The What and Why Of CRE Social Networking

Written by CREOutsider and originally published on January 5, 1012 –http://creoutsider.com/2012/01/what-and-why-of-cre-social-networking/

While more agents and brokerages are using social networking, as I look around,  I’m not sure that everyone knows what they’re doing –

Before you jump into social networking – or if you’re there already – take some time to look at what you expect to get out of it – and what you’re willing to give.  Social networking takes time.  And you need a plan.  Being there because everyone else is isn’t much of a strategy for success.

What Are Your Expectations?

  1. Land a big, national client?   Not likely…  From what I can tell, you have to become known for something else – like being a CRE social media expert – with enough name recognition so that larger clients might want to check you out.  But it’s possible that social networking can boost your local profile (see #4).
  2. Cobroke with other agents?  Better chance than landing that national retailer, but you’re more likely to attract cobrokes if you have some name recognition or you’re actively participating in chats, discussion groups, Q&As so that other agents become familiar with you.
  3. Promote yourself?  You don’t promote yourself on social networks by talking about yourself.  It really is all about the other person.  What can you provide for them that’s useful?  Information? News?  Commentary? If you can’t think of anything now, consider being friendly – respond to or share other people’s content.  Others will appreciate your interest and generosity.
  4. Monitor your brand?  Believe it or not, few people are talking about national CRE brokers or individual agents.  That said, you can still set up alerts on Google or a Twitter stream for your name (or company) just in case you’re mentioned.  Or use a service like Social Mention, Jive or Sprout Social.  And be prepared to respond to negative or positive comments.
  5. Keep up on news   We can’t all be social networking “influencers” but that doesn’t mean you can’t get something out of following or monitoring.  Of course, to follow or monitor, you have to have an account.  And using an app like Hootsuite, Seesmic or many others that let you manage multiple accounts from one interface make it pretty simple.
  6. Local Connections  Don’t limit yourself to companies you want to pitch,competitors or CRE topics.  Look for local organizations or people who seem to have a pulse about what’s going on or others with which you have common non-CRE interests.  You never know when those local people you met online need office space.

Be Realistic
Don’t want to write a blog?  Can’t post on Twitter every day?  Then skip them and focus on what you can accomplish.  Pick a network and start slow.  For example, if you pick LinkedIn, create a personal profile and company page.  Fill them out completely (remember to use relevant keywords where you can!) and make it a point to log in once a week.

If you read real estate and business blogs or news sites regularly, copy the links to a few articles and post them on LinkedIn in your status updates.  Add a few comments/thoughts about the article.  Links to your listings are fine as long as that’s not all your posting.  But comment on the listing – space features, competitive price, location – no generic “123 Main Street Industrial for Sale” posts!  And while you’re there, look at what your connections are doing.  Reply to a recent post or hit the “like” button.

That’s the same process for all the social networks – set up the profile/page, check in regularly, post and interact with comments/likes (pluses…whatever…).  You can make time for this.

ROI
Will you get a deal out of social networking?  Maybe, but probably not for a long while.  So what’s the point?  Consider social networking part of your CRE skill set – one that anyone who works in a public facing business is going to need – not just for relationship building but for its information value.  As it grows in importance you’ll need to be able to navigate the landscape

Written by CREOutsider and originally published on January 5, 1012 –http://creoutsider.com/2012/01/what-and-why-of-cre-social-networking/

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