The Internet is Broken.

By Jim Marks on February 07, 2010

internet_brokenI was at a Large Brokerage office meeting last week when the conversation of Social Media came up…  (okay, probably because I was at the office…)  There were quite a few agents excited about the prospect of adding social media to their marketing campaign.  They had significantly decreased any type of print marketing and wanted to ensure that were had some effort going forward toward attracting new prospects and increasing their sphere of influence.  They were considering Social Media.

Just about the time we started talking about ways for them to ease into Social Media Marketing, the “tech guru” of the office chimed in with…

John:  “Wait, Wait, Wait…  Let me ask THIS question…     Who here has EVER (I like the annunciated “ever,” as if SM had been around for decades..) written a deal using social media…”

One Hand.

John:  “See Jim?  We just don’t think Social Media works?”  It’s just not viable. OUR clients and prospects are NOT on Social Media”

I was amazed.  You see this was a smart guy, he knows tech and he was trashing my beloved social media, right before my eyes…. How dare he?

Me:” John, I understand that, and this IS the type of question we should ALL be asking…  But,  let me ask ALMOST the same question about Internet Marketing in general?

“Who here has sold a house from ANY Internet effort.  Your website, Your Blog,, Pay-per-click, Social Media?…  ANYTHING?”

One Hand.

Me:  “Well there you have it…  Ladies and Gentleman we have solved the great mystery here today, and CLEARLY the answer is?”

The Internet is Broken.

Of course,  we know that consumers are searching their hearts out on the Internet..  Yes we know that 80% of all Real Estate Consumers do some part of their search on-line. And Internet consumers SAY they want to find their home on-line and then call an agent… We certainly know that every man, women and child WE know uses the Internet…

But if YOU are not getting leads?  It MUST be that Internet isn’t working right.

John?, It certainly couldn’t be that you purchased a website with ZERO foresight or reflection of what the web consumer was actually looking for.

It couldn’t be that you have not looked at your web analytics in years and have no idea WHO is coming to your site and WHY they are not becoming contacts.

It couldn’t be that you never even CONSIDERED what effort might be needed to drive traffic to your website.

It certainly couldn’t be that you created a website that was about YOU and not the product you represent and it certainly couldn’t be that your DOG or your SLOGAN takes up more room on your site than your well thought out opinion of the condition of the market…   Couldn’t be.

And It couldn’t be that you built a web site?  Instead of a web STRATEGY…

And now?  You are going to make EXACTLY the same the mistake with Social Media.

You are going to Tweet, post, blog and follow your way out of business, or at least out of valuable time that you COULD have invested doing something that actually works.  Something you have tried, received feedback and response on, adapted, tweaked, and developed into a strategy, a powerful phone call to an expired or a heavy pitch to a bank exec. Something you have practiced and honed to a proven strategy.

The Internet is NOT broken.  Social Media works.  But you can’t just DO it.  You need to understand it. You need to create a STRATEGY for it, and you need to work that strategy just as you did your geographic farm, with measured input and measured results. You need to figure out what your return on investment expectation is and how to measure it, and you need to be thoughtful, nimble and consistent in your actions. You need to understand that doing Social Media and engaging in a Social Media Strategy with a purpose are two VERY different endeavors, and will provide very different results.

Social Media is NOT a panacea. It is not a golden button and it is CERTAINLY not the answer to your ailing Real Estate practice.  But with a bit of knowledge, some significant planning, a well developed strategy, a measure of discipline and careful MEASUREMENT?

It IS effective marketing.