The Social Networker

by Chris Miller at 07:53:57 AM on Thursday, November 20th, 2008
I attended a conference on Tuesday from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) put on by their Center for Realtor Technology.  Here are some interesting statistics from a room with almost 300 people, all in the surrounding area of St Louis, MO.  Keep in mind anytime you see the number of people saying yes, that would include me raising my hand.
  • Who has a blog - 12
  • Who has used Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn or the like - 30
  • Who has kids that have used those - 100
  • Who has used Twitter - 3
  • Who reads RSS feeds - 2
  • Who uses instant messaging - 100
So what I began to notice was the average age in the room was well into the 40's.   I am not saying this is old at all, just a large gap in how this market does business.  Agents there live in the world of social networks.  Real social networks of friends, family and then the tiers around those people.  That is how they get business.  Referrals are the goldmine.  Cold calls suck.  Here is the gap.

As more people search first on the Internet for homes (see the new service coming from Dwellicious) they spend less time have agents randomly look for homes.  It is not surprising when a call is received with the prospect stating, I want to see a specific list of houses I have already gathered, shall I email or fax it.  That should have been the first sign to realtors that the way they did business needed to change.  What should change?

First off, they need to get involved with promoting themselves not just in a blog or their company webpage, but in other areas.  We created a new Twitter account (@Stl4closures) to start feeding our properties out in the foreclosure market and we had 5 followers within a day.  Sounds small, but each of them were either agents or someone wanting to buy properties.  So imagine they are agents with a pool of buyers.  You are now reaching hundreds by making a simple posting.

From there you get involved with the other networks as you see fit.  There is actually some networks built strictly for the real estate professional.  Yet none of them were involved.  The value in the amount of tools, mashups and ability to network far exceeds the time you will spend to learn how to use the tools themselves.

  I know the learning curve was steep when the man next to me saw the laptop and said, do you get what they are talking about?  I could only smile and send him my contact info from Rmbrme.

  • 1) Social Media and Real Estate
    Created by Daltonsbriefs at 11/20/2008 9:09:11 AM email | website

    It is pretty amazing to me that real estate professionals are such slow adopters, especially in an economic climate favoring innovation

  • 2) Social Media and Real Estate
    Created by Adam Gartenberg at 11/20/2008 1:22:22 PM email | website

    Especially given that I'm guessing many first-time homebuyers are under 35 (if not under 30), this gap can become even more problematic. (Or, to put it another way, even more of an opportunity for people up to date on current technology.)

  • 3) Social Media and Real Estate
    Created by Dale Chumbley at 11/21/2008 2:29:46 AM email | website

    I am only a little surprised at these numbers. I know based upon my own market area that Realtors generally seem to be a little late to the dance. We need to watch what is happening around us and be fluid and flexible and willing to adopt new practices into our world. The public certainly doesn't want "that's the way we've always done it" and frankly they deserve more from us. Technology mixed with pure, caring service can be a powerful thing. I hope that the other 270+ agents in the room who are doing almost nothing online took good notes, met someone to help mentor them and will make efforts to improve their online social networking.

  • 4) Social Media and Real Estate
    Created by Todd Waller at 11/22/2008 5:49:05 PM email | website


    Real estate agents as a whole industry may be slow to adapt, but those of us that have seen this gap and run into the middle of it, seem to make up the largest one industry to embrace SocNet's as a whole. Heck, our business is built on networking, communicating and providing a caring service. I view the SocNets (FB, Twitter, etc) as nothing more than a Chamber of Commerce meeting with no geographic boundaries!

  • 5) re: Social Media and Real Estate
    Created by Chris Miller at 11/24/2008 1:59:25 PM email | website

    @Steve - One part of me was surprised while the other sat back and looked at what tools they use now and how it never involvs anything outside of the real estate software itself

    @Adam- I have a screencast of a tool coming out shortly, and I hope the agents use it to bridge the gap

    @Dale - I saw many taking good notes, but few fire up some of the tools he mentioned, even those with laptops in the room

    @Todd - it is the few of us that embrace the new tools that will make the leap in connecting to the newer generations buying homes

  • 6) Social Media and Real Estate
    Created by Ricardo Bueno at 12/04/2008 2:37:02 AM email | website

    Sometimes it's information overload! And with new and emerging tools daily, are they really ALL worth the investment? I would say that answer is no. What's needed instead is a strategic approach wherein your blog is your homebase and a select group of networks work to drive traffic back to your blog where you build community, create trust, and work the sale.

