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TOP 5 IN REAL ESTATE, March 2010 – Lately, a lot of real estate professionals are asking themselves these questions:

  • Is anybody closing more transactions with social media?
  • Has anyone figured out how to make more money?
  • Is there a secret formula that can lower our marketing costs?

When it comes to leveraging social media and social networking links, there are those who are engaged, those who lurk and those who just plain ol’ don’t get it.

However, one thing is for sure—the social media phenomenon is here to stay, at least for the foreseeable future. What does that mean to you as an agent, team leader, brokerage owner, marketing director or any affiliate to the real estate industry?

We’ll sum it up in one word: “relevancy!”

Why? Well, start with the fact that, today, there are technology platforms that allow any citizen to create their own news or information channel. Today, technology platforms like Facebook, Twitter and blogs have put the power of content distribution in the hands of any citizen, including, in our case, the real estate professional.

So how does this translate to relevancy? First, today’s real estate business is not much different than the past when it comes to the fact that 74% of today’s transactions still come from existing relationships. The twist is, however, that social media is fast becoming the platform for extending old and establishing new relationships.

The days of IDX listings serving as the most compelling consumer content are just about history. Listings are now commoditized so we have to raise the bar with timely information and “thought leadership.” This means that specifically local market information, how-to information and stories that are close to home (hyper-local) are becoming the content that is attracting new prospect opportunities while locking in past relationships.

The key to establishing relevancy is establishing thought leadership. This means you need to demonstrate your expertise and provide information on the issues you deserve and want to be known for, such as marketing luxury property, specializing in short sales, first-time homeownership or real estate investing. Or, on the hyper-local side, you can become the thought leader on issues pertaining to events and happenings in your community that the mainstream local media may not be covering or are covering inadequately. Yes, it can (and should!) be you that leads the community in the right direction.

Social media is not for everyone, though. With every new medium comes a learning curve and in the case of social networking, a new set of concerns over what to say, how to say it, when to say it and who’s paying attention.

This is the very reason why Allan Dalton, president of RISMedia’s Top 5 in Real Estate Network®, and I are on a crusade. We are committed to uncovering the best solutions and systems for leveraging social media and social networking with the Dalton/Hundley Real Estate Social Media Census(SM), published by RISMedia. Whether you are a social networking neophyte or junkie, we want to hear your perspective. Please visit www.SocialMediaCensus.org and in just 15 minutes, you can make a huge contribution to your career and the industry.

Steve Hundley is the CEO of real estate technology marketing firm, 1parkplace.

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