By Laura Rubinchuk Schwartz
It seems there’s a new hyped technology in real estate every week. Old favorites include Facebook, Craigslist, Twitter, Blogging, YouTube, and LinkedIn. But what about those sites that were so popular so fast and now we never hear about them anymore? Remember Posterous, Postlets, and now Pinterest? Real estate agents tend to kill technology quickly.
With so much to do every day to keep your business going, the biggest of which is lead generation, do you really have time to learn every new platform that suddenly emerges? Probably not. Should you? Probably not. As an agent who built my business on technology, I have a few suggestions for those of you who feel like you’re drowning in new technology and don’t know where to start, or where to find the time:
1. Figure out what works with your schedule: You can’t be the master of all trades, but you can master just a few. Some things take more of a commitment to make it work, ex. Twitter and Facebook are daily commitments for most. Other platforms may just an as-needed thing, like Postlets for advertising listings or Craigslist (if you don’t use Craigslist for lead generation).
2. Don’t waste time learning every new technology. I haven’t spent a single minute on Pinterest. I see Facebook friends posting wedding ideas or baby shower themes on there — don’t kill this by inundating useless real estate information on it. Don’t force a round peg in a square hole just because someone told you to.
3. Learn something so you’re comfortable with it, then use it as part of your lead generation. Continue reading »
By Stefanie Hahn
The letter X hasn’t fared too well in the dot-com era. Once the mark of secret pirate treasures and “sign here if you would please” contracts, it has been relegated to second-class status ever since Microsoft introduced Windows95 as the letter you looked for when you want to make things go away.
Facebook also selected the X as the “go away” letter. If you are using Facebook for business, this X can be really, really bad.
If you have never seen the X on Facebook, it hides in the upper right corner of every post made by your friends (and the pages you like). You don’t see it unless you hover over the post – it is pretty stealthy.
When you click the X on any Facebook post the system automatically presents you with a few different options:
Hide this post
Hide all from [USER]
Hide all from [APPLICATION] *if it was posted from a third party site like YouTube
I can tell you from personal experience that making the decision between the first two is very hard sometimes. I can think of a few occasions where I clicked the X thinking I was going to just hide a post – and then made a split-second decision to just hide the user instead. If this happens to you, the best social media strategy in the world won’t get you very far.
So why do I hide users? Continue reading »
By Subhi J. Gharbieh
Being a REALTOR® for a little more than four years now, I have a good understanding of how to approach my business today. I think it is safe to say that when I got into the business, “cold calling” was pretty much being phased out. With the emergence of federal and state Do Not Call laws, it was becoming very difficult to effectively prospect potential clients over the phone. On the flip side, I feel that these laws have made us resort to more genuine, personal ways of prospecting.
I have found that my most effective prospecting strategy is to simply put yourself in your potential client’s shoes. Would you give the time of day to sit on the phone and listen to what some REALTOR® who you have never met has to say? Especially when they call around dinner time…who enjoys that? I personally would not speak to any telemarketer trying to sell their product/service over the phone, so I am not a big fan of cold calling.
Social media today has really evolved the way we prospect and do business overall. Blogging, tweeting, and sharing your posts with Facebook friends, are easy ways to get your message out to an unlimited number of prospects. Who knows which one of your friends will share your post, exposing it to all of their friends, and on and on… Facebook is also an easy way of gathering an e-mail list of potential clients, if they do not choose to hide their contact information.
So get out there — knock on doors, attend local events, and meet new people! Life is too short to be shy.
By Brooke Wolford
Social networking to many is extremely confusing and some think is a complete waste of time. But it is there to help you brand yourself. There are so many sites and you must be active on all of them for it to be effective. Here are some ways to simplify the process and to get noticed:
1. Link your Facebook and Twitter status updates. Go to Facebook, search for Twitter and install the application. You can then update your status on both sites at the same time.
2. Make yourself worth following. You need to be interesting. Do not give status updates of every single thing you do in a day. Try to say something that will gain interest of your followers. For example, instead of saying, “Another Home Listed!” say “Newly listed, a Minneapolis Sin Fam Home 4bed/2bath, 200k,” then post the link for people to view the listing.
3. Post links of articles you are reading.
4. Never assume you can just update your status and not pay attention to anybody else. Respond to your followers and friends. People will notice your comments and you will gain new friends and followers.
5. Promote yourself and your business. Many of you, like myself, have been tweeting about the tax credit. Remind people of the deadline, market your listings, and sell your services.
6. Don’t be a status update machine. That’s the one thing that bothers people the most. Keep your updates spread apart a bit. Posting a status update or link every 5 seconds loses interest in your followers.
7. Finally, remember the cardinal rule of social networking: “You have to give to receive.”
Brooke Wolford is a REALTOR® with Edina Realty, Hastings, Minn. Follow her blog at strugglingrookierealtor.blogspot.com.