Google+: Should You Join?

By Todd Carpenter, Director of Digital Engagement, National Association of REALTORS®

What was your initial reaction to Facebook? Was it anything like this:

fbgoogleplus“So far, my ‘friends’ fall into two categories. People I already knew before Facebook, and people I still don’t know, but asked to be ‘friends’ with me … It appears to be more of an online playground, perfect for college kids, but kind of dumb for professionals in our industry.”

I said this in a blog post in November 2007. People were throwing sheep at me. I didn’t like it. I was sure Facebook would be a colossal waste of time.

Change is hard. Even for people who like the idea of change. This week, I’ve see a lot of people writing posts like the one I wrote almost four years ago. Only this time, it’s about Google+.

There’s a lot of online discussion about whether there’s time for yet another social network. There’s a debate on which social network Google+ hopes to replace. And there are several people who feel it’s a waste of time because they assume it will fail, just as Google’s previous forays into social networking have. I see it quite differently. Like denominations of a church, different people will decide to flock to Google+ or stay with Facebook, or do both, or neither. If you want to establish online relationships with these people, you will have to go where they are. You’ll want to understand the unwritten rules of those networks as soon as possible.

If your real estate business is dependent on building an online sphere of influence, I’m not sure how you can ignore Google+. I’ve talked in the past about how shiny new online networks are often overhyped, but this is Google, and it appears to have legs. People are joining as fast as Google will let them in.

Unless you’re an agent in your mid-20s, you probably arrived to the Facebook party well after the culture, customs, and cliques were well established. With Google+, you have a chance to help craft them from the beginning. You have a chance to be the familiar face that new Google+ members find when they first log in. For most real estate agents, this a chance to finally be in on the ground floor of a social network that could be really big. Now is not the time to wait and let the geeky people figure it out for you.

Todd Carpenter

Todd Carpenter, Managing Director of the Data Analytics Group at NAR I'm a twenty year veteran of the real estate and mortgage industry, focusing on technology that fosters relationships between professionals and consumers. I am a subject matter expert in data analytics, online consumer trends, enterprise social media strategy, listing data, agent ratings, and public facing MLS portals.

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  1. I have joined Google+ and I think it really has a chance to make it. It makes sharing content with your circles really easy. I don’t think it will destroy Facebook, but it should definitely be added to the arsenal.

  2. I have jumped into Google+ and I have to say I love the way to add people by dropping them into circles. It really give you the ability to comfortable add like minded people. BTW the Huddle feature is pretty awesome too…. think about a huddle of all your Seahawks friends…..nice feature!

  3. I totally agree. I just wonder what the business side of Google+ will look like. Will it be more of a person-to-person networking tool or something more akin to a Facebook Company Page or something completely different?

  4. Google+ has great features such as adding people into circles and the huddle, pretty awesome. i believe it has ALOT of potential…..

  5. I am on Google+. It has potential, if they add some features. I am trying really hard to like it, because of the hype – but currently as it sits it is useless for my business.
    Right now it is not very user friendly, and I don’t have a network on there yet – not a lot of people are on there yet… With that being said, I have not been able to really use the circles feature to it’s capabilities..

    Full disclosure: I am not a fan of Facebook either. I am on there because that is where my network communicates.. Haven’t been able to attribute any business directly to Facebook, but it allows me to keep in touch.

    What’s the next step in the tech world? Are we going to be able list/sell houses without even meeting in person? (technology is there with a little bit more refinement… where are the consumers on this one??)

  6. One of many platforms to do more than join, pony up and be a member on but to weed, feed. Steer the ones that work the best to funnel attention back to the primary work horse sites you have in the stable.