Mike Ferry slams social media, reveals total web ignorance

March 16, 2011
1955 Views
At the Coldwell Banker Generation Blue Conference, a “smackdown” was staged between Mike Ferry and Matthew Ferrara, silk robes, gloves, and all. The merits of social media were the key takeaway for those of us willing to stomach the entire presentation.

In the spirit of debate, we reached out to Mike Ferry (via email 03.17.11, 5:04pm CST) offering him an opportunity to write a rebuttal article but he has declined.

This isn’t the first time Mike Ferry has come under fire, especially here at AG, but don’t worry- he’ll tell you on stage that it is because he is controversial and he’ll spin it into some scenario that makes him look so hip and edgy. At the Gen Blue smackdown, long time real estate coach and speaker Mike Ferry started the debate and reminded the attendees that he was super controversial in 1985 and in 1995 and was even “banned” from presenting at NAR conventions once upon a time (which he so cleverly said stands for “non active realtors” and that the R stood for “retard”) for undermining NAR programs. Umm, so? I was banned from IHOP in college because my idiot friend got in a fight, does that make me edgy?

We agree with Ferry wholeheartedly that productivity per agent is ridiculously low and survival rates are dismal, but when talking about being banned from NAR in the Cretaceous Period, he went into some bit about “truth is the discovery of reality” and told everyone to get naked and look in the mirror- “that is reality.” Simon Cowell would have called this oddly placed, possibly recycled joke “self indulgent” for sure.



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Where I really take issue with Ferry:

Besides his air of self importance, I was really irked that Ferry claimed that he works with “every top producer” in America (except maybe that old Russell Shaw who is one of the nation’s top producers yet seems to be… oh, what is the word is opposite of fan? Yeah, that.)

Where I really take issue with Ferry is that he had this clever bit where he held up a copy of USA Today from January 1st that called 2010 the “year that no one talked” and he emphatically said that of course Realtors aren’t talking, they’re all tweeting and facebooking.

My favorite line that sums up Ferry’s position is “your only job is being in front of people because people don’t buy a home off Facebook, they don’t buy a home off YouTube, they don’t buy a home off what you twittered to them, they buy a home in face to face conversation because selling requires communication, communication requires conversation, conversation requires people talking to each other.”

Ferry repeats an old talking point that all agents are looking for a magic bullet, and his solution is “just talk to people.” Then he poo poos social media.

Dear Mike Ferry, WTF do you think Facebook, Twitter, Quora and the like are? It’s a fancy new fangled type of talking called TYPING. It’s more than picking up the phone to cold call that old lady up the street, it’s wide spread simultaneous communication, and social media is the ability to communicate and CONVERSE on a massive scale. How ignorant that you don’t understand this very basic technology?

With social media, I can talk to thousands of people simultaneously in an effort to gather those people offline. And I do. I’m really good at getting people offline to get to those conversations you covet, but most people I know would never ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever take a cold call (unknown number on smartphone’s caller ID = voicemail for you), nor would they want a Realtor they’ve already closed with to call them on that dreaded phone (welcome to Gen Y, bro). Deal done = go away, I’ll call you when I need you.

Ferry talks about people not buying homes on Facebook and he’s right, but his delivery asserts that this point means Facebook is ineffective which is where he is wrong. I know hundreds of Realtors who garner and retain clients exclusively through social networking and hell, *I* refer out five to six hot referrals to Realtor friends online each week and that’s not even my job!

Even Realtor.com Sales Manager Chris Smith disagrees with the Ferry assertions. “The social graph is a marketers dream and if pounding the phones is the approach that you are going to use I think the access to information about people’s real life makes the calls convert at a higher rate.”

“Social media is stupid.” Uh no, YOU are stupid.

I’m sure the old Ferry camp saw the printing of the Gutenberg bible as a threat they didn’t understand, rather crap talked. I’m sure the phone was scary and seen as an ineffective tool once upon a time, followed by the fax machine. This mentality is a major disservice to Ferry clients and to the industry- go out and find out for yourself what works for you instead of blindly following someone who clearly has no grasp on the reality of the modern marketplace (try telling your listing client their home will not be online, I dare you).

I’m not here to sell anyone social media, but I would (and billions of dollars spent in 2010 alone) argue that social networks are not stupid, but for those like Ferry that believe they are, please, for the love of God, stay away. Please stay off of Twitter and Facebook because it will be obvious your ignorance of web culture where the hard sale is not welcome and you’ll make the industry appear smarmier than you already do.

AGBeat Chief Operating Officer: Lani, named 100 Most Influential, as well as 12 Most Influential Women in Blogging, Bashh Founder, Out and about in Austin A Lister, is a business and tech writer and startup consultant hailing from the great state of Texas in the city of Austin. As a digital native, Lani is immersed not only in advanced technologies and new media, but is also a stats nerd often buried in piles of reports. Lani is a proven leader, thoughtful speaker, and vested partner at AGBeat.



Weigh in...

  • http://www.benjaminbach.com Benjamin Bach

    Glad I wasn’t the only one thinking this as I watched the vid. WOWZERS!

    @benjaminbach

    PS we’re working on a 120,000 sq ft development, where the land owner and the developer both started working with us via our blogs & social media. Someone call Mike and tell him!

  • http://agentgenius.com Benn Rosales

    I don’t know Mr. Ferry personally, but if I were in his shoes watching an eroding consumer base, I’d probably panic too and spew on things that were killing my grasp. The sad thing is, many of his 5k clients will believe him rather than become empowered to find out for themselves. Right or wrong, he is guilty of the same thing NAR is guilty of, which is attempting to shoe box Realtors into a singular framework, rather than individual entrepreneurs.

    Coldwell Banker was hard up for talent?

    • http://www.Kens411.com Ken Brand

      I’m with you Benn. It’s a smart strategy for him. Pander to a niche that want’s to believe that they will remain relevant. Sad for everyone in that Tribe.

    • http://SheilaBell.com Sheila Bell

      If you knew Mike like I knew Mike (to Eddie Cantor music), this rhetoric would be of no surprise at all. Though he probably really believes what he said (again, no surprise), it would not be unusual for him to be contrary for contrary sake! It’s too bad that he hasn’t brought his talents into the social media world (he does have skill)…he does himself, the people with whom he works and the industry an injustice by relying on his ever-present ego to pontificate!

  • http://realestatecommunities.com Chris

    “With social media, I can talk to thousands of people simultaneously in an effort to gather those people offline.”

    Well put Lani! That just about sums it up.

    He sounds similar to “big newspapers” saying that they don’t need to change their business model. *crickets*

    Pick up the phone and call someone… lol, yea that will get you a ton of business.

    • Larry

      Brian you nailed it and that is EXACTLY why Tom Ferry is the man going forward. He was raised in the “old world” and transformed into the “new” … Tom offers us the best of both worlds check him out, start with one of his T3 events if you are in San Jose next week I think he is too.

  • S. Brown

    This video is best heard on Mute. And Mike Ferry’s a little bitch who doesn’t know about much of anything that pertains to my actual day selling homes. But he knows how to sign a check on the back, so cool ~ it’s another pay day for yet another speaking engagement from someone NOT selling houses. I am so very tired of the SAME OLD, haggard non-selling speakers, “experts of one kind or another,” who dominate NAR conventions, Agent ReBoot, and these huge franchise seminars. Snooze button HIT. I won’t name names but we all know who they are. REALTORS will not be boxed in nor condensed down to 30 minutes of babble.

  • http://Diegocentric.com Christa Borellini

    Interesting that his son has a totally opposite view. I am a TF coaching client. TF is relevant and strives to remain so. I know it’s not very nice of me to say, but Good for those coaches and real estate agents that don’t want anything to do with the way business is changing. They are creating their own obsolescence. I’m all for thinning out the heard.
    Great post BTW…Keep it up!

