Networks and communities for real estate agents, an interview with Jeff Turner

I'm pleased to publish this ideas from Jeff Turner, President of Zeek Interactive and the Founder and creative force behind Real Estate Shows. I really like his Twitter tagline: "There's a method to all of this madness"

Jeff is one of the great speakers at Inmocionate 2012 (June 15-16th, Madrid) and he has been very kind to answer some questions for inmoblog readers:

Inmoblog – At "Inmocionate" you'll talk about "networks and communities", may you advance any idea?

JF- I've been thinking a great deal lately about the keys to using online social network and how those keys relate to off line social networking and behavior. I think we've made a good number of mistakes in the social media space here in the United State, and I'd like to share how understanding the difference between networks and communities can help bring your actions and activities into focus. 

Inmoblog – Once you met some spanish agents during last Sell-a-bration, do you appreciate any differences between them and USA realtors?

JF- Well, the first thing I noticed is that you seem to enjoy yourself more than your USA counterparts. 🙂 Seriously, I've been impressed most by the spirit of the agents I've met, and by how friendly they are and how receptive they've been to the ideas shared.
I've not had enough time in the trenches to make any statement about the differences from a purely business perspective.
I'm looking forward to spending more time understanding what those differences are and how those differences might benefit both sides.

Inmoblog – Many of spanish agents use Facebook as main network to connect with colleagues (other agents), but only a few of them engage the rest of audience (contacts, users, clients). Is it possible to get a conversation in FB with them? Shoud they focus on other social networks?

JF- I think Facebook is the one social network that an agent SHOULD focus on for connecting with clients and potential clients. And I believe that connection should come via their personal Facebook pages, not using a business Facebook page. Real estate is such a personal business.
There is so much contact in private financial areas during the transaction, it's impossible for it not to be personal.
Facebook provides the perfect online environment for staying connected in a personal way with past clients and those who are a part of your community. But it has to be treated differently than other media.
The moment is becomes solely about business, I believe you lose the opportunity to truly connect at a level that makes a positive difference. I hope to discuss some of this during my presentation.
Connecting with other professionals is great, I do that as well. But connecting with your clients will ultimately bear great fruit.

Inmoblog – Content is the key for social media success, because creates conversation. Any recomendation to generate new and fresh content?

JF- It depends on whether you are a writer or not. If you are, then creating your own content is definitely the way to go. I'm not sure anything is more powerful than creating the basis for a conversation. This is not the path for everyone. In fact, very few can do this well. So if you're not a writer, curating content created by others is a great way to create conversation, whether it's on your own website or on a social network like Facebook.
Sharing content that will be of use to your community is an effective way of creating the kind of conversations that lead people to say, "I trust this person. I want to do business with them."
The key is understanding what your community needs. How can you help them? What will they find interesting?
Put your own spin on the stories and generate your own conversation. It's a simple process really.
Post translated into spanish: Redes y comunidades para inmobiliarios

Twitter: @jeffturner
César Villasante