I just finished reading a post by Joe Spake asking the question, Does Social Media Encourage REALTOR® Spammers? In this post he brings about an excellent point about Hard Selling yourself & services instead of using social media the way it was intended to be used. As a soft sell. So what are the differences?
ALWAYS Ask Everyone You Come in Contact with this: "Do You Know Anyone Looking to Buy or Sell Real Estate?"
Man, haven't we all heard this line before at least 200 times through our real estate career. This hard sell technique has been ingrained into our minds that we must ask every single person this. What if we didn't ask and they were really looking for a house? *Gasp*
Welcome to Real Estate 2.0- Home of the Soft Sell!
What the heck is Real Estate 2.0? Real Estate 2.0 is a way of marketing yourself through the use of various social media strategies. This includes the use of a real estate blog, twitter, facebook, youtube, etc. Another way of explaining this is using marketing & media avenues that encourage a two way stream of communication between you & the consumer. As Jeff Turner calls it, YEO, "You Engaging Others."
This Soft Sell Idea Seems Pretty Lame, nobody will know I work in Real Estate! On the contrary, if you use the soft sell technique in RE 2.0, you will build your business faster than ever! So what is soft selling? You are still trying to market yourself to clients and get the word out about your business, but it is done without the "in your face" mentality. Those that follow you on the social media sites can easily read the about me section and know quickly what you do for a living. When you engage someone, they will take the time to find out what you do for a living and actually care about the info they read. When you engage readers, there is no need to constantly say, "I work in real estate! I work in real estate!" because they will have already connected enough with you to know that basic information.
Stop Telling Everyone Your Profession in Every Post!
One of the easiest ways to begin implementing the soft sell techniques of Web 2.0 is right here on your ActiveRain Blog. Instead of writing about this new listing you have, or how you would love the opportunity to help someone buy or sell a property & using the Hard Sell technique which will turn off consumers instantly & makes you look like a desperate REALTOR®, maybe try a few of these ideas:
- Write about your favorite restaurant.
- The amenities of a development.
- Your favorite fishing hole.
- Local Golf Courses
- Festivals in Your Area.
- State Parks
- Changes in the Lending Industry
- Market Stats for an Area
- Local Charities
Lastly remember that site called Localism! It will be your best friend at perfecting the art of Soft Selling. I could list hundreds of other ideas of things to use for soft selling yourself. Writing posts for Localism & your Outside Blog is great ways to promote you with soft sell.
Why do I have to use this "soft sell" approach? The reason you need to change your marketing strategy over to a soft sell approach is because with popularity of Google & other search engines at an all-time high, more and more consumers are coming online to find the information they want. They are not coming to see how many designations you have, how many sales you have completed this month either. Real estate marketing is no longer all about you!
As consumers become more interested in the information you offer, they will also in turn become more interested in you. Here is an example i wrote a few months back. I wrote about one of my favorite restaurants in a post titled:Rioz Brazilian Steakhouse in Myrtle Beach is not a Meal, it's a Feast! and then I wrote a followup to that post titled, Do You Let Local Businesses Know You Appreciate Them? A simple Marketing Idea. This was a simple soft sell technique that landed me some really good PR within one of the major local restaurant chains.
I promise you if you begin using these tips diligently, you will increase your social media presence beyond your wildest imagination in no time! So get to it!
I am the Co-Founder of 210 Consulting- Social Media Advisors. I have traveled the country as a social media speaker. If you would like more information on any of the topics discussed in this blog, please contact me directly. We specialize in social media training, online consulting, and the creation of your own custom WordPress site.
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