Category Archives for "Social Media"

How One Simple Shift Can Instantly Triple Your Real Estate Lead Conversion Rates!

It’s ironic, frustrating and sad at the very same time…

…agents wasting thousands upon thousands of dollars

…endlessly chasing poor quality leads (people who are actually avoiding you)

…all to convert a measly 1-2% of those leads!

The worst part is 1-2% conversion is actually pretty good, considering all the garbage that agents are calling “leads” these days.

How would you like to convert 5-10% of your leads, in some cases even more?

Well it all starts with the right mindset and focus.

Do you agree with this statement?

Real estate is all about building relationships…client relationships…networking relationships…COI relationships…that all lead to a growing real estate practice and more closed business year after year.

Seems pretty straightforward and on the money, right?

Then why do so many agents miss the single most important part of the lead generation/lead conversion process and screw up the development of real relationships with social media and various other technologies?

It’s because agents lean so heavily on technology to do their “relationship building” for them. It’s as though agents think they can “automate” the development of quality relationships.

Is that even possible?

Maybe if we were robots…

(Here’s a thoughtful article on this subject that will definitely make you think. It’s by David Byrne titled, “Eliminating the Human”)

…but humans are a little bit different than robots, aren’t they?

Can you really develop a quality relationship with an email drip campaign?

Can you build a relationship with auto-posted tweets to your Twitter account?

Can you “outsource” your social media and expect to be seen as “authentic?”

Don’t get me wrong. I love all these things.

I love quality marketing that drives people to call or text for info, or opt-in to your email drip campaign. I love it when our clients generate 100-150 leads a month with our MVR technology. I think technology is amazing!

Then there’s “social media.” I love the social media movement. I think it’s the next great frontier of potential “relationship building.”

The issue I have is agents are chasing all these things, while leaving out the most crucial elements…the basic fundamentals of success in real estate.

What’s that foundation?

Again, it’s all about relationships. And relationships are with those people (human beings) who KNOW, LIKE AND TRUST YOU!

All the tools, all this technology, all these amazing social media outlets…they all do one thing and one thing only. They speed your ability to communicate.

Quality marketing makes your phone ring…giving you the ability to what?


Forms that get people to opt-in to your email drip campaigns do what?

They give you the ability to communicate.

Your Facebook page with 5,000 “friends” does what?

(5,000 friends…whatever! No one has 5,000 friends. BUT…where else would you go to exchange messages with people you didn’t like in high school?)

So what do Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn
and all the various other platforms do?

They all speed your ability to communicate.

MVR lead generation that brings in 100-150 warm inbound lead calls every month…what does it do?

I think you get the idea. It speeds your ability to connect and communicate.

The point I’m making is that the key is not the technology. Yes. They’re great. In fact they’re amazing and powerful tools. But that’s all they are…tools.

YOU…are the message.

I like the way Scott Stratten (social media guru and viral marketing genius) puts it, he says, “You are your company’s CRO (Chief Relationship Officer). You are the one who has to take all this ‘technology’ and all these amazing platforms and take it to the next level.”

If you’ve got 5,000 friends on Facebook…how many times have you connected with someone of influence and invited them out for coffee?

If you’re a Twitter fanatic…how many times have you reached out to someone you knew could influence greater reach for you in your community?

If you’re on LinkedIn with 500+ “connections”…how many of those relationships are you nurturing, building and developing?

Worse yet, if you’re using MVR and generating 100-150 warm real estate leads a month, how many of those people (human beings) have you engaged, initiated a warm easy-going dialog, and began building a relationship?

Real estate is all about relationships
…and it all starts with YOU!

With the various social media platforms…be authentic, be real and take it to the next level. Relationships are not digital. They’re one or more real live human beings having a conversation or meeting for coffee. Take it there.

With your lead generation, polish and perfect your scripts. Internalize them and make them a part of you…so they’re natural. When you engage an inbound MVR lead call you’ve got to know what to say and how to say it.

Then, you need to bring more value to the table for that person. Be a value creator. Be a servant. No. Be a Super-Servant with a genuine servant’s heart.

Bottom line?

Again, it’s all about building relationships. And relationships start with real live conversations. Start having them. Perfect your skills and read books on communication. These are core fundamentals.

Lastly, I’d like to recommend a book that was first published back in 1937. It’s a book that is even more applicable today. It’s a book that can and will change your life. It’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” by Dale Carnegie.

