Aggregate, Filter, Rinse and Repeat
There is an issue in the real estate industry right now that we need to face head on. Most Realtors are not currently and will never create new, relevant or shareable content. There I said it.
#3. I am not “Tech Savvy” like you and have no idea where to begin or what buttons to press
#2. It is a waste of time because real estate is a relationship game
#1. I do not have time to blog
As opposed to arguing those points which I do everyday until my blood pressure rises to unhealthy levels with this post I am just going to concede. Those of you that feel that way are right and you win, at least for today.
So as much as it kills me I am going to help the agents who fall into one of those 3 aforementioned mindsets by suggesting another strategy I am calling Aggregate, Filter, Rinse and Repeat.
The theory behind this strategy comes from the amount of information that is being thrust at us daily. Just take a look at your Facebook wall and look at how many options there are to that link away to a blog post or news article read. There is NO WAY to consume all of the content and still get any work done. Remember we are consumers so if it is overwhelming for us it is also overwhelming to others. If you are not going to create content then you need to get really good, really quickly at aggregating and filtering content for your sphere. As is my typical style I am not just here to preach theory I want to give you guys some tips and tools to make this process easier and time efficient so here we go…
Really just a fancy word for pulling together content from around the web, in fact if I didn’t have spell check I wouldn’t even be sure I was spelling it right! The best tools that I have found to aggregate content are as follows and in no particular order:
Google Alerts – By putting in keywords related to your market i.e. “Miami Events” or “Austin, TX Sports” you will get updates delivered to your inbox daily and not have to spend hours browsing the web. Keeping it simple the content comes to you in email format as opposed to you seeking out the content (don’t forget we will get to the filtering part in a minute). NOTE: I did not say set up keywords about real estate or your companies name, for this strategy to work you must be willing to face the fact that no one cares about real estate as much as we do so the content you aggregate shouldn’t always be real estate specific.
Feed Readers – I have been considering writing a post called “WTF is RSS” for a while now, my politically correct side has kept me from using that title. That being said I know for a fact that most real estate agents do not know what an RSS feed is, do not use feed readers or how to leverage them both to make there web life easier. In plain english a feed reader will organize all of the posts from the blogs and sites that you tell it to. So if you have a lot of sports fans in your sphere you may want to subscribe to ESPN, right wingers Fox News, car enthusiasts Motor Trend, etc… Instead of having to visit all of those sites individually each day you can open up your feed reader and all of the newest content will be waiting for you. The feed reader I recommend using is Google Reader and the best part is there is virtually zero learning curve. Shameless plug if you have not subscribed to our site at this point you are crazy but I forgive you and you can do so now by clicking here. Just be sure to read the rest of the post after you subscribe the filtering part is critical.
HootSuite/TweetDeck – Believe it or not there is arguably better content flying around Twitter (pun intended) than in Facebook. Why? The average Twitter user in my opinion is a bit more tech savvy than the average Facebooker which causes those of us Tweeting consistently to bring our A game when we share articles and info. By setting up a columns in Twitter using either HootSuite or TweetDeck (I use HootSuite) that are dedicated to industry leaders, local search terms and dare I say “gurus”, there will be another resource for you to quickly check to find new, fresh and quality information.
These 3 tools alone should be enough to secure the aggregation element. Yes there are others, these are the ones that work the best for me, are easy to use and best of all completely free.
So now that you have a lot of content to choose from by leveraging your shiny new aggregation tools it isn’t quite as simple as sending mails or hitting share and retweet a lot, filtering the content is king. Remember that you are not creating any content yourself because you either didn’t have the skills, belief or time to do. So instead you will need to spend some time sifting though this content fo13r your sphere. How you ask? Simple: read, watch or listen to it. If you truly want to become a source of great information without actually creating any original information it is going to be extremely important that you only share the best of the best from the web (kinda like this post if I do say so). If an article does not solicit emotion from you then do not share it with your peeps. I would also suggest that if a post or video is not poignant enough to cause you to want to leave a comment then again do not share it with your tribe. Seems like a fair deal to me. You don’t have to write or record, just read and watch. Please do not underestimate the importance of being a reliable filter, there is way too much crap being slung around Facebook and Twitter by Realtors so it should be fairly easy to differentiate yourself quickly.
Rinse and Repeat
Oh I bet at this point you can guess what this step entails. Aggregate and filter everyday, 7 days a week. Again, there is so much information flying around that being consistently present (some would call it top of mind) is no longer optional. If you get steps one and two right but are only putting content out weekly or monthly you will fail and be lost in the shuffle. Also, Facebook leverages something called Edge Rank when deciding where to put your status updates. If they make the Top News feed you will be seen and engagement will ensue. If not your updates will be a part of the arrely used Live Feed and will be lost in an even bigger shuffle. Rinse and Repeat can be done in less than 10 minutes a day if done properly