I’ve had some success in my life, but I’m far from perfect. I struggle with stuff, just like you.

Lately, I’ve noticed that my addiction to Facebook has gotten worse. How about you? Do you find yourself wasting time, mindlessly scrolling through your social media feeds?

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To be clear, I’m not talking about using social media as an essential marketing tool in your business. You absolutely must be doing this. I’m referring to the scrolling habit – the mind-numbing productivity killer.

It’s like thinking you can eat one chip out of the bag. Nope! Scarfed down the entire bag once again. Do we have any more?

To overcome my Facebook scrolling addiction, I’ve decided to limit myself to 10 minutes of access, a couple of times per day, from my laptop or desktop computer only. I’ve removed the app from my phone. It’s gone. Forever.

This eliminates the temptation to tap the app whenever the slightest bit of boredom creeps into my day. No more thinking I can eat a single chip out of that family-size bag.

Scrolling your social feeds may seem harmless, and it’s not like there aren’t some good aspects to it. One of the good parts of Facebook for me is keeping up with whatever fun stuff is happening with my friends. And, I love having a “journal” of various events and trips I’ve taken over the years.

But lately, the good parts are far outweighed by the bad, the most significant being negativity itself. I’m tired of people griping at each other over stupid disagreements, with zero chance of ever changing the other’s mind (not that I haven’t gone down that rabbit hole myself a couple thousand times or so).

I’ve also recently noticed the proliferation of AFG – ads for garbage. I’m embarrassed, but not too proud to admit, that I’ve been sucked into buying products from slick-looking companies on Facebook, received them, and literally thrown them straight into the trash.

I genuinely find it fascinating that these companies can spend millions producing professional, ultra-slick ads (along with hundreds of seemingly fake reviews), but they don’t seem to give two moose berries about the actual product they’re selling.

What a colossal sham!

Note to every Realtor reading this: If you think you can “market” your way to lasting success without actually being a great Realtor, you’re dead wrong. In a local, relationship-based business, your reputation carries more weight than anything else you’ve got.

The biggest problem with social media is the sheer overwhelming waste of time and reduced productivity. If you still think it’s harmless, for one single day, I implore you to keep track of how much time you spend “mindlessly scrolling”. Then, ask yourself, “What else could I have done with that time today?”

If you accomplish more while you’re at work, it means you can spend more quality time with your friends or family. So that’s what I’m training my brain to focus on. Less scrolling = more quality time with others.

Nobody on their deathbed ever said, “I wish I spent more time working.” True, but when you’re at work, you need to get stuff done. And remember this: Nobody on their deathbed ever said, “I wish I spent more time mindlessly scrolling through my social media feed.”

I’m ready for a change. It’s not going to be an easy habit to break, but I’m determined. How about you? Will you join me? Just respond “yes,” and I’ll send you back a few words of encouragement. We can do this together!

Yes, I read and personally respond to every email I get.

10 COMMENTS

  1. Forgive long email; maybe someone can use it as a learning tool

    Surely there are more than two of us??? I was surprised to see that you work at Re/max. I thought you had your own RE co.

    Your REM article bio says, in part…

    “all as an individual agent, without ever once making a cold call, reciting a canned script or doing any other “salesy” stuff…”

    ===

    I never “sold” anything to anybody in my whole life. I saw myself as an information provider from which clients could make an appropriate intelligent decision based on facts that applied specifically to them.

    I, too, worked independently, was never a groupie or a team member. I tried a couple of times to work with a team concept but discovered I was actually looking for a clone. But of course there is no such thing in real life.

    They had no success to call their own in general and were about to leave the business. In one case in particular, a local brokerage owner (d) called one day to tell me he had an agent about to leave the business. He felt sorry for her after having had no success in three years under his tutelage and mandatory edu-meetings.

    He thought she might survive if she learned how I had built my success. It certainly was a learning experience (for me!).

    I started by sending roses to her home as a welcome aboard.

    A week passed and her husband telephoned me to say “thank you for giving me my wife back.”

    Except she didn’t want to do business my way. She didn’t want to follow my corp strict routine. And she insisted on offering cutting commissions liberally, believing that was what the public wanted, offering to seller without discussing with me.

    I gave business to her liberally. She never had to door knock or phone canvass, or even write an ad. She wanted me to present the offers on listings I had given her. I was her slave! I helped her any way I could to help build her confidence.

