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RISMEDIA, February 26, 2011—According to the 2010 NAR Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, 89% of home buyers used the Internet as one of the information sources in their home search process. It is no surprise then that today’s agents are eager to find new ways to reach out to consumers online. A recent REBAC member survey showed that more than half of buyer’s agents have a smartphone and are regularly using social media or networking sites to reach buyers.

Whether you are communicating online or through traditional methods, there are many opportunities to improve your communications strategy and build your sphere of influence. Here are a few tips to get you started:

Know your audience. Make the most of your message by taking time to understand your audience. Whether your goal is to encourage buyers to work with you or to connect with other agents to generate referrals, understanding the wants and needs of your audience is the first step in determining how to communicate effectively.

Utilize social media. Social media provides agents with the opportunity to communicate a message to a large audience instantly and at little or no cost. Don’t feel like you have to join every social network right now. Establish the type of social media that works best for you and your business and make it your own.

Listen. Perhaps the best way to improve your communication is to listen. Whether you join a discussion with other agents online or encourage recommendations and feedback from your client-base, listening to the conversation and evaluating your role in it can make a big impact on how you communicate both online and in person.

Know when to scale it back. While it is increasingly important for today’s agents to have an active presence online, sending out all of your content at one time may cause it to lose value. Instead, try tailoring your messages to the type of media you are using and save the social media dashboards for general updates. And don’t forget to check your privacy settings regularly to ensure that you are protecting yourself and your clients online.

Get Educated. The National Association of REALTORS® and the Real Estate Buyer’s Agent Council (REBAC) offer a number of professional designations and certifications dedicated to helping today’s agents improve their business and reach more consumers. Members of REBAC can not only look forward to the educational opportunities that courses provide, but access to the latest news and events through exclusive member benefits, like monthly newsletters and weekly e-mail updates. Whether you are interested in learning more about social media and online technology or looking to hone your skills in representing the needs of home buyers, advanced education is key to success in today’s market.

Agents interested in learning more about the various educational and professional development opportunities that REBAC offers can visit to learn more or to register for a course.

Marc Gould is the executive director of The Real Estate Buyer’s Agent Council (REBAC). A wholly owned subsidiary of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), REBAC is the world’s largest association of real estate professionals focusing specifically on representing the real estate buyer. With more than 40,000 active members, REBAC awards the Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR®) designation to REALTORS® who work directly with buyer-clients. To learn more, please visit