The Pros and Cons of Social Media Use in Commercial Real Estate Brokerage

There are plenty of things that you can do with social media in commercial real estate today.  In saying that, there are rules to follow if you want to get reasonable results.  Most agents and brokers do not have a social media plan, and that is where things fall apart from a personal perspective. (NB – you can get plenty of commercial real estate tips in our ‘Snapshot’ program right here)

Social Profiles

So, you can and should use online social media tools as part of promoting yourself and your listings in commercial real estate brokerage.  There are lots of property things to talk about online in a professional way to help you build your profile.

When you think about the basics of what you do, hear, and see every day, there are factors and information that you can convey.  Here are some of the most common facts to use:

  • Sale prices from recent ‘public’ sales
  • Rents achieved in larger lease deals
  • Current levels of inquiry for property
  • Precinct changes
  • New development activity
  • Supply and demand for property

Every one of these local property topics will be a social media theme that can be expanded on as an article and then placed online.

So, what goes wrong here?  Many agents take the easy way out when it comes to their profile, listings, and articles online; they just place property adverts into their social media channels.  They do nothing more than that.

The issue here is that the listings are already on the portals and the websites, so the processing of the listings into social media channels is just an ‘overkill’ and mostly irrelevant.  Those agents ‘waste’ their time taking the easy way out with social media.

Use the Tools Online

We have all heard about the various ‘social tools’.  Some of those ‘tools’ are aligned more to ‘business’ and others to the ‘personal’ end of the spectrum.  If you are going to build your business profile online, then do it correctly from the start. Here are some rules to respect in this ‘online promotional process’:

  • The portals are only for property listings – all your exclusive listings should be on the portals. Open listings should not feature in your ‘online’ activities.
  • Websites are for listings, articles, editorials, and blogs – make sure that your brokerage website has all the ‘channels’ of communication open and active. The search engines like information that is useful and helpful.
  • Social media channels are for interesting and valuable local property information – provide information that is accessible and locally based. Have a few stories to tell about the area and the precincts.  Think about how a newspaper journalist would handle local property information.  Write your articles accordingly.

If you work the logic of each method correctly, then your property and personal marketing efforts can be far more successful.  Separate the strategies; that’s the rule.

Internet Marketing Tips for Professional Salespeople

In selling professional services and products the internet is very much part of the process.  As salespeople we must go with the momentum and put ourselves into the process.

Now just about everyone knows that we can use websites to promote our businesses.  The customers and clients that we deal with are very likely to check us out or find us first on the internet.  On that basis the appearance of the website is really important to the profile that you wish to spread and promote.  That is both at a business and at a personal level.

Your website should be optimised for your industry and be at least equal to if not better than that used by your competitors.  To do these assessments include the following main issues in the review:

  • Domain name choice relative to your business name or your industry type
  • Domain hosting location relative to your primary business location
  • Fresh and modern design reflecting the professionalism and profile that you want to promote
  • Product and service information
  • Methods of contact
  • Testimonials of happy customers
  • Database entry point for an industry newsletter
  • Keywords relative to your industry and the profiles that the search engines are looking for
  • Downloadable brochures for customers and clients to access
  • Staff profiles and special skills
  • Frequently asked questions

So what is the main idea of a website today in a sales type business?  It’s there to help the customer understand you and take the next step of making contact.

The best salespeople integrate their activities with their selling skills and contact methods.  It’s all about branding and an ease of communication.  You can add certain other things to the process and strengthen your personal profiles through social media.  All top salespeople today frequently use the following:

  • Blogs based on product and industry information will always attract the search engines. provided the information that you are writing about is useful and frequent.
  • Twitter can be a very good tool to reach small snippets of information out to your Facebook and LinkedIn connections.
  • LinkedIn is quite useful for spreading the professional profile and relevance of an individual.
  • Facebook can be useful with a bias towards a particular person and the image they wish to promote.
  • Google+ is very powerful for linking business people into circles or groups of common clients and contacts.  This then makes it a lot easier to build relevance in your marketing efforts and informational posts.  Blogger as a blogging platform has a natural affinity to Google+ given that both are owned by Google.

From these simple strategies you can easily build a strong and relevant profile on the internet as a specialist salesperson in any industry.  I would go so far as to say that any quality business should support their top salespeople in the processes of marketing on the internet.

Harness the Power of Technology in Your Sales Team

Today we are seeing the ever increasing influence on technology as it applies to the role of a salesperson.  It makes sense to integrate some technology tools into your sales processes and client interaction.  The traditional ways of networking and prospecting still apply, but we have another layer of tools and systems to utilize.

It should be said that the use of technology is now very much a personal process for the sales person.  In only that way can you get the required focus and also the personality into the connection with your market and clients.

So what tools do we have to use?  Here are some of the bigger and more common ones that are (or should be) used in business and sales teams today:

  • Database software has been around for some time, however today most of the databases are stored and accessed on the internet.  That is a wise process and will protect you in times of computer crash or network damage.
  • Email newsletters are a direct contact tool that is integrated with your database.  The question always arises as to just how many newsletters you should send.  It depends on your industry, but at least monthly is the answer.  You can create a weekly newsletter if you have something of importance to say.  The client should see value in the newsletter so don’t fill it with low value content.  Make sure you have the clients consent to be on your database and email newsletter.
  • Auto responders are a great way to streamline your newsletter despatch.  It is in fact a newsletter on automatic settings and it will remove the pressure from you as other things arise.
  • Websites have been with us for years.  The fact of the matter is that you can now get a website running in just a matter of hours and for almost (and in some cases) zero cost.
  • Blogs will help you show your experience to the market, as well as spread your personal profile across the internet.  A good blog writer will post daily information about their product or service.  The search engines soon see that information and start to follow you for relevance and information.
  • Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn are all regarded as great business tools.  You can cross link them to your Blog and Website activity.  They help you spread your experience across your contact base of clients and prospects.  The key to the process is in providing regular and relevant information.  Do not let bias and negative personality problems enter the system.  You are a business person and that profile should be encouraged at every opportunity.

Choose the right technology and take action with it every day.  Merge the traditional methods of client contact with the newer ones.  Don’t get left behind in the race to capture the client.