Networking on LinkedIn might sound like just another thing to add to your ever-growing to-do list. But if done in the right way, your real estate business will benefit.
You’ve got a blog on your website. You create ads on Facebook. You’re even posting to Twitter. You might think you’ve covered all of your audience-growing bases, but there’s one you’re overlooking – LinkedIn Pulse. If you haven’t considered LinkedIn a place to generate business or build your audience, think again.
LinkedIn is the professional’s social media platform. Sure, you use it to catch up on industry news and update your profile like you would your resume, but that’s about it right? Not quite. In 2014, LinkedIn opened up their publishing option (Pulse) to all users, instead of just the big influencers. Pulse is another way to share and grow your business, not just for the biggest companies, but even for the lone broker-owners.
When you publish on LinkedIn, other professionals, whether they’re in real estate or not, will be able to read your market analysis, your insight, and your unique expertise. You’ll be able to set yourself apart and, potentially, create opportunities for yourself within the real estate industry beyond listing or selling a property. Because this is LinkedIn, it’s expected that you might talk in more industry-related terms and share the more technical aspects of real estate.
Tip: You may want to tweak the content and tone of your posts because the site is known for being a place professionals gather. There’s nothing wrong with allowing your personality to show through but remember your audience and don’t get too casual.
The ability to publish blog content directly into LinkedIn means your content can be seen by people who wouldn’t have found your website or even realized you existed otherwise. This is great if you belong to a few groups on LinkedIn, too. You can share more of your content and connect with other professionals.
Yes, it may seem like you’re only connecting with other real estate professionals at first, but keep at it. Lenders, marketers, IT people, and other professionals you come in contact with on LinkedIn are all potential readers and, eventually, possible home buyers or sellers. You want to be the first person they think of when they think of real estate.
Remember when I said that other professionals could become a buyer or a seller? Well, once you establish your expertise and make yourself available on LinkedIn, eventually you start to generate new leads. Maybe they reach out to you directly, like some people do on Facebook. Maybe they email you or call you and set up coffee or lunch. The method may be different than you’re used to from your website or other social media, but a lead is still a lead.
It might even be a better lead because at a quick glance, you may be able to see their work history and their current employment, giving you an indication about how serious this person is. No matter what you do, don’t delay in getting back to them. If they found you on LinkedIn and started following your blog posts, you’ve created a sense of trust with them already. Don’t ruin it by making them feel ignored.
Should your content on LinkedIn be old posts from your blog or something new and fresh? For the most part, it should be new content you haven’t published anywhere else or old content that you’ve made new again. Rarely do you want to repeat the exact same content from one site to the next, but if you do, make sure it’s your best stuff and include a link back to the original blog post – this will help drive traffic to your website, too.
It often feels like there are too many places you could be blogging or generating new online leads, and not enough time to do it all. LinkedIn doesn’t have to become another daily marketing task. One new post a week should be enough to build an audience and generate business. Make sure you’re consistent, you share your best stuff, and that you respond as quickly as possible to questions and potential leads.
Give yourself time to see if this works for your business. It won’t happen overnight, but if LinkedIn works for you, it could become another effective way to grow your real estate business.
Former Communications Director for a local Realtor Association and a big cheerleader for all things real estate related, Michaela is now a full-time freelance writer specializing in real estate and other business industries. When she's not writing the serious business-y stuff, she's likely to be found writing about the hilarity of being a Mom to two rowdy boys.