Real estate agents have traditionally added prospects to their sales funnels through print advertising, direct mail, cold calling, and even door knocking. More recently some have relied on the Internet to generate leads through their personal websites, or by purchasing leads from a variety of real estate oriented national/international sites.
In the model below, insert your various social channels for a refined gathering and filtering process. In fact, an astute social media guru can enhance their sales funnel even farther, read on.
The concept of the sales funnel involves the transformation of a large pool of so called “cold” leads, or unqualified prospects, into a concentrated stream of actual customers. Social networks are a good fit for this concept, and more and more agents are beginning to see the power of social media in developing the kinds of relationships that transform strangers into loyal customers.
Social media allows agents to establish a more focused and targeted approach to filling the funnel by seeking out, “friending”, or following people that share similar interests or match a desired customer demographic, such as education level, age or specific geographic location.
They Don't Call It SOCIAL Media for Nothing
For business success in social media, no matter what social platform you find your strengths in,(Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.), you must Engage! Engagement is all about providing relevant content, listening, responding, and in so doing engaging potential customers in two way communication. Author and new media guru, Brian Solis (below imparting a secret) who researches and writes extensively on interactions within the social networks, brings the point home in his latest book Engage!
Put aside the normal historical approach of push, or interruption marketing for the permission marketing approach described by Seth Godin over 10 years ago. To put it simply, this general, ongoing stream of "conversation" in social media enhances relationships and makes the agent more real, and approachable to potential customers.
Continual client relations can be smoothly carried out via social media, as a positive transaction tends to strengthen the friendship or relationship bond, which is effectively continued and strengthened through regular social media interaction. For example, staying in touch with inactive clients through Facebook may be as simple as posting a happy birthday greeting or congratulations on accomplishment or family event on a client’s wall. Something that simple can actually be a very powerful engagement element.
In future posts we will explore more specific social media platforms and techniques that will help bring real estate agents into the world of modern marketing and lead generation. In the mean time, while you wait for that next client call, you may as well tune into the web.