Social Media is Becoming Part of the Sales Process
I likely utilize social media as prolifically as any commercial real estate professional in the country. However, the statement I am about to make might surprise you, “Social Media does not create sales,” you do. However, in this age of information discovery on the web, the game is changing and social media is increasingly playing a role in the sales process.
CRE Is Not An On-Line Business
The reality is that people rarely hire a commercial real estate professional, or any professional service provider over the internet. We all know that commercial real estate services is a relationship based business and in order to obtain new business from a prospective client, they will have to attain some level of trust in your capabilities and experience, as well as develop enough confidence that you can deliver a solution to their particular need.
Visibility and Credibility in the Age of Discovery
What are the chances that anyone that is considering meeting with you to discuss your services is going to conduct an internet search to learn more about you and/or your company? Rewind back just a couple of years and all they would find is your profile on your company website that looks just like all the other hundreds of real estate professionals in your market. However, today with the growing use of social media among business professionals this is no longer the case.
“It does not matter, whether you have been cold calling a prospect for two years, met someone at a networking function or your best client referred you, at some point you are going to get “googled”.
Content Marketing Works
The value of social networking tools in the age of discovery is that you can populate your social profiles with a plethora of self-created and curated content that speaks directly to the typical pain points and solutions that your client’s are experiencing with their real estate requirements. In other words you can build tremendous credibility and when you do have that “face to face” meeting you can focus specifically on the prospective client’s challenges and issues rather than selling your experience and capabilities.
I stated earlier that social media alone does not create sales, but I should elaborate that I have obtained new clients and closed transactions with people who found me on the web, as well as companies who were referred to me by individuals that I have connected with on various social networks. In each and every case there was either a face-to-face meeting or an in-depth phone conversation, in which I was interviewed to some degree.
The cool thing was in each of these scenarios there was no selling of my experience or capabilities required as my credibility was already established, because more often than not, they have googled me to find out more about me. I was able to focus specifically on my the prospects specific real estate issues and potential solutions.
Today, people conduct online research before they purchase products or services, and not so much to actually search for a service provider, but to learn more about the person or company that has been recommended to them. I want to have some level of control of what they discover about me when they are looking for a tenant representative.
Just for giggles try doing a google search for the keywords; common area factor or leasing medical office space and see the first result. Have you googled yourself? What comes up?