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You likely know all too well that being a real estate agent is about more than just having open house events to sell your listings. Most real estate agents have to fill many different roles in order to have a successful business.

“I don’t think enough agents run their business like a business,” says Heather Elias, founder of the Loco Real Estate Team at CENTURY 21 Redwood Realty.

She says the importance of marketing is one piece of the puzzle that’s often overlooked, especially when it comes to the day-to-day work of making new connections with consumers.

“They don’t think about how much outreach they need to do on a week-to-week basis or stick to it. It’s a lot of work,” she says.

Of course, these days, one of the key ways real estate agents can make new connections with buyers and sellers is with social media.

Why Agents Should Use Social Media
The Pew Research Center estimates that 68 percent of U.S. adults use Facebook, with 74 percent of those users logging in at least once per day.

For real estate agents, social media can be a gold mine. With more people being active on social media more often, it means more opportunities for real estate agents to make new connections, and, thus, grow their business.

“Second only to personal referrals, social media brings my highest number of connections with new buyers and sellers,” says Melanie Voss, a Certified Residential Specialist at Farm & Ranch Realty in Colby, Kan.

Elias combined her background in public relations and marketing with her real estate business when she started using social media. She says social media has changed the way agents can connect with consumers.

“Instead of having to go to a cocktail party or a PTA meeting, or volunteering in your community to be able to meet people, there are ways to connect with like-minded individuals using social media, and that will grow your business,” she says.

Besides the obvious advantage of bringing in more buyers and sellers, real estate agents can benefit from using social media in other ways, too.

“I enjoy the opportunity it gives me to engage with people of all ages and areas,” Voss says. “It also helps empower my buyers and sellers with market information.”

Which Social Media Networks Should Agents Use?
Although social media has been around for over a decade (Facebook was founded in 2004!), the way it’s used and how it impacts people’s lives is always changing.

“It’s grown and changed as more of our consumer base is using it, and the way people use it has changed,” Elias says.

For example, Elias connected with people on Twitter a few years ago, but now she sees more connections being made with Facebook and Instagram. Voss agrees.

“The popular social media trends are fluid and changing. I use what seems to fit the people in my area of Kansas and what I’m comfortable with,” she says.

Elias stresses that it’s important to know where your audience is located and which platforms are most successful, since they may be different depending on where you’re situated.

“Every agent needs to look at where their consumers are located. Find your audience and then go to them,” Elias says. “It’s not up to the agent to decide. You have to go where they are.”

Quality over quantity is also a factor to consider.

“An updated, active profile on one or two sites is better than poor engagement everywhere,” Voss says.

The Bottom Line
These days, being active on social media is key for any business to connect with new people and strengthen bonds with existing contacts. It’s a free way to market your business, build a personal connection with people and share resources that will help buyers and sellers get to you know before picking up the phone.

“With social media, contacting me is easy,” Voss says. “If you don’t have my cell phone number at your fingertips, you just search a social media site and my number is on every post and picture. That’s why I use social media.”

Kayla Sloan is a writer for Quicken Loans’ ZING Blog. For the latest news and information, visit RealEstate.QuickenLoans.com/ or call (866) 718-9842.

For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

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