Recently I read a blogger who was upset that they were forced to market their listing in Facebook’s paid area. They really wanted to be able to post them anywhere they desired. Whereas I can see where the agent would like to push their listing information out to their Facebook friends, I’m left to ask if this is useful.
My intent when I log into Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, or any of a 100 other social media applications to hang-out (virtually), share with friends and enjoy myself. I think that most people are like me, in that they don’t want you to plaster everything I do with home for sale listings. Isn’t MLS and your personal webpage the place to post your listings? Listing information should be in places that are non-intrusive and where a consumer would actually go if they were interested in a specific property.
I get the opportunity to interact with many agents and consumers, outside of an agency relationship, and all of them are tired of getting e-mails with listing information. The more that I lecture on the topic of technology, the more I hear from agents wanting to know if ubiquitous “Broker Open, Open House and Just Listed” e-mails are considered junk mail under CANN SPAM. My opinion is yes, but I say that only as a consumer who gets much, too much junk mail in my in-box. I didn’t want it, it’s commercial and you need to take me off your list if I request you to do so. I know that there are others who agree. For more information go to www.REALTOR.org and search for “Field Guide on CANN SPAM.”
Why would one wish to further frustrate the consumer by polluting their entertainment with yet more listing information? Also, remember that you’re under a legal and ethical obligation to ensure all marketing pieces are up to date. You can not leave a listing advertisement up, if the property is no longer active. So, for those who like to put new listings on my “Wall”, please remember that you have to let everyone know that it’s also sold. The more marketing you do, the more you increase your liability, so keep your marketing in the most effective and controlled environments possible.
I’ve recently had to go and clean out my blog reader, as I had way too many blogs to read daily and it was effecting my personal hygiene. When I was trying to decides (in some cases what friends) blogs to take off the list, I quickly scanned and deleted anyone who had ever put listing information up as a post. If I am a REALTOR® than I have MLS access and can find the homes my clients want there… I added your blog in my reader for the information and your opinion, not your listings.
For those using Social Media outlets to find and work with clients, my advice is to work on the relationship side of the applications. Become the expert and not the “sales guy or gal”. There are great venues for building interactions with the potential clients of tomorrow, but not if you treat it as a lead generating tool. None of us what to simply be treated as a “lead” Remember why the individual is at this site, or in your sphere of influence, it’s not to become your customer, it’s to enjoy your company. Anything else and you’ll miss the actual capability of the interaction.
I promise you, you’ll have better return on your investment if you consider what the consumer wants.