I need a doctor
One with great bedside manner
Someone others vouch for
I need a good shrink
Like every sane New Yorker
Need to lose 10 pounds of guilt
Want to remodel
And expand my living space
Can someone help me
Business is growing
Need to hire two key people
Glad I am LinkedIn
Want to sell my home
5,000 Realtors all claim expertise
Need to weed down choice
Pick up the yellow pages. You’re looking at history. A pitch and a phone number — it’s not enough anymore. We’ve been burned too many times or have become unwilling to machete our way through the jungle of options each claiming to be just what we’re looking for.
These days, saying that you’re the best doesn’t mean squat. We need proof. Third-party verification. The word of others.
It is here, inside this reality, that the importance of social media is found. The wisdom of the collective — the sharing of information, feedback from others — is the Zen of Web 2.0.
When searching for anything we want to find “the one” — the best, the perfect match. Whether it’s a vacation destination, a roommate, a home or a Realtor, we’re all looking for a way around hype.
Now we have one.
Blogs like Searching Seattle Blog or Reno Realty Blog don’t just claim intelligence, expertise and skill for the professionals behind them, they demonstrate it for all to see, share and comment on. As a consumer, I can go to places like these and get something invaluable: truth.
It is possible that we are witnessing the beginning of the end of bullshit in real estate and the start of an era of merit.
Wax on, wax off
The rigors of marketing to past clients are wearing Realtors thin. They are waxing on vigorously, attempting to keep them inside their sphere, to win them over with tried, true and tested tactics that are in reality now tired, trite and trivial.
They are also waxing off, arduously attempting to farm new business with refrigerator magnets, door hangers and “just bought” postcards. It’s the effort, the cost, the lack of originality and the unimpressive, unoriginal nature of these means that in the end do little to penetrate today’s consumer’s psyche.
They claim much, but demonstrate little.
George Carlin’s brilliant rant on stuff amusingly illustrates how deeply connected human beings are to their material possessions. But stuff transcends the physical. There’s the intellectual stuff we accumulate. The emotional stuff. The things we do day in and day out despite the fact that they may have overstayed their welcome or have become impossible to manage.
Social networking is, as George Carlin would say, a shiny new place to store all your intellectual, emotional and existential stuff. If you participate in social networks or create your own, you open a place for others like you to place theirs too.
You replace the old with the new. Your sphere grows. You connect with others in a profoundly new and original way.
It’s here, on these networks, that the difficult becomes simple. The doctor I needed is here, connected to people I know, with comments from past patients. So is the restaurant I want to try. The interior decorator I’ve been looking for. The magician for my kid’s party.
And the Realtor I need to hire.
“Our life is frittered away by detail … Simplify, simplify.” –Henry David Thoreau
Marc Davison is a founding partner of 1000watt Consulting. He can be reached at email@example.com.