Ask An Ambassador: Reconnaissance Prevents Fiascos

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 SAL.2002007747

Reconnaissance: military observation of a region to locate an enemy or ascertain strategic features

Fiasco: a thing that is a complete failure, especially in a ludicrous or humiliating way.


There are things I'd want to be known for, and things I don't want to be known for, and fiascoes are high on the latter list.

And a way to minimize the risk of being involved with a fiasco?  Some good reconnaissance prior to engagement.

It's been a long time since I took off my Navy uniform, but a lot of the principles I learned in my 10 years of dressing like my co-workers still apply today, and in many different aspects of my life.


By making myself aware of the situation and the rules of the current playing field.

1) Ever go on Facebook and make what you think is an innocent comment and get blasted as all the posters friends come swarming?  Bad intel on your part set up the situation.  There are people I follow on Facebook because they take fantastic nature or travel photos.  But politically we're pretty much living on different planets, so I enjoy the photography and try to ignore the rest.

2) I've seen similar things here in the Rain.  Someone fairly new to the community comes in and starts DEMANDING.  Do things my way.  Make these changes.  They kick some long time members in the shins.  The noob totally failed to understand what makes the community tick, and didn't gain any intel on the history of the site before making their demands.  The end result most typically?  The usually warm welcome to new members is going to get warm the point of singed eyebrows. 

3) In an age when information is readily available, I think it only prudent to do a little cyber-stalking of potential clients.  Assuming they have a name a bit more uncommon than John Smith, there's a good chance I can find out a decent amount about them prior to ever meeting in person.  What do they put on Facebook?  LinkedIn details?  General web search results?  That reconnaissance may tell me: STEER CLEAR entirely, or that there are flash point topics avoid, or it might give me common ground (pets, travel, etc.).

4) And for direct business application to blogging and websites, what do you find with web searches? 

What is your competition doing?

Is there an undeveloped niche, or are you trying to tackle an overpopulated niche? (e.g. there's no shortage of LUXURY real estate specialists in my area)

What are consumers searching for?

What are the hot segments of your home market?

What are the market trends for your area?

What can you find out about the sellers or buyers on the other side of your transaction?


A little time spent searching may be a significant benefit for you and your clients.

Some good reconnaissance can be the difference between success and fiasco.


Until next Tuesday, just Ask An Ambassador if you need help,

Bill & Liz aka BLiz

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Serving Warren County Ohio & Adjacent Areas


The Liz Spear Team of RE/MAX Elite
Elizabeth Spear, ABR, CRS, Ohio License SAL.2002007747

William (Bill) Spear, CRS, Ohio License SAL.2004011109  Kentucky 77938
Ask for us by name if you visit the office!

EHO Two locations: Lebanon & Mason, OH
Bill Direct:  513-520-5305
Liz Direct: 513-265-3004     
Fax: 866-302-8418


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Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


You have made an excellent point, I have observed what you are referring to.  Observation is key to making choices.  Happy Tuesday, great post.  A

Feb 04, 2020 09:53 AM #1
April Swenson
Coldwell Banker Ocean Shores Brokers - Ocean Shores, WA
CRS and Managing Broker - Ocean Shores Real Estate

Good post. I like the military, and I think practical, reference. Although, I try to listen what a client says to learn about them, I do not search for them online (unless I have suspicions).

Feb 04, 2020 11:09 AM #2
Margaret Goss
Baird & Warner Real Estate - Winnetka, IL
Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate

When I saw the word reconnaissance I thought you were talking about something that I always do. If I'm not intimately familiar with the area I'm showing, I go first and drive by every property. No sense in looking like a fool if I don't have to.

Feb 04, 2020 12:01 PM #3
Anna Banana Kruchten Arizona's Top Banana!
HomeSmart Real Estate BR030809000 - Phoenix, AZ

Bill excellent post. Understanding and knowing what you're getting into, before it happens is the best course of action. And yes I've seen a few new folks come on in and blast members.  That is so childish and immature - that's my two cents.  This isn't 3rd grade albeit it appears there is a lot of that type of behavior going on lots of places. Personally I steer clear and have no desire or time to go down that road to chaos.

Feb 04, 2020 01:48 PM #4
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Bill:

This is excellent advice. Research and a bit of observation could make a huge difference before jumping in with both feet, whether it's here, on Facebook, with prospects, showing property in areas you are less familar with, etc. Of course we can't take everything we see and read online as the truth but a little time is well-spent.

