Social Media Decision Tree Tips for Realtors and Brokers

brogan-pic

Chris Brogan President New Marketing Labs

Chris Brogan one of the best social media experts inspired me to write this article aimed at helping  Realtors and Brokers understand the social media decision tree. In Chris’s article “Social Media Decision Tree” he makes two very important points:

  1. “Coming up with a one-size fits all strategy for dragging companies into social media is just goofy.”
  2. “It’s not all about the conversation. It’s not a matter of whether you get it or don’t. Like all things, it’s finding what works, building from a foundation, measuring progress, and adapting to new situations.”

Takeaways:

  • There is NO one right way to utilize social media networks and tools. There is only what’s right for you
  • Experiment and find what works best for you. Experiment by listening first

Realtor-Broker Social Media Decision Tree: Yes or No

Q: Should you or your company blog?

A: Yes! I believe that all Realtors and Brokers should blog considering the fact that anywhere from 60%+ of consumers begin their search for real estate or real estate related service online by searching on Google.

A: No! If you do not have a plan and strategy then blogging is useless and in some cases detrimental.

Q: Should you be on Activerain.com?

A: Yes! ActiveRain.com is the most robust social media site specifically built for the real estate community. If you are not networking, communicating, collaborating, and educating your peers and consumers on Active Rain you are missing a huge opportunity.

A: No! If you are a superstar like Olivia Hsu Decker or you are so busy writing offers that you would neglect your work in establishing your brand on this social site then don’t bother to try to fake it.

Q: Should you be using Twitter?

A: Yes! Major global companies, brands, entrepreneurs, and mass media agencies are flocking to Twitter to engage, move information, collaborate, and network. If you want to learn it is also an incredible research resource.

A: No! If you plan on hammering your audience with listing notices, sales pitches, and a constant stream of me-me-me do NOT join Twitter. Many Realtors and Brokers think that the strategy behind Twitter is that of a “job board” where they slam their property listing up like a resume with absolutely no value attached.

Conclusion:

Facebook, Plaxo, and all the rest of the social media networks or Web 2.0 tools are only worth the time investment and hard work if you are passionate, believe in their effectiveness, and you are willing to be patient. Understanding the strategy of “giving first” is the very pillar that will determine success or failure.

Realtors Do You Support Promotions that Create Goodwill for Your Business?

Imagine a real estate business model where the customer names their price. Call it a“Pay-what-you-want-house” and you might have an interesting idea. That is the idea behind the new Ibis Singapore on Bencoolen. Check out this promotion merely to see the cool website.

Why Do People Love Promotions?

1. Added Value: is it such a bad idea to create promotions in a such dreary economic times? Even if you can’t give away the store, isn’t there an item or service you can give away? Now more than ever, bartering one of your services in some fashion would be a welcome relief to some people who need help. People want and need added value in anything they buy, more than ever today, whether it is a service or a product.

2. Consumers Remember: more economic pressure, job loss, and belt tightening is in store for 2009. Now more than ever, if you help someone by providing a promotional “prize” or service that gesture is often remembered and past forward via word of mouth. When people give under the toughest circumstances (economy), that is truly the measure of our willingness to help.

http://www.springwise.com/pix/spotlight/bencoolen.jpg

Trulia vs Realtor.com: Is There Really Any Comparison?

The Chicago Sun-Times published this deansguide article on my birthday!

FoxBusiness published this deansguide article on my birthday!

The following is a brief look at a comparison between the NAR site Realtor.com and innovative blogosphere favorite Trulia.com. If I were a Realtor I would take a close look at the graphic below, click through to Trulia Challenge, and consider your options. My opinion is that Trulia is the better deal, the better site, and the far more advanced social media-Web 2.0 entity. But that is just my opinion. Take a look at the comparison and let me know what you think.

Do you remember the Pepsi challenge? Do you remember how they were making those commercials as a method to overturn popular opinion that Coke was the better soft drink? And do you remember when they made the Pepsi Challenge reference in Pulp Fiction? It seems that advertisement had staying power. The question of whether the product, Pepsi, was better than Coke did not seem to change. At the time, Coke continued to rule the soft drink world. Today I received, in my Google Reader, this Trulia message: “Trulia vs Realtor.com: Take the Challenge.”

So you be the judge and take the Pepsi like Trulia challenge. The following is a matrix provided by Trulia. I am not a paid employee of either Trulia or Realtor.com. You be the judge and come back and tell me which service do you prefer?

trulia challenge - trulia vs. realtor.com

Realtor’s Virtual Sales Force: Leadvine-”The Community Is Your Sales Force”

LeadVine - The community is your sales force.

Courtesy Leadvine.com

FoxBusiness.com published this deansguide article 11-14-08

Crowdsourcing according to the wiki by the same name is a term that “has become popular with business authors and journalists as shorthand for the trend of leveraging the mass collaboration enabled by Web 2.0 technologies to achieve business goals.” A new service, based on crowdsourcing principles, Leadvine is the first service designed to make “the community your sales force.”

