Why Real Estate Pros Don’t Need Facebook or Any Other Social Media


You’ve been told that as a real estate professional you have no business ignoring social media. It’s the wave of the future. You’ve been told it’s a great way to earn business and make money. You’ve even been told it’s mandatory. But I’m going to give it to you straight. You don’t need a Facebook profile. You really don’t. In fact, you don’t NEED to use social media at all.

Facebook is a Tool, Only a Tool

Good tools can make your work more effective and efficient. But they do not do the work for you. Facebook, Twitter, etc…these are merely tools. I do internet marketing consultation with many real estate professionals, and one popular concern that people have expressed to me is how to “get social media set up” or how to “get this social media thing knocked out”. I’ve been offered jobs to set up a bunch of social media profiles for brokers, because they don’t have the time to do it themselves.

The response I offer is “I appreciate the job, but if you’re too busy to even set up the profile, there’s probably not a lot of point in you having it!” Social media is not something to “set and forget”. You can’t “knock it out” or “get it taken care of”. A social media profile is only a tool. It’s an awesome tool, but it’s just a tool.

Consider your Facebook account like you would your cell phone. What good is it to have a cell phone for your business if it’s just going to sit in your desk drawer? Likewise, think of how much time you spend on your phone for your business now…THAT is how much you need to use your social media tools if you want to get serious results with them.

But as I’ll explain…it’s all optional.

Why You Don’t Need Social Media

Let me give you an analogy as to why you don’t need social media. A novice guitarist can make the most rockin, high dollar guitar sound like absolute crap. On the flip side of that coin, a great player can make a piece of junk sound fantastic. It’s not the tools, it’s the player. And what separates a novice and a great player? Lots, and lots of practice.

In other words, the quality of the music does not have so much to do with the quality of the instrument used; it has more to do with the amount of work and dedication put into the craft.

This is how it plays out in music, and it’s how it plays out in business as well. Social media offers you some pretty fantastic tools to promote your business and build your sphere of influence, but great tools cannot be put to proper use without a lot of hard work.

The thing is…if you’re going to put in the necessary work, you’re going to get pretty rockin results no matter what tools you decide to implement. Bottom line, Facebook’s not going to save you, my friends…the success of your business lies in YOUR hands, nowhere else.

You can think of it all this way…you don’t need awesome tools; you need to be awesome. If you work very hard to build an amazing business, powerful social media tools will make you a lot more effective and efficient. But without the work, there’s simply no point in having the tools. Which tools you choose for the work ahead are not nearly as important as the work ethic and expertise you choose to devote towards your practice.

About Author

Christian creates dangerous internet strategies at http://www.nextlevelblogger.com.


  1. I was totally prepared to come on this blog post and comment about why real estate agents NEED social media… but that was before I read your article. Your analogy about the guitarists is spot on!

    Agents shouldn’t have a presence in social media just because everyone on the internet says they should. Besides, an old, out of date social media profile is likely a negative thing for your business because it makes you seem out of touch and gives the impression you might no longer be in business.

    Bottom line – if you’re going to use Facebook, Twitter, etc. to try and boost your business, then use it. There’s a lot more to social media then registering and never returning.

  2. Good points, but you need a better analogy than the guitar if you are saying using social media is optional. Because, whether a person is a novice or professional musician, they MUST have the guitar to make music – it’s not optional. Otherwise, great article.

  3. Jonathan – Thanks! You’re right…it’s not about getting on the band wagon; great way to put it. Don’t do this stuff just because it’s the thing to do; pick your tools carefully, then rock them!

    Karen – that’s great feedback! I appreciate it. I would argue that social media and other forms of marketing are all simply instruments (thus the guitar analogy) used for the same ultimate purpose (with regards to business, anyway); that was my thinking.

    Cheryl – my post certainly isn’t meant as an argument to NOT use social media. Just that it’s optional. As a professional, I would urge you to investigate it until you “get it”, and then make an informed decision if you want to make it one of your weapons of choice.

    Josh – thanks very much. It’s easy to get wrapped up in hype; fact is that many businesses don’t use social media. I think they could benefit massively by implementing on it…but at the end of the day, life is short. Do what you love, do what works 🙂

  4. Cheryl – What you’re missing, IMO, is that social media is about connecting and relationships, not just promoting yourself. I edited your comment because 1/2 of it was just a plug that was completely irrelevant to the post – that’s just bad form. If you step up and connect with people on a real level, they will visit your site, and you won’t need to plug yourself everywhere you go.