Get it. Read it. No…read it 2-3 times and then apply it to all that you’re doing as an agent…marketing, prospecting, lead generating, your social media platforms. Then, once you’ve seen its impact, shoot me an email telling me how much it’s meant to you.

It’s time to get back to the basics. And you can’t get more basic than people do business with those they KNOW, LIKE AND TRUST. That’s a relationship!

My word (or words) for the day!

Do Your Facebook Leads Suck? Here’s How to Change That

It’s not uncommon for real estate agents to join Facebook, create a fan page and then complain it doesn’t kick up any leads. You’re active in the community, get a lot of likes and shares and people generally love you–so what gives?

Well, here are a few easy strategies to consider.

1. Use Promoted Posts

One of the major drawbacks with Facebook is that only about 12% of your fans will see any one single post. And of course timing matters, too. Now, if you have a small budget then you can leverage Facebook’s Promoted Post tool to help bring in more attention and interaction with your posts.

The thing is you don’t need to do this with every post. Only on the ones that are the most important. So create a compelling post with a strong call to action, then target that post to the right people (Facebook has targeting options).

It’s best to start small and run a small test to measure your assumptions. You don’t want to blow your whole budget on a failed concept. Learn from the small test and slowly roll out to the larger target group. This will help you maximize your budget. Once you’ve got a winner, roll it out.

2. Increase Engagement and Fan Profile

An interesting by-product of using the Promoted Post feature is that you will begin to learn more about your fans and target audience. Yes, this will consume some of your time, but ask yourself what the price is of knowing who your audience is. Is it worth your time? Can you hire an intern or young, eager relative to help you out? Trust me, the time invested will be worth it.

Your engagement will start to rise with your Promoted Post campaigns since the content will be getting more shares and likes, which leads to more exposure in your fans feeds (which doesn’t cost you anything).

3. Decrease Attrition

The Promoted Post campaign will also reduce the number of negative actions taken against you like unliking your page. That usually occurs because you are sharing irrelevant information to that user. For example, say you have people who want to buy condos and people who want to buy commercial real estate. If you target your audience those two audiences won’t see your promotions for each other. This makes sense especially since you might post several times a day.

Leave a comment if this post was helpful or if you have anything you’d like to add. And if you like what you read, subscribe to the Real Estate Marketing Blog.

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How to Attract and Keep Clients with Facebook Groups

6 Easy Ideas to Spark Engagement with Social Media

What Kind of Time Are You Putting into Social Media?

6 Easy Ideas to Spark Engagement with Social Media

Are you on Twitter? Facebook? Google+?

Do you struggle with what to share on those platforms? If it doesn’t come natural to you it can be very hard to use social media to promote your business.

I know. I’m kind of in that boat. That’s why I thought I would share with you six ideas that I’ve found worked exceptionally well when it comes to getting your social media fans to engage with you.

1. Comment on News

Whether it is a long-form rant on your blog or a simple blast on Twitter, take to the social media air waves when something in your industry happens. Follow all of the normal sources, but always look for those little-forgotten voices for unsuspecting and interesting commentary.

2. Tell Them What You Do

You’ll notice that I didn’t add the word “New” to this sub-section. Why? Simple. Most people don’t know the full scope of what you offer, so it pays to educate them. Every so often explain an area of your work. It could be that you help in relocation or land acquisition. Maybe you have a background in commercial or experience with military families. Let your followers know.

3. Invite Clients to Events

Social media is a great place to make special announcements about events or promotions. I like to tell agents to follow an approach where they sprinkle in invitations months a head, and then as the event or promotion nears, they can pick up the pace of the invitations, thus building anticipation.

4. Share a New Video

Video is the new–and most popular–kid on the block, so you’ll want to take advantage of this technology. What makes it so popular is that all you need is an iPhone to make a video. You can spend a few hundred dollars for a semi-professional set-up. Your choice. What should you record? Treat the videos like market updates or customer testimonials. Really, you are only limited by your imagination.

5. Give Thanks

It’s always a good idea to tell current and former clients how much you appreciate their business. Use social media to ask them for referrals, too. If you grease the wheels with flattery and thanks, then getting that recommendation comes a lot easier.

6. Offer Free Information

Finally, give stuff away. It could be a book or a $40 Lowe’s card. It doesn’t have to be that expensive. You could offer to do home evaluations or give away a a PDF you put together about home staging tips. Free stuff draws people in. You don’t have to, but it’s always a good idea to ask for an email in exchange for the free gift.

Leave a comment if this post was helpful or if you have anything you’d like to add. And if you like what you read, subscribe to the Real Estate Marketing Blog.

