For all of the marketing I see aimed AT real estate professionals, I’m amazed to see how little we (individually) actually spend ON supporting those vendors making their livings from us.

Of course, there is the fact that nationally there are millions of real estate agents, and even in a market like Atlanta (where I am), there are tens of thousands of licensed agents.  With those kinds of numbers, it doesn’t take much from each to support a vendor…

The other thing that I see is that successful agents spend a LOT more on technology and marketing that agents that aren’t successful.  The question is, though, did the spending or the success come first.

Regardless, it is VERY important to know what tools are being leveraged by those that are more successful in our business.  Whether we need to emulate them or see more efficient ways to do business, we need the baseline understanding of what is driving their success.

Keep in mind that this data is coming from ActiveRain.com… which wants you to be a member there.  And it is also coming from some of their sponsors… and they want you to join them as well.  Also, I AM an Active Rain Ambassador and have been a member since 2007.   While I am not being compensated for this post in any way (unless you join through my link below… then I’ll get points which won’t buy me a darn thing…) I do feel it is a worthwhile community and that it fosters increased professionalism in the real estate industry.

Data provided by ActiveRain.com. Join 220,000+ Real Estate Agents on the world’s largest Real Estate Social Network. To read more about the things that differentiate real estate agents that are thriving from those that aren’t, click here.

 

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No, this isn’t an apology post about a missed blog deadline.  Rather, this is a post about what happens when you miss a self-imposed deadline on your blog posting calendar.

Nothing…

Unless you are Seth Godin or Chris Brogan, there is a good chance that the only person that will notice is looking at you in the mirror every morning.  That isn’t to say that your posts aren’t being read, but the value isn’t in being posted on time, it is in being posted.  Please note… missing a deadline is no big deal.  Not posting at all is a problem.  Not posting regularly is also a problem.

Just about every “how-to” post on blogging says that you need to post up at least once a week or your readers will get bored.  And I think that is very reasonable… and a minimum.  I think that posting at least once or twice a week should be an attainable goal.

When I first started blogging, I was so wound up about posting every day that I would go back and post for any days I missed.  But there were two things that I noticed…

  • When I tried to cram in posts to meet an artificial deadline, the quality of the posts suffered.
  • I stressed myself WAY out.
  • Nobody noticed that I was posting up every day… or that I had missed days.

One day it hit me.  Chill out.  And I did it across all of my blogs.  I backed off on the schedule and instituted a calendar to try to be better about being regular.

But on the not to do list is write apology posts when you miss a posting deadline (or even a bunch of them).  Just post up good content and move on.  The apology doesn’t help move your blog forward… and your readers don’t want to spend their time reading it.

 

Over the coming weeks, we’ll see if we can come up with ways to make keeping up with those post deadlines easier to meet.

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I enjoy blogging.  But there are a lot of folks that would rather have their teeth pulled than sit down and write 300 words on a regular basis.  And there are a few reasons that keep coming up.  How many of them have YOU said?

  • I just don’t want to…
English: Screenshot of the blogging system Wor...
English: Screenshot of the blogging system WordPress using the theme “Twenty Ten”. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

To get past this one, we have to ask WHY don’t you want to… those are the real reasons. “I just don’t want to” is an excuse, not a reason.  Of course, we’re all big kids and so we don’t HAVE to if we don’t want to.

  • I’m too busy…

How many of us can identify with that?  Sitting down to write a few hundred words after spending 10 hours with clients… while still looking forward to a few more hours of paperwork, and maybe even a little marketing so that the pipeline doesn’t dry up in two months… isn’t exactly appealing.  But at the same time, blogging IS marketing.  It’s also a great way to educate your clients, and catalog a resource of that education.

Besides, with video blogging or using links and curation of content, it can be done in minutes instead of hours each week.

  • I don’t know how…

This is one of the most common, and while blogging is not really that technically difficult, there is a technical component.  My favorite platform, WordPress (self-hosted), does require having a hosting account and getting under the hood, so to speak.  However, there are a lot of other ways to do it.  You could use Posterous, Tumblr, WordPress.com, Pinterest, YouTube or probably 50 other platforms.

  • I don’t have anything to write about…
Blogging Heroes
Blogging Heroes (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Seriously?  Any real estate agent that doesn’t get 30 questions a day that might be worthy of a blog post or 10 strange experiences a week, is not working hard enough.  Everything from “How’s the market” to “I wonder why all of the bedrooms have security cameras?” can be the basis of an interesting blog post.

