Austin Texas Team Real Estate Blog

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Do you have a screenwriter? Why not hire a director as well? Avoiding unwanted social media advice

I don't profess to be a technology or social media guru, but I will say that I have been immersed in this stuff for a couple of years, so I certainly have developed my own set of opinions on what works and what doesn't.  That being said, one of the worst pieces of advice that I have witnessed is something along these lines:

"Don't blog about your personal life."

or

"Don't tweet about your boring day.  No one cares!"

And so on.

I utterly disagree with those statements above.  If people care about YOU, then they will likely care about what is going on in your life and during the course of your day.

The title of this post refers to something I recently discussed with a friend of mine at lunch.  If you allow others to tell you what to write about, this is tantamount to attending a party with a script in hand.  Don't allow anyone else to direct your networking activities to this degree.  It's fine to get tips and understand protocol, but let your content show your unique personality.

On our radio show (Social Media Edge), we once had a guest who told us about his "formula" for Twitter, with specific percentages for each type of tweet (something like 20% personal, 20% business, 40% information, and 20% unwanted advice). 

I disagreed with him on the air, and I still disagree today

The essence of social media is that it's SOCIAL.  When you are talking with friends in person over dinner, do you ever think, "Wow - I need to work in about 8% more talk about business, then I can mention that cool movie I saw yesterday."  NO!  No one does that in real life - why would you do it online?

Be yourself, and reap the benefits.  If you relate to others and engage them, it can lead to some great friendships, some of which may turn into business for you (just like offline, right?).

I have been asked "But what should I blog about?" at least 250 times over the past year.  The quickest answer that I can give, when blogging, tweeting, or spending time on Facebook, is this:

Anything that you are comfortable writing about is fair game.  Period.

Thanks for reading!

Photo above by _MaO_ from Flickr.

    

 My RSS feed is http://activerain.com/jasoncrouch/rss.

 

If you're looking for a home in the Austin area, you can also visit my primary website at www.austintexashomes.com.  Thanks!

Comment balloon 53 commentsJason Crouch • June 24 2009 11:08PM

Comments

Jason - Good advice.  I blog about the things I know or I find interesting.  Some people try to put you in a box but as a free thinker it would not work for me. :)

Posted by Jennifer Fivelsdal, Mid Hudson Valley real estate connection ( JFIVE Home Realty LLC | 845-758-6842|162 Deer Run Rd Red Hook NY 12571) over 9 years ago

I'm with Jennifer--great advice!  Transparency is a MAJOR key in social networking.

Glad you're feeling better--you were missed!!

Debe in Charlotte

Posted by Debe Maxwell, CRS, Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods (www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310) over 9 years ago

Jason, you and I are so much on the same page about being yourself. It encompasses both camps, depending on who yourself is, those who want to talk about everything in their personal life to the nth degree, and those who wish to keep to themselves. Neither is right or wrong, but it just lets people be themselves and that is who they tell the world they are. We all are different, and that difference is what we should lead with and shine forth to the world.

Posted by Gary Woltal, Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth (Keller Williams Realty) over 9 years ago

I write about what I want to without worrying about all of the "rules."

Posted by Christine Donovan, Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M (Donovan Blatt Realty) over 9 years ago

Jason, great post!  I couldn't agree more!  I believe that you should write about whatever you choose to right about.  I liked your analogy, but it is more than that, people don't have to like what you write about, they should under no circumstances be rude about their dislikes, but ultimately it is your choice what to write about.  I think that once people start reading your blogs, they really want to know what is going on you life, and what is your perspective on certain things.  Great Post!

Posted by Tony & Darcy Cannon, The C Team (Aubrey and Associates Realty) over 9 years ago

I tweet what's on my mind. Somehow it works out. Anything beyond that seems formulaic and insincere. 

