"Social media sites don’t sell real estate"

Either Inman’s Teresa Boardman doesn’t get it, or she’s hit the nail on the head. You decide.

"Social media sites don’t sell real estate," is the title of her recent column, where she reminds Realtors and others that having a presence on teh Interwebs doesn’t mean jack (or jane) — at least, not without agent smarts behind it.

I can give examples of how all of these nifty Web 2.0 sites have failed me. Recently I had a prospective buyer — we will call her "Mary" — who had been lurking on my blog. She contacted me one day and told me that she really wants to buy a house.

I have been showing Mary houses for six weeks. I think I have been showing her 10 to 11 houses each week. Mary seems to have developed a severe case of analysis paralysis and at this point I am not all that sure that she is homeowner material.

You could come to the conclusion that the issues she has don’t have to do with social networking sites. That just happens to be how she got her leads, so she could equally say "Ringing doorbells doesn’t sell real estate." If you get a bad lead, you get a bad lead.

On the other hand, that’s an important point. Social networking is a great tool. For one, it’s an additional tool (and not too many of those come around). And it’s a tool that reaches a growing segment of the market.

But, like any tool, if you don’t use it right you get so-so results. So yes, social networking doesn’t sell real estate. Nor does ringing doorbells. But good tool-users do, and good tool-users take advantage of whatever’s in their toolbox.

About Andrew Kantor

Andrew is VAR's editor and information manager, and -- lessee now -- a former reporter for the Roanoke Times, former technology columnist for USA Today, and a former magazine editor for a bunch of places. He hails from New York with stops in Connecticut, New Jersey, Cincinnati, Columbus, and Roanoke.
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10 Responses to "Social media sites don’t sell real estate"

  1. Suzy Stone says:

    Her last sentence says it all for me. Use the tool(s) in your toolbox that are most effective for you…try new tools of course. But only keep them if they work and you know how to use them.

  2. From my part it is clear that Social media in all is just another medium to get the word out on your services and the product(s) you are selling.

    In the case of real estate, it is a way for Internet viewers to get a glimpse on how you work and take care of your prospects and clients. That is all, it will enable the conversation. There will always be good, regular and bad leads…no doubt.

    You have to take in mind that we are just beginning to explore the possibilitys of engaging through social media. So there is a lot of experimenting to do.

    But stating that these tools have failed….it is because they have not been used correctly or for the right purpose. You have to know their strenghts and weakness. That is my 0.02 worth.

    Happy easter.

  3. I’m not sure she gets it. She did show this woman ‘mary’ some homes. If she didn’t close, it’s not because social media failed, it’s because either mary wasn’t ready or the agent was no good. either way, if social media got mary in the car to look at homes for sale, then it did the job.

  4. I do see a lot of agents just talking “socializing” with other agents. Not sure this is a productive use of time…
    Now on the flip side I see a few “non-agents” using web 2.0 very well to sell their businesses to agents…

    Happy Easter

  5. Pingback: Redes Sociales - Solo herramientas para la venta de inmuebles en Internet. « FronteraEstates - Blog

  6. None of us sell real estate using social media or anything else for that matter. We’re all selling ourselves and our abilities (or lack thereof).

    Which medium(s) you choose to sell yourself is up to you. At the end of the day, if you haven’t sold yourself, you have only yourself to blame.

  7. Social media can enhance your business if you take the time to learn how to use it properly. It can show a person who you are and what you’re all about first hand. Yes, social media is a tool which is booming to help you a long the way. It definitely does not sell the real estate but can just help you reach out to potential prospects.

  8. Last year I worked with a young man who lives in Texas. We have never met in person but he found me through my blog and asked me to list his condo. I put the condo on the market but from day one there were problems. He had some renters in the unit with below-average housekeeping skills.

    Getting pictures of the unit was a challenge, and then there was the issue of the very large dog that had to be removed from the unit each time there was a showing. If the renters were at work and could not go home and get the dog, they refused the showing.

  9. Had a discussion with several agents regarding twitter. Seems that the “blank” look on the faces was a telling sign :)

  10. Thank you for pointing out that social media can be viewed as a tool, similar to door knocking, cold calling, postcard mailing, or walking through the grocery store with your nametag on upside down. {grin}

    My strengths/weaknesses are different than the agent across the office from me, so I’m going to generate business/clients/contacts in a different way than he does. I stink at cold calling and don’t see a return on it, so I don’t take the time to do that. Using social media and blogging does generate a return (in many ways) so that is how I spend my time.

    Nope, social media is not for selling houses any more than walking into a crowded room and yelling “hey, anybody want to buy this listing?” does. It’s all in how you use it, folks.

    (And for anyone that knows Teresa, she was writing a bit tongue in cheek. She has a better grasp on the use of social media and online soft-sell marketing than most people I know.)

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