The problem with social media marketing - it's still push marketing

The sales methodology of the real estate industry is unique. Its sales force, primarily agents and brokers, needs to market themselves widely to a local community in order to capture transactions that happen infrequently. The traditional way has always been a form of promotion, or "push marketing" - advertising, drip email marketing, direct mail, open house guest book trolling. The net effect of a generation of million plus real estate agents trying to get their foot in the door with any consumer has spawned the stereotypical image of the glad handing agent.

With the real estate industry's new found craze for Facebook and other social media as a channel for networking, the same traditional push marketing methods are being recast. Agents slap up Facebook fan pages, write blogs and tweet out their listings with the same messaging either overt or hidden within their conversations - see how good I am and what I can do for you. One trend is Farming 2.0. Agents on Twitter often follow everybody in their hometown hoping on the off chance that they are in the market. The problem with this approach is spammers do the same thing.

The community blanketing approach of say, inviting everybody to become a fan of their Facebook page, may not work with the potential client down the street who wants a professional, not a social relationship with a Realtor. These tactics need to change before the agent's reputation as a flycaster for leads precedes them in their evolving community social space.

What the real estate industry fails to grasp is the concept that the social media makes its participants transparent in the long run. From the consumer perspective, it's obvious that someone is a broker or agent simply by reading their profile on, say, a HomeGain web/blog system or examining their conversations on the social media. The online profile, built and polished for marketing purposes, is always there, and it's unbecoming to promote and push constantly like a never ending commercial. So what should a real estate agent discuss on the social media if not continually blasting away about the great buying opportunity we're in?

At Home Gain Nation March 1, we'll talk about community engagement strategies and how they complement the HomeGain product set. I hope to see you there.

Further reading:

on Active Rain:

on Media Transparent:


What did you think of this article?

  • No trackbacks exist for this post.
Page: 1 of 1
  • 2/18/2010 7:10 PM Steve Alter wrote:
    If you're a real estate agent or broker I can see how all of your friends and neighbors are going to be under some pressure when it's their time to buy or sell some real estate. All of the social networking seems to be a chance to advertise yourself and yet I'm still waiting to hear from one person that's now doing business with someone that they actually met over a social networking website.

    Everyone is alway selling. I remember my brother in Chicago told me about how our sister was mad at our other brother because him and his wife wanted to sell their condo in downtown Chicago and they didn't list their condo with our sister saying that she was a broker out in the suburbs and that it only made sense for them to list their property with a broker in the city. Then she was also mad or maybe more mad when they purchased a place without her help. My sister couldn't understand why they didn't use her and so I explained to my sister that if she was doing the work, pulling the sale comparables, showing them any of the properties that were aligned with their new criteria for a larger, newer place, making the tour appointments etc and then acting as the chauffer and tour guide then she would have done the work to be entitled to receive a commission. Instead my brother and his wife would get in their car, drive around the neighborhood where they wanted to buy and look for signs in front of homes that they were interested in buying, and then they called on the signs themselves.

    My sister, our sister was unwilling evidently to do the actual work that was involved in listing and selling the properties and yet she just sat their somehow thinking that if she just made a list of all of her relatives and friends that they would all just call and tell her that they'd put her in the contract as the buying or selling agent and that all she had to do was wait for the mail to come with her check.

    Reply to this

  • 2/19/2010 3:56 AM Richard Alber wrote:
    Finally, some pearls of wisdom. I believe you nailed it. There are a lot of so called experts in social media for Realtors teaching the same old "Me" advertising/marketing. We Realtors can not be brain washed into the same marketing/advertising mantras of the past.

    Today's consumer is the most educated real estate consumer in the history of this country. We are at a point or close to a point where the consumer knows more than the average Realtor. Realtors need a paradigm shift from the "Me" promotion to the "Information Specialist" or "Advisory" position. What you did for dinner last night, what you did for entertainment over the weekend has no value to the real estate consumer. Those stating that the public wants to see that we are one of them (human) by posting nonsense are obviously not selling real estate anymore and are totally out of touch with the current real estate marekt place. They need to get their feet back in the street!
    Reply to this

  • 2/23/2010 8:20 PM Ed Daniels - MetroBoston wrote:
    Fine line on how to get the word out that you are a professional Realtor looking to help people buy/sell real estate and Sales people to death. Social media is not a place for that, but subtle references to your job mixed in with professionalism will work in that world. Great post.
    Reply to this

  • 2/25/2010 4:54 AM Michael Sosnowski wrote:
    The simple fact is most real estate agents are simply under qualified to market and sell anything. Most grasp at social media just like they do everything else. Realtors gave away the store when they allowed companies like Zillow and Trulia to exist - rather than build and promote their own online presence - so why should anyone be surprised they don't really understand how to use social media. One must remember that the vast majority of agents are barely successful, but there is a vast industry that makes money off of their lack of skill and knowledge. In fact, if you do a poll of push vs pull marketing, how much understanding would there really be?
    Reply to this

  • 3/16/2010 3:31 PM Mike Harrison wrote:
    First I want to say there are no experts in social media yet and I certainly am not one. It is all too new. I agree that the same push marketing will wear thin especially on facebook. One of my friends just posted this "I don't want to offend anyone, but I am getting sick of hearing all the sales pitches on some people’s status. Tell me about your kids, the funny story that happened at lunch I enjoy those posts."
    He had the guts to say it I know a lot more people are thinking it because I have spoken with other friends that think the same thing.
    I myself try to keep a 10 to 1 ratio. I also try to point my friends to a link or story that I think may be helpful or informative. I go as far as even pointing them to a blog that I wrote. I also have friends in the same industry so we can chat together about the industry and allow other to eave drop.

    This is a great topic I look forward to other comments.
    Reply to this

Page: 1 of 1
Leave a comment

Submitted comments are subject to moderation before being displayed.


 Email (will not be published)


Your comment is 0 characters limited to 3000 characters.