By Todd Carpenter, Director of Digital Engagement, National Association of REALTORS®
What was your initial reaction to Facebook? Was it anything like this:
“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.
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, 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.