Is Linkedin a Waste of Time for a Realtor?

Secrets to Using Linkedin For Today’s Real Estate Agent

We are all creatures of habit and have many routines we repeat daily. Part of my routine is checking my IPhone after getting up and having a healthy breakfast, reading the news and briefly scanning the social networks before I leave my home to the office for the day.

The ongoing debate in the real estate industry is the effectiveness of social media and in particular the use of LinkedIn and whether an agent can actually make any money from it.

People have different views of the real estate business, but I ask you this: An unwritten aspect of what we do on a daily basis in real estate as part of our business development is looking for links. I don’t mean a link in the literal URL sense, but we actively seek to meet someone, and we look for commonalities with them to build rapport and build toward the conversation of asking for their business. So it seems hypocritical to me that a group of individuals who often want to talk about their businesses (at times annoyingly) intensely avoid a platform such as LinkedIn.

The act of collecting business cards has been around for so many years. When we connect with another service provider or business owner we exchange business cards and store them in a Rolodex. The Rolodex is that small box that sat on our office desk with separate sections from A to Z to place the important service providers and business owners business card for quick access and reference. So LinkedIn is now become the perfect replacement for the old Rolodex.

How Effectively Use Linkedin as a REALTOR

1. Research: Meeting with someone new? Looking for a type of business or service? Take a look at their profile along with the other Google-sleuthing one might do. A simple, easy way to learn some facts and information to connect you with that person and build trust quicker.

2. Reconnecting: This works well with colleagues from a prior career or with alumni groups, as an example. Maintaining contact with agents, business owners and service providers and keep top of mind with them. It allows you to communicate with them and message with them while adding value in an unobtrusive way.

3. Recommendations: Few things are more powerful than what others have to say about you. Good reviews provide proof you are someone the writer recommends. I am a huge fan of  “give to get”, to receive reviews from others and improve your online reputation take the time to write reviews first for others on Linkedin.

4. Referrals and Strategic Alliances: Agents in other markets, other professionals you might build relationships with and other alliances outside of real estate are all good examples of people you can find on LinkedIn. A simple powerful way of building a network of business owners and service providers to leverage with what you do and the people you know with what they do and the people they know.

5. Notifications: They let you know someone has changed jobs and having anniversaries at work — what a great reason to reach out and congratulate someone. A great reason to reach out to someone and deepen your relationship and make them feel important. They don’t care what you know until they know that you care!

6. Quality vs. Quantity: I am a huge believer in the quality of the connections vs. the quantity of the connections you have on LinkedIn. Take the time to communicate with the connection and determine the quality of their service, character and business before you just accept the connection.

7. Reciprocity: The ability to promote what others do with those you know is such a powerful tool. I try to creatively find a way I can promote other business owners and what they do with the business I own and the people I know. When I help others get what they need and want I always find that I get what I want and need in return.

Here’s the proof… These are some of my recent successful LinkedIn experiences from about the past six months:

1) A connection asked for a referral to buy in another area
2) A connection reached out with a fantastic tool we implemented in our brokerage
3) Someone asked for help with buying an investment property
4) We created a new strategic partnership with a business owner and service provider
5) Met with a business owner to strategize about buying land and building vs. renting

No matter the platform, providing value is key. LinkedIn is a great place where I can engage with people and speak about business, whether it’s knowledge of the upcoming pipeline of new developments or briefly sharing trends about business. It’s not a place I would go to to discuss my dog not wanting to take a walk. It provides a potential wealth of context so communications could be customized and targeted. For me, many of my clients are friends or become friends, and more often than not come via a referral. But many might not, and almost all will connect on LinkedIn.

It is a logical step to connect on a professional basis. Most are just not into being my Facebook friend. I would not want to miss an opportunity outside of my other communications (newsletters, notes, etc.) to remain top of mind. Understanding the platforms you choose to use and the audiences involved on each is key in learning how to maximize your return on using them.

If you want to be a master of Linkedin, I suggest to check out our latest Linkedin Trainings for 2015. And for special launch price, you can get 84% discount if you use this coupon code: LINKEDIN2015.

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