Spark a discussion, connect with a real estate client

Part 2: Online communities build buzz for real estate biz

Learn the New Luxury Playbook at Luxury Connect | October 18-19 at the Beverly Hills Hotel

Editor's note: Real estate agents are learning that online community sites can be useful in reaching their target audience. Agents can use community Web sites to raise awareness about their services and drum up local business, while consumers can use the sites to rate, review, recommend and reach agents in their desired locations. This three-part series uncovers how a few savvy agents are using these sites and building their own. (See Part 1 and Part 3.) When Hurricane Katrina hit, Vikki Morvant's discussion boards for southern Louisiana neighborhoods served as rallying points for the community – an example of how user-generated content can help clients bond with each other and the sponsoring agent. The agent has garnered a mailing list of 3,000 to 4,000 names from the discussion boards and gets at least one lead a week from them, she says. As more and more online content, such as social networking site MySpace, is generated by users, real estate agents can capitalize on th...