If you’re a real estate professional and aren’t using social media to maximize your business, you’re leaving a lot of money on the table. That was the message of the latest installment of RISMedia’s monthly Agent Webinar Series, where Mike Bjorkman from HomeSmart NCG and Deanna Miller from Stark Social Media Agency broke down how to capitalize on the world of social media and turn those online relationships into leads you can quantify.
During the Webinar “Close 50+ Deals a Year with Social Media,” held April 15 and sponsored by Homes.com and Quicken Loans, moderator Terri Murphy led attendees on a 60-minute excursion into the world of Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and more, as Bjorkman and Miller shared their experiences of what works on the Web and how others can replicate their success.
According to Bjorkman, Facebook is “the most powerful way to get in front of your audience.” He suggests filling out your profile fully, and using it properly—after all, REALTORS® should “go where the leads are.” With 42 percent of buyers using social media and 90 percent of buyers starting a search online, agents would be remiss to ignore such a vast land of opportunities.
“When you’re going to be interacting with people, make sure they know who you are, where you live, and don’t be so private,” he says.
Miller suggests using the site Canva.com, which she says is a great tool to make clean, clear and crisp images of the right size for any channel. (No more stretchy photos!) You want to put your best foot forward and professional-looking photos are a big part of that.
Using Facebook (and other social media sites, as well) as a lead generation tool is the name of the game. Maximize your friend list, and maintain it regularly.
“You have to say, ‘I’m going to use this 100 percent for work.’ It’s a tool I’m using to get more buyers and sellers, and not as a fun place for family and friends. It’s an online resume at all times for people to search you now and in the future,” says Bjorkman.
Adds Miller: “Don’t be afraid to reach out to your friends and invite them to things that you’re doing. Ask them to share your events, and show them how much you appreciate their support.”
Both panelists agree that social media is a place for you to be a subject matter expert. Never post negativity and stay away from hot button topics such as religion and politics.
“You’re creating a brand and you are the brand,” says Miller. “You really want to make sure you’re representing your brand to the best of your ability.”
Posting to your social media channels is only half the battle. You also have to be interactive and involved in your network’s lives. If Bjorkman sees that a friend of his posted a life event on social media, he will reach out privately to talk or offer his congratulations and support.
“Those personalized touches really show that you’re paying attention and that you care,” says Miller.
Also useful to Bjorkman is an iCal calendar. He uses it to remind himself to post on certain sites or to keep other important social media related dates straight. Don’t hesitate to keep yourself organized in a similar fashion.
On Instagram, be sure to use hashtags and tag colleagues to expand your reach. Instagram is about quality, not quantity. Be sure to hashtag the community and the surrounding areas. If you’re looking to tap into the first-time buyer market, you want to be where your audience is, and millennials are all over Instagram.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by all of your pages, apps and logins, Bjorkman suggests using Buffer.com, which he says “saves my agents from losing their minds on social media.” Using Buffer, agents can connect all of their social pages and schedule posts. But don’t forget to do some organic posting on individual channels as well. Always remember to interact!
Social media isn’t a fad for the business world—it’s here to stay. If you aren’t taking advantage of this online gold mine, you aren’t reaching your full potential in real estate.
“Once you place yourself as a subject matter expert among your friends, they’re going to start recommending you to their friends, and that’s so important,” says Miller.
“From there, the sky’s the limit.”
To learn more about LinkedIn, Google+, Facebook Groups and boosted ads, watch the Webinar in full here.
This post was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. Check the blog daily for top real estate tips and trends for you and your clients.