If you’ve been struggling to turn “social media” into actual clients, this reference guide contains 16.5 straightforward ways that can turn the internet into real, tangible clients for your business:
1. Twitter Twitter is a great tool to interact with potential buyers/sellers. It’s important, though, to work on building relationships with local users. Here’s a video review of some tools that can help you find other users in your area: http://activerain.com/blogsview/914574/Finding-Other-Local-Users-on-Twitter
2. Localism/Activerain I’ve heard many stores of agents finding clients through Activerain and Localism. Just stay active on the sites, post to your blog, leave comments and be as visible as possible.
3. Your personal blog I wrote about the value of blogs in a previous post (http://activerain.com/blogsview/893435/Activerain-Blogs-A-Key-to-Real-Estate-Success).. They can be immensely powerful to attract local buyers/sellers and present yourself as an authority in your market.
4. Your personal website I think it goes without saying that your personal website is key to marketing yourself and your listings. If you can, capture names and emails from your website or your blog, which will help you build…
5. Newsletters Building a list of subscribers in your area and sending them regular communication that is relevant to their interests is one of the best ways to build long-term relationships with potential clients. Even if they’re not looking to buy or sell today, they will be someday, and you will be at the top of their list.
6. Realtor.com Many, many home shoppers start their search on Realtor.com. Upgrade to showcase (more pictures,, plus your name and contact info on listings) and if it makes sense for you, they even have a targeted advertising program where your banner is displayed on local searches.
7. Real estate search engines Other than Realtor.com, there are dozens of places buyers search for homes. Some of the more popular ones are: Trulia, Zillow, Oodle, Homes.com, Google Base, Craigslist, and plenty of others. Make sure you (and your listings) have a presence on all of these sites.
8. Google Adwords If you’ve never tried it, Google has an advertising platform that will show your text ad on the Google search pages for the keywords of your choice. For example, when a user searches for “homes in Indianapolis” you can have your website shown at the top of this search and only pay per click to your site. http://google.com/adwords
9. Agent review/ranking websites Your reputation is everything. If a potential client visits an agent review site and sees a great review from a previous client of yours, it can catapult you to the top of their list. Make sure your past clients review you and give them every reason to write a good review. IncredibleAgents.com and HomeThinking.com are two popular agent review sites.
10. Online referrals/publicity Make a list of the top blogs, websites and forums dedicated to your city and become best friends with the owners. One article recommending your services could bring you multiple clients, for free.
11. Ads on local websites Much like above, visit local blogs or websites focused on your target market and ask for their advertising rates. It may take more work than throwing up ads on Google, but the ROI and branding impact can be much stronger.
12. Flickr Are you uploading your property photos to Flickr? Didn’t think so. There’s 2 interesting things about Flickr that make it worth your while. 1) It gets a lot of traffic and 2) you can add a comment right below each photo – a great place to advertise your business. Include your email, phone and even a link to your website.
13. Virtual Tours You can say I’m a little biased since I own RealSpace Tours, but a nice-looking tour of your property with your branding info and a “contact me about this property” box is a great way to find buyers.
14. Posting on Local Forums Most larger cities have message boards dedicated specifically to their area. If you have one of these in your area, it’s a gold mine! Spend time regularly posting helpful answers and taking part in discussions; be sure to include a relevant forum signature about your business.
15. Comments on Local Blogs Just like forum posts, find blogs in your area and leave relevant comments on the posts that grab your attention. Of course, don’t spam the comments, just make sure you enter your web url when it asks you for it in the comment form, that’s all you need.
16. Myspace It seems like when Facebook showed up, Myspace fell off the map. But it still gets a ton of of traffic and I would recommend at least having a fairly active profile on the site.
17. Facebook I’ve written an entire series on the benefits of Facebook. I believe it can be very useful for finding local users who may be interested in buying or selling a home. See more posts on Facebook here: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3
17.5 Facebook’s advertising platform Facebook has a very effective advertising platform. For real estate professionals, it may be one of the best. It allows you to target users in your area and instead of directing them to some 3rd party website or landing page, they can be directed right to a facebook page about you.
What other techniques have you found to be effective? Share your stories on how these (or other) sources have led to results for you: