You’ve gotten your license, have taken the necessary steps on paper, and (hopefully) know that cultivating your client network is crucial to success–but that’s only the start.
Now how do you launch a successful real estate career, leveraging the powerful and cost-effective tool of social media to grow your online presence?
For those of us not fortunate enough to have our own marketing department or a large book of business fall readily into our lap, the answer is persistent effort.
What separates the broke agents from the top producers is the grind: the day-in, day-out commitment to personally expanding your brand via social media.
Below are the steps for expanding your online presence, which I have dubbed PAID (planning and persistence, authenticity, inform, diversify).
Planning and persistence
You need a strategy in place to succeed in growing your social media presence. Creating a bare-bones website with no updates, having random posts about real estate only when you’ve made a sale or strictly reposting other people’s funny memes are not winning strategies for online growth.
There are vital questions to ask yourself which will ultimately help in creating your online plan:
Who is my target audience?
How much time and resources do I have to commit to this plan?
How will I hold myself accountable?
Keep in mind that whatever method or schedule you decide to use, you must commit to the execution of your plan and follow the processes you have laid out.
The most well-crafted plan will never bear fruit if you are not persistent in execution, and that means setting time aside almost daily to build your online presence. Setting reminders on your phone or blocking time on your calendar are great ways to keep yourself committed to your plan.
Authenticity is crucial as it builds trust and gives your audience insight into your personality and character. Ask yourself:
Do I have a special interest?
A cause I believe in?
Am I a subject matter expert in an area outside of real estate?
Share your knowledge with your audience, keep a mindset of helpfulness and deliver value in your content.
It is inadvisable to turn your social media presence into a personal diary for airing grievances, and one should be mindful of topics that could be considered polarizing.
While some may argue censoring yourself is the antithesis of being authentic, your audience will make snap judgements of your entire persona when there is little other information to gauge. No one likes to connect with the walking embodiment of a one-star Yelp review.
Inform (and engage)
Your audience does not have the technical real estate knowledge you possess, so providing helpful tips on the real estate process is a great way to demonstrate value.
Engaging with your audience is another vital aspect of growing your online presence: commenting on user posts (both inside and outside the real estate community), reviewing your favorite local vendors or answering questions in online forums about your community are all great ways to build online capital.
To maximize efficiency, spend more time engaging with your audience, while devoting approximately a quarter of your time to the creation of organic topics.
Diversification has a two-fold direction here: both of content and of social media platforms.
While the overall purpose is to grow your client list via social media, pushing real estate-only content will fall into the massive abyss of posts that get scrolled passed quickly.
Avoid strictly posting the generic “Just listed!” or “Just sold!” cookie-cutter items; your audience will quickly learn to tune those posts out if that’s all they see from you.
Choosing which social edia platforms to leverage should also be taken into careful consideration. There are differing schools of thought as to which social media platforms an agent should direct their focus:
One is to focus all of your efforts on two or three platforms to avoid being spread too thin.
The other is a heavily diversified, broad approach where an agent uses every platform as a tool at their disposal.