  • http://sfvrealestate.blogspot.com Judy Graff

    Jeez, what a dinosaur!

  • http://www.somdexpert.com Jonathan Benya

    I was going to write a bit of great insight here, and then I realized that the only thing I found compelling about Ferry is his natural ability for salesmanship. He’s had decades of practice, and I applaud him for the ability, but I’ve never been able to get over the love-them-then-leave-them sales approach. I understand why he doesn’t believe in it, and it’s only because he doesn’t fully appreciate the life and approach to true online lead generation.

  • http://wallingfordwired.com Wayne Harriman

    Well, this might have been entertainment, but I still award the round to Matt Ferrara. I subscribe to Matt’s blog so I know where he stands, but I have no clue what Mike Ferry is about, other than from this video, and I must admit he sounds a little archaic in his thinking. His students might be very successful using his methods, and more power to them if they are, but I’m glad to headed into the F.U.T.U.R.E with Matt. I wonder if we went to Mike’s house, would we find a horse in the garage, a mustard-yellow rotary phone in the kitchen and a 900 page, dog-eared copy of the Yellow Pages on the counter?

  • http://viewsouthcarolinarealestate.com Mark Brian

    This reminds me of a saying I heard once “If we always do today what we did yesterday, we are doomed to fail tomorrow”.

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  • http://www.mflearn.com Matthew Ferrara

    Lani:
    Thanks for picking this up; Of course, I’m in agreement with your sentiments on this; it was very hard to prepare for the event on one hand, because it’s like trying to tell someone from the year 1300 that the world isn’t flat…. but in the end, I think the audience had a good time and was able to see both sides and take away some sense of how the world is changing. There’s a need for excellent salesmanship in the real estate industry; it’s simply that the communication tools to leverage in that sales process have changed. I hope I was able to point out a few ways customers expect us to do it in the FUTURE.

    Have a great day,
    Matthew Ferrara
    facebook.com/mfcompany

    • http://SheilaBell.com Sheila Bell

      As always, Matthew, you are able to pull it together. I can’t think of a better person on the “counterpoint” to Mike Ferry! My only disappointment is that I wasn’t in the audience! Some things *never* change and, I think you’ll agree, Mike takes pride in his positioning that is contrary to current trends (and I’ve known him since 1979).

      You’ve been on the “edge” for nearly 20 years (near as I can remember)…you were but a pup when we first met! Keep it up and THANK YOU FOR YOUR IDEAS!

  • http://www.thescvagents.com Robert Mickalson

    Love the blog post, and some of the comments. I’d guess that 3/4 of that CB crowd will be out of business in less than 10 years anyways, and probably enjoying their retirement. If they can afford one. I prefer to focus on my online strategies to promote our brand. It is the FUTURE as Ferrara promotes. I think it is NOW, too. So few agents (Nationally) currently focus on building their business online, in effective ways. It’s one thing to be on Facebook to build your business…it’s another to DO Facebook effectively. And that goes for other SM hubs to market your RE biz. NOW is the time do take advantage of this window to grow your real estate business online (blog/SM/video, review sites, etc)…while there is so much debate as to whether or not it’s a waste of time. In 5 years time, I’m pretty sure there won’t be a debate about this any longer, and those who put their head down to do great work now, will be hugely rewarded, then. Sorry Mike Ferry, I don’t have a home phone, I have Google Voice, and it loves to screen sales calls.

    • http://www.Kens411.com Ken Brand

      Hear, hear.

  • http://www.lesleylambert.com LesleyLambert

    Couldn’t stomach watching the whole thing. I have witnessed Ferry’s ignorance enough times to know to steer clear when his name is mentioned. If he wants to stay “old school” he sure can, but I want nothing to do with his company or their methods.

  • http://tampalocators.com Dave Kinkade

    Wow. This is just pitiful. Talk about tone-deaf!

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  • http://www.kevintomlinson.com Kevin “Troll” Tomlinson

    Well, at the ‘old’ company I left…just as I left or shortly thereafter, they had a ‘Breaking Thru to 2011′ ra-ra thing w/Mike Ferry.

    OMG …I knew that it was time to get the heck outta dodge. Gurl, this child did not look back.

    While I have my “issues” w/SM…I’d like to clock Mr. Ferry. I dress like a complete slob when I am in the office. Why? Because I’m not meeting clients. They are in NYC, Brasil, Dubai ….The interwebs is the new workhorse of real estate.

    Clients don’t want a salesperson breathing down there back. Heck, I don’t want me anywhere near ‘me’. The ‘do their thing’ on the interwebs and call the agent of choice (let’s not get into who that agent may be…for this discussion it is off-topic–and you KNOW how much I stay ON TOPIC in my communiques on the interwebs). But I Digress

    The real issue here is the way people buy and sell real estate has changed. DRASTICALLY. I never see my clients. The only want one thing from me: to get the job done. The don’t want to be my friend. Read my blog to learn about the new canned food drived for the Koreans….nada. They love you if you do the job that they hired you to do.

    Anyhoo…Ferry’s on the slow boat to China with his thoughts. Heck (shameless plug coming) 1000WattBlog just gave the new Sotheby’s iPad app rave reviews…http://1000wattconsulting.com/blog/2011/03/the-one-where-i-finally-find-what-ive-been-looking-for-in-real-estate-search.html

    When someone asks me for a brochure…I tell them it’s all online. And they appreciate not having to carry some dorky brochure around.

    BTW…Mike Ferry doesn’t coach me and I’m pretty much the sh*t in Miami. #justsayin.

  • http://www.nohasslelisting.com Russell Shaw

    It is hard to believe this! Mike Ferry, a self important, know it all! Say it isn’t true, Lani!!

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  • http://haileplantationrealestate.com Coleen DeGroff

    If real estate agents want to be comforted that the “old ways” work and the “new ways” are useless, well then — that just leaves more business for me. Thank you Mike Ferry!

  • http://retechulous.com ryan hartman

    Damn. Whether you agree or not, this was an atypically ballsy and fun post for these here parts?

  • http://MoCoRealEstate.com Bruce Lemieux

    I don’t care for Mike Ferry’s coaching methodology (at all) or views on SM. However, I think his core point is that you must *actively* engage your prospects and clients. Don’t expect to do much business if you are just *passively* make twitter updates, FB entries, blog posts, check-ins, etc. I think that’s an important point.

    Phone calls and person-to-person meetings are the only ways to interact with people in real-time (add video chat to that). It is the most efficient and effective way to resolve objections, resolve concerns and close transactions. It is also the hardest.

  • A Top Producing MFO Fan!

    WOW. Truly … WOW.

    First and foremost, the “smack down” between Mike Ferry and Matthew Ferrara was meant to show Real Estate agents the extreme viewpoints via the “Pro Social Media” conduit vs. the “Anti-Social Media” conduit, in a light-hearted fashion. To say the only thing you obtained from the presentation was “the merits of social media being the key takeaway,” is ignorant, and only proves that you went in with a bad attitude and preconceptions about Mike Ferry to begin with. You admit this in your statement, “This isn’t the first time Mike Ferry has come under fire…” on your little news blog. Not a very good attribute to have as a “News Director.” Correct me if I’m mistaken, but doesn’t your profession obligate you to deliver the “news” in an unbiased manner?

    Moving on … You have a bad habit of taking Mike Ferry’s words and delivering them out of context. The point of him saying that he was considered controversial back in the day and had been banned in those forums for his ideas was the joke that followed in which he said that now he is considered a dinosaur. The point was … if it’s not one thing, it’s another as far as people complaining about what he believes and preaches, and the bottom-line is … what Mike Ferry teaches his clients WORKS.

