Relatively speaking, social media in real estate is nascent. As a networking, communications and marketing channel, it can add serious value to your go-to-market and business development efforts.
While by no means comprehensive, here are three thoughts and ideas regarding the role of social media for REALTORS®:
1. Social media will never replace your website.
Everyone is talking about social media and many are saying that it will eventually replace a traditional website. However, in my opinion, this is unlikely. Instead, social media will continue to feature prominently in online marketing, but will never completely remove the need for a website.
A REALTOR®’s website is a great place to feature a listing with property details that you wouldn’t find on social media. The listing would also incorporate lead capture options. Today, social media isn’t a great place to get leads because there’s the potential for them to be stolen. A listing featured on a website, however, can include social sharing options.
The concept that seems to make the most sense is that your website should be the hub of all your online marketing activities. Social media should function as a way to drive traffic to your website, where you can then provide more substantive information about your business and services.
2. Research, research, research.
Before attending NAR’s Annual Conference this past November, I took the time to prepare in advance by following my connections’ activities on various social media sites, as I always do. I took notice if they had a new grandchild or bought a new car, and I committed to memory their vacations and other facts. By the time the conference rolled around, I was able to use this information to start conversations, showing that I have a genuine interest in the people I do business with.
3. Listen more than you talk.
I hardly ever post anything on social media sites, but rather spend my time listening to what other people say. It’s crucial that you exercise extreme caution in both the content and wording of everything you post, as anything you share through social media will likely resonate with someone you know.
When it comes to social media, some people would argue that a strong social media presence requires you to post insights into your own life, personal and professional.
As social media continues to infiltrate the real estate industry, who is right when it comes to creating a successful social media strategy? Those who advocate for more activity on social media or those who insist on less? I can’t say. Perhaps the best solution is to give it a try and see which approach best fits you, your business and objectives.
Walt Baczkowski is vice president, Point2 Sales and Marketing.
For more information, please visit www.point2.com.