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Home Sale Network social media briefing
 

Home Sale Network social media briefing

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I was aksed to speak at the Home Sale Network conference on Thursday 3rd December 2009 about social media and it's value to estate agents.

I was aksed to speak at the Home Sale Network conference on Thursday 3rd December 2009 about social media and it's value to estate agents.

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  • I advise estate agents on how to manage their online brand and use new media in their business.
  • Put quite simply social media or web 2.0 is way the internet has evolved from being a one way broadcasting method to being a two way interactive model   Early examples of this were ebay where customers gave feedback on their buying experience and friends re-united where we connected with friends online and now of course we have facebook, twitter, trip adviser etc etc  
  • The question however that I would be asking if I were you, sat here in the audience looking at these figures is SO WHAT?   33 million people use social networking sites – so what?   What is the relevance to my business?   Well, one thing these stats do tell us is that it’s not going away. Whilst the tools will no doubt change over time, the density of users and it phenomenal growth are enough to confirm that it is here to stay   And there is already evidence to support the fact that you can and need to embrace it into your business and get results   My first experience of using social media as a sales/marketing tool was back in 2007 when a member of my sales team selling overseas property investments sold three off plan properties to a guy he met on a performance car forum.   He’d built some relationships online and discovered quite by accident that one of them was a property investor – a potential client   But it doesn’t have to happen by accident  
  • I’m going to go through a few concerns you may have about using social media and then a couple of brief examples of agents that are already successfully utilising it to grow their business and ultimately WIN LISTINGS     So first off let’s remove some of the concerns that I’m often asked about when it comes to social media  
  • Our demographic aren’t involved?   One of the most common phrases I hear from estate agents around the country is that “People are different around here”   And whilst this is true, don’t underestimate your community   I looked at some stats yesterday to illustrate this and chose the small town of Gainsborough in Lincolnshire to see how many facebook users they had   1 st search within 50 mile radius – aged 35 to 64 – 408,160   Refined   25 miles – aged between 50 to 64 – 5,860 people     Fastest growing demographic in social media overall is women over the age of 55   Facebook users, as an example, are very active in all age ranges and fairly even split between male and female   Don’t let this be an excuse – Just because you’re not using it, don’t assume your customers aren’t   FTB’s, FTS’s, STS’s – your local community will be active online in one place or another
  • We don’t have time?   It wasn’t so long back when some of us thought we wouldn’t have time to read and send emails every day – no no no, we’re far too busy for that   But we’ve found the time and I now expect that a large part of your day is taken up by reading and sending emails   Equally there may be tasks you no longer have to spend so much time on, for example dictating letters   Or it may be that there are tasks you are completing at the moment that you could replace with social media activity    So yes it does require time but if it is going to generate business can you find the time?    
  • It’s fair to say that as Estate Agents we haven’t got the best reputation.   This is a common concern amongst agents I speak to, particularly when they’ve received negative feedback on review sites, but the reality is that you cannot stop the conversation taking place.   Rather than ignore the conversation, get involved
  • What you can do is direct your clients to give you positive feedback to counteract the negatives and also respond to any negatives, not in a confrontational manner but in a ‘how can I help’ approach  
  • You could easily become overwhelmed by the number of social networks and tools out there to choose from   Hard to know what approach to take
  • Remember that these are just tools to get the job done - it’s not a new approach, just different tools   Don’t need to be a tech geek to get involved
  • The best way to think about it is that you are already experts. As estate agents you no doubt already network in your local areas with businesses and influential people and this is no different.   These are just new tools to work a traditional concept     Take the personal approach and build friendships/relationships
  • My advice as a starting point is to focus on three areas   Blog – twitter/facebook account – Forum work     The blog needs to be the heartbeat of your campaign   You then need to promote your content in a place where people can become engaged with your brand   Forum Work can performance cars, a local area/community forum or maybe a target audience such as a landlord forum   Here are two brief examples of how this is being done
  • Sally runs a small independent letting agency and she uses social media as a key marketing strategy for her business.   The main reason she chose social media was the fact that it was relatively low cost in comparison to traditional methods.   An example of this would be leaflet dropping. She recognised that a growing number of the landlords with properties in her area were not living in the area. So blanket leaflet dropping around her local area wasn’t going to reach these targets.   So sally decided to target landlords online. Private landlords are a very active community online and so she decided to join a landlord forum and use it as a platform to build relationships, demonstrate her credibility and ultimately generate some new clients.   She wasn’t sure how she would do this but the opportunity presented itself in an unexpected way. One of the forum debates that arose was an issue of tenants using a property as a cannabis farm.   Now Sally was quite an expert on this....   Sally had experienced this happening to her landlords and was now an ‘expert’ in how to spot tenants that might be planning to use the property for this purpose.   So Sally immediately offered her advice, she wrote a blog article on it and directed members of the forum to visit her website to read a more detailed overview and as you can imagine as a result her credibility amongst this group she was targeting shot through the roof.   As a result of the work   Increased traffic to her website - landlords   Sally has done in this forum in her first few months in the space she received multiple listings from landlords as well as referrals from other letting agents.  
  • Peter who is MD of the well known London Estate Agency Marsh and parsons has been using social media very effectively, and he gains benefits in a number of ways   The main crux of his activity is his ‘Market Comment’ video blog in which his gives an overview of various national issues and makes them relevant on a local level and then he uses other tools to promote this content and drive traffic to his blog which is located within his main company website.   This has a number of benefits such as SEO for his main web site   Google likes links pointing to your site and video content   It has also resulted in further PR opportunities with Peter being seen as a credible source of expertise and now appears regularly in newspaper and television.    
  • If you want to stand out   If you want to improve your online street cred   If you want to find new opportunities by interacting with your target audience   Then there is a big big opportunity to engage with your target audience online and hopefully you’ve seen that if you have a strategy in place this media can bring some great results    

