People love exclusivity. Companies build their brands based on it. Allowing their customers to become “one of the few”. Whether you’re spending two dollars on a coffee from Starbucks, or $100,000 on a Tesla, you’re not just picking up a cup of Joe or a set of wheels. You’re buying into a brand, culture, status, and of course, an air of exclusivity. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs tells us clearly, we have a need for acceptance that we are trying to fill. This is why we participate in brand identities. Buying into brands associates you with their group of customers. You become part of that “tribe”. You consider yourself acquaintances with everyone else who’s bought in too.
The exclusive Clubhouse launched in April of 2020, and it’s growing popularity and exclusivity is generating excitement for the app’s potential. Let’s delve into what Clubhouse is and how realtors can take advantage of its features.
Oprah, Drake, and Kevin Hart. Those are big names for an app with only 1500 users in May of 2020. Despite the small user base, Clubhouse earned a valuation of $100 Million after a $12 Million investment from venture capitalist, Andreesson Horrowitz. If you opened Clubhouse on January 27th, 2020, you could join a discussion on Coronavirus’ impact on prison populations between MC Hammer, Van Jones, and Shaka Senghor. Of course, conversations are invitation only. Apple and Google feature Clubhouse in their app stores, although there is currently no Clubhouse website. Founders Paul Davison and Rohan Seth have stayed out of the public spotlight, but their app certainly hasn’t. Davison and Seth pieced together a group of elite “blue-check” Twitter influencers to be beta testers and early adopters of Clubhouse. A great move to build Clubhouse’s exclusivity factor and hype.
How Does Clubhouse Work?
Most early adopters describe Clubhouse as a mashup of listening to a podcast while scrolling through your Twitter feed and attending a Zoom conference at the same time. Let’s simplify that for you. Clubhouse is talk radio for a new generation. Podcasts are popular on all streaming platforms from YouTube to iTunes, but they only offer one way communication. Clubhouse is a podcast on the surface, where a host or “moderator” does the majority of talking in a chatroom. The moderator sets the course of the discussion. Some rooms have only two participants, while others have over one hundred. You enter different rooms on mute, but you can immediately hear the discussion.
Clubhouse breaks off from being a podcast and becomes more like talk radio because hosts have the power to open the mics of their guests. This steers away from the one-way communication podcasts offer, towards the multi-channel communication of radio and social media. This gives guests opportunities to contribute their own opinions to the discussion. This is like Joe Rogan deciding to take live calls during his podcasts. Talks can be about any topic, and they are categorized within the app so users can find them depending on their preference.
In addition to this, users have the opportunity to leave one talk and enter a completely different one. For example, let’s say Joe Rogan’s room is getting a little dull as he drones on about alien conspiracies. A user decides to leave and enter Conan O’brien’s room where he hosts a chat with fellow late-night host Jimmy Fallon. This idea of leaving one room and entering another can translate over to seminars on Clubhouse. For realtors, this could involve entering one room where an expert discusses video marketing, then leaving for another room about lead generation. Clubhouse makes these switches as easy as turning a radio dial.
What Makes Clubhouse Exclusive?
One early adopter referred to Clubhouse as the social media platform designed for AirPods. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp…practically every social media platform requires users to focus on their screen. They must dedicate all of their attention to the app itself. You can’t browse Facebook or Instagram in the background while you work on an annual report. Clubhouse lets you socialize, connect, and take part in meaningful conversations without intruding on your activities. We can even further compare Clubhouse to the older medium of talk radio. If a topic piqued your interest while listening to the radio, you had to stop what you were doing, pick up your phone, turn down the volume, dial the station, wait for your turn, then say your piece. On Clubhouse, it’s as simple as the host unmuting your microphone.
Clubhouse is still banking exclusivity points. Not just anyone can join in on the app right now. It is currently “invite only.” Clubhouse says they are still working on improving the user experience before opening the app to a larger audience.
Built For The Camera-Shy
Nobody has to worry about how they look on an audio-only platform like Clubhouse. If a realtor has something to share with fellow realtors or their community, but they don’t want to edit a YouTube video or appear on camera, then Clubhouse is the solution. The majority of meetings, talks, seminars, and events now take place on Zoom. Based on Zoom meetings I’ve attended, I know there’s a majority of attendees who opt to turn their cameras off. They participate through voice only, and to be fair, it sets a relaxed and engaging atmosphere.
There are some gatherings where a camera is needed, for example, Yoga classes. If a teacher is demonstrating particular exercises participants need to have their cameras on so the instructor can assure they’re performing the exercise properly. For meetings, lectures, and discussions, all that’s needed is the voice. This opens the floor for discussion further because there is an air of anonymity. Those who are uncomfortable sharing valuable opinions face to face are free to open up when the camera is off. For realtors this can lead to more frank discussions with local home owners when conducting seminars or events on Clubhouse.
