By Melissa Krchnak
I’ve had a few friends over the last couple weeks who have pledged to stay off social media for a day or longer. While I applaud their restraint, I’m not sure I understand the motivation behind this extreme social media diet. For me, Facebook and Twitter simply fill in the gaps of a day rather than being a thief of my valuable time.
In all fairness, I will admit that I’m completely in love with Instagram and that it’s my go-to whenever I’m in need of a quick social media fix. But despite my penchant for grainy filters and pictures of my friends’ latest meals, I’m not at the point of needing a social media intervention because it hasn’t cut into my productivity at work. This isn’t the case for my friends though; I often see them struggling to get anything done because they’re too busy perusing posts or else creating status updates of their own. For these addicts, breaking up with social media—however temporary the split—is a necessity and the practice becomes a zero-sum game: Either stay off all social media sites completely, or else get nothing accomplished during the workday.
Are you your biggest hindrance? If so, it might be time for you to take a breather. I’m not saying you should abandon social media altogether; it’s still an important way to target potential clients in your market and increase awareness of your personal brand. What I’m advocating for instead is to give yourself the required space away from the “like” button to re-think your social media strategy. Instead of seeing social media as a hindrance, focus on getting more purposeful with the content you share so that you can view it as a benefit. Especially if social media is one of the major ways you connect with clients, make sure all information coming from your accounts is useful and interesting. By making social media more of a mindful business practice and less of a productivity inhibitor, you won’t be wasting time on the sites because really, you’ll be working.
So I ask: Is it time for you to have a social media intervention and change your ways?
By Brooke Wolford
We have all gotten sucked into this world of technology. We do everything we can to stay on top of what’s new and hot and purchase the latest iAnything. Even I can’t help but admit that that I do like the “shiny” things in life. However, the other evening, I looked over at my 10-year-old son. My son has his own laptop, iPod, cellphone, and every gaming system imaginable. He’s learning a ton about technology and is even dabbling in learning how to code. Being the techie that I am, I feel proud. But while watching him type on his computer, listen to his iPod, and simultaneously check his cellphone, I began to think about the possibility that he was missing out on basic relationship building opportunities. I think for many of us, we are heading down the same path.
Recently, at the St. Paul Area Association of REALTORS® YPN Smarty Pants Tech Bar, a lot of agents were asking technology-related questions like, “What apps should I be using?” and “Why and how should I use social media?” Many seemed overwhelmed. They all wanted to know, “What gadget or social media site will solve my latest business problem?” I sat at the gathering knowing that it was this question itself that was their greatest problem of all. Continue reading »
By Marianne Guenther Bornhoft
1982 was a year like no other. It created the Y generation. What’s so special about this group of people? A lot. Its members aren’t afraid to tell you why.
The name Generation Y first appeared in an August 1993 Ad Age editorial to describe people born 1982-2001 to Baby Boomers and early Generation Xers. Neil Howe and William Strauss —
Growing up in a world where technology and ease of use of the Internet is second nature, Gen Yers are a breed of folks who expect a lot more than their predecessors. Millennials want information, not only instantly, but also with the ease that it should be accessible at their convenience with all of the normal benefits of a face-to-face meeting. A survey by CareerBuilder and Harris Interactive shows almost half (49 percent) Gen Yers prefer to communicate through technology (blogs, instant messaging and text messaging, for example) as opposed to having face-to-face or phone conversations, which are the preferred methods of Baby Boomers and Generation X.
A savvy REALTOR® who understands this age bracket can more easily understand and relate to meeting those demands. For example, a Gen Y client who sends a text to his/her agent after “normal” business hours might be driving home from an event and see a new house for sale. They expect an answer back quickly, just as if he or she would have called the REALTOR® directly. Likewise, a Facebook post about a unique looking staircase in a house for sale might generate enough buzz that a person, not necessarily looking, might click on the link in the post. After looking at the virtual tour of the property, that person may e-mail the listing agent about the house. This new way of advertising, called “murketing,” is an advertising strategy that avoids direct sales of a product and focuses instead on a simple thought or image, communicating how that product makes you feel or how others can relate to it. Author Rob Walker coined this marketing buzz term, a portmanteau of “murky” and “marketing.” This business tactic targets the three-quarters of Millennials who, according to the Pew Research Center, have created a profile on a social networking site. Continue reading »
By Melissa Krchnak
Sounds silly and yet I’m serious. Have you Googled your listing yet? I bet the person who wants to buy it has. They’ve map searched it, checked its walkability and researched the school district. Have you?