    After the first couple of times I allowed it; I presented as a learning experience. Considering she by now was four years in the business and had developed no comfort skills. (Where was her broker and abundance of socializing colleagues when she needed a confidence boost?)

    Her friends (she was quietly very sociable); lunches with her friends at prior company who picked her brain about my success and let her know in no uncertain terms telling her that the many listings I GAVE her was “just leftovers business I didn’t want.” (REALLY? Seemed ungrateful?) They told her I kept the best for myself! (There is no best! Every contract is best.) and if you have no contracts, best not to look a gift horse in the mouth maybe? Apparently her friends were not being given leftovers?

    All she had to do was write up the listing, measure and perhaps make a few helpful suggestions to the seller and explain what we would do to sell the property. She was named as the listing agent on MLS and any sign calls or ad calls were hers to build into more business. But oddly that didn’t happen.

    I couldn’t confirm but I had a feeling she had some arrangements with her colleagues at prior brokerage.

    This was prior to FB days. I had been convinced to join FB by colleagues who couldn’t live without it. But my clients didn’t use it so ultimately I dropped FB and never missed it. I don’t have apps on my phone. I simply wasn’t interested in the nice social people (agents even) who shared that their grandchild had just learned to use the potty. But the initial year I got 43 birthday wishes.

    The seller of the gifted listing oftentimes had initially called my company or dropped by the office, but was physically located slightly outside my farm areas or at the other side of town. So I thought it was an ideal arrangement because still close to where she lived and not far from my office, some were actually IN edges of my farm. She didn’t believe in building a farm. Whatever…

    I carried a heavy listing load and only sporadically worked with (prequalified in writing), buyers.

    But she didn’t want to follow my guide or my Corp rules that even I followed religiously, even so she was pleasant. My admin woman didn’t care for her and thought she could be dangerous maybe, because of course she had after hours office access, noting my rules were sometimes ignored.

    Her friends were going to join a new firm franchise brokerage and convinced her to join them, so they could continue to socialize easily. I had no time or desire to socialize. And had never done. My work brain operated 24/7.

    She went with them after my six month effort and never wrote another transaction in the next six months at her new brokerage, and the broker owner had no gift business to give her, he told me, and in six months she left the real estate world, and I heard she had joined Home Depot. I made no attempt to stay in touch. We had never had cross words. She just quietly disappeared.

    She’d had some big paycheques from my attempts to help her. More than she had ever transacted in three years prior. If I recall something in the neighbourhood of 60k gross commissions in about six months back in the mid-1990s. I simply gave her what she’d been told were my leftovers. SAD!

    I had proved I helped her by communicating with the new franchise broker who I had known over the years confirming the substantial trade records. His reply was: “I don’t have that kind of referrals numbers business to give away to my whole office.” He had a couple dozen agents.

    He had been successful in his own career and opened an office. Sadly, nice man that he was and had been an office manager for years, it wasn’t long before he permanently closed his company. My boutique office had been open a few years and my personal brand was well established.

    Colleagues had scorned me for opening a new, never before done locally, boutique corp brokerage in the middle of a so-called giant recession in 1991. I personally saw no signs of it. And figuring I would never survive, I was still recruited regularly to join big companies, telling me that would be a best option for my continued success; to operate under their brand. (I was my own brand.) My success was difficult for some people to compute.

    Everyone wanted to know the secret of my unusual success, never cold calling or door knocking. Buyers and sellers just called me, or dropped into my office, asking if I had time to sell their house or help them buy one.

    Several times even in the past year I received emails asking me to come list a house. Sadly I had to reply that I was on medical leave and perhaps they could seek a referral through a neighbour or friend. That’s when I really could have used a clone.

    She was clean and presented well; soft spoken. But she had a strong mind of her own about how real estate business should be conducted. And in the three years that she had spent with the broker who thought I could spend more private time with her than he could, and maybe lead her to my success record, and clearly I had my exceptional track record that spoke to my success. But she really wanted to fly solo but clearly lacked confidence. Watch how people walk. It speaks volumes.

    Interesting enough her prior broker was one in 1991 who thought I should not be “allowed” to open a boutique brokerage with no agents: only me, myself and I. And certainly not naming my company and later naming my domain dot com by just my given name. All three of me.
    Brand: “Carolyne.”

    And he had felt I would never last longer than a few weeks, at best a few months. Then he paid me a backhanded compliment though? But later I discovered he had possibly sent her out as a spy, of sorts. LOL. Knowing her friends at his office support group would learn some of my success methods and bring the news to her friends at his company.

