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LinkedIn: the digital water cooler

Reading Time: 7 min read
Published: April 12, 2018 by Siteloft

You’re sharing open homes on Facebook, regularly tweeting to your followers and even tagging #propertyinspo on Instagram. But are you taking advantage of what LinkedIn has to offer?

If you’re thinking, “Isn’t that a job search site? How could it possibly help me sell more houses?,” read on to find out…

A network of professionals at your fingertips

It’s true that LinkedIn is the most well-known social platform for job-seekers – but that’s because it’s the world’s largest online professional network. With over 500 million members, and two new users joining every second, it’s also one of the fastest-growing social media platforms on the planet. You could say it’s a digital water cooler.

You know the place – it’s where co-workers go to chat about the news, blow off some steam and make the occasional collaborative decision. Often, it’s where relationships are formed and developed. Back in the 90’s, this all happened by the watercooler in the office breakout room. Now, workers gather near the Nespresso machine – but that doesn’t have quite the same ring to it.

LinkedIn has brought this to the 21st century – offering a space for professionals to connect virtually. Whether you want to build your personal brand or network with potential referrers, this platform is a great place to do it.

There’s more to LinkedIn than simply signing up for an account, though.

Here are 4 ways you can use LinkedIn to boost your business.

1. Get noticed

A compelling LinkedIn profile is a great way to get noticed online – and the template is so easy to follow, you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it sooner.

There’s spots for your website URL, as well as links to your agency’s Facebook and Instagram. If you’ve put the effort into building them up into a marketing tool, you’ll probably want to share them. However, the real focus of your profile is your summary and bio.

A well thought out description of your current role and past experience is key for two reasons. Firstly, you want people to actually find your profile on LinkedIn. Secondly, you want them to like it enough to click the Connect button – or at least make enough of an impact that they recognise your name the next time they see it.

To give yourself the best chance of being found on LinkedIn (and Google search results, once your profile is live), use keywords in your profile. Put the area you service in your professional headline. Think about the words your potential clients are using when they’re talking about real estate, and write a list of terms to include in your bio. If you need help in the keyword department, use Google’s Keyword Planner.

Then, use that list of keywords to describe your experience. Why should someone entrust you with the sale of their biggest asset? Where’s the passion? What makes you tick? Use your bio to separate yourself from the pack – remember, your competitors are just a click away.

2. Become a subject matter expert

When a person logs onto LinkedIn, they’re in the right frame of mind to consume content about your business. They’re not using this platform to interact with their mates, or to find a quiz that tells them what sort of pizza topping they are. That’s what Facebook is for. They’re logging on to LinkedIn to engage in a more professional way.

There are a few ways to share content on this platform. If you’re just getting started, you could simply copy and paste the URL of most your recent blog post into your LinkedIn newsfeed, and publish it as an update. If you want to get serious about LinkedIn, publish it as a post.

So, what should you be writing about?

No matter who they are, your LinkedIn audience wants content that informs, entertains, motivates and adds value. Your contact base could include past clients, homeowners in your local area who you’ve met at one event or another, other real estate agents and people to whom you refer business – such as mortgagees or furniture staging professionals. Even potential employees.

The key thing to remember is that it’s not technically a sales platform, so steer clear of overtly marketing your property listings or appraisal services. Instead, share your knowledge with your audience – and slide in a few references to your own professional experience, for a bit of subliminal influence.

Here’s some ideas:

  • Real estate trends in your local market, and your take on them
  • Local insights
  • How whatever’s current in the news impacts local homeowners
  • Advice pieces on preparing your home for sale, financing, conveyancing and tips and tricks about the selling process
  • Client success stories

3. Join groups

A great way to network on LinkedIn is to join groups – get involved in conversations, answer questions, add value. There are a few different types of groups you could join, depending on what you want to get out of LinkedIn.

To expand your reach within the local community, search for appropriate groups using the search bar at the top of your LinkedIn homepage. Try top level searches for your city and see what kinds of groups show up.

If you’re active within your groups, other members should start to recognise your name and, hopefully, even click on your profile to find out how you know so much about the topic. LinkedIn will tell you when someone views your profile – connect with them, and add them to your group. Or, if you’re keen to be more proactive in your networking, strike up a conversation with someone in one of these groups and you’ve prepped them for a Connect request of your own.

Many agents are also using groups to educate themselves about subjects like renovation, market trends and digital marketing. There’s a LinkedIn Group for almost any topic you can think of.

There’s also industry specific groups where you can rub virtual shoulders with other professionals. Here are a few we’ve found:

  • Social Media for Real Estate – a group for real estate professionals to discuss how they use social media as a tool to grow their business and their relationships.
  • Real Estate Professionals Group – where members to educate each other. Local content isn’t allowed and personal promotion isn’t allowed – it’s all about educating other professionals and other interested LinkedIn users.
  • Inman’s Smart About Real Estate – the place to keep up to date with the latest real estate news, get involved in conversations and learn about the latest trends.

Once you’ve got a couple of hundred LinkedIn contacts, you could even think about starting your own group ie. Buying and Selling in Brisbane. This is a great way to establish yourself as The Local Agent in your market. Keep it specific, invite your contacts and (with any luck) they’ll start inviting their contacts, too.

4. Use the built-in features

Cast your net wider. Use LinkedIn’s Advanced Search settings to find real estate trainers and other agents you could exchange ideas with and learn from. If you’re an independent agent, this is also a great tool to connect with agencies outside your local area to build up a referral network.

The Advanced Search tool helps you focus with laser-like precision on the type of LinkedIn user you want to target.

You might also want to use the Relationship field to target LinkedIn users who have similar connections to you, or even the Seniority Level field to target roles higher up.

Real estate trainers, agents and agencies outside your local area should all be easy to find on LinkedIn – so long as they’ve done what we recommended at the start of this article, and used the right keywords in their profile.

 

There you have it – 4 ways to use LinkedIn to get more business. It’s a goldmine of professional contacts, and a great way to promote your personal brand and get noticed by your target market.