The preliminary verdict is in. Google+ for Realtors is a MUST.
But before I get to that, let’s slow down and summarize the two opposing views on Google+ that I’ve seen bandied about so far. In a nutshell, here they are:
- For Google+: To the early adopter goes the spoils. There are ALWAYS inherent advantages to being “first in” to any new technology or trend that succeeds. The first to master will be the first to leverage…
- Against Google+: Your clients are on Facebook, not Google+. There’s no point in making investment in Google+ until the masses make the move there (which may never happen!). If Facebook ain’t broke, don’t fix it…
This Ain’t Buzz or Wave
And let’s also address the other elephant(s) in the room: Google’s prior less-than-stellar attempts at – and I am using this term somewhat loosely – “Social” (Buzz, Wave, etc.). My opinion? Google+ is better – a LOT better – than those former weak attempts. Buzz never gained enough momentum to maintain my interest for more than a moment, and Wave – which I will admit DID look very promising at one point – wasn’t robust enough in the end to have real potential. It was a nice iteration toward something larger and or better, but it was not an end-game in and of itself, as history has since proven.
Six Posts You Need to Read
OK, having said all that, here’s why I think any Realtor would be wise to start making investment in Google+ sooner rather than later. Summarizing chunks of information I found while learning about Google+ myself, here are things you need to check out to understand why Google+ is worth a look now:
- Google+ Introduction and Thoughts for Real Estate Agents | Why You Need to Read This: Steve Pacinelli of TechSavvyAgent.com put together this excellent, comprehensive overview of Google+, specifically from a Realtor’s perspective. You simply MUST watch the video in this post. Watching it changed my level of interest in Google+ from “warm” to “hot.”
- Google+ Project: It’s Social, It’s Bold, It’s Fun, And It Looks Good — Now For The Hard Part | Why You Need to Read This: Because it talks about how Google+ has “optimized” the sharing process, and made it “fun.” In my limited experience with Google+, I have to agree. It is ALL ABOUT the sharing of information among unique populations of people. Think of the power of sharing super-focused content with your clients…and – perhaps – not with your competition…
- The Google+ 50 | Why You Need to Read This: Two Reasons: First, because if the six reasons included in this post aren’t enough, here are 50 more for you to consider, and, second, because Chris Brogan wrote this particular post. And that matters because I think Chris Brogan knows Social Media, and if he thinks Google+ has legs, it probably does. In fact, Chris and I had a private exchange on Twitter last week in which he encouraged me to get more involved in Google+. I view Chris as sort of like the Social Media mafia. If he says “jump,” my response is simply “how high.” And thanks for the encouragement, Chris.
- Is Google’s Hangouts Its Killer App? | Why You Need to Read This: This is from the New York Times. Here’s an excerpt from the post:
“I put on some pants and clicked my way into the room with six other people….and didn’t leave until nearly 3 in the morning. We spent several hours cracking jokes, making fun of each other’s snacks and welcoming other friends who noticed our group online and dropped in to say hello. At one point, we found YouTube videos with lyrics and turned the chat into an impromptu karaoke room.”
OK, so you’re thinking, “What does this have to do with real estate?” Nothing. But it has EVERYTHING to do with the potentially viral nature of Google+. If Google+ can get people to hang out until the middle of the night singing karaoke, they just might be on to something.
- Can Google+ Compete with Facebook and Twitter – Yup | Why You Need to Read This: Because it explains why Google+ might provide a future “demographic” edge. That is, Google+ is likely to catch on with a younger crowd that, statistics show, is drifting away from Facebook because of its increasingly aging population of users and because of its “everyone sees everything you post” nature. Google+’s “circles” are much easier to use than Facebook’s lists (and a much more integral part of the Google+ experience than Facebook’s lists are to the Facebook experience, which, by the way, stats show are used by only 5% of Facebook users). Kids don’t want their parents to know everything about them. Google+ allows that to happen easier than Facebook does.
- The Ubiquity of Google | Why You Need to Read This: Inman News Chief Evangelist Chris Smith tweeted this recently,
and it hit me like a ton of bricks, because it conveyed so much in so few words (I’ve replicated the point in the image below). Think about it: every time you use GMail or use Google to search – and I’ve been using GMail for years, and who doesn’t use Google for search? – there they are: the link to your Google+ page, your Google+ notifications indicator and the Google+ share box. You can’t escape them. Further, I’ve already become addicted to the little red box in the upper right corner of my GMail home page, telling me how many Google+ updates await me. It’s truly Pavlovian, and I’m only a week into this experience.
Facebook Killer? It Might Not Matter
Having said that all that, is Google+ a Facebook killer? That’s a statement I am not prepared to make. I remain convinced that Facebook is and will remain a monster for many years to come. It simply has too much mass and momentum for that not to be true.
However, even if Google+ never unseats Facebook, or even Twitter, for that matter, I will go on record as saying it will have enough success – particularly among certain demographics (who will one day soon be buying homes), and particularly among the the tech-savvy among us (and that population is only going to grow over time) – to warrant your checking it out in the near future…
So, get your Google+ on. Now.