What is all the hub-bub about Pinterest?

Well as of late it seems everyone is buzzing about Pinterest! I’ll admit my board is terrible and the Pinterest bug hasn’t hit me yet. I decided I should do a bit more investigation

What is Pinterest: It’s a social site that enables you to gather and share online images. Where facebook lets you read about individuals, Pinterest lets you see what others are “pinning.” Pinterest lets you create “Boards” where you can pin everything from quotes to vacation pics to home improvement inspirations to fashions your are in love with.

You know the old saying “A picture is worth a 1000 words” well its true. Pinterest is simply a place for you to tell a story about your Passions, Hobbies, dreams, and anything else you can think of by using images to be your voice and then share it out to your friends.

Why should you show and interest? Well there are lots of people using it and the numbers seem to continue to grow.

Here is a link to a recent article on the traffic that Pinterest is getting. As of today the demographic is 97% female. Sorry guys for some reason we aren’t understanding Pinterest just yet.

My take on Pinterest is that it is a very cool idea. It can be fun, but it can also suck you in from what I’m hearing. It’s like anything you chose to do. You have to ask why are you using Pinterest? Is it just for fun, are you trying to attract more eyeballs to your other sites because of the SEO benefits it may bring?

Either way from what I can tell it has legs. People are there engaging with each other daily. It’s like any social site, you try it out and use it for awhile and determine on you own if there is value in the interaction you get from it. Remember that 75% of us are visual when it comes to consume information so this Pinterest might just be on to something. Happy Pinning.

If you have any great things that have come form using Pinterest please share!

Posted on February 24, 2012 at 2:02 pm
Michael Fanning | Category: Living, Technology | Tagged , ,

Can I just unplug for a day?

I was laughing the other night as I was sitting behind my drum set at the Tacoma Art Museum getting ready to quickly upload a pic to facebook when our lead singer said, “Hey Mike are you going to sound check or text all night?” It dawned on me that like many of you we forget our purpose. Instead of sitting there enjoying the fact that I’m about ready to spend 2 great hours with some great guys in my band and do something I love, I was worrying about getting a photo pushed out to the cyber world for all to see.

Social Media can suck you in at times. So often at home or at work we find we are in the head down fingers rapidly moving position and we aren’t paying attention to what is right there around us. I know many of you may be surprised that of all people I’m here writing this post.

I am recently married and I have 3 great kids and a amazing wife. I realized that time spent with them, or time spent with my friends is more important than checking into facebook, or posting just one more photo. I’m still a firm believer in Social Media as it does help us to strengthen our relationships and keep quality interaction with those we care about, but there is also a time when we need to take a deep breath and unplug.

Funny last weekend I decided to leave my phone at home for a day and not post, or check in, or look at e-mail. The world didn’t end, my friend list did not fall in numbers, and anything that happened that day was still just waiting there for me the next day.

So basically this post is to say to you, “hey it’s ok to unplug and give it a rest from time to time.” Guess what it will still be there when you get back I promise :).

Posted on October 25, 2011 at 2:49 pm
Michael Fanning | Category: Living, Technology | Tagged , , ,

Social Media does not generate business, relationships generate business!

Yep you heard that correctly! I just attended an amazing Windermere Installation taught by Larry Kendall from the Group out of Fort Collins Colorado.  The entire premise of the Ninja program is based around being in the FLOW, and understanding that Real Estate is a CAREER!

I’m always amazed when I talk to groups of Realtors and ask the question. “How many have a facebook page or a Linkedin page or a twitter account?”  Lately almost every hand will go up. Then I ask the question, “How many people interact and engage daily on their various accounts?” Usually 75% if not more of the hands go down.

Here are some numbers that you may not be aware of.

  • 1-2 days is the normal time a customer takes to pick a Realtor.
  • 8-18 months is the time they take investigating the market.
  • 11% of buyers used the same realtor they used previously.
  • 18% of Realtors followed up with customer after closing.
  • 73% Realtors  are making their primary income from a        source other than Real Estate

It is pretty clear that on average the typical Realtor just isn’t in the FLOW. It could be because they don’t see Real Estate as a career.  This article might explain some of the problem.

