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Is Social Media A Waste Of Time? Texas Realtor Magazine: Yes. Sherry Chris, Better Homes And Gardens: No.

Kevin Boer, Broker Owner, 3 Oceans Real Estate, Inc. ()

April 3rd, 2008 · 8 Comments

Michael Parker of Blackwater Consulting Group, writing in the Texas Realtor Magazine, says “Yes”:

I respectfully call social networking and Web 2.0 great hype with great future promise. I just don’t think they help sell houses today in any proportion to the emphasis they are receiving.

[Sidenote:  What's Michael doing writing an article about social media in a Realtor magazine?  Shouldn't he be protecting diplomats in Iraq?  Oh, wait a minute -- that's the other Blackwater.]

Michael raises some very interesting points, definitely worth addressing in a future post.

Sherry Chris, CEO of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate*, however, begs to differ.

Friend and business colleague Pat “Transparent Real Estate” Kitano and I had the privilege of meeting Sherry and Camilla — BHG’s new head of marketing — over breakfast recently.  Sherry’s team has the exciting task of building a brand new nationwide real estate franchise from scratch, but with the incredible advantage of using a name with incredible brand equity.  They’re pulling out all the stops in their pre-launch efforts, including some very interesting online social media initiatives, with participation from the whole executive team.

Taking a page from Rudy and Joe, Sherry always has a video camera with her, and she made the mistake of interviewing Pat and me.  Whether it was the content or the participants that caused this, I’m not sure — but the hotel did give her grief about filming without permission.

* Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate is a client of Domus Consulting, a sister company of 3 Oceans Real Estate.

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8 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Mike Parker // Apr 4, 2008 at 6:37 am


    Texas Realtor left out an important part of the article: I explained that the major reason that blogs for realtors seem to ultimately not accomplish much is that when we all start one, we all contribute to it regularly. Later, however, when the daily blog becomes a daily slog, and the job that full time writing is, 95% of bloggers STOP blogging, thus hurting their SEO–not helping it. I recommednded tended blogging programs.

    My main point was also eliminated (ah, editors!):
    blogs like this one are professional and revenue producing. Most amateurs do not turn out a product that looks like this, or shows its quality content. RSS feeds from Inman just aren’t gonna cut it, if you know what I mean. I recommended leaving blogging for profit to the professionals and recommended that real estat agents do their thing: sell and list more properties.

    With that, BLOG ON!

    Best wishes for your continued success,
    Mike Parker

  • 2 Kevin Boer, Broker Owner, 3 Oceans Real Estate, Inc. () // Apr 4, 2008 at 7:17 am

    Hi Mike,

    Thanks for dropping by. You’re absolutely right — blogging, like many forms of real estate marketing, often suffers from a lack of continuity.

    BTW, which came first, your Blackwater, or the one that’s more in the news?

  • 3 jf.sellsius // Apr 4, 2008 at 10:39 am

    As with most new media, the efficacy is not usually measurable. Until an ROI can be sufficiently shown, and accepted to be worthwhile, any individual success stories will be labeled anecdotal by skeptics. But I believe blogs and social media definitely help build brand awareness, as well as provide indirect benefits (TV, newspaper & other mainstream media coverage) which can be parlayed into business. In addition, I know techniques which are producing the results realtors have been told they will achieve by blogging.
    Bottom line: Realtors need a 360 degree marketing program which uses online and offline resources in a cohesive way.

  • 4 Kevin Boer, Broker Owner, 3 Oceans Real Estate, Inc. () // Apr 4, 2008 at 10:48 am

    Joe, thanks for dropping by. Couldn’t agree more. If you think of blogging in complete isolation from everything else, then unless you’re an absolute blogging machine, you’re likely to be disappointed with the results.

    Integrate blogging into the rest of your online and offline marketing, however — now you’re getting somewhere. But yes, very difficult to quantify.

    You meet somebody at an open house. You tell them about your blog. They contact you 6 months later. You don’t even remember them, but they remember you because they visited your blog 6 times in the last half year. Does that count as an open house lead? Blog lead? 50/50? Difficult to measure.

  • 5 jf.sellsius // Apr 4, 2008 at 11:17 am

    Always nice to drop in on a good friend and wise man :)

  • 6 cindy*staged4more // Apr 4, 2008 at 6:09 pm

    Personally I think blogging is a great business marketing tool.

    Although I am a home stager, (obviously just packages houses, not selling them) blogging has helped my business tremendously. Not only I get to write about what I love, my potential clients have commented on reading my blogs when I visit them in their homes. I went to a consult last week and the seller commented my Britney Spears vs. Staging Blog (http://tinyurl.com/2×2r86), the ice was broken instantly. It helps to get the conversation and rapports going.

    When I go to industry forums (mostly stagers’ round tables, workshops, etc.) I also run into numerous people whom I’ve never met before but recognize me from my blogs (a bit scary actually but kind of fun too) and started talking without that awkward silence period at networking events.

    When I first started blogging, it was time consuming. But after getting into habits of writing and reading, the time investment is significantly less and I learn how to be more systematic and organized about blogging. Plus, SEO is the icing on the cake.

    Blogging, in my opinion, is very effective for community building (case in point, 3 Ocean).


  • 7 cindy*staged4more // Apr 4, 2008 at 6:10 pm

    oops, the Britney blog link doesn’t work:

    Visit it here:

  • 8 Mike Parker // Apr 18, 2008 at 6:49 pm

    Hi, Kevin;

    Mine came first; 1552 to be exact. The Blackwater River flows around my ancestral home in Conna, County Cork, Ireland. The home is now a National Historic place in Ireland, protected by law. It is known as the castle of the Earls of Desmond, but to the locals, as “Lady Parker’s Castle.” Up until 3 months ago, my family still lived on the grounds in the house my grandfather emigrated to America from, with a price on his head, in 1916.

    If you would like to see it, let me know and I’ll send you a picture.

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