Friday, January 25, 2008

Social networking?

Been researching varied aspects of social networking as tools for real estate lately, and to be honest I come away not fully convinced about the value of a lot of it. I mean, I understand the worth of the Web to promote listings, demonstrate market expertise to buyers and sellers, and using a blog to reenforce that with fresh content. But even that can be a challenge for those preoccupied with and focused on selling property. All these great networking ideas take time to set up, promote and maintain. Much of what I’ve seen and learned seems to have its place, but I suspect it’s value and appeal is limited. I mean, if you have the time, then there must not be much going on.

Then I read articles like the one in RISmedia about HouseValues $2.5million investment in ActiveRain and everyone quoted effusing about the glowing prospects for social networking in real estate and I have to wonder, maybe I’ve missed something.

But I’ve been reporting long enough to know there can be a real disconnect between what’s said or assumed at podiums and in boardrooms, and the reality of the streets. So I’ll defer to those who know and use these tools.

If you’ve gone to the trouble of finding this blog, you’ve got a real interest in real estate technology. I’ll pose my questions to you: Without giving away any secrets, how does social networking fit into your marketing plans? Has it had any quantifiable impact on expanding your client base? If so, what does it take? Do you see social networking as a key to the future you must embrace, or more of a distraction for those racing to keep pace with technology?

1 comment:

Corey said...

This is an interesting point.

I too have struggled with using social networking sites to add to my marketing plan.

On the one hand it seems like a great way to keep in touch, but how many of your prospects/clients will be using these kind of sites. I can't think of more that a handful who have even heard of Facebook, Myspace, etc..

However, as the first internet generation is starting to grow-up they'll expect new ways to keep in touch and social networking seems to be a way they enjoy communicating. So, network marketing may start to become a necessity rather than an option.

As a side, I don't think I'll ever use twitter for my clients. The last thing I need to do is tell them what I'm doing. That might not be such a good thing.

Corey