The Drawback Of Anonymity
Clubhouse’s young life is already filled with controversy. With today’s political and social climate focused on misinformation, some users are warning about the dangers of giving certain members a platform. Clubhouse does not have any comment sections, or like buttons, where users can give their opinions on the views expressed in particular rooms. There are options for users to report violations. There’s a balance Clubhouse needs to strike between free speech and censorship before scaling the app to a larger audience.
How Can Realtors Use The Exclusive Clubhouse App?
Once Clubhouse steps outside of its exclusive audience and opens its user base, it can become a valuable tool in the arsenal of realtors.
Keeping In Touch With Your Social Networks
Clubhouse can be an app that helps you stay in touch with your client base. The goal of social media is to give your followers valuable information that they can engage with. Facebook is great for keeping followers up to date with current events you’re hosting or local events in your area. YouTube is a visual medium for showing new listings or uploading interviews you’ve done. But YouTube is not built for the camera-shy, which means if you have something to say, you must find a different medium. And Instagram is a platform where you should post a variety of content to keep your followers engaged with your brand.
There are no platforms dedicated to letting you speak to your client base and followers in group settings or discussions. This is a new realm. Yes, you’re familiar with sharing event posts, interviews, and listings, but truly talking to clients can be an advantage for realtors.
The Next Step
Clubhouse can be the next step for realtors who write their own blogs and want to discuss that information with clients and other experts. You don’t want to appear on camera, and you want to have two-way discussions between you and your audience. Clubhouse would be the next logical step for realtors to spread education, inspiration and entertainment with their followers.
Hosting weekly talks on Clubhouse would be a start. Think of it as writing a TedTalk per week where you can give clients valuable information about the housing market and the real estate industry in general. What makes Clubhouse different from a TedTalk is that you can engage with your clients and answer their questions live.
Much like how you offer a variety of content on your other social media channels when you host a talk on Clubhouse, it doesn’t have to always be about the real estate industry. You can hold interviews with local business owners in your area. Host talks with local event coordinators to promote their causes. You can become the host of the hyperlocal Clubhouse for your community. Building these local connections is the best way to increase your referrals and success. In addition, talk about other topics you happen to be an expert on. If you know a lot about self-motivation and psychology, dedicate a few Clubhouse chats to those topics. This lets your clients peer into your personality and learn more about you. And speaking of expertise…
Establishing Yourself As An Expert
Many realtors who want to establish themselves as experts find a spot on radio stations or start their own podcasts. Todd C. Slater for example hosts his own weekly radio show where he discusses real estate and takes calls from listeners. This builds him as an industry expert, which means more clients can trust him to sell their homes and it exposes him to a large audience. Establishing yourself as a real estate industry expert can open doors to more interviews, more opportunities, and more clients.
Podcasts and radio shows are great on paper, but they require a lot of extra effort, editing, and more importantly, time that busy realtors do not have. Clubhouse takes away the expensive microphones and timely editing process, allowing realtors to offer something real, authentic, and engaging to their clients without adding more to their to-do lists.
Networking With Other Experts & Using Clubhouse As A Seminar Alternative
Clubhouse gives experts the potential to network with other experts who are hosting or attending the same chats. Instead of watching a TedTalk from Gary Vaynerchuk, what if you could actually interact with him and have a discussion, and then carry on that discussion with other listeners.
In-person seminars offer two opportunities for realtors: information and connections. Information realtors take from seminars can be immediately applied to improve their businesses. The connections are important for growing their network so that they don’t miss out on opportunities and more information in the future. Since in-person seminars are off-limits due to Covid, Clubhouse is an alternative for realtors where they can still access information and build connections.
Not only can you learn strategies to improve your business on Clubhouse, but you can also talk with experts one on one and connect with other experts in the audience. This gives realtors many opportunities to grow their networks. Silicon Valley experts use Clubhouse to invite one another to talks and discussions. This means Clubhouse can translate outside Silicon Valley and to the real estate industry.
Clubhouse is incredibly convenient. Again, it’s the social media platform for speakers. That means you don’t have to have your phone in your hands or stare at your screen. You can have Clubhouse playing in the background as you drive to work or prepare dinner for your family. For realtors, time is everything. Clubhouse allows you to multi-task. Drive around town to meet with clients (after Covid of course) with Clubhouse playing over your speakers. A word of caution, always keep your eyes on the road and check your usage settings, because Clubhouse is not worth the price of going over your data usage.
Clubhouse is still growing and updates must be made to its existing policies to ensure the platform is safe from misinformation. Once it gets over its exclusive phase and opens up to the general public it has the potential to scale. Realtors would be wise to add Clubhouse into their array of social media tools in order to build more local connections and become known as experts in their field while increasing their networking opportunities. We’ll be keeping a close eye on Clubhouse for you in the months to come.
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