Back on October 15th, 2009 I wrote a bitty called, ” Are Real Estate Agents Obsolete?“. I have taken a lot of heat for it, but those who attacked couldn’t see past the anger. My point was simple, change or be ignored, the role is changing, but many have chosen to continue as they always have, That’s OK.
Another challenge, is getting Agents to learn a better way to use Social Media Networks to, well….do business better. You will find I’m not alone on this, some agents are actually doing a good job, but most I’m sorry to report, are thinking old school. I could go on and on about this, but there’s no need, I will however let marketing man share with you, his name is Scott Stratten. Please take this as an opportunity to make some subtle changes in how you the Real Estate Agent uses Social Media & QR Codes.
What do you think? has Scott nailed you, or better yet, did he give you some good ideas? Is he right, is wrong, or are we barking up the wrong tree? Be honest with yourself if you are in Real Estate, look in the mirror, are you that agent, or are you different?
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.
It took me two days to read this book, and what a joy it was to finish it so I could share with you. I was emotionally moved while reading this book, that doesn’t happen often, I’m not sure why yet but I’ll figure it out. It could be because he has son named Owen : ) Now I read alot, I like to learn, I like to read other perspectives, and I love to take what I’ve read and learned and then apply it. I’ll admit up front I have been a Scott Stratten fan upon learning he was in this space, he joined Twitter a month earlier than me and I’m proud to say he has made something of Twitter that most haven’t. The book is part of his overall plan I think, he didn’t expect to get asked to write the book but if you follow Scott, it was only a matter of time. The Title is his Twitter handle, @unmarketing. The Book is called, UNMarketing – Stop Marketing. Start Engaging.
Once you start reading, you get the impression he practices what he preaches. I was reading along around chapter 10 and I had this notion, this feeling that I have heard all this before. In fact, I did! I heard it from Scott since the day he joined Twitter, these 64,000 words he put together in this book are actually 457 Tweets on Twitter! If you do the math, 457 x 140 Characters = 63,980 words! I felt like I was reading bite sized chicken nuggets (Tweets) from Scott, bite sized stories, this book reads like a Twitter stream to me. I know, I’m weird, but when you read it, you’ll understand what I mean. I don’t know if he intended it that way, but that’s what it was like for me.
There are 56 Chapters, they are somewhat short, but all are packed with well thoughtout points, some you have to read twice. I found myself saying yes many times while sifting through the pages, because, everything, most things he was talking about, all were simply the use of common sense. Looking at a business in a new way, not using old Industrial Age thinking. I believe that anyone over the age of 35 is stuck, stuck in old thinking. It’s no ones fault, it’s everyone’s fault, from our parents who couldn’t see past what was in front of them. To our leaders in the school system that had to buy into a lie. And we believed the Government was going to look after us, another lie. I think we are seeing that the system is not humane and it merely serves itself.
The first two chapters didn’t really grab me, but the third one did, it’s called the Trust Gap. From that point on, I was giving Scott all of my attention, right through to the Index. The restaurant story is one of my favorites, I have actually lived and tried to get that one done, you’ll love it. If you can get a restaurant owner to do it, the fun they will have, and the money will be a by-product of their trust in the people formerly known as consumers.
There is one thing I don’t agree with Scott on, I hate Wal-Mart, he loves them! His reason’s for loving Wal-Mart are valid to him, he admits he is lazy, and that’s why he goes there. One stop shopping. What I really don’t like about Wal-Mart is this, it makes people think in a broke frame of mind, by cheap stuff 500 times when quality might only cost a few bucks more, and you buy it 5 times instead of 500. That’s just my view on stores that sell in that fashion, right down to Dollar Stores & the new $5 Store. I should talk, I used to work at a store equally as bad back in the 70’s, F.W. Woolworth! But that’s a whole lifetime ago and another Blog Post.
OK, let’s get back to the book…..Buy It! Don’t take my word alone, you will learn, you will get perspective you may not have had before, and you will see a much bigger picture when you get to the Index. There is much more I could cover, but let’s face it, I didn’t write the book, and I can’t possibly do it justice here. Thanks Scott, and good luck on the Book Tour.
Be sure to follow Scott in your Social networks, buy his book, there is much wisdom between the covers, and most definitely visit his UN-Marketing Blog.
A tease for you, you will love The UnEnding : )
Every Sunday afternoon I play soccer with a great bunch of guys, we’ve been getting together at the same field now for over ten years, trying to stay in shape of course. In July of this year I took a tumble at warp speed and broke, no shattered my left shoulder at the clavicle joint. Here it is now late September and I still have not been cleared to play, do you have any idea how frustrating that is? To know you can’t be out there with your buddies, knowing you can help your team mates win. Half the fun is the strategy, who plays what position and who has the touch up front and finish the play by putting in the net. As this is just drop in soccer we get people at various levels of ability, from 17 to 56 years of age and every once and awhile someone comes out that doesn’t have clue what you can and can’t do, they don’t know the rules. So they run around all over the place not knowing what to do and never really ask for help, and when they do, they forget what you said almost as fast as you said it. Given enough time and they come out more often, eventually, they find there way and start to contribute in a meaningful way.
