By Erica Christoffer, Contributing Editor, REALTOR® Magazine
More REALTORS® are using social networking for their business than ever before, according to data in a recent report released by the Center for REALTOR® Technology (CRT).
The study, conducted in June, found that 84 percent of 1,189 respondents use some sort of social networking tools, a significant increase from 33 percent in 2008. Twenty-eight percent say they are comfortable with it and another 27 percent are somewhat comfortable.
The most popular Web site was Facebook, with 76 percent saying they use the site, followed by LinkedIn with 58 percent. Other popular sites include Twitter, ActiveRain, RealTown, Flickr and Talk.REALTOR.com.
The vast majority –76 percent of those surveyed — say they are looking to engage with consumers through social media sites. The report also shows that REALTORS® use social networking to connect with other REALTORS®, REALTOR® organizations, real estate vendors, and family and friends.
In terms of social networking’s effectiveness for business, 25 percent of real estate professionals surveyed say they find it effective or very effective, 38 percent say the sites are somewhat effective, 11 percent didn’t find the Web sites effective at all, and 26 percent are still unsure.
A total of 59 percent say they seek out new technology for their business through real estate Web sites, and 57 percent say they find value in the technology provided by their broker.
Forty-eight percent of respondents want their broker to expand the technology provided, including training on technology tools, blog hosting, leads, Wi-Fi, and tech support.