    It can all be a little overwhelming at times but the cool thing about the blog-o-sphere is that people are ready and willing to help one another. If anyone is interested in building their own little online media empire, all they gotta do is formulate some form of strategy, and jump right in. You learn by trial and error and testing what strategies work and which ones don't.

Discussion for this entry is now closed. Please email me instead

Conference/Article Materials

My Files

Yes this is a blatant theft of the outline that Jess uses on her page, but I asked permission. Why?? Because I am a hardcore admin and can make ugly tables to make you developers frustrated, but this was too nice to pass up.

Also Known As: Chris Miller (when awake)

Boring Certifications: (only because someone asked twice)

  • Workplace Collaboration Services 2.5 - Team Collab and Messaging
  • Domino 7 Certified Security Administrator
  • PCLP ND7
  • PCLP ND6
  • PCLP R5
  • PCLP R4
  • CLP Collaboration (soon to be retired Aug 2006)
  • random former R4 exams
  • CLI for numerous admin areas including Domino, Sametime and Workplace
  • CLP Insane

Yes, I write some of those dreaded admin cert exams you take. I won't say which ones so you don't come looking for me, but I will say they are the real good recent ones that have been coming out.


  • At work an IBM 2 GHz
  • At home a plethera of 6 machines with various Windows versions and Red Hat on a wired/wireless LAN
  • A Toshiba E740 with 802.11b (yes geek toy)
  • An Apple 40GB iPod that is filled to the brim
  • Compaq RioPort MP3 player (now in storage)
  • An EBook (REB1100) also for travel (Love that darn thing)
  • Verizon and they always seem to know how to find me, damn cell


One dog, a Pug. He has been on this world before and seems to understand slippers and a fine cigar. Mind you that is him in the chair and not me.

Let us now also add a deranged cat that is in the process of being toilet trained. Update: Toilet traning was very very close.


Non-stop. At my desk, in my car, walking to work and back to my car downtown. In the house there is a crazy zoned set-up for you home automation geeks.

I am a self-proclaimed MP3 fiend, to which I have tried rehab 4 billion times to no avail. Next is the MP3 hard-drive for the car that I found. Now what kind of music you ask? I will never tell.


  • Incredibly fast English
  • Very slow Spanish
  • Emoticon-ese
  • Learning Korean
  • HTML
  • Advanced Sarcasm

Geek class special abilities:

  • Notes/Domino overdrive
  • Workplace
  • Sametime
  • Active Directory (huh? kidding)
  • Quickplace
  • LMS, LVC and the other L's of elearning
  • Windoze junk
  • MS Exchange versions
  • LAN
  • Server Iron
  • Yeah, yeah it goes on some


Get back to you here


Hershey’s Stomach of Holding: Jess and I are fighting over who eats more chocolate. TWDUFF can help me out and vouch for me.

Character Bio:

This will take far more time than I have today. I will start with I was born and still live in St. Louis, MO. Even though for a couple years I was never, ever here and always on the road, this is smack in the middle of the US. Everything is just a few hour flight. That part is nice. No beach/ocean/coast isn't the best. But with the travel I make up for it.

Don't Panic

Looking to find me in person? Here is where I will be.

delayedcustomer visitMinneapolis, MN
Mar 31 - Apr 4Lotus Notes and Domino 8 Upgrade SeminarCopenhagen, Denmark
Apr 30 - May 2Admin2008Boston, MA
May 10 - 15Lotus Notes and Domino 8 Upgrade SeminarLondon
Jun 4 - 6Irish Lotus User Group 2008Dublin, Ireland
Jun 16 - 19Lotus Notes and Domino 8 Upgrade SeminarSan Francisco, CA
Jun 21 - 29VacationSome island I am not telling you
Send Email
Search this site

This blog is hosted by

Copyright © 2004, IdoNotes
Designed by Sean Burgess
Comments? Queries?Contact the webmaster
Powered by DominoBlog, ver. 3.0.2