2011 Guide to Social Media & Real Estate


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2011 Guide to Social Media & Real Estate

  1. 1. Real Estate 2011 Social Media GuideHow is Social Media relevant to recommendations and their own research. By building connections through social media networks, WOM can beReal Estate? heard or read by thousands upon thousands while leading to new clients.The Internet revolution has literally brought seeminglyendless amounts of knowledge right to the fingertips of Facebookconsumers. This includes those consumers shopping for real Facebook can be used to manage either a personal accountestate. for a specific real estate agent or it can be used as a professional platform for a real estate firm. FacebookBuyers and sellers can use the internet to look at listings is useful because it allows for video and photos to beand learn more about areas anywhere in the world. Gone uploaded and provides a stage for dialogue on each videoare the days where one had to get in the car, use a map, or photo individually. Real estate professionals can quicklyand drive to see a place they might like. Now they can look start a conversation and receive feedback on a listingonline and drive to see a place they already know they straight from potential home buyers.like. In fact, according to the 2009 National Associationof REALTORS Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, 90% LinkedInof all buyers today use the Internet to search for homes.Social media marketing is rapidly gaining popularity, LinkedIn is the top professional networking site and allowsand it is most successful when real estate agents use it to users to see the experience and expertise a professionalbuild relationships while providing great information to the within their industry on their profile. Through LinkedIn, youcommunity. can easily expand your network as you’re shown potential connections based on current connections. This can lead toSocial media works by connecting people together. This new introductions or referrals.means it is important to interact with the social network inpositive ways. It is not meant for one-way self promotion orpersonal advertising. It is meant to be an open conversation.Social media groups formed on Google, Facebook, Contentsand LinkedIn are three sites that allow you to search for 1 How is Social Media Relevantconversations that are already occurring. These sites are 1 Common Social Platformssimple, but perfect ways to begin branching out and 2 Key Benefitsinteracting with the market. 3 Practical Application 4 Common MistakesUsing social media correctly leads to finding new 4 Legal Considerationsopportunities professionally. Through social media, realtors 5 How You Should Use Social Mediacan discover users with related needs or concerns, quicklyassess those needs, and provide help or feedback. This 5 About Social Media Solutionsnew type of virtual lead generation is important asnew home buyers quickly utilize word-of-mouth (WOM) Social Media Solutions | www.socialmediasolutionsllc.com | Orlando, FL | p. 407.256.9233 | f. 407.539.6191
  2. 2. Twitter TruliaTwitter is a virtual word-of-mouth network that limits posts Another useful networking website aimed at real estateto 140-characters (similar to a text message) but provides professionals who want to connect with investors, agents,quick updates on listings or industry news. Users can search brokers, property managers, etc., is The Flipping Pad.Twitter for a specific term or phrase, such as a city name, The site features discussion boards where users can postand see tweets that containing that term. This helps realtors questions and get reliable answers and information. Fortap into their online market and share new listings or other those who enjoy “flipping” houses, the site dedicates anvaluable information. Followers on Twitter can easily entire section where new projects are posted. Real estate“retweet” the post thus expanding the reach for the listing. agents can show off listings and details of properties where users can easily see listings and new projects in their area.Blogging WellcomematBlogs are often found on a real estate agency’s websiteor on a professional site. Real estate agents frequently use Wellcomemat boasts the slogan, “videos connecting peopleblogs to share important content about listings or need- and places,” which is exactly what the website does.to-know facts for potential clients looking to move to the Wellcomemat allows real estate professionals to createagent’s service area. They are often a useful resource for and share video content of their properties. This effectivehome buyers seeking more knowledge about the buying marketing method allows potential buyers to take a virtualprocess or their local market. tour of a property to actually see what it looks like inside. With what is essentially a virtual open house, real estateYouTube agents are able to share their listing with large masses of people, who can then share it within their own network.YouTube can be a great platform for virtual tours and Sellers are excited about sharing their properties virtually,real video of listings. Real estate agencies can use the and buyers are excited to see real video of a property.media-sharing site to measure a listing’s popularity through Videos are more engaging than photographs and providemonitoring the number of times a video has been watched. viewers with a more sincere vision of a listing.It can also be used as a