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How Can I Use Social Media to Help My Real Estate Business?
A lot of realtors work either in small businesses or on their own, which can be quite daunting when you have a lot of homes to sell and no one to help you with your workload. Marketing yourself and the homes you are selling is important to the success of your business; therefore, getting real returns on every hour you put in is important.
The social media boom is often hard to keep on top of, as it seems there is a new website every day offering the chance to advertise to your potential customers and see returns. However, if you are working alone, it is difficult to manage several social media accounts at once, so you need to be realistic with you time and workload.
Although not technically social media, blogging is far too important to ignore and should be the centerpiece of your social media outreach strategy. With an industry such as real estate, fresh content is important to your readership and often will only require a small amount of time to keep updated. It isn’t simply about showcasing your properties, though; it is also a great idea to market yourself and share the way you do business. Over time, you can establish yourself as a thought leader in your field, and this will inevitably lead to a higher reputation in your field and maybe even nationally.
It is simple to set up a WordPress blog which works a lot like a website. Ensure that you put your web address on your business card. Make sure you make yourself stand out and sell yourself. Do you charge the lowest rates? Specialize in first time buyers? If so, make sure you audience knows about it. Remember that the more you make your blog look like a sales tool, the more people are likely to be turned off by it. Keep it fresh, relevant and in tune with your audience.
Real estate brokers are gaining more and more traction with Twitter, and this is the one social network that I would recommend. With its instant reactions and industry updates, Twitter is a great platform to connect with people who may be actively looking or thinking about buying or selling a home. Because you only get 140 characters, you have to make a point. That could be a picture of a great new property that has just come on the market, a new low interest market or a new blog entry you have just posted. It’s a great tool and an easy way to build a following.
One key piece of advice, treat it with care. If you are retweeting an article you think is interesting, think about your audience. Will it interest them? Is it adding any value to your brand and business? If you offer boring content, you won’t see the kind of interaction that you are looking for. Remember to personally reply to anyone who contacts you, and think about reaching out to other influential real estate brokers as well.
LinkedIn is essentially a detailed online business card. It can really make a great difference to your potential career prospects, putting you in contact with other people in your industry. It is important to set up a company profile, and push out the content from your blog over this channel, too. Remember to differentiate your content for your market. The people on LinkedIn are more likely to be interested in industry news and perspectives, whereas people on Twitter may be more interested in houses for sale.
Google+, Facebook, Pinterest
There are plenty of social networks that you can tap into, far too many to mention. However, the biggest ones that will offer the greatest value are likely to be:
- Google+ – A great place to share content, and although this is underdeveloped, it doesn’t look like Google is giving up on it anytime soon. Great for SEO purposes, if you have enough time or someone to take control of it for you, this is certainly a legitimate way to branch out to potential clients.
- Facebook – I’m sure you have an account, and it is very good for localized advertising at a relatively competitive rate. Although it takes a lot of effort to get it off the ground, once you have a following it can turn into a very valuable resource.
- Pinterest – A very big mover, especially in real estate circles. It is easy to use pictures that you or your real estate company will be taking anyway. By showcasing your listings, you are likely to attract a very powerful demographic that are likely to be interested in your homes for sale. Remember to follow the rules: don’t overpromote and try to appeal to people’s (p)interests.
I hope this gave you a nice overview of the social media tools that are available for your real estate listings and business. Remember to follow a few simple rules, make sure your content is interesting and stick with it. It takes a while to build a following, so don’t lose patience with it.
Written by Jonny on behalf of Agent Find, which matches potential home buyers with Canadian real estate agents across the country.