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The opportunity for us to find clients online and close more transactions through social media has grown by leaps and bounds the past few years. But if we don’t do it right it likely will just be a waste of time and effort. That’s why expert insight comes in handy, and Matt Heinz, the author of “Successful Social Selling,”was gracious enough to answer a few questions regarding the best way real estate agents can accelerate their marketing efforts and get more referrals, among other benefits.
What are the best social networks for Realtors to use to gain contacts, new business or to spend time on?
The answer depends a little on the clientele you’re targeting. Facebook, in general, is a good channel, but if you’re targeting professionals, LinkedIn might be your most important channel. The most important thing is choosing the channel that your customers are most comfortable with. That really enhances the process on both ends.
What are the best ways for an agent to manage his or her social media presence?
Focus your engagement and content on what your customers want and need. This includes content that meets them where they are, responses to their questions and other published information that helps them be more informed buyers and sellers. Spend as little time as possible talking about yourself and use tools such as Hootsuite and Twithawk to make it easier to find and respond to customers with questions. Those tools are also good for finding new prospects that have questions or needs you can address. If you do this right, you can spend 15-20 minutes a day on social media but get the maximum value out of it in terms of new business.
Can a Realtor do this on his or her own time, or do they need to hire a marketing assistant?
This stuff is easy once you get the hang of it. It should literally take less than 30 minutes a day but should be considered a core part of a Realtor’s marketing strategy.
How important is for an agent to blog? How often should it be done? What topics are best covered and what tone should the posts take?
In my opinion, creating and publishing content is extremely important and should be at the core of a good agent’s marketing plan. It’s the best way to attract Web traffic, engage your prospects and past customers, and generally demonstrate your expertise. Write about the buying and selling process, what’s going on in your market and other information and questions your customers care about. Frequency is up to you. Once or twice a week is a good start. But be consistent when you do start posting.
How can a Realtor best nurture his or her social media contacts so they eventually might use their services? Is there a particular social media site better than the others for accomplishing this?
Regularly publish content (both yours and great content from others) into your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn channels. Encourage your prospects to follow you there. Publish a monthly or bi-monthly newsletter full of great links and content. These are foundational drip marketing elements that can help you stand out and drive conversion over time with the least amount of effort.
Are the sites Instagram and Pinterest good for real estate marketing?
They can be, if your customers are there. They’re great for visual content – interesting homes and home-related features, activities in and around your market, etc.
Are you a believer in trying to use Yelp or Google Reviews as a way for Realtors to market or promote themselves?
Not really. I think focusing more on your own website and social networks is more important and will yield a better long-term return.
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