The Expert Panel, sponsored by the Seattle King County Association of Realtors, was a huge success.
The panelists provided so many great marketing ideas. Here are some of the highlights by the panel members:
Mike Carpenter (Aka: Mike the Money Man) suggested that you try out social media tools and decide which ones you enjoy. If you can have fun with the tools, i.e. Twitter, you will be more likely to use them. If, on the other hand, you perceive it as just too much work, you will just drop it. Mike uses social networking to stay in touch with friends, his sphere and clients. Mike mentioned that social media tools help him do the things he is supposed to do. For example, Biznik.com is a way for Mike to be introduced to people online, but it is up to him to meet them face to face- either through a live networking event or a meeting at Starbucks.
Kendra Todd, former winner of the Apprentice, believes in creating a brand and knowing what you stand for before you go online. Her creative tagline is: "She's No Apprentice When it Comes to Real Estate." Kendra uses Facebook to stay in touch with her sphere - the most important source of her business. She is on LinkedIn for more formal business connections. However, she believes that social media is just one of the tools you should use to generate business. Kendra has a database of over 20,000 and uses a CRM (Customer Relations Management System) to stay in touch consistently with her database. That is one of the keys to her success. Kendra suggests a database and a CRM system is essential to the success of a real estate professional.
Rich Jacobson ( Aka: The Kitsap Agent) has written over 1500 blogs. He is on social media platforms as well. However, his belief is that consumers would like real estate professionals to be open and transparent. They want to get to know you. In writing his blogs, Rich provides valuable real estate information, markets his listings and shares lifestyle features, like his love of family and life on Hood Canal- especially crabbing. His blogs allow people to get to know him before they even call him to come list their home or help them purchase a home. His blogs, which he "weaves into the fabric of his days," establish trust and rapport, so prospects come to him. Don't you think it is rather nice to have clients and customers raise their hands and ask YOU for help?
Each panelist shared their approach and their expertise so generously. One of the most valuable lessons is that each agent made sure they created their own brand and developed a consistent online presence. Most agents don't even think about branding themselves. Obviously, it works. Thank you, Panelists!