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How to Attract and Keep Clients with Facebook Groups

One of the most basic strategies for improving email newsletter conversion is segmentation: breaking your list down into relevant groups, and then creating targeted content for that audience.

That narrow focus can give you double-digit percentage bumps in your conversion rate. So, if it works so well for email, will work with your Facebook audience?

Great question, right? Well, the answer is yes. It will work.

How to Create a Facebook Group

Fortunately, it’s pretty simple to set up a Facebook Group. Here are the steps:

  • Login into your Facebook Page.
  • Land on the Home page.
  • Navigate to the left column.
  • Click on “Create a Group.”

Voila! You are done. Now you just need to do that two more times. Let me show you what I mean.

Open Groups: Finding New Clients

An open Facebook Group is just that: open to anyone to join. But there is a secret to creating a lively and engaged Group. If you are appealing to a large audience, then it’s going to be messy and unweildly.

Or it may be unresponsive.

Instead, you need to tighten up your focus. Center the Group around a niche. This doesn’t have to business related. For instance, it could be “Seattle Classical Music Lovers” or “Austin Marathon Runners.”

A business related Open Group could be “Austin Minimalist Lifestyles” or “Seattle Bungalow Addicts.”

Member-Only Groups: Networking with Past Clients

The member-only group is how you can create a close-knit community of people. Give them personalized, private messages and content and in return they’ll give you focused feedback, input and even referrals.

The members of this club have exclusive access to you and your team. Other members can help other members, too.

Closed Groups: Supporting Current Clients

This group is really just another members-only…except this time the members are your current clients. When you segment this way you end up cutting down on clumsy email clutter, and get to centralize all your information.

Unlike the members-only group, people can see who is in this group. They just can’t see what is being shared. Questions and comments and thoughts shared do not go public, making your clients feel comfortable to share–and not have what they share end up on someone else’s stream.

You can share documents in this group, announce new listings, events and closings. This gives a lot of people an opportunity to celebrate successes, and help others through certain failures.

New home owners, for example, can ask experienced home owners advice about how to navigate through particular obstacles.


Segmenting your Facebook Groups will lead to more productivity and profitability. It really is worth biting the bullet and setting up segment-centric groups inside Facebook.

Leave a comment if this post was helpful or if you have anything you’d like to add. And if you like what you read, subscribe to the Real Estate Marketing Blog.

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Agents, Want Your Tweets to Go Viral? New Study Shows You How

Real Estate Lead Generation in the Age of Social Media

What Kind of Time Are You Putting into Social Media? 

Agents: Want Your Tweets to Go Viral? New Study Says It’s All in Your Timing

To say real estate agents are busy is a gross understatement.

You more than likely are juggling more plates than any sane human being should be allowed to do.

Throw on top of that the pressure to use social media, and you more than likely threw up your hands.

Perhaps you simply plunged into social media and started throwing a shed-load of stuff on the wall hoping something sticks.

How’s that working for you?

Probably not very well.

In fact, recent data from bitly, the tool commonly used to shorten URLs, has collected metrics on the links that are shared across networks…and their conclusion is that the timing of your Facebook posts or tweets will impact the ROI from each little meta action.

In other words, post on Facebook on the right day at the right time and you’ll get more mileage out of your efforts. Same thing with tweets and Tumblr posts.

Let’s take a look at bitly’s data.

Timing Facebook Posts to Go Viral

To raise the click-through rates on the links you share in your Facebook posts (preferably your links back to your own content), then bitly’s data says that you need to post between 1 and 4 P.M Eastern Standard Time.

What’s the best day of the week to post? Wednesday at 3 P.M. EST.

Bitly data also suggested that traffic tails off after 4 P.M. EST and don’t expect to get much traction from posts shared on the weekends.

Moral of the story: Share posts on weekdays between 1 and 4 P.M. EST, Wednesday being your best day.

Timing Twitter Posts to Go Viral

What about Twitter? Going on bitly’s data it looks like your best bet to get a link to go viral is to send a tweet between 1 and 3 P.M. But this works for Monday through Thursday, with the days coming earlier in the week being better producers of traction.

Friday is in a class all it’s own. Sharing a link any time before 3 P.M. could go viral. After that things to slow down dramatically as people get ready for the weekend. And anything after 8 P.M. is a wash.

Just like Facebook, weekends are not good days to share tweets.

Timing Tumblr Posts to Go Viral

While Tumblr adoption by real estate agents has been slow, it’s starting to gain traction as a decked out version Twitter with an amplified share effect known as “retumble.”

