Saturday, May 16, 2009

Social Media for the REALTOR. Is it worth your time?


This is an excellent question, as social networking undeniably is time consuming. Used incorrectly, social media can a large powerful black hole in your productivity. 

Without a doubt, many REALTORS spend hours on Facebook, Twitter, Blogging and chatting on forums, all with the hope that it will lead to business.  But how many actually see a return on the time invested? 

Agents venturing into the social media scene, should keep the following 8 Tips in mind:

  • 1. To start with, choose one media at a time, and work it consistently. Too many social media venues generates low quality attention to each, ensuring abundant time required, with low return on investment. One media site, attended to consistently allows the agent to create genuine relationships with those they are connecting with. 
  • 2. Choose the media that feels best for you not the most popular. If Twitter seems like an ineffectual idea, try Facebook.  Maybe linked feels more appropriate for you, or blogging may be a more suitable venue. Other options you may not have considered such as  YouTube as a means of expressing yourself and you can garner followers through YouTube as well. 
  • 3. More connections is not always better. To forge genuine relationships, your connections should be people that have a legitimate reason for connecting with you. They live in your town, or city, are actually interested in real estate in your area, are other industry professionals, are likely to send you referrals or can provide you with knowledge, advice or ideas that are valuable to you. 
  • 4. Be sure to provide value to your connections. Provide useful stats, market up dates, new listings, interesting news items, fun facts, humor, etc. If you were connected to yourself, what information would keep you engaged?
  • 5. Keep it part personal, part business. Blatant marketing and sales is inappropriate in  social media. People don’t want to be sold to in this environment. However, they are probably interested in your product or service, as they did choose to connect with you. Now days people tend to do business with people from with in their online social networks.  However they want to know who you are before they do business with you. Feel free to share more personal information than normally exchanged in business communication, but within reason. Share your delight about your afternoon golf game, but don’t share the fight you had last night with your spouse. Common sense prevails. 
  • 6. Communicate one on one with your connections. Don’t just post things, engage people in conversations. If they ask a question, be sure to answer it! Ask people questions your self to get conversations started. Your relationships will never develop if there is no one-one-one conversations. 
  • 7. Market the URL for your profile on the media you are on. People will rarely find you themselves. For example: if you blog, market your blog address in your email signature, on your business cards, on your website, in your print advertising, on your feature sheets, on your lawn signs, on your Voice Mail message…you get the idea. 
  • 8. Keep positive. People really don’t want to hear about your dislikes. Really. 

Let’s recap:

Choose one media at a time, and make sure it a media that appeals to you, not necessarily the most popular one. More connections is not necessarily better. Select quality connections that you can forge a relationship with. Provide value to your network. Keep it part personal part business. Communication one-on-one with your connections. Market your URL everywhere. Help people find you. And keep positive! 

By following these guidelines, you will ensure the time spent on social media will actually result in business!

Follow me on Twitter at  http://twitter.com/iREALTYjstoner 

For more information contact Jessica Stoner at jessicastoner@remax.net or visit www.irealtycanada.com   

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