“In your opinion, what is the best thing you can buy for $3 or less? I say it’s a case of bottled water.” This was my most recent Facebook post. It was not a calculated question, and I had no expectations for the number of responses or likes I’d receive. I simply marveled at being able to buy a case of bottled water for $3 and was curious if I was alone in my thinking.

But herein lies the power of social media. What many people miss is how the responses give me a huge customer service opportunity! These seemingly simple answers provide me a glimpse into the complex mindset of past clients, colleagues and competitors. Now, here’s your glimpse into MY mindset as I received these responses.

  • “A bag of Swedish Fish.” Guess who gets some Swedish Fish as part of my ongoing marketing plan to past clients?
  •  Where are you buying a case of water for $3.00?!?” a chance to talk about the difference in cost of living between Raleigh and D.C.
  •  “The best thing you can do with $3 or less is donate it! Your wallet will never notice it’s missing… And every $1 makes a difference.”a reminder to discuss our charitable projects next time I see her.
  •  I would buy an old used book that taught me something. You can consume it and get use out of it and it would still be there sitting on my shelf when I’m done.”If I ever work with this person,  I need to remember to discuss the long-term benefits of owning a home.
  •  Starbucks. LOL.” — Next time I send an offer to this agent, I get to present it by saying, “If your clients’ accept this offer, the Starbucks is on me!”
  •  “Dollar shave club” This is a current client. Might make a nice closing gift. I placed a note in GoConnect to remind me.
  •  “A card for your wife with a handwritten note inside telling her how fabulous she is. Feel free to pass that along to your bro-in-law.” — I hope you are reading this, Dougie. 

Not every answer has to be the stepping stone to an immediate sales pitch. Don’t be that guy. But do not discount the snippets of information you receive. As agents, we are taught to stay “top of mind,” right?  Instead of sending that “time change” postcard this fall, put your social media to work. If we understand our clients on a more personal level, we have an opportunity to deliver more customized service. We can develop stronger relationships. Oh, and we can have some laughs.

After all, one of the best responses was: “If 40 of the people that commented donated three bucks, we could have Vanilla Ice play your birthday party. Perhaps you’re more of a Color me Bad sort of guy … I don’t know. Personally, I’d book Snow.

Zach Schabot is the founder of , a checklist app for real estate agents, and Better Homes and Gardens – , a culture-based real estate company in Cary, North Carolina. Follow Zach on Twitter: @zachschabot.

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