Real estate is a highly personal business.  Behind every bit of data, analysis and market reporting is a person looking for her or her perfect home.  That’s where social media comes
in: it’s an opportunity to connect with present and prospective clients in an accessible and human manner.  Each and every one of us has a personal brand, and that brand represents so much more than what we do for a living.  Telling our stories helps us to connect with others, and what can be more important in business (and in life?) than connecting with those around us?  Let’s outline a few benefits that social media holds for real estate professionals.

Building Rapport
2I started my career in direct sales.  When I did in-home sales, I never started with what I was there to sell.  Instead, I began by talking about a potential client’s home or their children, asking questions to put them at ease.  Somehow with social media, many salespeople have forgotten that fundamental skill and how important that foundation is for any sales transaction.  I encourage anyone in sales to pick up a Zig Ziglar book – he was the king of training salespeople.  As Zig liked to say: “People don’t buy for logical reasons.  They buy for emotional reasons.”   I’m constantly reminded of this whenever I see a customer completely zone out because a salesperson is just rattling off a list of features and hasn’t taken the time to build rapport or, worse yet, hasn’t bothered to listen.Social media functions as an incredible megaphone.  It allows you to tell your story – and you should – but I encourage anyone in sales to turn that megaphone around and use social media as a listening tool.

Intentionally listen to your clients and potential clients.Some of these people you may be connected to on Facebook.  If so, create a private list on Facebook called, ‘clients’ or ‘potential clients’ and then spend five minutes a day looking at that list and engaging. How do you build a relationship on social media?  Comment on photos of their children, like their posts, share their articles – be interested in what they are doing.  Don’t click ‘like’ on everything, but be intentional and stay top-of-mind to the people whom you want to stay in touch with for business.  If you’ve ever had someone say, “call me again in 6 months” – Facebook is a great way to stay top of mind with those people until you have your next phone call or in-person meeting.

Getting Past the Numbers
Figures are never just that – they represent moments in real estate that are critical to those involved with them.  Social media gives you the opportunity to share these moments and make the most of real estate events – specifically, the celebration you have with clients when the home is officially theirs!  Capturing these in word, image or video gives life to simple statistics, making your professional triumphs jump off the computer screen and into the hearts and minds of your viewing audience.  Transcending the numbers also means taking a few steps back from simply getting past your quotas and goals.  It means really thinking about what you’re posting on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn in order to reach the person at the other end of that message.

Sharing What You Love
At the end of the day, you’re a person too, right?  As a person,you have your own set of passions, whether those are tech, travel,dining or a whole wide world of other interests.  Sharing things that are of interest to you not only helps tell your story, but to connect
with others.  The key here is to be personal and real.  By showing that you’re willing to share in an authentic way, you transcend the role of salesperson and enter the realm of someone who people can trust.  Remember, your own life can be used as content – events, broker tours and clients you work with all tell the story of what you do and why you’re passionate about it! Convey that and people are sure to share your passion.

3 Katie is the CEO and Owner of Katie Lance Consulting.  Katie specializes in social media strategy and content development, and works with brands in the technology and real estate industries.  Katie is a nationally known keynote speaker at conferences and events, teaching the latest tools and strategies in social media, mobile and technology trends.  She is a frequent blogger and contributor to Inman News and The Huffington Post and is passionate about all things tech and empowering women in leadership.  She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and two beautiful boys.

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