Rob Hahn vs Tom Ferry on Using Social Media
by
on Jan 20, 2010
Listed in Social Media

Rob Hahn from 7DS and Associate and Tom Ferry of YourCoach discuss social media.

First of all, although Rob starts being facetious here, some of the points he makes, he’s quite serious about. So let’s tackle some of them:
1) Why do “none” of the top 10% of Realtors in the MLS engage in social media? Well I would suggest that first of all a very small percentage on a whole of all Realtors engage in regular social media usage. Second, a big issue is that these Realtors can sit back and be fairly complacent with their current practices and know they have checks coming in… They don’t need to embrace social media as either a lead generation or branding play. I would suggest that it’s Realtors that are looking to get to be top that are in the trenches of social media and the ones using it effectively. A great point Rob made here was that “what’s your time worth?” The top agents just don’t want to spend the time. Again Rob correctly points out that you can’t pay someone on your team to tweet for you. Unfortunately, many of top professionals attempt this only to lose all credibility.

2) “Social Media is new media” that should be treated like a marketing campaign. It’s a way to reach more people and lower costs. Although I tend to agree that social media CAN be used like the farming postcard campaigns of old, its not necessarily a given. You don’t have to hyperlocate your tweets. I think that you can easily brand yourself for your entire area and beyond as an intelligent Realtor. Using the farming method for tweeting and social media interaction is probably the closest you will get lead generation. But social media is much more about interactions. It’s about creating relationships. No print campaign can create a relationship. Social Media is so much more than just a postcard campaign.

3) Apple has no social media, so social media isn’t always necessary. Tom Ferry makes a good point here. Apple has a $400million ad budget. They don’t need social media. Much like in #1 how top Realtors don’t need social media, big brands don’t need it either. However, Apple does have some social media interaction. They do have at least two Facebook pages, one for Students for Macs and one for iTunes. Both offer free music downloads, and push current discounts for Mac products. Furthermore, Apple uses its standoff nature in it’s marketing. That’s part of their game. There is a reason they don’t release any information about products early. It’s how they build hype. They keep things close to the chest. It works for them, it doesn’t work for everyone. Realtors can’t do big announcements of new listings that everyone will fawn over.

4) Agents shouldn’t brand the broker on Facebook. This concept goes directly to one of our core beliefs at Tribus. The balance has shifted DRAMATICALLY towards agents having too much power. When agents can put out ads like these brokers need to start taking control. ┬áConsumers think less of those major brands because of the ads that the agents put out. ┬áJust like with print ads, someone in a brokerage should at least be monitoring the brand and ensuring it’s proper usage in ads like on facebook.

What do you think of each’s arguments?
Rob Hahn – 7DS & Associates
or
Your Coach Tom Ferry – Also of You Reach Social Media Training

With more than 17 years experience in the real estate industry, including being a Realtor and Broker / Owner, Stegemann brings a wealth of knowledge to this job as CEO of TRIBUS. He focuses his time on helping brokers enhance and expand their business and working with the TRIBUS labs team to consider what's next in real estate.
  • Bob

    Eric,

    First off it doesn’t matter what these two think as neither has any experience selling real estate. Tom has gone from a real coach to just another non-expert expert selling social media “strategies” to agents conned into thinking it will replace real belly to belly prospecting.

    You run a brokerage in a major city and you are active on social media. How many transactions did you do in the last 12 months as a direct result of social media, and what percentage of your business does that represent?

  • Bob

    Eric,

    First off it doesn’t matter what these two think as neither has any experience selling real estate. Tom has gone from a real coach to just another non-expert expert selling social media “strategies” to agents conned into thinking it will replace real belly to belly prospecting.

    You run a brokerage in a major city and you are active on social media. How many transactions did you do in the last 12 months as a direct result of social media, and what percentage of your business does that represent?

  • Eric Stegemann

    Thanks for your comments Bob. I actually haven’t been involved with the day to day operations of my brokerage in St Louis in over a year. Although I know one of our agents that I speak with on a regular basis is getting leads through many channels including Twitter. His strategy is simple and what we train on..

