5 Facts You Don't Know About Social Media

Services for Real Estate Pros with Virtual Pictures Corp. (VPiX)

Finally. The end of year is here and I can get caught up on my sleep. I call it my GSI (Get Sleep Index) Hahahahaha. 

I took my last consulting call for the year and this was for an agent in Houston, TX.  When I asked her what her social media strategy was for 2013, she said she hadn't done much on Twitter or Facebook yet and didn't plan to in 2013, either.

After what probably seemed as a rude and awkward silence for 10 seocnds... I cleared my throat. 

"Why," I asked.

"Well, I'm not looking for college kids and 20-somethings. They can't afford homes in the $1m price range, anyway. And I heard Facebook is going to be charging $1 per email now. It's a real waste of my time to even bother."

Ah, the classic Facebook mis-conceptions. Once again, I have to address them.


There are 5 Popular Myths or Facts about Facebook you might not know. 

Here they are and in no particular order of importance.


1.) Facebook is mostly teens, pre-teens and college kids. This is not my market audience.

FALSE. Facebook, has become the next, "LinkedIn.com" and month after month is growing with a bigger business audience than millions of game-crazed teen-agers playing Farmville, Mafia Wars or chatting it up with friends. 57% of Facebook's users are women and middle-aged women 40 to 60 are one of fastest growing demographics on Facebook. Pinterest has the largest women user base at 82%. (Source: OnLineMBA.com)  Out of 845 million active facebook users, nearly half are 46 or older and 47% of them earn $100k or more a year, and 57% have some college education. 


2.) Social Media (advertising) and Brand Building is a Quick Fix. I'll start tomorrow.

REALLY BAD IDEA TO WAIT. You should have started building up your fan base and information exchange systems a few years ago. If you haven't started, NOW is a good time. But it will take you 6 months to get traction.

Tomorrow, eventually, someday are (3) of the WORST times to get started. If Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are not already on your New Year's Resolution list of thigns to DO right now, it needs to be on that list, just above the "Make More Money in 2013," reminder.

You don't need a software engineer to get started. You just need to start. Your Facebook page does not have to look like Trulia, or Zillow. Just get started and hire a colege kid for 3 hours to design your Facebook cover page and post it.  Just get off your butt and get started. There's no excuse to NOT have a Facebook page today. This is the Nike tagline: JUST DO IT. It' doesn't have to be perfect. You can always tweak it whenever you learn more Facebook marketing and Photoshop skills. 

There are plenty of people to help teach you what to do and where to get started. Lynda.com is an excellent place for Facebook Essential Training. It's just $25 bucks a month. 


3.) Facebook, Twitter and Linked are one-way promotion platforms

BIG MISTAKE. This is the single biggest myth out there with REALTORs I speak with in the age 40 and up bracket. They don't "get it," so they simply "don't get it." This is sad because anybody today considering such a huge purchase such as a home will most likely do a lot of research on you, your team or your brokerage. Have you screwed up? What are the complaints (if any) on Alice the Agent or Bob the Broker? Enquiring minds want to know.

People want to know you have good business skills and a healthy sense of "ethics." They will read your testimonials and how you and your team interact with buyers and sellers at all kinds of levels long before they ever reach the closing table. 

Learn to be an "expert" at writing short articles about great buys, fun things to do in your town, and get your buyers' agents to post on your Facebook page about your local neighborhoods. 

Social media uses video, text, photos, live chat in which the user controls how he / she interacts with you, shares your products or services with others. There is no longer a "one way broadcast medium," anymore. 

Hpyer-local community pages are key to getting traction in the search engines and it's a great way to help you stand out from the competition. People will see and read about your expertise in local neighborhoods and will reach out to you if you impress them with your knowledge.  

At the risk of tooting my own horn, take a look at what I did for a Keller Williams broker in Dallas for his new Website for the local Dallas neighborhoods.  

Take a look at the detail page for Heath and look at the right side response form. This is an appointment / email widget we developed that lets the user to schedule a drive in that local neighborhood. Not just another "me-too," schedule a showing of a single home. 


4.) Linking Content to Facebook is too hard to learn.

PURE BS. If you can copy and paste text, then you can paste, link or upload video content to Facebook directly. It's easy. Take a look at our Facebook business page for VPiX360.  Our page has videos we uploaded as well as HD virtual tours of real estate content showing High Definition VPiX Virtual Tours of Real Estate.


5.) Social Media is a Time Sucker. A Huge Waste of Time.

