“I think a lot of people think of Twitter or Instagram or all of the social media sites as ‘how do I use this to create leads’ and that’s not how you should look at it. Social media is an opportunity to build a brand and drive traffic back to your hub,” says Chris Fyvie, a commercial-focused agent who has more than 4,000 avid Twitter followers. “It’s rare that I’ll tweet something and someone will email me and say ‘I’m interested in leasing commercial real estate’.”
Instead, agents should consider social media and a strong online presence an investment in their brand and their business – and a long-term investment at that.
“It’s rare that I’ll tweet something and someone will email me and say ‘I’m interested in leasing commercial real estate,’” Fyvie tells REP. “Often I’ll tweet something and someone will see it, then they’ll go out to dinner with a friend who mentions that they need a Realtor, then that person remembers me because they saw my tweet.”
But only sparsely updating your online presence – whether that’s through Twitter, Facebook or a website – is just as effective as doing nothing at all. Agents hoping to see an improvement in their business need to be regularly active in the online realm, going above and beyond the status quo.
“When I started [Toronto Realty Blog] in 2007, everyone had the same site made by the same person and I wanted to be different,” says David Fleming, who writes the popular blog. “I like to write and I’m opinionated so it seemed like a great fit.”
Indeed, Fleming has found great success by promoting himself and his expertise via his website, and he isn’t shy about telling other agents that they should follow suit.
“It’s the second most important thing in the business after having a ‘for sale’ sign,” Fleming says. “If you’re not online, you’re not in the business.”
As a lead generator, social media has been a bust for even the tech-savviest agents, say industry players, but here’s why you shouldn’t throw the baby out with the virtual bathwater.