I daily search for new bloggers on Active Rain for Oklahoma. Like most states who have a small group of Realtors who blog, a few mortgage bankers, inspectors, and then brokers. I decided to use the drop down menu to search just for brokers and I know I should not have been surprised, but I was. If I take out Judi Barrett who with 400K plus points and is a one person blogging hit squad, that leaves me with 44 brokers. The top broker has 5662 points which would put him at the bottom of page two for Realtors, and the average for the group is 918 points. In otherwords, they are sleeping. I decided to check surrounding states, and except for a few brokers in Texas, it was the same old story. Talk about missing a great recruiting tool!
In October I left a large franchise. I didn't leave because I was mad, I left because the benefits didn't match the expense. Also, my brokers who I still love, and who are good if you are in trouble, don't have a clue about Web 2.0 and 3.0 this is upon us. I may not be a Gen Y, but I am on AR daily, I do at least 4 webinars per week, read books on it, and have reoriented my marketing to web media which saves me a lot of money. My brokers did not understand any of this. They still thought the branded sign was everything. It is painful to watch there numbers shrink. Web savvy Realtors have left, others have retired, but no new blood is coming in. I introduced one of them to Active Rain, and she joined, as a realtor, did not do a profile, or picture. Her 313 points indicate her belief that this is not important.
Which brings me back to brokers on Avtive Rain. The average age of a Realtor may be in the 50's, but the average age of a buyer is estimated to be 30, Gen Y at the leading edge. They are also a really big group, at least as big as the Boomers. They will be coming into this business while us 60+ year olds are looking for our hopefully graceful exit. So if I was a Gen Y'er ready to get into the business what questions would I ask the broker? Maybe it would be do you understand and use Twitter? What social networks do you participate in? Do you blog in writing or video? My old brokers, god bless them, would have a vacant stare. I would walk out of the office politely to find someone esle up to date who could mentor me.
If you are a broker who signed up here and you don't blog and comment, you are missing a powerful recruiting tool. This network will reach 200,000 members in 2010. Posts get indexed in minutes not days or never. Up to date conversations about important issues are here daily. So think about the 30 year old internet expert. As they search the web for real estate groups where do you think they will go? Then ask yourself, are you a presence or are you invisible? If you don't build it, they will not come.
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