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The power of LinkedIn

4 April 2014

LinkedIn is the world’s largest online professional network with 277 million members, of whom more than 5 million are in Australia. Take-up of the networking platform has grown five-fold in Australia since the company opened an office here in 2010. So how can it be used in real estate?

Prospecting tool

Peter Vines, Associate Director – Metropolitan Investments & Development Sites at CBRE, has been using LinkedIn for two years but only actively started using the platform as a prospecting tool in the past six months. In that time he has gained 1363 connections, which he communicates with on a regular basis.

“I try to put useful content up on LinkedIn. Properties that we have just listed, properties that we have just sold and CBRE market research,” Mr Vines said, adding that LinkedIn offers a “non-threatening way of connecting with the business community”.

“There’s a lot of people on LinkedIn with whom I do not have strong links with, but by putting up information, I’m constantly at the forefront of their mind so when they come to sell, I’m who they think of.”

Friends and referrals

The beauty of the platform is that it opens networks beyond your initial pool of connections. Mr Vines, for example, has received enquiries from his direct connections and connections of his network that have proved fruitful.

“I get enquiries quite often because of what people see I’ve put up on LinkedIn,” he said. “We’ve definitely had purchasers come to our auctions having been referred via LinkedIn.

“As soon as I get back from a meeting I will add that person to my LinkedIn network. It’s like a professional Facebook.”

Consistency is key

Mr Vines is strict about what he posts on LinkedIn and shies away from spamming his contacts. He does not post content every day.

“People choose what they want to look at and it’s a very non-invasive way of staying in touch. It’s like everything,” he told the Journal. “If you do it once or twice, you do not get results. If you do it again and again then follow up, you’ll get results.”


  

LinkedIn top tips

 
Head of Communications at LinkedIn ANZ and Southeast Asia Tara Commerford gives her advice on how to build your LinkedIn network.

  • Creating your profile
    “A strong LinkedIn profile can provide a channel for potential clients and industry partners to contact you. A more complete profile also helps you rank more highly in a Google search.”
     
  • Endorsements
    “Another step you can take to increase your profile’s credibility is to proactively reach out to past colleagues, managers and clients for recommendations to display on your profile.”
     
  • Build your brand
    “Join Groups you have an interest in and that are relevant to your career. Remember to try not to be overly promotional here – instead share interesting news and relevant industry commentary.”
     
  • Quality not quantity
    “If the person [who you are reaching out to] has not met you before, take the time to explain who you are and why you would like to connect with them. Check to see if you have any mutual connections whom you could ask to make a warm introduction.”
     
  • Upgrades
    “With a LinkedIn Premium Account you can see who has viewed your LinkedIn profile, contact anyone via InMail and have access to expanded profiles.

“A great tool for real estate professionals is the LinkedIn Sales Navigator, which allows you to generate leads through warm introductions via first, second and third degree connections.