Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Verdict is in. NAR "gets it"

A long long time ago (like October,) the National Association of REALTORS announced their plans to hire a Social Media Manager.  The job posting was quickly noticed by a broad range of REALTORS who were actively engaged in SM already, and Twitter and Blogs were abuzz.

Lots of talk on the blogs was skeptical, some cynical, some hopeful.  There was some chatter about it at the NAR Convention in Orlando (including some late night pontification between Aaron Wheeler of Oakville Properties and myself.)  To be quite honest, I gave consideration to applying for the position myself.  What stopped me?  Well, the way I saw it, this position could be one of two things:

A menial, mid-level position that paid a ho-hum wage, got carted out for shows, toed the company line and generally didn't have room for a big personality (OK, maybe that should read ego) like mine.  Not my cup o' tea

OR NAR would go for 

A "Player," well established in SM, networking and tech, with established ties to the "Twitterati" and top voices in the RE Blogsphere.  Someone who had already set up shop at the intersection of technology, networking, and real estate.  I'm not that guy either- I get it, but I haven't innovated, I don't blog regularly enough, haven't learned all the cutting edge tools in webcasting (like RealEstateZebra Daniel Rothamel), developed a kick ass resource/online shrine to my community (like Ines Hegedus-Garcia did with Miamism) or mastered the direct transcranial uplink (like Real Estate Shows Pres Jeff Turner.)

Well the cat's out of the bag, and NAR did it right.  They hired a Ninja, to use Todd Carpenter's own term.

Now I've never met Todd.  I've been following him on Twitter for quite a while, and feel like I know him a little, which is to say I know his reputation amongst people I respect, I know he doesn't take himself too seriously, he works out regularly (sadist) and has great taste in music (thanks

This hire and my reaction to it illustrates the importance and value of Social Media/Social Networking for businesspeople.  I don't know Todd in real life, but I still feel like I know him.  I feel confident he can do the job, and do it very well.  I think the people who hired him are smart, and I look forward to meeting him in person and doing "business" with him.

Isn't that what any of business person would want their future customers to feel about them?

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Embracing Winter

Winter is definitely making a big deal of itself here in Northern Michigan this year.  Lots of snow (though not too much lately) and really cold temps have been de rigueur.  I've long been a believer that the best way to make it through the cold and snowy days of winter is to embrace it, get out and enjoy it.  I ski with my kids even though I really don't enjoy it that much by myself, on account of abusing my knees in the past and not being the best skier to start with.  I ride snowmobiles, ice fish a little, and of course theres sledding and snow forts with the kids too.

We've got events coming up in the area to make winter more fun, too.  The second weekend of February (14th this year) is Winterfest on Crystal Lake in Beulah.  There is a softball tournament on the ice, fishing tournaments, a parade and fireworks, among other events.  This is a long standing event that I can remember attending as a kid.  In particular I recall racing down the lake on my old snowmobile with a perch in my pocket trying to make the deadline for the fishing contest.  I made it, but the perch wasn't quite as big as I thought it was.

The following weekend, Frankfort is holding a brand new event called Shiver by the River.  In addition to their own parade, games and fun, there also will be a snowcross race, right in town in what's known as "goose park".  This isn't a couple of guys on their old Rupps, but a real live snowcross race event.  Should be lots of excitement.

See you on the snow!