Nov 22, 2008

Embrace the Confusion!

In between our day to day activities as Real Estate professionals, more and more of us are making time for this online social networking "stuff". Remember in the beginning, your multifaceted platform of choice was Craigslist. Come to think of it, did you really have too many other choices?

Now, the social networking tools / platforms / communities are a dime a dozen - Twitter (of course, right now no social networking article would be complete without shamelessly Tweeting a plug for Twitter), LinkedIn, Facebook, Active Rain, Inman, Plurk, MyBlogLog, FriendFeed, Tumblr, Jumpcut, Brightkite, etc., etc., etc.

To this point, some of you are saying, "yeah, I know these sites, get on with your point" while others are saying, "Tumblr, Jumpcut, Brightkite, what now, where did these guys come from?"

Agreed, this social networking thing seems to be all over the board for most Real Estate professionals. Where do I start? What do I use? Does this fit into my 80%, 20% time spent rule? I don't get it! How many of these things do I need to belong to? This is just silly.

Do any of these remarks sound familiar?

For those of you who've already resolved themselves to using these social networking platforms, new questions arise. How do I stand out in such a large crowd? What's the best use of my time? What's the right tool? Wait a minute, is this a popularity contest or am I looking for business leads?

Make no mistake about it, we're all learning as we go. Even the big boys and girls. However, there's a major difference. The big boys and girls are learning about things nobody yet knows about while the rest are learning about things the big boys and girls have already learned and are now teaching. They take the time to understand the silliness, using and evaluating tools and ideas for countless hours to learn what truly is silly and what potentially has staying power. Are these individuals smarter than you? In some instances, sure. Regardless, it doesn't really matter. The important point and their major advantage (key to success) is that they do this social networking thing for a living, which means they spend a lot of time doing!

As a Real Estate professional, do you earn a living by working an hour or two out of each day while taking countless days off in between? How many hours are you really putting into learning this new social networking environment?

We're not foolishly suggesting that success can be found by simply banging your head into a wall hour after hour with your efforts and pains producing results just because. However, you can't expect to be an expert without putting in the time, practice, and following through with relentless perseverance.

Hard work and dedication has it's rewards. We've all been there, we've all felt successes to one extent or another. This social networking thing is no different with one exception. We're on the ground floor, and this is no ordinary opportunity.

Embrace the confusion. In fact, be thankful for this confusion as you have the ability to be one of many, yet relatively speaking, amongst only a few, that will be able to reap the rewards and enjoy the benefits that this social networking medium will bring.

If you want more out of this, stop treating it like a hobby and start working at it like a job. Give this the respect it deserves, the devotion it calls for, and the effort that it's going to take to figure it out. After all, who said transforming your business was going to be easy? It'll take a lot of work, but it's got to be done.

Make your mark while the gettin's good. And, right now, the gettin's really good!

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