http://sem-group.net/search-engine-optimization-blog/social-media/5-ways-real-estate-agents-fail-at-social-media/ June 9, 20135 Ways Real Estate Agents Fail At Social MediaUsing Social Media ProperlyThe way we communicate on a daily basis haschanged radically over the last ten years. In our everchanging world of communication, social media iswhat’s in vogue. Everywhere you turn you can’tescape it whether it is Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus,Linkedin or one of the many others that are croppingup daily. Social media is a way of keeping in touch withthe world around us just like reading the dailynewspaper used to be. How many people actually sitdown and read a newspaper cover to cover anymore?Probably not nearly as many as there were going backeven five years ago. How we deliver news is no longerthe same.With new forms of communication, come new rules of the game. While social media is aninformation delivery mechanism, it is also a way of socializing as well. Those that are really good atsocial media will tell you being “social” is what matters most. Building relationships is a big part ofwhat social media is about.Real Estate Agent Social Media FailThere are countless industries that are really lackingwhen it comes to social media skills and Real Estatehas to be right up there at the top. Having been aMassachusetts Realtor for the past twenty six years, Iwas immediately intrigued when social media startedto catch on. This new way of being able to capture anaudience fascinated me.In fact I was one of the first Realtors inMassachusetts to have a Real Estate blog. Seeingsome immediate success only enhanced my desire touse social media as it should be used. One of the bestways to do that was of course to emulate what othersuccessful people were doing. By trial and error I couldsee that those that were having the most successfollowed some very simple rules of etiquette. Theywere not necessarily in the Real Estate industry butclearly had a grasp on making it work for them.Some of the common denominators of success include thinking of social media as a way to formsuccessful partnerships with others by providing information that could help them learn, laugh,think and possibly reciprocate. Those that do social media well are givers not takers. They do notlook at social media as an advertising billboard. The it’s “all about me” mantra does not work well insocial circles.
Real Estate agents unfortunately are some of the worst violators of many of these simple socialmedia skills. There are many popular social media channels that Real Estate agents are usingimproperly. I am going to illustrate some of the more common social media blunders below andhopefully if you are a Realtor reading this you will adjust your thinking. It is also certainly possibleyou are not even in the Real Estate industry and have made the kind of mistakes illustrated below.Facebook Social Media FailFacebook has to be one of the top social media sitesfor Real Estate agents making silly blunders. Socialmedia failure here comes in what can best bedescribed as SPAM! One of the more popularFacebook features is the ability to invite people to anevent. This of course is terrific if there happens to bea local event that those who ARE LOCAL to the areawill want to attend.A good example of the proper use of a Facebookinvite would be a band asking those in their local contacts to come check them out. UsingFacebook in this manner is a big win for the band to get the word out and also great for those onthe invite list who may enjoy good music.A Facebook invite however is not for your entire list of Facebook friends! I can not even tell youhow many times a week I get the most silliest invites from other Real Estate agents. Hey Bill pleasecome to my pancake social next week in California. Sorry Jeff I am busy selling homes and will notbe able to make it. While I am sure the pancakes will be delicious, I won’t be flying from coast tocoast just to try them.Kids birthday parties are another Facebook failure that agents just love. Hey Molly the Realtor I amsure your daughters birthday party at some Virginia bowling alley is going to be a blast but Bill theRealtor from Massachusetts won’t be able to make it. Seriously folks it doesn’t take that muchlonger to invite people who will want to attend your event. Do you know how absurd you lookwhen you don’t think about your actions in social media?Guess what happens after people get tired of constantly seeing your foolish invites? If youguessed people hit the blocked button it’s Bingo for you! The thing is you will never get anotification that you are blocked it just happens. Obviously this is not something you want!Another thing that Realtors love doing on Facebook is boasting about how busy they are. It goessomething like this “OMG I am so busy out showing homes for the third time this week blah blahblah.” A quick check of the agent boasting how busy they are reveals they have sold 5 homes allyear and it is September. Please if you are going to talk about how wonderful you are doing, atleast have the stats to back it up! Other people certainly will and show your competitors to boot.Google Plus Social Media FailureGoogle plus is the newest social media site on the scene and rapidlybecoming one of the most popular. One of the neat things aboutGoogle Plus is how you are able to create “circles” for those thatyou follow. A circle is just another name for a category or group ofpeople. If you are a Real Estate agent you could have circles for anumber of things including other Realtors, family and friends, peoplewho share an interest and any number of other possibilities.