Home Sale Network social media briefing Home Sale Network social media briefing Presentation Transcript

  • Social Media – So What? Ben Harris @housingdabble www.housingdabble.co.uk
  • Radio took 38yrs to reach 50 mil users TV took 15yrs to reach 50 mil users Internet took 4yrs to reach 50 mil users Facebook added 100 million users in <9months 80% of twitter usage is on mobile phones 90% of people trust recommendations from people they know 78% trust consumer opinions online
  • Radio took 38yrs to reach 50 mil users TV took 15yrs to reach 50 mil users Internet took 4yrs to reach 50 mil users Facebook added 100 million users in <9months 80% of twitter usage is on mobile phones 90% of people trust recommendations from people they know 78% trust consumer opinions online So what?
  • We can’t control the conversation Our demographic aren’t involved We don’t have the time Where do we start?
  • We can’t control the conversation Our demographic aren’t involved We don’t have the time Where do we start?
    • YOY - baby boomers...
    • Increased reading blogs and listening to podcasts - 67 percent
    • Increased in using social networking sites - 59 percent
    • Increased watching/ posting videos on the Internet - 35 percent
  • We can’t control the conversation Our demographic aren’t involved We don’t have the time Where do we start?
    • “ Last month we did leaflet handouts outside the Landlords Show in Olympia”
    • Cost - roughly £1100
      • licensing, leaflets design, printing 2000 and time (x2 days – 12hrs work)
    • Response - none
    • Brand awareness - maybe.
  • We can’t control the conversation Our demographic aren’t involved We don’t have the time Where do we start?
  • Why YES! We do have a property in your price range
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  • We can’t control the conversation Our demographic aren’t involved We don’t have the time Where do we start?
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  • Abraham Lincoln “ if you would win a man to your cause, first convince him that you are his true friend.”
  • Social Media Trinity
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  • Local relevance Video Content SEO PR Recruitment
  •