It’s sometimes easy to forget that LinkedIn is a social media platform. After all, there aren’t many pictures of food or pets, no funny memes for viral tweets. While it’s all business, it’s also a social media platform — with all the marketing and networking potential of Facebook or Instagram.
This isn’t just empty conjecture — there are numbers to back it up. According to a study by Hubspot, LinkedIn has a conversation rate that’s a staggering 277% higher than Facebook’s. The conversion rate on Facebook is 0.77%, while LinkedIn’s is a robust 2.74%. (Twitter’s is even lower than Facebook’s at 0.69%.)
And while LinkedIn has far fewer users than platforms like Twitter or Facebook, the people on LinkedIn are precisely the people you want to reach (i.e., financially successful professionals). These are people who want to buy and sell homes, are actively looking for real estate agents, and who have the means to engage in large transactions. LinkedIn shouldn’t be an afterthought for real estate agents — it’s arguably your most important social media platform!
Let’s talk about how real estate agents can leverage LinkedIn to generate leads and grow their brand.
Like any social media platform, everything starts with your profile. You want your LinkedIn profile to convey professionalism, expertise, legitimacy, friendliness, and concrete accomplishments and credentials.
If you have a professional headshot you’re happy with that you use on Facebook or Instagram, go ahead and copy it over. This isn’t laziness — on the contrary, you want your visual branding to be consistent across all social media platforms!
Don’t forget to include a good banner image, as this is often the first thing people look at. If you have a striking accolade or an influential testimonial, consider including it on your banner image.
Double check to make sure all your professional credentials, awards, accreditations, and experience numbers are accurate and up to date. But don’t keep it too businesslike — you want an element of human warmth, too, to give yourself some personality.
If you have any unique hobbies — if you’ve won your fantasy football league six years running, or if you foster stray dogs or volunteer with seniors — put that in there too!
Once you’ve got your profile built up, start reaching out to people in your industry — but not only in your industry.
LinkedIn is great about suggesting contacts for you, so you can start by reviewing those suggested connections. At the same time, forge connections with influential industry figures even if you don’t have a personal connection. A good way to do this is to reach out with a personal message introducing yourself, and asking to connect. They’re getting something out of a new connection too, so don’t think of this as begging.
Make sure you reach out to people who aren’t in real estate. This could include past professional contacts from before you worked in real estate, but also applies to influential local figures like marketers, business executives, event planners, and other real estate-adjacent people.
One small but important tip: Don’t spam out dozens or hundreds of requests at once. Build your network slowly and organically!
If you’re on Facebook, you probably know that some of the most effective spaces for networking are real estate-related groups. It’s the same on LinkedIn. Finding groups that share your professional interests — or are receptive to them — will make your marketing and networking efforts exponentially more effective.
And it’s a two-way street: As you join and engage in groups, you’ll learn about the needs and frustrations of prospective home buyers and sellers as they navigate the market. That is real, up-to-date information that’s absolutely invaluable to you as a real estate agent, and which should inform and shape your professional efforts.
The majority of people don’t post on LinkedIn, but it’s a great way to distinguish yourself from the competition — an absolute must for a real estate agent.
You’ve probably heard the saying that “all politics are local.” The same rule applies to real estate. People are concerned, first and foremost, with their local market. That means you should shy away from big-picture posts about the national market or national trends. Look at your local market. Then, focus on neighborhoods that are of interest to your target demographic.
Use local market stats you have access to in order to produce informative posts. How fast are homes selling in certain neighborhoods? Are days on market trending up or down? What are the latest price forecasts? What does the last year or two of local data suggest about the best and worst times to sell or buy a home? What kind of home features are popular (or not popular) with local buyers? This kind of post is absolutely invaluable to potential clients and is a surefire way to not only demonstrate expertise and authority, but most importantly, to attract leads.
Don’t forget that you can also use hashtags to increase the reach of these posts and get eyeballs on them from people who are outside your network.
Like any other social media platform, you’ll never establish a strong brand presence if you drop in once or twice a month just to post a little content and then leave. LinkedIn is a commitment, and you’ll want to establish a frequent, consistent presence by visiting and interacting several times a week.
That doesn’t necessarily mean you need to be generating original content every time you log on. Sharing and liking relevant posts can be just as effective. And boosting and recommending other peoples’ content can be a great way to establish connections, as well as boosting your own presence.
Luke Babich is the CEO and co-founder of Clever Real Estate.