Posted by J. Philip Faranda, Broker-Owner (J. Philip Faranda (J. Philip R.E. LLC) Westchester County NY) over 9 years ago

Jason,

I started having fun with social media when I did what I wanted to do. Ironicaly enough, a certain amount of finacial awards have followed. Fun + Money = super cool times. Thanks for sharing this blog.

Beer sliding across bar....

Posted by Greg Nino, Houston, Texas (RE/MAX Compass, formerly RE/MAX WHP) over 9 years ago

 Jason - I agree with your post some! But as for talking about my personal life, it's a way for people to really know me & I have nothing to hide.

 Now tweeter/ tweetdeck, I don't have a clue how people are getting business when members talk about what they ate or when their going to walk their dog!

 I like your post and thanks for the pointers!

 Vegas Bob

Posted by Robert Vegas Bob Swetz, Las Vegas Henderson Homes for Sale (Realty ONE Group) over 9 years ago

I do believe you have to be true to yourself - otherwise you won't be committed and you probably won't be transparent and passionate about what you're writing - well you'se the GURU so SURVEY SAYS>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>:-))))

Posted by Liz Moras Migic, Chilliwack, British Columbia - Realtor over 9 years ago

Yay! I think you should blog or tweet about whatever the heck you want. The people who like it will stick around. The ones who don't will leave. It makes for much easier business transactions when you're working with clients who have gotten to know you, and chosen to work with you, because they like you for who you are.

Posted by Lisa Hill, Daytona Beach Real Estate (Florida Property Experts) over 9 years ago

Personal experiences make the best stories.  They tend to be oh, so sincere.

 

Posted by Linda Lipscomb, 731-695-1118, Lexington TN Homes (Linda Lipscomb RE/MAX Lexington Henderson County TN) over 9 years ago

Jason: I must also agree with you.. You are proof of what works..

Posted by Roland Woodworth, Q Realty - Power In Real Estate (Q Realty) over 9 years ago

Jason,  I think that social conversation shoud be social and personal.  Personal stories are the most interesting.  Personal is less likely to be boring.  Nothing worse in a social setting than to be boring!  Besides if it is about your own personal experience, it is  harder for someone to argue that it's not true.

Posted by Beverly Carlson, Abilene's Staging Realtor (Carlson Properties 325-721-2429) over 9 years ago

There definitely is no right or wrong, that's for sure. Except for when a fellow agent in my company posted her "Which Porn Star Am I?" quiz results on facebook. I reminded her that vacant homes and open houses might start to get a little dicey for her if some psycho finds her on FB.

Posted by Dee Nofziger, Maumee Real Estate, Toledo Homes, Key Realty (|Key Realty | Maumee Toledo Real Estate Blog) over 9 years ago

Jason, I wholeheartedly agree with you on this one.  In fact, you may remember my "Bucket List" post from over a year ago... I've had more instant connections and rapport with potential clients because of that very personal post than just about anything else. 

Many people have come into my office and said, "So, you've been to Thailand, me too!" or "Tell me about the marathon you ran,"  or "I practice martial arts too."

While market reports and sales data are important components of blogging, and buyer and seller tips show your expertise and knowledge, they don't help you connect the way the more personal stuff does.

 

Posted by Brian Block, Northern Virginia & D.C. Real Estate (RE/MAX Allegiance, Managing Broker/Branch Vice President) over 9 years ago

Jason...

Too many times folks want to limit their creative output to certain formulae. I wonder how many really good posts are lost that way?

Posted by Richard Weisser, Richard Weisser Retired Real Estate Professional (Richard Weisser Realty) over 9 years ago

Jason - Love this post.  Thanks for the words of wisdom.  My dilemma is this....I've got all this IN- YOUR-FACE craziness all over the internet now (not to mention all the shit, damn, hells).  What am I going to do if I decide to clean up my act and write serious real estate stuff. No one will ever take me seriously!! Is that what this MEMBERS ONLY thing is all about?  Why didn't someone tell me????? Will you and Greg help me with the make-over when I decide to behave?  Or should I just continue to have fun?   'Befuddled in Brevard'

Posted by Laraine Shape, Selling Cincinnati...one kitchen at a time (Comey & Shepherd Realtors) over 9 years ago

Excellent Post and I agree that it's okay to let folks know personal items about yourself. Frankly that's why I was drawn to you and at least a 100 other people here!

