LinkedIn has become the hotspot for business networking. Business cards are being replaced with online profiles; phone calls are losing favor to private messages. Even introductions among groups are done through social media. In 2014, LinkedIn is where meetings are held, connections are formed and deals are made.
With LinkedIn being the go-to spot for professionals, real estate agents now have a whole new territory at their disposal. If business is conducted online, and companies are scouting potential employees through LinkedIn connections, it makes sense for agents to bolster their online presence and use it to their advantage.
This isn’t news, nor is it mind-blowing. Most people know the importance of social media and its effects on professional relationships. We’ve noted before how agents using social media are more likely to close on deals and exceed quota. Still, many are traditional in their practices while others are confused on how the social media, particularly LinkedIn, can positively influence their careers.
Here’s what to do:
- Take it seriously. LinkedIn is an online resume; a profile is a job in a box. It is the best way for people to gauge what someone has done professionally and who they know professionally. It’s a great way to find work and advertise jobs. It’s the perfect place to discuss business issues and plan events. There are more than 250 million active users on LinkedIn, making it one of the largest social media tools online. That alone is reason to have an active presence.
- Make it pretty. Aesthetics attract clients. While agents are ultimately selling houses, they are also selling themselves. A well put-together profile catches the eye and grabs attention. Networking is about presentation, no matter the medium used. Of course, good looks need substance in order to last. Personality and professional experience are part of the package (and that’s where taking it seriously matters).
- Focus on connections. Clients are people making life-changing decisions. Using LinkedIn – like any other social media platform – allows a connection between agent and client to grow organically, where both parties get to know each other off the field and in a “personal” setting.
Start small – get to know the platform, how it works, building your network, and as you familiarize yourself with LinkedIn, you’ll realize that the best part is that interactions go way beyond emails. The site can be used for webinars, info sessions, event planning, courses and slideshares – you name it, you can do it. Starting an informational group for basic real estate needs (or even joining ours), or even specialized services, will get people talking to you and about you, and that is great for business.
Whether traditional or internet-dependent, real estate agents can (and do) benefit from using sites like LinkedIn for business. It’s quick, constant, and believe it or not, personal. More important, it’s where everybody is, including homebuyers.