Inbound marketing is a growing buzzword in the real estate industry. There are tons of articles, videos, and blogs full of strategies and tips for using inbound marketing methods in real estate. But if you’re like many real estate professionals, you might see these and think “I don’t have time for all of that. It’s not worth the effort.” But what if we told you that inbound marketing can boost your lead generation, grow your business, and ultimately make you more money?
Better yet, what if we showed you someone who can prove it?
Over the next few months, we’ll be talking with real estate professionals who prove that inbound marketing works. Whether they’ve amped up their lead gen through Twitter, made valuable local connections on Facebook, or increased their web traffic by blogging, these people have put inbound to work for their business and can see the results.
Our first inbound marketing spotlight is on David Welch, an Orlando real estate agent and social media maven also known as @RealtyOptimist. David has leveraged social media to brand himself as an expert in Orlando homes, and with over 25,000 Twitter followers, he’s definitely doing something right. I talked with David to find out more about his strategies, tools, and success in social media.
How does social media help your business?
I began blogging on my Pipeline ROI site (formerly an a la mode Agent XSite) in 2008, taking my site traffic from about 200 page views per day to over 7,000. I began working in Facebook business pages, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google+, and Pinterest. Twitter, however really clicks for me personally, and I put my most of my social media ‘effort’ into those 140 character blogs. My regular blog RealEstateOptimist.com is still critical, but I clearly don’t post multiple times per day like I do with Twitter.
My social media strategy has accounted for about 75-80% of my business each year since 2009. I have also specifically used social media to portray myself as the local expert to the traditional media. This has allowed me to be quoted in The Orlando Sentinel, The Orlando Business Journal, Market Watch, BusinessWeek, Florida Trend Magazine, and I have been interviewed by Channel 13 News, Channel 6 News, and Fox 35 Orlando News. I have even been on HGTV’s House Hunters as a direct result of people following my posts.
Do you use any apps or tools to track or manage your Twitter page?
I have been using Twiends for some time now to help develop my presence on Twitter. This app has helped beef up my following, which in turn attracts other organic followers. Many of the local journalists and news anchors now follow me. I also use Twitaholic to monitor my progress, and Tweepi to help clean my account from time to time.
Where do you find the content that you share?
First, I use Twitter daily to promote links to my own site content, listings, and my other social media outlets.
Second, I use it to promote some of my key followers that I interact with regularly.
Third, I use it to promote other interests that I have – I am a big fan of my alma mater UCF, and actually helped with a social media giving campaign they ran last year.
Fourth, I share local stories about Orlando that come from traditional media.
Finally, I go on Yahoo and share relevant stories about the economy, finance, mortgage and real estate.
What would you tell an agent who doesn’t think social media is a valuable marketing tool?
I can go on my Facebook business page and promote a post about a listing for $20 and have 3,000- 7,000 people see it. One third of this job is contacting people, one third is contracting sales and one third is closing the transaction. Social media is a great tool you can use to leverage your time and money to meet a huge number of potential customers. I have also gotten a number of referrals from agents in other parts of Florida and the country as a direct result of my social media strategy.
What advice would you give to an agent just starting on social media?
When you first start out, you will need to be very active on it before you may see results. If you already have a client base, be sure to reach out to those past customers and connect with them. Also, make sure you are always cross marketing each of your social media outlets with the others.
David’s the perfect example of how a smart social media strategy can be used to boost lead generation, website traffic, and thought leadership for any real estate professional. Social media isn’t always easy, and it can take some time and effort to really build your following. But any free (or low-cost) marketing tool that can account for 75-80% of a real estate agent’s business is definitely worth a shot for any pro looking to grow their market share. Follow David on Twitter for more ideas on the best content to share on social media.
If you’re a current Pipeline ROI customer, sharing to social media is a simple process from our inbound marketing dashboard. Simply log in to the dashboard by going to YourURL.com/inboundmarketing (for example, if your site is SellingMiamiMetro.com, you’d type SellingMiamiMetro.com/inboundmarketing into your browser.) From the Promote tab, you can easily share listings, open houses, blog posts, and other content to Facebook or Twitter in just a few clicks. If you’d like to see a one-on-one walkthrough of our inbound marketing platform, just give us a call at 866-300-1550 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d be happy to show you around!
If you’re interested in learning more about the best social media strategies for real estate professionals, check out our free eBook: The real estate marketer’s guide to social media, below.