    1) Use Facebook to friend all of your SOI and stay in their stream constantly giving soft reminders that you are a Realtor. (Helps get referrals.)
    2) Monitor Twitter daily using our tools to find anyone discussing real estate in the area. Engage with them by answering their questions, not suggesting “call me for info on this topic.” For example – Someone might be discussing the thought of renting vs. buying and they would send a link to an article regarding that subject as well as a rent vs buy calculator. (A friend of my Ted Mackel does this even more effectively using Video really engaging with people See an example here: http://www.youtube.com/user/tedmackel#p/u/15/3rQDi_4cRns )

    I can tell you from training all over the country that the most effective agents are the ones that have strategies, not just sitting there playing around all day. They offer real value to potential clients. I can also tell you that blogging or vlogging is the best return on social media, it’s also the hardest. Jay Thompson does this most effectively with his http://www.phoenixrealestateguy.com site.

  • Eric Stegemann

    Thanks for your comments Bob. I actually haven’t been involved with the day to day operations of my brokerage in St Louis in over a year. Although I know one of our agents that I speak with on a regular basis is getting leads through many channels including Twitter. His strategy is simple and what we train on..

    1) Use Facebook to friend all of your SOI and stay in their stream constantly giving soft reminders that you are a Realtor. (Helps get referrals.)
    2) Monitor Twitter daily using our tools to find anyone discussing real estate in the area. Engage with them by answering their questions, not suggesting “call me for info on this topic.” For example – Someone might be discussing the thought of renting vs. buying and they would send a link to an article regarding that subject as well as a rent vs buy calculator. (A friend of my Ted Mackel does this even more effectively using Video really engaging with people See an example here: http://www.youtube.com/user/tedmackel#p/u/15/3rQDi_4cRns )

    I can tell you from training all over the country that the most effective agents are the ones that have strategies, not just sitting there playing around all day. They offer real value to potential clients. I can also tell you that blogging or vlogging is the best return on social media, it’s also the hardest. Jay Thompson does this most effectively with his http://www.phoenixrealestateguy.com site.

  • Bob

    The funny thing here is that Tom’s dad would agree with Rob. I would also wager a $100 that if you took MF’s top agents and stacked them up against Tom’s, well, Tom’s agents probably wouldnt eve want to go there.

    You made the point that its hard work. The key is to figure which hard work pays off the best. With real estate, it isn’t in social media.

  • Bob

    The funny thing here is that Tom’s dad would agree with Rob. I would also wager a $100 that if you took MF’s top agents and stacked them up against Tom’s, well, Tom’s agents probably wouldnt eve want to go there.

    You made the point that its hard work. The key is to figure which hard work pays off the best. With real estate, it isn’t in social media.

  • Eric Stegemann

    Bob,
    I believe that it CAN be social media. If you invest the RIGHT time into it and not just play around chatting with people. (although I suggest too that is perfectly fine if that’s how you choose to spend your free time, like I do.) However, you’re right in saying that without a great strategy in place, social media in the short run is probably not a great pay off. In the long run however, no matter if you have the perfect strategy in place or just are chatting with people, chances are that you will see at least some business out of it. It’s the new BNI groups.

    The best example I’m seeing right now outside of the tools we offer that look for people asking about real estate, is for Realtors to create community fan pages. I see many very effective ones being created right now that are engaging huge communuties, including Dale Chumbley’s that is referenced in this article: http://www.agentapplause.com/realtor-facebook-fan-page-strategy-gains-4000-local-fans-in-12-days/

    • Thanks Eric. I just downloaded Gary Vaynerchuck’s book off Audible.com after my office manager read it and pulled me into her office to tell me that she couldn’t believe that I had been talking about everything Gary was writing in his book. Now Gary definitely has a huge head start on me, but his book is a huge relief for me. Some days I am not too sure about the process. The online-blogging-virtual-resume-social-media approach is a very time intensive serious project that does not happen overnight. Advantage – to me. I don’t screw off my nights with “Idol” or “Dancing with Stars”

      My blog is just starting to throw off regular leads, but you have to be a meticulous nutcase that can put blinders on and not pay attention to anything that might derail you.

      Real Estate agents want leads dropped in their laps with no work involved – HA! That is not how it works and neither do the top top producers just sit around and have leads “just show up” They have big teams, big overhead and big responsibility.

      The paradigm shift that Tom will learn about the hard way is that we have moved from a Yellow Pages Display Ad first point of contact business model to a consumer base that Googles everything. My biggest fattest goal in new media and this new business first point of contact model is to be GOOGLE-ABLE with an insane level of content about me that creates a giant virtual resume. Display Ads “I’m Number 1” don’t catch the eye of people Googling. Those ads don’t even show up where people Google.

