Humanize to Connect in Real Estate

Humanize to Connect in Real Estate

Real estate agents are quick to adopt the latest social networking platforms, and almost as quick to abandon the same platforms. The advantage for the real estate agent who “gets” social media marketing – a lock on lead generation that costs nothing more than just being human and connecting with people. You need to humanize to connect with consumers on social media.

Humanize to connectReal estate agents are some of the earliest adopters of many of the most successful social networking platforms, but what differentiates those that “make it” with social media and those that do not? The answer is simple: Persevering at being human, flaws and all.

People want to connect with people they can relate to, I have preached this for years and will preach that until the end of my time. Social media is about building community, one human being at a time. Common interests are what unite us with others, and what builds a community. It is no different on social media, so why do so many real estate professionals treat it differently? The silver bullet myth.

Everyone wants a silver bullet, one that will solve all their problems and bring them to the pinnacle of their business, but there really is no such thing. You might subscribe to websites, worship at the altars of so called “social media guru’s” or even buy into the latest coaching or training product to cross your desk, but what substantiation do you have on the success of any of these? Usually that answer is – you never asked, you rely on word of mouth marketing (how ironic, since that is what social media is also about).

The key to build a successful presence on any social media platform is to be real, be authentic, be yourself. No one is perfect, I have gained more followers by sharing my failures, missteps, and foibles than in any other way. People enjoy knowing that they are not alone in the glory of the imperfections of day to day life.
Stop fretting about what you should share, and start sharing those moments when you have to laugh at yourself, or else you might cry.

Be real, and be connected.

Social Media for Real Estate Isn’t Complicated

Everyone is making things so complicated!

social media for real estate shouldn't be as big as the sky

The choices are are big as the sky.

Every time you turn around someone is telling you a new network to use, a new platform to try, another vendor to purchase from, and if that were not enough your phone is ringing off the hook with vendors “guaranteeing” top placement on search engines. They will build your SEO, SEM, and possibly another acronym you are yet to learn. The buzzwords abound, and rather than admit we don’t know what everything is, we sign up.

The problem has reached epidemic levels, like a bad pandemic the “You MUST’ves” are everywhere you turn, or look. What do you really need as a real estate agent to succeed in marketing yourself and your business in this world of digital media? Not as much as you think.

I began using “social media” to market my real estate business as soon as I discovered it in 2008. It wasn’t intentional at first, it was a native environment for me having grown up in Silicon Valley and cutting my teeth on Bulletin Board Systems on my Hayes 300 Baud dial-up in 1981. Prior to entering real estate I was a very experienced web designer and developer. Since I coded my own web pages the search engine optimization was something I was keenly aware of and well acquainted with. For me it was a natural process to flow from having already been focused on keyword writing for websites, as well as my background with marketing and advertising which grew from my keen interest in the psychology of consumerism, my brain was pre-programmed to form most communications in manners that the “hot topic” words (call them buzzwords now) were planted and evenly distributed from within the content.

My experience also had helped my thought process evolve into a very regimented strategic processing system. I frequently find myself thinking in “If, Then” statements of a sort – for instance “If I say

what will the reaction be” – therefore usually when I share something on social media an entire analysis has already occurred as my thought process has followed the path of that comment. Usually, because I was once really good at putting my foot in my mouth. Learning to think before I speak, and to listen more has been an important lesson in the last 5 years.

Back to the vendors selling search engine optimization of whatever sort… this frustrates me. So many of my fellow REALTORS are being taken advantage of, because all we ever hear is that we need to use search engine optimization and search engine marketing to keep our pipeline full, to make sure we are generating enough leads to keep our business flowing. The truth is that it’s not that difficult to do. Our job as local experts is the share information on the local area, if we focus on this on a consistent basis then the business will come to you in a variety of forms, including media requests for news stories and other opportunities.

It can be time consuming, and it is not easy to understand how to engage on some networks. For me it is simple, but I am a native and most people are not. We are going to take a look at some of the basics, to help demystify real estate social media. Why am I qualified to write this? I was one of the people that wrote the book, literally, on social media for real estate and how to successfully use it for your business.

Ready to learn?