So what are the best times to post on Tumblr?  Well, Twitter and Facebook shared a lot of things in common, there usage patterns looking very similar. Tumblr is much different.

Bity says that links spike from 7 to 10 P.M. on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. Friday evenings are equally hot time to post with links getting clicked way more often over a 24 hour period when share after 7 P.M.


While social media and this new study may give you a headache, and you’ve decided to wash your hands of social media…or not even participate to begin with…I think this data is good news for those real estate agents who’ve jumped in.

For one you now can focus your efforts instead of just randomly posting at will. Now you have a timing target to aim at.

In addition, you can now maximize your potential audience by targeting different time frames. What doesn’t work on the weekdays can now work on Friday evenings and part of Saturday, thanks to Tumlbr.

So what do you think: Is this good information? Do you use social media? Do you have corraborating or conflicting evidence with bitly’s data?

I look forward to hearing from you.

Leave a comment if this post was helpful or if you have anything you’d like to add. And if you like what you read, subscribe to the Real Estate Marketing Blog.

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Real Estate Lead Generation in the Age of Social Media

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Real Estate Lead Generation in the Age of Social Media

Lead generation is critical when it comes to a real estate agent’s marketing efforts. If leads aren’t coming in then you will eventually go out of business.

In the past a real estate agent could depend upon tools like direct marketing mailers and response hotlines. Now social media and all it’s promises of great lead generation have come along and seduced a lot of agents without delivering any verifiable goods.

Don’t get me wrong…I like social media and think that it can be a great networking tool. But there are some key things you need to think about.

First off you need to stop saying things like “I need a Twitter account” or “Oh man, Pinterest is blowing up…I need to jump on their and get started using it for homes and stuff.”

That’s jumping the gun and putting the horse before the cart.

Instead you need to think more strategically.

Understand your prospects

Good lead generation always starts with knowing your target prospect inside and out. This means good research about this audience. Go door to door, call them on the phone, talk to them at the local groceries or park. Get to know them. A good social media lead-generation strategy is always established on good customer research.

Understand the local economy

How has the recession impacted your market? Is unemployment high? Foreclosures high? When it comes to social media you need to be sure you are talking to your audience with a sensitivity that respects the local economy. If you sound like you are out of touch then you’ll ruin your reputation.

Capture and maintain leads

Once you’ve understood your market and the economy, your social media lead generation strategy needs to look at how you intend to capture and maintain data on your leads. CRM programs like Batchbook can help you manage social media leads.

Give good customer service

You need to think about how you treat customers is going to impact your social media efforts. Reviews on your services could show up in places like Yelp. People are always looking online for opinions. What they read will definitely impact what they think of you. You have to make sure you are giving great customer service. Bad feedback can easily hurt your efforts.

Evaluate tools

The worse possible thing you could do is jump onto every new, shiny social media platform that comes online. Instead you need to think about what you are trying to accomplish, who your ideal customer is and where he or she will likely spend time online. Facebook has proven to be very effective lead gen social media for real estate agents, with Twitter a distant second. Blogging has also proven to be effective in generating leads. Pinterest has potential in that you could build boards of house or interior designs ideas people could follow. YouTube might be helpful, too.

Your Turn

The goal with your social media lead generation campaign is not to waste your time. And that’s exactly what can happen if you don’t approach social media thoughtfully.

So tell me: have you had any success using social media to generate leads?

Leave a comment if this post was helpful or if you have anything you’d like to add. And if you like what you read, subscribe to the Real Estate Marketing Blog.

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5 Twitter Tools to Make Real Estate Agents More Effective

It’s hard to ignore the influence that Twitter has these days. With over 328 million active users, you are a real estate agent need to decide if it is going to be part of your overall marketing strategy.

Don’t get me wrong: I believe you can ignore it and still make a great living as a real estate agent. But I think it’s also useful for driving business leads and building relationships. If you use it correctly.

With the following tools I’ve found my own use of Twitter to be more effective and profitable. Here are they are. Enjoy!

