It's no secret that in today's competitive marketplace, social networking is a must. There are hundreds of social networking websites to choose from, and often times it is difficult to know which websites will benefit you the most. All in all, the facts are indeed the facts - in 2009, classified newspaper ads are not going to go nearly as far as online marketing will. Whether you want to market your business, your listings, or both, portals are available to begin your online marketing endeavor.
Ask any real estate virtual assistant - they’ll advise you to sign up NOW and start making those invaluable connections that can lead to referrals, new clients and more.
Most social networking websites are FREE. As a team of real estate virtual assistants, we always tell our clients they must have a plan when utilizing social networking. Many clients come to us and want to join Facebook (for example) just because their colleagues are on there... Unless you’re competing in a popularity contest, that is not the best plan. Your real estate virtual assistant can listen to your goals and then create an effective plan to incorporate social networking into your overall marketing plan.
Here is a list (and brief summary) of a few of the most popular social networking websites that you may want to join, based on your goals and plans:
1) Facebook - Yes, the hype is indeed true! Everyone is using Facebook...and you should be too! We've found that Facebook is not only an incredible tool for keeping in touch with friends and family, but it can also be utilized to on a professional level as well. For example, advertise your listings through a "soft sell" approach (with seller participation) that we have used for many of our clients. Another idea would be to join or create groups and/or networks to connect with other agents and potential clients. Add your blogs RSS feed to your profile and keep your "friends" up to date on your events and success stories. Recently. many of our clients are having us create a Business Page for them in effort of keeping their personal Facebook profile personal and separate from your clients and colleagues. Facebook ads are another amazing tool to get leads and VERY targeted leads.
2) ActiveRain - For any real estate professional, ActiveRain is considered the go to social networking website. With over 160,000 members, ActiveRain was designed specifically for real estate agents to create business relationships both within the industry and with the consumer. Create and maintain a blog to report on anything you want - real estate news, market reports or local events and trends - the sky is the limit! Another great feature is "Groups," which are smaller communities within the larger ActiveRain community. Join groups created by others, or start your own and get others to join - communicate with the entire real estate community about anything you want to share or are interested in obtaining more information about. Who knows, your next referral just may come from a connection you made on ActiveRain!
3) Twitter - Another website gaining plenty of ground! Within seconds of signing on to Twitter you can start following industry and technology leaders, other real estate agents and people from your local communities and target market. We’ve had some pretty awesome Twitter success stories and we can’t wait to hear yours!
4) LinkedIn - A business and professional network which is set up with a resume' profile, connecting you to others in your field, business or company, searching for employment and making deals and referrals. With more than 10 million users, it is a great place for a business person to network.
Social networking websites are here to stay. Don’t get overwhelmed by them, just have you real estate virtual assistant devise an effective plan based on your goals!
I hope you're all having a wonderful weekend. Wishing you a successful and productive week!