As a real estate professional, you know the importance of having a strong social message. You know that you most definitely should have a Facebook account and maybe even a Twitter account. If you’re a little more advanced with social media, you may even have a Facebook business page. Having social channels for your business have become the status quo in real estate marketing today. Foursquare is my suggestion for the next step to getting a leg up on the competition. Foursquare started in 2008 and has been exploding in growth over the last couple of years, however some believe it is underused for business.
What exactly is Foursquare?
Foursquare is a free app that helps people make the most of where they are and share it in the cyber world with their friends! When you’re out and about, use Foursquare to ‘Check-in’ to places you visit. This app shows popular tips that were left about the place you check in at, by prior visitors. You will also see if any other Foursquare users are also at that place. Best of all, you can see if there are specials or promotions from businesses in the local area. You can then share and save the places you visit, and share feedback and tips with friends, family, Facebook and Twitter. Foursquare is great for restaurants and businesses because it enables them to promote those specials and new sales to potential customers who are using the app nearby. If you were hungry and saw a bunch restaurant promotions on Foursquare, it’s likely you go to the restuarant offering a free appetizer? I would!
How can Foursquare be used for real estate pros?
One of my best examples of a real estate company on Foursquare is the Corcoran Group. They use Foursquare to tell their clients where the best places are to eat, drink and visit in New York City and South Florida. By having their agents share this information on Foursquare, the Corcoran Group is building a loyal following on the network. This helps when these same clients are looking to buy or rent a place in the area – they may think, hmm – Corcoran Group! This company excels in promoting their Foursquare page by using video and YouTube to show clients how to use their Foursquare page to visit the hippest places. And, of course the best deals! See how the Corcoran Group promotes their Foursquare strategy, here.
Now, that you have a little more information about Foursquare, maybe you can use it build your real estate business and reputation online.
How do I get started? Here are four simple steps :
Step 1: Claim your Business on Foursquare: Simply log on to Foursquare and type it in the search bar. If it’s not there, you can create your business location. After finding your business, claim it. To do this, you need to be logged into a Foursquare account, preferably the one you will use dedicated to your business. Then, click on the right - where it says “Do you manage this location?” Then all you do next is wait to be verified by Foursquare via phone or e-mail. After verification, you have claimed your business!
Step 2: Reach clients: Share information on Foursquare. The information could be listings, open houses, cool photos, hot restaurant and bar info, community information, etc. Anything your clients or potential leads may find useful. Encourage your clientele to “check-in” at your physical location., when you meet there. (Perhaps have a sign in your office) If they ‘Check-in’ a few times, Foursquare will label them as frequent visitors and automatically share your posts and tips with them, in the future. You will also want to tap into your Facebook, Twitter, and other social accounts to get as many of your client contacts as possible on Foursquare so they can see your tips and activity. This is a great way to build a loyal following.
Step 3: Create a Special Promotion: How can you drive traffic to your business from your Foursquare account? Creating a special is a great tactic. Foursquare enables businesses to create promotions (e.g.loyalty specials, discounts). Best of all, it’s free! A real estate company doesn’t necessarily offer something tangible so this this could be a challenge. A suggestion would be to have homeowners check in to your office for a free CMA and gift card. This does a few things for your business. First, it brings new faces into your office. Second, it gives you a chance to meet with them and get the inside track on the sale of their house, or whatever needs they may have. For them, they walk out with a professional opinion on their home’s value, plus a small gift card. A $10 gift card could be less expensive than sending out postcards or an ad in a newspaper, depending on how many you give. Comment below on what special you are thinking of trying.
Step 4: Track Your Results: You will have access to your Merchant Dashboard, after your verification is complete. Wouldn’t you love to have information about your customers, to better evaluate your audience? This access allows you to access real-time data about the accounts that check in – your leads/customers! This includes: Total daily check-in’s, your most recent and frequent visitors, gender, check-in time, and the portion of your check-ins that are broadcast to Facebook and Twitter. Below is an example of the Foursquare Merchant Dashboard.
Foursquare is not only a fun social network to use, but I think this could be very profitable and grow your business if used correctly. Follow these four simple steps, and you and your business are well on your way to building your brand and sphere of influence online. Good Luck!