Sticks And Stones May Break My Bones But Words Can CERTAINLY Hurt You

Interesting title right? Thank you! I’m sure you remember your mom, dad, teacher whomever saying this little gem when you were younger. And it used to be true.

I say used to be because words can without a doubt hurt you. Errr at least your business. I hate to be the first to tell you this but not everyone agrees with you.

As a good digital citizen I am active on the internet. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, WordPress, you name it – I’m probably on it. So I see all kinds of things on the inter webs. All kind of things. Good and bad.

Recently I came across a post in a Facebook forum dedicated to real estate. The real estate agents post got my attention. The subject: a listing she lost. Because of her political views.

Crazy right! Not so much. I’ve said it many times and you’ve heard it many times in your career, it’s one of the first things you learn about sales: People Do Business With People They Like And Trust. And I believe it.

The real estate agent lost the listing because she posted a video on Facebook about a presidential candidate. She later received a message from a seller she would be interviewing with to not come over as she didn’t want to waste her time as they are voting for this candidate.

Oh that hurts. And it was 100% preventable.

I’m controversial. I know that. When I was a sales exec in the title world I was saying things in my blogs and on video to get real estate agents to think – differently. In a world where so many sales execs were lining up to kiss the next ass for a deal I was asking questions like “what is your value” and “Are you a commodity”. Sometimes you have to push the onvelope. To be different.

But one place I never went was politics. NEVER. Am I a Republican? Democrat? Independent? Conservative? Fiscal Conservative? Moderate? Civil Libertarian? You don’t know because I have never talked about it. And I never would. You see, if I was a Democrat I may believe something different than you. And If I am Republican I may believe something different than you. But I may not get a chance to tell you what that is because you, like your sellers, buyers and future buyers and sellers may be offended.

So you need to ask yourself. Is your ability to feed your family, put your kids through school, put a roof over your head as important as your political views? The agent referenced above lost the opportunity to earn at least $3,000 on the low end and depending on the market, $30,000, $60,000 maybe even more.

I get it, it’s America and you can believe what you want. It’s a free country. But this cuts both ways. This also means your clients and potential clients are also free to work with whomever they see fit. Maybe someone that shares their political views.

You can draw a line in the sand and say “I only want to work with people that like X or Y” and it may make you controversial and you may end up attracting those like you to do business with. But in my experience, the top real estate agents have a well rounded business, one that does not rely on any one source for business.

It’s 2016. I’m not single but If I was, I would without a doubt check the Facebook page, Instagram etc of someone I was considering meeting with. Not only because I’d want to see how self centered they are, but I’d want to see if I can glean anything about their views, political or otherwise – are they like me? Are we compatible? Are they racist? Rude? Self centered or absorbed?

Your clients and potential clients undoubtably do the same. A quick glance of your Facebook page, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr or whatever will either bring them closer or much them away.

I stay away from everything and anything controversial – politics, abortion, religion, gay marriage, Syrian Refugees, climate change, gun control, ISIS, ISIL, The Taliban, Black Lives Matter, White Lives Matter, Immigration, Health Care, Foreign Policy, Taxes, The Wage Gap, Animal Testing, The Death Penalty, Medical Marijuana, Marijuana Legalization, Animal Testing, The Pledge Of Allegiance, Drone Strikes, Minimum Wage, Standardized Tests, Bathroom Identification, Gender Identification and anything else that would give someone pause in doing business with me or my company.

If you absolutely must post your political views on Facebook or any other social network it may be a good idea to join a private group dedicated to it. There your views would obviously be not only welcome but you may end up picking up some business. You could also adjust your privacy settings to prevent future clients from seeing anything you post. But this kind of goes against the point of SOCIAL media right?

Words can hurt. But not if you don’t post them.

Oh and if you must know, I’m a Republican-Democrat-Independent-Conservative-Fiscal Conservative-Moderate-Civil Libertarian who is also gay and straight :-)

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Stephen Garner

Hub Media Company is one of the few media companies dedicated to real estate video marketing. We create beautiful cinematic real estate video tours, lifestyle, community/subdivision as well as green screen video. We have over 13 years experience in the real estate space working with some of the top agents in the Phoenix Metro area.

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