    Also, let it be duly noted that when Mike said the NAR acronym meant “Non-Active Realtor,” the crowd was uproariously pleased. Not only that, you obviously agree with his disposition as you so clearly display in your comment, “We agree with Ferry wholeheartedly that productivity per agent is ridiculously low …”

    Furthermore, you write that Mike Ferry’s “air of self-importance” irked you when he claimed that he works with “every top-producer” in America … this is not what he said. He proudly expressed that he works with “most of the most productive agents” in America. This is just another case in point where you hear what you want to hear, rather than relaying the facts to your readers.

    In addition, another item I find ridiculous about your “article,” is the fact you unabashedly state that TYPING is another form of talking. YOU ARE A CLOWN … typing is NOT talking … it couldn’t be further from the truth. Aside from the “words,” the art of conversation entails body language and tonality as well. Clearly, something you cannot express in an e-mail, or some other form of typed message. As a writer, you should know that something written in an email could easily be misconstrued because body language and tonality are absent from the equation, therefore leading the reader to make his or her own assumptions about what you mean or don’t mean to say.

    Mike Ferry’s stance on Social Media makes sense. In your down-time, of course … use these venues as a way to keep in touch with your family and friends if that makes you happy; however, when you are supposed to be working, do exactly that … WORK! Don’t spend all your time updating individuals on your status, when in reality, nobody cares what you ate for dinner, or that you are so excited because you just got “your hair did” … spend your time on MONEY MAKING ACTIVITIES.

    Finally, to insult Mike Ferry by calling him “stupid” shows complete immaturity and unprofessionalism on your part. He has been succeeding in this industry longer than you have been spouting your bullshit, and his company longevity and client success ratio speaks to the contrary.

    Let me ask you Lani … Because you are a professional “blogger” and “tweeter,” in regards to Real Estate … Are you scared Mike Ferry will hurt your business by dismissing Social Media? Why don’t you try absorbing the material objectively before you start mouthing off and giving false information about the event, or your insignificant opinion on what Real Estate agents should or shouldn’t be doing, when you aren’t even an agent yourself … At least Mike Ferry practices what he preaches and has the experience as an Agent, as well as a Broker/Manager, allowing him to stand behind what he passionately believes will help agents have a successful career.

    We call that WINNING. Drive Thru.

    • http://www.Kens411.com Ken Brand

      Since I don’t know your name – Top Producing MFO Fan, maybe if Mike were to incorporate the very best social media strategies and avoid the lame ones, he and his clients could move from WINNING to BI-WINNING. You know, like Sheen.

      I do agree with your take on TYPING, it’s not as communication rich as face to face conversation, never the less, I’m pretty sure I have a pretty good take on what you’re saying. Which makes it a relevant and valuable way to communicate in the 2011.

      Also, online communication allows us to have conversations we might not otherwise have, which can be a positive for the sales business. You didn’t include this downside in your comment, but another downside to this type of communication is that people can talk (type) to people in away they would never would face to face If they did, they might get their teeth knocked out. Plus, when people talk face to face, they know who they are talking too – it’s hard to be anonymous.

  • http://www.cliffstevenson.com Cliff Stevenson

    I don’t get this guy. Never will. Isn’t this a similar stance to Buffini’s that he reiterated at this past NAR convention? We’re certainly talking about him, so he’s got the buzz going, but I can’t see how this is positive for him and his desire to attract new coaching clients.

  • http://www.realty4atlanta.com Dan Connolly

    Mike Ferry was helpful to me back when we didn’t have internet, cell phones, faxes or email, and when the MLS was like a telephone book and came out every two weeks. As far as I can tell his schtick hasn’t changed a bit. He was old back then.

    Now on to the real reason for my comment Lani you said ” *I* refer out five to six hot referrals to Realtor friends online each week and that’s not even my job!”

    BTW don’t forget I am in Atlanta, my dear dear friend ;-) !

  • http://greenhomesnashville.com Anna Altic

    Wow – Great article. I just sat on a panel last night hosted by SMCNash, our moderator was Brian Copeland along with Kristy Owen (365 things to do in Austin) and a few of us Nashville folks. Interesting event, the consensus from all of it was that blogging, yelping, facebooking, trulia, pod castings, twittering etc. had indeed created chances to have even even more face to face dialogue, more opportunities to share our expertise, and many unexpected opportunities we hadn’t even set out to realize.

    Matthew F thanks for this statement – “There’s a need for excellent salesmanship in the real estate industry; it’s simply that the communication tools to leverage in that sales process have changed.” That’s about the best I’ve heard integrating social networking in to your business articulated.

    Now lets see, I can spend the next hour attempting to call and reach 10 people who aren’t expecting to hear from me with nothing in particular to say. I could also spend an hour engaging in some conversations on line with groups I have identified as having common interests and values, give a little update about what i’m up to the 400-500 people I keep up with and then when I do inevitably encounter them voila – we actually have something to talk about. Now that does seem a waste of time.

  • http://blog.movoto.com MH for Movoto

    Yiiiiiiikes. I suppose he blames the rise of social media for the housing crash?

  • http://www.sarabonert.com Sara Bonert

    Thanks for posting the video! I obviously believe in social media- I am sure everyone who is reading this blog does too. I could have done without the puffery story about being kicked out of NAR and didn’t appreciate the NAR acronym. Curious to know how the text in vote came out – anyone know?

    However, I liked the format of debating conflicting views – I think it helps stress the learning point. I was recently on a panel where all of us had the same view, I believe the panel would have been much more effective for the audience if a conflicting view were represented.

    My guess is that the event organizers knew that Pro Social Media would win, and having someone argue against it (tough job imo) only highlights the conclusion they wanted the audience to come to, in an entertaining way.

    If you listen to the clapping and reaction from the audience throughout the presentation, sounds like they found both sides entertaining as well.

  • http://www.mikeferry.com Mike Ferry

    Good Morning Lani,

    Assuming you’re not going to post this particular message either … one of the saddest parts about social media is that you’re doing exactly what makes this system not work. You are deciding what can be posted as a response to your blog, as we know for a fact there have been numerous people who have called or sent emails responding to you in a very positive fashion and because you have the right to edit the material, you’re choosing not to post them. It is interesting you would take the position of attacking without even knowing what Coldwell Banker was trying to accomplish at the Gen Blue Experience, but what’s really sad is … you’re not allowing anybody that is in favor if what I said to post their remarks.

    Mike Ferry

    • http://agentgenius.com Benn Rosales

      Mr. Ferry, All comments in relation to this article, even from Facebook are posted here. If you’ll note, the sixth comment to this article is in defense of you and your arguments. We apologize that your comment and one other anonymous comment went into moderation, all new comments are held automatically but released as soon as we see them.

      I assure you, we have received no emails in support of you with regards to this article, nor would we post them. We do feed what is accessible from Twitter and from Facebook (by ping service) back to AG so if anything was said in your defense it should appear here automatically otherwise there is not much we can do as it is not within our control.

      We’re happy you’ve joined the conversation, and look forward to a spirited debate.

      All the best,
      Benn

  • http://www.mikeferry.com Mike Ferry

    Hello Again Lani,

    Just finished a day of work and checked my emails and I’ve had over 150 responses to the Smackdown at the Coldwell Convention. What you don’t know, of course, because you weren’t privy to the information at the convention, was the Coldwell Banker executive team “staged” that entire Smackdown and they wanted both of us to be outrageous in our responses and remarks to each other. It was part of the show. What you also don’t know, is the audience applauded loudly for both parties, and if you watch the video carefully, you’ll notice that I agreed with Matthew time and time again on is comments, however you’ll notice, Matthew never agreed with me.

