If you are reading this post, you are most likely a real estate agent and with that, embody the true definition of an entrepreneur. You have taken the time, energy and fortitude to start your own business and are willing to risk loss for the chance at achieving self-sustainable success. And whether you are just starting out or have been deep in the trenches for several years, you are already aware of how important marketing is to your real estate business. In fact, we have no doubt that the majority of your time and budget has been allocated towards marketing either yourself, your business, or your properties. But are you utilizing the online marketplace to adequately promote your real estate business? Are you using new social media marketing tools to their maximum potential? Can your prospective clients find your real estate business easily online?
Toto, I have a Feeling We’re Not in Kansas Anymore
Whether its offline or online, ultimately you are the one responsible for getting yourself out there in front of your prospective home buyers and sellers. And while marketing your real estate business used to mean flyers, postcard mailers, door knocking, printed newsletters, etc., today’s marketing landscape is much more 3-dimensional. In addition to the tried and true marketing methods of years past, the internet, with its powerful exponential reach into the real estate marketplace, is now playing a much bigger role, quite possibly even taking center stage when it comes to self-promotion. And while the real estate business has always relied on face-to-face contact to build rapport between sales agents and their clients, in this new age of online marketing, social media platforms are an integral part of building and maintaining those relationships. With status updates, pictures, videos, blog posts and more, it is even common to develop a strong connection between people whom you have never even met in real life.
Where Are YOUR Prospective Clients?
With real estate, it’s a well-known fact that in order to attract prospective clients, you need to be where your ideal audience is. And where they are is on the web, on sites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc. In fact, more and more people are relying on their smartphones and computers to do their work for them in almost every facet of their lives. According to the 2015 National Association of REALTORS® Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends Report, 88% of home purchasers used an online website during their search. Even more revealing, 43% of prospective buyers turned to the internet first to begin their home search. So if you are one of those agents that still thinks having a presence in the online world is simply not necessary for the growth of your real estate business, you may want to re-think your stance on this.
So if the majority of your prospective clients are on the web socializing with friends, purchasing products, booking trips, and even looking for their dream home, it only makes sense to make sure that you and your business is out there front and center. In fact, these days if you aren’t tweeting, posting, updating, or uploading the latest news you have to offer, you may just get left behind.
If you are just starting out in the online world, it can be a bit daunting. From personal experience, we can tell you that when we were first building our online presence, it felt like everyone else seemed to know what they were doing except us. It turns out, we were wrong. If there is one thing we at Real Estate Radio Show have learned through the process of building an online community, it’s that the majority of social media users are in the same boat. They have the same questions as everyone else, get frustrated just like every other online user, and many end up either just winging it or worse, giving up. And just when you think you’ve got it all figured out, the social media platforms either change the rules on you or your target audience has found a new way to utilize the platform making your learning curve that much steeper.
The point is, you’re not alone. If it was really that easy, there wouldn’t be so many online social media experts making a living, simply trying to help others navigate the social media world. So don’t stress! You’ve got this! Just as you dedicated your valuable time and energy into learning and implementing other marketing techniques to promote your real estate business, the online marketing world can be mastered just as easily. How, you ask? Our suggestion: one social media platform at a time! And of course we’ve got you covered with podcast episodes, articles, and how-to guides containing helpful tips and techniques to get you on your way.
Good News for Your Real Estate Business
The good news is, thanks to social media and the latest marketing tools available today, you have the chance to get your brand out in front of your audience just as much as the next guy. Recognizing new marketing opportunities created by technological advances in software, computers, and smartphones could prove extremely beneficial to your real estate businesses, however, having enough moxie to implement them into your marketing strategy before everyone else does, priceless. In fact, taking the time to learn the ins and outs of new online tools and using them to your advantage could be the difference between just sustaining your real estate business and jumping to that next level of entrepreneurial success!
We’re not saying that you need to try to learn about every new app or social platform that comes your way or that you need to be anywhere and everywhere online. In fact, this is probably a poor strategy. You’ll mostly likely end up spending too much of your time trying to be in too many places at once that you won’t be able to nurture the audience you want. Our advice: start with what you know. For example, we’d be willing to bet that each and every one of you already have a Facebook personal profile that you use in much the same way your prospective clients do. So why not start here. Begin taking advantage of some of the free online tools available to you like setting up a Facebook Page for your real estate business for example. Then invite your friends to check out your business page to learn more about the services you offer. Facebook Pages are easy to setup and allow you to stay in touch with the people that are most interested in your business. You can also dress up your Facebook Page by adding Custom Social Media Tabs to the menu bar, integrating your other social networking sites directly into your Facebook Page.
Twitter is another great platform that allows you to consistently and succinctly update your followers on the latest local and regional market trends, your new real estate listings, and community events in the area you specialize in. In fact, according to Forbes research, Twitter took over the #1 spot as the top social media site that salespeople use to garner business in 2014.
Whether you choose Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram or YouTube to start your online journey, make sure it’s the platform that seems to resonate the loudest with your prospective home buyers and sellers. This is where you need to focus your energy. Learn all you can about the platform and how to make the most use of the systems they offer. And since social media sites are always tweaking their platform to enhance user experience, make sure to stay up with the latest changes so that you’re using the site to the best of its ability.
Just remember, one step at a time!
We would love to hear what social media platform has worked the best for you for generating new leads as real estate agents. Leave us your comments below.
~Greg & Tracy