Is your estate agent social enough?

Recently I attended a live event organised by a Twitter group I contribute too, #Stockporthour – #hours are the online equivalent to Networking events where users contribute to a discussion group using a relevant hashtag. However being slightly old fashioned, I still like to meet real life people face to face so thought I would get out from behind my keyboard!

There were probably between 50 – 60 people at the event and we were all provided with our big name tags to wear on arrival for ease of identification!

“YOU DON’T KNOW ME BUT I FOLLOW YOU ON TWITTER”

This line was spoken to me by a lady delegate who approached me and told me how much she enjoyed my Twitter feed! After a bit of general polite chit chat, the conversation turned to her house, which happened to be in Cheadle. It transpired it had been on the market with another agent for 8 months with little happening and she was keen for me come and take a look at the property and provide a fresh marketing perspective, which I was only too happy to do when she told me the address – one of the nicest and most expensive roads in the village! We exchanged cards and phone numbers and I promised to call her the next day to arrange a mutually convenient time for me to pop round.

THE MOST EXPENSIVE HOUSE WE HAVE EVER SOLD AND THE BIGGEST FEE

To cut a long story short, I called, arranged an appointment, visited the property and was subsequently instructed to market it. The good news was we found a buyer within two weeks, who recently completed the purchase at over £700k – the most expensive house we have ever sold and the biggest fee!

But this blog isn’t actually a back slapping exercise. This instruction came directly from social media!

I often get agents approaching me asking should they persevere with social media – do I get anything from it? And my answer is always a resounding YES!

But is this a view shared by the industry as a whole? I asked Julian O’Dell (@agencytrainer) of TM Training and Development for his thoughts, and he told me:
“Social media has gained momentum by the day for a while now, in terms of being a channel through which agents can interact, engage, educate and debate. Any business not employing it to grown their client base, social influence and enhance their business is missing a huge opportunity”

Social media might be a slow burner, I don’t think I got that much from it in the first eighteen months I was on Twitter building my following, but your influence is subliminal – you don’t actually know who is following your feed, content marketing and blogs or what effect it might be having on their decision making when it comes to choosing which agent to invite out to value their home. This is a view shared by my good friend Alex Evans (@estateappsuk) of Estate Apps who says:
“No matter what industry you’re in, social media is integral for your business. Not only is it the fastest way to connect with your customers, improving your customer service, the content you create and share reinforces your brand. With Facebook reaching 1 billion daily users, your potential follower base is exploding and it’s up to you to make sure you are discovered!”

TEN SALES INSTRUCTIONS HAVE COME DIRECTLY FROM TWITTER

Over 100 people have now downloaded my e-guide to selling from our website, I have received over 10 sales instructions directly from Twitter now and happily given free advice to countless other people. I like to be seen as authoritative but approachable. I believe it can only hold me in good stead with my potential client base.

Sam Ashdown (@thehometruths) of Home Truths also echoes this logic, and told me recently that:

“Social media could give estate agents a very valuable opportunity to form and build a relationship with their community, asking nothing in return, simply being helpful, friendly and generally available online, so they start to find you a familiar presence in their newsfeeds, regardless of platform.  The occasional tweet, like and comment goes a long way to building trust. If that person then feels comfortable with an agent, they may well ask for their advice on something like recommending a plumber or a great restaurant. When that person is ready to think about selling their home, guess who they will think of first? 

Social media is absolutely crucial to any progressive business in the technological world we live today and agents who don’t take it seriously are missing a trick big time! Perhaps you don’t get it or have the time to manage it yourself – outsource it! There are a number of excellent companies who can run a relevant social media content strategy for you.

HAVING DOUBTS ABOUT SOCIAL MEDIA? DON’T GIVE UP, STICK AT IT!

With a monthly social reach of over 2m impressions and almost 9000 Twitter followers, my social influence and brand awareness has gone through the roof and we are only a small one office firm but I am convinced it is the way forward, so if you are having doubts that social media is for you – stick at it!

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