The majority of real estate agents and brokers have embraced the internet and now market their listings through real estate websites, both agency sites and their own personal agent sites, listing domains, eMail marketing, eFlyers, listing syndication and the many other web applications available. Social media have added new opportunities to market homes and generate leads; but in moving into social media, most real estate professionals have failed to tap into the true power of social media — branding.
Most real estate agents have approached social media as a shiny new sales tool, using Facebook, Twitter and other social applications primarily to promote listings and generate client leads. On many social sites you’ll see the same emphasis on listing photos and descriptions that has been so effective on real estate websites and other non-social internet applications. But if you’re in the real estate business and that’s all you’re doing with social media, you’re missing the boat.
Social media has the power to make you stand out from the thousands of other real estate agents on the web. To rise above the crowd, you have to brand and promote yourself as a local real estate expert and that requires an oblique approach. The goal of branding is to differentiate yourself as an individual not only from your competitors and your agency colleagues, but also from the product you sell; while at the same time reinforcing your expertise in the field of real estate in general and your specific sales area in particular. In effect, you want potential buyers and sellers to develop a personal connection with YOU so that they will seek you out not just because you are a local realtor but because you are YOU.
The personal emphasis of social media is particularly well-suited to helping real estate agents achieve this goal. Social media is a more casual platform than real estate websites and other traditional web applications, giving agents license to reveal their personalities and generate a friendlier conversation with potential clients.
Next time: How to use social media to brand yourself