      Oh yeah -“Virtual Resume” is mine ;) This is what I have been talking about for a while now. Yeah Im known for video, but video is only a part of my strategy.

  • Eric Stegemann

    Bob,
    I believe that it CAN be social media. If you invest the RIGHT time into it and not just play around chatting with people. (although I suggest too that is perfectly fine if that’s how you choose to spend your free time, like I do.) However, you’re right in saying that without a great strategy in place, social media in the short run is probably not a great pay off. In the long run however, no matter if you have the perfect strategy in place or just are chatting with people, chances are that you will see at least some business out of it. It’s the new BNI groups.

    The best example I’m seeing right now outside of the tools we offer that look for people asking about real estate, is for Realtors to create community fan pages. I see many very effective ones being created right now that are engaging huge communuties, including Dale Chumbley’s that is referenced in this article: http://www.agentapplause.com/realtor-facebook-fan-page-strategy-gains-4000-local-fans-in-12-days/

    • Thanks Eric. I just downloaded Gary Vaynerchuck’s book off Audible.com after my office manager read it and pulled me into her office to tell me that she couldn’t believe that I had been talking about everything Gary was writing in his book. Now Gary definitely has a huge head start on me, but his book is a huge relief for me. Some days I am not too sure about the process. The online-blogging-virtual-resume-social-media approach is a very time intensive serious project that does not happen overnight. Advantage – to me. I don’t screw off my nights with “Idol” or “Dancing with Stars”

      My blog is just starting to throw off regular leads, but you have to be a meticulous nutcase that can put blinders on and not pay attention to anything that might derail you.

      Real Estate agents want leads dropped in their laps with no work involved – HA! That is not how it works and neither do the top top producers just sit around and have leads “just show up” They have big teams, big overhead and big responsibility.

      The paradigm shift that Tom will learn about the hard way is that we have moved from a Yellow Pages Display Ad first point of contact business model to a consumer base that Googles everything. My biggest fattest goal in new media and this new business first point of contact model is to be GOOGLE-ABLE with an insane level of content about me that creates a giant virtual resume. Display Ads “I’m Number 1” don’t catch the eye of people Googling. Those ads don’t even show up where people Google.

      Oh yeah -“Virtual Resume” is mine ;) This is what I have been talking about for a while now. Yeah Im known for video, but video is only a part of my strategy.

  • It’s my contention that whether you are a top agent or brand new, there is a Social/New Media avenue for you, and it should be part of you plan. Top agents can sit back and watch their business run like the well-oiled machine that they worked so hard to create. But, will it still be well-oiled if they don’t keep up with the trends? What happens if they don’t embrace a new breed of clientele with different wants, needs, and ways of communicating?

    Maybe Rob Hahn and Tom Ferry have not sold real estate in the traditional manner. I know more about Tom so I will comment about what he does and why most of what he is doing is relevant. Tom, like many others, is a business coach. His chose niche just happens to be Real Estate. Top and his coaches do not help you sell real estate, per se. What they do, is help their clients develop a plan for their business and life, create a schedule for the agent to follow to achieve the goals of the plan, and bring a collaboration of agents together to share what is working the best.

    Regardless of what either one of these guys think, it comes down to you as the individual business owner. Do you want to embrace the changes and develop a plan to incorporate them into your overall plan, or do you want to be stuck doing the same old thing just because it’s comfortable?

    I know what the answer is for me.

  • It’s my contention that whether you are a top agent or brand new, there is a Social/New Media avenue for you, and it should be part of you plan. Top agents can sit back and watch their business run like the well-oiled machine that they worked so hard to create. But, will it still be well-oiled if they don’t keep up with the trends? What happens if they don’t embrace a new breed of clientele with different wants, needs, and ways of communicating?

    Maybe Rob Hahn and Tom Ferry have not sold real estate in the traditional manner. I know more about Tom so I will comment about what he does and why most of what he is doing is relevant. Tom, like many others, is a business coach. His chose niche just happens to be Real Estate. Top and his coaches do not help you sell real estate, per se. What they do, is help their clients develop a plan for their business and life, create a schedule for the agent to follow to achieve the goals of the plan, and bring a collaboration of agents together to share what is working the best.

    Regardless of what either one of these guys think, it comes down to you as the individual business owner. Do you want to embrace the changes and develop a plan to incorporate them into your overall plan, or do you want to be stuck doing the same old thing just because it’s comfortable?

    I know what the answer is for me.

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