Years in real estate: 23
Region served: Northern Virginia
Which social media sites yield the best results for you?
Facebook is my primary focus. I am also setting up a video blog to enhance my presence locally. I have several key areas of my business that Facebook keeps me connected with: Clients; local real estate agents; local vendors; national/international agents and information sources. By using this one source, I am able to easily stay on top of all these areas.
How are you using these sites?
Keeping in touch with my clients is a top priority for me and part of my business plan for referral/repeat business. Through Facebook, I am able to interact with my clients on a daily basis, to see what they are doing, like their post, comment on their activities or just follow them. I find out when they have job promotions, babies, get engaged or are just having a great day as soon as it happens. It allows me to drop notes, give them a call, make a note in my client file or in one case, show up with a bottle of champagne to celebrate. It has made our relationships much more personal and has taken them past the transaction. In addition, I network with other Realtors®, locally, nationally and around the world. I learn so much from what other professionals share on Facebook. Often when I post an article, I notice that several other agents post the same thing…or the other way around. We are semi-stalkers of each other since we respect the type of business we are conducting on Facebook.
What types of content are you using on these sites?
I try to use a wide variety of content and make it a point not to constantly tout my own listings/sales. I also have a fan page/business page, which is for that purpose. I write reviews, post information about real estate (stats, articles), always trying to make it educational and informative. My posts are also personal, fun and educational. I want the information to span many different groups. When we recently experienced the earthquake, I immediately picked up my phone and turned to Facebook. Seconds after it happened, everyone was talking about it. I started following some of my friends to see the huge span of quake up and down the East Coast and I posted it. Immediately, I had people sharing what happened where they were. This was not real estate, this was real life…this is Facebook!
How has your use of social media changed your marketing strategy if at all?
It has changed my marketing strategy in two ways. First, I market to the agents in my network. In our area, a local title company formed a closed group on Facebook that discusses problems and opportunities in real estate. I had one client who was considering renting out his house rather than selling. I put the question out to my groups asking what they thought about renting a furnished house as opposed to selling. One of the agents in the group followed up with me since she had out-of-town buyers looking in the area. I set up a private tour for her buyers before the sellers were even ready to go on the market. The buyers wrote an offer and, within five weeks, without ever having to put the house into the MLS, I had sold a $935,000 house.
Second, I have found numerous different platforms that are easily accessible/user friendly to post videos, virtual tours, blogs, and content that can then be shared. This is a huge time saver and my clients love the abundance of exposure of their home.
What is the biggest challenge using social media?
I know agents who are live wired to social media. They post everything and spend most of their day noting their life events online. This is very easy to do, as it can be a lot more fun connecting with people through social media than picking up the phone and getting new business. I schedule it into my calendar so I know when I will go on and when to turn it off. I can look back within the three or four hours that I have not been on to see if there are any events I should note.
What is the biggest advantage to using social media?
Everybody knows that a REALTOR®’s referral base is primary. Facebook is a much better way of interacting with clients than traditional methods. I know the moment something happens to a client. I no longer have to wait for calls, notes and personal visits to establish my connection.
Why did you become a member of Top 5?
Being a RE/MAX agent has taught me the value of working with professionals, which is why I was very excited about Top 5. The content, quality of materials and information is current and valuable for my clients. Also, when I see the Top 5 logo on an agent’s information, I know I will be working with someone who is professional and has taken their business to a different level.
What is the key to a successful life in real estate?
Balance. As Realtors® we are jugglers of many things—clients, family, professional life, personal life, etc. You have to learn the difficult balance of it all. Set expectations with clients, set time for important things in your life, and set time for yourself. It’s not easy, but it’s important.