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IS SOCIAL MEDIA WORTH MY TIME?

Most agents are quick to use websites to stay on top of real estate news, but many agents do not effectively use the internet to reach out to their own [potential] clientele—85% of which report that their first step in their home search was online.

You’re not the first to ask. Real estate agents, marketing analysts, small business owners, and the like have all heard the rhetoric: “Grow your business with social media”; “Social Media: The Next Big Thing”; “Why Social Media is Crucial” and the list goes on…is it all just hype?

As a real estate agent, you are part of an industry that is dominated by relatively small, independent companies—82% to be precise. As an agent, you likely wear many hats and allocate your time among advertising, marketing, updating your listings, managing your office and, oh yeah, buying and selling homes.

Is it worth your time?

So with so much going on, is online advertising and social media really something you can really afford to add to your plate?

Well, you can’t afford not to. Why? Because over 85% of all home searches begin on the internet and 80% of all US consumers are using social media on a monthly basis. Believe it or not, if Facebook was a country, it would be the fourth biggest country in the world! Never before has your online presence been so crucial, and many agents are catching on.

Most agents have already started

83% of agents, for example, report using Facebook for business purposes—but agents quickly taper off in their use of other social networks like Twitter (29%) or a personal blog (22%). If you’re hesitant to use social media (e.g. you know that personal referrals are your number-one source of business), you should know that there are likely many more people looking for you who can’t find you.

Every day, people are using the internet for information, and that information often spreads through social media. As an agent, you transact what will usually be the biggest purchase any of your clients make in their lifetime: their home. They are certainly doing their research, and they’re doing it online. A recent study of homebuyers found that their primary factor for choosing an agent was the agent’s online presence.  If you need more proof of the power of online articles, blogs, etc., well, you yourself happen to be reading an online article right now…and your customers are reading online articles, too.

Finding you on Google

Because of the immense amount of daily searches (there are approximately 2.5 billion online searches per day on Google or about 30,000 searches per second), many industries compete intensely for Google’s advertising space. It may surprise you to learn, however, that you might not be showing up on Google’s organic search results (i.e. in the middle of the screen)—and no, showing up on page 50 doesn’t count.

While most agents are using Facebook, there are other online tools like Twitter and blogs that can help enhance your online presence and power. Use them to your advantage to increase your visibility and interact with clients. If you haven’t started, get going! You might even consider using a platform that combines your social media into a single interface so it’s more manageable (jumping back and forth from website to website every day can get old quickly).

How do you track your return on social media? Do you just hope?

Look for our next blog to learn how to manage and analyze your social media to answer the all-important question: How do I know if I’m getting a return? There is widespread confusion about tracking your ROI on social media, and we will take care of that next week.

-Nate McBride, Marketing & Strategy

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Inside Real Estate provides integrated technology solutions to help real estate agents easily manage their website, social media, and other online tasks—giving agents more time to manage their businesses. Agents who use Inside Real Estate leverage its SEO power, IDX technologies, and online presence for their own website—boosting their online visibility and helping them connect with customers. Inside Real Estate is privately held and is headquartered in Provo, UT.

Image courtesy by wizmarketings.com

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