In commercial real estate agency today, the basis of networking and lead generation has expanded. The traditional methods of contact are still there, but we now have quite a few other tools to use. Anything that makes the life of a commercial salesperson easier has my ‘vote’.
The networking and lead generation systems we should always use are really all about convenience, contact, and relevance. In the past we could do all that with cold calling, meetings, constant contact, newsletters, and direct mail. Those things today still exist and should be used but we can now do more with other tools and strategies. In effect we are bringing more technology into the loop of contact.
If we get the equation correct, we can get better results in lead generation. Make no mistake here; in no way am I suggesting that you should stop the traditional methods of contact, I am just suggesting that you should add to them.
Here are some ideas to help you establish the new system of contact and ongoing networking.
- Twitter is a process of simple short messages known as a mini blog. The process is free, and can be strategically used as part of ongoing business contact. You must however use relevant and helpful information as part of the process. This then says that you could send twitter messages twice a day with comments regards your commercial real estate product, the market, or services. You could add to that some market commentary or links to other interesting topics related to your area and precinct. If you are going to use twitter for business, do not allow personal small talk to enter into the loop. You must remember that some of the people that are following you on Twitter are business people and they do not need to see your personal ranting’s and ravings. Personality is one thing; when the comments get overly personal and biased they are a detriment to your business profile.
- Facebook is something that is used by many people today. It is preferable that you establish a Facebook page for business purposes, and then retain your personal profile elsewhere with a page for your friends and family. Facebook in business has a particular strategy which doesn’t mix well with standard personal contact. That being said, Facebook in business really does work. You can take feeds from Twitter and LinkedIn to your business page. When you use Facebook in business, segregate your followers into Friends, Family, and Business. In this way you can control who gets access to particular areas of your pages.
- LinkedIn is a great business tool and contact system. In business and commercial real estate it has a much higher value to us than Facebook. If you are a successful business person, your clients and contacts will expect to see a comprehensive and up-to-date LinkedIn profile. After every meeting with prospects and business contacts, send them an invite to join your LinkedIn page. It is questionable whether you need a free or paid LinkedIn account. Most people I know use the free version; however you do have a choice. If your LinkedIn activity gets a lot of use and is growing, perhaps you should revert to the paid version.
- Blogging is an extremely powerful business tool. You can set up a free blog on Blogger or WordPress. It takes about 20 minutes to set up the blog and it is really easy. The only cost to you after that point is time. What a blog allows you to do is establish greater online credibility as an expert in commercial real estate locally. This blog process adds to any other website presence and advertising you may do. You can write a blog about your commercial real estate specialty and area. Information is the key. Use the blog to give value and information about commercial real estate. Use it to show that you really are the expert.
So these are some of the main technology based tools that you can use today. Build them into your business system and start networking.