Realtors and Facebook

ahhh my first real blog post. Feels good. Feels… naughty. No really, I’m kidding.
But I have to tell you guys something. I have to get this off my chest- I’ve been trying to find a way to tell you, and I’ve been waiting for the right time. Honestly I don’t know how to say this so I’m just going to say it- Agents, you’re doing it wrong.

There- I said it. You are doing it wrong. WRONG.

“What?” you say. “I’m not doing anything wrong. I have my ‘Social Media Presence’ like they tell me! I watched that video online! I took the class on Facebook and then I got myself a Facebook Page!”

Seriously, yes you are. You are doing it wrong. And I’m going to tell you why. Even tho I shouldn’t, especially in this market- I should just let your clients come to me instead of you. But sadly I feel the need to help my fellow agents. And not just agents- this can pretty much be applied to every single person who is contemplating Social Media. Consider this a list of what NOT to do. And it’s brutal so don’t cry to me after you read it cause the truth hurts.

1- Your photo is your business card photo.
Yep, you gots yaself a Facebook page and you put up the best and most flattering photo of yourself you could find. The EXACT same one that is on every piece of marketing you create. I’m not gonna call it a Glamourshot or make fun of how it’s 10 years old (or older) or anything like that. But you need to understand that Facebook is not a Realtor’s luncheon. Think of Facebook as a social gathering i.e. it’s a party and it’s NOT formal. Why are you overdressed? Seriously, this is more like a grill and chill and you show up dressed to go to work. Please go home and change. Post a photo of yourself that’s REAL. Something that reflects YOU. Facebook is more personal than the marketing you’ve been taught to do. This is about real engagement, not some idea of “professionalism” you have had beaten into your head from years of classes on real estate marketing. Which, by they way, you should forget. This isn’t 1996. or even 2006. That old school stuff just doesn’t fly with today’s buyers.

2- Your photo is your business card photo and it actually looks like a business card.
Oh man I love this. Not only did you use your business card photo, but you had someone make it all fancy and added your contact into and everything else on there. Man, that is a good looking business card you got there. Why don’t you make it into an ACTUAL business card? This is Facebook, dude. Simmer down. Hell I would rather see a photo of your kid than that. Why isn’t your personal Facebook page PERSONAL? The goal is Social Media Marketing is to engage your clients on a personal level. So why are you being so impersonal? Think again of the party. Now you’re overdressed and you’re wearing your nametag? NOBODY CARES ABOUT YOU! Take off your nametag and your tie and sit down and have a beer already. The fact that you are an agent will come up in the conversation naturally. Stop forcing it already.

3- Your personal Facebook page is being used as a business page.
Ok so you got a Facebook page and all you talk about is what homes you have for sale and what kind of business you are doing. Now you’re overdressed, you’re wearing a nametag AND you won’t shut up about what they do for a living. Seriously? Dude, SHUT UP. A personal Facebook page is just that- Personal. Make a Business/Fan page and talk about business. Then people may actually care as long as you have REAL content that actually ENGAGES your customers. Remember, Facebook (and social media) is about Engaging people- make them like you, make them trust you, make them want to talk to you. Keyword- Social. If you make your online presence all about YOU and what you do, you’re doing it wrong. What you SHOULD be doing is making it about THEM- your clients, your friends, your associates. WHAT you do is not as important as what you CAN do- for THEM. Which comes to my next point.

4- You post all day and never do anything else.
You post your listings, what business you do and nothing else. You never respond, never post on anyone’s comments or their page or anything. So now you’re the overdressed guy at the party with your nametag on and all you do is talk. And talk. And talk. And you never let anyone else talk and you never shut up. Do everyone at the party a favor and SHUT UP. “Social,” again, is the keyword. Be social. And by definition, you should be talking to other folks. And not just talking- LISTENING. Other people are talking. They have lives, kids, pets, events, etc. If you want to really engage your clients, you need to stop talking and start listening. And get to know them- their lives, their wants, their fears. Knowing your clients is ESSENTIAL to gaining their trust so that when they are ready to buy or sell, they call you. Or when someone they KNOW wants to buy or sell, they recommend you. Shut up and listen.