5 Twitter Tools to Make Real Estate Agents More Effective

  • Buffer – This is a great tool to use if you are the kind of person who tweets in little spasms…like twenty minutes in the morning…maybe twenty minutes after lunch…and another twenty minutes before bed. Well, Buffer will take those tweets and spread them out over your Twitter stream during peak times so they get more exposure.
  • Tweriod – Another great tool to help each tweet you post be more effective is called Tweriod. The idea behind this app is to find out when it is you and your friends are online. You’ll see the time of day most of your followers are online, meaning you have a better idea of when you should be tweeting to get the most exposure for your tweets.
  • BackTweets – If you are interested in the impact of every tweet…and the total reach of each tweet…then you need to use BackTweets. It’s an analytic tool that will show you the full extent of a tweet’s reach. This is great stuff for anyone who is trying to maximize the power of what they share online. You can see what worked and didn’t work, adjust, analyse, adjust and tweet. Repeat that process until you have a winning formula.
  • Twilerts – Do you like to know when someone tweets your name? Then use Twilerts to send you an email any time someone tweets about you. It could be your full name or Twitter handle. This is like Google Alerts for Twitter. Why is this important? It helps to manage your reputation…seeing what people are saying about you so you can stay on top.
  • Tweepi – A lot of users of Twitter get in the bad habit of following everybody who follows them. Or they go on a follow campaign and end up with a big, messy list of friends and followers. Tweepi will help you clean up that mess by getting rid of the people who don’t follow you, taking off the Twitter accounts that are inactive and even suggesting people you should follow.

What third party Twitter tools do you use? Share in the comments below.

And if you like what you read, subscribe to the Real Estate Marketing Blog.

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7 Correct Ways Real Estate Agents Use Social Media

Do you know what a good real estate blog looks like? Could you spot an influential social media marketer? And what makes a real estate agent like Trey Pennington a successful online networker?

If you answered “no,” “no” and “I don’t know” to the previous question, then this blog post for you.

While social media is not a barn-burning profit maker…it is a great tool to emphasize who you are [personal brand] and what you are trying to do [business strategy].

The bad news is if you don’t know how to use social media properly you could foul up your personal brand and hose your business strategy down the drain.

But the good news is you can learn how to use social media correctly. Just mirror these seven traits of successful blogs.

1. Personality

The person behind a great blog or Twitter stream is exciting, risky, interesting and perhaps even flamboyant. In other words, he or she stands out. And the cool thing about social media, even introverts can stand out.

2. Engagement

You need to interact with the people who read your blog or follow your Twitter stream. This means responding to comments. Replying to tweets. Sharing links.

3. Unfiltered

While not a must, the more fluid communication flows [comment moderation on your blog isn’t on] the more real and personal and authentic the social media tool seems.

4. Intellegence

Another trait behind successful social media mavens is smarts. Book smarts. Street smarts. Business smarts. Marketing. Writing. Real estate. It doesn’t matter in what field their wisdom lies…as long as they share. [So if you aren’t wise, start reading. That’s a simple solution.]

5. Data

Original research and analysis is a great draw. Can you share first-hand discoveries you found after a simple, informal survey you took in the shopping mall parking lot? Got a bead on a statistic you churned out after burning housing data through software programs all night? Share it.

6. Links

You add value to your followers when you share links in your blog posts and Twitter and Facebook streams. You also support other people in the social media community, which builds your whuffie [reputation].

7. Builds Community

The endgame for successful real estate social media is community building. Drop the cut-throat, scarcity mindset and get comfortable with working and supporting everyone. [Naturally, the scum of the earth you can avoid.]

Did I miss anything? Please share your thoughts!

And if you like what you read, subscribe to the real estate marketing blog.

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Social Media Habits for Introverts

Like I said last week, extroverts are really, really good at social media. They get it instantly as if social media was made for them.

Just think Greg Swann. Or Burslem.

Then there’s the rest of us. The introverts. The quite ones. Who, well, can become pretty vocal when you put us behind a laptop or iPhone.

What can happen is that someone who is typically a wall-flower becomes the life of the social media cocktail party. Maybe even the aggravating boor who won’t shut up.

No doubt their are pitfalls in social media that all personalities can fall prey to. But I think one of the worse ones is to launch a social media campaign [you know, join Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube] all in one day…

And then abandoned it four weeks later.

When people visit those places you’ve set up, it’s like a ghost town. Where did everybody go? Don’t do that. Especially if you want to gain some traction in your social media efforts.

Instead, follow these eleven habits of highly successful social media introverts.

1. Don’t spend too much time on it.
Commit to just 15 minutes a day…just like you would if you were cold calling. And then do it. Everyday. [Except the weekend. You need a break, you know?] If you find you need more time, the following week bump it up to 20 minutes a week.

2. Invite people to join you.
If you wait for people to follow or friend you, you’re going to be waiting for a very long time. Hunt people down. Follow them. And say hi.

