Social Media Marketing; It doesn't matter whether you like it or not!

By
Real Estate Agent 6501392216

Love It or Hate It

One of the "hot button" issues for Real Estate Agents right now is related to Social Media Marketing (Facebook, twitter, Pinterest, etc). It would seem that most agents fall in to the "Love" or "Hate" category on this topic.

 

I guess I fall in to the "Love" category, simply because it's within my comfort zone. I'm too old to be counted among the Millennials, the generation normally associated with internet communication; but I've always been a bit of a tech nerd, so I gravitated toward these forms of communication pretty early.

 

Whether I love it or hate it is a little irrelevant though. In fact, whether you love it or hate it doesn't matter much. Whether you're comfortable with it or not, it can't hurt to learn about it. It may not matter whether this is how I want to communicate with my clients if it's the method my clients want to communicate with me.

 

Does it Matter?

Does it matter? What does matter is that over the next 2 decades, the primary client base in Real Estate is going to come from a generation that grew up with this technology. They're not uncomfortable with it. In fact, they welcome the open information it gives them. They're expecting to learn a little about the people they want to do business with...and they will absolutely use what they learn to determine WHO they will do business with.

 

How are my clients affected?

What does this matter to my clients? Well, a lot, actually.

 

For my clients who are buyers, it means that I can utilize communication strategies that will allow a much more open and efficient flow of information between all the parties involved. Pinterest to show you ideas, my website to guide you through listings, a Facebook group that allows us to brainstorm your needs in real time.

 

For my clients who are listing a home, it means that I am able to reach out to more people in a much more personal way and tell them about your home. Of course your home will be on the MLS, and of course I'll market it in a variety of avenues. But, I'll also be using Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram to put your listing in front of people in a way that lets us tell a story. Your house won't be just one more listing on a larger sheet full of listings. Your house will be a home, with a story, and the people who see it will appreciate that.

 

For my future clients, it means they get to learn about me, my business, my philosophy, my sense of humor, my reading preferences, and anything else they'd like to know. They can learn a lot about Real Estate by checking out my business Facebook page. They can learn a bit about Real Estate and a lot about Cycling by checking out my video blog. They can learn a lot about who I am, as a person, by checking out my personal Facebook profile. They can learn about who I am as a business person from my LinkedIn. In short, my future clients can make a better, more informed decision about who they do business with. Agents who fear this openness are going to struggle as Millennials drive the market. Agents who embrace it, and who share their passion for this business, will spend less time looking for clients and more time helping clients who looked for them.

Comments (37)

Women of Westchester Working Together
Women of Westchester Working Together - West Harrison, NY
Women helping Women get ahead

Yes, this is good advice.  It doesn't matter what you think; it matters what your customers think.  - Debbie

Dec 14, 2015 08:46 AM
Ross Schueller

I suppose that should always be our mindset.  Great summary!

Dec 15, 2015 12:04 AM
Thomas F. Scanlon
Borgida & Company P. C., CPA's - Manchester, CT
CPA, CFP

Ross Schueller - Well done. Excellent post. I don't know what inning we are in with SM but I suspect it's early.

Cheers,

Tom

Dec 14, 2015 09:19 AM
Ross Schueller

Thanks Tom!

Dec 15, 2015 12:05 AM
Fred Griffin Tallahassee Real Estate
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

"...it means they get to learn about me, my business, my philosophy, my sense of humor, my reading preferences, and anything else they'd like to know."

   That sums up my opinion of social media.  YOU become a real person to the Buying and Selling public, not just a face on a business card, or a corporate name.

Dec 14, 2015 09:22 AM
Ross Schueller

Exactly!  I think this is the point that gets missed the most.  This isn't just a convenience for Millenials; it'll be their expectation.  They're going to find their Realtor, in part, by vetting them through information available online. 

