My worst year in real estate was when I was pregnant with my youngest child. It was like people anticipated that I would go into labor at any moment and therefore didn’t want to work with me. It was annoying and disheartening. And this was before social media. Imagine what it would do to my business now?
The general public loves the idea of real estate. They are excited to get started with house hunting, and they want to work with someone who is available, ready, and happy to help. So when agents post about having a serious illness, they lose loyal clients because they think they are too sick to help them. Realtors who mention leaving for week long vacation forces the impatient customers to go elsewhere. If you need a break, write a post that gives the impression that you aren’t available, and you’ll surely get one.
Is that fair? No. But it happens anyway.
Social media, mainly Facebook, is a crazy thing. Used correctly, it can catapult your image, brand and bottom-line. But used wrong, it can sink you into the hot hollows of Hell.
I’m no expert on Facebook, believe me, but there are a few things I’ve realized over the years as a daily user. Here they are:
1)Political posts. My own parents don’t know how I voted in November. With the election being split pretty evenly down the middle, if you rant or rave against/for one party, you are alienating the other half of your clientele. Everyone is so sick of political spewing, that you don’t need to add to it. If you want to share your beliefs at a dinner party, go for it. But on social media, you don’t get the chance gauge your entire audience and defend your ideas.
2) Attention seeking statements. “I’m so mad right now!” “Can this day get any worse?” “Pray for… me, my unnamed friend, parent, etc.” This drives me INSANE. I never react, but I find myself reading the comments trying to figure out what is wrong. And seldom do people actually explain what is wrong. They just leave it out there so people can worry. Posting these attention seeking statements gives the impression that you are emotional, feeling insecure, and needing affirmation. If you want someone to pray for you, by all means reach out, but only to those closest to you who share your belief in prayer.
3) Selfie Mania. I’ve come to the realization that the people who post selfies and change their profile constantly are cray cray. You’re not 15, so stop acting like a self-absorbed teenager looking for love and acceptance. Seriously.
4) Non-stop negativity and Mean Memes. With all the negativity in the world, why add to it? People gravitate towards happiness. Why do you think your animal photos get the most number of likes? The vast majority of your “friends” don’t care that you are so angry right now because you spilled coffee all over your new purse. If you are a Debby Downer and constantly post about all the bad in our industry or your life, people will gravitate away from you. And if you are sharing memes that make fun of overweight, disabled, or any other group of people, all respect for you is gone. You’re a jerk. So stop.
5) Swearing, excessive drinking and other things your mama wouldn’t approve of. My closest friends and family know a “less refined” me. That doesn’t mean that all my Facebook friends out there need to know that, too. Some people are very opposed to foul language. Some are recovering alcoholics. And I will hide you SO fast if you talk about bedroom behavior. (I actually had a fellow Realtor post about his latest tryst and I can tell you, I would have immediately asked him to leave our company if he worked with us.) Some lines shouldn’t be crossed. Have some decorum.
I know the argument will be that you have the right to be yourself on your personal feed. But the fact of the matter is, you don’t. Not when you are in sales. Everything you do, everything you say can and will be used against you. You are developing a brand, and that brand is You. Your professional page doesn’t appear on people’s newsfeed nearly as much as your personal one unless you boost it or promote (aka pay for) it. And when people are researching you, they always end up at your personal profile.
So other than changing your privacy settings (which seems counterproductive to building a business) pay attention to what you put out there. Every post should be intentional and thought out. Ask yourself how the vast majority of readers will react to what you’re sharing.
Take a few minutes to go through your feed to see what image you are portraying. If nothing makes you cringe or feel uncomfortable, then good job. But if you see several posts that fall in line with the list above, it’s time to change your tune in 2017. Your business is built or destroyed by You. Make sure people are left singing your praises, not putting nails in your coffin.
Amy Gilpin, Associate Broker, Manager, ABR, SRES.
Fourteen years of helping clients. Six years of helping agents. All for this crazy thing we call real estate.
Production Realty 517-879-4141 Jackson, MI Amy@ProductionRealty.com