By Drew Burks
It used to be that real estate practitioners set out to dominate a geographic farm or neighborhood by using methods like cold calling, door knocking, direct mail, door hangars, etc…
Now real estate pros find themselves competing in a much larger and fiercer farm … the Internet!
Social networking sites have become the new geographic farm for those in real estate and you need to be active on these sites. I am shocked when I hear agents tell me they aren’t on these sites, most tell me something like they just don’t have the time or see the value.
What are you thinking?
On the other hand, I talk to a great deal of agents who, like me, created a page on one of the many social network sites and began adding friends willy-nilly, co-workers, and clients … really anyone you could think of.
The problem is … this strategy, or lack of strategy, doesn’t work!
I spent 2-3 years working my tail off to participate in social networking, joining every site someone referred me to and blogging 2-3 times per week and got zilch to show for it. Yet I was confident that it was necessary to be active in social networks, I just wasn’t sure what I was doing incorrectly—or not doing period—so I became a student of “succeeding online”.
I have learned many important lessons when it comes to succeeding online, but below are a few of the critical ones to winning in the social networks, aka;
Real Estate’s New Farm.
You must incorporate these simple lessons into your online plan if you want to achieve any level of success.
- First, ask yourself “Why am I on this site”? Write your answer down on a sheet of paper.
- Second, ask yourself “Are you building Personal Brand Equity, Team Brand Equity or Company Brand Equity”? Decide this before you begin working.
- Now Brainstorm. On the same sheet of paper, list as many ideas that come to your mind on how you can provide value to your network. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
-Area information: hot spots to eat/drink, new businesses, visitors’ guides, etc.
-New Listings / Recent Solds
-Links to relevant articles
- Be Intentional! You should have a clear understanding of what you are doing and why you are doing it so be intentional with your activities.
- Be Consistent! Don’t try to do it all overnight, it takes time! However, you will see that the more you do over time the faster results start showing up. Create a strategic plan/schedule for yourself -–a timeline with milestones. One recommendation is, especially in the beginning months, to dedicate time each day to finding and writing new content for you blog/social network and schedule them to publish on a consistent manner; 3-4 times per week during the first couple months.
- Be Transparent! Let the world get to know the real you. Stop trying to manage personal and professional profiles; it is time consuming and really does nothing positive for your business.
- Contribute! Stop selling yourself every chance you get, Give without expectation and focus on providing value to your network.
Drew Burks has built a brokerage in San Diego California, Dream Design Realty, with a unique twist on an old business model. He recently launched a new Web site devoted to helping real estate pros succeed with technology: www.WebRealEstateTools.com.