PS, I have really caught the Twitter bug lately too...

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (Realty Austin, Austin Texas Real Estate) over 9 years ago

Well said, Jason.

I think folks on AR would be wise to listen and quit telling folks how to write, how to comment.

I don't care. Unless it is a personal attack it will stay.

Even if someone says, nice post and moves on I don't care.

People need to quit telling eveyone what is right or wrong in Social Media and blogging.

It is right if it is right for you.

Posted by Missy Caulk, Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate (Missy Caulk TEAM) over 9 years ago

Social Networking is relationship building. It is out of those relationships where referrals and clients are made.

Posted by Darrell Walters (W. Darrell Walters) over 9 years ago

Be Yourself could be a two word post that has all the meaning needed. Your post is very much on point.

Posted by Joe Pryor, REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties (The Virtual Real Estate Team) over 9 years ago

Jason, I would have to agree with you.  I am also not a tech head, but, social media should be about who you are.  Why change your online personality when you don't change your real personality.

Posted by William Feela, Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No. (WHISPERING PINES REALTY) over 9 years ago

AWESOME ADVICE!  Someone (good friend) just sent me "advice" the other day.  I have been doing this awhile and I think I am comfortable with and understand what I am doing.  I know how many leads are coming in from my activities so I think it works :)

Posted by Renée Donohue~Home Photography, Western Michigan Real Estate Photographer (Savvy Home Pix) over 9 years ago

I've been told that there is certain ego to posting about you personally.  I say, it lets my personality get out there.  Those who I connect with, I connect wtih.  Those whom I don't....I don't want to.  I want transparency b/c I want like-minded clients.

Posted by Larry Bettag, Vice-President of National Production (Cherry Creek Mortgage Illinois Residential Mortgage License LMB #0005759 Cherry Creek Mortgage NMLS #: 3001) over 9 years ago

Particularly in a business where we learn an enormous amount about our clients and interact within their homes, our personal side is a huge factor. Does a post about my nephews' sleepover bring me a deal? No. Does it give a potential client a glimpse that I might be nice (and trustworthy) with their offspring? Hopefully!

Thanks for reminding us of the social import!

Posted by Irene Kennedy Realtor® in Northwestern NJ (Weichert) over 9 years ago

Good point Jason. I've started to tweet more about my everyday life.  Honestly, I was watching Hammertime (thats right... Hammertime) and they show when he tweets. I thought to myself, I dont tweet every thing in my life, when I arrive somewhere, what happened while I was there, etc. I still don't, but I thought I should tweet more about my daily activities. Even something as simple as saying 'Good Morning'. I actually receive quite a few responses so I know there are people out there reading. Maybe they don't care that Im stopping by Starbucks, but thats okay too.  Actually, one morning I tweeted that and I received a response saying I had just missed someone there. The person I talked with once or twice, but they also live in the Frisco Texas area.  As for my posts, I think I have moved more towards personal posts than I was before. I think that blogging is not just for business (although a good percentage is) but its also an online diary. Its a great way for my mom or sisters to see how my kids are doing or what I have been up to.

Good advice JC. Dont play by any rules. Be yourself.

Posted by John Cannata, Texas Home Mortgage - Purchase or Refinance (214-728-0449 http://TexasLoanGuy.com) over 9 years ago

Jason, I love following you on twitter because, I am getting to know Jason the person and your personality.  I agree with your post today since I am seeing that the social sites truly build relationships.

Posted by Sun City Grand Homes Surprise AZ Real Estate Leolinda Bowers Designated Broker Leolinda Realty, Sun City Grand in Surprise Arizona (Leolinda Realty) over 9 years ago

I absolutely agree Jason...just be yourself!! 