    What you also aren’t aware of, Lani, is the purpose of the Smackdown was to sell people on attending the various sessions vs. all the things they could do while in Las Vegas. I’m proud to say that my room was set for the biggest crowds in attendance on Tuesday and Wednesday. There were 450 chairs set in my two breakout rooms and the chairs were filled and the aisles were filled with people sitting and standing. From what I’m told, and I have no way to verify this, I was the only speaker that had such large attendance at the breakout sessions.

    As I said in an earlier email to you, the nice part about what you do is you can choose who can respond to your negative and, somewhat out of touch, responses that you had to our video. Please read the following, as these were just a handful of more than 150 responses that I‘ve received virtually overnight.

    Like I said to Matthew before, during, and after … and during our multiple conversations as we did the scripting for the Smackdown … we probably agree on a lot of points … it’s a shame we can’t tell everybody that, because that wasn’t the purpose of the meeting. Lani, you and I would probably agree on a lot also, but you’ll never allow that to be published. Good luck in all that you do.

    Mike

    “Only a few people want to hear the truth … hard work and actually talking to people in a ‘people business’ makes sense.”

    “The problem for me with these clever social media techniques is they are almost 100% passive. If you’re using passive techniques as recommended by the social media guru’s, you’re not going to find people who want to buy or sell Real Estate now.”

    “I had the pleasure of seeing you at the Coldwell Banker conference … You’re still the greatest Real Estate trainer out there and I really enjoyed seeing ‘the Smackdown’ and you mop the floor with the other guy.”

    “Say no more … you’re 100% correct.”

    “Watching you be 100% in the face of these type of business techniques is wonderfully inspiring. Thanks for doing it for all of us.”

    “Saw the Facebook video, congratulations on your speaking the truth for a change in our industry.”

    “Why aaaahhh why why why why Mike! You tell ‘em … keep after ‘em!”

    “I just watched the YouTube link and you clearly stated what so many agents need to hear if they want to survive in the Real Estate market. Our company actually had your opponent speak at our awards convention recently and a good portion of the agents got up and walked out because there was nothing in his talk about social media about being a better agent and improving our skills.”

    “Mike, if all the Real Estate agents go twittering, we’ll be the only ones out actually selling.”
    “Mike I watched the video, and if this was supposed to be a boxing match, you won by a knockout … congratulations.”

    “Mike, you are a pro … I’m not motivated by many people in our industry, but you’re an exception because you tell the truth.”

    “You’re simply the best. Keep doing it.”

    “I chose not to attend this convention because I’m concerned about their obsession with social media that they are sending. I’m glad to see that you’re able to be the voice of reason.”

    “After watching this video, now I’m really glad I didn’t attend the meeting this year, there wasn’t enough messages like yours.”

    “Mike, how can I master the art of presenting and closing if I’m only talking to them through Facebook … it doesn’t make sense.”

    • http://www.Kens411.com Ken Brand

      I think it’s great that you’re part of this conversation Mike. As all can plainly see, there are important conversations, impressions and perceptions taking place and being formed on-and-offline. Whether online or off, they all have an impact. This and another recent case study ( #SaveTheZebra ) is why I want to have one ear, one eye, one hand, one foot and my attention focused on both worlds. cheers

    • http://mayareguru.com Maya Paveza

      Mike, why are you here? This is social media, it is a waste of time, and you are wasting your time in responding.

      You wrote the book, which i refuse to read (or even “dumpster dive” for), and you – in my opinion actually put a nail in the coffin of your own business.

      I was one of your coaching clients until I received an email from you – back in April i wrote the followings blog post – you never replied, you aren’t listening…
      mayareguru.com/2010/04/19/grasping-at-straws/

      I had lots of responses, and I was also on the Social Media panel at the opening event at GenBlue (oh and I was at rehearsals where i was told you were not coming). i sought out a chance to meet you backstage but you weren’t around, nor did you make any effort to mingle.

      I will write more when i am not sitting on a plane working on my iPad, but for now – I found your attitude and tone to be condescending, insulting and disrespectful. Telling those agents who have been in the business for less than 1 year to “enjoy the convention”, dismissing people like me who regularly convert leads from the online spaces to closings, I share those techniques with other agents and always make it clear that this is a new prospecting tool and does not replace any of the old.

      It really is not ‘your way or the highway’, there are many ‘right ways’ to do things and I think that if you want to remain relevant (assuming you still ARE relevant – which I might argue you are not) you might want to talk to some of us who are doing it – and there are so many.

      I think the weakest point of your argument, and one I used in my three presentations at GenBlue was your comment about not wanting to connect with the people from high school 35 years ago – why not? If you WERE a working real estate agent I can guarantee you would want to – but you are an overpaid coach who is so self-righteous that you are doing your own clients a disservice by convincing them that they shouldn’t make the online connection.


      Twitter
      is the cold call in 2011 – and I would be happy to show you how that works.

      or – maybe go start selling houses again – I dare you Mike, pick up the phone for 3 hours on Monday and you make cold calls, I want to know exactly how that feels and how successful you are.

      When your pulpit is too high it makes it more difficult to focus on the facts right in front of you.

      And if in fact that was a set up – I will be talking to few of my pals, and I will certainly get verification on the attendance in your sessions Mike as I know the ones done by Chris Smith and Jeremy Blanton exceeded room capacity and they were concerned the fire marshall migth be called.

      Agents who are confident in their abilities will succeed, and we need to help the new agents become confident, i was truly offended by some of the remarks you made, I found them self-righteous, arrogant and selfish. My take – you are only worried about one thing – the health of your bank account.

      I fired you. How many other agents have fired MFO after your emails and your book?

      Go to Google (that’s a search engine Mike) and type in ‘grow bigger ears’ then read what Chris Brogan has posted about listening. Reputation management is one of the first things i try to teach an agent in the social spaces, you might benefit from that too. You would be surprised who else is watcing your reputation – namely your competition, and they contacted me quite quickly after my blog post about you.

      This was longer than I thought, but Mike you might want to consider expanding your horizons a little, or take off your overpriced watch and get back into the trenches and into reality.

      And Lani, I better not catch you in an iHop or i am telling! Great post! And you might hear me yelling in the vid, it won’t load via Gogo.

      Thanks!
      Maya Paveza
      Front Row Witness to the Smackdown

      Maya

    • http://jphilip.com J Philip Faranda

      I read Mr Ferry’s “How to Develop a Six Figure Income in Real Estate” in 1996 and derived great value. Mr Ferry Deserves credit for exposing floor time as the waste of time it typically is, and he should be respected for thre mark he has made on the industry.

      That said, the industry does change. We no longer have MLS idiot terminals, beepers or day planners. We can’t focus on the FHA freely assumable niche. Social media, properly used, does get results.

      But I still do old school prospecting. I contact FSBOs I mails and call expired listings. Do I incorporate social media? Hell yes. I blog obsessively and it generates business. But I have a foot in World 1.0 too.

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  • Truth

    I would like to see Maya tell Mike Ferry face to face and smack down instead of an online nasty post. Disrespect! This is the part of Social Media that is unacceptable. Not matter the age difference. I am not taking sides, but I agree with the post that was in support of Mike Ferry. Social Media is a cowards playground.

    • http://www.Kens411.com Ken Brand

      The great thing about this Social Media stuff is you and I and everyone else can comment and share our thoughts, even when were time zone and states apart.

      I have to say, it is ironic that you point out the Social Media is a cowards playground, as you post anonymously? So in a way, you’re right I guess. Using yourself as an example is great what to demonstrate it.

