RE BarCamp Toronto – Social Selling For Real Estate

We kicked off the day with our presentation on Social Selling. We started with a good discussion on how to engage prospects through social media. One of the biggest ‘ah ha’ moments for agents in the audience was that their prospects are actively searching for Realtors through their networks.

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Through a variety of search tools we showed them that they could mine Twitter Facebook and LinkedIn for insights into what their prospects were looking for and offer helpful advice and guidance. There are some really good tools out there that help people stay in touch with their network and proactively allow them to follow up with prospects. The one we showed was called Nimble which integrates social feeds into an easy to view dashboard.

One of the biggest questions that we got was around where do I get the content to post on all the networks? Well one of the ways that agents can find content is to repurpose the material that they use in other channels. For instance they can use their overview of real estate reports as a blog post and then use sections from that post in Facebook as well as Twitter and even on LinkedIn. We advised them to observe the 80/20 rule: meaning that for every 20% of promotional content that you post you should share 80% content from other people that would interest your fans and prospects.

Speaking of content there is a great example online by a company called River pools. The founder started the company in 2001. By 2008 during the financial crisis he saw his business drop dramatically. So he wrote over 600 blog posts answering every question he could think about that his customers had ever asked him. As a result his company now has more internet traffic than any other pool company in the US.

Finally there was a very active conversation about Facebook advertising. Some people have experience with Facebook ads in the past but not everyone was familiar with the recent changes in the Facebook advertising platform that require brands to “pay to play” in order to get their content in front of fans and prospects. I think this gave most people opportunities to think about their current ad mix and how Facebook ads could give them a way to attract their ideal clients in a bit of a different way.

After our presentation, we eagerly moved on to attend other presentations throughout the day. One of the more interesting sessions was how new Chicago agent Shay Hata turned content into lead generation, closing $1 million per month her first year in Real Estate. She said that she is being able to attract clients by becoming like the “Angies List” of Chicago. She wants to be the first stop for prospects looking for information on Chicago neighborhoods. She uses a service called Placester to construct a real estate website that builds in relevant content and tools.

When a prospect downloads her report from her website, they automatically get added to a e-mail sequence that delevers relevant content to them on a regular basis. She also donates 10% of her commissions to a charity that has a following on Facebook. When she makes a donation to the charity, the charity puts up a post mentioning her name and all the fans of the charity see her name. This gets her a lot of new clients because they like to see that she is supporting the charity they believe in.

She uses an online service called Contactually that acts as a CRM on steroids. After categorizing your contacts it allows you to track not only your e-mail conversations with them but also any social activity they have. So you can keep up to date on what’s going on with them so you know if they are experiencing some sort of life a vent that they would need your services. She keeps track of her clients activities on Facebook and when she notices that her clients have checked in to a restaurant to celebrate a new home purchase or sale she call the restaurant and how’s the waiter send over a bottle of champagne on her. Her clients tend to be a bit younger so they often post that they’ve received a bottle of champagne from her on Facebook so their friends all become familiar with her name.

Throughout the day there were many interesting conversations about how agents are using technology to help their real estate practice. It all goes to show that even though there are a lot of tools available there are some that provide incredible value to help agents grow and manage their business.

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