Best, Dan

Posted by Dan Magstadt (Paramount Residential Mortgage Group, Inc) over 9 years ago

I love reading the personal stuff and getting to know people.  Some of my friends are struggling with the concept of blogging and twittering because they think everything you put out there must be about real estate wisdom.  They just don't get it.

Posted by Ann Allen Hoover, CDPE SRES ASP e-PRO Realtor - Homes for Sale - AL (RE/MAX Advantage South) over 9 years ago

I don't have a formula.  I now about the middle of the month I will be doing market reports.  Other than that I just keep a list of topics.  I have more stuff to blog about than I have time.  One thing I always use as a back up is Posting on local parks.  This focuses on my kids, family, and what to do.  It also has a real estate focus.

Posted by Gene Riemenschneider, Turning Houses into Homes (Home Point Real Estate) over 9 years ago

Jason this is terrific advice.  People like you for who you are not who you pretend to be. 

Posted by David Krushinsky, AZ MB-0949619 MLO NMLS #202115 (Dk Home Loans, LLC) over 9 years ago

Here, here.  I totally agree.  I once received a nasty little email from one of the AR control-freaks.  She told me that I shouldn't blog about "off-topic" things and that Real Estate is what AR is all about...

Except for the fact that one of my choices, when posting to AR, is to post in the "off-topic" group.  (Which is where I almost always post, being as I am not a Realtor.)  Of course, when I pointed that out, I didn't get a response.

The control freak is no longer a monitor, thank God.  So glad that AR cleaned house last year.

Posted by SEO Expert: Michael George, Real Estate and Law Firm SEO over 9 years ago

If you relate to others and engage them, it can lead to some great friendships, some of which may turn into business for you (just like offline, right?).

Hi Jason,

Absolutely! 

By the way, I want to publicly thank you for encouraging me to participate on ActiveRain.  I didn't understand social media when I found this place.  I was only trying to figure out the powerful Google juice here.  I found a whole lot more!

Posted by Bruce Brockmeier, Coached By Crouch (Internet Marketing Consultant to REALTORS®) over 9 years ago

When I started blogging the advise I received was, "be yourself. Write about what interests you. And if you can't write or don't want to, then don't." Blogging isn't for everyone. And that, I find, is THE most important point...it isn't for everyone. If you can't be authentic, or you can't get a decent sentence out, you don't have to do it.

Posted by Marianne Snygg, ABR, ASP, GRI, SFR (ERA Herman Group Real Estate) over 9 years ago

Using common sense and be yourself, hopefully you are talking with Friends or looking for people that you have things in common with and the best way to find them, I would think, is to share what you know. Thumbs up to your blog thank you for the encouragement.

Posted by Mike Warfel, Associate Broker (Bauer-Reno & Assoc.) over 9 years ago

Hey Jason, I agree with you...social networking is all about being social and showing others your true personality. People want to get to know you so they feel comfortable working with you, so incorporating personal details and interests you have into your blog and other social sites is a great way to do that. I personally think it would be boring to read someone's blog or social site that is all about business.

Have a great day,

Anne Rains

Posted by The Rains Team, A higher standard in real estate (Keller Williams Realty Atlanta Partners) over 9 years ago

great post....there are some people on facebook that i have in extended networks that i wonder why they tweet what they do...it gets almost annoying sometimes though.  maybe i don't understand all the tweet lingo, but half of it doesn't make sense! and I facebook when i can, and its a mix of personal, business, political...if someone doesn't want to use me based on something I facebooked, so be it!  I stand up forwhat I believe in and won't bend to someone.

Posted by Kerry Jenkins (Prime Properties) over 9 years ago

Thanks for telling me what to blog about.

Posted by Bridget Cella, e-Pro, Realtor (Re/Max Connection) over 9 years ago

I agree with your statement all the way.  Real Estate is a very "personal" business.  I get to know A LOT about my clients and so why shouldn't they get to know about me as well.

