Times are changing; the way in which we do business is changing. A well respected Agency Trainer who I follow on Twitter tweeted a quote early one morning, it read “I do not believe you can do today’s job with yesterday’s methods and still be in business tomorrow.”
For me, this was enough to reinforce the use of Social Media in our everyday business. I already have a personal fear of being left behind when it comes to technology, having reached that age when I need to ask my 10yr old to please change the TV back to Sky after watching a DVD or playing Wii, as I’ve no idea which remote control does what. I remember doing the same for my parents when we first got Betamax and Atari and thinking how can people be so out of touch! (The mere fact they had even bought Betamax filled me with despair!) Forward wind if you will with your virtual remote control, I now find myself having to learn to use different apps just to stay in touch with my children, and attempt to monitor that they are safe knowing they have access to the entire world! Don’t get me wrong, I don’t begrudge all new technology, I’ve got to say sending a text to inform that tea is on the table in a three storey house has had its uses!
So what does this have to do with business? The key point for me is that I see us in a very transitional period in the way in which we carry out our every day trade. We are sat in a market between generations, those who acknowledge the old, tried and tested ways of doing things and a new era, where in just a few short years we will be dealing with a generation that has been brought up with Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and goodness knows what else to come.
Now I’ve got to grips with various sites, I’ve got to say I’m rather addicted and after a slow start, I’m finally seeing the advantages of using Social Media and the team are now seeing direct results. Through the use of Social Media we are booking market appraisals, receiving enquiries from across the County and beyond, tenants are reporting maintenance issues out of hours through private messaging and we have come across so many new products and ideas that we have now implemented into our everyday business that we would never have otherwise discovered, if it was not for these sites.
In terms of CPD, Social Media has been invaluable. Interacting with other agents, solicitors, property portals, trainers, industry suppliers etc means that we are kept up to date with the latest happenings. An example of this was the announcement of the recent Superstrike case. The outcome of which we knew would have a significant effect on our landlord clients. We were able to put procedures into place, acting on this information long before the recommended advice dropped into our email inbox from the official bodies. We learn and adapt on a daily basis from the people we directly interact with.
So what do we do? Well we just engage, it’s as simple as that! We look at each site individually, look at how we can best use it, who are we speaking to/appealing to and try to put out content that works well for each one. Facebook is very local, twitter more widespread although our Dorset following has grown considerably over recent months. We use Instagram to flaunt our gorgeous county, we re-pin our photos to Pinterest, on Pinterest we display other local information including promoting other local businesses, places to visit, some of our properties for sale or to let, this in turn will have a link to our YouTube channel, which we will then tweet or post back to Facebook … and so our message travels, local interest grows and so does our business!
We are pleased now to have retained our No3 position on the #ZPP100 – Zoopla’s list of Most Influential Estate Agents in Social Media, for the past 6 weeks, but staying there is not easy. Tweets start first thing in the morning and can continue until late at night, on days off and evenings you can find me traipsing around the Dorset countryside trying to find new places to walk with my dog, Stan, to gain current content for Instagram & Pinterest. In between, there’s updates to Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Flickr and of course blogs to write for WordPress. I forget to check in on FourSquare most days and I’ve yet to get to grips with Tumblr (although we do have an account!) and many other sites are yet to be explored, after all, I am just a beginner!
What I try not to do is use auto updates, I try to keep things current, so if Stan crops up in my tweets every now and then, it’s because I’m a human and not an autobot and Stan has become an integral part of my team! Without his walks, we’d have no pictures, without pictures there would be nothing to put on Instagram, which would give us less to put on Pinterest, which would mean less tweets and posts on Facebook and hits on YouTube which will result in a decline in traffic and less people seeing the properties and services we promote! It’s all relative (ok so it’s not completely like that – but it’s not that far off either!) It doesn’t matter how you appeal to your local market, as long as you do! Endless listings of properties will not work for us, talking nothing but property will not work for us but showing that we are trying our hardest day in day out, that we’re consistent and not afraid to try new ideas and above all showing that we are human IS working for us. We love engaging with everyone and meeting new connections. They make us listen, they make us think, they make us laugh and we hope we do the same back whether we’re talking about rising house prices or posting a picture of a cow doing yoga (yes, we did do that), there’s a reason why it’s called Social Media!
It’s all about communication, it doesn’t matter how you communicate, just so long as you do communicate. We feel that putting the effort into Social Media marketing now and learning as we go along, will pay dividends later and is already proving very fruitful and what’s more, it’s enjoyable! We have a wonderful, experienced, team dedicated to Sales and another to Residential Lettings. We now have a dedicated Social Media Marketing Team (OK, at present that consists of just me & my dog Stan, but it’s more than most agents!) so whether you’re a fan of Facebook, tweet away on Twitter, like linking on LinkedIn or just muse on the likes of YouTube, Pinterest or Instagram, we like to think we’ve got it covered. You could of course … just pick up the phone!
@kempandcopbury 01305 251800