Not sure about you but I’m not going to use a Doctor that is also a barrista on 4 out of the 7 days a week.

The key to being successful in Real Estate is about having knowledge in the industry, Being trustworthy, and having relationships with your customers that span far beyond the transaction. What Social Media allows you to do is to interact and engage with your customers daily, however remember that the best relationships come from genuine engagement. If all you do is re-post content and drop in from time to time without looking for the opportunities to have face to face interaction then you are wasting your time in the Social Medial world. Remember it isn’t who talks or post the most it is the person that creates value on a consistent basis. Social Media is just another channel that connects you to individuals that you are wanting to establish relationships with. Once a relationship is created then business can happen.

Would love to hear how you are successfully connecting with your client base.

Posted on July 30, 2011 at 1:48 pm
Michael Fanning | Category: Business today, customer services, Interesting stuff, Real Estate Related, Windermere Real Estate | Tagged , ,

Social Media isn't a popularity contest!

I read a great article yesterday by Brian Solis, Marketing executive with Altimeter. His blog post was

“The number one least asked questions in Social Media. Why?”

The points he makes in this article is the key to why we do Social Media. There are so many of us that think Social Media is a contest to see just how many likes we can get or how prestigious our friend list can become.  The reality of it all however is that none of that matters. What really matters is what is at the core of this Social Media engagement. Relationships!

If you put Social Media on the side for a moment and think about how a relationship is created then you will better understand the unique opportunity that Social Media gives us if we use it the way it was meant to be used. It is not a sales tool, it is not a look how great I am tool, and it is not an all about me tool. Social Media is best used when you are giving away value. This value can be with words, video, and pictures. It is when you open up and freely share great information and let  your voice come through. It is best used when you look for the unique way to connect with someone where you are able to help provide a much needed resources, or help to facilitate a positive outcome for any situation. Brian uses these words “purposeful, meaningful, and valuable” Its a tool to let you connect with like people who have common interest. If you boil all this down I would guess that it looks much like many of the great relationships you already have. The only difference is that with Social Media the engagement and interactions is now on steroids. Instead of a conversation happening weekly it can now take place 3 times a day. The micro interactions all add up to greater attention but only when that micro interactions provides a purpose, is meaningful, and gives value.

I know I’m going to look closer at how I  engage and take some of what I just said to heart.

Posted on July 8, 2011 at 11:38 am
Michael Fanning | Category: Business today, customer services, Living | Tagged , , , ,

Social Media isn’t a popularity contest!

I read a great article yesterday by Brian Solis, Marketing executive with Altimeter. His blog post was

“The number one least asked questions in Social Media. Why?”

The points he makes in this article is the key to why we do Social Media. There are so many of us that think Social Media is a contest to see just how many likes we can get or how prestigious our friend list can become.  The reality of it all however is that none of that matters. What really matters is what is at the core of this Social Media engagement. Relationships!

If you put Social Media on the side for a moment and think about how a relationship is created then you will better understand the unique opportunity that Social Media gives us if we use it the way it was meant to be used. It is not a sales tool, it is not a look how great I am tool, and it is not an all about me tool. Social Media is best used when you are giving away value. This value can be with words, video, and pictures. It is when you open up and freely share great information and let  your voice come through. It is best used when you look for the unique way to connect with someone where you are able to help provide a much needed resources, or help to facilitate a positive outcome for any situation. Brian uses these words “purposeful, meaningful, and valuable” Its a tool to let you connect with like people who have common interest. If you boil all this down I would guess that it looks much like many of the great relationships you already have. The only difference is that with Social Media the engagement and interactions is now on steroids. Instead of a conversation happening weekly it can now take place 3 times a day. The micro interactions all add up to greater attention but only when that micro interactions provides a purpose, is meaningful, and gives value.

I know I’m going to look closer at how I  engage and take some of what I just said to heart.

