PM #49
Cheryl Ritchie
RE/MAX Leading Edge www.GoldenResults.com - Huntingtown, MD
Southern Maryland 301-980-7566
I was the only one blogging in a huge auditorium lately when the Speaker said tha Blogging is Marketing and at least that lady in the back gets this.
Jun 29, 2011 09:23 PM #50
Andrea Swiedler
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties - New Milford, CT
Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT

Pat, thank you. I was so uncomfortable driving without the right signal, and the agents in the meeting were clearly uncomfortable with social media!

Mary, we do need to be aware of the changes around us, then find what works for us and move forward with it.

Laura, sometimes the information the consumer gets is wrong, and it is our job to know what they are going to find out there before they find it!

Kathy, that wouldn't be happening these days I bet! Yes, if we don't  keep up we will certainly be left behind.

Ellen, yes indeed, you do have it all! Good luck to your son!

Donna, the business is changing day by day, and we do have to change with it!

Anne, oh, I certainly don't want to get rear ended! Thanks!

Ed, not me, I don't have the time or the patience to be doing my nails, how about you?

Gabrielle, social media is evolving day by day, we may not be able to recognize it soon enough, but if we are here already we are ahead of the game!

Jacqueline, I believe it is a huge mistake to rely on your brokerage website, but that is just me!

Tammy, I actually felt uncomfortable for a second! But.. I don't care to get rear ended, LOL.

Shannon, you are right, we have to do it the old fashioned way AND with social media. And it does mean more and more work.

Andre, AR is my favorite too, for many, many reasons. I loved digital media from the second it came out, I wasn't kicking and screaming, LOL.

Alan, LOL, I was so worried that I would get rear ended because no one would understand my hand signals, that's for sure!

Richard, you would certainly rethink about using hand signals if the blinkers weren't working! I can bet on that! What new option box are you talking about?

Sonja, I really didn't have too much to say. I think he was afraid of what I would say because I don't think he is blogging. Maybe he pays someone to blog for him, don't know.

Dee Dee, there are a few that are successful still using those methods, but time will change all that, I am sure!

Mary Jo, I believe you are right. And I don't want to be part of the collateral damage group!

Evelyn, oh my, now that made me laugh!

Kathleen, if you wait for the perfect post, if you are afraid to just jump in you will miss so much. Now come on, get moving!!!! Don't be using hand signals yourself!

Judy, in fact I did get a shot of a silo the other day! What, no email address? How is that possible?

Catherine, it is fluid, and we have to keep moving with it, not against the tide.

Anna Banana, thank you! I had this post brewing inside all morning long!

Gretchen, we do have to use any advantage, and I am the first to admit it can be so overwhelming. But we still must keep going forward!

Jennifer, thank you! I am also glad that I made it through the ordeal, LOL. We do have to stay ahead of things, while making it seem effortless. There is the real trick!

I will be back, thank you for all the comments. Time to start my day!

Jun 30, 2011 12:42 AM #51
Chuck Carstensen
RE/MAX Results - Elk River, MN
Minnesota Real Estate Expert

Blogging and Facebook, agents on AR use those tools, but the "outside" world is scared of all this in Real Estate.

Jun 30, 2011 01:41 AM #52
Connie Harvey
Pilkerton Realtors - Brentwood, TN
Realtor - Nashville TN Real Estate

Andrea, beautifully written. When I started blogging 3 years ago, it was for exactly that reason. I could see that things were changing and I didn't want to get left behind. Who would think that I was actually ahead of most.

Jun 30, 2011 01:50 AM #53
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

My husband and I ride on the Harley and he uses hand signals often. It is scary wondering if people are understanding his signals!

Jun 30, 2011 01:57 AM #54
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

The gesture to tell another driver (years ago) to turn off their headlights so their battery wouldn't drain was the flashing of your lights on and off to send a blinking message to the other person. They would respond with a honk, or a blink back or wave and all was well. Years ago, I did this and some guy followed me home, got out of his car and wanted to know why I was flashing my lights to him...I stopped doing it....thank you for your post Andrea

Jun 30, 2011 03:19 AM #55
Than Maynard
Coldwell Banker Heart of Oklahoma - Purcell, OK
Broker - Licensed to List & Sell - 405-990-8862

As a broker I seem to say that on weekly if not daily basis. Times/things have changed. You have to do this and this now to write the contract. (I know this different from what you are talking about, but it necessary to change/keep up everywhere).

