Thursday, September 27, 2012

Social Media I... dont do I?

There has been a lot of commentary recently on the use of social media which I have found quiet interesting.

Opinions are divided on the use of social media by agentsand experts with some stating that it isn't a space we should be focusing on.

We all like to be experts at something don't we, however lets take off the expert hat and simply look at basic facts around social media.
  • There are currently over 11million Facebook users in Australia making us number 19 in terms of world rankings.
  • 52% of the Australian population is on Facebook  - 46% are male and 56% are female
  • The age group between 25-35 is the largest user 
  •  However the biggest growth group in the last three months is aged 45-54
All fairly compelling reasons to play in this space I would have thought.

The question is how well do you play the social media game?

There are a number of channels available to us, the person on the most channels optimizing the use wins.

Marketing to consumers is the most common and potent use of social media.

  • A recent  Burson Marsteller study showed that 65% of the Fortune 100 organizations now use Twitter to reach their customers.
  • 29% of these companies have a Like page on Facebook and many use social media to dispense news.
  • 30% of CEOs in these top  companies have a Facebook page.
Why am i quoting these facts?

Simply these top performing businesses and CEOs are using social media to open their doors, connect with their clients, show they care and accept positive and negative commentary on their products and services.

Surely they cant all be wrong.

We simply sell real estate people. Our business is based on people and relationships.

Isn't that what social media is about - social relationships?

We use social media to get referral, opinions, suggestions, recommendations from a trusted source - your friends, family and extended online community linked in by friends and family.

Is social media the only tool you use, of course not that would be silly, it is however one of the strategies you need. Theres no point in trying to fight it, imagine trying to fight the development of the internet in the early 90's.

As an agent today I believe (and i do not claim to be an expert) you need to have a number of channels you play in. It seems by virtue of popularity those choices would be face book, twitter, linked in and you tube.

Get an expert to help you or your business put a social media strategy together. Remember its not about how much you sold the property for but more about connecting with you clients, becoming that trusted online "friend".

I saw a recent ad in the financial review for the next generation of leaders. It suggested that we had to be globally connected, technology literate, mobile compliant and resilient.

We are all leaders. The world is a smaller place. The degree of separation between the entire planet is probably only one, business is now global, national, local then you.

We no longer have a choice. You don't need experts to tell you if you need to be playing in this space. That answer is obvious.

You need experts to help you play in this space.

The person on the most channels, that connects with people and creates trusting relationships wins. Social media is simply one of those channels.

But above all lets not complicate real estate, it is about relationships, people and communication. You need to be great at these first before you start to venture anywhere else.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Will they miss you when you are gone?

The best way to ensure that people remember you once you are gone is to be memorable when you are with them. Leave behind a legacy.

Now I am not talking about when you are gone... gone... dead that is...

I am talking about how you are interacting with your clients. Those key moments of truth. How are you, the team, the business being memorable?

Or are you so busy focusing on the process that the experience side has just got lost.

How are you creating a reputation for your self or your brand or both in your market place?
How you are different, memorable?
Are you on the mindshelf of your clients and prospects?
Are you are asked back or asked in?
Where do they seek you out or refer you

Where without you on their list to present it just isnt complete.

So go ahead, stand for something, be creative, be memorable, tear your processes apart and recreate them with the client in mind.

You just may suprise yourself with the results.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Are you racing to the bottom?

If Faster, Better or Cheaper was the question what do you think your clients would choose.

Many of us believe that the consumer wants faster and cheaper.

If this is the case then the decision will always be based on price.

Tiger is by far the cheapest airline in Australia - are they however the better option or the choice of the consumer or the leading airline in the country?

No - the consumer choice will always be for better and if they can see the value provided in the product they will pay the price.

If that is the case then ensure in your business you are not winning the race to the bottom in your market place.

The bottom is the cheapest price on our services to win the businesss; putting no value on the services we provide.

In the short term you may win business but at what cost. Does the income earned from this "discount" price actually allow you to make good profits.

With out good profits you don't have a sustainable long term business.

The risk you take in being the cheapest one is that at some point someone else will find a way to be cheaper than you.

The race to the top is always the better choice. This is based on having better relationships, putting a value on your services, ensuring that your clients know you, like you and trust you.

To win this race you need to:

  • have a plan
  • employ people who understand the value you bring to the consumer
  • have great leadership that is willing to take risks
  • have patience and insight
The race to the top is where I would want to be, it is there that we become market leaders,  set the agenda that others follow, stay on the mindshelf of the consumer.

This is where the stakes are higher but so is your return and impact.