Realtors Create A New Lead Generator

1. Post Sales Leads on Leadvine: You post the sales leads your are searching for, list your referral fee that you will pay, and then “have the community act as your sales force.” The benefits:

  • Increase Sales
  • Outsource your Sales Process
  • Lower your Marketing, Recruiting, and Advertising costs
  • Leadvine is Free

This begins the process of helping Realtor’s find new customers

2. Search Sales Leads on Leadvine: ” Do you come across information that is not valuable to you but valuable to someone else? Get paid for information that is at your finger tips.”

  • Earn easy money
  • Leverage your existing network to help companies increase sales
  • Make money for information you have at your fingertips
  • Spend a minimal amount of time earning extra cash

Resources for Realtors

1. Leadvine’s Top 10 Ways to Use Leadvine

2. FAQ Section: Everything from What is Leadvine to How was Leadvine Started?

3. Leadvine’s Blog: Many strategies and tips to help find business and make more revenue

Google Base: Realtor’s Free Listing Tool, Lead Generator, Product Promotion Machine

Google Base “Shopping Bag” icon

FoxBusiness.com published this deansguide article June 28, 2008

If you do not want to take on the task of establishing a blog or website there still is a method to get your information listed in Google search results: Google Base. For Realtors this could be a key tool in listing your properties.

What is Google Base?

1. According to Google “Google Base is a free Google service that allows you to publish virtually any kind of information for inclusion in Google search results”

2. According to the blog chiefexecutive.wordpress.com’s, a UK site, article “Google has changed-have you?” Google Base allows a business to list it’s services or products in a different way-via an shopping bag icon and in a product search conducted by consumers:

The point is Google has changed, there are now opportunities to appear on the list (Google search results) in more relevant and striking ways than the conventional list of blue search engine links.”

Advantages of Google Base

1. You do not need a website or blog to publish your information
2. It’s a free service
3. If you don’t have a website to host your item(s), Google Base will create and host a unique URL (web address) where searchers can visit and view your content.

Google Base For Realtors

According to Google:

“Over 56% of all internet searches on “real estate” and related terms are conducted on Google and our partner sites, and the majority of those searchers are actively looking for listings or referrals to brokers and agents. Google Base makes it EASY for consumers to find your listings or services.”

How Does It Work?

People performing Google searches for Real Estate can refine their search results by adding specific property features (e.g., “4-bedroom”, “pool”, “San Francisco-Pacific Heights”) and seeing their results displayed on a map, focussed on the neighborhood and types of properties that they are most interested in

If a Realtor adds his/her listing(s) information to Google, it will ensure that the right (most qualified) potential buyers will be able to find the properties listed “right when they are most actively looking for them.”

Google Real Estate Tools Link (for more information!)

1. Brokers and Builders

2. Agents

3. MLS’s

4. IDX vendors


#1 Tip For Blog Traffic To New Bloggers: You Have To Become A Social Networker

If one thing has helped to elevate my traffic, provide incoming links to my pages, and make my blog http://deansguide.wordpress.com more valuable to my marketing efforts, it is social networking. The best thing a new blogger can do is become a commenting social networker in their industry blogosphere niche.

According to SEO expert Courtney Tuttle, www.courtneytuttle.com, new bloggers must perform the following:

1. Write 50-60 touches per day via email requests or comments on blog posts with your blog’s url embedded within the comment.

2. Write articles based on prominent blogger’s positions on topics important to your niche

How Do I Start?

Identify then target the top bloggers in your niche and region of the country. You can Google search the top keyword phrases for your niche

Then What?

Leave comments on their latest articles aka posts. Always remember to leave your blog or website url so that others can follow the link back to your site

Last Idea

When you find an article you like or dislike utilize the subject as a basis for your own article. Compare and contrast, analyze, compliment, or present an opposing viewpoint.

Always link to the article, preferably from a prominent well established blogger, as a way of paying homage to that person’s effort. By doing this you may then quote or copy small passages into your blog article without plagerizing their work. Always give credit where credit is due

Final Analysis

If new bloggers are unwilling to spend the time it takes to perform these “touches” and socially network in the blogosphere, their efforts to gain readership will be greatly hampered. Imagine writing great information with no audience–because that is what awaits without a action plan for social networking

SEO “Keyword Research” Module #2: Realtor’s Guide to Understanding Your Target Audience Language

Published on Active Rain for the Real Estate Community

Keywords, keyword phrases, and keyword research are the next step to understanding how to attract traffic to your blog. In our first Module “SEO Basics” we provided links to SEO information to begin your education into this very important step in your marketing campaign. Searchenginepeople.com writer Ruud Hein provides an excellent look at how important keywords and keyword phrases are to your business.

Audience Language

Your aim should be to identify the keywords and keyword phrases that your target audience will utilize in searching for information about your product(s), service(s), business, industry and the area you operate within

Keywords and Keyword Research

List of Keyword Tools To Help You Find Your Audience “Language”

1. Google Adwords Keyword Tool: Get fresh ideas from the leader in the industry

2. Free Keywords: Another place to find new keywords is at freekeywords.wordtracker.com site

3. Keyword Discovery: “Over 80% of online transactions begin with a keyword search” and according to NAR over 70% of consumers interested in buying or selling real estate begin their search online. This site is a fantastic spot to begin your search with the Keyword Discovery tool.