After attending both NAR in San Diego and the Triple Play convention in Atlantic City over the course of the last month, we have come to the conclusion that the most succesful agents are leveraging their website and social media as a way to “educate” and not “advertise”. Luring clients with valuable insight about their local real estate market is more crucial than ever. You are at a time in real estate where everyone and their brother is asking you “how’s the market”, good news is they REALLY want to know. Saying “it’s great” when we all know it’s scary makes you a salesperson and what consumers want is a consultant. Self promotion and endless personal advertising does not contain the information that todays internet savvy consumers are looking for. As you browse the web daily, are you looking for salespeople or are you looking for information about products and services?
Take a step back and look at your own website objectively. Can a consumer instantly find home values the way they can on Zillow? Can they search for properties quickly without giving up their email address the way they can on Trulia, Cyberhomes and countless other sites? Are you just trying to “get leads”? Are the tabs on your site my listings, about me, contact me, areas I serve, etc…? By the way, how many leads is that approach getting you? Why do you think those aforementioned sites get millions of visitors each month? They provide quick, graphical, user friendly information that is all about the consumers needs and goals and not self promoting at all.
While attending a seminar by Max Pigman, a national speaker and technologist for one of the largest real estate tech companies in the world, it became clear that social media and consumer behavior has changed the game. While qualified buyers and people willing to list has gone down along with home values, social media and technology are allowing tech savvy agents to handle more contacts seemlessly than ever before.
Max pointed out that contrary to what many Realtors believe, a lot of the automated systems available as tools can hinder the agents growth in the social media realm. For example: a program like Postlets, that syndicates listings to several sites automatically and works well with sites like Craigslist, Zillow and Trulia, may cause Gen Y’ers in Facebook to ignore your future posts or even hide your updates because it is autoposting your listings which isn’t exactly why Facebook is so popular. Interupt advertising is not kosher in the social networks. Instead, try creating a Fan Page for your business like the one we have where once someone joins willingly they have then given you the okay to then provide real estate specific content. You may also consider creating a Fan Page for the areas or neighborhoods you work in as a resource for the community to post garage sales, local events, things for sale, best front lawn pics, etc…as the admin of the page you can also post the recent solds, listings, links to your website and market trends which would be much appreciated by all those “nosy neighbors”!
Finding the balance on your personal account in Facebook between real life and real estate is very important and can be a make it or break it when it comes to social media. Try using the old 80/20 addadge as a rule of thumb. The 80 being personal and the 20 being business related.
To see an example of a team of agents who have figured this out and are in perfect balance with today’s tech savvy consumers check out one of our personal favorites:
If you are a consumer looking for an agent in your market that “gets all this” then simply leave a comment below and we will make sure to get you in touch with the best Realtors in your area!