It’s All About The Tweet, Says Google

It’s All About The Tweet, Says Google

With the announcement of an agreement between Twitter and Google as written up on VentureBeat, there is some satisfaction at many levels, and a personal one as well, that those of us who have always been staunch supporters of the business use, and value, of Twitter can celebrate with the quiet confidence that “I told you so” isn’t needed to be said, but it obvious in the outcome – this landmark agreement between two technology giants.

Twitter Opens Fire Hose Feed to Google

The Official Twitter Bird Logo

The Value of Twitter for Real Estate
I have been a huge supporter of Twitter, and it’s power for search engine optimization in real time, since I began using the service in 2008. I spent a great deal of time educating the real estate industry on the benefits and value, the pure elegant power that is Twitter. Some would dismiss it, call it a waste of time, but those that “get it” have always seen the power.

Social networks move in and out of vogue with a near constant ebb and flow, but Twitter has remained mostly consistent in what it does, how it does it and the value proposition it has – wide open for use and interpretation. I have been asked many times, in interviews, at conferences, in meetings, while on stage talking about the power of Twitter, what my favorite social network is, it has always been – and still is Twitter.

It’s Always Been “Cool”
Although there have been times when people turned their noses down at my response, and moments when it was not “fashionable” to like Twitter, I have been steadfast in my belief, and my dedication to Twitter and the value it brings the world. The real time citizen reporter power has proven itself time and time again. The mainstream media accepts it, and recognizes the value of the live and real time conversation.

Twitter chats (using tools like Nurph) have become more and more popular ways to communicate ideas, and bring master mind resources together to brainstorm, share and evolve ideas and uses of the platform, of business use cases, and of customer service.  Look for a new Twitter for Real Estate Chat beginning on February 17, 2015 from EstateSocial.com and @mayaREguru.

The Great Twitter “Told You So”
Quietly Twitter has grown it’s business model, and the power of the data it aggregates. Now, in 2015 Google – the powerhouse of search engine optimized data – acknowledges that Twitter has what it has never been able to build – a truly successful, reliable (no more Fail Whale – mostly) and desirable social network. There is quiet satisfaction in this for Twitter, who does a lot of great things (check out their #Transparency initiatives, to see how pro-user they have always been).

I have always deemed Twitter to be the “One Ring” of social media, to connect them all, and I truly believe this proves that point even more. The true value of Twitter is that it is a totally indexable and open network, unlike Facebook which requires login and access to view, engage and post messages, Tweets are immediately available to be indexed by any spider client of whichever search mechanism.

With the agreement between Google and Twitter to open the “fire hose” feed directly to Google those Tweets will be immediately indexable, therefore the value – and therefore power – of your Tweet and Twitter account has grown exponentially.  Even InmanNews offered an interesting take on what it means to real estate.

To be clear, this is not the beginning of the indexing of Twitter – it is merely a more efficient and expeditious way for that indexing to happen.  To put it simply – the indexing of Twitter isn’t new, just the means by which it will be indexed – the speed, the efficiency, and the availability will all improve.

With that, I am going to start republishing – as well as rewriting – much of my content directed at the use of Twitter for the real estate industry, best practices, how to get the return on your time invested, and the “how to” of Twitter for Real Estate (and beyond). It’s the return of @mayaREguru and my pro-Twitter message, it’s all about positioning yourself for success in social media for real estate professionals – it’s not rocket science, it’s pretty basic and it’s really all about Twitter as the method to share the information.

As the thought leader, Twitter proponent and connector of all things Twitter – Clint Miller said it best, and a LONG time ago “Twitter is a Cocktail Party” – that’s the simplest way to understand the value and power, true social networking. Clint is posthumously proven to be a true innovator, which many of us already knew.  I know he is chuckling down on us all from somewhere in Heaven.

I have told clients, classes, publishers, publications and organizations for a long time how valuable Twitter is to their business growth and development. I think the agreement between Google and Twitter is the perfect way to validate the true quantitative value of Twitter for all those naysayers who always asked “Show me the proof” as they dismissed many of us – it has always been there, if you were willing to see it.

Welcome to 2015, the (deferred since 2007) officially endorsed by Google Year of “The Twitter” for Real Estate.

How are you already using Twitter, or have you abandoned your Twitter account? What are your biggest challenges in embracing and using Twitter? Tell me below in your comments, ask questions, if you need help I will try to offer my expertise.