Social media has its place and its use in commercial real estate brokerage. That being said, there are some things you should know about using the ‘social tools’ so that you can avoid some common mistakes and errors.
All of the well-established common social media tools such as Facebook, and LinkedIn are built on internet platforms owned by others. Many real estate people use those platforms extensively today for social convenience, and because they think that ‘they have to’.
Where’s the control?
One thing to remember here is that all of those common social platforms are driven by rules set and changed from time to time by the site owners, and you must abide by their rules. That’s where the problems start; you have no control.
It is very common for the algorithms in those social sites to be changed and therefore any benefit you think you may have in using the platforms with your clients and contacts will change as well. When those sites change their algorithms it is because it is of benefit to them, and not necessarily the members. Any online profile you are building solely through social media to attract the search engines will change several times each year as the social site owners change their algorithms. That’s a bad thing.
Understand these things!
Here are two things to understand here:
- Strengths – The positives that the social media platforms give you are largely and only in communicating directly with other people online. You can build a reasonable business profile as a real estate expert in that way (assuming you stay professional and relevant in your online strategies), however that online profile will change for the reasons mentioned. You have little control in using the social platforms other than to be a ‘user’.
- Weaknesses – Each social media platform can change the rules and they usually will do that at least a few times each year. As a consequence it is reasonably unlikely that the search engines will see and grow your relevance and communications on the social media channels. Your ranking in the search engines will not change greatly if you only use the ‘social platforms’ to connect with your clients and prospects.
The facts to remember here are these:
- Social media platforms are not the only things you should be using online.
- Your profile online is really important as a real estate agent or broker and should be built through deliberate personal effort on platforms that you can control.
- In addition to the ‘social platforms’ you should be using websites and blogs to grow your online profile as a specialist agent.
The better way to build an online profile in commercial real estate is to grow your relevance through the establishment of a blog that is created and owned by you. On that platform you can write and talk about property market issues and changes for your location.
Frequency is important
If you blog frequently and stay within your focus topic and location, the search engines will soon see your comments and visit your site frequently. From that point on it is simply a matter of creating and writing things that are of interest or of use to the online community of property owners, property investors, and local business owners.
So is social media useful but you can do better than the ‘standard approach’. Sure, you can still link your blog articles back into your social media tools and platforms, but you are no longer solely exposed to the whims of the social media platform owners and their business and algorithm changes. That’s a good thing.