Leverage Social Media to Help Your Real Estate Business

One of the smartest things you can do as a business person is take the advice of people you admire – particularly if they’re successfully doing what it is you want. As a real estate agent, that means looking to other agents and real estate professionals who have it going on. I’ve got some great, expert insight here that may help you better understand how to leverage social media to help your real estate business.

The internet is a vast and sometimes overwhelming place. The team at Properties Online have made it their home. That’s why I’m checking in with co-founder Amanda Cornelius for this post. She knows the internet inside and out when it comes to real estate marketing.

“Many of us were quite suspicious about social media at first, taking a wait and see approach, unwilling to invest the time and work needed to participate in social media,” she says. “But it’s becoming very clear that social media is here to stay, and that not participating in social media is quite costly in terms of lost business opportunities.”

That said, here are Amanda’s tips to help you leverage social media to promote your real estate business:

Accept That You Need To Be There
The first step is accepting that you need to have a social media presence – that social media should be part of your marketing mix and is just as important as email marketing or printed brochures. The main reason you should be there is that a big part of your audience is there – more and more people are using social media, and many are using the internet, including social media, during their search for a home.

Choose Your Social Media Channels
There are many ways to connect and interact with prospects, including a blog, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Foursquare and more. But you don’t have to be everywhere. We think that a blog and a Facebook page are a must. All the rest are optional, and you can experiment with them as you go along and see if they work for you.

Why You Need a Blog
A blog is great for helping your search engine rankings, especially if you make sure you optimize your blog posts for search engines – figure out your main keywords, the words that people will use to find your agent site, and sprinkle them throughout your blog posts. But don’t overdo it! Keyword stuffing should never be your goal. Always make sure your text reads naturally. In addition to being great for SEO, a blog is also a wonderful way to build your brand, show your expertise and establish credibility.

Why We Love Facebook
Facebook is such a rich social network, no wonder people are putting up with its less-than-stellar customer service. You can create a personal Facebook portfolio, or start a Facebook page for your business. In either case, you can fill your Facebook page with notes, photos, videos, comments, and lots more – there are tons of Facebook apps that make this platform an amazing tool for showcasing your expertise, your listings and for interacting with others.

Do it Gradually
Social media can be overwhelming at first. Her advice is to enter this space gradually, starting with just one channel, and adding more channels to the mix only after you have mastered the previous social media channel.

Manage Your Time Wisely
Amanda’s last tip is perhaps the most important one. Social media can be a huge time suck – it’s very easy to spend hours writing your blog, adding plugins and tweaking with your blog’s theme, and the same is true for Facebook.  But you have a business to run after all, so make sure that you limit the time you spend on social media activities each day. We recommend spending no more than an hour each day doing social media activities.

By Jess Maria

Jessica Maria is an avid business and lifestyle writer on subjects ranging from technology to real estate to immigration. Her work has appeared in magazines in the United States, New Zealand, Australia, the UK and the UAE. She lives in California’s wine country, with her husband and two young sons.