Posted on July 8, 2011 at 11:38 am
Michael Fanning | Category: Business today, customer services, Living | Tagged , , , ,

Stop and think before you post a listing to your facebook personal page!

Photo courtesy of marriedtothesea.com

So I know there are some of you out there that will read this and then keep posting your listings to facebook and that’s just too bad but hey, how does the saying go? “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make  him think!” or something like that.

I recently read an article from www.mytechopinioin.com called “the art of social listing exposure.” Great article and I highly recommned you read it. Especially the part about terms of agreement with FB.

So when your in the home buying mode how many of you wake up and say to yourself, “I’m going to log into facebook today and look for a home to buy!” My guess is that just doesn’t happen.

Here is my analogy on this topic. What if my neighbor was a geologist and about 3 times a week he would drop off new dirt samples on my doorstep. That would get annoying real quick and I’m sure I would politely ask him to stop. The polite way on facebook to ask someone to stop something is to un-friend them.

Let me share with you my 3 strikes and your out policy. I happen to really get annoyed when i have someone post listings that appear on my wall. If all I ever see from you is listing posts without any other good quality posts that provide value then after the 3rd listing post I’m clicking the un-friend button.

What if that same geologist neighbor did something a bit different. Instead of dropping off dirt samples they instead took time once a week to educate  my kids about how cool volcanoes are or talk about how mountains are formed. There is value in that, and far more interest.

When you post your listing’s you assume that all your friends are looking or know someone that is looking to buy a home. That happens to be a very small percentage of people.

A better way to look at this would be to find something of common interests that may be connected to this new listing of yours that appeals to a much larger audience.

What is so great about the neighborhood this home is in?

What are some of the great amenities that are in walking distance to this home?

If you owned this home how would it stack up as a great investment in say 9 years?

Take a look at the article I mentioned above, they give you some great examples of good and bad ways of posting data.

Remember that Social Media is about being

Real, Relevant, and engaging. If all  you ever talk about is your new listings that gets old real quick and adds little to know value.

If after reading this you still want to post your listings to facebook then do it on a Fan page not a personal page. That way I can still interact with you on  your personal page but it doesn’t clutter up my wall with your listing posts. Also take the advice from the MTO team and get creative so that you aren’t so boring and you generate greater BUZZ!

Posted on May 6, 2011 at 1:21 pm
Michael Fanning | Category: Business today, featured-listing, Interesting stuff, Technology, Windermere Real Estate | Tagged , ,

Learning how to create lists on your personal Facebook page.

Lists are a very helpful way to narrow down the groups you want to interact with within your Facebook world. Hope this is helpful!

Posted on April 6, 2011 at 12:08 pm
Michael Fanning | Category: Education, Real Estate Related, Technology | Tagged , ,

Be a curator on social media rather than a watcher!

Recently I saw a great slide presentation on Socialgraphics in relationship to social media.

It shows how many people today in the social media world fall into the area of sharing and watching and only less the 1% are actually curating. This is where I see a huge opportunity for you to excel. Sure it is great fun to open up facebook and watch what everyone is saying but how does that translate into creating stronger relationships with your friends. “it doesn’t” See chart below.

When you think about a relationship it pivots off of what you bring to the table and how much you give. The more you give the more you get back. Many of you out there today have great amounts of information and resources that could be shared with your friends by a click of a button yet you still choose to watch. If you can push your self to become a curator then 78% and 63% of your friends will be watching and sharing what you are curating. Are you picking up what I’m putting down here?

Remember you don’t want to become that friend that post non useful content 20 times a day. But become that person that post good useful content 3 or 4 times a week.

So how do you find good information to share on a daily basis?

Here are some sites I like to use when I go out to search for relevant and timely info. To make the most use of my time I like to use a search tool that will look at all the major search engines in one search.

I found these great ideas and more from a  blog article on Socialmedia Today.

“Addictomic: http://addictomatic.com allows users to search for real-time content on various Web 2.0 based sites all at one time.