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First, there is Jay…

Over on my CoolCaroftheDay.com blog, I recently wrote about a friend of mine that is an Ambassador of 4wheeling.  He actually has a name tag from the United Four Wheel Drive Association that gives him the title of Ambassador.  And he truly is an Ambassador for the sport, hobby and recreational opportunities it brings.  In Jay’s case, ice cream is the conduit.  He hands it out on the trail… and you’ll need to skill over to the second link above to read the story of the mountain bikers in Utah… ice cream in the desert heat.

DSCN3218
DSCN3218 (Photo credit: lane.bailey)

Jay is an avid 4wheeler and has been on trails all over the US in his yellow Land Rover Defender 90.  He has given countless hours to volunteering in multiple roles to further 4wheeling and demonstrate that there are responsible and respectful enthusiasts using public lands for motorized recreation.  He makes it personal… handing out ice cream and talking with people one-on-one.

… and then there is Dan.

My friend Dan Sullivan is also an Ambassador.  In his case, he is an Ambassador for the sport of Ice Hockey.  His conduit is a Hockey Camp called Come And Get It (CAGI).  He’s been doing the camp in the Atlanta area for 4 years.  In addition to teaching kids how to play better hockey, he also teaches leadership, perseverance, responsibility and respect.  I’ve written about him on LaneBailey.com.

The kids at camp love him.  And they respect him.  He works them hard, but at the same time he gives so much more than he takes.  He wants kids on the ice that want to play.  The ability to buy their way into camp is WAY less important than their desire to play.  In fact, their level of skill is also less important than their desire to play.  There are a lot of stories that demonstrate exactly who Dan is.  The first is the story of Razor.  You really should click the link and read about him.

So what about you?

Chances are, you ARE an Ambassador.  The question that remains is WHAT are you an Ambassador for?  Jay in an Ambassador for his hobby.  Dan is an Ambassador for his business and his sport (he is a full-time professional Coach now that he is retired as an active professional player).

Are you an Ambassador fro your business… your brand?

There are a lot of people in the social media realm that want others to be Evangelists for their brand.  But until you are a great Ambassador, you will have a hard time finding Evangelists.

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Check it out.  They haven’t set it up to be embeddable, so I just have to link to it.  But it is worth hopping over there to take a look at it.  They grabbed a bunch of the Social Media sites that pop straight into your mind… like FaceBook, Google+, Twitter and Pinterest… and compared them in users, revenue and employees with some that you may NOT have thought of… like Club Penguin and Tagged.

 

Image representing Club Penguin as depicted in...
Image via CrunchBase

The results might surprise you.  It might not alter your social media strategy (you do have a strategy, right?), but might give you some food for thought.

 

Social Media Ranking on Mashable.

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I have never really been a “ball sports” fan.  I’ve always been more into “octane sports”.  But, when I was a youngster, I had a few books that were filled with short biographies of famous professional athletes.  Oddly, I really enjoyed reading about them, even though I didn’t watch them that much.

Deuce Lutui displays his musical talents along...
Deuce Lutui displays his musical talents along with Pfc. Ernest Tisdale, foreground, during a Pros vs. GI Joes event at the Cardinals training facility in Tempe, Ariz. on Sept. 22. Pros vs. GI Joes is a non-profit organization that arranges video events between professional athletes and deployed service members. The competition in this event were members of the Ariz. Army national Guard's 1404th Transportation Company presently deployed in Iraq. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One of my favorites was a Running Back for the Rams.  I think his name was Sammy White.  He was a smaller guy in a field dominated by really big guys… but he was quite successful.  He attributed a lot of that to coached he’d had as a young player… and one thing in particular.

He had a coach that told him to “always keep your legs moving.”  In other words, keep running all of the time.  When you get hit, pick up your legs for a moment and then put them back down and run some more.

As a ball carrier, he used that advice a LOT.  I do recall watching games where he was hit and would “float” along with the defensive player, not trying to over-power him, but rather just keeping his composure.  Soon enough, he would get his legs ack under him and he would break the tackle and take off again.

The parallel rule that was also coached was to spin when hit.  This made it hard for attackers to keep a grip.

What can we take away from this professionally?

To begin with, when we encounter an attacker (a professional set-back), we can try to power through, but maybe instead we need to just keep our legs moving… keep running… spin.  Whether it is the market, our competition or even ourselves, we have the power to think it through and find a better way to attack.  We can change up our marketing or introduce a new tactic.  Maybe we can redouble our social media, or hit some neighborhoods and walk out a few door-hangers.  Some people might even do a little cold-calling.

It’s all about shaking things up and making something happen.  It’s all up to us…

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