This past Wednesday was my third time at Agent Reboot Chicago put on by Inman News, and I’ll be back again next year. The first time I was the only agent from my market area to go (probably because I was the only one who was on twitter, which is where I found out about it). The second year I had met another Rockford area geeky tweeter, Barb Erdmeier (@barberdmier) of Remax Property Source, and talked her into coming. I brought a few friends from my company, and she brought a friend from hers.
This year we had quite a few agents from my old office, Nextage Professionals Realty in Rockford, IL, including the broker owner, Jan Mansfield (I love brokers who get it!). We had agents from Barb’s office, plus a few from other offices as well, thanks in part to a Facebook group that Barb started (based on something she heard from Chris Smith (
@Chris_Smth), who she found through Agent Reboot and Twitter and who I got to know on twitter as Co-Founder of TechSavvy Agent, and now Chief Evangelist of Inman News).
Here at Nextage we talk a lot about our belief that the real estate business is broken. To me personally, it’s not just the old compensation models and “I” mentality that are the problems. The real estate game has changed. We’re not playing Parcheesi anymore; we’re playing draw something, angry birds, and words with friends. The future leaders of this industry are the innovators, the ones who see the opportunities in technology and social media, the ones who will look outside the old box and adapt to the changing world around them. They have YouTube channels, blogs, and Facebook pages. They stay on top of the industry by the minute on Twitter. The have smart phones and I pads, and they use technology like DocuSign for contracts instead of fax machines.
Whether you’re marketing for your personal real estate business or for building your team, here’s a few key takeaways.
“The trick isn’t having a sphere of influence anymore, it’s how you get people into to. I do it online because that’s where “they” are” from Jim Marks (@jimmarks) PNC Mortgage
“What does it mean to suck at Twitter? Tweeting irrelevant & stupid content, Tweeting listings, Constant self-promotion, Spam, Auto messages, and not responding to messages” from Katie Lance (@KatieLance and @InmanNext) Social Media Director at Inman News
“If you go to your website and you wouldn’t hire yourself it’s time to think about a new website” from Chris Smith (
@Chris_Smth) Chief Marketing Evangelist at Inman News
The way I see it, technology and social media are a lot like Justin Bieber – it’s not going away no matter how much you wish it would. Postcards, mailings, advertising on park benches and grocery carts… a lot of us keep doing this stuff because it’s what we’ve always done, and it used to work. What’s been happening, though, is that times have changed and a lot of us in the real estate business haven’t.
Change usually happens long before we voluntarily adapt to it. It’s just human nature. Change happens well before we accept it as a normal part of our lives. Still thinking that “Facebook is stupid”? I did at one point. About six years ago when my daughter went to college I kept asking her to email me pictures. She refused and told me to get on Facebook. I was forced to sign up to stay in touch with her. Now I’m not just on Facebook, connected to old friends from high school and college, but I use it for more for business than for my personal life. I’m on Twitter, LinkedIn, FourSquare, Google+, and Pinterest, too. I manage 6 Facebook pages and 3 groups, 3 blogs, and 4 twitter accounts. It’s my marketing, my education, my sphere of influence, and more. It took me from being a struggling agent to being able to work with the Nextage Region here in Illinois and Wisconsin to grow our region through helping our agents and brokers break out of survival mode and thrive.
Much of what I’ve learned over the last several years has been thanks to Agent ReBoot and the people that I’ve been able to connect with because of it. If you want to know the block-and-tackle tactics that you need to know to get started with all of this or to take your efforts to the next level, get yourself to Reboot. Chances are they’ll be coming to a city near you.
(note – I did not include a link to Justin Bieber on twitter for a reason)