“Ma’am, I’ll bet your butt would look pretty hot in these jeans”.The Nordstrom sales girl who called this out was trying to get my attention, appeal to my vanity and get me to spend money. Since I am too old to have a hot-looking butt — even in $300 jeans — I smiled and walked on. But her call-out lingered.
Why? Because she made me feel a little uneasy, a little embarrassed, even a little ashamed about my 51 year old REALTOR® self. Sort of the way I feel hearing from some of the most popular real estate gurus and consultants.
The tone of some marketing and technology gurus swings between mild contempt and outright disdain. There is usually an implication -- or it's directly stated -- that while "most" agents are lazy, there are some who become superior beings by virtue of using a particular technology, marketing plan or coaching system.
The “dinosaur” label is the most popular way to condemn an agent who hasn’t (or won’t, or can’t) do things the guru's way. So who is a dinosaur today? Is it the agent who blogs, generates leads, gets transactions done, and gets good reviews from clients, but who doesn't have a mobile website? Or a full library of "real" video tours? Or the latest iphone?
Facebook usage is where some marketing gurus draw the line between the "with it" and the "out of it" agents.Should an agent be labeled a “dinosaur” if she believes that her clients are unlikely to use Facebook to develop a new relationship with a real estate agent?
I know that most of my clients, regardless of age, do use Facebook…but many do so privately and they want to keep it that way. I read in a recent report on Mashable "for the majority (of users), social networking sites are most important as a way to share and communicate with friends and family who are already key social ties".
And many people work for firms with policies that explicitly restrain their use of social media sites.
For example, a president of a public company I worked with asked upfront if I would comply with his firm’s corporate policy for vendors' social media usage. Among the requirements, there could be no mention of his firm or his executives on platforms like Facebook or Twitter.
This executive in his late 40s is definitely not a tech dinosaur: he carries 2 smart phones, an ipad, and occasionally a laptop. As a REALTOR® working in the murky area of an executive's public/private life during a corporate reorganization, I fully complied with his firm's rules. We had a successful transaction and he has referred me to his colleagues. We’re not friends — that would be presumptuous for either of us to assume -- and I wouldn't dream of trying to "friend" this client on Facebook. But we enjoy a good business relationship, which is, after all, a good goal to achieve.
Every day I work at learning new ways to be a better REALTOR®. I believe that continually evaluating and implementing new technologies and systems is important, But I won't be mocked into doing things that are bad for my business.
And while I'll keep spending money at Nordstrom, it won't be on the latest butt-enhancing jeans.