As a real estate agent, have you ever really thought about who your ideal customer is? You see, real estate agents, when asked to define their perfect customer, too often times say, “anyone looking to buy, sell or lease real estate.” The truth is, that’s very rarely the case. In most cases, agents only want to work in specific areas, specific price ranges and so forth.
We all say we want more leads, more listings and more buyers. This statement is true, but it’s also vague and general in nature. If I gave you a “hot lead” that was a $30,000 trailer home listing, you would probably throw rocks at me. As an expert agent, you need to recognize and understand exactly who is your “perfect customer.” Your perfect customer isn’t just anyone looking to buy, sell, or lease real estate. Your perfect customer is … wait for it … ANOTHER REAL ESTATE AGENT!
Customers don’t bring you signed contracts with earnest money out of the blue. It’s other agents who bring you contracts signed, with earnest money. So why are you viewing other agents as competition instead of co-opetition? Chances are, when you list a home, the agents who also farm your area have potential buyers. So why not reach out to them and become friends? Especially on social media! If you’re a real estate agent who mostly represents buyers, you rely on the listing agents to produce inventory. The opposite is true as well. If you are a listing agent, you need buyer’s agents to sell your homes. There’s one thing that I almost guarantee you will never see as a real estate agent. No random buyer or seller will just show up with a fully executed contract and earnest money all on their own.
So with that paradigm shift in mind, understand that a real estate agent’s perfect customer is another real estate agent. Allow me to introduce you to something that I call the social media syndicate. This is how you can use the power of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus, or whatever social media platform you like, to gain influence online. The power of the social media syndicate is vast.
I want to start off by stating the golden rule of sales and social media: “To have good friends you have to become a great friend.” That means you’re always going to have to go above and beyond and give more than your friends do. That’s what leaders do. That’s leadership 101, and that’s expertise at its finest. That also means you have to be the one to take action first. You can’t just sit back and expect other real estate agents and people in your sphere of influence to take action first. You must be proactive and cause them to become reactive.
The first step in creating a social media syndicate as a real estate agent is to start surfing Facebook. Start looking around on Facebook for real estate agents you already know. Other agents who are in your office and people you’ve written a contract with before are ideal. By the way, every time you get a contract from another real estate agent, from this moment on, make sure that you become friends on Facebook or Twitter or whatever. As you’re looking on other agent’s Facebook walls, find the last listing that was posted and simply hit the share button. After that, they go from putting their post up and having maybe 400 of their friends see the post, to showing their listing to your friends as well. Let’s say you have 400 friends, this means their exposure just doubled, and now potentially 800 sets of eyes can look at that property. Be sure to put a call to action in your personal posting/sharing. A call to action can be something like this: “My friend Ryan Stewman just listed this beautiful home in Frisco. If you or anyone you know is looking in that area, contact me – I love working with Ryan.”
The second step in this process is a gimme. Since you @tagged the agent’s name when you shared the listing, Facebook will automatically do a couple of cool things. It will send the agent a notification alert as well as an e-mail notifying them that they were mentioned in a post. This demonstrates that you are proactively helping them market their listing. This sparks in the human mind something that is commonly referred to as the “law of reciprocity.” Essentially, the law of reciprocity dictates that if I do something for you, you feel as if you owe me one – assuming you are not a sociopath. This should open them up to the next step.
The third step in the process comes when you get your next listing or when you have a buyer. At that point you reach back out to those same real estate agents whose properties you shared and individually ask them this: “I just got a listing in an area where I know you’re an active agent. I’ve shared your stuff in the past – would you mind sharing this property for me? You may have a Facebook friend who wants to buy this house. Make sure you put your own call to action in the post. Matter of fact, I read this blog post about a social media syndicate and I’d like to talk to you about what that means.”
The last step in the process is all about the numbers. The truth is, if I have 2500 Facebook friends and my friend Chris has 5000 Facebook friends, and we’re both in the real estate business, if we agree to share each other’s real estate links, I’m getting double my exposure every time he shares my posts. He’s getting an extra 2500 sets of eyes every time he has a listing as well. It’s not just about real estate agents either. Get your loan officer, appraiser, inspector, title rep, escrow officer, credit repair person and everyone else you use to help you share the love. Just remember that you have to GIVE to GET.
When I first tested this back in May 2011, we had a real estate agent try it with a few friends. Within four hours, he got over 25,000 different potential sets of eyes on his property. He then got it under contract within a week. The social media syndicate is powerful. Stop looking at other agents as competition, and start utilizing them to help you do your thing. You are the leader when it comes to this. You must make this happen and organize the process.
My challenge to you today is this: Go out and find five people with whom you regularly do business and ask them to form a social media syndicate with you. Contact your appraiser, inspector, title company, lender, a couple of friends or whatever it takes. Start your very own social media syndicate. The next time you are on a listing appointment, incorporate the power of the syndicate and demonstrate to your sellers how YOU can get tens of thousands of eyes on their property via social media. The difference between knowledge and success is action. Now GO DO SOMETHING!