There’s a trend that’s been developing on social media, and it’s a trend that risks having you be perceived as being someone who is robotic, and someone who really doesn’t care about the people you’re trying to connect with. In fact, this trend now has me refusing to connect with many people who send me invitations to connect on LinkedIn.

There are services that people can hire to help them to connect with more people on social media, and on LinkedIn, for example, these services will search LinkedIn members to come up with people who seem to fit the ideal profile of who you’d like to be connecting with, and then automatically send these people invitations to connect with you. Then, in addition, and this is the part that really ticks me off, these services can be programmed to instantaneously send someone a message whenever they accept your invitation, and for me this message oftentimes takes the form of receiving a request to schedule a 15-30 minute telephone conversation with the person, so that they can now tell me all about their business.

This, to me, is about as cold and distant as it can get when it comes to trying to build relationships with people, as it shows us that these requests really aren’t coming from live people, but rather from a programmed, online service.

And now, as a result of this, I pretty much decline all new requests to connect with people from the lending industry on LinkedIn, as well as decline connecting with people who have products and services that they’d like to sell to commercial brokers, because with me being a commercial real estate coach, this is the kind of profession that these automated services are being programmed to identify and send out invitations to, because of the idea that I’m in the perfect position to sell other people’s products and services directly to commercial real estate brokers.

So with this in mind, you don’t want to be perceived like this by the people you are trying to connect with. At the minimum, if you’re utilizing a service like the one I’ve mentioned, don’t program the service to instantaneously send a message out to someone once they’ve connected with you, as it will be obvious that the message really isn’t coming from you. Instead, consider allowing days or weeks to pass after the connection is made, and then send the person a more personal message, legitimately coming from you this time, in attempting to now genuinely take your relationship with the person to the next level.

Commercial real estate brokerage is a business about building relationships, and when we completely turn that relationship-building process over to techies, who traditionally don’t have the greatest relationship-building skills, we then risk alienating the very people we are ideally wanting to build solid relationships with.