Quinte, On. real estate agent: Blessed is the Man...............

Blessed is the Man...............

Blessed is the man who, having nothing to say, abstains from giving wordy evidence of the fact.

George Eliot

Lately every third article (or so it seems) in the real estate world touches on the subject of "social media", primarily facebook. Realtors are advised to hop aboard the social media train because if they don't, they will be left standing bags in hand at some forlorn rural station just like Petticoat Junction. I have given the matter some thought and I disagree with this assessment altogether. I have read quite a few books and articles that tell me otherwise, so I think I'm going against the grain of "common wisdom" on this topic. However, most of these books are authored by people who have already successfully used the platform of social media to sell their products. This platform is now becoming more crowded than a Bangledeshi ferry.

In his blog article, Fred Carver brings up the question of whether social media is a fad for real estate people. First, I'd like to make a clear distinction. Social Media (or internet 2.0) is not the same thing as the internet in general. I truly believe that real estate professionals (or any business for that matter) must have a very strong web presence. I also believe that they must make a concerted effort to remain front and centre in their quest to be found on the net, and this requires a lot of innovative thinking as well as the ability to stay on top of all the latest developments. I am definitely NOT saying that the internet is a fad, I'm saying that social media as a viable form of advertising for Realtors is a fad.

I do think that there is a time and place for everything. I believe that there is going to be a backlash against this concept of "personal branding". People will start looking for trusted names again. Any shyster can gain prominence through the practice of being omnipresent on the web and becoming a roboblogger. Don't get me wrong, there will still be people (Realtors included) who are successful at personal branding and will deservedly reap the rewards of their efforts. These people will succeed for a reason. They are interesting and dynamic people who can command our attention. I don't mean to insult anybody, but the rest of us are,... well... just not that interesting.

I know a couple of musicians, and I have them on my facebook as friends as well as belonging to their "fan page". When they have status updates or announcements to make, I'm interested in reading them, simply because I'm interested to see what they are up to. People like that lead more interesting lives and do more interesting things than the rest of us (or so I imagine). I am also interested in what my kids are up to because I'm cyber stalking them, and I'm interested in the lives of a few friends and family members. The rest of you........ I've already tuned you out. I do not read Joe Carsalesmans updates anymore, nor do I visit his facebook fanpage any more. He's been tuned out. If I'm looking for a car, I'll go to Joe Carsalesman's website and look there. Better yet if he has some sort of blog (from now on I'm only supporting the businesses of people who are literate), and I like what he has to say. Chances are though, if he has been inundating me with mindless tweets and twarks, clamouring for my attention, trying to entice me to read his mindless blog postings and business specials, I'll be looking for his competitor's website.

Pretty soon it will no longer be "social media" and it will be "commercial media". As Malcolm Gladwell would put it, we are reaching the tipping point.

Comment balloon 17 commentsMalcolm Johnston • June 07 2010 06:06PM


Malcolm, I'm already there. I DVR/TIVO my favorite shows on TV so I can speed past the commercials and ignore anyone on my "friends" list who post uninteresting gobbly gook.

Posted by Colin Moody (HCo Properties) over 8 years ago
I really enjoyed this post! I think Twitter is the most pointless piece of dribble I'ver ever seen. But, I also see how it can have its benefits and help people in their business. I sure don't care what what Ray the Realtor had for breakfast either! These young people though, I think they see computers as old hat stuff and are using their phones to do everything on. Is that not what the2.0 social media is coming to? It looks to me like the next generation of "commercial media" is making sure that what you have to say in Cyberspace is configured well to be read or heard even better on a "smart" cell phone than on a computer.
Posted by Mickey Mouse (Disneyland Real Estate) over 8 years ago

Malcom - if we are not near the tipping point we soon will be social media was intended to be social not commercial the key word being SOCIAL

Posted by Barrie Clulow (My Time Is My Own) over 8 years ago


I liked the "thinning of the lemmings" video. Now, if we could just get Realtors to do the same.

Posted by Terry Chenier (Homelife Glenayre Realty) over 8 years ago

Colin Moody (Fonville Morisey Realty) Colin,I wish I knew what DVR/TIVO was. It sounds like I should look into it.

Francie Brown - Brown Land & Timber Company (Timberland Real Estate) Thanks Francie, and I think you're right about cell phones, they are basically little mobile computers now, and kids will never know peace of mind now.

Barrie Clulow (My Time Is My Own) I agree 100 % Barrie, the purpose of social media is social (or at least I thought so).