I still deal with companies and agents that can only fax offers! Really? Scanner are really cheap if you have to buy your own and if the broker isn't providing with all the fees you  pay you need another broker!

Jun 30, 2011 03:57 AM #56
John McCarthy
Bean Group Portsmouth NH - North Hampton, NH
Realtor - Seacoast NH

Hi Andrea,

I started reading and immediately realized I had to suggest this one so I scrolled back up. Guess what? No suggest button. Then it hit me. Congratulations on a much deserved Feature!

Jun 30, 2011 07:08 AM #57
Retired Notworking
Tallahassee, FL

Funny. You are so right about hand signals and so many other things (and stars) that are now ancient history. Saddest to me is that only 40%  of high school students know what the Declaration of Independence is (according to a study I read about recently).

Jun 30, 2011 08:20 AM #58
J. Philip Faranda
J. Philip Faranda (J. Philip R.E. LLC) Westchester County NY - Briarcliff Manor, NY

Andrea, I think I may know that Elliman agent. There will come a time when technology debases us, frankly. A whole generation of people already don't know how to spell because of texting, and can't read a map because of GPS. 

We should know handl signals, and we should know hand shakes. Not everything should be online. 

Jun 30, 2011 03:01 PM #59
Mike Mayer
Mike Mayer, Broker/Owner - i List For Less Realty, LLC - Lafayette, LA

I recall the driving hand signals. I also remember when computers first entered as tools in our profession. It literally weeded out many who were unprepared and unwilling to accept the technological advances and changes invading our daily lives.

Jun 30, 2011 08:14 PM #60
Donna Quinlan
Keller Williams Realty - Newburyport, MA
Keller Williams Real Estate Agent Career Consultan

I remember learning to use hand signals. I love your blog! Not using social media is like using hand signals. Imagine if the world stood still and did not progress.  Lucky for us ARainers.

Jul 02, 2011 01:26 PM #61
Andrea Swiedler
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties - New Milford, CT
Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT

Chuck, they are afraid! There is no reason to be afraid of it, is there.

Connie, isn't that wonderful? I remember when I came here, I was petrified. Quickly it became a lifeline, almost an addiction!

Sharon, that is a scary thought indeed. I think many people don't understand the signals, and that is not a good thing!

Richie, oh my. I thought about that exact thing too actually. That someone would take my gesture and think it something else and come after me, LOL. Thank you!

Than, I am right on the edge of an area that would prefer to do things the old fashioned way. It is hard to understand that attitude. I can feel your frustration!

John, why thank you! I appreciate your support indeed.

Colleen, I am not suggesting we ignore the past. There are times when we will need to back off on technology and do things the old fashioned way. But if you don't know both, well... that is a problem! And your figure scares me, are you serious? That is a crime... wow...

Philip, I agree with you we need to know BOTH. There are times when it is appropriate to use one over the other. But learn we must.

Mike, those that fear change and are unwilling to make change will certainly get left behind!

Donna, lucky for us indeed! ActiveRain has taught me so much and I appreciate it so much!

Jul 03, 2011 11:33 PM #62
Sussie Sutton
UTR Texas Realtors - Pearland, TX
UTR TEXAS Realtors - Rep for buyers and sellers.

What a great post and you are right. I speak to other agents in my area and very few of them even know what I am talking about. Those few have glazed looks too because they don't want to blog. They want to sell homes the old way... well....good luck to you....

Jul 04, 2011 04:06 PM #63
Sussie Sutton
UTR Texas Realtors - Pearland, TX
UTR TEXAS Realtors - Rep for buyers and sellers.

I wanted to suggest this post but it appears I can't!

Jul 04, 2011 04:07 PM #64
Marie Graham
Owner, The Refreshed Home White Plains NY - White Plains, NY
Westchester County Interior Decorator, Home Stager

Your description of how a room of uninterested agents reacts is perfect, but I thought it was only STAGING agents don't  want to hear about! SO FUNNY, and great point, thanks.

Jul 04, 2011 04:34 PM #65
Jay Beckingham
Fairway Independent Mortgage Company - Delray Beach, FL
"I love first time homebuyers"

there's at least one hand signal that today's youth understands, and then there's a bunch they use that i have no idea what they're trying to tell me. no matter which ones they use i just smile and wave.

i had to write down search engine optimization so i'd remember what seo stood for. i understand one thing real clear. the "rain" oozes google juice, and makes my phone ring, it's also caused a gingle in my pocket, if you know what i mean.

Jul 08, 2011 06:04 AM #66
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