See, you can make a big impact by thinking local. Real local. Whatever that new home owner would want to know about the home — from the cable provider to the nearest dog park — you should be giving it to them. They want to know what you know… and some of what you don’t. So, go through your current listings and start blogging (and all other forms of social media) about that which you’d want to know. Important stuff, like where’s the nearest Pinkberry?
Melissa Krchnak is the assistant team leader for Keller Williams Realty in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. Connect with her at kwrancho.com.
By Jared James
I am a firm believer that you can only do so many things great. I guess you could say that I fall in line with the phrase, “jack of all trades, master of none.” Now, I do believe that some people can excel at more things than other people, but as a general rule you can only be great at so many things.
I bring this up because I fear that we are becoming a people who are being told we have to be good at everything.
A day doesn’t go by where I don’t get questions from people on Facebook, Twitter, and in e-mails asking me about how to use Pinterest, what are the best database, how they should use social media for business, what’s the best online lead generator, what apps I recommend, what’s the best way to work in the “cloud,” and on and on…
At some point I have to just say, ENOUGH ALREADY!!
Please do not get me wrong, every question I listed above is a good one, and they are questions that we, as professionals, should know the answer to. But I worry that we are becoming a people who are so obsessed with mastering everything that in the end we will end up mastering nothing. You see, I would rather be great at working my database or leveraging Facebook page than be good at everything there is to know about creating or managing a business. Being good doesn’t separate you, and separation is what it takes to stand out and actually see a real return on investment (ROI).
I can’t tell you how often I hear about people who are using social media and get no return on it. At the same time, I know of many people making a living off of it. So which opinion is right? The one that thinks social media is a waste of time? Or the one that thinks it is amazing?
One thing that I have learned as a speaker/trainer is that most of the time it is not the tool or strategy that is the problem in people’s lives — the problem is the implementation of the tool. And when you are a master of none, it is difficult to get the results that you see someone else getting without giving their same level of dedication. Continue reading »
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
In this video, I discuss six technologies to tackle in 2012. What have you already crossed off your technology to-do list? What do you still need to focus on this year? We are already one quarter into 2012, so let’s get moving!
Stefanie Hahn is the education director for Coldwell Banker Hearthside, REALTORS® in Collegeville, Pa. Visit her Web site: www.StefanieHahn.com.
By Ryan Gervais
The first thing almost every new REALTOR® is told when they get in the business is to get a website. New agents usually ask their broker or fellow agents where to go to fulfill this seemingly important task, and they usually choose an out-of-the-box template solution. These cookie-cutter solutions do offer the convenience of getting up and running fast, but does it separate your from your competition?
Industry insiders often throw around words such as search engine optimization, Google Analytics, bounce rates, and social media integration as a way to measure how effective your website is. I challenge everyone who is reading this to think about all of those things, but add the most important one of all: Lead Conversion.
Your website should be a place to convert visitors to clients. If you do not know how many visitors it takes to convert a visitor into a prospect or how many prospects you need to convert to a transaction, then what is the point of focusing on all the buzz words above? If you are just using your website as an infomercial for yourself, and not to directly engage visitors and give them many options to become a client, you are wasting a valuable opportunity to pick up another client.
REALTORS® should be benchmarking our websites with other conversion-friendly industries to learn best-practices when building a website that is meant for conversion. Users respond differently to colors, buttons, text links, pictures, white space, and generally need to be told what to do in many different ways if you want them to do something like give up their personal information.
My goal is to get every reader of my posts one new transaction this year by sharing some best practices on lead conversion and answering website related questions over a series of articles.
Ryan Gervais is a sales representative in Sarnia, Ontario with RE/MAX Sarnia. Connect with Ryan on Facebook: www.facebook.com/SarniaRealEstate LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/pub/ryan-gervais/a/222/3b or on the Web at www.sarnialistings.com.