When I was just a young pup in the real estate business, a mentor of mine spoke a few words that Iâ€™ve kept tucked away in the back of my head to pull out when I need to.Â
He wisely spoke, â€śno matter how you attempt to generate business, it always gets down to going nose to nose and belly to belly with people.â€ť
I canâ€™t help but think about his words many years later as social media has taken a big bite out of my day. Five years ago neither blogging nor tweeting was in my vocabulary and posting photos on Facebook or Flickr wasnâ€™t in the picture (excuse my pun).Â
In the last two years, Iâ€™ve been to more than a few conferences and attended a whole bunch of technology panels. Heck, Iâ€™ve even been a panelist several times myself. What I found is that many of the â€śexpertsâ€ť may be whizzes at social media but they arenâ€™t experts in real estate.
Donâ€™t get me wrong, I learn a lot from these folks about technology. I take good notes and put what they have to say into practice. But it suddenly occurred to me that something is missing from the resume of many real estate social media speakers and panelists:Â real estate experience. (As in selling a whole bunch of houses kind of experience.) I worry that newcomers to the business think that social media is the magic bullet when it really should only be a part (maybe a small part) of their prospecting efforts.Â
When I spoke on a real estate panel a couple of years ago at Inman Bloggerâ€™s Connect, I said â€śIf your business is crappy, a blog wonâ€™t helpâ€ť. My comment was tweeted throughout the blogosphere and I had my 15 minutes of social media fame. Iâ€™m not sure everyone really understood what I was attempting to say in that brief sound bite. So let me just blurt it out:Â You arenâ€™t going to sell a whole lot of real estate if you spend most of your time behind a computer.
You see, at least in my town, people like to do business with people they knowÂ and most of the nice folks in my town donâ€™t frequent Twitter or Facebook. Being on the first page of Google wonâ€™t matter if people are looking for me at the townâ€™s Memorial Day Parade.
Despite what some of the experts are teaching, selling houses isnâ€™t like selling shoes.
Regularly tweeting on Twitter isnâ€™t going to bring you legions of fans lined up at your next open house. It might help you close a sale or two but social networking alone isnâ€™t going to provide you with a good solid real estate business practice, one that will pay big dividends and one youÂ may be able to sell when you are ready to retire.
Put good systems in place and grow a database to nurture. Develop good prospecting techniques. Provide exceptional service. Send handwritten notes. Volunteer in your community and actually meet people in person.Â
Otherwise youÂ risk becomingÂ a social media expert who is just dabbling in real estate.