3. Share things you like.
Be true to yourself. Don’t try to impress people. Social media like Twitter and Facebook are about one percent business and ninety-nine percent fun. Have fun. This is not only web 2.0, but Business 2.0.

4. Analyze your results.
You’ve heard the saying: “If you can’t measure it, you can’t grow it.” Well here are ten ways to measure social media.

5. Find the key players in the network.
Don’t find a marketing person, find someone who knows lots of marketing people and then invite that person to join you. And bend over backwards to bring value to that person.

6. Attend events.
Yeah, that’s right. Stand up, close the laptop and go to a local Tweet-Up. Can’t wait to get invited to one? Organize your own Tweet-Up.

7. Seek out structure.
Sometimes you need to plan a theme for your social media day. Or week. Focus on one topic. Maybe it’s a featured home or event or giveaway (people like free stuff). That way you’ll gain some traction.

8. Avoid the crowds.
Instead of spam-following people (joining one thousand people in one day, which will probably get you banned anyway) systematically join people who you think you’d enjoy following and would enjoy following you. Being deliberate is important.

9. Prepare what to say.
Some people may not like this, but feel free to put together a dozen or so things you’d like to say on Facebook or Twitter and then share them in one frantic fifteen minute social media episode. Or heck, schedule tweets.

10. Promote by publishing.
This is the most important piece: Create content on your social media. But NEVER to the exclusion to your blog. Blogging is not dead. In fact, it’s possibly the most important component of social media. Don’t neglect it.

Leave a comment if this post was helpful or if you have anything you’d like to add. And if you like what you read, subscribe to the real estate marketing Blog.

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What Kind of Time Are You Putting into Social Media?

As you probably noticed, that’s an ambiguous question. The reason it’s ambiguous is because you don’t hear my tone when I say it.

What’s my tone? Is it soft or harsh? Am I asking you our of curiosity or concern? Let me make it plain to you: I’m asking out of concern.

I’ve been putting a lot of thought into social media lately–most notably of the microblog and network types–and what kind of time investment real estate agents are putting into it.

I’m talking about the Twitters [I use Twitter, by the way, but for reasons you wouldn’t have guessed] and Facebooks of the world…

And the slow drift away from series contact management and meticulous, heavy-duty customer relationship management.

Ten years ago, Top Producer was the king of social media camp (it was social media before “social media”): You met people in the grocery store, generated leads from ads, hooked up with prospects at open houses and imported their contact information into a tool like contact management.

You then set them up for systematic contact over a six month period.

That hard-nosed mind set bent on repeated touches and measurable results has softened.

Social media like Facebook feeds into our normal disposition for the easy way out. The result is that now we have 1,000 friends on Facebook, but no idea if those people are client-worthy…

The result is we consume more information from our Twitter feeds–but it’s all of the fluff nature.

Dustin at 4RealsStrategies has a good suggestion on how to manage your update consumption (which can seriously suck time away from you), but you certainly can’t track that and tweak to predict better results.

So what kind of time are you putting into social media? Couple months ago Wired magazine had a good suggestion on how much time you should invest in social media. It boils down to 2.0 hours a day–1.25 for social networking and .75 for Twitter.

That to me still sounds like a lot.

Besides, are you making money in it? That’s really the question behind my opening question.

See, the problem with social media in real estate is seen in Twitter’s shaky future. If it doesn’t learn how to monetize soon, it may need to plead with the government for a bailout. [That was a joke. Partly.]

Which brings me to the point of this post: When viewing tools to use like social media, it’s best to filter it through a simple little test from the book Good to Great:

1. What’s your passion?

2. What are you good at?

3. Can you make money at it?

Naturally out-going people are going to love Facebook. [Not Twitter so much, I’ve found.] Around the clock conversation with people? Life couldn’t get any better. Extroverts are passionate for people, so in this respect, Facebook passes the first test.

The next question, though, is this: Are you good at it. You may be out-going and friendly, but not have a technological bone in your body. Not to fear, really, cause Facebook is a very-low barrier to overcome. It passes test two.

Here’s where the rub comes. Can you make money at it? Well, maybe. But not likely to do so as accurately as other means. Don’t get me wrong: I’m all for working the intangibles and I think that a tool like Facebook could groom certain prospects for clienthood.

But that’s not a given.

So, in the end, use social media sparingly and make sure you maintain a rigid focus on measurable prospecting and conversion rates. At the end of the year, you don’t want to have logged in 10,000 hours on Twitter and have nothing to show for it.

That would be no way to celebrate New Year’s.