ActiveRain Tutorials: Listening With Purpose To Your Consumers

Listening With Purpose To Your Consumers

I just finished listening to a wonderful session at #VREBC by my good friend Jeff Turner in which he spoke about "The Lost Art of Listening." I wanted to share with you my takeaway from his session.

The one thing that I got out of Jeff's presentation was that while many want to use social media platforms for their business, they do not really know how. Many have progressed past the point of understanding that social media is more than just broadcasting. However after understanding that principle, many get distracted by the social aspect and miss the purpose that they originally joined a network.  People who are in business and join a social network do so for two reasons:

  1. To build relationships with potential consumers and build a strong following that will not only use their services, but also refer others.
  2. To connect with consumers who may not already be aware of the business and increase their revenue by reaching new clients.

In order to achieve these two things, you must be listening to what consumers needs are.  However, many businesses get lost in the listening stage.  Many who start on these networks immediately find all their friends, family, coworkers, & others in the same industry.  When this happens, a level of distraction takes place as the media platforms take on more of the social aspects and less of the media/marketing purposes.  Once this takes place, many throw in the towel on the social media platforms & immediately say they do not work.  When in essence, that isn't the case, the real thing that happened was that the you the business have lost focus and are no longer using the network for what you originally signed up for.

So, how do you stay focused on your original vision for which you joined a network?  Simple, Listen with purpose to your consumers.  There is always at least one consumer who is looking to spend money in your industry and needs your services/products.

Each and every social network platform has some sort of way of tracking what the users are saying, asking and needing. Our job as a business is learning how to use these tracking devices effectively and listening intently to what consumers are needing. Use things like tweetgrid, facebook search and many other programs to find your prime consumers by listening with intent to what consumers are saying about keyword terms that are applicable to your business.

Here is a sample tweetgrid that someone who is a real estate agent in Myrtle Beach might set up:

Tweetgrid Example

There are 9 different categories of terms that someone who is looking to either buy, sell, or rent a place in Myrtle Beach that I can track simultaneously and connect with that consumer.  Some of these terms include: "Myrtle Beach" and "oceanfront", "need more space" or "for sale" and "Myrtle Beach".  These are all common phrases that someone who needs to either buy or sell a home would use when speaking on twitter.  I am now listening with intent to what others are saying that could be possible consumers and connecting with possible business opportunities and not just friends in the same industry.

Once you master the ability to listen with purpose to consumers, your whole outlook on social media sites will change dramatically and you also start seeing an increase in your return on investment into your social media strategy.

So in closing, if you are not listening intently on the social media platforms, you may want to focus on the reason you are there & begin listening to what your consumers are saying.


I'm a full time Myrtle Beach Real Estate Agent that focuses on homes for sale in Myrtle Beach and Carolina Forest Real Estate.


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I am also the Co-Founder of 210 Consulting- Social Media Advisors.  I have traveled the country as a social media speaker.  If you would like more information on any of the topics discussed in this blog, please contact me directly.  We specialize in social media training, online consulting, and the creation of your own custom WordPress site.


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Comment balloon 55 commentsJeremy Blanton • January 07 2010 11:42AM



Glad to have this info and I'm glad to see that other issue has been cleared up for me!

Posted by Richard Weisser, Richard Weisser Retired Real Estate Professional (Richard Weisser Realty) about 9 years ago


Will you be at RainCamp on the 12th to help us further with these mysteries?

Posted by Irene Kennedy Realtor® in Northwestern NJ (Weichert) about 9 years ago

Great reminder to focus on the end goal. I need to balance things out as I spend too much time on the fun part.

Posted by Jane Peters, Los Angeles real estate concierge services (Home Jane Realty) about 9 years ago

I'm sorry... I wasn't listening... what did you say?

Posted by Alan May, Helping you find your way home. (Coldwell Banker Residential) about 9 years ago

Thanks for the info.  Listening skills are ofer overlooked, but vital to the success of a Realtor.  Thanks for sharing

Posted by Jim O'Donnell (Raleigh Cary Realty) about 9 years ago

Great post, Jeremy...listening seems like a good skill to hone in on those long tail keywords...

Posted by Lisa VonBargen, Estes Park Real Estate Photographer (Photography7522) about 9 years ago

Jeff's presentation was one of my favorites  Monday. I want to relisten to it...  Good talking to you the other day.... 

