eNetworking pro shares five simple ways to get more mileage out of social media
By Dinah Wisenberg Brin
Jay O’Brien ended his first year in real estate with 14 closed transactions at more than $4 million in total sales volume. To be more precise – he accomplished it all in just nine months after joining RE/MAX Prestige in Anaheim Hills, Calif., in March 2012. What’s the new 100 Percent Club member’s secret to his early success?
“Social media is my bread and butter,” O’Brien says.
He recently gave a presentation to his office on how to use social media effectively as a marketing tool, and he’s also mentoring new agents. He’s already seen success with the first agent he coached, who closed three transactions in one month.
Here are his tips for turning social media into a surefire source of leads:
1. KEEP IT REAL
While most real estate professionals use social media in some capacity, O’Brien employs a subtly assertive approach to online interactions – especially on Facebook – rather than hard sell his real estate business. O’Brien uses his personal Facebook account for all of his postings, rather than a separate professional page, and the majority of his posts aren’t directly related to real estate at all.
2. STRIKE UP A CONVERSATION
Client testimonials, just-sold announcements and other real estate-related content account for just one in every four of his social media posts, O’Brien says. He spends most of his time online (about an hour a day) posting personal messages and birthday greetings to his more than 1,200 Facebook friends, along with posts about popular culture and anything else that interests him.
3. MAKE AN IMPRESSION
Multiple daily impressions reach a wide swath of O’Brien’s friends and friends-of-friends – even friends of those friends – many times each day with content that’s of interest to them. It also reminds them that O’Brien can help them with their real estate needs. “It’s like he’s at a cocktail party interacting with people, but he’s reaching thousands of people at a time,” says RE/MAX Prestige Broker/Owner Sammer Mudawar.
4. EXPLORE OTHER CHANNELS
O’Brien posts short, educational videos to his YouTube channel that also generate leads, and he contributes frequently to the real estate forum activerain.com, where he refers to himself as an “anti-Realtor” because of
his soft-sell approach.
5. FOLLOW THROUGH WITH EXCELLENT SERVICE
Most of O’Brien’s clients are first-time homebuyers between 24 and 35 years old. To better assist them, O’Brien offers counseling sessions to go over market conditions and helps coach them through the homebuying process. When it’s time for them to purchase a home, or when a friend asks for a referral, O’Brien is top of mind.
After the tragic shooting that took place last December in Connecticut, Jay O’Brien had an idea to help. The following morning he created an event on Facebook to host a community support activity, involving a couple of banners for everyone in Orange County to gather publically and sign a message to the victims of Sandy Hook Elementary. He would then deliver the banners to the Newtown School District to show love and support from the west coast.
“It’s a great example of how, in just 24 hours, an idea can become reality and make a significant impact through the proper utilization of social media,” O’Brien says.
Although the event was not about building leads or capturing new business, it’s this kind of interaction and using social media to inform and entertain, rather than to promote his business, that keeps O’Brien’s network growing and engaged. And yes, some of those online friends send referrals his way.
Click here for examples of client testimonials on Jay’s website.