We all saw the Seattle Seahawks win the Super Bowl on Sunday, and in Washington state the energy in the air and the camaraderie were infectious. It has started a movement that has been both mocked and honored.

In football, there are only 11 players allowed on the field, so the “12th Man” refers to the fans in the crowd. The reason for calling them the 12th Man is the fact that they have an amazing impact on the game. The 12th Man in Seattle’s CenturyLink Field has caused more false starts than any other team in the NFL. In the opening home game this year against the San Francisco 49ers, we broke the Guinness World Book of Records for loudest crowd. There is no other place in the NFL where the 12th Man is more influential to the game.

The 12th Man is invited to rally in the city of SeaTac at 10 a.m. on Sunday, Jan. 26, to help send off the Seahawks to Super Bowl XLVIII against the Denver Broncos in New York/New Jersey.

The morning the Seahawks were to take off from Sea-Tac Airport on their way to New York, the 12th Man was there in force. They lined the streets in honor of their team with their 12th Man flags, clothes and banners. I had several friends who were able to be there in person and they described the energy as being electric. Lynn Jabs said, “It was amazing how it didn’t matter where you came from or what your social status was — we all came together with a passion for our team.”

It started to get me thinking about how we have been so focused lately on the technology of our businesses. Some have lost touch with the people part of social media. I have always said since I’ve been in real estate and using social media that it starts with the people and ends with the people. It’s about the connection you make with those people and to show them your passion for what you do.

You and your 12th man might just be able to create that kind of buzz with your real estate business

You can’t just think that because you have a Twitter account or Facebook page that you will be successful using it. This is just one more example that social media is a tool to connect with more people than we have ever been able to before. We have been able to influence companies and create people movements like the 12th Man faster than ever before. Without the people to drive this force, we wouldn’t have social media. The two go hand in hand, and if used properly can help you with your real estate business right now.

The players and the team

They have made it important to include their fan base and the 12th man in almost everything they do. It starts with training camp with them inviting their 12’s to join them to watch them practice, to Paul Allen creating a stadium that allows them to show off how loud we can be. I had the pleasure of attending training camp this last summer and I was amazed by the experience that was created for the fans. Create that experience for your customers. They include the 12th man in almost everything they do. I honestly think that whenever a decision is made, the 12th Man is always considered.

The next time you sit down to really make a change in your business think about the people: your clients, your sphere, and your friends and family. Be sure to include them in every decision you make for your real estate business. If it weren’t for them, you wouldn’t have a business at all. Of course, we need technology in order to streamline or make our businesses run faster or easier. Be sure not to get lost in the technology, and don’t forget about who helped you get here.

Make them your 12th Man! After all, they are your biggest fans!

Stacia Whatley is managing broker at Hawkins-Poe Inc. in Gig Harbor, Wash., and has a passion for marketing and new technologies.

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