What is really neat about Google plus is that not only can you sharesomething “public” which will put your post into anyone’s streamwho happens to follow you but also directly to a circle as well. As anexample let’s say I want to share a fantastic post about whyRealtors should claim Google authorship. It would make sense if Ihad a group of Realtors I knew well and interacted with daily, theymay want to see a helpful article like this. Google plus allows me tosend this directly to them. Since those in my circle know me, it is notunusual for them to get notified of a post I have created. You couldcertainly call this an instant notification of content worthy ofviewing.One of the ways sharing posts directly with someone in Google Plus can be considered a no-no iswhen you do not know them. It is not appropriate for one Realtor to send another Realtor theirlatest and greatest “share” if they don’t know the person. Even worse is when a Realtor sendssomeone outside of the Real Estate industry a direct posting.It is really a poor assumption to think everyone wants to read or look at what you have posted.There are tons of people who could care less about Real Estate and don’t want to see pictures ofthe home you just sold or what is happening in your town USA. So many Real Estate agents justdon’t get this. This would be akin to a dentist sending a bunch of Realtors pictures of a cavity theyjust filled. Most dentists wouldn’t even dream of doing something so stupid. Realtors on the otherhand, make mistakes like this all too often because they think of social media as one bigadvertising bulletin board.Linkedin Social Media FailureOne of the terrific features of Linkedin is the groupsthat you can become a member of that regularly sharegreat information within a certain niche. Real Estatebeing no exception. There are quite a few Real Estategroups where fantastic ideas for growing yourbusiness are shared. As a Realtor looking to gain anew method to grow your business or finding somecool new technology, some of these groups can be agreat place to visit. This of course is the case untilsome agent comes along and drops a bunch of his orher listings into the site.Groups on linkedin are NOT for Real Estate listings! Seriously why on earth do you think someonein Massachusetts or anywhere else for that matter would want to see your 3 bedroom Ranch inOregon? THEY DON’T. A professional group where you discuss ways to improve your business isnot an open invitation to SPAM your listing. This again goes back to the billboard mentality thatmany agents have engrained into their head.Unless you are marketing a Hollywood superstars property or some other extravagant homeowned by a famous millionaire nobody cares about your dam listing. Stop putting listings into aprofessional Real Estate group unless of course you want to continue looking unprofessional toeveryone else!Twitter Social Media Fail
Twitter is another place that some Realtors failmiserably at. The problem here is that Realtors far toooften just drop in content and then don’t respond ifsomeone has a question. The best example again isthe Realtor who will drop one of their listings into thesite via a tweet and then when they are lucky enoughto get someone to respond it goes unnoticed.The thing about social media is that you need to usethese sites daily if you expect them to work asintended. There is no point in dropping a link intoTwitter if you are not going to respond in a timelyfashion or at all.If sharing your listings on Twitter is what your focus isthen I guarantee you have failed at this social media site. Twitter is for providing great content thatothers can use. It is not about YOU! Your focus on Twitter should be sharing valuable informationthat others can benefit from. The content doesn’t necessarily have to be your own either. Sharingother peoples articles on Twitter is what builds relationships and increases your following!Share Button & SEO Social Media FailReal Estate agents are notorious for using socialmedia sharing tools that are embedded into theirwebsites as plugins to send their content to variousnetworks and then doing nothing else. Social media isabout being social! It is NOT about personalpromotion. Stop dumping your content and doingnothing else. Interaction and reciprocation is whatmakes social media work! All of the social media sitesmentioned above are tools to build relationships withpeople. They are not link dumps! So many Realtorsconfuse the benefits of social media by thinking it issome kind of exercise in SEO.In fact one of the more awkward things that you seefrom Realtors is posting their website address like this—> http://www.sellmyhomeinmetrowestma.com <—-as part of a signature in various social media siteswhen they make comments like there is some kind of magical SEO benefit for doing so. This isincredibly stupid and does nothing for you other than making you look like a buffoon.Most Realtors know very little about SEO. This is illustrated very clearly when those in the industryadd widgets from sites like Zillow and Trulia to their websites effectively helping those sitesoutrank agents for their own local keywords. For those that don’t understand what I am talkingabout here is an explanation of how Realtors help Zillow and Trulia gain better web position. SEOis actually a vital part of any Real Estate agents marketing arsenal. There is no doubt what so everthat having your website appear on the first page of Google for competitive Real Estate searchphrases is going to help your business!If you are a Real Estate agent reading this or anyone else in business for that matter, I hope someof what you have discovered here about social media to be an eye opener. Keep in mind thatsuccessful use of social media starts with engaging others. Provide great content of your own and
share others content as well. Make sure you reciprocate and say thank you to those that help youbecome more visible. Do these things and you will see the long term benefit of business growth!Bill GassettBill Gassett is a nationally recognized Real Estate leader who has been helpingpeople move in and out of the Metrowest Massachusetts area for the pasttwenty six plus years. He has been one of the top RE/MAX Realtors in NewEngland for the past decade. in 2012 he was the #1 RE/MAX agent in all of NewEngland. Connect with him on Google+