It is a common sight in Facebook groups, especially those with a large following, to see one or two persons promoting real estate development. A common sight, too, is that rarely are there interactions about their posts.
Take for example my experience as a member in a 3,000-strong book lovers group where anyone from anywhere in the Philippines can share their love, or sale, of books. One time, a real estate agent with a suspicious profile photo came in, told the admin to delete his post if it is not aligned with the group’s advocacy and went on to post a promotion of a financing scheme for condominium units in Manila.
Every time I see a post like this on the social media groups where I am a member of, two things automatically pop in my mind: that the real estate agent is either too busy or too lazy to care where he will put his promotions and that he really needs help, some crash course in social selling.
No spamming, please
“It is no wonder community managers immediately ban real estate agents when they see their posts,” she said.
Another misconception, she added, is that real estate agents only talk about the properties they are selling. Constantly hard selling on social media can turn off potential clients and prompt them to unfollow or unfriend, leaving these agents with no audience to sell to.
“Agents also think that it is okay to cold-sell through inbox messages. This is definitely a misconception. If you send me a message attaching your property details without asking me for it, it is still counted as spam,” Castro pointed out.
Her advice is for agents to sincerely get to know their potential buyer, find out his problems, and build rapport with him. This increases the chances of the target client to trust the agent.
Do not ignore the statistics
With 44.2 million active Internet users and 40 million active social media accounts in the Philippines (according to www.wearesocial.sg), social media is a seemingly daunting arena for selling. This segment of the population spends an average of six hours a day using a personal computer or tablet.
The same source shows an 18 percent growth rate in the number of active social media accounts since January 2014. Facebook, Google+ and Twitter are the top social media platforms in the country.
“Get to know your potential buyer, find out his or her problems, and build rapport with him or her.” —Fleire Castro
These statistics only support the potential for social selling by real estate agents. So it is only logical to be where the audience is. Agents must have its social media presence and show their “compelling work” online.
Extend the professionalism
The problem, however, is that many agents fail to extend or connect their professionalism, suit and all, from their corporate offices or coffee shop meetings to their social media channels.
Take for example a certain agent with a Facebook Timeline cover of himself dipping in the pool, half-naked and laughing. If you are a relative looking at this, there is nothing wrong with the image. But if you are a potential buyer and see his posts about varied property formats on his wall and the distracting pool photo, the bets are high that you will not take this guy seriously.
In comparison, if you check Rent.ph President and Founder Anthony Leuterio’s social media channels, including LinkedIn, you will admire his consistency and professionalism, making you comfortable to do business with him.
[For another example, check Fleire Castro’s LinkedIn profile.]
Blink, blink, blink
The social selling process does not end with having spellbinding social media profiles. You must do the blink test next. You heard me right.
BBC News once stated, “The addictive nature of web browsing can leave you with an attention span of nine seconds—the same as a goldfish.” In fact, according to Comscore Matrix 2013 (worldwide), 90 percent of all media interactions are screen-based.
“Be there when they (targets) are paying attention.” —Fleire Castro
Not only should your social media profiles grip the attention of viewers within nine seconds, all initiatives that support your social selling processes, such as your company’s website, must do the same.
So check again your personal profile and your company’s website. Better yet, ask someone to do a nine-second blink test for you and ask them if they immediately understand what you are and what your company is selling. If they do, you’re a step ahead of the new purchase journey.
Be ready for the ‘Zero Moment of Truth’
There is indeed a new purchase journey. When before the journey only includes stimulus (awareness), first moment of truth (seeking) and second moment of truth (using), now the zero moment of truth squeezed itself after the stimulus. This refers to the ‘searching’ process when customers check reviews, blogs and other online materials before seeking the product on the shelf.
There are already assisting channels that build the awareness, consideration and intent earlier in the customer journey or purchase funnel.
“The challenge is that business buyers do not contact suppliers directly until 57 percent of the purchase process is complete. This means that within the two-thirds of the buying process, customers are out in the ether. So be there when they are paying attention,” Castro said.
Castro was one of the speakers of the recent Digital Marketing for Real Estate Industry (Cebu) organized by Janette Toral. She talked about the “Ready” module on Social Selling for Real Estate. Interested agents or real estate companies may contact her (firstname.lastname@example.org) for the “Set” and “Go” modules.
Featured image source: www.pixabay.com
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