Posts Tagged ‘Social Media’

Petra Sprekos

Is Your Agency Socially Ready?

In March, Facebook has become the world’s most visited site, trumping even Google.  So whilst some people are still skeptical about social media’s longevity – this latest further cements that the social phenomenon is unlikely to face its demise any time soon.

The Social Media Landscape In Australia

Australians are amongst some of the world’s largest creators and consumers of social content online.  We as Australian’s now spend over 8 hours per month on social sites alone, this is 1.5 hours greater than the world average.

So where are they?

Statistics show;

-           59% of all online Australians have a profile on Facebook

-           Twitter receives over 1.2 million unique visitors a month

-          LinkedIn in Australia has over 1 million subscribers

With all of this activity in the social space agents therefore need to consider how social media fits into their plan.   Many agents are however of course confused about where to start.

For agents I believe the first crucial step is to develop/put a social media policy in place for your agency or franchise group.

Real-Estate-Social-Media

Why is a social media policy important for your agency?

With social media, consumers and staff alike are empowered to have their say online and share their views amongst their family, friends as well as associates and professional contacts.   With traditional word of mouth, disappointed consumers tell 8 to 9 people about their unsatisfactory experience, however online this is magnified through the social phenomenon – with some people having in-excess of 300 friends on Facebook or 1,000 people following them on Twitter.

To ensure your agency staff are singing from the same song sheet it is important to put in place some guiding principles to avoid an online disaster.

Here are our top tips;

1) Define who is responsible? One of the first steps is to identify who within your organization is responsible for monitoring your staff and your brand online.  This is of particular importance to deliver effective resolution of complaints and to ensure staff are not disclosing sensitive business information.  It is important that this individual becomes the internal champion of social media and that they regularly communicate with the organisation about the organizations policies as well as any issues that have arisen and how they have been dealt with.

2) Define the boundaries; The lines between social and professional become blurred within the social space.  Many of your staff may be connected to both social and professional contacts through their Facebook profile and therefore they need to ensure they consider this when sharing information online.  An unhappy staff member may vent their frustrations online without considering the professional ramifications of such an act.  As a result it is really important that you set guidelines about what can and cannot be discussed about your organization in the public domain.  This also includes boundaries for how to / and how not to respond to client frustrations or general consumer enquiries.

3) Be Genuine / Authentic - If you have had a consumer complaint the last thing you want to do is provide them with lip service or some standard generic marketing message. The savvy online consumer can sniff a fake from a mile away and this will only inflate the situation rather than ensure a good resolution is found.

4) Consider Your Audience

When educating your staff about operating in the social space it is important for them to consider who will see / read information and complaints about your agency.   Whilst we may feel frustrated by consumer’s negative comments, your response will not only be seen by the unsatisfied client but by potential customers, and current / future employees.   Staff members need to understand the full ramifications of their actions and by acting inappropriately this may impact future sales or attraction of staff.

5) Don’t ignore it

Peer to peer discussion, reviews and interaction online is highly influential.  Ignoring the social space will not make it go away, rather it leaves you vulnerable in an industry where consumers have more knowledge and power than ever.

Any other tips please share them below.

Follow me on Twitter

Kevin Turner

Don’t get caught up in the ‘must be last in’ debate

When I started in real estate (too many years ago to want to tell you), I was trained that when I am presenting for a listing that its best to be the last agent in.  It made a lot of sense to me then but it makes no sense now.

Back in ’88 (there I have given it away), we didn’t have databases, social media or other forms of marketing ideas that would allow us to become a person’s agent before they needed one.

Your goal nowadays should be focussed around being the ‘only agent’ called in, not the one who wants to go last.

People are now very time poor and do a lot of their research about agents over the internet, because it’s more convenient for them.

Most simply don’t have the time to interview lots of agents, so you need to make sure that they like what they find out about you over the internet.

Another point – imagine being the poor seller who has to sit through 2 to 3 presentations, several hours each, to make a decision about the best agent.  My guess is that after 2 it would be hard to stay awake let alone make a decision.

Interested in others thoughts on this…

Follow me on Twitter