Dec 15, 2015 12:06 AM
Lynn B. Friedman CRS Atlanta GA 404-939-2727
Atlanta Homes ODAT Realty - Buckhead - Midtown - Westside ... Love our City - Love our Clients! - Atlanta, GA
Concierge Service for Our Atlanta Sellers & Buyers

Comments #14 and #18 amplify your post in a positive manner. Yes, Ross Schueller --- Like it or not - social media is where we need to be to engage with our Clients who are there!
Have a successful day -
Lynn

Dec 14, 2015 10:27 AM
Ross Schueller

Thanks Lynn!  

Dec 15, 2015 12:07 AM
Dorte Engel
RE/MAX Leading Edge - Bowie, MD
ABC - Annapolis, Bowie, Crofton & rest of Maryland

Dear Ross,

You have to be social somehow. The medium will change, but the need to connect will not.

Dec 14, 2015 11:03 AM
Ross Schueller

Exactly right!  Will we be using Facebook, Twitter, etc in 10 years?  Will it be on our phone?  I doubt it...but the fundamental concepts won't change.  As technology makes it easier and more effecient to share information, both personally and professionally, people will shift their method of communication to meet with that technology.  We have to move with it!

Dec 15, 2015 12:08 AM
Sharon Parisi
United Real Estate Dallas - Dallas, TX
Dallas Homes

The greatest plus for social media is that it is a form of marketing that reaches many potential clients quickly and at a low cost.

Dec 14, 2015 01:01 PM
Ross Schueller

I love that it is a low cost version of marketing!

Dec 15, 2015 12:09 AM
Richard L. Sanderson
Richard L. Sanderson Consulting - Kalama, WA
helping improve local property tax systems

Ross Schueller - Great post. I've bookmarked this post because I'm writing a similar article for a industry trade publication focused on property appraisers and property assessors. Most are reluctant to get involved in social media. As your post indicates, things change. We may not always be comfortable with change, but it happens anyway.

Dec 14, 2015 04:52 PM
Ross Schueller

Thanks Richard!  I've followed you....it'd be great to read your article when you've finished it!

Dec 15, 2015 12:10 AM
Sham Reddy CRS
H E R Realty, Dayton, OH - Dayton, OH
CRS

I like it.

For my clients who are listing a home, it means that I am able to reach out to more people in a much more personal way and tell them about your home.

For my future clients, it means they get to learn about me, my business, my philosophy, my sense of humor, my reading preferences, and anything else they'd like to know

Dec 14, 2015 07:51 PM
Richard Iarossi
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Crofton, MD
Crofton MD Real Estate, Annapolis MD Real Estate

Ross,

I find that this topic falls into two categories. Those agents that do it well, and those that don't. There doesn't seem to be much grey area in between.

Rich

Dec 14, 2015 08:46 PM
Ross Schueller

Rich, my experience thus far would indicate that you're correct!

Dec 15, 2015 12:11 AM
Nicole Doty - Gilbert Real Estate Expert
Zion Realty - Gilbert, AZ
Broker/Owner of Zion Realty ZionRealtyAZ.com

I can't believe there are still agents out there that don't embrace social media at least a little bit. Eveyone is on-line so you better be too. 

Dec 14, 2015 11:05 PM
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

Well it may get to the point that every contact is a sales pitch. Separate the two

Dec 14, 2015 11:15 PM
Ross Schueller

My life is my sales pitch.  I don't prospect via SM...I let SM remind people what I do.  I certainly spend marketing dollars on my Facebook page, etc when I feel that type of engagement is appropriate.  But my friends are still my friends.

Dec 15, 2015 12:13 AM
Bret & Meredith Amon
LIV-Sotheby's International Realty - Breckenridge, CO
Breckenridge, Keystone, Silverthorne, Frisco,

The only one I dont use is Facebook...  facebook is cool, but there is no seperation between your work and personal life, if all you do is post real estate.. your real friends really wont care, i like facebook for staying in touch with old friends and I would hate to loose that. How and where is the balance....?  all others I say game on

Dec 15, 2015 12:23 AM
Ross Schueller

Having a business page separate of your personal profile allows you to separate those groups pretty easily.  There's also the ability to create groups within your "friends" so that you can choose which things you'd like to share with everyone and which things you'd like to share with only family (for example). I think the most important lesson I've learned is that, no matter which platform you're referring to, if all I do is broadcast marketing information then I'll see very little results or engagement.  In the case of Facebook, my life is my marketing.  I'm not announcing a sales pitch...I'm just telling my story every day.  

