How a Facebook Post about Goats Helped Sell Two Farms (and other stories from RE Barcamp NY 2011)

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There’s a January social media tradition in NYC each year: the day before the Inman Connect NYC Real Estate Conference, a barcamp is organized by the Lucky Strikers Social Media Club.  RE Barcamp NY (REBCNY) is attended by a great group of tech savvy realtors from the Tri-State area, as well as from all over the country.

(Barcamps are a kind of “un-conference”, and if you haven’t gone to one, I highly recommend the experience).

Getting back to the goats:  award-winning North Carolina realtor Lori Bee of Bee Realty explains her success with social media as the “law of attraction”.  Her varied posts attract other people with similar interests, which leads to conversations, which leads to relationships.  One day, she wrote a Facebook post about goats. That led to a relationship that helped sell two farms!

For everyone I talked to, there were 10 people I never got to meet, and space limits the success stories I can share.  Here are a few:

  • Sharon Steele, a New Jersey realtor who is virtually the only one in her office using the proprietary system her firm provides.  She has become the online and social media expert in her office, maintaining the firm’s Facebook page as well as her own, and attributes a sizable increase in her business to her use of technology, social media included.
  • Robin Taylor-Roth, whose hashtag rich tweetstream (#REBCNY) is a valuable tutorial for anyone reading it. When discussing the topic of realtors carefully guarding their privacy on “Linked in”, she gives her counter-argument for open networking: the strong social network that she has built –other realtors in her own town included – makes her more valuable to her clients and builds her reputation and her business.
  • Virginia Munden, a Toronto realtor with 5000 Facebook friends (known to some as “the shoe lady”), whose distinctive business card includes a QR code. Virginia has developed a competitive edge in her market due to her online following, a persona that combines local interest (“Virginia’s Buzz” on Facebook), real estate news, and personal style.

What’s my takeaway from REBCNY 2011?  The real estate industry is no different than any other when it comes to social media and online technology. There is a sub-group of smart business people who get it: eager to use the new tools that are available: social networking, video, QR codes, blogs, mobile technology, and so on.

These early adopters have gained a competitive advantage from technology. This competitive edge may not last, but by the time others catch on, this first group of tech-smart realtors will be way out front.

With so many social media and technology success stories, I am sure I missed a bunch…please add yours in the comments, and I’ll write a sequel!

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About Rhonda Hurwitz

Rhonda Hurwitz is a content strategist and marketing consultant who helps mid-sized businesses develop more effective online strategies. @rhondahurwitz on Twitter, and on Forbes.com: http://blogs.forbes.com/people/rhondahurwitz/
This entry was posted in Social Media Best Practices, social networking and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to How a Facebook Post about Goats Helped Sell Two Farms (and other stories from RE Barcamp NY 2011)

  1. Mardy Sitzer says:

    Great post Rhonda and love that you shared some great ‘take aways’ from successful social media adapters. It is always exciting to hear how every day hardworking people are harnessing the power of social networking and improving their business and results. You make excellent points that mixing social and business is just good business!

    • Mardy, I don’t know about you, but I hear so many businesses owners who are reluctant to invest the time (and money) in social media. Granted, a barcamp is a self-selecting group … but the more “real business” stories we share, the better. I loved Lori Bee’s story because it dramatizes the point that social networking is nothing mystical. It’s just using technology to facilitate genuine and ordinary interactions, which — by virtue of human nature — leads to profitable relationships. Thanks for commenting!

  2. Fantastic post,and I’m glad you enjoyed the bar camp.It’s not so much that its self selecting,but people are generally wary of technology.So there tend to be many like minded individuals there-I think it was great that we had broadened the audience beyond people directly in real estate.
    What we have to be careful of is being mindful of the blend-but Lori was right,this isn’t new or revolutionary-its a new facilitation method to get ,face to face,belly to belly. There was an excellent presentation at the Inman Conference from @sherrychris ,where she shared what she believed to be seven elements to grow a business (real estate or otherwise) in a recession/tough times-they were all powerful-but a really powerful one is give and share freely and openly (which isn’t to say that you don’t know where to draw the line when it comes to giving too much) but its the theory of giving genuinely,planting seeds and nuturing them,and it will grow and return to you.
    I look forward to continuing to remain connected and engaging in the future.And many thanks for the mention.

    • Nicole, I wish I had heard @sherrychris, because I absolutely subscribe to that philosophy … you never know where your next collaboration/referral will come from! Not to get too “woo-woo”, but sharing freely and openly is good karma and good business. I look forward to reading your blog, following you online, and meeting up at future events!

      (PS – apologize for delayed reply, but your comment was stuck in my spam folder. Sigh.)

  3. Excellent article, Rhonda. You have convinced me to attend the next RE BarCamp.

  4. Sonja Lovas says:

    I enjoyed your article and wish we had bumped into each other at RebarCamp. We must have been in different rooms, but perhaps we’ll meet at the next REBarCamp.

  5. Marilyn Katz says:

    Rhonda- It will be interesting to see if most REALTORS are for or against open networking (with their competition) on Linked-In.
    Nice post, recapping the BarCamp. For those who haven’t been to a BarCamp, it only scratches the surface.

  6. What a wonderful article. ReBar camp was amazing. So much great learning and such wonderful people – so many ways to learn. I love your article and OMG, thank you so much for such a nice mention. I’m so honored.

    I just started my FB biz page…can’t believe how behind the 8 ball I’ve been on this one…but I guess well ahead on others. I just liked your page, and I love your posts…very intriguing and thought provoking. I have a lot to learn from you.

    Happy to get together in a week or two.

    • Debbie, you are a natural marketer and I know your new Facebook biz page will be great. Thank you for the compliment, and I look forward to following you online and also getting together in the real world:) (PS – apologize for delayed reply, but your comment was stuck in my spam folder. GRRRR.)

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