    I couldn’t help but recall that several years had passed, having functioned as a sole entity and continued to hold my exceptional market share with only help being my very strict admin woman who did no real estate ever (even had keys to my house spoke to her trustworthiness). But ran my office like a well-oiled machine. For me that worked and had helped keep me at the top of the field.

    Every week I managed to read a full size book. Mostly bio’s or industry-related books. Had sometimes more than one open. I wrote all ads and prepared area stats graphs. I wrote all articles that are on my website long before the Net, and included them in my high quality paper newsletter; later on line. And sent out high quality 20k general direct mail marketing pieces a few times each year, even to businesses interspersed with greeting cards that I bought by the gross and had imprinted with life-like coloured ink signature to personalize.

    And I planned my own calendar so as to always be home around 4:30 pm to make a full course dinner every day. Mis en place always at the ready. Leftovers for lunch at my office next day.

    Agents teased me for not going to the mall at lunch time. I worked through my lunch break at my desk. And I knew what was in my food. And I had jotted down my recipes many of which ended up here on REM in my Gourmet Cooking column for more than a decade. See:

    https://www.realestatemagazine.ca/columnists/recipes/

    Then back on the road around 7:30 pm to present a buyer offer or one MLS buyer offer incoming on my listings. I only worked with buyer broker agency contracts (after the Ministry creation in the mid 90’s) that topped up co-op MLS offerings, firstly pre-approved in writing from their bank or mortgage broker.

    I never pre-approved buyers. Not ever. I didn’t see that as my responsibility. I learned that in my first year as an agent. Bring me your preapproval in writing; then I will decide how or if to move forward. (Be sure you can read the approval writer signature. )

    One banker refused to pre approve a would-be buyer and told the buyer to “go find a house and then get approved.” (Really? Yes really.) The banker thought I was lazy. Run a mile from that banker. She didn’t understand the purpose. Apparently thinking agents were tour guides driving possible buyers to see houses willy-nilly? Eliminating one by one. Some agents loved showing houses. I didn’t. So it was important to me to know in advance what I was dealing with.

    In those days we only presented in person (faxes or FedEx for relocation and estate sales), and sometimes got home at midnight in all kinds of weather. I couldn’t wait to get to work the next day. I never missed an office meeting in all the years; attended countless conventions and award luncheons often out of town within the Region. And even a company paid award several days trip to Vancouver. A terrific networking opportunity! I travelled alone mostly due to severe life-long allergies, driving my own car.

    (I couldn’t go in laundry rooms often.) I bought unscented cleaning products. And baking soda as water softener works wonders and costs next to nothing. No need for expensive products like Downy and Fleecy, that some people believe cause asthma in babies.

    I booked off every Friday night as a dedicated me-time appointment.

    I believe in my heart that there’s no one who wrote as much business only rarely leaving my desk. When possible I had clients come to me. I researched everything before I ever did anything (from my desk). Yes, I know it all seems odd, but true.

    I still today don’t know how I did so many things.

    I never expected to end my decades old career. I had excessive energy my whole life.

    I’m sure we actually worked differently one on one with clients, but for the methods soliciting of business – the same it seems: no cold calling or door-knocking. No need to beg for business. It just fell out of the sky.

    Respectfully,
    Carolyne L 🍁

  2. Ted,
    Thank you for sharing your story with everyone.
    I have been tracking my phone screen time, majority of which is spent on social media.
    In the past, I would average over 6 hours per day of total screen time.
    I have recently been able to bring that down to 5.
    My new year’s resolution is to cut that down to two hours per day, most of which will be work related. Deleting the apps is in the queue.
    I want my life back.

  3. Hi Ted. I didn’t download any of the social media apps. Relied on my reputation as a realtor and did just fine.
    AJ

  4. I tried the app “Rescue Time” a few years ago. It tracks both productive and non-productive time which was very illuminating (and shocking). The app can be set up to block websites or computer programs to certain parts of the day.

    • Kind of pointless- unless you’re not using it for you business in which case- yikes. Not everything you can do from a desktop

  5. Very well said Ted. I have de-activated my personal Facebook Account since October of this year and have been living a life of peace and serenity ever since. I’m not sure when or if I will ever reactivate it. Far too much click bait, disinformation, hate, jealousy, etc. etc.

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