By Burke Smith
As someone who is personally responsible for hundreds of closed transactions, I can honestly say that I could not have done it without the help of my affiliate partners. Since transitioning from being a successful real estate broker to Chief Communications Officer at HSA Home Warranty, I have gained a unique perspective on the affiliate/broker relationship from both sides of the fence. However, the value of an affiliate partner should not be viewed merely within the vacuum of the role they play in the transaction. In my role at HSA, through our added value initiatives, I get to speak to thousands of real estate professionals each year. Here are some of the common things I hear when it comes to social media:
I don’t have time to post to Facebook every day!
I need an assistant just to manage my social media!
What am I supposed to blog about!
Sound familiar? If it does, don’t feel bad because you’re not alone. I hear this constantly from hundreds of agents.
This article is not about the products or services the respective affiliates can offer real estate professionals, that is a given, but rather the potential value an affiliate brings when it comes to delivering great content for agents.
In the world of social media and Internet marketing for real estate, content is king. I am sure many of you have attended at least one or 1,001 social media seminars in the past four years. Most of these seminars are taught by techies who have never sold a single home in their lives, yet they think they can tell a real estate agent how to do their job. It is likely that these so-called social media gurus advised you to post on Facebook three times per day, blog once per week, send out a few tweets and fill out your profile 100% on LinkedIn. And oh, by the way, don’t forget to squeeze in some time to show some property or go on a few listing appointments, considering those are the only things that we actually get paid for. So how does one manage to do an effective job as an agent while maintaining a sufficient web presence?
I suggest you call a meeting with all of your key affiliate representatives: home warranty, mortgage, title, escrow, etc. and in the meeting make it clear that you are all in this together and, of course when you succeed so will they. Assign weekly content tasks to each of your affiliates so not a week goes by where you are not being fed at least one relevant piece of information that contributes to your social media presence. Your affiliates should also give you a little snippet as to WHY it is relevant. Most importantly, be sure NOT to blindly post whatever it is they send you. You must add your two cents. That is what your followers want.
You are the hyper-local expert that they are following and they want your insight no matter what the subject matter. An integral part in your success is going to be engaging your affiliates to deliver industry and lifestyle-related content on a weekly basis.
In summary, as an agent or broker, the number of prospective buyers and sellers you can attract, retain and convert online is highly dependent upon the following factors:
1. You offer timely and fresh content.
2. You provide your followers with unique content that is not viewed as canned or “cookie-cutter.”
3. You must give your two cents. The reader wants your opinion. You are the local real estate expert, so be sure to give your insight, which will show you are a hyper-local expert in your market.
4. Include conversion-friendly content that ends with a clear call to action for the reader to do something after reading your post.
Lean on your affiliates for content and you will never run out of things to talk about.
Burke Smith is Chief Communications Officer for HSA Home Warranty. For more information, please visit www.onlinehsa.com.