Doing Business … the Good “Old Fashioned” Way | The Zebra Blog

Doing Business … the Good “Old Fashioned” Way

Make no mistake.  Real estate is a business of making connections.

If you are making connections online (and are successfully converting connections into commissions), great!  Maybe you connect best in person – one client at a time, one relationship at a time.  That works too!

Lately, all the buzz is around social media.  It’s been touted as the cure for businesses lacking money to implement more traditional forms of lead generation.  To hear the social media pundits tell it, if you aren’t using social media you might as well pack it in.

I don’t agree.  Social media is simply a means to the end.  At this point, it’s a social activity; the numbers haven’t proven yet that it’s a business-building activity.

That’s not to say people aren’t nurturing relationships online.  They most certainly are.  But remember – the result you’re seeking is a strong connection.

Many agents are intimidated by the technological changes we’re seeing in our industry. Remember: the technology should support (not supplant) the business of connections.  I’ll say it again: the business is not the technology; the technology supports the business.

I recently spoke to an agent who has been very successful in the past.  Unfortunately, she has allowed the new generation of agents to intimidate her.  She’s allowed these agents to convince her that her success depends on doing everything online.  As she’s moved her business from one based on “live” interaction to one based on an online model, she has gone from 50-70 transactions per year to fewer than 10 per year.  I don’t know about you, but I can guarantee you she’s not defining her new skills in social media as “successful”.

How much time have you spent in the last ten days posting on Facebook, trying to set up a Twitter dashboard, working on LinkedIn, adding to your circles on Google+ … and not talking to real live people?  How many hours have you spent chitchatting online about the former prom queen in high school (and how chubby she was at the 20-year reunion), and who was at the local wine bar last Thursday?

Here’s an interesting thought for you: don’t run your business like Netflix.  What do I mean?  Netflix has seen customers leave in droves this year because they didn’t listen to – or seem to care – what their customers wanted.  They were so far removed from consumers that the made a series of poor decisions.

You’re removed from your customers and clients when you hide behind social media because you’re afraid to make connections face-to-face.

The harsh truth is if you’re not willing to make connections in this business, you shouldn’t be in this business.  Save yourself the stress, the money, and the hard work.

Stop thinking that newer = better.  Get in front of people.  Connect live with your past, present, and potential clients. That’s the key to success!

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9 Responses to “Doing Business … the Good “Old Fashioned” Way”

  1. Dan Peterson says:

    Great post Denise. It could not have been said any better. Everyone in the business needs to take this to heart. Thank you!

  2. Randy Wells says:

    Amen Denise! You just said what I have been trying to tell every agent in my office for last couple of years! This business has always been belly button to belly button, and it always will be! Technology can be a great tool, but cannot replace personal contact.
    Make it a great day!
    Merry Christmas!
    Randy

    • Denise Lones says:

      Randy, you are so right. I simply cannot envision the day when there will not be a person-to-person business. But we can always use technology to support some of the things we need to do in this business.

  3. Well said, Denise. The moment an agent finally turns back around to the old fashion way, things start to happen. The mindset I see is that there’s got to be more to it than that. Nope, coffee & conversation face-to-face pretty much sums it up. Penny

    • Denise Lones says:

      Thank you Penny. The face-to-face takes more time and energy … which is part of the reason I think agents are looking for a magic pill. In the past that was email marketing, now it’s social media. Getting great results takes hard work and is dependent on building relationships. And the best relationships are built face-to-face.

  4. Marie Flanders says:

    Denise,
    I agree also, very well said. I have also seen firsthand the demise of agents’ business because they focus on social media and social networking for their prospecting and “keeping in touch” with their sphere. Quite frankly I have always thought, how are you making your clients and sphere feel special or unique when you are posting for everyone to see and read. How about a personal phone call or a drop by to say hi. Honestly,I would be worried that my clients and potential future clients would wonder how I had so much time to devote to social networking and FB. I’ve seen how it also affects the service given to current clients and transactions. There are very few agents that I personally think use social networking professionally and effectively. Just my opinion! Marie

    • Denise Lones says:

      These are great comments Marie, and are especially valuable because you’re a broker who manages an office. You see first-hand what happens when agents rely solely on social media to create, foster, and maintain client relationships. Usually the result is not at all what the agent needs to build / sustain their business. Thanks for weighing in on this issue!

  5. Emily says:

    What a great reminder of what this is all really about. It is so easy to get sucked in to having the newest, greatest thing that we forget that the heart of it all is real life, personal connections with human beings.

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