By Kelly Reark
I am here today to talk to you about the importance of using protection.
Seriously. Protect yourself from viruses and other digitally transmitted diseases. With all the forms of protection out there, it would be a shame for you to be exposed.
I use several [explicative deleted] words to describe computer viruses and hack jobs that are out to destroy my personal information, family photos, and databases of real estate contacts. Here are a few ways to protect yourself and your data:
1. Back up your files, and do it often. You can use a thumb drive, cloud data service, external hard drive, or even the “old-fashioned” way of burning your files to a CD. There are companies out there that will even do it for you. The main thing is to make sure you have a system in place so that you frequently store your data and can recover your files should the worse happen.
2. While you are at it, backup your anti-virus software each day. Your job is (likely) to sell real estate. While you are out there, someone else is sitting in front of a computer. Their job is to invent viruses.
3. Know who your friends are. Sure, you get friend requests every day from people you “kinda” know, and you want to grow your business… but is it safe to friend everyone that asks? No. Put a system in place to screen your friends and be picky about what information you share with them. Continue reading »
By Brian Copeland
I recently attended a conference. I had six straight days of travel and one tiny bag to take me on the multiple city flights; so, I had no room for anything extra. At the end of each day, I found myself swimming in “SeatSPAM.” It wasn’t in my e-mail box, my Facebook inbox, or even my Twitter DM area. It was all over my chair, on the limited table space I had and EVEN sitting on my Mac keyboard after a bathroom break.
SeatSPAM is the tiny paper rulers, tons of cards, note pads and standard sheet fliers that are littered throughout almost every conference we all attend.
I know we have a comments section on this blog, so I really need your help. I simply do NOT understand. Here’s the picture. Every single table after the conference sat full of the SeatSPAM at the end of the day, the floor space below the tables were littered and the trash can audit revealed the death of an entire forest in rural America. Now, to make it even more confusing, every conference attendee’s information was clearly on the website, the social media sites, and even in a Google group.
Why do we feel so compelled to litter each other with our “crap?” I understand business cards, and I need to do better about carrying them. Shame on me!
When I arrived in New York City for Inman this week, I “came out” to a few friends about my disgust and lack of understand of this practice, and they agreed. It’s intriguing that as I audit the SeatSPAM, the average age of the culprits have an average age of roughly 48 to 60. At Inman, where the average age is easily in the mid-thirties, the only SeatSPAM you get is from the sponsoring vendor or conference owner. At max, I only received three pieces at Inman. Hmm?
YPNs obviously tend to stray from this practice, but if you are following anyone who participates in this practice, consider the actions you can complete to green-up your real-life conference networking experience.
1. Have your contact card complete on your Smartphone, including your photo with your city Photoshopped across the bottom.
2. Encourage the conference coordinator/speakers to create downloadable PDFs with all attendees info, as permitted.
3. Download the iPhone App “ForgetMeNot” to help you remember who you met, when and where.
4. Create moo mini business cards made from recycled paper with a personalized photo from Flickr of your city as your one hand-out. http://bit.ly/3ADeh5
5. Start a Twitter hastag for your event and spread the word to use them. Keep the discussion flowing.
6. Get on “foursquare” and network before, during and after while having some digital fun.
7. Get a MiFi, name your connection the equivalent to “@NashvilleBrian’s Free Connection.” When people open their phones and laptops, they’ll see you have connection available, free for them and grab a marketing opportunity.
By Nobu Hata
It’s amazing how far one SPAMer or MLMer can get just by friending a couple people on Facebook. We Facebook users glance at friend invites blindly accepting those with one or two commonalities, notably a common friend.
There was someone on my friends list who I will call “Kevin.”
We’re “friends” right? – And for that I commend you. It was an annoyance once realized, I hid your posts, ignored your request for me to join your group. I chose to keep you around to study your use of social media mostly to be sure that it was the wrong way to do it. That’s what “friends” are for, right?
But you hit up my wife on FB Kevin, asking how she was affiliated with “Minnesota Real Estate” just because she had become a fan of a real estate page of my peers. Then I found you had managed to befriend an actual friend of mine by scooping him up from my personal fan page. (He has no idea who you are, thought you were a friend of mine!) I fear that you’re doing that to EVERYONE on these pages and that isn’t acceptable to me, nor any of the folks running these pages.
You see, the term “friend” is loosely used nowadays with the widespread use of social media, but just because we have a couple common “friends” doesn’t mean they’re any “friend” of yours. What you did, trolling real estate fan pages and reaching out for some semblance of commonality with fellow “fans” in an effort to convert them to leads for your real estate scheme, is akin to SPAM. And using other practitioners’ legitimate, organically grown fan pages and pilfering their fans as a vehicle for your prospecting without permission is just plain wrong.
So in an effort to steer you back on track, I’ve got some pointers:
Keep in mind that you’re not allowed to sell any thing or services on personal pages, check out Facebook’s policy on personal pages for yourself. Start yourself a fan page to legitimately sell your real estate pyramid scheme. Drive people there through Twitter.
As you’re trolling Facebook looking for – ahem – prospects, please feel free to use other incorrectly used personal pages as a tool. You know which pages I mean: those with the posed-mug-shot as an avatar with the term “Real Estate guru” being used in every other sentence. Those guys will, most likely, have the same social media business practice as you do – ta da! – commonality.
Once you find a page to pilfer, do the decent thing and ask the page’s owner for permission to do so. Permission-based sales extends to other sales people too you know. How novel. Take my fan page for instance: If asked, I would’ve told you to take a long walk off a short pier before I’d ever let you or anyone solicit any of my fans, clients, or in this case family. Most practitioners would agree. You were able to wrangle an actual real-life friend of mine thinking you and I were real-life friends, that’ll end today.
As you find a prospect, take 5 minutes to read their wall. Believe me, those willing to accept your sales approach will say so in the information provided there. Take another 5 minutes to take it in, listening, as it were. That’s what you do in social media. If what they “say” doesn’t jive with your approach, don’t friend that person.
Really, I would ask that you drastically rethink what you’re doing. I don’t want you and I to get involved in any potentially sticky representation issues. Plus practices like this are the reason why many see social media and sales is akin to SPAM and sales, so please stop ruining this for those of us trying to do the former, ok? I would ask you over for a beer to chat about this, but I don’t think we’re that close. Right?
Nobu Hata is a sales associate for Edina Realty in Minneapolis, and a founding member of the Minneapolis YPN group, the YoPros. Visit his Web site at www.nobuhata.com.