    Christian – Awesome post! Social media is just that . . . another form of media. While it can certainly be an important tool, by no means is is something that people need to succeed in the business of real estate. Great commentary!

  5. Good post. I’ve been following social media applications for the past few years and think they have great utility and value for business and real estate, if used correctly. Especially when it is more than just putting info up statically on facebook, twitter or their websites.

    On a more interesting note though, I had lunch today with the president of a very large real estate association here in Seattle. He talked about how many real estate gurus were taking their offerings completely online, trying to take advantage of the internet and reaching a broader base of customers. However, what they’re finding is that they are losing customer base, because the older generation (especially those with disposable income for real estate investment) are not as tech savvy as the younger generation and not as willing to sit through several hours in front of the computer doing some online course. They want, or require, the personal contact.

    I thought that was an interesting development in how going completely virtual, and trying to market using only social media, is actually hurting business.

    Anyway, good post. Look forward to more.
    .-= Craig Grella´s last blog ..Welcome to Cornerstone =-.

  6. Very misleading title.

    The problem with your premise (and many other similar arguments also fall under this trap) is that using social technologies is only for communication, and if you aren’t using them then you’re failing. There’s a lot that’s missing between the ‘rocking’ social media results a real estate agent (or anyone) can expect and ‘failure’.

    We will offer a solution for real estate agents to have a compeling facebook fan page and use that to aggregate media, provide useful, hyper-local content, and other tools like calculators with analytics and just having a place where people can find information and connect with others is better than nothing. Wouldn’t one have to measure things like ‘time spent and benefit’ and then ‘time spent setting up tools but not using and benefit’ and then ‘time spent setting up tools and time spent using it and benefits’ to understand the impact of putting in X amount of hours?

    A lot of people won’t ever use these but it increases the perceived value of the real estate agent. Also, there’s tools that can automate a lot. Obviously a really busy person can’t respond to all 1 on 1 questions, but they can definitely plugin their twitter feed (if they are using it) or an RSS feed.

    Going completely virtual is no good as you will ignore a demographic. I think the benefit of social media will come from those that can engage their prospects and add value through content.

    I would argue that it’s not that you don’t need social media, but you should mandatorily use social media like Facebook and learn from the experience now. There’s tremendous benefits that you would not want to ignore. It is almost imperative. Also these agents should start becoming familiar with how mobile will change the playing field when it comes to local search. Whether its SEO or social media, people may definitely begin their search online and using everything with an integrated and measurable approach will provide good results for real estate agents.

  7. Azam – I’m curious as to why you would accuse this post of being “very misleading”. The title is “Why Real Estate Pros Don’t Need Facebook or Any Other Social Media”, and I proceed to explain why I feel these tools are optional. Obviously, you’re more than welcome to disagree with me, but I’m not sure how I could have been more plain or straightforward here.

    That said, I feel your argument is fair, and I appreciate your feedback. I agree that the competent use of new media tools is highly beneficial to almost anyone in real estate. This principle does not, however, apply to 100% of us 100% of the time.

    I don’t like blanket statements, and I see a lot of that out there coming from social media “experts” touting their wares…which is why I wrote this post 🙂

  8. Christian –
    If you follow Azam’s link and read his comment, you’ll see that he has some involvement with a social media marketing company. If people think they can get along without using social media for their business, then his business model doesn’t work. I think that might be why he feels your title is misleading — just speculating, of course.

    As I said before, I agree that social media is a great tool, but people can certainly do quite well without it (yes – it is also counter to my business model to say such a thing). I know plenty of people in the business whose businesses are thriving without using any social media.

  9. Josh – That was my thinking as well 🙂 I don’t fault him for taking issue with my thoughts here. After all, a good blogger will push some buttons now again, correct? Ha.

    Clearly, I make money helping professionals and small business owners with their sales strategies online, so the use of new media is essential to me as well. I definitely do not argue against using social media to market your business!

    My main goal here was to show that using social media poorly will do you no good at all, and that it’s simply a tool…it’s an awesome tool, and if you’re willing to put the work in, you can get awesome results. But if you’re not in a place where you’re willing to put the work in, then leave it alone.

    Social media is absolutely optional, just like cell phones or any other tool out there 🙂
    .-= Christian´s last blog ..Is Email Marketing a Fad? =-.

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