Most REALTORS® underestimate the marketing value of social media. My marketing is social-media heavy, and I’m often asked, “Why bother?” and “what difference does it make?” or “Does it really help?” So I thought I’d answer these questions here. Online.
Did you know that, according to a survey by the California Association of Realtors (CAR) 63% of those who used an agent found them online? Without an online presence, that’s two thirds of a market you don’t have access to! I have met with clients from Alberta, Morden and even from China because they found me online. When I ask them how they discovered me, their answer was “online”. It works. That’s why I’m on LinkedIn, Google+, Facebook, Twitter, advertising with MyHouseandHome.ca and have my own blog right here!
Check out these compelling stats every agent should know about buyers (who use an agent):
80% interview 2 or more agents. This means we are in fierce, close-up competition with other agents, and being actively evaluated by our clients.
68% used Google to research their agent. I wonder how interested they are then, in an unfindable agent?
91% of buyers said they were receptive to receiving information about the home buying process directly from their agent via social media. This is a game changing piece of information. Buyers WANT to hear from us, and they want to hear from us through social media. I have several clients that I connect with almost exclusively through social media!
How then, are agents interacting with their clients? 51% of agents prefer telephone as their primary means of communication. There is a huge gap here between what clients want and what agents are doing. And that’s good news for you and me. We can be the ones to step into that gap and serve clients the way they want to be served. We can literally meet them where they are; in social media.
As consumers, we know the trend is digital, and we expect other businesses to be online. But somehow there is this bizzare disconnect. As REALTORS® – as business people – we seem not to make the leap that WE need to get OUR businesses online. That’s where the clients are. It’s where they shop and live and hire. If we market primarily offline, we’re missing an opportunity to connect with 68-91% of the market!
So how can we meet our clients online? No one article could cover that, but diving into social media would be a tremendous start. Open accounts and start connecting with people. Then get researching about how best to market your business online. (You might be surprised to find the way not to market is to talk about your services all the time. It’s a people thing.)