REinventing MLS

Social real estate marketing – remember talking to people?

By:  Mike Scotty

Every so often we stop and think, “Geez how did we ever get anything done before the internet?”   Well, we did.  And funny thing about that is that, especially in marketing, the fundamentals haven’t changed.  The tools have.  Reach and frequency – you identify your target audience and you reach out to them at regular intervals with the right message.  Eventually when one of those prospects thinks of real estate, you come to mind.

 I had the chance to talk to a local Chicago Realtor this week who told me that her consistent use of Facebook alone had built her a steady stream of referrals and a sale every couple of months.  But she probably doesn’t do it in the way you’d expect.

 Eileen has built her fan base up to over 500 Facebook friends that include personal and professional acquaintances, aka her sphere of influence.  She doesn’t post new listings on Facebook, she doesn’t advertise open houses and she doesn’t ask directly for business.  She tried building a business page for a while, but felt it was too contrived and went back to focusing on her personal page.

 What Eileen does is talk to her sphere.  She posts her status and photos, joins groups and talks about what she’s doing day-to-day.  Because she’s a busy Realtor – the real estate angle works its way into the conversation – “I’m between appointments and trying to get tonight’s dinner figured out”, “I’m sitting an open house and can’t believe the traffic”, “I just saw the most gorgeous house that went on the market this week”.  Never the hard sell.

 Every one of her friends knows that she’s a Realtor and knows that she’s busy.  And when they’re looking for a real estate expert, Eileen comes to mind.

 Remember talking to people? Lots of people?  We’re just doing it in a different way now.

 Eileen commented on how people who are house-bound, taking care of a family or in a home-based business can really make a connection and build a solid friendship with you on Facebook.

Think about the things you know about your friends and acquaintances that you’d never know were it not for Facebook. If you’re a Realtor, perhaps you should make sure your friends know what you do – conversationally.

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