And perhaps a word about checking ourselves out online to see what others' research may yield about us!


Feb 04, 2020 04:35 PM #5
Rick Frissell
HomeXpress Realty - Valrico, FL
aka "The Red Baron of Real Estate"

Confession: I look people up on Facebook.  I usually get a better feel on Facebook than LinkedIn.  I like to know about their family and interests to find common interests.

Feb 05, 2020 04:33 AM #6
Shirley Coomer
Keller Williams Realty Sonoran Living - Phoenix, AZ
Realtor, Keller Williams Realty, Phoenix Az

Great advice.   I have innocently commented on something political (shame on me) and got blasted by people.  I try to avoid anything political because there is always someone who will disagree and someone who will go to the next level and go on a tirade!

Feb 05, 2020 05:38 AM #7
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello Bill(and Liz too) - I liked your response/reply to Ron and Alexandra Seigel about the benefits of lurking on ActiveRain as one sees the "lay of the land".  Observation. Surveillance. Investigating.  Each has a role.  Here on ActiveRain as well as the real world.  

Feb 05, 2020 05:46 AM #8
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667,, Broker, Blackstone Realty Group - brokered by eXp Realty - Kalispell, MT
The House Kat

Yes, reconnaisance can be quite helpful! I do look up potential clients on social media. And I refrain from jumping into any online conversation that pertains to certain topics.

Have a great day!

Feb 05, 2020 05:53 AM #9
Erik Hiss
Keller Williams Capital Partners Realty - Worthington, OH
You can trust me for all your real estate needs!

Very good points. And certain things for for certain agents in certain markets so it's all relative. What's most important is keeping in contact with those we know to ask for referrals...that's for All of us!

Feb 05, 2020 07:11 AM #10
Kris Collis, Associate Broker
Smart Way America Realty - East Stroudsburg, PA
Professional Results you Expect 702-574-8102

Bill, Regarding point #1, innocent comments on Facebook.  This is precisely why  those in investment and defense companies, etc. are prohibited from social media accounts.  It doesn't take much for a little something to blow up into the unintended...
let alone contribute to the shadow profile collected by FB and other data aggregators, as explained by Harvard Professor, Soshana Zuboff.  I have posted her youtube on shadow profiles elsewhere and encourage all to become informed about the non-public uses of all personal  data of which most are oblivious.

Feb 05, 2020 01:04 PM #11
Peter Mohylsky. The Santa Rosa Beach Expert
PrimeSouth Properties - Santa Rosa Beach, FL

SNAFU is another term that I used in the military and again in real estate.  Anyone familiar with it? 

Feb 05, 2020 03:50 PM #12
Chad Felter
Virginia Beach, VA
Providing service through out Hampton Roads

Sounds like you got sucked into the social media SuperBowlHalfTimeShow controversy. Thats reallt all I know...Thanks for listening.

Feb 06, 2020 03:15 AM #13
Jay McHugh
SendOutCards-Appreciation Marketing Expert - Boston, MA
YOUR SendOutCard Mentor

Love your comparison ... indeed research is very important for the benefit of you and the client....thanks for sharing....

Feb 06, 2020 04:30 AM #14
Scott Godzyk
Godzyk Real Estate Services - Manchester, NH
One of the Manchester NH's area Leading Agents

I love the info... can not get enough of it, I love to research and when it comes to real estate i am prepared. Your thoughts on social media are right on. A comment made can lead to blasts from keyboard warriors hiding in basements across the US. 

Feb 06, 2020 05:39 AM #15
Jill Sackler
Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500 - Long Beach, NY
LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate

So good. In an age where anything you say can be purposely misunderstood, sometimes it's better just to shut up. Better than that, is knowing your audience.

Feb 06, 2020 09:08 AM #17
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

The rules of engagement keep changing and Recon helps us keep current

Feb 06, 2020 06:38 PM #18
Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED
RETIRED / State License is Inactive - Portland, OR

Well . . . glad I logged in to read this one!  As the lurker that I turned into, this got me to log in, and I actually remembered my password!!  

Fun read, because I remember the old days here on ActiveRain.  AH yes . . . the good old days.  I remember those types of posts that would irk the heck out of the community from the newbies and remember the points gaming!  CLASSIC

Feb 08, 2020 07:07 AM #19
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RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)
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