I finished reading this report today and found some very interesting observations. I started to write a post about them, but realized that they were so vast, that just posting the report was a better option.
Countless Brokers and Realtor Association Representatives ask for examples of someone doing online-social engagement online. There are some examples out there, but few as good as what MRIS has done.
I’m a big fan and a user of the system. Their staff is exceptional and so is the product they present, so it was a natural marriage of social media and consumer engagement for them. (If your product sucks, no amount of social media will help you.) I use MRIS as a great example of what Realtor Associations and Brokers should do. A recent student asked me to put this online, so that she could share it with her Association.
This week has been a fantastic experience for me in Las Vegas at the Coldwell Banker Generation Blue Conference. During the conference Mike Ferry and Matthew Ferrara had a debate regarding the place of online media in the engagement strategy of the Real Estate agent. Chris Smith from TechSavvyAgent posted a video of the debate (Thanks, Chris).
Here’s the video:
There are some important points I want to make about Mike’s delivery. At 4:11 Mike refers to NAR as “Non Active Realtors” and “National Association of ‘Retards’ “. Now, as insensitive as that is to the attendees, who may have mentally handicapped children; he did it to get a specific response. In doing so he started off showing that he knows his audience.
As much as I COMPLETELY disagree with Mike’s points on technology and social media; I would have given this debate to him. I agree with him on staying away from park bench’s, open houses, etc… However his disregard or lack of understanding about today’s current client, is telling me he’s outlived his usefulness as a Real Estate Speaker. That would scare anyone who has a 30+ year career in speaking about techniques that are now only a part of an overall strategy. I don’t think Mike is wrong in his techniques, I think he’s wrong in assuming that his techniques are more than 20% of what an agent now needs to do to engage and represent their client.
I think he won the debate because of his experience and ability to read a crowd, not because he’s correct or relevant.
He has 30+ years of taking money from Realtors. You only do that at his level, if you know how to tell people what they want to hear. Don’t get confused. I agree that his message is opposite of what OLD NAR wants him to say (and that makes him a bit endearing), but he is saying what the individual AGENT wants to hear.
See, Mike knows his audience, while Matt is thinking as a consumer. The general Real Estate audience are irritable 55+ year old agents with a few years under their belt. (Check the NAR profile of members, if you disagree with the average age) The average audience is either indifferent or intolerant to NAR and even less tolerant of being challenged to change their consumer approach. They also dislike new agents. So when Mike makes his condescending and demoralizing comments to the new agents, he’s really catering to the majority of people in the crowd .
When Mike said that people aren’t buying homes off of YouTube I had to laugh, because I had JUST negotiated an offer on a home where the consumer found the listing on “OnLocation”, the YouTube channel for Coldwell Banker. He is right… YouTube didn’t sell them the home, but our marketing of the home on YouTube did get them in the door!
Even down to Mike’s self promotion “Come see me tomorrow, to learn how” and his rude interruptions of Matt, while Matt was making his point are all calculated. Many Realtors are attracted to irreverent, egomaniacs that tell us what we want to hear.
Mike knew who he was speaking to… However, those he is catering to is not the emerging leadership of the industry. Those folks were busy hash-tagging and YouTub’in our personal evidence how wrong Mike is. As an aside, I’d love for the current leadership and speaker circle do more to embrace and educate Gen X and Y Realtors, so that we can all benefit. Of course that means that Gen X and Y need to be open to that mentoring – and I hope we all are.
At the end of the conference they asked the attendees to text their vote for who won. This obviously was a façade and they of course claimed it a tie. They really didn’t have much choice, as both participants had truth in what they were saying. Not to mention that the people who favored Mike Ferry would need help from those who supported Matthew Ferrara, in figuring out how to text their vote.
Interesting enough the conversations in the halls after the debate, showed that most of the Baby Boomer generation didn’t necessarily agree with Mike either. Many of them came to the same conclusion that you may already know. Being online is a means of talking and a gateway to the real life meeting and communications that is essential to providing the best services to our clients.
Next year, I’d to see two active practitioners debate their old school, versus new school techniques. Nothing beats a bad theory like a present reality.
[This is a re-post from my company’s blog www.EliteScoop.com… It was worth sharing even for those who aren’t with Coldwell Banker]
There will be a number of posts resulting from my trip to Las Vegas and the Coldwell Banker Generation Blue conference. However, the Keynote presentation by Chris Broker was by far my favorite part of the awesome conference. Chris Brogan is one of the people in the Social Engagement field that has really made a strong impact on me and how I see the online consumer. His book “Trust Agents” and his blog are incredible and I highly recommend that everyone read them.
I only met Chris for a moment after the event, but it was a honor to chat with him.
Here’s a video of the Keynote at the GenBlue conference. Hat/Tip to @TechSavvyAgent for recording and posting this presentation.
You can order Chris’ book "Trust Agents" right from Amazon (sponsored). I’ve included a few related books that are also recommended reading.
