Chicken soup for the social soul

I’m no Abe Lincoln. I don’t posses his self-assurance. Or his legendary judgment. But he taught me the importance of holding two opposing thoughts in my head at the same time – something I was called upon to do this week.

On Monday, I had strong set of beliefs about social media. Today they are altered. While I owe a debt of gratitude to Lincoln for showing me the importance of having an open mind, I have someone to thank for filling it with brightness: Bill Lublin.

Chicken soup for the social soul

Like chicken soup, beliefs tend be as any Jewish grandmother would advise, a little bit of this mixed with a whole lot of that and cooked over heat for a long period of time.

And, like chicken soup, beliefs can sometimes be a bit cloudy.

After speaking with Bill yesterday (which turned out be a historically long phone call where time passed far too quickly) my beliefs on social media poured through his cheesecloth.

Today, they are clarified.

For the record, I take this social media thing pretty seriously. But only because of the threat I feel it presents to brokers and agents when pitched by overzealous promoters who use everything from exaggerated success stories to scare tactics to sell whatever it is they’re selling.

I saw this occur during the 90’s, when real estate discovered the Internet, and in the early part of this decade when technology salespeople were peddling crack disguised as ambrosia. So many real estate people bought into goods that were anything but. Thankfully, karma has a way of working things out and while most real estate people are still around, many of the vendors that sold snake oil aren’t.

But there are always new ones emerging. Tugging at me to sound the alarm. Warning. Warning.

I was not alone in this concern. Real Estate Tomato launched in an effort to provide products and education for emerging bloggers. As did Internet Crusade and Active Rain. Leading Real Estate Companies of the World swiftly reacted with concern, creating the blogging platform Propopoly to better enable agents to blog safely through the use of their editorial and legal eye. Frances Flynn Thorsen and her firm created social media policies to bring some order to the discussion.

All around me geysers of goodness where springing forth. But I was skeptical. I had beliefs. And I kept to them. Despite emerging facts around me.


When SMMI launched, delivering a social media program wrapped around a 2-day course that culminates with a social media designation, my skepticism was unwavering. Fueled by other cynics both inside and outside the industry who paid too much attention to the negative aspects of social media, I found myself focusing so intensely on the bad I failed to acknowledge the good.

Then I spoke to Bill this week. And it might very well stand out as the best phone call I’ve had in the 13 years I’ve been in real estate.

Bill told me things that made me laugh. He told me things that made me think. Bill also told me things that made me cry (Bill, that long pause of silence while you were speaking was me trying like hell to compose myself).

After the call, I shut down my computer. No wait, first I ate some humble pie and DM’d a few people. There are more on my list like Ginger, Jeff, Jim and bunch more who I now understand a whole lot better than I ever allowed myself too. Thanks to Bill Lublin. And Abe Lincoln.

Then I went home. I hugged my wife. A little tighter than I normally do.

I was wrong

As it turns out, my beliefs are still in tact. And my instincts about social media are not wrong actually. At least according to Bill, whom I learned shares the very same passions and concerns I do.

Where I have been remiss is not realizing how many more advocates there are in real estate who are looking out for everyone’s best interest. If only I just paid a little more attention, or as Todd suggested on Twitter, get a little social media training of my own, I might have recognized it. Damn straight Todd. I was blind.

I see better today.

– Davison Twitter