By Erica Christoffer, Multimedia Web Producer, REALTOR® Magazine
Nobu Hata, sales associate with Edina Realty in Minneapolis, has a message for everyone who has their e-mail address in their e-mail signature: You’re not giving anyone added value.
Your correspondents are already going to know your e-mail address – either they contacted you or you contacted them. Try switching it out with something they can use, said Hata during the Joint Marketing & Member Information Services Forum at the Midyear Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo today in Washington, D.C. Link to your Web site, blog, and social networks, or, as Hata does, link to local market statistics your potential clients could use to educate themselves.
“Consumers like people who point them to good stuff,” said panelist Bill Lublin, CEO of Social Media Marketing Institute and Century 21 Advantage Gold in Philadelphia.
Hata takes advantage of The 200+, the Minneapolis Area Association of REALTORS®’ local real estate resource for market stats, to blog, tweet, and share info any way he can with his friends and followers. “What we have to do as REALTORS® is communicate the information so that your analysis of that data comes out,” said Hata. “Your clients need to know your opinions about this stuff. Do you agree or disagree with these statistics, and what do you think they mean for your clients? Let them know that.”
Moderator Adorna Carroll, broker-owner and vice president of Realty3 Carroll & Agostini, pointed out that even when the data isn’t in your clients’ favor, “You have to say it like it is — otherwise you’ll lose credibility. You can be positive and proactive even with negative information.”
A great place to start communicating your market analysis is on your blog. Don’t let your site sit static. Content drives visitors, improves SEO, and generates more online interactions.
Don’t think you have time to blog? There are resources all around that will help you create quick yet insightful content.
All real estate practitioners write a comparative market analysis (CMA) for their clients – try repurposing some of that information for your blog post, said Hata. How about everyday questions you answer for clients – you know those long e-mails you type out? Copy and paste that info into a blog post, Lublin suggested (removing any personal client info, of course).
Carroll is on REALTOR.org everyday pulling resources that she can communicate back to clients, such as toolkits and customer handouts.
“It’s my job as a REALTOR® to give my consumers information they can’t Google,” said Hata. “In my market, I have to be that way.”
HouseLogic’s REALTOR® Content Resource has the main purpose of providing content that members can reuse, share, post, or add to e-newsletters. It’s always being updated with articles on topics buyers and sellers care about. Plus, your dues pay for it, so why not take advantage of it, said Hata.
Other technological gems from panelists to try for your business:
Follr.me or About.me: Online social business card sites where you can point people to your Facebook, Twitter, Web site, blog, etc.
Hootsuite: Desktop application that allows you to manage all your social media channels.