IceRocket: http://www.icerocket.com is a web search engine which specializes in real-time search.  It searches the popular social networking websites such as Twitter, YouTube and  news.  IceRocket’s Big Buzz feature allows users to search Blogs, Tweets, news, images, etc all from one page.

Social Mention: http://socialmention.com is a smart search tool that allows you to find real time information on blogs, bookmarks, comments, and other social Web errata.  In addition, the tool provides an analysis of the mentions in terms of sentiments: positive, neutral and negative.”

If you have some great ideas on information sharing feel free to chime in.

Posted on March 1, 2011 at 11:51 am
Michael Fanning | Category: Business today, Real Estate Related, Uncategorized | Tagged , ,

Where to go to get educated on Social Media!

Image by Stephen Poff

  • Are you overwhelmed today?
  • Not sure if you should be using Twitter, or Facebook, what about linkedin?
  • Do I talk about business or personal stuff?
  • What is too much information and what is not enough?

I get asked these questions all the time, so I thought I would just give you some great starting places and show you how I keep myself informed.

To begin with there is a list of sites you should try to follow on a regular basis that will give you some great ideas and tips to better use these tools.

I follow the Social Media examiner on Facebook. They give me great ideas all the time when it comes to using Social Media in my daily routine.

I also follow Tech savvy agent. He does a great job and cutting out the fat and giving you real meaty ideas on a consistent basis.

Recently Realtor Mag had a great article on Are You Sharing Too Much Online? There are some good things to think about in this article.

I still run across the person that looks at me crossed eyed when I say they need to embrace social networking. They look at me with great scepticism and just shake their head. I explain that no matter what, Real Estate is and always will be a relationship business. That said conversations are happening to enhance relationships a million times a day in the digital world. You know the old saying “If a tree falls in the woods and you aren’t there to hear it, did it actually make any noise?” Yes it did! You just didn’t hear it. Same concept applies in the world of Social Media. If your not participating and engaging in the conversation then someone else is engaging with your friends. This article recently on Realtor mag did a good job at explaining this relationship. Less Is Definitely MORE

Last but not least is Seth Godin. He has a blog that I read daily. His ability to understand the customer and how we engage with them in the world today is spot on. He always has great ideas and feeds them to you in small digestible chunks.

I know many of you are on top of this stuff so please feel free to share the ways you stay ahead of this game!

Posted on February 23, 2011 at 12:09 pm
Michael Fanning | Category: Interesting stuff, Real Estate Related, Technology | Tagged , , , ,

Customer relationships are the key to your business success!

I read a stat the other day from NAR. It stated that when a buyer was asked right after the close of their transaction  if they would use their broker again 83% said yes but in reality only 11% actually used the same broker.

Same question applied to the Seller and 82% said they would use their broker again but only 28% actually did.

The biggest reason for this  disparity has to do with the broker only interacting with their customers during the transactional phase of their business and then having no follow up of any kind. Here is something you should think about.

“We live in a world where the little things really do matter. Each encounter no matter how brief is a micro interaction which makes a deposit or withdraw from our emotional subconscious. The sum of these interactions and encounters add up to how we feel about particular products, brands, or services. Little things. Feelings. They influence our everyday behaviors more than we realize.”

Here is another good article that touches on the same principal!

I was asked the other day about this exact problem and if social media could play a role in enhancing the relationship by allowing for more micro interactions. In fact this is exactly how using social media is suppose to work.

Then came the question that proves why we still have a disconnect.

How can I automate the interaction with my social media data base, is this possible.?”

Think about it this way, do you automate your friendships? Is there a company you can go out and pay to meet your friends for drinks and go to events with them then have them report back to you about how well the relationship is coming along? I think we all know the answer to this one. Building long lasting relationships is built on, connections, consistency, trust, and being real. I challenge you, before you venture out to find new clients look at the clients you have now. How much micro interaction is going on in that world for you?

Posted on February 3, 2011 at 12:36 pm
Michael Fanning | Category: Business today, Living, Uncategorized | Tagged , ,