The Internet world new this day was coming, Apple was going to make this huge announcement that was going to revolutionize how we use the Internet. Everyone who is anyone in the technology sector has been talking about this for weeks, and the day has come and it will soon be gone. You will read thousands upon thousands of new articles, Blog Posts and Video’s on this new thing called the iPad. It’s priced at $499.00 USD, screen size is 9.7″ and so on, if you have an iPhone you probably won’t want one of this slick machines. In fact, it looks just like a biggie sized iPhone!
Leo LaPorte said that he has never seen so many people at an Apple Announcement, everyone was there were his words. That’s not entirely true because I wasn’t there! I was there via the Internet and I thought I would share with you how these events will be attended in the future.
I sat here in my home office, openned my browser (FireFox), brought up Leo laporte’s Live.Twit.tv and watched Leo’s version of the event via his show. I also had FriendFeed open and watched Robert Scoble’s Stream, plus, Robert did a live UStream.tv stream at the same time! I got everything I need by following the #iPad & #AppleLive HASH on Twitter as well, I am fully informed.
I expect in the future this is how many people will attend Conferences and major announcements, why pay for parking, hotel and so on when you can get LIVE coverage via the NET? I recognize it’s not the same thing as being there, but it’s far more cost effective. I am however, very disappointed that the broadcast of the event by Apple or lack of one was so poor in quality. They have more cash than Microsoft does, they can afford to stream this better, or maybe the CLOUD can’t handle the load? What will happen when more than 10% of the world gets online for FREE?
How did you watch the Apple Event?
If I was in Real Estate Today, the very first thing I would do is identify my PURPOSE, the why I think I should be using Social Media Networks. This would appear obvious but it can be misleading, if you don’t believe Social Media will increase revenue, help build a stronger market share and develop community around your brand, your right, the strategy will be an exercise in futility. If you do, get to work and build a plan.
Get started by doing the following:
- List requirements needed to implement strategy
- Key Result Areas – What are they
- Discern objectives
- Identify Key Success Factors
- List Core Competencies
- Complete a S.W.O.T. Analysis, a plan needs to be well thought out.
Once you’ve completed the above get the following action items flushed out and then make it happen.
- Setup accounts on multiple Social Media Networks and get active, participate, get involved in the communities…then….listen to what is being said, what is happening and where it’s being said. Never stop listening, never stop having a presence in these communities. People come back to things and places that are useful to them. Especially if you can help them.
- Use all SM Networks like Twitter, FriendFeed, YouTube, Viddler, Tumblr, FaceBook, StumbleUpon, Digg, Del.icio.us, Technorati, MySpace, LinkedIn, Seesmic, UStream.tv, and BlogTalkRadio. There are many more.
- Blogging is a must, convert or add a Blog to an existing website, this is where you build community and give customers a place to go and something to do.
- Take advantage of video, do LIVE open house events streamed via UStream.tv or one of the other web broadcasting services. Record those events and archive them, build a library, make them available to anyone to view at their leisure. These video’s can also be training or teaching prospects on what questions to ask, how to and so on.
- Do a live web radio show, field questions on a live video show that has Twitter embedded so it’s real-time.
- Do video interviews, record testimonials…etc.
- Sponsor or Host a major Social Media Event, these events charge for attendance and should not only cover expenses but should realize a profit. Bring in people who are actually doing or using Social Media at a high level, not just lip service.
- Hire or contract a Community Management Officer or a Social Media Director.
- Get Educated on Social Media, attend major conferences and get around those who are high profile in Social Media, and read books for more insight.
I’m just scratching the surface of your plan, but make sure you actually have a plan before jumping into the Social Media mayhem.
This doesn’t have to be difficult, it doesn’t have to be hard, but one thing you do, is work if you wish to realize the results you want from your efforts. It will take time, money and above all else, EFFORT! Whether you are a Broker or an agent, it makes no difference, build a plan, work the plan. But hey, you already know that, but do you know the technology and how to implement it? Do you know how to prepare? Are you willing to pay the price?
In this business, success is not measured by fitting in, it’s by standing out. (Mad Men)
I’ve met with a number of Real Estate Agents and Broker’s the past few months and I’m not surprised they view Social Media as a waste of time. Don’t get me wrong, I have found a few that get it, they have taken the risk and setup virtual offices and even opened accounts with FaceBook & Twitter. Some use these Social networks well and some just say they use them effectively, my research here in Canada reveals that most aren’t practicing what they preach.
I’ve made recommendations and suggested radical approaches to how an agent prospects and wastes a huge amount of time with tire kickers at open house events. They look at me with those puppy eyes and say I couldn’t do that, I don’t know how, that sounds like too much work. I think it’s harder the way they do things now, but they’re stuck! If you’re an agent or a broker that’s been in the industry longer than 10 years, you may have a tougher time making the paradigm shift. I’m not saying you can’t or don’t have the ability, but I am saying if you don’t, life is going to get very interesting when the new tech savvy up and comers produce at a high level with a very different kind of effort. How will you compete and survive?
Let me give you an example of one thing you could do and have fun doing it. I’ll look at the old school traditional agent first, then the new tech savvy agent.
Old School Agent
The old school agent would sit on the phone rounding up prospects for hours on end, then would set up 4 or 5 walk abouts and even a few open house events two weekends in a row. A lot of time and effort goes into this type of selling, hard work is important but with today’s technology why would you do this? Organizing and worrying about how may or may not show up, worse yet, having to go and pick them to ensure you do have a prospect. Getting flier’s out and setting up sign’s, the list goes on. The advertising costs can be staggering too, time spent networking, convincing people they should come and see this house and so on.
The New Tech Savvy Agent
The new tech savvy agent sits at the desk and decides which homes to work on this week, then prepares how they would sell the dream of the home on video. This agent goes out and buys a Flip MinoHD Camcorder 2nd Generation (Amazon Link) hooks up to the net, logs into their UStream.TV account, walks through the house and broadcasts it LIVE! They walk through the home and share how this home could be plus records the whole event, then puts the recorded video on UStream and his or her Blog and other locations for prospects to view at their leisure. The tech savvy agents then jump on Social Network’s that feed multiple Social networks all at once with this new home to look at via video.
This new agent let’s the prospect qualify themselves and let’s them contact him or her when they’re ready, this agent is thinking about the prospect not themselves.
As you can see the new tech savvy agent takes a different risk, invests their time giving what prospects want and then makes it ridiculously easy for them. The prospect that calls the new tech savvy agent back just qualified themselves, less work than the old school way of handling the same task. This is just one opportunity to start making the shift to Real Estate Selling with Social Media, if you don’t take baby steps now and don’t learn how to do some of these techie things. I have to wonder if Real Estate Brokers won’t become obsolete, Broker / Owners at some point will figure out they can handle inventory in a less complicated way. By the way, people complicate things not flip cams and iPhones.
Are Real Estate Agents Obsolete? Maybe not yet, and maybe not all, but more than you think.