Google+ Communities for Real Estate Agents
What if searching for prospective homebuyers was as easy as typing those words into a Google search? Google+ allows you to do that and more. The social network of Google+ is a great tool to use for expanding your company and is quickly catching on around the world. By establishing yourself on this social media platform, you can help your business reach new levels by finding and interacting with buyers, sellers, and other agents. We’ve put together a list of helpful tips on how real estate agents can take advantage of Google+.
Google+ allows users to build groups of people they know based on their interests, jobs, or personal connections through the use of circles. To build your circles, search within Google+ for keywords that interest you. The results will display posts from people who shared about those key words such as “real estate” or “home buying.” By dragging people into circles, this will allow you to control what content people see from you. The best way to start is to create a primary circle for all your real estate connections. This option is great for posting information that everyone in your circle can benefit from. You will also want to create separate circles for specific areas of real estate such as agents, clients, prospects, etc. This will allow you to share information that is specific to these people without others seeing it. Once you’ve created circles, don’t forget to update them. As you build your Google+ brand, you’re going to meet new people along the way. Make sure to edit your circles as needed. If you are new to Google+ and want to learn more about how to use circles, click here.
Once you’ve created your circles, it’s time to tackle communities. Communities are a great place to find influencers in your field, meet new people, and discuss trending topics. There are several real estate communities already established on Google+ with thousands of members waiting to interact with you. Some of the communities are specific to real estate locations such as “Idaho Real Estate” while others are tailored to certain aspects like “Military Friendly Real Estate Agents.” It is important to note that most communities are open for anyone to join but you will run across some that you must be invited to join. If you don’t see a community you are looking for, you can also start your own.
Organize Community Content with Categories and Hashtags
Organizing the content you are sending and receiving is important if you want to make the most out of your Google+ experience. One way to do that is through the use of categories and hashtags. Categories will allow you to classify your posts into specific sections within a community. For example, you can post information into sections specific to “Mortgages & Financing,” “Short Sales & Foreclosures,” or “General Real Estate.” Using hashtags is another option for organizing content. This will allow others to easily find content posted anywhere by searching for things such as #RealEstate, #Lease, or #Loans.
Engage with Others
The best way to make your presence known is to engage with other Google+ users. This is a great way to find new real estate contacts and even potential clients. If you find a post has useful or insightful real estate information, be sure you to use the +1 feature. This will show the sharer that you liked the post and is an easy way to start an interaction with someone. You can also let a user know your appreciation for their post by commenting on it and even re-sharing it. You can also grab the attention of certain clients or a fellow real estate agent by +mentioning their name in a comment or when sharing a post. This will alert them of the post and make sure they don’t miss seeing it.
The killer feature on Google+ by far is Hangouts. Hangouts are 10-person video chat rooms that allow you to connect with people face to face. You can host client meetings, conduct virtual tours of a property, or host your own webinars, like our Real Estate Round Table webinar, with this free video feature. All you need is a webcam or smartphone, Google+, and an internet connection. By being able to talk face-to-face with someone, you peel back the layers of miscommunication and connect with your out of town clients on a deeper level than just talking to them on the phone. Eye contact can be key for real estate agents who are trying to assure potential homebuyers everything is under control. Be sure to check out the Google+ start a hangout page for more details.