I get asked this question all the time: “Can I really close more business using social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and a blog?”
The answer is YES!
I know that many are skeptical, so I interviewed quite a few REALTORS® to find out what their experience has been over the past year. The evidence is in…
But before we get to the results, I want to answer another question that I frequently get from REALTORS®: “Do I need to be active on all of these sites and how do they integrate with one another?”
The answer is YES!
We are experiencing a fundamental shift in the way we communicate and you need to be capable of communicating with the consumer via their preferred method if you want to survive in today’s business environment.
Your blog is the foundation of your online presence — the destination — and social network sites are like the roads and freeways leading back to your destination.
On to the results:
On average, the REALTORS® I spoke with have closed three to five additional transactions as a direct result of their activity on Facebook. The average sale price was approximately $310,000 which gave the REALTOR® somewhere in the neighborhood of an extra $30,000 to $37,000 in annual income.
It is important to note that these REALTORS® tell me they only spend one to two hours a day on Facebook, at the very most. In fact, most of them are relatively new to social networking and only work on Facebook. One gentleman I spoke to last week has only been on Facebook for five weeks and just took a listing for $1.1 million (I did not include this in the above averages).
A friend and fellow REALTOR® in Austin, Texas was telling me that she is getting extraordinary results with Twitter. She uses it to promote events, and has experienced as much as 60 percent growth in her event attendance. She also uses Twitter to communicate with dozens of buyers and sellers. She said Twitter is their preferred method of communicating!
A past REALTOR® of mine e-mailed me this week to say that despite his doubts about Twitter, he decided to setup an account and see what it is all about. He did a search for “San Diego” and saw a tweet where someone was asking for info on the short sale process; he sent the person a Direct Message (DM) and immediately got a response. Long story short, he took the listing and got an accepted offer within one week.
This shocked me! Most of the REALTORS® I spoke with were just beginning to experiment with YouTube and have yet to close any deals from YouTube. However everyone who I spoke with that is using video marketing tells me the traffic to their blog has picked up considerably with the use of video marketing.
Of the more online-savvy, I found REALTORS® telling me that they average more than 50 percent of their business from their blogging efforts. The average transaction for this group was in the mid-$500,000 range. The interesting fact I learned here is that several of these REALTORS® have yet to close any business from Facebook.
So, in my opinion, all of these activities can result in closing more deals! It is really important to integrate all of your online efforts so that you leverage the power of Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to attract consumers back to your blog, the destination.
Drew Burks has built a brokerage in San Diego, Dream Design Realty, with a unique twist on an old business model. His Web site is devoted to helping real estate pros succeed with technology: www.WebRealEstateTools.com.