Quinte, On. real estate agent: What Facebook has taught me

What Facebook has taught me

malcolm johnston facebook

Last week the social networking site Facebook became the most visited site in America. It's been a huge phenomena for quite some time, but I never expected it to get more hits than the mighty Google. I think this caught a lot of people by surprise (people like me who don't normally follow these types of things). Apparently there are over 400 million active profiles on Facebook, a staggering number.

I will admit to being behind the learning curve, and still not grasping the value of Facebook beyond a social networking site, despite what all the networking gurus are telling me. I am a little too shy to impose my businessy things on people who are ostensibly my friends (and rank strangers who have felt the need to add me). I just use it as a tool to keep in touch with people whose real email addresses I am too lazy to remember.

I remember joining up a couple of years ago when I accepted an invitation, after having turned down a few, figuring it would be some passing fad for kids and I was too old for it. I figured wrong. Just like the carp working their way up into the Great Lakes, Facebook became a force that could not be denied. I have learned several things over these last couple of years, and I will share them.

1) If you have teen aged children (especially daughters), for heaven's sake, DO NOT look at their profiles and DO NOT accept friend requests from their friends. You do not want to see the pictures and read the heart-rendering missives that they author. It is not for the faint of heart. Unless you enjoy feeling like a peeping Tom, it's best to cover your eyes and resist the temptation to click on their profiles.

2) I thought I had a rather mundane life until I saw how many people have the time to cultivate cyber farms and virtually beat each other up through applications like Mafia Wars. It seems as if some people spend half their waking hours earning some sort of virtual currency that is of no use in the real world. Aaaar matey, you be the king of the pirates, now go explain to the landlord why the rent's not on time. Shiver me timbers. I realize that my life is positively filled with activity now.

3) There is a reason why I have not been in contact with certain people for many years. Facebook is a good reminder why I didn't like certain people back in the day, and why I'm still likely not to be particularly fond of them now. Leopards do not change their spots, and twenty odd years on, some of theses people seem to be very much the same. I had forgotten about the incident in Quebec City when I was forced naked into the elvator at the Hilton Hotel and sent down to the lobby by my rambunctious and bigger roommates on a ski trip. I still don't find it funny. Lol.

4) It is not a good idea to be around anyone with a camera after a few drinks at the pub. The photographs that I frantically have to "detag" the next day are proof positive that I might not be as debonair as I generally think I am when I'm drinking. It is especially not good being tagged in a photo entitled "hootershooter".

5) It is unecessary to tell the world what you are feeling at the moment unless you want to invite unsolicited comments. The picture below should explain this.

facebook conversation

Comment balloon 17 commentsMalcolm Johnston • March 19 2010 08:24PM


I resisted FB for awhile but now love it.  I have reconnected with friends from high school from over 30 years ago.  It is wonderful.

Posted by Paula McDonald, Magnolia Realty ~ Granbury, TX 936-203-0279 (Magnolia Realty ~ Granbury) about 9 years ago

I've had fun posting a large quantity of heirloom photos on Facebook and creating Groups of friends and family that have not interacted in ages.

Posted by Cheryl Ritchie, Southern Maryland 301-980-7566 (RE/MAX Leading Edge www.GoldenResults.com) about 9 years ago

Paula, I am with you. I stayed away and now I am in touch with old friends who I DID want to be in touch with. I also found a way to really use Facebook to my advantage (business). I have a few pages that I started.

Posted by Eric J, Dream Home Financing (Eric J - Dream Home Financing) about 9 years ago

Yeah pretty impressive eh? :-( Not!  Although I know of the occasional  tiger that has shed its spots - for the most part I agree - and sure as heck don't understand those mafia wars and farm thingees.  

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


But I hear that I really can't be a successful real estate agent without Facebook!


Posted by Brian Madigan, LL.B., Broker (RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage (Toronto)) about 9 years ago

Facebook seems to have a lot of eyeballs.  I have recently read that the fastest growing segment in in the 50+ realm.  Putting that together with the reality that the average home buyer is in their 30's I am thinking that Facebook is a tool that is useful to us as long as we don't blatantly sell.  Selling on social networks, hard core, selling is never the right approach on social media.  I know there are guru's out their selling whole systems around selling in social media, and sales are being made, but if you look at those sales -ebay, twitter notifications, facebook news, linkedin posts you will find a certain type of clientele is being served.  You first have to ask yourself is, is this your clientele?  Put your efforts where your clients are.  All this is is another tool, not THEE tool

Posted by Larry Lawfer, "I listen for a living." It's all about you. (YourStories Realty Group powered by Castles UnlimitedĀ®) about 9 years ago


I use FB to message back and forth with my sons who live out west...it seems to be the preferred method of communication for those under 25.