      The thing about all this waste-of-time-social-media-hoooey is, all these comments, tweets, FB shares and blog posts will live forever. That’s kind of a big deal, right? Cheers to the truth, Truth.

      ken brand

    • http://agentgenius.com Benn Rosales

      Maybe if you didn’t comment anonymously your comment would carry credibility and be less cowardly :) Face to face? How about adding your gravatar, a real name and link to your website, otherwise yes, you are a coward.

    • http://agentgenius.com Benn Rosales

      btw, your fake email address you’ve left is a violation of the TOS. We’ll give you a few hours to see the error of your ways and come clean, or we will delete you.

      • http://mayareguru.com Maya Paveza

        Keep the “truth” here, I think it is more powerful to see the fake user and have the example of how social media also allows the fearful to express their opinion.

        People spend too much time fearing confrontation and hiding behind machines. It is such a shame.

    • http://mayareguru.com Maya Paveza

      I have reached out to Mike Ferry and MFO many times, and my messages were never passed on to Mr. Ferry. I only want to discuss it and show him how it can work and be incorporated into his coaching and for clients.

      There are 2,000 people in the next room over asking for help with real estate, and he wants his clients to ignore them and instead just stick to what he is comfortable with.

      Imagine what his clients could do if they also embraced this new prospecting tool.

      And what you perceive as nasty is how you perceive it. The part of social media that is unacceptable is that you are posting anonymously and hiding from a discussion, we call you a troll here.

      I stand behind anything I say, and I will never hide behind a fake name or email address. I don’t think you can say the same. The way I read this is you either work for Mike Ferry or are someone who doesn’t have the confidence or courage to stand behind their words.

      Feel free to contact me directly via my blog if you wish to remain anonymous. I will add, one of the things I like best about social media is helping people find their voice and their confidence. I can help you. Even the cowardly lion eventually found his confidence.

  • http://www.hotpropertychicago.com Andrea Geller

    I was in the second row behind Maya. It appears that I am going to be alone in this point of view, but I have not had an affinity for other one over the years. I tried to be open minded because there are so many that have strong opinions in favor of one or the other, but left the conference still with a thumbs down on both.

    • http://mayareguru.com Maya Paveza

      Hey Andrea,
      I assume you mean who was the “winner”? I don’t think there was a winner, I think the point of the whole thing was that it requires balance.

      I just think the attacks on our profession were not needed and tasteless. I, of all people, felt in the pure delivery and manner – overall comfort on the stage and in their statements Mike definitely beat Matthew out, and for me to say that it must mean something.

      Matt was incredibly passionate about it, and I think some of his points were lost in the excitement of the passion. Mike Ferry had some amazing points too – but they were all lost with the needless attacks.

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  • http://210consulting.com Jeremy Blanton

    Ok, I was there, I do get that some of this debate was put on for show. I also agree that some of the points made on both sides make a lot of sense. I think there needs to be a good balance of both. I know that both Matt & Mike had to be the extremes of their side.

    Some of the things Mike said were a little bit controversial. Were they needed to be said? Probably not, but I get that’s part of his persona and I am fine with that. I don’t think that calling agents Retards and the such was necessary.

    The point that remains is that everything in this business is about creating relationships with the consumer. It doesn’t matter how we build those connections. Mike prefers old school phone calls. Matt prefers using technology and connecting with clients in new forms. Both can be effective. The key point that was overlooked in Mike’s argument that some don’t sell is that the reason they don’t sell is not because they are sitting all day on social media.

    The reason those people don’t sell is either they are not doing anything, or they are trying to use it incorrectly. It would be like trying to iron your shirt with a with a pair of scissors. Yes you know scissors are a great tool to own, but they are much more effective is someone shows you how to use them to cut instead of just guessing on your own. Once you learn how to cut with them, your productivity goes up and you can do your jobs much easier. This is the same basic principles that Mike used when he started teaching agents how to sell more effectively. Back then there were tools like postcards, newsletters and the phone to sell homes. The tools were there, and once someone learned how to use them correctly they were increasing productivity. The concepts haven’t changed, just the tools.

    As for the one comment that was left up above about having the largest crowds. I followed your Tuesday session in the same room as you. Your class was full. However, mine was just as full. In fact, I collected over 137 business cards after my session in that room begging me for a copy of my slides because they ran out of them. The next day my two sessions were packed so full that they feared a fire marshal showing up. Here’s a picture of my 10:30 class about 5-7 minutes before it began. http://facebook.com/#/photo.php?fbid=10150219077519572&set=a.10150219077434572.381583.358610379571&theater. As you can see in the pic I had 6 empty chairs, a full row standing around the perimeter and there was still 5 minutes to start.

    The best option is a hybrid incorporating both philosophies in it. I also think that agents realize this, which is why sessions like mine and both Chris’s were packed beyond capacity. They came to those sessions and left giving rave reviews because they not only learned why they need it, but also the HOW. The agents that Mike mentioned who skipped the event because of the changes really missed a great event that could have helped their business towards the future. Fear of change sometimes makes people look really bad and it is unfortunate for them.

  • Jeff Haring

    The ignorance I’m hearing is in Lani Rosales and her misunderstanding of what the event was all about. I was there for the Smackdown at Coldwell Banker’s GenBlue Experience and I believe the event served a valuable purpose – for BOTH sides. The SM crowd was treated to a guy (Matthew Ferrara) who knows his stuff and presented a very good argument. Although Mike Ferry, as “old school” as many would believe did make a valid point – that is that many agents need business NOW – not sometime, down the road, in the future. His abrasive style ruffles some feathers but it was all about balance.

    If all you do is blog on Facebook, Twitter or your own blog – without actually actively looking for business every day – you’re going to starve! And when you are new in this business you have little to blog about, except how great your neighborhoods might be or what events are happening in your area. That gets old. That is NOT engaging the client! That’s not making the daily contacts you need to make a paycheck at the end of the month. THIS MONTH. NEXT MONTH. When you’re a strong agent I agree that blogging will enhance your exposure.

    I manage 2 offices for Coldwell Banker and I can tell you that my most productive agents aren’t the ones blogging all day (some are) and they aren’t the ones with 3,000 followers on Twitter (some have good following) – they don’t have the time because they are too busy selling houses!

    If you are talking about posting videos on youtube of your newest listing – that’s more marketing and if you’re using Facebook/Twitter, etc. to promote that listing… Great! Do more of it! Your listings should be promoted on every SM network you can get your mouse on! But to rely on blogging only – you’ll go broke.

    One of the agents that posted a comment sold just 15 homes last year (split with his partner) and he is saying that Mike Ferry doesn’t get it?! Run the numbers pal – you’re living off of 7.5 sales – really??!! But you have a really cool iPhone app…. Step away from the computer and go prospect!

    Another wrote that in 5 years the use of SM will not be a debate any longer. Huh?! It’s not a debate now! It’s a valuable tool but it MUST be supported with making business happen today – because most agents I know need to make their mortgage payment in 2 weeks!

    I truly believe that engaging the customer means providing relevant information and delivering it in the most desirable medium possible – which is through photos, videos & other tech tools we use. Facebook and other sites are great for this content delivery. Nobody has better tools than our company and we are just in the first inning of a new real estate game. Top agents will incorporate these tools for sure but unless they are personally talking to prospects and showing property, working their targeted SOI or negotiating contracts TODAY – there will be no paycheck!

    So for all of the new agents that are struggling in this business – spend some time connecting online – then go out and talk to people and sell some homes! Don’t use Facebook as a crutch. The Ferrara/Ferry debate proved that there is constant change in our industry and many ways to do business. Do it all! Find what works for you and expand your business – keep learning. Spin many plates! And have fun!

