While most of us in mortgage finance are spending today trying to close loans and show properties to prospective buyers, one of our most popular social sites is facing a very bleak forecast.
Facebook shares plunged 20% Thursday, obliterating more than $124 billion in market value and marking the largest one-day loss in the history of any publicly traded company, ever. And, the company said it expects revenue to continue its downward spiral for the remainder of the year. Yikes.
Analysts are sounding the alarm bells and are warning investors: its time to jump ship. Should we start planning to do the same?
First of all, the news is not entirely surprising considering the privacy scandal that has tainted the company and turned off users. I’ve personally heard a number of friends say they’ve deleted their accounts in disgust since learning the company was doing little to protect their private information.
So what does this mean for the lending world? Well, maybe the tarnished luster of the world’s largest social media site poses a problem for mortgage brokers and real estate agents who have long used it as their method of choice for free self-promotion.
It was once a great way to share photos of a new listing or remind friends – and their friends, and their friends – that you’re available should they need a mortgage or want to refinance.
But now, with fewer consumers logging on every day, perhaps it’s no longer the best way to spread news of your services in your local market. What’s an agent or lender to do?
Get on Instagram, for one. With its enhanced friend-finding features and story suggestions, it’s becoming easier to connect with friends of friends and broaden your reach on their app. And, of course, LinkedIn is the professional staple for self-promotion, even if does lack entertainment value.
But while you could scour the social media landscape, pinning and tweeting and posting with determined fury and hoping that the perfect prospect might see it and give you a call, maybe it’s just time to back away from the screen. Maybe it’s time to return to the old-school approach – knock on doors, shake hands, attend events, visit… meet… greet.
Perhaps Facebook’s drama is a sign that people are backing away from digital interactions and are craving more meaningful connections, not with a false-seeming online persona, but with a real person, face to face.