Leverage Your LinkedIn Presence into New Business
Author Kevin Rocio, @properties
If you aren’t generating clients from LinkedIn, you might be missing out. Nearly all our international clients have come from LinkedIn. If you follow me on LinkedIn, you would understand why someone from another country would be reaching out on a daily basis.
Like many others in the real estate world and beyond, I actively use social media. But I do it with intention. Though social media platforms are similar, I use them for different purposes. Outside of LinkedIn, I also manage a Facebook and Instagram account.
Think of LinkedIn as your professional resume – everything you do will be reflective of what kind of person you are and how you operate within your industry. I suggest REALTORS® create two pages: a page for their business and a personal page. A business page adds legitimacy to your business and can help direct clients to your website and office. A personal page allows REALTORS® to create a profile to share their credentials, post content and network.
Your profile gives you a chance to promote yourself and make a case for why you are the ideal real estate broker. If you intend to generate clients, you should first consider your areas of strength in real estate. To stand out online and in the market, you need to play to these strengths. You will never see me sell a condo. You will never see me sell a single-family home. I don’t know that market. I don’t want to know that market.
I decided I wanted to be a specialist on LinkedIn for investment sales. International clients are coming to Chicago in droves, which is starting to shake things up for local investors.
Part of why I’ve been successful attracting international clients is because everything on my account and everything I post communicates my specialization in investment sales.
Grow Your Audience
When a potential client views my posts, they aren’t seeing “selling” posts. While everyone else is posting, “Just closed. Just closed. Just closed” – the content on my page isn’t “Just closed.” I’m posting new listings and information about properties that is useful to local and international investors. I’m building an audience by simply sharing my knowledge and advising on Chicago’s investment market.
It’s important to keep your audience in mind when posting on social media. When writing the content, ask ‘Is this information my clients or colleagues would find interesting and useful?’ Likely no one is going to be very interested to read about who you voted for, where you dined or who won the playoff. Once your content is focused on your real estate specialty and useful to clients or colleagues, consider adding mentions and tags before hitting send.
Use @Mentions and #Tags for Posts
Mentions and tags are very useful for getting your content shared and growing your audience.
Mentions, shown as an “@,” add people into your content and link to that person’s profile. Those mentioned also typically get a notification. If you’re sharing a colleague’s success story or a referral that led to a win, make sure you’re mentioning that person. Adding analysis on a Chicago market report? Don’t forget to mention friends, clients and industry professionals you admire so they’re aware of your content.
Tags, shown as a “#,” add searchable keywords to your posts. You should also be tagging your posts for the topics you’re covering. Why is this useful? I’ve tailored my LinkedIn profile to investment sales, so two of my favorite tags are #internationalinvestors and #globalinvestors. This lets my content show up more easily when someone searches for either of those terms, including to people outside of my network.
On my LinkedIn page, I share:
- New listings and other open house information.
- Chicago real estate news
- Market-related and other real estate information
- Colleagues’ success stories.
- Articles I’ve written:
LinkedIn has a built-in publishing platform called Pulse to share professional insights. I’ve published 17 Pulse articles on topics such as the benefits of multi-family investment for renters, what international investors are looking for in the Chicago market and condo deconversions. Pulse takes my LinkedIn strategy a step further, allowing me to become a thought leader.
LinkedIn Content I Avoid:
- LinkedIn Groups – If ten agents are in a group discussing the market, how does this help grow your business?
- Asking for referrals – If you are actively sharing valuable content and information, you will be viewed as a trusted advisor and the referrals will come to you.
- Closing stories that aren’t compelling.
Once You Start Attracting International Clients
Vet Your Responses
Vetting a potential client is important both from a liability standpoint and to make sure you’re making the best use of your time. When international clients first started reaching out a few years ago, I would think it was spam or someone was trying to hack into my account. One of the first questions to ask someone reaching out via LinkedIn is if they have an attorney or lender they’re working with. If not, I would make that introduction. Once vetted by the attorney or lender, I then step back into the buying process with a potential investor.
Don’t Sell and Be Patient
I start my day at 3 AM to work with international clients within their time zones. On a recent morning, I was trading emails with a client from Austria regarding insurance information needed for his five upcoming property closings (81 units). My Austrian client is a great example of what can happen when you have patience. We just traded emails back and forth for the first nine months. But since then, he has purchased more than 100 units. And to my surprise, he even flew into Chicago recently to attend the grand opening of my other business.
Listen to how Kevin Rocio leverages LinkedIn to grow his business.