  • http://www.sportstarrelocation.com sports agent

    I made millions of dollars using tried and true Mike Ferry techniques, cant say I havent attempted dabbling in social media but to this day , I have yet been able to quantify any specific profitable results from it. If you own a social media company or their stock, you will likely become wealthy, if you dont own one , try working hard all day for the next 5-10 years and you will make a lot of money. If you dont want to make a lot of money, you can play with social media all day, its fun, time consuming, interesting but still looking for people who dont own a soical media company that has made a ton of money in real estate. Everyone I met thus far that claim social media has made them money, eventually admit that they make 90% of their income from picking up the phone and talking to people, or going out on the streets and talking to people. Out

  • http://www.MonicaAtherton.com monicaatherton

    With each generation comes different skill sets. Mike Ferry offers some great tips in a lot of different areas but Social Media is not one of them.

  • linda

    Interesting editorial Lani. Being educated in Austin you are probably aware that Keller Williams Realty the fastest franchise in real estate uses Mike Ferry’s scripts in their training. And being such a pro on selling homes ( even though in the article you admit you haven’t sold any) you know you can throw money and time at marketing all you want but when you actually talk to someone if you don’t know how to sell they are going to find someone else who does. You get paid to sell people on the internet (just like realtor.com) so its no surprise you’re all for it. I get paid to sell homes. I can prove what I do works with my bank account and thousands of happy past customers that refer me business everyday, and sorry you can’t find me on facebook. Yes, Mike Ferry has been around a long time, just like a lot of other respected teachers in history. Maybe a little history lesson in the art of selling might not be a bad idea for you, or is learning from what works too old fashioned for you?

  • http://www.MonicaAtherton.com monicaatherton

    Each generation focuses on different marketing strategies. Mike Ferry offers some great tips and tools, just not where social media is concerned.

  • http://flagstaffhouses.com Valerie Caro

    Dear Lani, I am responding to your article titled “Mike Ferry Slams Social media, reveals total web ignorance.”
    I am assuming that you crafted this headline for the exact same reason the promoters of the Gen Blue smackdown promoted it as such……to simply attract attention. I have watched the video and reaction of the audience (Were we watching the same video?) read your comments and have also read Matthew Ferrara’s and Mike Ferry’s response. Your article while articulate is simply not true. “Total web ignorance?” Have you logged onto Mike Ferry’s website? Have you seen him on You Tube? Do you know he uses an ipad? It’s not about his ability to use technology; it is about the effectiveness of social media compared to a face to face conversation.
    My personal experience with Mike is that he is unwavering in his passion for our business success. I am one of the 750 agents that had my best year ever in 2010, helping 86 clients sell and buy in this market. (25 years in the business and 3 years with the Mike Ferry Organization) Not one of my clients came from social media. If you want to call me ignorant as well, go right ahead. I will cry all the way to the bank. I am not going to type anything negative about Matthew Ferrara or his techniques, best of luck if that is what is working for him. Let’s keep this professional and respectful.
    In the meantime, I will continue to focus on speaking directly with clients in person, by phone. My business is on track to close in excess of 120 properties in 2011. At the end of the day, I welcome the challenge to present opposite any agent who relies on social media for their business; as a matter of fact 3 of my 15 listings so far this month are from them. My phone is ringing, I gotta go! Thank you, Valerie Caro
    P.S. You may want to update your blog….In the spirit of debate, we reached out to Mike Ferry (via email 03.17.11, 5:04pm CST) offering him an opportunity to write a rebuttal article but have not yet heard back.

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  • Prospector

    I heard about this blog from a friend of mine so I decided after my prospecting session to check it out. It took me 10 minutes to read all of the comments. Just a few observations. Several people must have spent at least an hour commenting back and forth. I have proven numbers that I generate a minimum of 2 buyer or seller leads for leads for every hour I prospect. In fact, I have sold over 1200 homes in the last 10 years using what I have learned exclusively from Mike Ferry all without a website, twitter, facebook etc. I don’t know what your average commission is but you might have lost between $3,000 and $20,000 in commissions JUST PLAYING WITH THIS BLOG! If “Social Marketing” was generating the type of real business everyone says it does wouldn’t they call it “Business Marketing”? I am absolutely certain that If I were a seller that ABSOLUTELY HAD TO SELL MY HOUSE in these economic times and I had listed my home with many of these “SOCIAL” agents and followed them around for a couple of days to see how they spent their time glued to their computer instead of trying to sell my house I would quickly realize that I made the “wrong choice” Hiring many of these agents is financial suicide for a seller…period. The other thing I noticed is the typical “Car Wreck” Mentality of many of the people stuck to this stuff. Some people can’t help but slow down to see the car wreck on the side of the road. The people who write the news, publish the tabloids and create the reality shows know good news does not sell!!!!. All of the creators of Face book, myspace, twitter, many of these blogs, texting etc. have found the quickest way for you to get stuck in a massive “car wreck” of bad news…why because it sells. What does it sell? It sells you right into feeling productive instead of “Being Productive” Mike my family and I thank you for teaching me to actually have a life that most people only dream about. People….”WAKE UP! GO HELP SOMEONE TODAY BY COMMUNICATING WITH THEM…REALLY!!!

  • Dominic

    I can only speak from my own experience as an agent that has been through a ton of different training programs including extensive time with the Mike Ferry Organization. I have never made more money than I have following Mike’s teachings. I have gone to a number of social media programs including what our company has promoted but honestly if I relied on Social media I would be broke. Using Mike’s system I have earned over 1 million dollars for 7 straight years without spending money on marketing and advertising. I am wondering in what land Lani sells real estate or if she even does. Over the years at our company, many agents have bashed Mike’s teachings but my experience with them is that most have never even attended a Mike Ferry event or studied his teachings. I really don’t know anyone who has honestly put in the work (because it is hard work) to follow the Mike Ferry system that is not significantly more profitable and productive. When we wake up as an industry and stop looking for the “easy way” and actually go to work we will make significantly more money. The sad reality is that most agents just arent willing to put in the work to become great salespeople. Mike teaches the work it takes and its simply not an accepted idea for most realtors. Social media has a place but in my opinion its in addition to what Mike teaches not a replacement for it.

    • http://mayareguru.com Maya Paveza

      This is the problem. If you don’t take the RIGHT social media training you will think it doesn’t work.

      Too often those classes are presented by vendors trying to sell you something, not Agents who are ACTUALLY doing it.

      You stick with what you like, and those of us who believe and succeed will enjoy the perks of the rest of you not being in the space, more money for us and since 90% of buyers begin their searches online… well… hmmm. Let’s perhaps look at where that trend is headed?

  • http://www.realty4atlanta.com Dan Connolly

    Well I know that the Mike Ferry program works for people who stick with it. I think when you break down the theory it has to do with prospecting tirelessly to find motivated sellers who have to sell now and then getting them to list at a price that pretty much guarantees that they sell now or maybe yesterday. I don’t think the Sellers are hiring marketing experts who tirelessly market their property as much as listing experts who are spending a tremendous amount of time trying to find more listings. Yet it works for the agents who stick with the plan. (I am not one of them BTW)

    That’s okay and pretty smart actually, but there is something that I think those folks who pretty much universally bash social networking are missing. Some of the most successful agents out there don’t prospect or cold call or anything. They may live in the same town they were born in, they are personable, smart and outgoing and they have a huge SOI. They know what they are doing, and they do a great job. The business beats a path to their door. SOI agents are made for social networking.

    Social networking is a way to build the SOI but posting your listings on Facebook or Twitter is not the way to do it. Keeping your self in the top of the mind of your SOI because you FB or Tweet some interesting things will benefit you. Most of the agents who do it aren’t sitting on their couches eating doughnuts all day and twittering. They might do it while they are waiting in line at the bank, or waiting for the Seller to show up at a closing. Just a drop here and there in the midst of an otherwise productive day. Is it beneficial? Sure it is! Is it anyone’s business what they do? No it isn’t!

