I came across this question on articleserver.net & after reading the question I thought to myself, you know what, I have the same exact question!
“I am a real estate agent and I am not sure how LinkedIn can help me since it is a business to business platform and I am targeting consumers and homeowners. Should I be focusing just on Facebook which is more consumer oriented? And, if I should be on LinkedIn, how can I best utilize it to help me obtain more business and clients?”
So I thought I would do some research and see how I could answer that question not only for myself but for everyone else who may be confused with LinkedIn.
Media Professionals – A recent study showed that 92% of all journalists are on LinkedIn which is more than any other social networking site. This means that you have more access to individuals who are looking to quote experts like you or publish articles regarding your industry and how you can help your prospective clients. By reaching out to these journalists you can develop meaningful and valuable relationships as they will come to think of you as the expert in your field and ask for your information when they are putting together their next piece. This extra publicity will give you more exposure to even more prospects and enhance your credibility so prospects will want to buy from you.
Referral Sources – Through LinkedIn you can build and enhance relationships with key influencers who can provide you with access to prospects you would otherwise not have known, met or done business with. A referral source is a valuable tool because it is a third party endorsement and they can act as your sales agent as they want to give their customers and clients more value.
Larger companies that offer products or services that are supplementary to yours – Smart companies are always looking to increase their revenues by giving their clients and customers more value. Think of the different companies and organizations that can add your products or services to their own at a premium price – and use LinkedIn to build relationships with the different company’s executives.
Then you need to figure out who would be the best referral sources, key influences, types of media and companies for you to connect with. For example;
* Divorce attorneys – In a divorce couples often have a house to sell. Couples also have other traditional real estate assets that often have to be sold in a divorce. Plus, at least one of the parties in a divorce will need to relocate – meaning they’ll need to buy a new house.
* Local bankruptcy attorneys – who have clients who have no other choice but to either short sell or go into foreclosure
* Accountants – who can refer clients to sell their residential or commercial properties to avoid further liability and eventual foreclosure
* Financial planners, estate attorneys & probate attorneys – who want to give homeowners relief from their unexpected financial burdens
* Banks – who want to sell their foreclosed properties in the shortest amount of time with the highest net to them
Make sure you create a LinkedIn profile that is written for the referral sources and media you want to attract starting with your headline. In the headline, identify the audiences you want to connect with – and why they should want to connect with you. In your summary, explain to referral sources how you can be of value to their clients and customers and how your relationship will help them.
The key to LinkedIn though is to stay on top of your referral sources’ and media professionals’ profiles. Once you figure out who your best key influencers, referral sources and media types, start doing your research on LinkedIn and make connections. When you make a new connection, invite the referral source or media professional to your LinkedIn group where you provide tips, tools and articles. Every time you are published, featured or quoted in the media you should be announcing it to your connections and group members. This will show them that you are a valuable resource and keep you on top of their minds. So when a referral source has a client needing your expertise, they’ll think of you. And, when the media needs an expert to quote- they’ll come to you.
How do you use LinkedIn to market yourself & have you ever gained business from LinkedIn?
And thank you for making me Your Orange County Real Estate Connection.
Michael Caruso, Broker ABR ABRM CLHMS CRB CRS GREEN GRI
Past President, Orange County Association of Realtors (949) 753-7900