video blogging (vlogging) platform.Real estate agents or their brokers can create custom- Key Benefits of Social Media & Realbranded channels that feature all of their videos. EstateActive rain Social media provides unique benefits for realtors thatActive rain is a real estate website that connects thousands use it to their advantage. It opens up a platform for twoof real estate professionals. The website has two tracks way communication with consumers. Real estate agenciesbuilt within it, one for consumers and one for professionals. and brokers can find out what makes their audience tick,Each track has appropriate links to relevant and useful what their interests are, and how to best meet their needs.information such as market financial statistics, listings, Simultaneously, consumers can interact with realtors bybranding, blogs, tips and advice, etc. Both home buyers and asking questions while also engaging with the realtor’sagents can keep track of changes in their local market and personality. The ability to foster two-way communicationother housing trends in the economy. creates new opportunities for realtors to build relationshipsRememberWord-of-mouth spreads fast, and in the virtual world, it spreads even faster to a much wider audience. Positiveinteractions are important to build relationships and brand loyalty. It is important to be a reliable source of accurateinformation so users know they can trust the content they read. Engaging in social media is best when there is genuineinterest in helping others solve their financial needs, not constant self-promotion. Social Media Solutions | www.socialmediasolutionsllc.com | Orlando, FL | p. 407.256.9233 | f. 407.539.6191
  3. 3. with consumers. Through building these relationships, realtorsbuild trust and customer loyalty while networking at a fasterpace. Real estate agents can also increase their reach and Banking Checklistopportunities for referrals by branching out in the virtualworld. 1. Use a relevant name. Make your account names easily searchable and relevant to your brand.Practical Applications of Social Mediain the Real Estate Industry 2. Strategically create content. Don’t just push out information. Think about whatSocial media platforms that reach a mass audience have content would be most valuable to your audience.proven successful for real estate agents through leadgeneration, brand building, and sales. The following case 3. Remember, it’s a conversation.studies reveal how some real estate firms have found real Talk to your audience like you would talk to real people. Avoid contrived speech or industry jargon.success from engaging in social media. Use content that is open-ended and inviting.Case Study: Century 21’s Blog Radio and Social Media 4. Consistently update your content. Manage the sites effectively by being current and Century 21 realized the up-to-date with content so customers return to power digital marketing the site for new updates and information. has in today’s society and changed the focus of the 5. Integrate your efforts. brand’s marketing efforts to Tie social media into your other marketing efforts incorporate online marketing. by focusing on the same underlying message about your brand and adding your social sites to Their new plans focus on online your print materials. radio and social networking to improve lead generation and sales within the firm. Through using BlogTalkRadio, Century Listed in The Daily Retriever’s Top 100 blogs, Roost’s Bird’s 21 has created a branded Eye View is a real estate blog that features important communication resource where content about how to get the most from social media home buyers can participate and also includes industry news and local market insight.in an active dialogue with real estate professionals. Perhaps Roost’s real estate Facebook application allows realtors tothe most intriguing aspect of using blog radio is that customize a tab within their page or profile that featuresCentury 21 is not doing this for self promotion. Although information about the realtor, contact information, andthey are the brand supporting the show, there is no personal valuable information about the city the realtor serves.identification or follow-up calls. The radio blog is purely aconversation which makes home buyers feel confident andcomfortable to interact with the company and ask questions. Case Study: The Goodlife TeamBlog radio is not the only online endeavor Century 21 is The Goodlife Team, led by Krisstina Wise, is a self-definedtaking on. They have found that the internet has generated “hip, urban, Austin real estate firm,” and considered anew leads more efficiently than other media outlets and social media leader in the realhave shifted their marketing budget away from traditional estate industry. Their real estatetelevision advertising. Their new marketing plan includes practice is ranked in the topYouTube, Twitter, and Facebook which all open up two-way 1% nationwide, and Krisstinacommunication channels with potential clients. By combing credits their success to the firm’stheir social media networks with other, more traditional advanced adoption of innovativeinternet marketing methods, Century 21 is able to maintain technologies,a presence in the virtual world while expanding their reach an entrepreneurial spirit, and ato a large audience. far-reaching commitment to service. The Goodlife Team is recognized on a nationalCase Study: A Bird’s Eye View level as a leader in internet lead generation through social media platforms with a rich commitment to take care ofOne award winning blog has taken the partnership between their client’s concerns.the real estate industry and social media very seriously. Social Media Solutions | www.socialmediasolutionsllc.com | Orlando, FL | p. 407.256.9233 | f. 407.539.6191