    My point is Mike’s way works, and Matt’s way works. Different personality types will embrace different approaches. The devotees on each side who are drunk on the Kool Aid should stop acting like their religion is the only one that will get you into heaven. It’s about mutual respect people!

    • http://www.Kens411.com Ken Brand

      Amen brother – it’s all about Top Of Mind. How you create it can be done face-to-face and on line. Doing both creates it faster and more indelibly. Use all the tools like a pro and boom goes the dynamite. Cheers Dan.

  • http://card.ly/laniar Lani Rosales

    The only two emails I have received in support of Mike Ferry are outlined in full below, we are publishing them to allow these supporters their voice in public.

    From Donna Koerner at 5:08pm CST on March 18, 2011:
    “Lani,
    Here is what I know – I started as a new agent with the Mike Ferry Sales system. My first year of business, closed 25 deals and was Century 21 Rookie of the year for my region. My business has grown continually with no downturns in production using this system. So, obviously I am living proof that the system does work. You seem to think that Mike should change his entire sales system to incorporate facebook, etc. Because he chooses not to do so, you have therefore deemed his sales system to not be effective.
    It is almost like saying Campbell’s soup is no good because they won’t change their label or soup recipe.
    Let’s see – the Mike Ferry Sales System has been successful at making agent more productive about 30 years verses facebook, etc, 5 years with no real track record of actually making any significant difference in agent’s production levels. I’m sticking with the system with a 30 year proven track record.

    Donna Koerner
    The Koerner Group”

    From emailer “scott tucker” (signed Adele) on March 18, 2011 at 6:27pm:

    “Lani,
    Are you a licensed real estate agent or broker?
    Have you successfully sold real estate?
    Have you had any sales experience?
    Has anyone asked you to coach them in sales or real estate?
    Have you ever been coached by a sales trainer?

    I am coached by Mike Ferry and have been involved in the MFO coaching for 8 years.
    Mike Ferry’s coaching and his organization and all it offers, have been the key to my success.
    Yes, I am hard working and honest and put to work what Mike teaches.
    This has enabled me to help many Sellers sell when other agents failed, helped Buyers get offers accepted in bidding wars, to grow my business, and to succeed in a terrible economy, when home prices in my marketplace have dropped more than 50%.

    Your article made me feel like I was reading an angry teenager’s journal, not a professional piece to help sales professionals.
    I am not sure why you would write an article, just to be negative about a person, especially when that person has a very successful company that is successful because of the results it brings to its clients. It seems that time would better spent on positive points to help real estate agents if you are really trying to promote AGENT GENIUS.

    No one has to be coached by Mike Ferry, they choose to be coached by Mike Ferry because it works.

    I will post my reply to your site and hope that it will be unedited, to be fair, as we cannot edit your article.

    Sincerely,
    Adele Tucker
    Prudential California Realty
    Riverside, CA”

    • http://mayareguru.com Maya Paveza

      Lani,
      That was awfully nice of you, since I guess they couldn’t find your site since “social media” doesn’t exist.

      Imagine how much MORE business these agents would do if they added the new prospecting tools to their arsenal.

      It is like he is keeping them locked in a room and telling them the sun will burn them. =)

      Maya

  • Juan Martinez

    I guess my first question to all of the Mike Ferry “Bashers” would be what their sales volume was last year using social media and do they even know?? I’m guessing they dont have much sales to speak of or it would have been mentioned, I’m sure, in one of the many rants posted on this blog. Well, let me share with you how TRUE sales are done. They are done over the phone and face to face which is something that social media does not offer. Call me a dinosaur if you like for not relying on a website to do my job for me but with 413 closed transactions last year and over 1.6 million dollars in my pocket I guess I’ll stick to the old Mike Ferry way. Thanks Mike for a great ten years and over 12 million dollars in commissions!!!

    • http://mayareguru.com Maya Paveza

      Let’s see, I am on track for 55 transactions this year as I start to build a team, and in 2010 I have been told between my own business and those I referred clients to or mentored I am responsible for between 25-30% of my offices closed transactions.
      In 2009 I was the top agent in my office at just about 30 transactions.

      Of that? 2009 – probably close to 50% of my business was directly related to my social media activities, in 2010 probably 70% and in 2011 I am tracking toward 85%.

      So yea, you keep doing your thing and I will be glad to take the business you don’t want. Why add the possibility of earning more with a simple new prospecting tool.

      Look at it this way – you are standing in a room, next door is a stadium full of people talking about real estate and asking questions, are you really going to ignore them all and not listen? That’s what you are doing when you dismiss social media.

      Mike Ferry has some great scripts, lesson, advice, but he is doing a disservice to his clients by not even considering social media. If you read his one-on-one email and know anything about social media, you will clearly know that he does not get that social media IS a conversation.

      Thanks for the extra biz!! And I hope your dialing finger stays strong, mine does as I don’t need to dial nearly as much, just type a bit more.

      • Ira Naiditch

        30 deals and you were the offices top agent? You may want to consider a move to a higher production office. When you surround yourself with higher producers, and do what they do, you too will do more.

        It is kind of like a baseball player wanting to make it to the major leagues. Right now, you are still in the minors.

        • http://www.realty4atlanta.com Dan Connolly

          One of the fundamentals of the Mike Ferry mindset that I have seen is a group drive to amassing large amounts of money. I have been to a number of his action workshops (in the 80′s), back when he would be the one on stage at those events. His sales techniques would be talking about buying thousand dollar suits and throwing them out when they needed cleaning and then buying new ones. He would give away very expensive cars at his one on one retreats and basically the mantra was “drive relentlessly towards fabulous wealth”. Often of his points would be punctuated with a theatrical spit on the stage and dismissal of the losers who are satisfied with “low” production.

          This idea that 30 deals is pathetic and 100 deals is admirable is only true if the 30 deals aren’t for 5 million dollar properties and the 100 deals aren’t for 25,000 foreclosures. There are a lot of markets were 30 deals will generate around a quarter million in commissions and the agent doesn’t need a team of administrative assistants to get the job done. If that is enough for the individual, in this economy, perhaps the decision to work the way he chooses and possibly have more of a life at the kid’s soccer games etc. could be respected.

          I think those who follow his teachings to the letter will have a chance to make money. It is not guaranteed. They have to have common sense, understand the market and be able to keep the details under control. There are plenty of people who signed up for the coaching who weren’t able to make it work. Just like there are plenty of people who spend all day in social media and lose their house in foreclosure.

          I have the same feelings for both sides of the argument who act like they have the holy grail of success. I cringe when I hear of new agents who think they can take any one tactic and make a career out of it. There is no magic bullet that works for everyone. The business is a little more complicated than that. You incorporate some Mike Ferry, some Brian Bufinni, some Floyd Wickman (etc etc), some of the social media gurus, and some of the internet marketers and craft the approach that works for your own personality.

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  • Ira Naiditch

    It is interesting as I read all of the posts that I am not really seeing any documented production that came as a result of all of the “social” media.

    I have followed the Mike Ferry System for 13 years and the results have been clear! I have sold over 100 homes per year and have been designated by my local board as being in the Top 1% of area agents. Ironically, of the 17 of us in the Top 1%, nine of us have been MFO trained and none of the nine of us focus on “social” media.

    Certainly production can be had using Facebook, Twitter, etc… Production can also be had doing Open Houses, lots of mailings, farming, etc… The question becomes, what produces the most production? To that, the answer is clear! Those salespeople (regardless of product) who go out and “talk” to the people do the most business.

    The web is becoming increasingly more important in most of what we do; marketing included. Mike knows that. He has a web site too and, in fact, offers free products via that web site and offers a weekly web training session on Mike TV, via the web. That does not alter the fact that actual sales take place in the biggest numbers, to those who are out talking to the people.

