Tag Archives: realtors

Step away from 'social networking' and your business will explode . . .

too many real estate social networking sitesIs anyone else just plain tired of all of the ‘social networking’ sites out there? Let’s just say that they are being created faster than babies are being born. Ok, that’s not true, but good grief, there’s a new site practically every week. FromActive Rain to My Space to Facebook to Real Estate World, it’s a massive grab to be ‘the‘ site. The problem is, it’s nearly impossible to keep up with it all.

Oh yes, there is definite value to being a REALTOR® that’s ahead of the curve when it comes to technology. The key is, what’s simply cutting edge and what’s insanity? I watch agents all over the country picking up every single piece of new technology, spending hours upon hours upon hours of their time creating profiles on social networking sites and writing posts and content for all sorts of websites include LocalismTruliaZillowRealtor.com, etc. I wonder, are they actually building and running a business or are they spinning their wheels?  Where is their brand? Where is their business?

Some may come forward and say 80% or 90% or 100% of my business was from these various sites – but when you ask them to show you what business they did, they won’t say. Sure, it’s easy to say that 100% of your business comes from spending hours upon hours playing on the internet when you sold precisely 4 or 6 or 8 homes. The more business that agents do, the lower the % of it came initially and directly from the internet. No, I don’t have a verifiable stat to back it up, but I do have personal experience and relationships with agents across the country that have a solid business in real estate. What’s a solid business? Selling at least 50+ homes a year (no matter what “type of market” we are in).

I find it exhausting even thinking about trying to keep up with all of these websites, yet a part of me keeps thinking I have to. I think I’ve finally come to my senses – no, I don’t have to. I need to keep building our business, building our brand, and not work on building some other websites business or brand. Oh yes, I fully see the potential benefits in doing so – with ActiveRain the google juice is phenomenal (if you pay for their monthly service), but I won’t be running like mad trying to be on everything. The very few additional closings we may get from participating in every single other website simply isn’t worth it. As with all things, you have to consider your ROI. I get a phenomenally better ROI utilizing that crazy little thing called direct mail (combined with our websites and our blogs), then I get spending 40 hours a week broadcasting myself all over the internet. Yes, I may get some fame amongst my colleagues, I may even get to speak at an event. Do these things bring me the business I desire?  Maybe, maybe not.

The key? Our internet world reinforces our business, but isn’t the major force in being a single source for our business. It builds our credibility and without it, the other 85% of our clients that do use us, may never have used us without our internet presence.  It’s a spoke in the wheel, not the wheel itself.

Everyone needs to stop trying to keep up with the “Joneses” on the internet. We all need to step back, focus on our business plans. We need to focus our marketing plans to achieve our business plan. Scattering yourself all over tarnation in an unfocused pattern isn’t going to achieve you anything. Focus what you do based upon your goals. Are your goals the same as your colleagues? Be careful with that. Build your dream, not someone else’s.

Going to conferences & classes out of area "for referrals" . . . do you have a plan?

I know you’ve heard this recommendation before – go to classes and trainings outside of your immediate area so you can build a good referral flow of business.

But – make it worth your money.

Here’s how. . .

Do you know the top 5-10 migrating counties into your own county?  If you are picking places to go “on a hunch” or because you think it’s a great place, think again.  Have a well thought out plan.

Choose places to go that will benefit your business.

In 2010, a couple of the top 10 counties migrating into our area were Ada County and Maricopa County.   Take classes in those areas, network with your class mates and build good referral relationships.

Added bonus – connect with agents in those areas ahead of time.  Check them out.  Connect with them on facebook and twitter.  Schedule time to meet with them while you are in their area – a coffee, lunch, dessert – whatever.  Get to know the agent, their way of doing business, etc.

Make connections, make focused connections, build relationships, help your clients.