Those beloved referral groups on Facebook may not be the answer to your professional prayers, writes Sue “Pinky” Benson. There’s a better way, and Benson is here with a breakdown of how to improve them.

I might just be risking my cherished spot in the referral group hall of fame by saying this, but someone’s gotta do it. Brace yourselves, because I’m about to spill the beans on the dark side of those beloved referral groups on Facebook.

You know, the ones where agents gather like seagulls on a forgotten beach fry? Yeah, those. But don’t worry, I’ll also be dishing out some helpful tips on how to do better in these referral groups.

Let’s be clear here: I’m not about to badmouth all Facebook groups. I mean, I’m in some seriously impressive ones that actually help you level up your business game and forge meaningful connections. But let’s face it, the referral groups are another beast entirely. It’s like the real estate version of a wild-west showdown, only with keyboards instead of six-shooters.

Picture this: A utopian idea where agents from different corners of the world share leads like Santa gives out presents. In theory, it’s like a beautiful symphony of collaboration. In reality, it’s a jam-packed mosh pit of spam.

You’d think one person tagging their connection would suffice, but oh no, it’s the age-old principle of “the more, the merrier.” Suddenly, your notification bar is screaming for mercy. Even I, the proud recipient of the over-tagging phenomenon, find it slightly mortifying. Are we playing tag or trying to sell houses here?

Oh, and let’s talk cliques. Remember high school? Those groups of inseparable friends who couldn’t stand being apart for a nanosecond? Well, welcome to the grown-up version.

There’s always that one gang that goes all out, tag-apalooza-style. I once witnessed a full-on emergency group text because a “lead” emerged, and these pals rallied the troops with more ferocity than a fire brigade. Yes, yes, loyalty is wonderful, but couldn’t it be more subtle than a bullhorn at a library?

But let’s hit the brakes on the spam train and steer into the next pitfall. Imagine a referral post with more comments than the world’s most popular cat video. Once the comment count crosses the 100 mark, it’s like attempting a stand-up comedy routine in a room filled with soundproof walls.

The agent looking for the referral is probably drinking coffee and cackling at memes while you’re still fighting for attention in the comments section.

Vet your referrals first

Now, onto the brave souls who initiate these referral rodeos. If you’re reading this, here’s a PSA for you: Before you unleash your “referral” onto the group, can we get some vetting up in here? It’s like someone shouting “Free beer!” at a party — and you discover it’s actually root beer.

Sure, post your referral, but know what you’re actually dealing with. Ask questions! “Hey, potential client considering moving to Florida within the next decade” isn’t exactly a hot lead.

Vet your agents, too

Let’s also talk about agent vetting. Would you marry someone you just met on a reality TV show? Hopefully not. So why are we so hasty when it comes to tagging potential agents? Google them, stalk them on Zillow, read reviews, maybe even call them.

It’s like applying for a job: You wouldn’t hire someone based on a single tweet, right?

Use the FB search function

Speaking of detective work, here’s a little secret to dodge the referral comment showdown: Search the group for a post instead. Type in the city you need for your referral, and voilà! Agents are at your fingertips, just a click away. Certainly, take a moment to double-check they’re still active in the business because, well, selling houses is sort of a requirement.

Track your referral partner markets

And here’s a final tip for you, dear agents: Why not take it a step further? Create your own Google map of your referral partners. It’s easy to make, just give Google a quick search. With this nifty map, your peeps are at your fingertips, neatly organized and ready to roll.

Now, back to the grand finale: I love social media. My business blossomed thanks to it. There’s a goldmine of opportunity in these referral groups if we all just put on our grown-up pants and act like responsible professionals.

There’s plenty of real estate to go around, and let’s remember that even in this tech-driven world, good old-fashioned respect still matters. So, dear agents, let’s stop turning these groups into a circus, shall we? Real estate isn’t going extinct anytime soon — but our patience might if we keep this up.

Sue Benson is the Pink Lady of real estate in Naples, Florida. Find her on Instagram, or visit her website.

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