Posted by Maureen McCabe, Columbus Ohio Real Estate (HER Realtors) about 9 years ago

Use things like tweetgrid, facebook search and many other programs to find your prime consumers by listening with intent to what consumers are saying about keyword terms that are applicable to your business.

I know I'm showing my ignorance here....Are there fees for using these keyword tracking devices. Just curious.  Informative post, Jeremy!

Posted by Sonja Patterson, Texas Monthly 5-Star Realtor Recipient for the Hou (Keller Williams - BV) about 9 years ago

Jeremy ---- excellent post on listening which I believe it probably the most important characteristic of a great real estate professional --good listening skills.


Posted by Liz Loadholt, Realtor--Broker-in-charge - Trainer--Relocation Director Covering SC (Liz Loadholt- AgentOwned Realty- Covering SC) about 9 years ago
Jeremy, without listening it is a one sided conversation and for the most part you the receiver learns nothing about the other. That is not engagement. Listening without purpose also is important if you are still listening as you will duscover something unexpected.
Posted by Gary Woltal, Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth (Keller Williams Realty) about 9 years ago


I love the "listening" ideas of Tweetgrid.  I wasn't aware of it before this.  I am always learning great stuff on AR!  What a great way to listen to the market in your area?  I love it!

All the best, 

Posted by Michelle Francis, Realtor, Buckhead Atlanta Homes for Sale & Lease (Tim Francis Realty LLC) about 9 years ago

Jeremy, I haven't heard of TweedGrid. I've been using tweet deck. I'm going to check out tweed grid after seeing your screen shot. BTW I remember going to my training classes when I first got started as a Realtor three years ago and your blog post reminded me about something an instructor said. She had mentioned the most successful people in the real estate business are those in the service industry business or in nursing and teaching type fields. What do all those people have in common? Great listening skills!!

Posted by Christopher Watters, Austin Realtor (512-829-8000) (Watters International Realty) about 9 years ago


TweetGrid is one of the coolest things out there.  I sort of feel like I'm spying, but it's really addictive and very informative.

Posted by Margaret Goss, Chicago's North Shore & Winnetka Real Estate (Baird & Warner Real Estate) about 9 years ago

Thank you so much!  Understanding what a consumer is really looking for is half the battle!

Posted by Wendy Rich-Soto, Realtor Strategize, Stage, Sell, Owner of @ the WRichTeam (Keller Williams Realty, LA Harbor) about 9 years ago

Very good post and listening on line may be something many over look. I always get something out of your post jeremay so thanks a bunch

Posted by Charlie Ragonesi, Homes - Big Canoe, Jasper, North Georgia Pros ( about 9 years ago

Huh???  :)  Gosh...what I need is someone to sit down with me and show me exactly how to use my media sources.  Holy cow...with each new application (btw...I just learned what an "app" is)...I get a little more overwhelmed.  I want to throw up my hands and say, "Forget it!"...but know that is the wave of the future.

Posted by Claire Record (Keller Williams Realty--Boerne Hill Country) about 9 years ago
I don't have time to listen to consumers. They will never tell you the truth or act upon what they say with an exception of probably 5-6%. I am talking about very very initial conversation. But their surfing and buying patterns on internet will tell you a lot and lead to much better return.
Posted by Sal Antsipenka about 9 years ago

Can't wait to check out tweetgrid. Thanks so much.

Posted by Blatt + Cutino, Broker-Associate 831/206-8070*Call today* (Keller Williams Coastal Estates) about 9 years ago


Wow, great tweetgrid.  I agree completely - listening is imperitive!  I need to learn more about this "social network listening"!


Posted by Karen Pannell, Owensboro KY Real Estate -270-903-2167 Homes, Cond (Real Living / Home Realty) about 9 years ago

Just checked it out! I like it! You really have to use key words!

Posted by Blatt + Cutino, Broker-Associate 831/206-8070*Call today* (Keller Williams Coastal Estates) about 9 years ago

Hi Jeremy: Listening to your clients needs is universal for any business.


Posted by Matt Listro, Your Credit Repair Expert (National Credit Fixers - Matt Listro) about 9 years ago

Jermey: Thanks. The tried and true always works. It's just that we occasionally forget it in our haste!

Posted by Paul McFadden, Pest Control, Seattle, WA. (Paratex) about 9 years ago

I always tell my team to listen to what the person is saying. If you don't listen to them how will you know how to help them? Thanks for your post.

