Ask An Ambassador: You Are The Billboard

Real Estate Agent with Transaction Alliance 513.520.5305 SAL.2002007747

Ever run a quick errand when you're "scruffy"?  In the middle of a home project and I have to have ONE THING RIGHT NOW to finish so off I go, unshaven, beat up sweatpants and a sweaty T-shirt.  Pop in, pop out, get back home.   That's the plan anyway.  But you know how this works, right?  I can go to the store a dozen times in my usual khakis and polo and see no one I know, but that one time I'm scruffy I'm going to see someone who knows me.  Murphy's Law at work.

And so it goes with our online presence.

Our normal process?

To produce polished content, with good spelling and grammar, good eye candy,  relevant content potential clients may seek.

To avoid online altercations that have zero chance of changing anyone or anything.

Recently I had a listing referral to place.  My first preference is to work with someone from ActiveRain (or someone who has been active here).  Presence here is an online billboard.  A person's blog posts and comments provide me insight into how well they know their market and how well they play in the sandbox, both critical aspects when I'm putting my reputation on the line with a referral.  Is their online persona "scruffy"?

There is a Rainer that works in the area, but his presence here didn't tell me what I wanted to know.  Looking at his website didn't help either. Basically his online presence IMO wasn't a good billboard.   Too generic, too little interaction with this community.

I know the same screening is done with us.  Maybe some like what they see, maybe some don't.  That's the risk of being online, but we have the opportunity to give someone reason to say No or Yes depending on how well we prepare our online billboard.

Scruffy or polished?

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

Bill & Liz aka BLiz

Posted by

Serving Warren County Ohio & Adjacent Areas

The Liz Spear Team of Transaction Alliance
Elizabeth Spear, ABR, Ohio License SAL.2002007747

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

Bill Direct:  513-520-5305
Liz Direct: 513-265-3004     
Fax: 866-302-8418


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Comments (18)

Carla Freund
Keller Williams Preferred Realty - Raleigh, NC
Carolina Life RealEstate & Relocation 919-602-8489

Great analogy Liz and Bill Spear. Thanks for sharing! 

Dec 07, 2021 07:29 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

You're welcome!

Dec 07, 2021 08:38 AM
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy

Good morning Bill and Liz,

Appearances are always first impressions, and the web site is one of those.  Woderful post. A

Dec 07, 2021 07:33 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

I'll do a little cyberstalking when placing a referral.  Signs for a good mesh, or an expected conflict point are usually out in public.

Dec 07, 2021 08:40 AM
Hannah Williams
HomeStarr Realty - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-820-3376

Liz and Bill Spear   I like it at first I thought you were getting caught at the food store in your scuffty clothes  and bumpying into clients . I like it Bill . I like it.  Good one . 

Dec 07, 2021 07:43 AM
Hannah Williams

That's me Bill great with faces and properties but horrid with names it is embarresing 

Dec 07, 2021 10:34 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

I've had it happen more than once that I've run into someone I know (or sometimes knows me and I don't remember their name because it's been a few years).

Dec 07, 2021 08:55 AM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

Thank you very much for sharing your experience and your advice.

Dec 07, 2021 07:45 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

You're welcome!

Dec 07, 2021 08:57 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello Bill(and Liz too) - sometimes presence is more of a gift than others.  It's kinda like a "sign" - it's a silent salesperson but if it's shopworn it can be memorable for all the wrong reasons.  

Dec 07, 2021 08:13 AM
Michael Jacobs


Dec 07, 2021 09:06 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

And there are some on my list, but not the good list for referrals.  I need a high level of trust in any agent I refer.  It's both our reputations on the line.

Dec 07, 2021 08:59 AM
Anna "Banana" Kruchten
HomeSmart Real Estate - Phoenix, AZ

Bill there are some that don't  have not much of a presence online but do have a high 'in town network' and a referal base a mile long which works well for them. At this point, I am more one of the locals than anything else. I do referrals to my AR 'trusted' folks and of course CRS as well.

Dec 07, 2021 09:40 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

The beauty of real estate, so many different paths to success.

Dec 07, 2021 10:54 AM
Adam Feinberg
Elegran - Manhattan, NY
NYC Condo, Co-op, and Townhouse Advisor

Ha, I was in Times Square last week (my office is a few blocks away). Not a lot of agents in the city have their own web site. I am among a smaller subset of agents in Manhattan that specialize in specific neighborhoods (while most agents will run all of the island without a neighborhood speciality)- so a lot of business flows to me internally from within my firm as a result when it's not coming from client referrals or buyer inquires on my listings. 

Dec 07, 2021 02:11 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

From everything I've heard about NYC real estate, it's a "Toto, we're not in Kansas" moment for the rest of us :)

I've been to/through NYC a few times, but never made it to Times Square.

