I am writing this article from the perspective of a retired real estate agent that now focuses full-time on educating agents. With more than 40 years actual experience in real estate, most lead generation techniques I used are considered to be obsolete. The Internet has re-energized the excitement of lead generating and has simplified the process by streamlining social networks to provide communication links between large numbers of people. Let me be quick to say that I believe the Internet has become the Realtors® best friend. Social networks are not only good but it is a great tool for generating new prospective clients.
Having said that, like so many other techniques used in lead generation, social networks are abused, neglected, and misunderstood. So as not to degrade any particular network, I will not mention particular names. The names aren’t really important anyway. What is important is what you do with a network you have joined. More importantly to me is how much time you spend daily updating each social network in which you are connected.
I hear positive comments from people talking about how they had met someone on a particular network and some have become clients and purchased real estate. If I may ask, “What did that client cost you to produce?” Nothing but time; right? That is correct but at the same time it is wrong. You see, participating with social networks carries no membership or registration fee. You just set up your own personal account and from then on you can speak to the world with no additional cost; right? Wrong!
Time is the most valuable asset we have. Everyone has the same amount of time in a day in which to do the things that are most important to them. Notice that I underscored “most important to them.” We all prioritize things most meaningful to us. Whatever task you hold as most important for you to accomplish, you definitely will accomplish that task. For example, some people feel they must have eight hours sleep each twenty-four period while others may only need six hours. That is an individual priority that we determine for ourselves. Let’s do a little personal evaluation. Take a blank piece of paper and at the top write the one thing that is most important to you, to either have, or to do, or to accomplish in a 24-hour span. For some it may be eating, sleeping, playing, or working. Be totally honest with yourself about what is most important to you. To the right of it list the amount of time it will take to accomplish the desired task. Then list the second most important thing to you, and then the third, fourth, fifth and so on. Are you noticing how quickly the time is slipping by? When you complete your list look at the amount of time left for working. You will be lucky to have around nine hour during each 24-hour period. If you end up with an eight hour work day, then subtract a lunch time, coffee break and a little time for just goofing off. Now how much time is left to perform the duties that actually help you earn an income? Not much, is it? Even though you may not think about it, every second of every hour that you spend doing things that aren’t productive is very costly. How much is your time worth? My time is worth $1,500 an hour so I figure every hour of the work day this isn’t productive is costing me $1,500. With that constantly on my mind I don’t want to waste too much time.
Most everyone has heard of the 80-20 rule which simply stated means that most people spend 80% of their time earning 20% of their income. This illustrates that we waste 80% of our valuable time doing things that aren’t productive while we only spend 20% of our time doing things that are productive. With this in mind just how much time should we spend in each of our social networks? How much income does that social network produce us for each hour spent reading and updating it? Some people monitor their social networks more than they monitor their children. Some social networks can be very addictive and is seriously habit forming. I know people that walk around with an iPhone in their hand monitoring a social network just to see what someone ate for lunch or maybe even something less important. It is so easy for people to spend an hour or two sending and answering emails and then spend a couple hours in their social networks. With such little time left for actually doing things that produce nice wages, it is no wonder that people in sales never reach their real potential.
I do believe that social networks can and are a positive tool for enhancing communications between them and the consumer. I also believe that everyone should spend more time learning to use programs that update all networks at the same time so that one effort is posted in all networks. I call this working smarter rather than harder. Whereas gossip may be fun, it never produces an income stream so keep it in proportion to the productive time you have scheduled. We all need to spend more time in the 20% productive area and less time in the 80% non-productive area; that is if we want to earn a decent income.
Should you have specific questions concerning various issues, please let me know and I’ll research the answer for you. I also want to encourage you to subscribe to our “News & Updates” weekly report so you can stay abreast of issues that might affect you when buying or selling real estate. If you haven’t visited my website, please go to www.AlabamaRealEstateInstitute.com and view previous articles.