Social Media Overload = Un Social Skills.

No Social Media

Shorecrest High School is doing an experiment.   The staff and students are doing what they term a social media “blackout” for a week.

  • No Facebook.
  • No Twitter
  • No e-mail.

Conversing old school.  Homework is getting done.  Chores are being accomplished.  Mothers and sons are talking more in a few days over the phone than in the past six months.  Relationships are blossoming.   Others are finding it difficult to converse, almost like learning how to ride a bicycle all over again.

I wish people in business and, in particular, real estate would give this a try.   People sometimes  hide behind their e-mail and, in my opinion, much is lost when people don’t call and more is gained when you talk on the phone.   Do agents really need to know every single detail of a file in escrow?  Do you want an e-mail when a minor title issue has been resolved or title has been amended?  Do you need to know when a water bill has been received?  Do I need to know when the oil pan screw has been tightened from the serviceman working on my car?  Should they trigger an e-mail to me or text me?   What is a good balance?

Professionally,  I have found that the more I take the time to call and  talk personally to my clients whether they are in Brecksville, OH. , San Diego, CA., First American Title in Clearwater, Florida, or an Attorney in Washington DC,  I tend to build and foster longer term clients.

Talking things over on the phone is also one of the most effective ways in finding resolutions to transaction problems.  On the other hand, total transactional blackout is also a problem that still occurs: that’s code for agents that never respond or converse with escrow,  no matter what social media tool they have at their disposal.

26 thoughts on “Social Media Overload = Un Social Skills.

  1. “Do agents really need to know every single detail of a file in escrow?”


    Remember Tim, NO ONE ELSE in the “food chain” of service providers during an escrow REPRESENTS the buyer (or seller). NO ONE! Escrow is neutral. Title is selling an Insurance Policy.

    Absolutely and without question or exception, the agent needs to be the central hub of ALL info being tossed back and forth during an escrow from time of offer, through the inspection phase, to closing and keys.

    Yes…I am a micro-manager of ALL ancillary services. No apologies for that.

  2. Tim…my clients are working…in an office…they can’t “talk” on the phone about the kind of personal details involved in a real estate transaction without being overheard.

    They can email or text me while in a meeting…or at midnight when they are finished their work day when “talk” vs email would wake up the kids that are sleeping.

    I love you dear…but “talking” is over, except on a very limited basis. And it is “selfish” as well. It is usually NOT what is best for our clients, and that is the ONLY criteria. In fact…my youngest daughter told me email is over too. 🙂

    I know everything in real time, via facebook. I know the minute my grand daughter says her first word or gets her first tooth or says “Blesh you Mama”. It’s on my new Windows Phone, at a glance, in an instant via the “tiles” and facebook updates that appear there.

    Social Media is my life…my life is in it…my children, my grandchildren, my brother in Ohio and my clients in Bellevue and Seattle.

    I’ll never “go back” …that would be like becoming Amish and walking around with a candle vs electricity. Quaint for a few hours…then ridiculous as a true mode of operation.

    The future is here…talking on a phone is pretty much over except “as needed”. I called “you” yesterday, and you answered the phone…but that was only because I was at Rhonda’s Dad’s funeral and away from my computer or phone for an hour, and I needed to catch up quickly to one valuable piece of info I needed before driving away from the Church.

    Facebook is the new email.

    • I think what the Shoreline High School experiment conveys is that while social media is exploding it can dominate your time if you let it (and it is very easy to do). It can be fun and a way to connect with people both personally and in business. It can be distracting (car accidents come to mind) and many schools have policy’s regarding cell phone use.

      I suppose the trick is to have balance.

    • Ardell, those were the best comments I have heard in a long time. Really honest and really true. I agree with everything you said. It’s amazing how our world does change, and quickly, but even more so how most people resist change. Clients do work 9-5 and can’t talk during the day, but can read a quick text reassuring them the appraisal went ok, or that they are clear to close. Talk is important in many places (negotiation, unexpected problems), but it seems to be scheduled more today, like a conference call.

      Real time is where everything is moving.

      And I, too, need to know everything that is going on with my client’s deals. We have attorneys in NYS who do handle much of the legal representation and guidance for a client (lucky us – we have lawyers!) but the agent is always the glue that keeps it all together.

  3. I applaud Shoreline High School’s experiment…aren’t they the school who received quite a bit of fame for their dance video on YouTube? 🙂

    I think it really boils down to a person’s preference of how they wish to communicate.

    A majority of my clients tend to prefer to work via email. I’m having more communicate with me via Facebook and a handful will text. I think it’s very important that anyone in business become skilled at how to properly use email since it does lack human tone. I’m surprised when fellow real estate professionals write in all caps or lower case…or if they just send attachments with no message in the body…etc. In this climate, many may prefer having conversations in email so that they have documentation of the conversation. I try to make my emails to clients something they can refer back to so they don’t have to wonder “what did she say?” and I can refer back to emails as well.

    I’m not a fan of using text or any form of IM with business.

    I use text with my son–he’s the one who made me adapt to text and it works fine (stuff like “can my friend come over after school”). One thing that we do with our family, which has nothing to do with social media, is have a sit down dinner together at the diningroom table most nights (we might eat in the living room 1 night a week)–no cell phones are allowed at the table.

  4. Social media has definitely altered the way we communicate and do business. Sometimes when I have a deadline I find myself closing Twitter, using a plugin to limit my time on Facebook, and other tactics to ensure I don’t get caught up.

    Businesses and even the government are getting more engaged. An example, when the President of Russia joined Twitter the White House sent a Tweet saying ‘Welcome to @twitter President Medvedev’. Social media is absolutely huge!


  5. I’m with Ardell. Many times folks call me on the phone, and I realize they mean well, but invariably they phone at a time when I’m juggling 10 different things, with at least 2 of the 10 in crisis mode. 🙂 It would be so much easier if they’d just send me a message on FaceBook … Then I could chat comfortably after putting my daily fires out…

  6. What an interesting (and apt) experiment! To me, it just goes to show that parents need to limit their children’s access to such things…but on the business side, I know a lot of consumers miss the “old days” where you could talk to someone face to face. While it’s important to move with the times, I also think that some good old fashioned human contact is a necessity.

  7. Guilty as charged! I am one of those that tend to email much more frequently than conversing with clients over the phone. This is a good reminder to get out from behind my computer and make that personal connection.

  8. I feel the title company people would rather respond to my e-mail requests, and typically give me a more complete response. There are many examples that come to mind.

    The school’s experiment is a great idea, but really has no parallels with real estate professionals doing their jobs.

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