Shiny Object Syndrome
My real estate career has been an interesting ride.
When I started, the rules of the game were so different.
Fifteen years ago, the primary way agents met new clients was via an open house. Our method of advertising was newspaper ads, billboards, and for the few who could afford it, maybe radio and television.
Technology, with the maturity of the internet, began to change the game.
Home computers and the internet created a world where commerce and research could be done from home. Real estate buyers and sellers could find homes, agents, and information from the comfort of their homes.
For the real estate industry it was the beginning of shiny object syndrome.
Shiny objects are the fresh new tools that come along that you “must have”, with which to transform your business.
For real estate agents, websites were the first shiny object. We take websites for granted now, but for a while, it was the focus.
Websites. A shiny object. A magic bullet. Now my business will be easy.
With each subsequent technological advance I behaved like Dory from Finding Nemo. You know the fish that has the super short attention span. Afflicted with shiny object syndrome.
After websites the use of cell phones exploded, and marketers came up with a new shiny object. It was called “call capture”.
Here’s how it worked:
You would put an 1-800 phone number on top of a sign, the interested buyer would call the number and you would capture their phone number. This allowed you to “follow up” with the potential buyer. In reality it was dishonest. Those folks would call the number just looking for information, but what they were actually doing was giving the listing agent their cell phone number.
Something didn’t feel right about the practice of getting people’s cell phone number without their permission so I cancelled the service.
The last great shiny object for which I fell victim was the shiny object called “leads”.
Leads are the most tantalizing of shiny objects. Leads are the names, phone numbers, and email addresses that you as a sales person pay for when you subscribe to some lead generation marketer. Or, to use a real estate analogy, a prospect you met in an open house.
Leads are like illicit drugs. You get them for little cost up front, from your “lead” dealer. You start to chase these leads. The leads begin to dictate your schedule, and one day you realize you have designed your entire life around your “lead habit”.
The problem is that your leads don’t know you, they don’t like you, they don’t respect you. They have no context for you and they have no loyalty towards you.
One day you end up in the gutter, strung out, burned out and hopeless. Your self respect, along with your money, are gone.
Leads, the deadliest of shiny objects.
I implore you, fellow sales professionals–stop chasing leads.
Start building relationships.
You can thank me later.