By KAREN TISDELL
LinkedIn has experienced significant growth in recent years. Even so, it’s an under-utilised social network and many real estate professionals struggle to leverage its potential to bring real value to their business.
Did you know that when a prospect types your name into the Google search bar and hits enter, they’ll likely come across your LinkedIn profile on the first page of results?
This is a great thing and, with the proper strategy in place, it’s a no-cost asset you can leverage to get a leg up on your competition.
Think about it this way: real estate is, ultimately, a people business. Your prospective clients want to engage with human beings, not brands. LinkedIn is your direct connection channel to current and future clients. It’s a place where you can demonstrate your expertise and generosity – and even those endearing personality quirks that make you you.
Cutting through the noise
Letterbox flyers are a tried-and-true real estate advertising mainstay. While there’s something appealing about a physical flyer, how many people grab their unsolicited mail at one moment and quickly dump it in the recycling bin in the next without even a glance? That’s precious dollars wasted.
Both in real life and online, cutting through the noise is no easy feat. People are more in-tune with marketing tactics, less impressed with buzzwords and hungrier than ever for authenticity and genuine value.
LinkedIn is where you can deliver that value, all the while positioning yourself as the go-to expert in your real estate niche. How? By crafting a profile that tells readers what you do and, critically, why you do it because you’re sharing insights and tips that address your target clients’ pain points.
LinkedIn by the numbers
year-on-year growth in conversations among connections
Share your why
Why did you choose a career in real estate? Why not IT? Or economics? Or hospitality? Take the time to get clear on your why, because if you can convince a visitor to your LinkedIn profile that you’re not just interested in their problem, but are also passionate about it, you’ve struck gold.
The convincing primarily happens in your 2,600-character-long About section. Avoid writing to make yourself look good in your own eyes. Instead, keep the wants, needs, and fears of your ideal client in mind. How do you make their life easier?
What you add to your Experience section is also key to your LinkedIn success. The number one rule is this: keep it relevant. Consider your LinkedIn objective, which might be something like attracting more sellers in your local area. Tailor your Experience to that goal.
Your LinkedIn profile is your no-cost online reputation manager. It’s hugely powerful, but don’t let that stop you from publishing a work-in-progress. Something is a whole lot better than nothing, and your profile is not set in stone for all time. You can change and update your profile whenever you like. So, log in and give it your best shot.
KAREN TISDELL is a LinkedIn expert and has written thousands of profiles for business owners, senior leaders and start-ups.
Engaging with your followers
LinkedIn may have hundreds of millions of users, but only three million publish content on a weekly basis. Be an exception and stand out.
Here are three post ideas to get you started:
- Share your unique take on an emerging real estate trend.
- Jot down the 10 most-asked questions you get from clients and answer each in a separate post.
- Share your top three tips related to a specific client pain point.
Just like Google, LinkedIn uses an assortment of ranking factors to determine your position in the platform's search results. Keywords in your Professional Headline and About section are crucial, but there’s more to it. ‘Hard clicks,’ how active you are on LinkedIn and how you are connected to the person searching also play a significant role.
Anatomy of a profile
Your name, photo and Professional Headline are the only parts of your profile visible in LinkedIn search results, so make them count. You have just 220 characters to capture attention and speak to your target audience’s problem. Be sure to include your top priority keywords too.
You know how the saying goes, ‘A picture speaks one thousand words.’ Utilise your Background Banner to emphasise your real estate niche. Ensure it’s branded, polished and features a copyright-free image.
Make it as easy as possible for a potential client to take the next step by filling out your Contact Information and changing your privacy settings so all LinkedIn members – not just your connections – can see these details. Also, include your contact details in your About section.
Your About section is your opportunity to show people the value you offer. Be authentic, write with your audience front-of-mind and use first-person language (i.e. ‘I’ instead of your name or preferred pronoun). Keep in mind that only the first 330 characters appear above the fold on a desktop. The most effective About sections spark curiosity in the reader by asking a question or presenting a unique perspective in the first couple of sentences.
Don’t copy and paste your CV into your Experience section. Instead, detail only your relevant professional achievements, so that you aren’t Google indexed for skills and knowledge that don’t match what you want to be found for.
Media and Featured sections
Use your Media and Featured sections to showcase your website, current properties, industry achievements or contributions, or even video client testimonials. Video is extremely powerful, even if filmed spontaneously on your smartphone.