I’m not sure what it is about writing that is so relaxing and enjoyable. It may be that expressing one’s thoughts is a mental release of some kind, or that your thoughts and words have more greater meaning when written. No matter what the reason, writing is therapeutic for me. However, there are times when the tasks at hand or the world around it too chaotic to make writing enjoyable.
I recall, that while in school, I hated almost all writing assignments except for those "creative writing" tasks where I could express whatever I wanted. Now, as a blogger and author I find that the technical side of writing has overcome creativity at some level.
I write for several blogs and I’ve recently been asked to write for a few others. My one stipulation is that I be able to write when I want to and not be put on deadlines. I’ve written for other folks in the past, both blogs and magazines and find that articles I write while on a deadline were flat and not as epic as those that I wrote because it was a compelling issue or passion at the moment.
Here area few tips to consider while writing for your blog, newsletter or magazine.
Carry An Idea Book. I carry my iPad and a Moleskine notebook around almost all the time. I LOVE my iPad and use it for almost everything, but there are times when actually writing it down in a notebook is just a good way to let the creative juices flow without needing to remember keystrokes, shortcuts or which applications to use. I start most of my posts in the Moleskine notebook and then transcribe them to the computer later. I also have pages with just one line or one thought that creates a good starting point for future articles.
Treat Everything Like A Draft. I’m not a particularly gifted in the area of grammar, so for many of the places that I write, I drive the Editor nuts. I’ve gotten much better over the years in re-reading my writing, but not till I’m done. I find that stopping and re-reading in the middle makes me lose my thought process and have to start over. I get too caught up in the red/green lines underscoring my mistakes. I hate red/green underscoring. I try to turn those features off and simply do a check at the end. However you MUST re-read and check your article before posting or submitting. Even then, I’m going to missing things. At many levels finding our own faults is difficult.
Write When You Can Concentrate. Early mornings are the best time for me to let my mind flow into a post. Everyone is different, but there is something about the freshness of one’s mind after waking up from a good nights sleep that seems to make it easier. I also try to do this before the family has awaken. I feel compelled to acknowledge and greet my kids as they wake up and don’t want to be "shuushing" them so that I can concentrate. If I find that there is too much going on, I’ll simply stop where I am and make a few bullet points of the thoughts I want to express when I get back to writing.
Enjoy it! I have a few favorite writers and I can tell after a short period of time when the writer was enthused about their topic or when they are writing just to create blog fodder or get a news story out. I enjoy reading the things the author enjoyed writing and many times wish that if they weren’t interested in their topic that they just wouldn’t have written it at all.
Be Not Afraid. After several years of writing, I’ve found that you’ll almost never write something that someone, somewhere won’t be offended by. No matter how simple the statement, someone will dislike it. Get over it. You’re not going to make everyone happy all the time. That doesn’t mean that I would intentionally go out of my way to offend people. I know that the more offensive or scandalous the article, the more comments or conversation will occur, but getting a lot of negative comments is probably not why most of us write. And who wants to build a tribe of negative people? At the same time, express yourself and don’t be afraid of what others "might" say.
Have The Right Tools. I’ve recently found a great tool that helps block out the variety of other things going on around me so that I can just freely write. This (free) tool is called Ommwriter. It’s incredibly simply. It creates a background that hides every other distraction on your computer desktop. It plays this Zen like tune to help you focus on writing and fairly appealing tones for the keystroke sound. It’s a clean and simply interface that let’s you type without annoying red or green lines screaming that you’ve made a grammar or spelling mistake.
For Bloggers, I recommend Windows Live Writer (also free). It helps with formatting and creating a good presentation for your blog posts. This way you don’t need to worry about much "coding" or aesthetics. I often write the article in Ommwriter and then copy it to Windows Live Writer for formatting.
Develop As You Go Along. I frequently teach classes on blogging and one of the major obstacles for many new bloggers is that they want to do it all right, right off the bat. Sorry, I don’t believe that happens. I think it’s essential to learn as you go. You need to see what works for you and what doesn’t. Knowing what others are doing is good to see what resonates with you, but isn’t necessarily what I would recommend you emulate. Just because someone else is popular that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the right tone or pattern for you. They may be popular because they appeal to a certain crowd. Their crowd may not be a crowd that you appeal to. We each have our own voice and will establish our own following.
Be A Tad Eclectic. I know that most of the articles and posts I write are for a specific genre of readers, but anyone who has been following this blog knows that I carry a main real estate theme, but then sprinkle some politics, technology, faith and lifestyle posts to keep it interesting. That’s mainly because it’s what is on my mind at the time that I’m writing and it gives the reader an idea of who I am outside of the technical posts. Hopefully you’re following this blog because of something you’ve connected with at some point. One of the things I like about blogging is that it’s mine – it’s my freedom to express myself without limitations.
Ask For Advice. Lastly, don’t be afraid to save something to draft and ask someone who you trust to give you feedback. Then thank them and consider their feedback. I rarely make all the recommended changes to my articles because I don’t want it to lose my voice – grammar errors and all.
Hopefully this has encouraged you or helped you in some way. Many people have been willing to share their tricks or tips along the way and I’m thankful for those who take the time to help me evolve.