How Realtors can make the most of LinkedIn
LinkedIn can be an incredibly powerful networking tool. It's traditionally used by people seeking employment opportunities and other professional connections, but it has a number of other applications that can be highly beneficial for real estate agents.
In this post, we're going to talk about some of these applications and share actionable tips on how to use LinkedIn for your real estate business.
Show off your credentials & expertise
After receiving a referral for a real estate agent, most buyers and sellers hit the internet next. They want to see proof of what the recommended Realtor can do and get a feel for their personality. A recent marketing email I received from LinkedIn actually put it perfectly:
"Your LinkedIn profile isn’t a resume—it’s your online reputation."
LinkedIn is one of the absolute best opportunities to share who you are because you're expected to brag. And when it comes to showing potential buyers and sellers how awesome you are, a little bragging can go a long way. In fact, buyer and sellers look up Realtors online after they've received a referral to confirm they're a good fit for business.
With that in mind, the first thing you'll want to do on your LinkedIn profile is make it as complete as possible. Let's talk about the sections available to work with:
This is where you put your 5 second sales pitch. Include your awards, sales figures, years of service--anything that proves you're an expert in the field of real estate. If you're the #1 agent in your area, mention it. Only #9? Tell the world you're one of the top 10 local agents.
You'll also be able to put together a one-sentence summary of what you do. Come up with something creative and snappy that summarizes what you have to offer. Here's an example of mine:
Definitely include your current job and then use your discretion for the rest of your career history. One of the cool things about LinkedIn, especially compared to a traditional resume, is that you only have to go back as far as you want to. It's completely normal to only list your most recent job or two, so you don't have to include anything that extends beyond your real estate career--unless you want to, of course. Again, just use your discretion and remember that nobody needs to know you flipped burgers in high school.
One other tip for creating a stand-out career history is to add pictures. LinkedIn allows you to attach up to two pieces of media to any job and those pieces of media can really make a profile pop. Just check out this example from Melissa's profile:
The priority for this section is post-secondary education, which includes college or university. Just like your experience section, you'll want to put in just enough information to make you sound awesome. For example, if you only spent a year, then don't include the date range. If you skipped college entirely, just leave the section blank and it will automatically disappear from your public profile.
You can also include high school information, if you want, but this is typically only recommended if you are still local to the area or if you're building a bigger story about how you relocated from Point A to B because Point B is so amazing.
Skills & Endorsements
Ok, this is one of the coolest features of LinkedIn because it builds up your credibility with very little effort. LinkedIn automatically prompts people you're connected with to endorse the skills you say you have (and even add some of their own), basically creating a natural set of honest referrals. It even highlights people who endorse a skill if they are also recognized for having the same skill, adding an extra layer of legitimacy to this process.
Ask a few friends and past clients to endorse you when you're first getting started, then you can let LinkedIn take it from there. As you build up more connections, you'll give yourself more opportunities to build endorsements.
Even more powerful than endorsements, Recommendations are a great way to show the world that you're awesome! Ask your former clients or other industry professionals to share a few words about their experience working with you. Even just one recommendation adds a huge visual boost to your profile.
Next up: accomplishments! Anything you've done that you're proud of should go here, including awards won and accolades received. You can also include courses, such as university of NAR specialty courses, as well as certifications.
Last but not least, you can follow a few groups and companies on LinkedIn and they will show up as your interests. Like the rest of your profile, you want to keep this relevant and professional. A few suggestions for groups include your brokerage, the National Association of Realtors, and—of course—Real Estate Webmasters.
Network with everyone you know
Once your profile is set up, the real fun begins! It's time to start networking with your friends, family, clients, and colleagues. LinkedIn is all about connections and the more you have, the more likely you are to cross paths with a potential client.
When people look up other people on LinkedIn, it automatically shares how connected you are, using a simple ranking system:
- 1st degree- connected with you on LinkedIn
- 2nd degree - you share a mutual 1st degree LinkedIn connection
- 3rd degree - you share a mutual 2nd degree LinkedIn connection
Not only do these degrees create a sense of community and closeness, but they're also a built-in referral system. It's super simple for someone to reach out to their friend and ask about a 2nd degree connection. But even if people don't actually reach out, just seeing you connected to someone they like is a positive thing and will reflect well on you. Use LinkedIn to connect to as many people as possible!
Nurture your LinkedIn network
The next thing you'll want to do is nurture your network. Now, it's really important to remember that people on LinkedIn typically aren't looking for houses. They go to a real estate agent or website if they want to do that. Instead, you just want to remind them that you exist and are awesome at what you do, so they choose you down the line when they are looking for property.
Here are a few things you can do to nurture your LinkedIn network:
- Share blog posts to your feed
- Share posts to other valuable articles & websites
- Use showcase pages to share your listings
- Join local groups & participate in the conversations
- Message people when LinkedIn notifies you of their life changes, like a new job
We've actually heard of Realtors successfully using this last tip to target people who have been promoted into high-paying positions and can suddenly afford a better home!
At the end of the day, LinkedIn is a social network and you need to be genuinely social to use it effectively. But if you share content, take an interest in the people around you, and build up your network, you can create a powerful online presence that will help you convert referrals into clients and mine new opportunities from your existing connections.