Terry Chenier (Homelife Glenayre Realty) I liked the video too Terry, and there certainly is a plethora of Realtors out there too.


Posted by Malcolm Johnston, Trenton Real Estate (Century 21 Lanthorn Real Estate LTD., Trenton, Ontario) over 8 years ago

hi Malcolm,

I agree with you....I think good old fashioned down to earthness still wins out in the end.


Posted by Jo-Anne Smith over 8 years ago

Jo-Anne Smith- Oakville, Burlington and Mississauga Region Real Estate, Ont (Brekland Realty Group) Hi Jo, I hope you're right, it seems impolite to bombard my friends with my business stuff. It's a quick way to become a social pariah.

Posted by Malcolm Johnston, Trenton Real Estate (Century 21 Lanthorn Real Estate LTD., Trenton, Ontario) over 8 years ago

Malcolm:  You made a lot of good points in this blog post, but I think the BEST one is that most people just aren't that interesting.


I think that Social Media has a way of allowing us to consider someone that we would have never known on our own.  The trick, of course, is trying to find a way to become THAT company, the one that makes itself readily availalbe without ever getting in our way.


I have some personal friends that I ignore (on the computer), because they haven't mastered this, yet.  Good luck to the person I barely know.

Posted by Chris Wechner (CW Health Inc) over 8 years ago

Malcolm, in one way or another perhaps we are subject to nature maintaining balance. ;~)
I like you post.

Posted by Larry Estabrooks, 100% representation means NEVER DUAL AGENCY ! (Independent Real Estate Agent) over 8 years ago

Chris Wechner (Section 8 Pros) Hi Chris, you're right. I try to be inobtrusive on social media, but some of my colleagues quite frankly are pain in the asses (pains in the ass?). It's tiresome.

Larry Estabrooks - Moncton Real Estate Agent (A Licensed Independent Agent in Moncton, NB, Canada) Thanks Larry. I suppose nature (or the free market in this case) always does find a way to thin the herd. 

Posted by Malcolm Johnston, Trenton Real Estate (Century 21 Lanthorn Real Estate LTD., Trenton, Ontario) over 8 years ago

Malcolm I like your post. I just don't see the point of social media. I don't think there are that many interesting people with exciting daily lives.

Posted by Janice Ankrett, Staging Professional (Janice Ankrett Home Staging) over 8 years ago

Janice Ankrett ASP (Janice Ankrett Home Staging) Hi Janice, I do see the point of social media as long as it remains social. I don't see the point of turning them into yet another source of spammy mindlessness.

Posted by Malcolm Johnston, Trenton Real Estate (Century 21 Lanthorn Real Estate LTD., Trenton, Ontario) over 8 years ago
I agree with you 98%. The two points I disagree with are "centre" and "clamour." They should be spelled center and clamor. LOL. Hope all is well in the Great White North.
Posted by Not a real person over 8 years ago

John B. Joseph (Groupe Sutton Centre-Ouest, Westmount) John, I am unwilling to try to find new clients at the risk of becoming a huge bore to my existing friends and family. I don't think that's the platform for it.

Russel Ray, San Diego home inspector (Russel Ray, Property Consultant) Russel, we'll just have to agree to disagree on the spelling, I'm rather fond of keeping the u's. Everything's great up here in my neighbourhood, how's things down there.

Posted by Malcolm Johnston, Trenton Real Estate (Century 21 Lanthorn Real Estate LTD., Trenton, Ontario) over 8 years ago
Malcolm: Real Estate will remain as it still is, it's a people business and regardless if you have the best web presence in your locale, best presentation or whatever, if they like you, they will do business with you. It is pretty simple, know 150 people and for the rest of your life you will do 25-35 transactions a year! Ty
Posted by Ty Lacroix (Envelope Real Estate Brokerage Inc) over 8 years ago
Actually, it has already become commercial media - great post!
Posted by Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, PSA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional, Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Safety Harbor (Charles Rutenberg Realty) over 8 years ago

Envelope Real Estate Brokerage Inc If this is true Ty, I'm going to have to go out and meet about 135 new people to be able to make a living at this racket business.

Barbara-Jo's Beach Blog - Clearwater & Pinellas County Florida Real Estate (Charles Rutenberg Realty) I'm afraid you may be correct Barbara-Jo. It just seems that as a society, we cannot keep commercialism at bay.


Posted by Malcolm Johnston, Trenton Real Estate (Century 21 Lanthorn Real Estate LTD., Trenton, Ontario) over 8 years ago