Over the years I’ve noticed a major shift towards social media usage by the average person, especially those younger than 50 years old. It fascinates me how very few people answer their phones these days, and would rather communicate via text, email, or Facebook message. A lot of people don’t want to be inconvenienced with a phone call, especially regarding simple matters or questions that can be answered in a few words.
The same is true for people in the market for real estate.
And, if you’re a real estate agent who hasn’t joined the social media bandwagon, you’re missing out on a great opportunity to connect with prospects and build your business. C’mon, guys! It’s 2014 and your clients are active on social platforms — especially Facebook and LinkedIn®!
Here are five reasons real estate agents need to use social media:
1. It’s where your clients and prospects spend their time
A new report by BI Intelligence states that Americans spend more time on social media sites than engaged in any other Internet activity, with Facebook as the preferred social platform. If that’s where your target audience is hanging out, that’s where you need to establish an active presence. It might take hours for someone to return a call, but to reply to a Facebook message seems substantially more convenient and much easier.
2. You can stay top-of-mind
How often to people buy or sell a home? Statistics tell us once every five to seven years. That’s a long sales cycle, my friends! In my opinion, the best way (but by no means the only way) to stay top-of-mind as a real estate professional is to stay connected to your sphere of influence and clients through social media. As opposed to calls or emails, social media is considered less intrusive on one’s daily life, if done the right way.
Social media gives you a great opportunity to establish yourself as a thought leader.
If you’re the Realtor who posts the helpful tips about preparing a house for sale or the videos about what to expect during escrow or the pics of amazing oceanfront real estate deals, you’re most likely to be the Realtor your followers will turn to when they’re ready to buy or sell.
3. You can be the go-to person
Do people ask you if you know a good plumber? Insurance person? Landscaper? If not, you’re blowing it! The reason I say this is that if people aren’t asking you if you know a good (fill in the blank), they aren’t likely to remember YOU when the time comes to buy or sell a house. Every time I get a request like this I do a little happy dance because it’s a foregone conclusion that if/when they need a Realtor or hear of someone who does, I’m the person they are going to refer.
4. It helps you find quality vendors
If for some reason you’re missing a vendor in your real estate quiver, reach out to social media! People love talking about great businesses and are happy to provide a referral to help you assist your clients better. Many of my best business relationships came as a result of posting on Facebook or Twitter® that I was looking for such-and-such type of business to connect with.
And, if you do it right, they will also be happy to send business your way.
5. It can help you complete real estate transactions
Running into a brick wall with a short sale, mortgage lender, or title company? Social media can be the answer. As companies are very image-conscious and bad news travels faster than ever, most companies are quick to correct any issues during the escrow process if they are publicly called out on social media. The saying, “If someone has a good experience they tell two to three people, but if they have a bad one they tell nine or more,” compounds exponentially if spoken on a social media platform.
Want more tips on using social media to nurture relationships? Read this post.