With consumers fueled by digital information, social media has perfectly positioned us to create relationships — beyond just a name in your database. And savvy agents can do it at an extremely high level in a relatively short time using only the tools at their fingertips.

As technology streamlines residential real estate transactions, business relationships become more important than ever for agents.

The term “relationship” can be abused in this industry. We do not have much of a relationship with someone who just happens to be on our mailing list, a past customer or a passive follower on your social media.

In my opinion, none of these statuses constitute a relationship. 

A relationship with someone is someone you’re invested in: You’ve spent time with them, you share common interests, and you trust each other.

Social media has perfectly positioned us to do this at an extremely high level and in very limited time. It just requires a shift in mindset and a fresh look at how to position yourself in front of people you know on a regular basis.

With the term “relationship” being newly defined, how do we build and nurture online relationships?

First, we build.

Building online relationships

Here are three ways to build online relationships, or at least, network online in a meaningful way.

1. Add new friends online

Whether it’s Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn, go fishing! But be intentional. Don’t go randomly adding people.

Start with your best friends. Scroll through their friends, and look for the names and faces that you recognize. If you have lived in the city where you work for a few years, you know hundreds, if not thousands, of people from your past you simply aren’t friends with. Fill your pages up the right way!

2. Start or engage in a group on Facebook

With all the changes happening with Facebook, groups are being thrust to the forefront. Our newsfeed will begin to show fewer posts from our friends, and more from the groups we are a part of. So get active.

Ask questions, post relevant content, add massive value, and comment and communicate with the other members of the group. You will pick up steam, collect some badges, and start having people take notice.

3. Be consistent with sharable content

On social media, the fastest way for us to find ourselves in front of people who don’t know us yet is for our friends to share our content with their friends. This sounds easy, but it’s not. This requires a lot of hard work on the front end and keeping your ears to the group on the back end.

Start with these questions:

  • Who do you want to attract?
  • What do your people want?
  • What are they passionate about?
  • What resonates with them?

The answers to these questions will lead to content that’s relevant to the group’s interests. 

Nurturing those relationships

Time to talk about nurturing those relationships, now you’ve started them.

1. Show up daily

Private messaging is being pushed on all social media platforms. You need to live there.

I suggest you make it a priority to send out at least five private messages a day to “your people.” I don’t mean strangers, and I’m not talking about “sales messages.” Be a real person. Send private birthday video messages.

Check in on people. Encourage them. Relate to them. Let them know you care. This is so simple, yet incredibly powerful. As a society, we’ve never craved authenticity more than we do now. Be you, love people, and watch your business grow faster than any paid ads ever could.

2. Commit yourself to video weekly

The beauty of video is that it works for you whether you are working or not.

While I travel around and speak, I walk out of events to messages, texts and emails with people wondering about me. Why? Because while I’m otherwise engaged and living my life, people are watching my online videos to decide whether they think I’m legit or not.

If you don’t embrace video, your business will struggle moving forward. And can I say one more thing before we move on? Embrace authenticity. Don’t just invest in “professional” video. That doesn’t make you relatable. Do live videos; let people see you’re a human! I promise, it will serve you well.

3. Birthday videos through Messenger

If you do this daily for your Facebook friends, you’ll put at least one touch on every single one of them every year. Don’t write on people’s walls. That isn’t personable or valuable in any way. You become one of hundreds of others who did the same thing. If you send someone a private video, they’ll not only remember it, but they’ll also respond and be thankful! This works. Over and over again.

Remember this: To build and nurture online relationships, you have to actually care.

This will not work if you are a money hungry Realtor all about transactions wearing the clothes of someone who “cares.” 

If you’ve read to the end, make a commitment today to get back to your roots. Care about, and for people. Want what’s best for them. Fight for them. Create genuine value in their lives, and watch as they show up over and over again with their real estate needs.

Kyle Draper is the CEO of EMPWR Media in Fort Worth Texas. Connect with him on Facebook or LinkedIn.

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