• Be selective about the niche groups you join.
  • Research relevant leaders and companies in your niche.
  • Build connections with other agents who excel in your niche.

There is always potential for real estate agents to shake up the status quo and expand their reach in a niche market. One essential tool to consider is LinkedIn.

Whether you’re an established agent or just getting started, regular participation on LinkedIn can go a long way to help you grow and evolve in your specialization.

Here are some essential tips to making LinkedIn a vital part of your strategy:

1. Join relevant LinkedIn groups

A good starting point is to explore the groups that cover your niche. Using the search feature on LinkedIn can turn up hundreds of options. So be selective. Look beyond the number of members, and prioritize key features like quality discussion and relevant content.

Don’t join every group that professes expertise in your niche. Anyone can claim to be experts in a field, so run a few Google searches as well to learn who the major players are in the industry.

More times than not the companies at the top of the search results will have a sponsored LinkedIn group.

The next step is to select one or two groups and focus your effort and energy there. Schedule time in your week to engage with the group — ask questions, share best practices and converse with other agents.

These groups are where your knowledge will develop and flourish. Active participation will build credibility to your name and introduce you to some of the most innovative methods real estate agents across the country are using to put more people in homes.

2. Follow relevant leaders and companies

You also need good coaches, individuals or companies with “skin in the game” to point you in the right direction and lead you to desired outcomes.

By identifying influencers within your niche on LinkedIn, you will gain access to a stream of education and commentary on your preferred topic. This is also a great way to follow trends and get up-to-date information on breaking news.

Influencers come from all sides of the homebuying equation, so be thorough in your search for the niche’s industry thought leaders. Your specialty could be a unique loan option, such as FHA or VA Loans, or it could be working with divorcing couples — whatever it is there is someone on LinkedIn who can offer some advice.

3. Connect with other agents excelling in your niche

One final benefit to LinkedIn is the opportunity to form connections with leading agents in your niche. Don’t hesitate to reach out, even if you don’t personally know them. Just send a message, and explain why you’d like to connect.

A good entry point for these requests is to ask them to share their best practices and tips or even see if they’d be available to meet up for a conversation. But make sure it’s worth their time; for instance, be willing to buy them lunch to make it more enticing.

Who knows, perhaps you’ll find your next job from one of those new connections.

It’s also a no-brainer to share your expertise. Every day you have the chance to garner interest or spark conversations.

By creating posts and sharing them with your connections or groups, you not only pay forward the assistance you have received, but you also will be recognized as an authority or go-to agent in your niche.

Samantha Reeves is the senior real estate and homebuying expert forVeterans United Home Loans and the agent education director for Did You Serve? LLC. You can follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

Email Samantha Reeves.

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