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 blip.fm)
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?