Posted by Tammy Lankford,, Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville (Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668) over 9 years ago

Agreed. There is no Twitter Snake Oil. People are already lining up to become Twitter consultants. Makes me queasy.

Posted by DriveBuy Technologies (DriveBuy Technologies) over 9 years ago

If I wrote about everything I felt comfortable about... I'd probably get into trouble.  ;^ )

Posted by Lane Bailey, Realtor & Car Guy (Century 21 Results Realty) over 9 years ago

AMEN!

Posted by Mirela Monte, Myrtle Beach Real Estate (Buyers' Choice Realty) over 9 years ago

Wow...that's an awesome statement and so true. May seem like common sense, but so many don't get it.

Thank you for your awesome posts!

Posted by Elayna Fernandez, BE Positive and You'll BE Powerful! (The Positive Mom) over 9 years ago

Terrific ! and great tag line. Very helpful for those getting started and looking for what they 'should' be blogging about !

Nicely done JC !

Cheers

Sheldon

Posted by Sheldon Neal, That British Agent Bergen County NJ (Bergen County, NJ - RE/MAX Real Estate Limited) over 9 years ago

Great point and thanks for the advice. 

Posted by Lyn Sims, Schaumburg IL Real Estate (RE/MAX Suburban) over 9 years ago

Jason,

You're preaching to the choir here, buddy.  I talk about my uterus on my Facebook account.....not sure I could get any more personal than that.....

 

Coleen :)

Posted by Coleen DeGroff, Haile Plantation Real Estate - Gainesville FL (eXp Realty) over 9 years ago

Hi Jason  Great post ..thanks for the advice.  If blogging is your voice and your voice belongs to you...why wouldn't you be yourself? .  How in the world could you be someone else.  It would be like reading a novel in a language you did not understand.  The blogs become a live personality ......yours  ( as it should be ) then it becomes endearing to those who learn about you and feel the connection.

Posted by June Lewis, Realtor Northwood Realty - New Castle,Pa Lawrence Co 7247304571 (Northwood Realty Services) over 9 years ago

Hi Jason, I appreciate your point of view.   I think people like to read about and get to know us in several different ways --both  personally and professionally.  I like your answer!

Posted by Mary Douglas, REALTOR, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado (United Country Ponderosa Realty, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado) over 9 years ago

As you know Jason pretty much everything but politics and even then lately I haven't been able to keep my mouth shut. But, the funny part is as I get more vocal about certain things the more people call me and tell me they agree with me and want to hire me. I agree write about what ever is on your mind. If you are willing to talk about it in a car with a client, blog or twitter about it!

Todd Clark - www.LivingBeaverton.com

Posted by Respect Realty LLC, Brokers - Oregon / SW Washington Real Estate (Respect Realty LLC) over 9 years ago

Social media (in my addled mind) is about putting soul into the world of cyber...with marketing results.  It is the opportunity to get to know someone, just like a conversation, only over greater distances - with more convenience.

Those who use "ghost writers" & "follow-programs" may get some success, but miss the point.  There's a humanity factor that goes a long way.

Posted by Kent Simpson, Real Estate Is About People (Realty One Group Mountain Desert) over 9 years ago

When commenting, 88% should be positive, 12% should be in disagreement, except on Wednesdays and every other odd numbered Fridays!

Posted by Steve Rosenbaum (Social Media Do's and Don'ts ) over 9 years ago

Jason,

Great post. Everybody is human and experiences the same things; that's my starting point for doing posts. Works for me.

Posted by Terry Chenier (Homelife Glenayre Realty) over 9 years ago

I tweet, blog and post on pinterest as well and I post just about everything. I enjoy it and it has brought me numerous clients. Great re-blog

Posted by Lauren Selinsky Broker CRS, "Your California Real Estate Broker" TM #oclauren (California Coastal Estates) over 2 years ago

Participate