It does border on the crazy though...all those cyber farms...I've lost count of how many banana trees I've received as gifts and after awhile I had to abandon my farm altogether as I had no where left to put things! I wonder where people find the time?


Posted by Jo-Anne Smith about 9 years ago


I'm still shying away from FB but encourage it to younger sales representatives. I don't want any more friends, do you know me stuff and other whatever.

I rather be a lonely, successful and private REALTOR and pick and choose who I wish to associate with.


Posted by Ty Lacroix (Envelope Real Estate Brokerage Inc) about 9 years ago

Paula Hamilton (BANDIER REALTY PARTNERS, LLC) Paula, it can be good for reconnecting with old highschool friends. 30 years ago? That must be a typo.

 Cheryl Ritchie, Southern Maryland Real Estate (RE/MAX 100) That's the kind of thing that I would say FB is good for, but I wouldn't want to mix that with my work Cheryl.

Eric J - Dream Home Financing Eric, I have yet to find a way to use FB for business purposes that I can't do elsewhere on the net.

Liz Moras ~Chilliwack Realtor, Chilliwack, Hope, Langley, Abbotsford (Harrison Hot Springs, Cultus Lake) Liz, I can't understand them either. If gaming is your thing, then surely there's better sites out there.

Posted by Malcolm Johnston, Trenton Real Estate (Century 21 Lanthorn Real Estate LTD., Trenton, Ontario) about 9 years ago

Brian Madigan LL.B. (Royal LePage Innovators Realty, Broker) Unfortunately that's what the gurus are saying Brian (until they start saying something else).

Larry Lawfer (EXIT Realty Metro Dallas)Facebook does get a lot of attention Larry, but you are right, it is one of may tools. I don't want to be that guy that everybody dreads getting a message from because I'm always trying to sell something.

Posted by Malcolm Johnston, Trenton Real Estate (Century 21 Lanthorn Real Estate LTD., Trenton, Ontario) about 9 years ago

Jo-Anne Smith- Oakville, Burlington and Mississauga Region Real Estate, Ont (Brekland Realty Group) Jo, I also wonder where people find the time. It seems like many people have too much time.

Envelope Real Estate Brokerage Inc Ty, I'm sure you already have far too many friends as it is.

Posted by Malcolm Johnston, Trenton Real Estate (Century 21 Lanthorn Real Estate LTD., Trenton, Ontario) about 9 years ago

Malcolm- there are good sides and bad sides to it. I deleted my own sister when she joined a group that was just far too explicit.

Posted by Ellie McIntire, Luxury service in Howard County & Catonsville (Ellicott City Clarksville Howard County Maryland Real Estate) about 9 years ago

Ellie McIntire Real Estate in Howard County Maryland (The McIntire Team of Long & Foster)Hi Ellie, if I did delete all the people who joined questionable groups, my friend list would be cut in half.

John B. Joseph (Groupe Sutton Centre-Ouest, Westmount)John, it's difficult keeping the shenanigans off the facebook pages.

Posted by Malcolm Johnston, Trenton Real Estate (Century 21 Lanthorn Real Estate LTD., Trenton, Ontario) about 9 years ago

Malcom - Nice post!  I love the humor! :-) I do use facebook, mainly to keep in touch with high school and college friends and keep the fact that I am a Realtor in their heads!  I do not waste time with the mafia wars, farmville, farkle, etc....haha!  I have had one official contract signed (due to close in May) thanks to facebook to date, so for me...its worth it!  

Posted by Jeanna Martinez (RE/MAX Access) about 9 years ago

Jeanna Martinez (RE/MAX Access) Hi Jeanna, wow, that's really neat. Maybe I will have to rethink my position on Facebook. That would certainly be worth it.

Posted by Malcolm Johnston, Trenton Real Estate (Century 21 Lanthorn Real Estate LTD., Trenton, Ontario) about 9 years ago

It certainly has taught me the mullet I had back in college that I thought no one had a picture of, seems everyone had a picture of.

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

Todd Clark (Broker) (503)524-9494 (Beaverton, Oregon Real Estate Expert) (All Brokers Real Estate)Todd, you really can't get away with anything in the age of Facebook. The past will come back to haunt you.

Posted by Malcolm Johnston, Trenton Real Estate (Century 21 Lanthorn Real Estate LTD., Trenton, Ontario) about 9 years ago