While leading sessions at real estate conferences over the years, the question I heard from agents most often was, “How can I use Facebook to get leads?”

I’ve always hated that question, because it assumes that Facebook is an even playing field for everyone. It’s not.

There’s a common misconception that any agent can make any tool work for them. It’s simply not true. One CRM system can be a boon to Jane Agent’s business, while John Realtor sees no impact despite a perfectly up-to-date database and a content calendar so beautifully curated it’d make Arianna Huffington weep.

So rather than trying every new trend, system or tool in the hopes that one of them will win you leads, start by considering your personal brand. Step back and ask yourself one very simple question:

“When do people like me best?”

The reality is, you can’t do it all. But by auditing your best relationships, whether they be personal or professional, you can discover your best potential client base. Then, identify the marketing or system channels that will help you build out that community to bring you success.

A few examples:

Perhaps you’re a great teacher who can easily explain complex topics to novices. Try hosting seminars or webinars to first-time buyers, who will need a patient and knowledgeable agent to guide them through the process.

Or you’re a home design expert who helps friends and clients decorate and remodel with the latest trends. Fantastic — create a lifestyle board on Pinterest, using an assortment of personal photos and listings you’ve staged perfectly. Engage with do-it-yourselfers, home stagers and remodelers to create a community, then watch your traffic increase with each repin.

Your clients love you because you live for negotiating and you love to broker difficult deals. Experiment with cloud software until you find the one that allows you to shift most quickly from title histories to the latest offer, thereby drawing out the details needed to win high-pressure deals.

Are you the person who always knows the best plumber, the best running trails, the Starbucks with the most outlets open on Saturday afternoons? If you’re the go-to expert for all things local, own it. Start a blog featuring your trusted services and favorite spots, and offer $10 local business gift cards to those who comment, share or engage with the posts.

And last, maybe you have that unique ability to garner 60 likes from a quick anecdote posted on Facebook. Congrats! YOU are the person who can draw leads in on Facebook — because people already like you on Facebook.

This list goes on and on. But before you embark on hours of new posts or data integration only to realize the tool isn’t for you, remember that relationships are at the heart of real estate.

By focusing on the relationships you’ve had success with, and finding tools that allow you to recreate those relationships in your business, you’ll not only attract great clients — you’ll have fun doing so.

Gina Thelemann is the marketing coordinator at Inman News.

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