Posted by Celeste Chism - Serving You in Crossville, Fairfield Glade, Lake Tansi & Cumberland Cove, Serving You is My Top Priority (RE/MAX Premier Choice) about 9 years ago

Jeremy - I attended a different session while Jeff gave his "Listening" session.  I assume that Jeff may have it recorded. I really want to hear it.  I'll go check his sites, and if not...hope to listen when VREBC gets the recorded sessions up/online.

Posted by Christine Bohn, The Bohn Team, Gainesville FL (RE/MAX Professionals) about 9 years ago

Jeremy, great post. I meet with a uctomer and beat myself up because I taked more than I listened. It's all about them not us. Great reminder.

Posted by Ted Tyndall, I will help You find the Home YOU want to Buy (Davidson Realty Inc.) about 9 years ago

Thanks Jeremy, I was in that webinar also and thought it was very informative and helpful.

Posted by Sybil Campbell, REALTOR® ABR, SFR, SRES Williamsburg, Virginia (Long and Foster REALTORS® 5234 Monticello Ave Williamsburg, Virginia) about 9 years ago

Jeremy, I listened to Jeff Turner as well and WOW!  I have a Twitter account and that's it.  I've done nothing with it because I really didn't understand what to do with it!

I already knew about TweetDeck, and during Jeff's presentation I learned about TweetGrid.  Throughout the day I found out about TweetUp, Tweetmeme, Twittlink, Twittley, ReTweet, and TwitterFeed. 

Needless to say, I'm all "atwitter" ;-)

Posted by Amy Salisbury, West Virginia Realtor/Jefferson/Berkeley (Leading Edge Properties) about 9 years ago

I'm speaking to you again after not sleeping the other night for worrying about a big spider being in my bed. Dang. That was a nightmare of a photo, but seeing your beautiful baby girl here makes me feel much better. Great post about Tweetgrid. It's sure been a great tool for me, for what it's worth!

Posted by Susie Blackmon, Ocala, Horses, Western Wear, Horse Farms, Marketing about 9 years ago

Hey, great content about listening and I look forward to learning more when they come out with the recordings of the sessions in a few weeks.

Posted by Cheryl Ritchie, Southern Maryland 301-980-7566 (RE/MAX Leading Edge about 9 years ago

I get the theory on this but I'm not entirely sold. Would love to see some real numbers ... how much time spent listening, how many potential clients identified, how many that were actively engaged, etc. Social media needs to be held accountable just like any other lead source.

Posted by John Novak, Henderson, Las Vegas and Summerlin Real Estate (Keller Williams Realty The Marketplace) about 9 years ago

Hi Jeremy~  It's funny how much everything we do goes back to really listening!  I heard Jeff's seminar on this and I found it to be rather intriguing!

Posted by Vickie McCartney, Broker, Real Estate Agent Owensboro KY (Maverick Realty) about 9 years ago

I'm not tweeting yet.  I can see from the info here that it is something I should explore.  Thanks for the post.

Posted by Tammie White, Broker, Franklin TN Homes for Sale (Franklin Homes Realty LLC) about 9 years ago

Jeremy:  Thank you!

Now featured on the Optimist Group.  Thomas participated in that webinar and has set me up on a similar grid.  I need more assistants!

Posted by Mirela Monte, Myrtle Beach Real Estate (Buyers' Choice Realty) about 9 years ago

Very cool Jeremy!  I agree with you that it is a delicate balance with the social media networking - we ARE on there for a purpose and we need to focus in on that purpose!

Posted by Emily Lowe, Nashville TN Realtor (The Lipman Group | Sotheby's International Realty) about 9 years ago

Hi Jeremy...Great Post. Zig Ziglar used to say" listen to clients and you'll increase your sales 50%"


Posted by Fred Carver Personal Real Estate Corporation, Accredited Real Estate Consultant (RE/MAX Camosun Victoria BC Real Estate) about 9 years ago

I love when other people agree with me that there is nothing wrong with capitalism. Capitalism is good. Nobody goes into business and goes to work every day for the fun of it. Staying focused and having the will power to be consistent can take you places.

Posted by Nathan Tutas, Your Central Florida Real Estate Expert (Tutas Towne Realty, Inc.) about 9 years ago


Good Advice. I am new here and am starting to get a real sense of what this is all about and just as you mentioned it will be easy to "forget" why we joined and get into the social aspects more. Thanks.

