RISMedia's Real Estate Magazine

FEB 2018

Real Estate magazine is the industry's leading source for real estate news and information since 1980. Published monthly by RISMedia, Real Estate magazine offers timely and relevant real estate news to the industry's top brokers and agents.

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RISMedia's REAL ESTATE February 2018 37 It's difficult to deny that social me- dia has surpassed traditional media, including cable television, with re- spect to audience engagement, time spent, and media consumed. Equally undeniable is the fact that the larg- est, most socially engaged and technology-dependent demographic in the history of the world has made social media the most powerful mar- keting channel. Millennials have be- come the largest segment of buyers and potential buyers in the history of the United States. This shift in mar- keting is creating opportunities for real estate brokerages to build one- to-one relationships with this group of customers like never before. Brokerages should be investing ag- gressively in social media, becoming the experts at using this channel to engage and interact with tomorrow's customers, today. After almost two decades of con- sulting brokerages, I can imagine that most would be asking the 64 million-dollar question: How? Build- ing relationships with millennials requires social media specialization to maximize value. It's important to note that if you don't already have a social media specialist on staff, it's time to recruit and hire one, or find qualified third parties that can assist. Statistical data proves that rec- ommendations and referrals from people via social media channels convert to clients at more than 70 percent, which is incrementally bet- ter than the traditional 2 - 3 percent conversion rates from channels like online portal leads. Add to this the fact that in 2015 and 2016, almost 80 percent of all revenue gener- ated in real estate was procured via spheres of influence, not from random strangers. While the meth- ods for connecting with people are evolving, the concept of persuading and influencing customers through direct contact is a time-honored practice that works. The cliché that real estate is a belly-to-belly activity still holds true, though the approach is shifting dramatically. Social me- dia presence and targeted engage- ment is proving to deliver the high- est returns on investment for those that understand how social media "works." Additionally, brokerages that focus on social media as a cornerstone for their marketing mix are emerging as the leaders in recruiting efforts while simultaneously finding new custom- ers and business opportunities for fractions of the customer acquisi- tion costs compared to traditional methods. The greatest challenge for most brokerages is that they lack the necessary knowledge to create an effective and impactful social media strategy. Fortunately, companies like Elm Street Technology offer social media consultation at the brokerage level and provide free social media bootcamps for agents onsite in the brokerage office. If the plan is to grow your business with the largest demographic of con- sumers in world history—and you agree that social media is a cost- effective method—invest the time to create a robust social media strat- egy, or invite professionals to help you map out a plan. Avoid being anti- social and embrace more millennials with a commitment toward building more relationships. RE Frank Chimento is vice president of Brokerage Development at Elm Street Technology. For more information, visit www.elmstreettechnology.com. Is Your Brokerage Millennial- Social or Anti-Social? Commentary by Frank Chimento I t seems that with each passing week, another report, study or survey is published pointing to the impact social media can have on a real estate agent's marketing mix. Coincidently, this data suggests a direct correlation with the world's largest and most powerful market segment: millennials. While many real estate agents are attempting to embrace social media channels in their marketing mix, real estate brokerages are noticeably absent.

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