    For those of you who are still apprehensive? Why not come to an MFO event and talk to all the agents who are using the system and are producing high numbers using the system.

    I have some friends, who happen to be Mike Ferry trained agents, who were at the Coldwell Banker event. Isn’t it interesting that Mike Ferry has more attendance at his Retreats than Coldwell Banker did at their convention. And isn’t it interesting how some of the top performing Coldwell Banker offices not only subscribe to the Mike Ferry system, but they bring all their agents to the MFO events. That is where learning really takes place.

    I look forward to hopefully seeing some of you at future Mike Ferry events. I know I will be there and I know I will be using his system. I also know I will be producing more each year too!

    • Jeff Haring

      Well said Ira! – It appears that many people who read the initial post are not really understanding what the argument is – they are protecting their sacred “SM” lifestyle and doing it in such a defensive way that they are sounding exactly like the man they are criticizing!

      And Dan Connelly – Ira never said that 30 deals was pathetic – pay attention & read her comments again.

      To Maya –

      Quit being so defensive already! You’ve made your point – you feel SM is the way of the future. We get it!
      You didn’t invent the system but you’re making it work for yourself – all the power to you. Although realize you’re going to lose the debate war by defiantly telling many, many great agents that they are wrong by not incorporating social media into their business when you are currently showing just 2-3 deals a month as the reward! It’s time that you pulled back a bit and show some respect to those that are producing a lot more sales than you. Be polite.

      And remember that Social Media is a varied set of tools – some may use all or none but one size does not fit all and there are many ways to be successful in this business.
      Tools change over time. What you are doing right now will transition into something different in 5 years or less. Guaranteed.

  • Rob Cunningham

    I listened in to the debate while prospecting, it was very nice of CB to declare a tie.

    I am 26, I am part of that “Facebook” generation, I have been using the internet and facebook for social networking since it’s conception. There are a few reasons why I don’t think the internet presence is the end all be all;

    1. The relationships cultivated on the internet are not real. They have no actual value to anybody involved, try asking out a girl over facebook. Any relationship worth anything is maintained outside of the internet.

    2. My generation is beginning to pull away from facebook. There is the realization that the relationships arn’t real. There is a realization of an information overload, at any moment, you can look at your FB and see what every jerk you ever knew is doing. I think this is reaping havoc on the minds of it’s users because at any point in the day your mind can jump all over your past, distracting you from the moment. Part of life is moving on from your past and becoming new and changing, when your mind is constantly distracted by the past, it is hard to grow or leave your old identity behind.

    3. None of my clients use facebook. People that are actually living life, being productive, buying houses, earning income, spending time with friends and family and are not living on facebook, only real estate agents do. Although, all of my clients know other agents, and maybe have them as friends on FB, they choose me because I work on being the best.

    4. The opportunity cost of playing around on the internet instead of selling and building your business in real life (IRL) is huge.

    5. You can not develop the skills of a great salesperson unless you are constantly communicating with people. (I joke with social networkers that they better spend 4 hours a day practicing their presentations so when they do find someone they don’t blow it). E-personas are very different from how people act or behave in real life, unless you are very versatile, you will not be able to present to a client based on what you know from the internet.

    6. Would you choose a divorce attorney, doctor, or any other profession because they are friends on FB? Or because they are the most qualified?

    7. Look at the production of these so called web gurus and the agents they train.

    I think it is sad that we are being sold this snake oil and do feel sorry for those buying into it, conversely, it provides great opportunity for people like me, while the crowds are over-saturating these methods, I get to continue to grow my business and profitability, with less to no competition in the process.

    Mike proved to be a class act as always, a great to the point presentation and he had fun in the process. I felt bad for Matthew that he was “genuinely mad”, that shows a real lack of character, versatility, and belief in his own system, which is usually what happens when you offend some techy.

    A lot of the comments in these response show a complete ignorance to the Mike Ferry System. The “churn and burn” and the “love em and leave em” stuff. Mike is the first to say that the key to a successful real estate business is past clients and center of influence, Mike teaches how to build these groups. Mike also teaches that the amount of money you make is in direct correlation with the level of service you offer the public, if you want to make more money, offer better service (and talk to more people ;-)

    To the author of this article, I would do a little more research before “taking issue with Ferry”. I would find out a little bit more about what he does and has done before taking shots at a big time player like Mike. In fact, knowing what I know about Mike I would do everything possible to keep him as an ally for a couple reasons; weather or not you accept it he has a lot of influence on the industry, his principals can help anyone (even you). I suppose “whatever it takes ” to get recognition is appropriate but it can also be detrimental to your “ethos” as an authority.

    Now, it behooves us all to take the advice of Mike and become the “best of the best”. Let’s put all the differences in opinion beside us and work towards becoming the absolute best for ourselves, our industry and for the consumer.

    -RC
    http://www.facebook.com/RobeyCunningham

  • http://www.bernardirealestate.com Karen Bernardi

    While I did not attend the session at the CB Generation Blue conference, I have watched the video and read all the comments posted on the blog as of this morning. I have been in the real estate business for over 25 years and have seen many changes during that time – some good, some bad, and many in between. I have been successfully using the Mike Ferry system for many years but believe the rhetoric has not captured the major theme of the system – consistently WORKING and following a system.

    The uproar caused by the presentation has certainly raised some issues related to adapting to changes in our society. I think the discussion has been very black and white when the world really has many shades of gray. The rise of social media has caused me to reevaluate my marketing methods and the ways that I reach out to potential buyers and sellers. The new methods of reaching out such as Facebook, Twitter, and the like do allow me to reach a very large number of people quickly and keep my brand in front of these potential clients. I can be a party to electronic discussions on real estate easily through these avenues but in many cases the audience is much bigger than my local business area – sort of a shotgun approach.

    Selling and buying homes is a very personal issue – for many people the biggest investment in their lives. It’s not a commodity like a book or a song or an electronic device. Effectively dealing with the myriad of details involved in buying and selling a property involves, detailed discussions – face to face conversations. Customers need to see a home and listing agents need to visit homes to be able to effectively market them – video and pictures will not suffice.

    There is room in the real estate business for new tools and old tools. I am not sure that there is room for the vitriol that seems to arise over differing opinions. The “conversation” over the presentation has focused on personalities and has sunk to name calling. It seems that a more productive approach might be to discuss the pros and cons the various tools — might be more beneficial to all of the interested parties.

    • Jeff Haring

      Outstanding post Karen! You stated your point very eloquently!

      Thank You!

  • http://CBCoastalAlliance.com/Our-blog TheRECoach

    Hi Lani, been a while since I commented on AG

    having been in that audience, I feel I have a unique perspective on this. I will say, however, that within 2 minutes of this so called “Smackdown”, I turned to my neighbors and said “This is gonna be bad!”. You see, I already knew that Mathew would have brilliant points, and copious notes full of validity on his side, but when you stand up in front of 2,000 to 3,000 people that rarely matters. What does, is what Mike has in “Spades” and that is Stage presence, charisma, and sarcastic wit.

    Bottom line = The message got lost in the production…that being, we are in a moment in time where Old School Selling Skills and New Technology Skills are BOTH necessary! In fact, if you were half Mathew & half Mike, you would be a damn good RE Agent =) You would fish in a huge pond for Prospects, and find “hook” a ton of them, and you would convert those catches to contracts at a high rate using proven closing skills.

    Coldwell Banker sent Mathew in to a debate he could not win, and that may have derailed the message, but this message is so clear and so important that it will never be stopped…live, learn, listen to progress or get the hell out of the way!

    Glad to be back at AG =)

    Eric Bryant
    TheRECoach
    Coldwell Banker Coastal Alliance

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