03 Feb Intro to Social Networking for Realtors
Every Tuesday the CV Escrow blog will be posting Technology Tips designed to help you, the Realtor, grow your business, keep up to date on the latest technologies, and move you forward into the new era of Real Estate.
A few weeks ago, I had a post that addressed Social Media for Realtors, which introduced Realtors to the concept of social media, and provided a case for why Realtors should care about it.
In today’s post, we are going to address a related concept: Social Networking. Realtors know the importance of networking. It is the basis for many successful real estate careers. And for the Realtor who is looking to evolve their business, or find new networking opportunities, the online world provides ample opportunities. You just need to get started!
As a first step, here is a quick video from Common Craft that explains the concept behind online social networking:
As this video points out, there “are hidden opportunities” out there within your network and social networking sites make these opportunities more visible. Think this just might have some positive implications for a Realtor?
I certainly believe so. There are great social farming opportunities for Realtors today who embrace the popular social networking sites. There is a great white paper on Social Media Statistics available at the New Media Lab which summarizes the explosive growth of social networking sites over the past year. If you are ready to get started and participate in this new wave of networking, I suggest creating an account on two of the most popular social networking sites out there:
1. LinkedIn: This social networking site is probably the most professional and formal of all the sites out there. Once you have an account, you are able to search for people you know based on your current and prior jobs, as well as classmates from your educational past. There are many Realtors on Linked In, and a great way to get started is to connect with others from your brokerage. The New Media Lab white paper reports that LinkedIn has 30.1 million users and site traffic grew 153% in 2008 and 319% since 2007.
2. Facebook: This social network has exploded in popularity, especially in the age ranges that are homebuyers. According to a June 20th, 2008 Strategy Labs article, Facebook is experiencing explosive growth in the 25-34, 35-54 and 55+ age groups. The 35-54 year old segment grew 172.9% in 10 months – the other two mentioned are growing at a rate of 97%+. Facebook is less formal than Linked In and one of the most powerful features is the ability to share photographs with those you are connected to. You are likely to find some of your past clients on Facebook. If you find someone you want to connect with on Facebook, you send them a “friend request” and they will approve or deny the request. If they approve the request, you will then be “Facebook Friends” and you will have access to their profile.
One thing to keep in mind in social networking, a “friend” is not the same definition of a friend in the offline world. Friend is a very loose term in social networking. You may have never met your online friend in person before. But, you may share something in common that makes it worthwhile for you to connect together online. For example, maybe you both are golf fanatics and belong to the same golf club. You might reach out and connect with this person by sending a friend request (in Facebook terms). If accepted, you would be connected to this person and now you are “friends” in the online social networking world. You will need to pick your strategy to decide if you want to friend people who you know or not. For a few perspectives on this and some “online netiquette tips” take a look here, here, and here.
There is no time like the present to get started. Your next client could be just a friend request away!
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