By Stefanie Hahn
As I was teaching a new agent class in one of our offices last week I was stopped by an agent with the following assertion…
“Social media is for single people, I don’t need it.”
Fascinated, I detour the training for a deeper look inside his mind. After all, Facebook has more than 350 million users – and I know of at least one who is married – so I have to know perhaps the message I missed along the way.
It turns out his belief is that social media is like a giant “meat market” where single people go to find love and eternal happiness, and that the only people likely to friend each other on Facebook are those who used to date, or apparently who want to date in the future. According to his belief, because he is married there is no reason for him to create the opportunity for his old girlfriends to find him online and open the door to his dating past.
While I am not about to delve into the nuances of his personal life, he does have a point that he didn’t even know. A widely-circulated social media study did show that one in eight marriages in 2009 had a social media component – I assume including many where were meeting old connections online. Nonetheless, we all know there is a bigger picture to social media.
Obviously there will be people, including real estate people, who never add social networking as a part of their toolset. Perhaps it is because they are afraid of their old flames might come back to haunt them; I’m not sure. For the rest of us, however, making the most of social media is not just important to our business – some argue it is critical. Just as knowing your local inventory is critical, learning your ethics is critical and working hard is critical. They all make you the best professional for your marketplace.
So let’s go back to the class. I needed to turn this statement into a learning opportunity, so I used the time to rehash the basic tenets I follow when trying to grow my social media understanding:
- Be social, every post cannot be about business.
- Reach out – go out of your comfort zone and introduce yourself.
- Always write a little note when connecting to a new person in your social networking space.
- Offer assistance and ask questions.
- Find and follow locals – be the local rock star.
I checked, and Mr. Married Guy hasn’t joined the social media world just yet – but Rome wasn’t built in a day either. Let’s hope his old girlfriends aren’t waiting.
Stefanie Hahn is the education director for Coldwell Banker Hearthside, REALTORS® in Willow Grove, Pa. Visit her Web site: www.StefanieHahn.com.