A real estate expert gets to the bottom of common agent conundrums including the best way to get good leads from LinkedIn, how to approach social media without ‘bugging’ friends and family, and why some marketing tactics work like magic for some, but fail miserably for others…

In this monthly advice column, Christy Murdock Edgar answered three burning questions from the real estate industry at large. This month’s topic: social media.

It’s that time of year when the rest of the world is still taking down holiday decorations and our thoughts are on the spring market. What will you do to build your brand and attract more clients this year?

As a content writer who specializes in real estate, I want to be a resource for you this year and give you more ways to raise your profile as well as introduce you to some marketers, agents and brokers who are killing the branding and outreach game.

As such, this is the first of my monthly advice columns. I’ll also be taking your questions and helping you with your real life conundrums so that you can be more effective in 2018.

Let’s get started and make this your best year yet!

Questions of the day

Question 1, from St. Pete Realtor Bunni Longwell:

I have over 7,500 followers on LinkedIn and have never had one lead. My question is: What is the best way to get good leads from LinkedIn? 

Great question, Bunni! LinkedIn is known for the quality of the connections you make — people who are big on LinkedIn use the platform a lot and trust it in a way that they don’t trust Facebook or Twitter.

The key to conversions on LinkedIn is engagement. It’s not enough to post good, relevant articles or your latest open house. You need to get people involved with you and what you’re doing.

Try these strategies to leverage some of those 7,500-plus followers:

  • Send followers to your content: Although you might share an article from the local press or HGTV occasionally, much of what you share should be taking them to your blog or website where you’re adding value with your own unique expertise.
  • Get active: Join or start a real estate-related group, and ask and answer questions. Comment on other posts. Start a conversation. Engagement is everything, and you need to ensure people are really hearing from you.
  • Consider SlideShare: People on LinkedIn love SlideShares. They like and share them, they comment on them, and they help you get your message out more effectively. If you’ve got great content or knowledge to share, turn it into a SlideShare (or have someone do it for you), and share it on LinkedIn. When people comment, use it as a springboard for more conversations.
  • Turn your LinkedIn folks into friends: You probably don’t have time to research all 7,500 connections, but take a look at your most engaged followers, and find other ways to connect. Do you have their email addresses? Add them to your contacts list, and make sure you are reaching out and touching them regularly. Did one of them post something you found interesting? Shoot him an article that you think he might like on the topic. Do you know someone who needs the service she offers? Send her a referral. Get to know your followers better, and you just may turn them into friends — and clients.

Question 2, from Chantay Bridges, TruLine Realty, Beverly Hills, California:

Why do two agents do the same exact type of marketing — one has tremendous success, and the other fails? What made the difference?

There are as many answers to this as there are individual agents and markets. Marketing is part art, part science, and so is real estate. In my view, marketing is only one (important) part of the story.

As much as we would like to be able to buy a marketing strategy in a box, set it up, then sit back and wait for the clients to roll in, much depends on what happens around the marketing itself. Here are three questions to ask yourself if your marketing doesn’t seem to be getting results.

  1. Are you going too broad? I once heard a podcaster say, “If you want to get rich, go niche. If you go broad, you go broke.” You have to figure out who you’re talking to and craft a message that speaks to them and offers them something meaningful. Trying to be all things to all people for fear of missing out on someone means that you’re probably not saying anything very important in your marketing.
  2. Are you being authentic? The fun and flashy marketing that works for one agent might not work for another more serious type. Selling yourself as a tough negotiator when your real gift is networking and leveraging your contacts won’t ring true. We each bring a different skill set to the table, and it’s important that your marketing reflects what you’re actually bringing, not just what you think will sell or impress potential clients.
  3. Are you following up? It’s not enough to have the best website in town if people can’t get a call back. It doesn’t matter that you’re posting on Twitter every hour if replies go unacknowledged. Ultimately, all of the marketing in the world won’t work if you’re not getting out there and connecting with potential and past clients, your professional network and your community.

Question 3, from Geff Werning of Colorado’s Hub Realty:

How do you approach social media and marketing so you don’t “bug” your friends and family on social. I mainly want them to know that I’ll take care of them and their property and want the best for them.

I know that real estate decisions last a long time, and I want to find the best situation for clients. Marketing activities can come off as though you just want the sale.

There are two questions here, so I want to answer them separately.

First, in my view, I would differentiate between my personal social media and promotional or business social media. (Caveat: There are people who do not distinguish between their business and personal social game, and they lead very happy and fulfilling lives.)

While you might talk on your personal account about work or about a great day or accomplishment, it shouldn’t be a place to “bug” your friends and family.

Have a page or account for your business that’s separate from your personal account so that you can keep a place to interact personally.

Alternatively, you could designate one platform as personal and do more of your business outreach on another. Many people do more fun, personal outreach on Facebook and more of their business messaging on LinkedIn, for example.

As to the last part of your question, to avoid sounding like you’re constantly selling, try Gary Vaynerchuk’s formula — Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook.

Make sure you are giving value over and over before you sell. Post a great article, your latest blog post or a fun meme purely as a way to surprise, inform and delight your friends and followers, then occasionally add a pitch.

And remember, pitches don’t have to be direct asks. Share a testimonial from a happy buyer or a seller putting up their under contract rider to convey your skill and let your results speak for themselves.

Have a question you’d like answered or a topic you’d like covered? Send your marketing, branding, blogging and social media queries to Christy@writingrealestate.com, and I’ll bring you great advice, helpful hints and expert insights. 

Christy Murdock Edgar is a Realtor, freelance writer, coach and consultant with Writing Real Estate in Alexandria, Virginia. Follow Writing Real Estate on Facebook or Twitter

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