With so much chatter (or is that hype) about the magic of social media, it can be easy to forget what the core roles and responsibilites are for a real estate agent. I sometimes get the impression that those social media experts out there who are constantly encouraging you to keep blogging, Facebooking, Tweeting, Youtubing etc etc are lose sight of the fact that your main role is to be talking face-to-face to people in order to sell more homes.
At every stage in the program design for Total Property Listing Engine, we have been guided by these core principles so that we always keep our eyes on the main game: selling real estate!
Principle Number One: A Professional Realtor’s Interests and Expertise is in Real Estate
If you were the CEO of a large multi-national company, you can be sure you wouldn’t be getting your feet wet in the social media tide. Your marketing department will be taking care of all the technicalities, branding issues, network building, customer/client engagement, multi-platform integration, content creation, and so on. As a CEO you would be free to get on with the job you have been paid to do.
But you’re a real estate agent, perhaps running an agency, and it it is often assumed all the heavy lifting of social media marketing rests on your shoulders. The same is true for all small business owners who must manage many of the functions given specialist attention in large business.
Developing skills in online real estate marketing should not come at the expense of diluting your hard earned credentials in the real estate industry. Rather, online marketing skills should be directed at enhancing those credentials. It is a matter of not confusing the means with the ends.
This can be a fine line to tread because some skills in navigating the social media waters is a legitimate skill needed by realtors, in the same way being articulate, courteous, competent and professional in your face-to-face dealings with clients is an important set of qualities for the successful agent.
It is easy to get caught up in the hype and enjoyment factor of social media methods. After all these mediums wouldn’t be the success they are if they didn’t offer enjoyment for their users. The trick is to keep them in perspective and stay focused on what you do best: sell real estate.
Principle Number Two: Time is Limited
The paradox that awaits any successful social media marketer is that if you finally get the results you wished for – more leads,more sales – you will be too busy to follow up business opportunities or maintain your social media marketing efforts. That is, if you want to maintain a healthy family and social life as well as sell real estate.
Principle One talked about the ability for large companies to maintain specialist marketing divisions and the assumption that such roles falls on the realtor’s shoulders. It is an assumption because it does not have to be the case, or at least the load can be lightened. There are many ways to streamline the learning, implementation and maintenance of a successful social media marketing strategy. Total Property Listing Engine always aims to minimise the time required by the realtor to be involved in social media in order to focus on Principle Number One. This is done through a combination of clear training materials, technology, automation, delegation and outsourcing.
Principle Number Three: Marketing Efforts Must Have Real Value
The are several ways to define value and therefore determine if your marketing efforts are generating that value. Ultimately, the most sought after value is good, old-fashioned cash in the bank. Your marketing activities need to be geared toward increasing that amount of cash. Just as you wouldn’t spend hundreds of dollars delivering flyers about a prestigious property listing to a low socio-economic area, you wouldn’t want to squander your valuable time pursuing dead-end social marketing strategies. If your Facebook page has only a couple dozen fans, with no strategy to increase engagement, why are you wasting time propping it up?
Having said that, much of your marketing efforts online need to be given time to bear fruit. It will help to always remember what your key objectives you are hoping to achieve through your efforts. You need to satisfy yourself that all of your marketing efforts, online and offline, are working to achieve one or more of these objectives:
- Lead generation
- Win more listings
- Enhance your credibility
- Expand your profile
- Asset appreciation
- Faster property sales
As you look closely at this list you will see there is overlap between some objectives and all of them lead to the ultimate objective: more cash in the bank. The Objectives for Real Estate Marketing page will give you a deeper look at each of these objectives.