You are probably wondering where I’m going with this, the question is, are you one of those soccer players running around trying to accomplish something meaningful in the game? Are you playing with the Internet and Social Media the same way? You’ve setup your Blog and you’re telling everyone to come to your site but you haven’t taken the time to learn how or what to do with all those visitors. There are a great many people out there you would consider successful, but there is a far greater number that haven’t realized their 15 minutes of fame yet. You have two ways to approach the Internet & Social Media, you can learn from those who have gone ahead of you or you can try to figure it out yourself.
I can tell you from personal experience, learning from those who have gone before you and succeeded is much easier, that is the choice I would make if you’re just getting started. In fact, if you’ve been Blogging for awhile you should study the leaders anyway, learn the guidelines and then figure out how to make them work for you. Pay attention to what they do, but don’t try to act like they do…why? In Social Media circles you will hear the mantra, be real, be yourself and be honest. So trying to act like someone else won’t let the uniquely designed you to come out, and you will be known as someone who is not authentic and phony.
Everyone loves guy’s like Gary Vaynerchuck, Chris Brogan and Scott Stratten but you will never be able to duplicate how they deliver the message and do what they do. You can however, learn what they do and then learn to make it yours, learn to make it unique by being who you were meant to be. Gary wrote a book soon to be released in October called, ” CRUSH IT ” and Chris’s book which is already out and amply titled, ” TRUST AGENTS “, tell you what I just shared, be sure to order a copy and learn from them first hand.
As you can see, help is closer than you think. No matter what your niche or area of expertise happens to be, study what Gary & Chris do but also pay attention to others like Amber Naslund, David Armano, Mack Collier, Olivier Blanchard, Trey Pennington and Kris Colvin. Spend some time in the Silicon Valley circle to by watching Robert Scoble and Louis Gray. Most of the above have sites with video’s you can view so you get an idea of who they are, and what they are doing with Social Media Networks. As you can see there many to follow and learn from, but they all cover their interests and passions in their own unique way. Also keep in mind some of these people are paid to do what they do in Social Media Networks, but that’s what makes them great case studies.
– Amber Naslund works for Radian6, they provide tools for real-time social media monitoring and analysis designed primarily for PR and Ad agencies.
– David Armano, is the Senior Partner at Dachis Group, was created to unlock the value of social technologies for large corporate enterprises through its Social Business Design global advisory practice, and technology implementation program. David talks about the 5 B’s:
1.) Be Ubiquitous
2.) Be Social
3.) Be Interesting
4.) Be Remarkable
5.) Be Yourself
– Mack Collier, Helping companies understand the ” Social ” part of Social Media.
– Olivier Blanchard, trains company executives and project teams in all matters of social media management and measurement, then help them build and integrate effective programs into every facet of their business, from Public Relations, business development and market research to Human Resources and Customer Support. Oh and Olivier is working on a book that will educate you on the proper way to realize and calculate the true ROI (Return On Investment) in Social Media.
– Trey Pennington, Interviews leaders in Business & Social Media on BlogTalkRadio and uses almost every Social Media Network out there.
– Kris Colvin, is the designer of Twitterface.com and a Social Media Maven with passion and desire, Twitterface is a great tool so be sure to use it.
Whether you already have a business or a Blog, you will never stick with it and see it through unless you’re passionate about it. Gary Vaynerchuck’s war cry is to do your passion and you’ll give yourself the best chance to win. Remember, the Internet is the Platform, Social Media is the Tool you can master on the Internet. Do your homework, study how to use the tools and pay attention to your passion. In another article I wrote, called ” Your Passion Is In Front of You, You’re Just Not Paying Attention” its so simple it’s almost embarrassing, I triple dog dare you to read it.
Each person who is a success online can only teach you how they did it, not how someone else did it. Now pay attention to what I just said, they may have duplicate someone else’s system but they made that system there’s through their personality and how they think. They couldn’t ever act or be like the person they learned from, so study by taking notes, watching videos and then find your passion. The final step is to make it your own, only you can be you and only you can do it. So who are you and what are you doing?
I got all Twittery on the topic of Social Media Marketers this morning, there is a group of people that seem to be considered more popular, even an Elite, as Social Media Marketers. I know the definition is not clearly defined because personalities seem to play a large role in the who’s who of these networks anyway. I think there are three parts to being a Social Media Marketer. You might call these three parts the recipe for Weblebrity (new word coming to a dictionary near you) as someone coined a while back. I’m not trying to start a who’s better than the other war, but I am curious what these people have that appeals to you as your favorite SM Marketer.
Would you consider Gary Vaynerchuck a Social Media Marketer, Promoter or Ambassador? I would entertain that Gary is a motivational speaker, his enthusiasm carries him a long way. You probably know him as the Wine Guy from tv.winelibrary.com with his regular viral videos.
