I wrote a blog post in October 2009 called, Are Real Estate Agents Obsolete? I ruffled feathers, I’m probably going to do the same in this post : ) My point at the time was, times are changing and they (in general) are not! I consult many agents on the topic of how their business is perfect for Social Media Networks, they are a service oriented business, a relationship business, perfect! So what’s the problem?
The tools aren’t the problem, the Internet isn’t the problem, people are not the problem, so what is it? It’s the way Real Estate Agents think. I’m generalizing so don’t get your listings in a knot.
I’m not trying to embarrass any one individual here, I’m speaking in general terms, don’t you realize what you have on your hands? The Internet is only 15 or 16 years old, what you did before the Internet came along worked great, offline, but those tactics don’t translate to digital very well do they?
Today, you can do open houses LIVE with a digital camera connected to the Internet, what a great way to find out if a home shows well. There are very few people willing to buy a home without actually going on site, so what are you worried about? The Internet has one real strong purpose for Real Estate Agents, and for the most part, they don’t know what that is.
Look, much of what Real Estate Agents do is now hyper-sensitive here online, why? People don’t want to be bombarded with sales pitches, and they don’t have to either. The “service” agents provide is just that, a service, you are not a classified ad. So why do you act like one?
Think about that for a moment, Social Media Networks are not more places to do outbound marketing or yelling. Well, you could use them that way, but you’ll fail miserably. There I said it. Social Networks are opposite to Radio, TV, and Newspapers (outbound), they are inbound. You need to be drawing attention through building relationships, being helpful, not constantly selling your stuff.
Imagine having a Rolodex the size of the Internet, you do! Who would need one that big right? Well, everybody knows someone, and that someone might be moving to your area, but you would never know if you don’t build relationships first. Go figure, Twitter as a Rolodex. This is the new CRM (Customer Relations Management), build relationships, build a huge network online, just like you would offline except you’re not selling. You are, building friendships first, then data mining, and through these relationships you will find business otherwise not found. Notice the order of things.
Be social, be mobile, and be the kind of person I and all of us would want to do business with, we want to know you, we want to know if you can help us when the time comes, but we will never know if you only cram your listings down our throats. This constant yelling and broadcasting is the disconnect with those you would consider clients in social networks, that way of thinking shows me that you only care about sales. I bet that statement makes you mad if you an agent, if so, then do something about it. Perception is everything, and once it starts, BAM! you are now stereo-typed.
A good friend Ron Karr wrote an interesting book on sales, I recommend it, it’s called, “Lead, Sell, or get out of the way” By Ron Karr, he can teach you a few traditional things, but most of all, he talks about how you think. Here’s my review. And that’s what I’m talking about here, the old methods got you to where you are today, and some of those methods may still work for now, but most likely won’t on Social Networks.
Scott Stratten coined the phrase in his book UN-Marketing, ” Stop Marketing. Start Engaging.”, these words should be your new mantra, they speak to the heart of every selling profession. My review of his book.
So build your Rolodex here online through building relationships first, where else can you save so much time & money, and reach so many in so little amount of time. Amazing isn’t it, most people don’t care what you know until they know you care. Gary Vaynerchuk is about to release a new book called, “ The Thank You Economy“, people want to know you care, and saying thank you goes along way to fulfilling that need.
The Future of Business in terms of Real Estate Agents, it will be entirely up to them. The business as a whole needs to pay attention, learn how to be social and mobile, both are critical to they’re success. More importantly, they need to unlearn a great deal of what they think they know about sales, specifically online.
I think in the next 5 – 10 years, Real Estate Agents will become fewer, because the current red tape and gate keepers will eventually be removed. It could happen sooner, you can by-pass agents already, but thats not the real issue. The mechanism of control is, and it will be harder to control the consumers of the future, so something has to give. For many agents, they don’t have the luxury of time, they must make sales to put food on the table. It’s that kind of pressure that makes you make mistakes, in social networks, the tolerance level for selling all the time, posting your listings, is much lower.
So, relationship first, don’t sell, provide information of value, teach me something, and tell me what you can do for me when I need someone just like you. Be an educator, be someone who cares about people, all people, because they are potential clients. Get to know me before you ever try to sell me something, that’s the mode of operation in social networks. And that takes time, but imagine the huge Rolodex you will have because you cared.
Forgive me if you are one of the very few actually paying attention to what’s going on, I am however talking to those who are not. I know brokers and real estate systems try teach you, but they too are stuck in old methods, it’s time to look around, the world is changing and it’s going to whether you do or not.
There is so much more that can be said, I am scratching the surface on this topic, I would love to here your thoughts.
Here is my first Blog post of 2010, most of the time a message to share with you only comes after I have failed (learned), so here is something you need to consider. After reading a number of books over the Christmas break on Blogging, Marketing and building brand, one thing stands out over all the tips and tricks you can execute to being a successful blogger. You will read and hear that blogging is hard work, and takes effort and persistance. It does, it takes work & effort to the tenth degree, you can’t just poke a stick at your blog and expect utopia results. I know you know this, you’ve read it, you’ve heard it, but do you realize what it truly means.
Building a business, a Blog or anything of value has a price, you will pay a price, nothing ever comes that easy nor is it free. The truth is, you wouldn’t appreciate it if you didn’t know the value of having to pay the price. It’s the same thing as teaching your kids delayed gratification, learning the value of the dollar and saving money. It all takes time and effort.