5- You play Farmville/Fishville/Mob Wars/Insert Stupid Game name here all day
Really? THAT’S your online presence? Playing games? Really? Seriously? Really? REALLY?!? So you accidently have a client go to your page to find your contact information and they see that you have spent HOURS playing a stupid game? And the only contact they ever get from you is to join your gang? SERIOUSLY? When you should have spent hours trying to SELL YOUR CLIENTS HOUSE! Don’t get me wrong- I’m a gamer from way back. Waaaaayyyyy back. Atari style. I still love some FPS games (that’s First Person Shooter games, for you non-gamers.) Heck I played Left 4 Dead 2 last night. AFTER WORK. When I couldn’t make another phone call and the thought of sending another work-related email made me want to shoot something, I shot some zombies. Keeps me sane and keeps me from getting burned out, but that’s a whole other blog post. Do I talk about it on my Facebook page? Occasionally. I have Gamer clients. But if my Facebook page had nothing but posts all day about games, what does that say about my priorities? What does that tell my clients about how I spend my time? I WASTED THE WHOLE DAY PLAYING FAKE REAL ESTATE is what is says. Stop doing it. NOW!

That’s all for now. More to come as I get irritated with the things I see. I highly recommend reading Scott Stratten’s book Un-Marketing. It will change how you do your marketing. And read this post by the Real Tech Guy. Over and Over. Read it, know it, live it. Of course, you can just continue to send out Recipe Cards if you like…

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About michaeldriver

Home Boy.
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9 Responses to Realtors and Facebook

  1. Nice job, Mr. Driver. There are a few agents who get it and do it well. There are a few others getting there. And then. There are the rest. Maybe they’ll catch up, maybe they won’t. Who knows. But those who do it well will rise above & not suffer so much when times are tough like they are right now.

  2. Paul Jones says:

    I love how people set up a Social Media program and expect the world to come to them. Nope, you get out of it what you put into it. Just like barstool networking.

    Facebook is fun, LinkedIn is business. You the person is who I care about. If I want your listings, thats what the MLS is for.

    (yes, I am a recovering RE Agent)

  3. Julie Joyce says:

    My agency has done some excellent work if I may take a second to brag…but promoting that work on social media has kicked our arses. We have years of experience with this and we know what we’re doing and even so, it’s HARD WORK. No one should take social media lightly, as it’s a tricky medium that is always changing.

    I like your point about listening…it’s what sticks out most to me. If you aren’t willing to listen to what your users want, you’re going nowhere.

    • It is hard work, but dangit it needs to be personal. And listening is the MOST important thing. If you have a social media presence but you don’t listen to what your customers/clients/users say, why do you have a social media presence?

      Thanks!

  4. Michael – you are a man after my own “tell it like it is” heart. You also get bonus points for linking to @oatmeal.

    What most of the people that you refer to don’t realize is that I would actually be interested in a real conversation with them if they shut the F* up and quit trying to convince me how busy they are and shove what they have to sell down my stream.

    Fortunately for all of us – social media is user controlled content. We control who we follow and friend and can vote people off our islands when they get outta hand.

    There is no tactful, nicey nice, “I’m only here to help you not make an ass of yourself” way to teach these offenders how to snap out of it. (I can give references) – because no matter how right you are . . . they still believe that vomiting listings on facebook/twitter and handing out business cards at funerals is going to make them a *super star.

    Fantastic first post Michael! Keep’em comin’

    • I am a Tell It Like It Is kinda guy. Thanks.

      Some of the examples I’ve seen irk me too. Trust me- I didn’t name names but I could have posted links to pages that would make you laugh. Social Media, at least to me, isn’t about “Selling” anything. That’s why I love Stratten’s book- it’s not marketing, it’s UN-marketing.

      Thanks for taking the time to read my babbling. 🙂

  5. Pingback: Tweets that mention Realtors and Facebook | MichaelDriver's Blog -- Topsy.com

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