Gary Vaynerchuck has captured attention with his pioneering, multi-faceted approach to personal branding and business. After utilizing traditional advertising techniques to build his family’s local wine business into a national industry leader, Gary rapidly leveraged social media tools such as Twitter and Facebook to promote Wine Library TV, his video blog about wine. As his viewership swelled to over 80,000 a day, doors opened to a book deal, several national TV appearances, and a flurry of speaking engagements around the world. Gary’s dual identity as both business guru and wine guy has made him the “Social Media Sommelier.” (taken from his site)
There is no doubt that Gary is a force to be reckoned with and he has made the most of his efforts to buy the New York Jets NFL Football Club, only time will tell. His focus is clear and makes no excuses as he is CRUSHING IT!
On Twitter I asked if Gary and Chris Brogan were a Marketers, Promoter or Ambassadors? Could they just be popular dynamic personalities.
Here’s a few responses:
Randy Haddock (a musician blogger) says of Gary Vaynerchuck, “Ambassador to both marketing and promotion and does it brilliantly, He’s very knowledgeable, personable, and approachable. He cares about every single viewer/reader he has and builds relationship”.
There are many, many Social Media Marketers that you don’t hear of because they aren’t as high profile or don’t spend as much time in Social Networks as some do to be noticed. I’m not that popular but I spend considerable hours in a day on some Social Media Networks talking, asking questions, writing articles or ranting about Auto-DM’s in Twitter. I love to help people with Social Media Marketing and I love to talk about technology’s and how they will impact society. Does that make me a Social Media Marketer? Maybe, but that has yet to be determined 🙂
How about Chris Brogan, he has an incredible following and is loved by many, here is his BIO taken from his site. Chris is a long time Blogger and is all about community and social media. As president of New Marketing Labs, my role is to build and execute strategies for companies seeking to engage their community via the social web. We focus on four core areas: listening, content marketing, community management, and outreach programs. Acting as a hybrid social media PR/communications organization, New Marketing Labs extends your other channels into the new world of the web.
I also operate the Inbound Marketing Summit conferences, a series of events dedicated to educating businesses on the potential of Internet marketing and communications and featuring the brightest practitioners available. We run several single day Inbound Marketing Bootcamp events all over the US as well.
Then there is my Canadian favorite Scott Stratten, a sharp young man that seems to be addicted to Twitter. He is very witty and his work on Twitter is always interesting not to mention funny. Who is Scott Stratten? Well….Scott Stratten is the President of Un-Marketing, a firm that works with business owners to help them become customer magnets. He uses proven methods of successful marketing to increase awareness and sales both within a company’s current customer base and new ones. He recently appeared in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today and Fast Company and his articles have been published all over the world.
Mack Collier is another person who is very sharp in the marketing game and uses Twitter as if it was an extension of himself. Mack Collier is a social media consultant, trainer and speaker. He has been actively immersed in social media since 2005, he has helped advise, teach and consult businesses of all sizes on how they can better connect with their customers via these amazing tools and sites.
Kris Colvin doesn’t claim to be a marketing person, she describes herself as a designer. I just love her spirit, she is very engaging and enjoyable, she has alot of energy and frankly practices the law of attraction by being exactly who she was designed to be. Personally, I think she’s pretty sharp in the marketing sector too.
Kristi has been creating business communications since 1993 for leading software organizations and small-to-medium size start-up companies. A foundation in print design and retail visual merchandising, led to web site design, user interface design (gui design + information architecture + branding + usability) and she specializes in making product and brand experiences better for users and customers.
Olivier Blanchard, The Brand Builder – he’s not as flashy as Gary Vaynerchuck but is very engaging, he has a deep understanding of what Social Media is, he knows exactly what the metrics and indicators are and should be in this marketing environment. Plus he makes great non-threatening, personable videos made easy to understand. I follow Olivier because he relates to me and I truly enjoy his perspective. I think he even likes wine 🙂
He explains himself on his site as BrandBuilder Marketing’s principal and senior strategist, I help companies significantly increase their marketing ROI, foster both broader and deeper engagement with their customers, establish leadership in their markets and expand to new ones.
He also helps companies and their marketing partners establish effective social media programs and integrate them into every facet of their business, from Public Relations, reputation management and market research to Human Resources and Customer Support.
Each one of these great people have all three parts of being Social Media Marketer 1.) Marketing Knowledge 2.) They are Entertainer’s and possess 3.) A dynamic personality. Those three components add up to people that are, savvy, have brand and trust. Don’t take my word for it, follow them, watch, listen and learn.
I’ve had the privilege of listening to and engaging with some of these brilliant minds, bantering back and forth on the topic of Social Media Marketing and ROI (Return On Investment). I’m grateful for their time to share, they have allowed me to get to know them a little bit even if it’s just at 140 Characters at a time. I follow all them and highly recommend each one of them to you, be sure to follow them on Twitter.
Do you agree, do you know others not mentioned here, then please let me know by leaving a comment.