NOT TRUE. Businesses are seeing that social media can drive the majority of their business. In our business, we do a lot of real estate marketing. Some months, up to 47% of our new sales comes from Social Media.  Social media marketing is a huge part of your business success. If you're reading this, you obviously made the leap to reading and posting blogs.  Active Rain is really Blogging with Training wheels.  

But after a period of time, it's time to kick off those training wheels and pedal the bike without them. Moving from ActiveRain to your own WordPress blog is a good thing. Tying your blog to Facebook posts on neighorhoods is better. Diving into Twitter, ActiveRain and Facebook two times a week is really, really good. It's an investment into marketing your website, your skills, your buyer's agents teams out to poeple who want to do business with you. 

Suffice it to say: If you don't tell people about you, if they don't know about you, or where you are... they CAN'T DO BUSINESS with you. Social Media provides you with the on-line and off-line tools to inform buyers and sellers about your real estate services.


We sell virtual tour camera kits to brokers who are fed up with paying $99 a house out to Obeo, CirclePix or RealTourVision. Do the math. You list 100 homes. At $99 a house, that's $9,999. If you have a digital camera, you just need to spend $2,470 on the upgrade lens, rotator, software and the VPiX tools. 

Here's a funny video about Bob the Broker who saved $18,000 on working with us. 



No matter where you start, Facebook and Twitter and Active Rain all play key roles in giving the ordinary real estate agent huge and powerful tools to help you broadcast what you do to the world. So long as your text is thoughtful, informative and includes a dash of humor -- people will remember you.

The highest compliment you can be paid on ActiveRain is when we recommend you for a FEATURED Post.  Feels pretty good to be acknowledged by your colleages, doesn't it?

Take that same feeling and amp it up a bit more. And strive to start posting valuable information on your Facebook wall and your Tweets when you have a new home, short sale or foreclosure to tell your subscribers about. 

Bottom line, Social Media is a growing trend and like I said above, you do NOT have to be a wizard at it today. The skills will come if you just make yourself the promise to get started.

Merry Christmas to all of you, Happy New Year and may God bless us all.

Posted by

Bart Wilson | CIO
Virtual Pictures Corp (VPiX®)  
iPhone: (719) 645-9940  |  Skype:  vpix360 


Re-Blogged 4 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Joe Jackson 12/23/2012 08:52 AM
  2. Sussie Sutton 12/23/2012 09:58 AM
  3. Sam Miller 12/23/2012 10:05 AM
  4. Praful Thakkar 12/23/2012 12:15 PM
Real Estate Sales and Marketing
Blogging & SEO
Internet Lead Generation-How Best To Capture Your Audience
social media
new years resolutions
5 facts

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Margaret Goss
Baird & Warner Real Estate - Winnetka, IL
Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate

Great post for us to think about for the new year!  I enjoy using Facebook to keep in touch and I know there are benefits.  But a plan?  I wouldn't know where to start.

Dec 23, 2012 04:51 AM #1
Bartley Wilson
Virtual Pictures Corp. (VPiX) - Monument, CO
VR Software and 360° Solutions

Thanks Margaret,

A written marketing plan is key. It doesn't have to be beautiful, or comlex like a college term sheet, either. But you do need an actionable plan.  You DO need to get started.

I've boiled down the steps you need to do below. It's just (5) tiny things, and these are not hard. 

1.) What is your GCI this year? What do you want it to be in 2013?

2.) How many homes did you list in and sell in 2012? How many do you want to list / sell in 2013?

3.) Name (3) people in your town that right now, have a page one (natural rank) on Google?

4.) Do these same people have a Facebook, Twitter or Active Rain presence? What do these (3) people do every month, every week on their social media posts? Write them down and you simply duplicate them. 

5.) Will you devote 2 hours a week for six weeks to learning Facebook and social media skills?

If yes, go to www.Lynda.com and sign up. It's $25 a month. Learn anything and everything you ever wanted to know, do, see or learn from going social. 


See? 5 things to do for your "social media" plan for 2013.  

It's not hard.

But like with any journey of 1,000 miles. It begins by taking the first step. These five things above are the secret "juice" for you to learn and improve your GCI for 2013.


Dec 23, 2012 05:04 AM #2
Ron Marshall
Marshall Enterprises - Saint Michael, MN
Birdhouse Builder Extraordinaire

I don't have a FB account.  But reading this, makes me think I should.  Thanks, Bart.

