Some real estate pros have been reluctant to try social media because of the massive hype, trendy names, and unfamiliar practices. Others have found a competitive advantage and new ways to connect by diving into Twitter and Facebook and LinkedIn, Flickr and YouTube. Despite market doldrums, social media in real estate is growing at a furious pace. Many real estate professionals missed the inflection point where Internet marketing surpassed traditional channels in value and effectiveness. While some agents continue to question its value, real estate rock stars already use social media to:
- Generate local exposure and word-of-mouth
- Increase Web site and blog traffic
- Build their contact lists and new business partnerships
- Answer expertise requests
- Connect with clients and qualified prospects
The traffic that social media drives to real estate Web sites is currently about 3 percent of the total audience. But given its explosive growth, real estate pros can ignore social media’s potential at their own peril. A quick look at the numbers shows that social media is changing the way millions of people-including your target audience-communicate:
- Facebook claims more than 250 million users; 30 million access the site through mobile devices
- Twitter has 30 million users and its year-over-year growth is over 1,000%
- Google and other search engines are weighting social media more heavily in search results
- Real estate traffic from social networks like Facebook, YouTube and MySpace is booming
If you make a living in the real estate industry, you not only have to be ready for technology changes within the industry, but from outside. If your target audience embraces mobile technology and social media, you must master those channels as well. Get used to it. The number of marketing options will only increase in the future.
Many agents and brokers are excited about exploring social media and mobile marketing, but not sure what can be expected in terms of ROI. The good news is that new and old school technologies can be measured.
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