Real estate is an inherently social enterprise — agent-client relationships stemming from real estate deals can mature as personal friendships, and personal friendships can become business relationships.

As a real estate professional, the more people you know, the more prospective buyers and sellers you know.

Online social media can bring friends closer and make it easier for people to get to know strangers, too.

Real estate is an inherently social enterprise — agent-client relationships stemming from real estate deals can mature as personal friendships, and personal friendships can become business relationships.

As a real estate professional, the more people you know, the more prospective buyers and sellers you know.

Online social media can bring friends closer and make it easier for people to get to know strangers, too.

And perhaps that is why so many real estate agents have launched blogs and set up profiles and made connections in online communities such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube, among others.

But direct marketing using social media can be a bad idea, notes Inman News columnist Teresa Boardman. In a June 25 column, "Keep social media social," she wrote that "social networks are for being social and not for selling anything."

It can be worthwhile for real estate professionals to participate on social media sites, however, she stated: "It isn’t hard to understand how meeting people and socializing with them can lead to business, but there are some who can’t make that leap. The Internet isn’t just a place to capture leads or where agents can put pictures of themselves on Web sites."

Inman News wants to hear your stories about how you have incorporated social media into your business strategy.

  • What works and what doesn’t work?
  • Is the amount of time you spend at social media sites paying off in new clients and closed transactions?
  • How do you measure the value you get from your participation in social media?
  • Is social media more useful as an agent-to-agent tool than as an agent-to-consumer tool?
  • What is the future of social media and the real estate industry’s participation in social media?
  • What are the dos and don’ts of marketing your real estate services using social media?
  • What participation should agents vs. brokers vs. brokerage companies vs. parent companies have in social media?
  • Should brokers set guidelines for business-related agent participation?

Please share your thoughts with our readers in the form of an essay. Essay submissions should be at least 400 words in length and should not be promotional in nature.

Send essay submissions to: future@inman.com. Deadline: July 24.

The author of the winning essay, selected by the Inman News editorial department in early August, will receive a complimentary registration (applies to new registrants only) for the upcoming Inman News Real Estate Connect conference in San Francisco, which runs from Aug. 5-7, 2009.

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What’s your opinion? Leave your comments below or send a letter to the editor.

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