Thursday November 14, 2013
LinkedIn Tips for Realtors
I always say you are not going to sell your stuff – in your case – you are not going to sell a house on LinkedIn. But don’t get up to leave! What you can do on LinkedIn is create relationships with people that will bring you top of mind when they hear of someone who is moving and need a local Realtor who can help them. Or maybe they hear of someone who decides they want to invest in a luxury market but don’t know where to begin. But then your post, or message or interaction with them springs to mind and they forward your profile on to the prospect. Or maybe they themselves decide to invest in a particular area and they know that is your area of expertise. If you use LinkedIn correctly, then you will spring top of mind and get the referral or sale.
Does this works?
One of my clients is a Luxury Real Estate developer in Dubai. She sells 25 million dollar homes. Through LinkedIn she has built relationships with vendors and business owners, hired new staff as her project continues to build, been asked to speak all over the world because of her success, has had event planners call her about doing huge luxury events on her island , had old friends get back in touch excited about what she is doing and yes, she is in negotiations with a client she met through LinkedIn. Did I mention the price tag on her homes?
Brad Hanks (www.linkedin.com/in/bradhanks) was one of the first folks I met through LinkedIn back in 2005. He speaks nationally on social media and LinkedIn for Realtors and kindly agreed to let me interview him.
Here are a few tips he shared with me for Realtors and real estate professionals.
This seems to be a common war cry, but it bears repeating. Like every other article you’ll read on my blog, Brad encourages you to participate! “Being successful on LinkedIn is much more than just putting your profile out there. Don’t just create your profile and expect the offers to come rolling in. You must participate by sharing status updates, by commenting in groups, by interacting with your network.”
Participate in Groups
When you are actively participating and communicating what you are doing in your groups, that’s when the activity starts. Brad says that participating in groups is not just finding a group and lurking. You must engage. He says this about himself: “I instruct and do short sales, so I joined the CDPE group (Certified Distressed Property Experts). When someone asks a question or needs help, I try to respond. And when I have questions I will post them. Groups are a great way to stay up-to-date on what’s happening in your industry. I was doing short sales back in the 90s, and now that I’m getting back into it, I realize it’s a new critter. So I needed to ‘get in’ with people who were actually doing short sales—source them for research and information.”
Brad recommends these groups:
- To Our Short Sales Success!
- General Certified Residential Specialist (CRS)
- Accredited Buyer Representative (ABR)
- Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE)
Remember, you will get more value if you participate!
Everyone wants more exposure for their listings, but social media is not the place to be blasting them. Social media is an exercise in branding.
Brad defines branding as “getting your name out there, being the ‘go to’ person in your marketplace.” And once you’ve done that, you have to let people know what markets you are in.
Brad adds, “I leverage my social networks from my live presentations. I’ve already made the connection with my audience through the event, so now they feel like they know me. And the more they feel like they know and trust me, the more likely they are to listen to and engage me.”
Make Use of LinkedIn’s Rich Media Features
Take advantage of some of LinkedIn’s Rich Media button:
- Make your profile more engaging and interactive with:
- White papers
- A presentation of “How-Tos” (Like “How to do a short sale”)
Brad emphasizes, “You want to make sure your content is consumer facing. Of course other Realtors will see your content and realize you are an expert in a particular area. This will help build trust with other professionals. And that could lead to referrals.”
Share Valuable Content
Brad says he never posts his listings. I did not expect to hear that from a Realtor! But here’s why: “I don’t see the value in it. Right now there is no targeting with status updates (from your professional profile) except to ‘Anyone’ or ‘Connections Only,’ and that means if I were to post a listing I’d be spamming 20+K of my connections who have no interest in buying a house. Why would I do that?”
What does he post instead? “I consider myself a curator as well as a content generator. I am happy to share valuable information that other people write. For example, I might share a link to an article from Realtor Magazine. It’s not my content. But I find it useful and so do others. I often get comments like ‘Thanks for sharing’ even though they have the same access to the content. But in their minds, I am the source of that content even though I am not the creator of it.”
Limit Your Time
Don’t spend hours a day on your social networking. Your focus should be to get in, communicate and interact, and get out. Do bits and bites throughout the day; do a few minutes here and there. Brad spends less than an hour a day on his social networking.
Brad reminds us: “Remember, social networks are there to facilitate real face-to-face meetings with people. Spend your time being social! You use social media to open the door, but the focus should always be on getting to face-to-face interaction.”