Social Media and Real Estate

Tweets, friending, blogging, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter… chaos!  Or at least that’s what it can look like if you’re a real estate agent dipping your toe in the social media waters for the first time.

You don’t have time to tackle them all, and even if you did, where to start?  I’ve sorted through the dozens of social media networks and summarized the top ones below, in order of importance.

LinkedIn:

Best for: Industry referrals

Think of LinkedIn (linked in) as a place to post your online resume.  You start by creating your resume, entering your current and past jobs, education, etc. just as with a normal resume.

The next step is what makes LinkedIn so powerful: it can scan your email contacts and start linking you to everyone you know.  Then, when you visit your connections’ pages, you can see who they know.  This is what LinkedIn is all about: helping people harness the power of their business network to find new jobs, opportunities, or in your case clients!

Facebook:

Best for: Keeping in touch with past clients, referrals from clients/ friends

If any industry can tap the potential of Facebook, it’s the real estate industry.  Facebook is a way to connect to your entire social sphere, family friends, and business contacts.  You can post updates and photos of what’s happening in your life, and easily view the same from your friends.  It’s a great way to stay top-of-mind with past clients.  Facebook is a lot more casual than LinkedIn, so keep your tone casual and don’t be afraid to show people the real you (assuming the real you isn’t a shirtless drunk).

Twitter:

Best for: Establishing your reputation, finding new clients

Twitter is a “micro-blogging” service, which means you send really short notes several times during the day to your network of “followers”.  Followers are people who have chosen to follow your updates – they could be friends, or total strangers.  When you send a message, it’s called a “tweet” and it can be seen by your followers and searched by the public.  So, you can generate new clients by tweeting on relevant real estate info in your area.  For many new buyers, searching twitter for info is just as common as searching Google.

One word of caution: 

It can be tempting when you first sign up for any social networking service to immediately start touting what a great and busy realtor you are and how many deals you’re working on.  Don’t do this.  It’s considered spammy, and is a major turnoff for people who have a genuine interest in staying connected with you.

Instead, don’t be afraid to share about your life, and when you do provide real estate information ask yourself: Is this useful? Is this relevant to people?  For example:

Good: quick stats on the market, a truly good deal, an upcoming event

Bad: posting about every property you see, constantly asking for referrals without offering valuable info, etc.

Remember, start with LinkedIn, and make sure you take the time to fully setup your profile and explore the site.  Madly signing up for a dozen networks won’t help you – instead pick 2-3 and do them right.