Dec 15, 2015 01:07 AM
Anthony Saunchez
Campa Properties - San Bernardino, CA
How can we be of service

Sometimes I love it, sometimes I hate it, but it is  a  great tool and if that is how my clients want to talk to me then that is how I will talk to them.

Dec 15, 2015 12:39 AM
Tim Dykstra
Trophy Class Real Estate/Sports Afield Trophy Properties - Holland, MI
Tim Dykstra

In your last paragraph you make the statement, "Millennials drive the market." Eventually that may be true to a certain extent. However, something to consider before you dump all your chips on this client base. Millenials are generally strapped with debt primarily from student loans. Will these kids be able to buy?Will they get financing if they need it?

Millenial rule number one - before I work with them, they must be prequalified. Facebook, twitter, instagram, or smoke signal doesnt matter if the people wasting your time can't cant buy anyway.

Dec 15, 2015 12:43 AM
Ross Schueller

Hi Tim!  Nice to hear from someone in my local market!  

As to Millennials, what I'd actually said was "AS Millennials drive the market".  This was a reference to their growing influence, as referenced earlier in my post.  Do I think they're a huge factor this year?  Probably not.  But I don't think they'll be sending you smoke signals, nor will they respond to your smoke signals as they enter the market.  Personally, I'd prefer to be ahead of the need curve, rather than behind it.  If the majority of the market over the next two decades is likely to be Millennials, I'd rather learn how to engage them now....rather than wait until it's obvious that I missed the boat.


 


As to prequalified...that's a whole other topic!!  I'm beginning to be persuaded that those pre-approval and prequalification sheets issued by lenders aren't as valuable as they'd have us believe.  Too many of them are a cursory approval, at best, and don't hold up at closing.  Frustrating for clients and agents!!

Dec 15, 2015 12:59 AM
Beth Atalay
Cam Realty and Property Management - Clermont, FL
Cam Realty of Clermont FL

Excellent post Ross! Whether we like it or not, SM is here and it has power! We have to speak the language of our audience, whatever their method of communication is, we must deliver.

Dec 15, 2015 01:32 AM
Ross Schueller

Exactly!

Dec 15, 2015 01:36 AM
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg Real Estate

Well if you're ignornig it you've got your head in the sand. There are still plenty of people that don't understand it that's for sure. I believe long ago it was a staple to serve your sellers well.

Dec 15, 2015 02:21 AM
Ross Schueller

I agree Lyn!  

Dec 15, 2015 04:17 AM
David Barr
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Realty - Sarasota, FL

I am one of maybe three agents that regularly use social media in my office.

Dec 15, 2015 03:26 AM
Ross Schueller

Either that'll change because everyone else will have to catch up, or because they'll have been left so far behind that they won't be at your office!

Dec 15, 2015 04:16 AM
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area

So true...potential customers learn about you from your social media/online profile!  Very important.  Great blog!

Dec 15, 2015 07:24 AM
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Ross Schueller you are right - SM is going to be here - so one should take advantage of this.

And I'd say, it's another 3-5 years where SM is going to dominate! I do see it now, already.

Dec 15, 2015 03:08 PM
Annette Lawrence , Palm Harbor, FL 727-420-4041
ReMax Realtec Group - Palm Harbor, FL
Making FLORIDA Real Estate EZ

I like sticking with the stuff that works. Proven and reliable.

Never mind all the shiney things these young folks use. They are just fads, you know. like the internet. Do you think that internet thing will catch on?

The problem with that thinking is. as the telephone in the image suggests, there simply is no one you can call on that phone. 

Like it or not the tide comes in, and things will change. Our choice it simply to decide of we are to be an exhibit of the past or participant in the now.

 

Dec 16, 2015 06:56 AM
Ross Schueller

Annette... You nailed it! 

Dec 16, 2015 07:34 AM

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