  4. 4. It’s all about me. Social media is about building relationships and entering conversations. If you were at a cocktail party and met a potential client, you wouldn’t spend the next 2 hours filling their ear with strong marketing messages and sales pitches. You would ask questions, get to know them, and build a friendly rapport that would help you discover their needs. Use social media in the same way. Instead of asking yourself, “How will social media help me?” ask, “How can I use social media to help them?” Silence means I’m busy.According to Wise, The Goodlife Team’s online activitiesare all about the consumer. Their website is designed to Many realtors assume more time on the computer meanscreate a convenient, easy-to-use, and engaging experience less time on landing listings and buyers. Remember, onlinefor their buyers and sellers. The Goodlife Team also uses marketing is just as important as your other marketingLinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter for lead generation and efforts. It’s a piece of your promotion puzzle that makesconsumer interaction. your marketing efforts personal, relatable, and interactive on an international level. That’s worth spending time on. Wise emphasizes the importance of using these tools asa way to let the consumer know it’s all about them. This If you create social profiles and abandon them, yourmeans consistently and frequently providing valuable audience won’t assume that means you’re hard at work.content for consumers at all levels of the buying process They’ll think they weren’t important to you, or worse, they’llwhile dialoguing with them online through social sites. forget about you entirely.Wise also emphasizes that when someone Googles yourname, you don’t want them to see negative information or How Should YOU Use Social Media?no information at all, rather you want them to find “goodgossip.” This means actively creating positive interactions Social Media is an excellent tool to positively promotebetween you and your clients, referrals, and prospects. real estate to your desired audience, by allowing them to become actively involved. We have created a list of toolsMistakes Real Estate Agents are that we recommend you consider engaging in, which will increase your site’s popularity and reviews.Making with Social Media  Create a Facebook page – be sure to continuouslyGiven the viral nature of social media, it is inevitable that add engaging content and respond to posts.some individuals or entities may find that the incorrect use ofit has actually damaged their reputations. Their audience  Actively involve yourself in a Twitter account, &may view them as overly aggressive or unavailable, and as show participation by following others.a realtor, you may be left wondering why your social mediaefforts aren’t going anywhere. Here are a few of the more  Create a blog where your audience cancommon mistakes that realtors make. find industry-related tips and trends while communicating their opinion on current topics.I’ll just wing it.  Use sites such as Flickr and YouTube to promotePromoting yourself through social media is a combination your listings and other valuable information, byof traditional marketing, word-of-mouth marketing, and uploading photos and videos for your audience topublic relations. Most great business leaders would never access and link to their own accounts.begin a marketing campaign without strategic goals, animplementation plan, and concrete ways of measuring  Saturate the online marketplace with your listingssuccess. Social media is no different while answering questions and discovering needs. Use real estate specific sites like Zillow or Trulia toBefore getting started with social media, it’s important to increase your listings presence, and connect withunderstand what you want to accomplish it, how you’re others through their Questions and Answers aregoing to accomplish it, and how you will determine if you’resuccessful. Don’t assume you can build a profile and youraudience will come. There must be strategy behind whatyou’re doing. Social Media Solutions | www.socialmediasolutionsllc.com | Orlando, FL | p. 407.256.9233 | f. 407.539.6191
  5. 5. About Social Media Solutions LLCMany social media campaigns transcend across channelssuch as marketing, public relations, and sometimes evecustomer service, depending on the goals of the campaign.To effectively manage these needs, a social media agencymust essentially be an extension of the client, involvedwith various communication channels within the client’sorganization in order to communicate the right content andthe right time.Social Media Solutions prides itself on becoming an extension of your business. Not only will we work your account asif we were promoting our own business, but we will also continue to brainstorm and develop new online marketing andsocial media strategies to optimize your business.To learn more about Social Media Solutions, visit our website at http://www.socialmediasolutionsllc.com. http://facebook.com/socialmediasolutionsllc http://twitter.com/sms_connect Social Media Solutions | www.socialmediasolutionsllc.com | Orlando, FL | p. 407.256.9233 | f. 407.539.6191