Dec 07, 2021 02:44 PM
Beth Atalay
Cam Realty and Property Management - Clermont, FL
Cam Realty of Clermont FL

Hello Liz and Bill Spear, this is something all agents should work hard on. There are many secret agents, the ones who don't answer calls/texts, the ones who are not on SM. 

Dec 07, 2021 03:04 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

It's always puzzled me why some agents are so hard to contact.
Thanks for the group feature!

Dec 07, 2021 06:26 PM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good evening Liz and Bill Spear ,

What a great analogy! We were just talking in sales meetings about secret agents and why we don't want to be like like them. Make your statement, be authentic, be genuine and then opportunities will come your way. You may not appeal to everyone but you should appeal to the ones whose net you've cast out there!

Dec 07, 2021 03:56 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

And that's the thing, if I just be myself and show that through blog posts, Facebook, etc., I don't have to shift gears and try and be someone else that I'm not.

If someone doesn't like the quote in our email signature, or that we have dogs, or cats, or...(fill in the blank as appropriate), it just wasn't the right fit and we're fine with that.  I don't need everyone to hire me, I just need enough to hire me!

Dec 07, 2021 06:28 PM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Liz and Bill Spear - thank you. You are an inspiration, educator, and an excellent motivator. 

Dec 07, 2021 06:47 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

Patricia, I look at these posts as a Pay It Forward.  A lot of our business is directly attributable to what we've learned here and what we've done here.  If we can help another Rain shorten the process to getting results for their business, we're happy to have helped.

Dec 07, 2021 06:58 PM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher
There are a lot of ways to approach this but being yourself can be the best thing for you a lot of the time.
Dec 07, 2021 10:19 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

I think it's the best path, getting words and actions aligned to represent who we are and what we stand for.

Dec 08, 2021 06:53 AM
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667,, Broker/REALTOR® - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

Everything we do online is a billboard that others see and use to judge us. And visa versa.

Enjoy your day!


Dec 08, 2021 05:04 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

And some people put more out there than others for us to see.  Sometimes WAY too much!

Dec 08, 2021 06:53 AM
Brian England
Ambrose Realty Management LLC - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

My thought is that if people don't accept us at our worst then they aren't people worth having around, haha.

Dec 08, 2021 05:32 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

I'm going to use the "it depends" answer.  Some people are just too militant for my preference and I'll avoid contact as much as possible.

Dec 08, 2021 06:54 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude


That's a really good analogy. No one really wants to be caught off guard and scruffy but we certainly it in online billboards...and in person. Could be hard to change that first impression, even if you dress up.


Dec 08, 2021 07:45 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

It can take a lot of good work to offset one bad moment, and maybe it's an impossible task in some cases.

Dec 08, 2021 08:17 PM
Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

Your real estate professional today is splashed across the media by design and choice. What you show, how you rock and roll is up to you. All the time. People judge based on whatever they have to use to size up the cat. Which often is very little. But clean car, straight sizes, classic layouts and descriptions and imagery. Pride in your local community. All those ooze all over the place. Think customer, think image, be professional. Great points to get you thinking Liz and Bill Spear .

Dec 09, 2021 03:15 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

Andy, ever since I've seen your work here in the Rain, I've known you know how to create a fantastic billboard for your area and your business.

Dec 09, 2021 07:37 AM
Ed (Edward) Silva, 203-206-0754
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

I so recognize the scruffy face. as it works against me at times as well.

My website needs work as I haven't been there in a while and it's sad as I have been too busy.  My AR face is clean shaven, however

Dec 09, 2021 12:14 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

My website could use to have some search pages added (can never have too many), but it's been a lower priority lately.

Dec 09, 2021 08:17 PM
Paddy Deighan MBA JD PhD - Vail, CO
Paddy Deighan J.D. Ph.D

all good points & ones that are often overlooked or forgotten...thanks for the reminder to look into things from this perspective

Dec 10, 2021 12:10 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

We all have our purposes for blogging.  For some, it may not be for business and all topics are fair game.  Me, I'm looking for buyer and seller calls so my focus will be on topics that might create the opportunity to be contacted.

Dec 10, 2021 08:33 AM
Jim Paulson
Progressive Realty (Boise Idaho) - Boise, ID

I have been to Time's Square in NY at night and have seen all their huge flashing billboards.  Some companies spent a fortune on them and yet to me, it was like an Urban Christmas Tree all lit up.  I couldn't tell you any of the advertisements except for the Grinch which just came out at the time.  I just consider those digital billboards beautiful white noise.

Dec 13, 2021 01:30 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

I've been to NYC but never Times Square. Maybe one of these days I can add it to my list of places seen.

Dec 13, 2021 03:05 PM