Should More Real Estate Auctioneers be a ‘Friend’ of Social Media

June 8th, 2011 by Ori Klein
You would have to be from the Dark Ages to not be aware of the onslaught of social media outlets now available to anyone who’s got a simple Internet connection: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, FourSquare, Meetup (I’ll stop there – I’m getting dizzy). For those of us in the real estate biz, there are also industry-specific social media sites such as Trulia and ActiveRain. Obviously, organizations of all types are utilizing this source of media to promote their companies (after all, it’s FREE) – but does it bring in the deluge of business that it’s hyped up to deliver? Results seem to vary, which is why some may be hesitant to begin going down that road.

The real estate auction industry appears to fall into the ‘maybe’ category on social media. While the mega-outfits like Williams & Williams and are totally Facebook- and Twitter-friendly, many of the smaller companies may feel it could be a waste time to be just another ‘face’ in the crowd (pardon the pun).

Inc. Magazine recently stated that the number one reason business owners use social media is to generate traffic, followed closely by improved search rankings. That’s all well and good, but I think the main caveat for those who’d rather talk than tweet is time. While it’s a total perk to post profiles, videos and everything short of body measurements on these outlets to promote your company for FREE, it’s a sizable undertaking to manage it all. “As almost anyone who’s ever updated a status (and then clicked around for another hour) can attest, social media is time-consuming,” Inc. Magazine reports. “More than half (58 percent) of respondents [of the 2011 Social Media Marketing Report surveying 3,300 marketers] are using social media for more than six hours per week, and about one-third (34 percent) invest 11 or more hours weekly. Fifteen percent spend more than 20 hours a week blogging, tweeting, and the like.”

Navigation can also play a part. Let’s face it – keeping up with every technological advancement is a job in and of itself today. And those who fall into an older demographic (45+) may be less inclined to access these outlets to ‘Friend’ new clients. So the question becomes, is it worth your time?

For me, I wanted to utilize every option possible to market my company, so I went for it. While it took some time on my part and results were not immediate, now has 1172 people following us on Facebook ( and 1085 following us on twitter (!/propauction) – NEW clients that we acquired through social media for FREE. Though I did spend some ‘sweat equity’, my rate of return was worth the investment.

You can’t ignore the fact that social media is here to stay and basically becoming a given in a marketing plan. Many businesses are requiring themselves to put in at least a few hours devoted to this area of promotion – some are even hiring part-timers specifically to handle social media marketing. At its core, social media is about building relationships and creating a strong online presence.  The bottom line: Yes, everyone and their brother is on Facebook, Twitter, etc. (please don’t make me list them all again).  And true, you’ll be just one small fish in a humongous pond. But, if a time commitment of only a few hours a week to test the waters can net you some lucrative results, it’s worth fitting it into your schedule to take a dip.

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