The same can be said for building traffic to your blog, there is a misconception that you can go from 100 to 2000 readers overnight. A well established Internet Marketer, the Gary Vaynerchuk’s of the world probably can, Chris Brogan has the ability to create a stir like that too. They will tell you, especially if you’re starting out, it’s not that easy or simple. It takes a well thought out strategy, a plan that makes sense. You would serve yourself well reading Beyond Blogging By Nathan Nangen & Mike Cliffe Jones, you will read insight from 15 very successful bloggers, business owners, speakers and what have you. I mentioned two of these 15 above in this paragraph, they tell they’re stories, what they did and some of how they did it. Worth reading in my humble opinion.
We all start out with eyes of grandeur with our Blogs, thinking it won’t take that long to realize success. I’ve been blogging now for almost two years and only now am I looking at monetizing my efforts. I’m a smart guy, I recognize I don’t know everything, I’m seeking help through various reading materials, joining a number forums, membership sites and learning from those 15 Bloggers in Beyond Blogging. Including the writer’s of the eBook.
I know how to build a traditional business, I know how to build I.T. Strategic Plans, but I don’t know all the tricks to monetizing, building a large readership, or direct large volumes of traffic to my Blog here online. Some things seem logical, but not everything is, there are tricky parts to building a strong following, building large networks of dedicated readers. I’m certain you don’t know everything too, that’s why I recommend and sell books on my blog, I also recommend other products and services. I realize you too may be looking for help, that’s why I’m here, to help that’s it that’s all.
So I ask you, are you sitting still? Setting up a Blog is easy, building a website is a little harder, building a Blog that brings value to those around you is even harder. Building a large following that generates revenue you can live on is a whole nother story. People always come back to things that bring them value. So are you providing value? Are making all the moving parts move?
This takes effort, hard work and patience. You can’t build an online business or a large following and readership if you are sitting still, not doing the doing the work and spending the time it takes to get it done. You must become a student of your business, study those who have gone before you and even better, try to connect with them or meet them whenever possible. Building your following and readership means you are always on the move, connecting, meeting and helping all you come into contact with, you can’t be sitting still!
As I mentioned in my last post, Chris Brogan also brings it and he to has a great message, he just finished his 4th in a serious on “What it takes to be an overnight success”. Just as I have given Gary Vaynerchuk space here on owengreaves.com, I’m giving Chris Brogan more press as well. I what I like about Chris is his more down to earth and very honest, real message.
Rather than read more of my ranting and perspective, listen to Chris’s 1st video on the serious.
Lately I have been getting asked (what feels like a million times), the question of how I make money with my blog. Or, can you (I) monetize my blog? Ironically, I attended a local Blogger’s Event this week and two questions were the focus, do you have a blog and do you monetize it? I’ll cover what I do on this Blog.
First a disclaimer….This post is NOT a get rich, a how to make a million in 30 days and it’s not the only way to make money with a blog. I am not claiming or promising you a thing! I am merely going to answer these questions by sharing with you how I generate revenue on this blog.
I’ve been blogging for a few years now, not many years, just a few. I started blogging on the topic of nanotechnology, I even wrote a short eBook on the topic. I also write about I.T. Strategic Planning, some personal thoughts and now I focus primarily on Social Media because that is what most of the readers here want from me. Then every now then, it comes in spurts, I get asked how I make money with my blog. OK, I get asked a lot 🙂 Keep in mind, I didn’t start blogging for the purposes of monetizing, I had a website long before I had a Blog, it’s easier to manage and it gives me a place to share my knowledge and help people.
I’ll bet the answer to this question is like finding the holy grail, I decided to do a little research and this is what I found out. I did a Google search for the phrase “Make Money With Blogs”, I noticed that there are 202,000,000 references to that phrase. Next I did a search for “How Bloggers Make Money From Blogging”, that showed a result of 136,000,000 references. Then I tried “How To Monetize My Blog” which brought a result of 522,000 references. I even setup a couple Google Alerts and monitored what was being posted for a few days, it’s a mess out there when it comes to this topic. As you can see this is a hot topic and considering the economic times we are in, I’m not surprised people are trying to find ways to make money. I actually hate the fact that we need money to survive but that’s another story.
Let’s move to what I do here on owengreaves.com, if you look around you’ll find I do very little, on the sidebar you will see a couple books I promote, they are affiliate links to Amazon.com. If you go to Amazon you can learn how to do the same thing, they cover the how to very well. I wrote a short eBook that I sell and that’s about it. The real dollars come from consulting on this topic, Social Media and I.T Strategic Planning. The truth be told, I just love to help people figure things out here on the Internet.
There are many ways to generate cash through your blog but you have to decide what your passion is and do people want what you have to sell. There is a process to follow, you don’t find a product first…you find a problem to solve before you start investing in a product.
Recently I Tweeted on Twitter a link to an article by Chris Brogan called, Make Some Money, and people thought I was spamming when I was merely promoting what Chris wrote. Money is a sensitive topic and anything that sniff’s of SPAM is an even touchier topic. Gary Vaynerchuck believes anyone can monetize whatever their passion might be, someone is going to buy what you’re doing, eventually. The trick is finding enough people to buy what you’re selling.
That’s it for now…stay tuned for more : )
OK, I’ll admit it, I’m a Gary Vaynerchuck fan, well I’m a fan of his message to be more specific and soon a fan of his new book called “CRUSHIT!” . (Amazon Link) Many struggle with his message, possibly because they think they have to be just like Gary. You don’t, you have to be the best you, your voice matters, and above all your passion matters to you!