Dec 23, 2012 05:22 AM #3
Melissa Zavala
Broadpoint Properties - Escondido, CA
Broker, Escondido Real Estate, San Diego County
It is interesting how you debunk these myths. Congrats on your feature.
Dec 23, 2012 06:17 AM #4
Maureen Bray Portland OR Home Stager ~ Room Solutions Staging
Room Solutions Staging, Portland OR - Portland, OR
"Staging that Sells Portland Homes"

Good tips here.  I agree that getting started on FB can be challenging, but it's worth it and once it's set up, it's pretty easy to maintain.  I need to post more on my business or "fan" page in 2013.  

The other great platform to get on now is Google+.  Seems like it's going to play an increasingly-important role in your overall social media "score."

Dec 23, 2012 06:35 AM #5
Sussie Sutton
UTR Texas Realtors - Pearland, TX
UTR TEXAS Realtors - Rep for buyers and sellers.





Merry Christmas



 From my family to yours! 




Be safe and have a great holiday!



Dec 23, 2012 09:53 AM #6
Christine Donovan
Donovan Blatt Realty - Costa Mesa, CA
Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M

Bart - There's a lot people don't realize about social media, and you're helping to fix that.


Merry Christmas.

Dec 23, 2012 11:17 AM #7
Brian Madigan
RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage (Toronto) - Toronto, ON
LL.B., Broker


Very good post. I need to invest a little more time in FB.

That will make a good New Year's resolution.


Dec 23, 2012 11:52 AM #8
Raymond Kennedy
Keller Williams Preferred Realty - Orland Park, IL

The only myth I believe that can be true is #5, it can be a time suck if you allow it to be. You must treat it like any other lead generation tool, time block, have a plan and execute consistently. It's a different animal and requires a different approach but it doesn't mean you can create a system around it. Should be part of everyones business plan.

Dec 23, 2012 12:01 PM #9
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Bart, the biggest challenge for many of us is (me, at least, I admit) - like ActiveRain, we get addicted to these platforms and end up spending lot more time then what we need to...(and for $99, you don't get much at most shops, btw)

Dec 23, 2012 12:14 PM #10
Richard Iordache
Oakland, TX

Good post Bart. My FB Cromro

Dec 23, 2012 04:00 PM #11
Wayne and Jean Marie Zuhl
Samsel & Associates - Clark, NJ
The Last Names You'll Ever Need in Real Estate

Good morning Bart - the truth is that learning how to use social media is a time consuming event, especially for those of us of a certain age. Is it worthwhile? Sure, and that's why the winter slow season is a great time to polish up your skills!

Dec 23, 2012 08:58 PM #12
Amanda Christiansen
Christiansen Group Realty (260)704-0843 - Fort Wayne, IN
Christiansen Group Realty

Hi Bart.  Most of our business has come from our social media efforts.  It's definitely a good tool when used correctly.  Thanks for the post.  

Dec 23, 2012 09:42 PM #13
Margaret Goss
Baird & Warner Real Estate - Winnetka, IL
Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate

Bart - thank you frot he explicit steps you outlined in your response.  I Can Do That.  I Will Do That!

Dec 24, 2012 12:05 AM #14
Bartley Wilson
Virtual Pictures Corp. (VPiX) - Monument, CO
VR Software and 360° Solutions

Thanks everybody. Look for my net post on how to triple your leads by doing one simple thing to your website form fills.

Merry Christmas everyone!  

-- bart



Dec 24, 2012 10:51 PM #15
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Bart- I do have a plan for 2013 that I hope will work for me because all of this Social Media stuff can be overwhelming.  I'm going to sit down with a timer and set aside "x" minutes for FB and Google+.  If I don't I'll either set there for hours on it or not do it at all. 

Dec 27, 2012 10:14 AM #16
Katie Smith
Pueblo, CO

Bart thank you so much for posting this! There are so many people out there who dont use Social Media and you are right its a big mistake-especially for Realtors. 

In this age of technology that we live in, most people want to know that their home is going to be marketed properly. If they decide to list with you and they see you dont use social media that could be a huge drawback and cause potential listing clients to change their minds and go with someone who does market on social media.

Not to mention the fact that using social media builds trust with potential clients and current clients(think referrals)and allows them a sense of connection to your life and who you are as a person!

Thank You Bart!!!


Dec 28, 2012 12:22 PM #17
Ron Climer
Keller Williams Realty Mountain Partners - Tryon, NC

Bart  What a great post.  I am sooooooo glad that someone woke me up a couple of years ago.  It amazes me how many Realtors are asleep concerning their web presence 

Dec 28, 2012 10:44 PM #18
Ginger Harper
Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage - Southport, NC
Your Southport~Oak Island Agent~Brunswick County!

You are so right. I did not know about these things .  I will  bookmark this and use as reference in the future

Dec 29, 2012 06:52 AM #19
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