By Nick Sweeney
RISMEDIA, October 1, 2010—You’ve most likely been told thousands of times that you, as a real estate agent, need a Web presence. You may have even been given reason after reason as to why you need a Web presence. Your clients are online; they’re looking at properties without you; bus benches and postcards are not effective; it’s the cool thing to do.
Whatever reason you were given, you were inspired to go out and secure yourself a Web presence. You may have even signed up for Facebook and, up-to-date you, a Twitter account.
You get it. You’ve got the tools. You’re with it.
The trouble is, your online presence is vapid and empty.
Despite the fact that you have been successfully tweeting for the last three months, every ten minutes on the dot, you have no presence. The only thing the world knows about you is your penchant for documenting your last fifty meals for the entire world to see.
The thing is, there are tools and there are uses for those tools. Without the proper content, all of your posting and updating is nothing more than thrashing. You need to focus your energies to get the most of your online presence.
Here are four tips to help you make the most of your username:
1. Get a website and use it. As Benn Rosales points out on AgentGenius, if you have no site of your own, tweeting and posting on Facebook is a great lesson in a snake eating its tail. You need a home on the Web. Besides, what happens when Facebook goes the way of MySpace and the only way you can communicate with your customers is through a website that you have no control over?
2. Fill it with quality and say something. You might have a website. It might even be filled with lots of content, pretty pictures, and plenty of testimonials. But it’s all focused on you; about how you are #1 in your region and how great you are. Here’s the thing: your clients don’t care about this type of information. They want to be able to find listings, get news about the area, and maybe learn a thing or two about the real estate process.
3. Have a conversation and patience. You will not be the number one site on Google ten minutes after creating your site. Nor would you want to be. A good site grows organically, and good growth happens gradually. Your site should allow clients the ability to converse with you, as a human being. This happens with a one-on-one basis, not by blaring out your ideas to no one in particular on Facebook or Twitter.
4. Keep a blog and maintain it. Blogs are hard work; they need to be updated regularly and maintained to keep their relevance. But they are worth it. It may be cumbersome at first, but think of it not as a chore, but as an opportunity. Having a blog provides an opportunity to inform your readers. Become the expert of your area. Write a review of a local restaurant or a neighborhood’s nightlife. Discuss the latest changes to FHA laws and make them understandable to your average readers. Inform and engage—if you have comments, reply to them.
As Seinfeld famously pointed out, anyone can just take a reservation; it’s the holding of the reservation that’s important. Similarly, anyone can have a Facebook account, a Twitter account, or even a Web page, but it’s what you fill it with that’s important.
Look around: there are a lot of empty, insincere websites out there. Make sure you’re not adding to the noise and that there is something of value beneath the shiny pixels. Your clients will appreciate it and your Web presence will have a face to go with along your Facebook profile.
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