Nardigras & e-PRO launch in Review

The SMMI team was in New Orleans from November 3-8th for the National Association of REALTORS 2010 conference and for the launch of the newly revamped e-PRO® technology certification program for REALTORS®. The week was a busy one to say the least. I delivered presentations five days in a rows, sometimes more than once and managed to keep my voice!! I feel like I should have a shirt that says “I survived Nardigras!”

Expert Panel featuring Bill Lublin, Stefan Swanepoel, Ginger Wilcox, Richard Silver

The first e-PRO® course was taught on November 4th while we simultaneously trained over 60 instructors. We received great reviews from both legacy instructors and the super social media/tech savvy set.

We are quite pleased with the overall content of the course, as as well as the feedback on Day 1. Day 1 covers the significant changes in marketing, communications and consumer behavior and then dives into reputation management, ethics, and social networking. Social networking isn’t a magic pill to solve all your business problems. We don’t believe that, nor do we teach it.  We teach how to integrate the tools into a REALTORS® practice in a manner that best fits their individual business model.

My partner Bill and I had the opportunity to sit on an Expert Panel with Stefan Swanepoel and Richard Silver.  As always, Stefan offered great insight.  One of the things that struck me was Stefan’s comment that our lives have been radically changed by social media – Facebook was so 2007, Twitter was so 2009.  The train is already moving and you can’t stop it.  You have to jump on and figure out how to use these tools.  Stefan is right.  The train is moving at high speed.  Some people resisted email, but it is clearly a communication channel that had to be adopted just like social networking tools today.   If you have been resisting, it’s time to learn.  Stefan’s social media report has some great stats about social media adoption.  We received a number of questions about which platform was best for this or that.  Bill stressed the point that before you choose the platform, you have to identify a business need for the tool.

I didn’t get a chance to sit in on very many sessions because of my hectic schedule but I did get the chance to meet and speak with a lot of attendees.  I was excited to have real estate professionals from every demographic in my sessions – new agents to seasoned professionals, young and old, tech savvy and not.  Real estate professionals are excited to adopt new technology.  They have figured out how to log on to these tools, now they are looking for ways to be more effective and efficient in their businesses.

I saw a few interesting new products/services that I will be testing out, but I also saw a lot of old tools pretending to be new tools.  Buyer beware, just because it says Facebook and Twitter on it, doesn’t make it the right tool.

The best social media tools (or any tool for that matter) are the ones that you use that accomplish your ultimate goals.

And that is another post!