“Social selling is the evolution of social media for business. It encapsulates a new breed of technology that uses the oceans of data the Internet provides to analyze user activity to the benefit of companies.” – Inman News
Social Media is no stranger to the real estate industry.
Most agents have tried a variety of social media tactics, from tweeting about open houses to posting pictures of new listings. To date, however, agents are using social media primarily as advertising – blasting out information about their listings without generating true engagement.
Social Selling, on the other hand, is relatively new to the real estate industry.
Social selling is the idea of using social media to connect with contacts, gather intelligence, and create targeted messaging for specific customer segments. In place of the one-way announcements that characterize social media activity today, social selling relies on two-way conversations between agents and their clients.
Confused about the difference?
Not sure what this would look like in practice? You’re not alone. This article will explore 4 of the biggest myths about social selling and give you a clear picture of how to make social media pay off in real estate.
Myth #1: ‘Social Selling’ is all about finding the right moment to try to sell one of my listings through social media
Swooping in with a sales pitch is a sure way to turn your followers away. At its core, social media is about building relationships. Instead of spamming your audience with information about listings and open houses, respond to their posts by offering suggestions, answering a question, or sharing links to relevant articles.
- If a prospect tweets about a new condo building downtown, send them pictures of one of the units!
- If a past client comments on renovations being expensive, suggest an architect who specializes in innovative, low-cost remodelling!
By addressing their concerns and adding value, you can earn your audience’s trust and become their go-to person in the industry.
Myth #2: Most of my clients don’t use social media
Stop kidding yourself – practically everyone uses social media.
32% of all homebuyers in 2014 were under the age of 35. With two-thirds of this group buying a home for the first time, this is a prime source of new business.
But you have to know how to win them over.
When it comes to choosing a real estate agent, younger home buyers prioritize honesty and trustworthiness over reputation. Social media is an ideal forum for establishing relationships and building trust with this younger audience.
Myth #3: I already have ways to stay in touch with past clients. Social media doesn’t add much value
You think you’re going to build relationships by emailing your clients a monthly newsletter? Calling them every once in awhile? Maybe sending them a calendar for the holidays? Think again.
Building lasting relationships requires you to truly engage with your clients – get to know them as a person, understand what they care about, and engage on topics that are important to them.
Social media provides critical intelligence about your clients’ needs and gives you opportunities to respond. Instead of sending them generic information and hoping that they call you the next time they’re looking to buy or sell, listen for when they talk about your industry and be ready to offer a resource that might help them. Certainly beats sending them a Christmas card.
Myth #4: Facebook is all I need when it comes to social media
It’s a good start, but it would be a mistake to think that you can reach your entire audience through Facebook alone. If you’re trying to build your brand and find new leads, Facebook is not the ONLY social platform for realtors. Here’s why:
- Facebook is a CLOSED community. Users have to accept your friend request before you can see their profiles and engage with them.
- Facebook pages function as bulletin boards – you can post content, but you’ll rarely get a response from your audience. Plus, users have to find and like your page before they’ll receive your updates.
On the other hand, Twitter and Instagram are completely open, allowing you to reach new people and discover new leads.
In particular, Twitter is a constant, global conversation where users tweet about every imaginable topic – including real estate!
Getting involved in these conversations is a crucial way to maintain relationships and find new prospects.
- Answer questions about apartment hunting
- Share links to articles about negotiating a mortgage
- Give tips about planning a home renovation
Serve as a resource to past clients and prospects so the next time they need a real estate agent, they wouldn’t even think of calling anyone except you!
Social selling is the new frontier of social media for real estate.
Using networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, agents can strengthen relationships with existing clients, find and start conversations with new prospects, and establish themselves as the go-to person in the real estate industry.
It’s time to stop spamming on social media, and start connecting.
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