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Can Social Media Really Sell Real Estate?

Angie Shipe August 8, 2013 0
Can Social Media Really Sell Real Estate?

We talk to real estate agents, brokers and firms every day. We hear the stories. We know the secrets.

Some agents are doing pretty well using word-of-mouth, yard signs and phone calls. Others agents are doing extraordinarily well. They’re kicking it up a big notch. And they’re doing it even in soft markets, in places where inventories are huge and in cities where the economic recovery hasn’t kept pace with the rest of the country.

The agents who generate the most business leads and who get the best ROI for their investment of time and money are using …

Wait for it …

Social media.

Wait—Don’t leave! You’ve heard it all before. Maybe you’ve wasted time building a website or a blog, only to find it took time away from your tried-and-true sales techniques. But you have to remember that these are tools that have to be used the right way. Signing up for a Facebook account or starting a blog doesn’t mean you’re done and you can forget about it. It doesn’t work that way. As with all tools, you have to figure out the best way to use them to meet your sales and marketing goals.

 

We here at agentcampus.com talk about using social media to market real estate all the time. But too many agents (especially the ones who got their start in the ’90s, ’80s or before) refuse to change the way they market. Why? It’s an investment of time and money that reaps huge rewards when you do it right. A recent Forbes article about using social media to increase sales says:

  • 78.6 percent of salespeople who use social media out-sell those who don’t
  • 50 percent of salespeople using social media spend less than 10 percent of their time on these efforts

These figures show you two things:

  • Social marketing works
  • Social marketing doesn’t have to take up all of your time

The Forbes article lists the following social outlets as the most important for anyone in sales:

  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Blogs
  • Google+

I would certainly add Pinterest, YouTube, Reddit, Flickr and Instagram to the list. That’s a lot of accounts to maintain, isn’t it? Suck it up. Think of each of these outlets as a cocktail party. Some of these parties are snooty and professional; others are extremely laid-back. Find a way to show up to all of them, charm everyone, and hand out a ton of business cards.

Some cocktail parties are more important than others. Only you can determine which ones matter to you. If your target market is first-time home-buyers with families, Facebook is probably where you want to focus your outreach. If your sales are geared more toward commercial real estate, LinkedIn might be a better way to implement a business-to-business sales model.

Twitter is great for “quick tips” to reach people new to your area. Your personal blog is good for longer pieces that profile local restaurants and events. Remember, you’re building your reputation as an expert in your market. Where are your customers? Answer that question, then go there.

When you get there, join the conversation. You’ll need to create your personal account and get to know the habits of the community. Don’t misrepresent yourself, but create a persona. Establish authority and likability. Don’t talk about your business at all for a while. And even then don’t talk about it often. Building trust means not trying too hard to sell them anything. The relationship will generate the leads in due time.

Use Twitter’s search function to find keywords. Just search something like “looking for a house” or “need to rent office space.” Be sure to add your city’s name or you’ll get results from all over the English-speaking world. When you find someone who you might be able to market to … er, I mean help … Be sure to Tweet back.

Just to repeat myself, when you reach out to someone directly like this, do not just give them a pitch and a link to your website. Address their problem directly, offer solutions, and find a way to mention that your services might help. You’ll find a conversation takes more time, but is a lot more likely to win the sale than a rehearsed sales spiel.

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