Looking at some of the vendors at the NAR Convention last week, old school, pre-technology is still a big seller.Â Realtor courses are still being taught that don’t mention the new media, continuing to emphasize cold calls, mass mailings, scripts and door knocking.Â I am not criticizing my colleagues who have been and continue to be very successful with those techniques.Â If it’s profitable, more power to them.Â I always find it interestingÂ how the vendors adapt to current realtor “needs” -Â this year solutions included REOs, foreclosures, short sales, and the shiny new Realtor tool, Social Media.
Technology is not about machinery anymore
Those comfortableÂ days of putting data in a machine to store, manipulate and access have been supplanted by having to actually go beyond the machine and interact with people who are using the web for 2-way communication.Â Adoption of new media requires a bit more commitment than hiring someone to do “that computer stuff”.Â Â It’s not enough that those potential customers can see your listings, and bio, and thatÂ business picture of you that was taken in your high school days, now they want to have a conversation with you.Â And that conversation is not necessarily about real estate.
Social media was all the buzz at the convention.Â Related sessions were well attended.Â But social media is more than sitting in a ballroom for a couple of hours listening to an expert panel telling the audience how they use Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to enhance their businesses, and trying to explain the engagement that grows from social media properly used. Success takes a commitment – a commitment to a newÂ culture.
But I don’t want to commit to that culture of “playing on the computer all day”.Â Â Can I hire an assistant to do it for me?Â How do you find time for that?Â How can I get my listings on Facebook and Twitter?Â How much money can I make? How do I get to be a cool kid?Â What is a cool kid?Â Can I just buy a magic bullet that will take care of all this stuff and make me a social media star with thousands of friends and followers without spending all that time and energy engaging in the conversation?
Oh, there were magic bullets offered by the convention vendors, for sure, and there are plenty more ammunition dealers who weren’t on the floor.
Tara Hunt (AKA @missrogue)spoke at the convention.Â Her presentation was Unlocking Buyer Happiness with Whuffie.Â Â Social capital? Whuffie?Â Sounds kind of weird.Â It was far from a packed house, with a fairly large number of folks wandering out during the presentation.Â If Realtors really wanted to learn what the new media and new culture is all about they should have been listening intently to what Tara had to say, or at least buying reading her book.