My wife and I are real estate agents. We are not under 35 years of age.
Prior to November 2009, we did no Active Rain, No Linked-in, and No Facebook. We were, however, well connected to prospects and clients in the standard agent way ...through our website, texting, and our email lifeblood....and we were doing fine thanks, had plenty of friends, ate food regularly etc.
That was then...
However, most of our clients are younger then we are. The 50 year old people in our sphere are not moving.
They are settled, have kids in high school or college and for the most part are done moving "up" but not ready yet to downsize.
Also,the vast majority do not Facebook, read blogs or Tweet.
After showing property to a mid 30s Army major in November 2009, he hops out of the car and says, "Facebook me" and disappears into the darkness.
I turned to my wife and said, "OK we are going to have to learn this...and clearly since that guy could easily maim most if not all of 20 people who might decide to pick on him...Facebook clearly is not just for girls."
So we dove into "Google and Youtube University" trying to learn the world as our children experience it:
A life of almost complete online and texting communication punctuated by personal meetings set up and prepared for ahead of time through some means of online info gathering and communication.
This is old stuff to many agents, but my observation is that the majority of folks in our business are not making serious efforts at transitioning to the new world...AND you know? It really ain't that new anymore.
ActiveRain buddy Nancy Murray blogs about this in Are you techtardid?
Since you are reading this on Active Rain...you have obviously started traveling...and many of you are masters who share. THANK YOU!
Unless an agent is a long time entrenched individual who has market dominance or another source of income, I truly believe that the hand writing has been on the agent's wall for at least 3 years. " If you need to make your living from real estate...get a multi level online life or another profession".
My wife and I decided that we must spend the required immersion time to master this medium or our prospects will find someone who will.
As a couple we need to: Be found by people worldwide, differentiate ourselves from the pack by educating and illuminating the public, and attract new like minded people by showing our personality in the best way.
So we learned to Facebook, and have completed many transactions from referrals given by people who would have forgotten us if we had not communicated via Facebook.
Funny thing is.., we never mention real estate on our personal page...we just stay in touch and comment on weddings, engagements, birthdays et. etc. with the hundreds of folks who live their lives online.
We do not post much about ourselves...doesn't matter.
By knowing who is doing what, when ...among our online sphere, we are able to act appropriately and send condolences, gifts or greetings as needed.
Most if not all of our friends and client's life events appear First on Facebook and NEVER hit the mail or phone.
That is not the future that is the now ...the 5 year old NOW.
We are communicating with people all over the world on a daily basis...amazing...NEVER did in the old days.
We did a transaction for a Navy couple coming from Belgium...90% of the whole thing was done online in advance, during and post settlement...the husband never saw the house accept by video from his wife's cell phone and photos from us.
It was awesome and we want more of it!