Thursday, January 31, 2013

Are You Social "Not-Working"?

There was a Commentary in the Feb 2013 issue of REALTOR Magazine written by Jeff Turner which spurred the content of this blog. Mr. Turner wrote “social media is more of a distraction than a business tool for many real estate professionals.”

I personally have never been a big fan of FACEBOOK due to the hours of time I see many of our associate waste “faux-networking”.  I also have never understood why someone would want all your contacts to know every intimate detail of your life…when you went on vacation, where you are eating dinner at this very moment, or a non-flattering drunken picture covertly taken at a party and posted and tagged with your name. Oh sure you can demand it be taken down… but it’s too late… the damage to your personal and business reputation has been emblazoned in the minds of all your contacts who checked their Facebook page early on. Another unintended consequence many don’t think about…(here comes the former Cop in me) … what happens when you post a status update saying you are going to the beach this weekend…and the wrong individual sees it… may be an open invitation for a visit from the boogey man.  

Social Media for the most part is driven by emotions and how we feel when someone comments on a photo we post or a comment we make…or the elation of being “liked”! We feel good when something we tweet is re-posted or we get recommended on Linked-In. Believe me when I say… those who sell social media products know this and use it to their advantage. They have become experts in the “Art of Social Seduction”.

Every new social media tool introduced is done so with an air of urgency and we are seduced by the emotional responses to share our private lives socially…on line for the world to see. And since we are in a relationship business, it is easy to see how REALTORS are lured into the next greatest social media “thingy”. We fear missing out on this new tool will cause us to lose business to our competition, because they are networking with our prospects and we aren’t. The facts show this simply is not true…and this emotional response is like rocket fuel to the sellers of social media.

The truth is social media sites work best in conjunction with a solid system of managing your Book of Business, (BoB)©, and personal networking within that said Book of Business. Using Social Media as a support tool within your overall market plan is good…using social media as your total marketing plan is not so good….in fact it is often a recipe for failure in our industry. Don’t get me wrong…I am not bashing Social Media…my point is Social Media has to be integrated into your overall business plan for you to get the highest impact on your Book of Business.

The basic foundation of relationship building has not changed over the past 100 years…(A foundation poured long before Al Gore invented the internet and social media was born).  Building quality, trust based, relationships will always require time and effort… Remember: There is no way to “like” yourself into a trusting relationship.

Thomas Edison said… “Opportunity is missed by many because it often comes dressed in overalls and looks a whole lot like hard work” … and it still holds true today. Any relationship worth having requires attention and care to be nurtured into a vehicle to help you grow your business…or help you better enjoy your life!

Don’t be lured into social “not-working” by emotional triggers or a shiny new social media tool. As you are exposed to the next new social media product ask yourself: Can I use this in my business plan right now without it taking me off track, or would I have to change my business model to adapt it into my marketing plan, (this is all assuming you have a written business and interrelated marketing plan) J.  Good Luck and Keep Prospecting!

Eddie Brown 2013

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Don’t Leave your 2013 Success to Chance….

Don’t Leave your 2013 Success to Chance….
If you haven’t already…Now is the time to create and start your marketing plan for the year. Have you procrastinated? Have you been saying… “I’ll get around to it”? To gain optimal success and to reach your goals you need a system to follow…a system which will begin and continue to fill your pipeline with quality referrals for your business. This will guide you throughout the year on how, when, and what to send to your Book of Business (BoB)©.

First… Start by mailing an item of value to everyone in your BoB© every 30 days. This has to be something your database will find valuable, and what may be valuable to one may not be to another, so knowing your BoB profile is critical. Doing this on a consistent basis every 30 days will keep you front of mind and demonstrate your commitment to your business and to them. It also will demonstrate your desire to communicate with, and serve them on a level they desire.

Second…Schedule face to face appointments with all you’re A+ names in your BoB©. A lunch or a pop-by visit works great for expanding your relationship and to let them know you still need their assistance growing your business. Ask for the referrals and take along a small “pop-by” gift…something you know they will appreciate. (Example: a golfer would like a sleeve of balls or a gift card to a pro-shop.) Re-energize them and yourself by asking about their goals and how you can help them and by telling them your goals and how they can help you in 2013!

Third…This may seem like a stretch for some… but throw a party for everyone you had a closing with in 2012. Client parties always reap referrals…they can be big or small depending on what works best for you. I know this may sound intimidating, but focus on fun…the point is to deepen your relationships with those you invite…and to discover ways you can better serve them and their circle of friends.

Lastly…Host a business mixer…I know you are saying what the heck is this with the parties???? But give me a chance… Invite the vendors you did business with in 2012, painters, plumbers, attorneys, inspectors, etc. …start small by inviting only 4-5 of your best vendors to get a feeling for how you want to put on the mixer. Host them at a local restaurant or sports bar, or maybe even at a sporting event. The goal is to share ideas on how you can help each other’s businesses grow. Provide a few motivational or inspirational tips for each mixer…and try to find out what type of client each vendor is looking for while sharing your ideal client profile as well!

OK….I know you are biting at the bit to get out there and start building your system…but one final word …Get your mind right! This year if you do nothing else…Get Your Mind Right! Quit whining and making excuses and focus on your daily business building activities. It’s not the markets fault any longer…stop blaming politics and the economy…look in the mirror and tell yourself this is your year…Get your mind right and your business will follow!

Eddie Brown 2013 ©



Wednesday, January 2, 2013

"Overheard" The Best of 2012

Happy New Year!

I hope everyone had a safe and fun holiday season.

Over the course of the year I hear many people say many things so a few years ago I decided to start writing down the best (or worst) of what I "Overhear"

      1.       I thought I wanted a career…turns out I just wanted paychecks!
      2.       We never really grew up….we only learned how to act in public.
3.       Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit….wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad.
4.       I didn’t say it was your fault…I said I was blaming you.
5.       Light travels faster than sound…which is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.
6.       Do not argue with an idiot…they will only drag you down to their level and beat you with their inexperience.
7.       The evening news is where they greet you with “Good Evening” and then proceed to tell  you why it isn’t.
8.       The last thing I want to do is hurt you….but remember…it is still on my list!
9.       I used to be indecisive…now I’m not really sure what I am….
10.   Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be.
11.   Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.
12.   You’re never too old to learn something stupid.
13.   Hospitality is making your guests feel at home… even when you wish they were.
14.   “I have wondered what the Ten Commandments would look like today if Moses had been required to run them through Congress” – Ronald Regan
15.   “A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth your effort!” – Zig Ziglar
16.   “Your habits will predict your future” – William A. Ward
17.   “If you don’t believe every day is a great day….try missing one!” Cavett Roberts
18.   “This time, like all times can be a good time…if we know but what to do with it.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
19.   “Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex…it takes a touch of genius, and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction.” Albert Einstein
20.   “Faith is taking the first step up…even when you can’t see the entire staircase before you.” Martin Luther King
My personal favorite for 2012 and at the top of my vision board for 2013 is from the late Zig Ziglar who we lost in 2012…  “Regardless of your lot in life….You can build something beautiful on it!”
Happy New Year
Eddie Brown