Social networks, marketing choices

Social networks will change the way real estate professionals interact with their clients. Terms like engagement, conversation, and community underpin social networks. And in “off-line” environments real estate professionals have likely “engaged” in meaningful and relevant “conversations” while building a “community” of long-term clients.

Yet many real estate professionals are reluctant to embrace social networks as a new marketing channel. One refrain I often hear is “it’s hard to get going and sustain my ‘involvement’”. Aside from asking the question, “So when has it ever been easy to earn a client’s trust and payment?”, one also senses a certain fear of not making a mistake, or in not taking the time to fully grasp the profound change that’s occuring.

As to the former issue, fear is, indeed, a legitimate emotion to overcome, but can be overcome with a step-by-step approach to getting involved; and the Social Community section of this Web2.0 map is a great place to begin. With respect to the latter issue, Charlene Li of Forrester Research presents an informative road map of the future of social networks.

3 Comments

  1. Marc Davison says:

    Time flies when you are in denial. Mapping is now 5 years old. Blogging at least three years old in real estate. The social aspects of the Internet are gripping almost every vertical except real estate. Consumers are having meaningful conversations of all kinds from social connections with friends to meaningful ones with merchants. Considering the wealth of fear, confusion and issues surrounding real estate today the social aspects of the web should be viewed by real estate practitioners as gifts to gotten not fears to had stressed over.

    The same conversation taking place here regarding industry related issues can be taking place on broker sites regarding consumer issues.

    If you fear it, own that fear. Go conquer it. What have you got to lose?

  2. ebryn says:

    Great points, as usual, Marc. What the industry is missing in general is that “user experience” is being set by other verticals; if individual real estate brokers cannot–or will not–keep up with these other verticals, then consumers will abandon them. The “competition” in terms of “user experience” is not other real estate websites, et al, it’s Geico.com, Progressive.com, Southwest.com, Zappos.com, etc, as consumers interact more with these sites on a daily, weekly, monthly basis than with real estate websites.

  3. johnnied says:

    And of course, most “brick and mortar” real estate comapnies are still spending the vast majority of their dollars in print advertising vs. web design and SEO. It’s going to be a training process — train the agents to train the owners…..

Leave a Reply