Pat Kady

Posted by Pat Kady (Keller Williams Check Realty) about 9 years ago

"Listening with purpose."  What a simple, easy, hard to do sometimes idea.

Is there something like Tweet Grid for Facebook?

Posted by Christine Donovan, Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M (Donovan Blatt Realty) about 9 years ago

I think that is what is so great about hbeing on Active Rain is the ability to build a relationship business.

Posted by Aaron Vaughn | Builder | Investor, If the deal makes sense, the cash will follow. (Conifer Homes) about 9 years ago

nice info!  Thanks for sharing.

Posted by Sajy Mathew, Making your real estate dreams become a reality! (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) about 9 years ago

great post and I am all about the listening but tweeting seems so fleeting to me and I am just not sure about it working or face book really bringing actual people to the door....mind is open but not quite wrapped around it..

Posted by Debra Leisek ( Bay Realty,Inc Homer Alaska) about 9 years ago

Great post Jeremy.  I find that one of the key communication links with my clients is "listening."

Thanks for sharing!


Posted by Pam Richerson about 9 years ago

"The Lost Art of Listening." is not it the basic of negociating...

Posted by Catherine Chaudemanche - Edison & Central NJ, Full Time, Informed and Involved- Results Driven (Metuchen Keller Williams Elite Realty / Middlesex County, NJ) about 9 years ago

Good post.

I learned early in life that God gave us two ears and one month for a reason. 

We will never sell ourselves anything (except a lost sale)


Posted by Tony Grego, 317-663-4173 #1 Trade Association for Alternative Inv (REISA - 317-663-4173) about 9 years ago

Great advice, Jeremy.  Thanks for the post.

Posted by Todd Kenthack, MBA, GRI (The Pines Realty) about 9 years ago

Well what can I say, Jeff is the master at the in's and out's of social media.

I use tweetdeck but not as often as I should. And I need to learn how to delete some people from the long ago groups I set up and focus more on Ann Arbor.

Posted by Missy Caulk, Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate (Missy Caulk TEAM) about 9 years ago

This is a reminder to be more of an active rather than passive listening. We must focus on the needs of our clients. 

Posted by Home Loan Search.Online (Home Loan Search Online) about 9 years ago

I was taught a long time ago that "Listening makes you money, talking costs you money".  I don't know who the original author is but I've always tried to live by it.  Thanks for the post Jeremy.

Posted by Lewis Beynon, Triangle Real Estate 411 (Century 21 Triangle Group) about 9 years ago

Thanks for the recap Jeremy. I missed Jeff's session and appreciate your recap.

Posted by Bob Wegener, Lamorinda Specialist 925-212-2431 (Hacienda Real Estate ("Lamorinda" Lafayette, Moraga, Orinda)) about 9 years ago

Hey Jeremy, where'd ya go?  You must be taking a nap exhausted from the VREBC!  lol~ 

Great report back on Jeff's session, I missed it as I was doing one myself.  Wish I could have gone to them all!!  :-)

Posted by Brad Andersohn, ActiveBrad - 707.646.1876 (Director of Education & Industry Outreach at eXp Realty & RE Tech Campus) about 9 years ago

Oh Brad a nap?  I really wish I could have one of those.  I have been so incredibly busy preparing to move.  In fact, tomorrow is the big day!  Jeff's session was really good.  I only caught about 15 minutes of your session which was good too.  But, then I had to run out.  I am with you on wishing I could make it to all of them!  Luckily they were mostly recorded & we will hopefully soon be able to listen to all on demand!

Posted by Jeremy Blanton, Myrtle Beach REALTOR®- (Myrtle Beach Homes Blog) about 9 years ago

John- One of the great things is that you do not have to sit there & listen.  You can run these programs in the background throughout the day & then when you are free, stop back & see the results!

Posted by Jeremy Blanton, Myrtle Beach REALTOR®- (Myrtle Beach Homes Blog) about 9 years ago

Jeremy:  This is back at the top of the Optimist Board as a featured post (I had to take it down for LOL Friday). 

Posted by Mirela Monte, Myrtle Beach Real Estate (Buyers' Choice Realty) about 9 years ago

Jeremy, I try to always remember what a sales trainer taught me many years ago. He said that all humans generally listen to reply, that we do not really listen to other people. I have to remind myself of this everyday.

Posted by Tom Bailey (Margaret Rudd & Associates Inc.) about 9 years ago
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