How social do you have to be in today’s real estate market? It depends on how much business you want to do! It is time to cure your social “dis-ease” and jump in to social media networks to explode your sales business! It is essential to engage some form of social media to enhance your relationships and hence real estate business. As an added bonus…. you will have a lot of fun along the way!
The more relationships you have and can cultivate, the more successful your real estate career will be! It was not all that long ago that an agent would have paid a lot of money to be able to access several thousand people inexpensively… and now there are many social media venues which allow you to do that for FREE, easily, effectively and enjoyably! What an easy way to get back to enjoying your real estate career and creating opportunities to help many people buy and sell real estate and receive many commission checks!
Although there are many “social networking media” marketing avenues, the primary ones include:
- Active Rain
So where do you start and what should you do? (If you wish to check the availability of a specific social networking “username” go to: www.Checkusernames.com.)
Facebook: Facebook is the easiest program to begin your adventure! Simply go to www.facebook.com , enter your email address, password, basic information and that is all there is to it! There are many tutorials and blog sites regarding all of the specifics regarding how to navigate your way through. Facebook is designed to “help you connect and share with the people in your life!” The overview is this: find “friends” (from real estate, schools, clients, family, neighborhoods, past places you have lived, etc..) Write in your “status update” what you are doing in terms of your life and your real estate business (i.e. selling in specific geographic areas, specific price range, helping Sellers use their house as a tool, finding dream homes for Buyers, helping people prevent foreclosure, etc..) Your information will be broadcasted on your friends’ walls and news feeds and all of their friends will see that you are a productive, professional (and such a technologically savvy wink wink!) real estate agent! Remember that you are a well-rounded person and “talk” about more than just business! This is networking on steroids! For added business tips, read 10 Facebook Strategies Your Competitors Don’t Want You to Know courtesy of Reggie Nicolay (@ReggieRPR). One caveat to Facebook: it can be addicting!
Twitter: The fastest growing networking site online today for making an impact on your local real estate sales market! Go to www.twitter.com and enter your name and twitter identification and password. Then you will “follow” people and others will “follow” you. You can follow us: @Maximum1Realty. Twitter is considered a “micro-blogging” site in that you broadcast your activities, ideas, resources, informative web sites, your blog site, tips and tricks for selling houses, and anything you care to share. However, you are limited to 140 characters per tweet! This is the fastest and most fun way to discover who wants to buy or sell a home in your neighborhood. You engage in conversations with others regarding your business and interests and activities. If you are interested in the latest breaking news, you will find it on twitter before you will anywhere else! There are many ancillary programs on the web to enhance your twitter experience: Tweet Deck, Twitter Local, Twitter Search, TwitPic (to tweet pictures) and the list continues! For a fabulous tutorial on how to grow your network on Twitter, download (www.mytechopinion.com) Nicole Nicolay’s (@Nik_Nik) free e-book: “Get Your Tweet On withTwitter for Real Estate Twits v.2.”
Blogging: Blogging is considered the most intensive method for enhancing your online real estate presence. There are many resources for establishing a blog site: www.featuredblog.com, www.wordpress.com, www.activerain.com, www.realestatetomato.com, www.blogger.com and many others. You can blog on anything: real estate in your area, mortgage information (www.thexbroker.com,) specific neighborhoods, market reports, distressed properties, real estate technology, luxury markets, home inspectors, the closing process, events in your area, school information and test scores, real estate training and coaching http://blog.yourcoach.com, http://matthewferry.com/blog etc.. Blogging is an extremely effective way to showcase your real estate niche, expertise and passion. Please note that blogging effectively to establish an audience and to organically rise to the top of a Google search takes time and commitment. You can utilize your blog to interact with the buying and selling public, to your past clients, to specific geographic or sociographic farm areas or to other real estate agents. If your intended audience is other real estate agents or if you desire to be informed as to what is happening in real estate throughout the world, Active Rain is the preeminent site for this goal. These weekly newsletters and additional information are posted on the Maximum One Blog!
LinkedIn: LinkedIn initially began as an online resume service. It has now expanded into an important online networking site and functions very similarly to Facebook. Many of your past and future clients may be on LinkedIn (or Plaxo – initially an online business card site) solely or in addition to Facebook and Twitter. One of the beauties of www.linkedin.com is that you can have other colleagues and clients “recommend” your services. These online testimonials can go a long way to enhancing your professional credibility to your prospects who do not yet know you.
Pinterest: Pinterest is an online bulletin board – a visual bookmark of various websites that interest you! Of all the Social Media sites, in my opinion, Pinterest is the MOST fun, most interesting & most ADDICTIVE!!! You can find friends through facebook and other sites. See what interests others & let others see what interests you! This site is a bit difficult to explain but once you dive in, you’ll never want to leave!!!! Did I mention this site is ADDICTING!?!?!?
Others: www.flickr.com & www.photobucket.com photo sharing) www.trulia.com, www.delicious.com & www.digg.com (social bookmarking) www.YouTube.com (video sharing) and many more!
There are several keys to the effective use of your online networking and marketing strategy. Primarily remember that your ultimate goal is to connect with people in order to establish a relationship and help them with their real estate needs and get paid for the value you bring to the situation!
Technically-speaking, make sure that you completely fill out your “profile” on all of these various sites. Include professional and personal aspects (items that make you an interesting person) of your life:
- Business information
- Professional associations
- Professional accolades
- Your various online presences
- Types of music you like
- Movies you prefer
- Academic interests
- Athletic interests
Portray yourself as the interesting and well-rounded person that you are so that others will be attracted to do business with you! The tools you use are not as important as the relationship skills you bring to the situation: awareness, conversation and engagement!
Regardless of the method you utilize to meet new customers, you are simply required to cultivate and hone the communication and relationship skills necessary to turn that prospect into a paycheck! They desire the real estate knowledge and expertise you possess and will gladly pay you for that value you uniquely bring to help them move forward with their needs. The fundamental principal of any and all of your marketing efforts is to be able to convey your value to them and to their network in a compelling and provocative way to turn those prospects into clients!