By Lewis Fein
Buying or selling real estate is an inherently social act; it involves the meeting of owners and agents, and prospective clients and their respective brokers and lawyers – it includes sometimes tense negotiations, and smart offers and shrewd counteroffers, as well as contracts and inspectors, escrow accounts and professional accountants.
And yet, such a series of social events – despite the transactional nature of commercial or residential real estate – often lacks a social media component.
Put a different way, one of the most social industries needs a more social presence on social media.
I write these words as a friend of the real estate profession because, in my role as Director of Marketing and Communications for the Real Estate Knowledge Institute (“REKI”), I know that every tutorial – every customized investment plan, to achieve cash flow, earn passive income and have a portfolio of properties – starts with a one-on-one telephone conversation with a real estate investment expert.
But that dialogue continues through social media, via podcasts, blog posts, tweets and commentary on Facebook, where people can learn more about the day-to-day challenges and responsibilities of owning a rental property, or buying a fix-and-flip commercial or residential space.
In this regard, social media should be – it must be – a means of conversation, not a corporate monologue about an organization’s purported greatness or the presumed genius of a group’s respective experts.
The emphasis should be on knowledge, its value and distribution among a network of current and potential investors. That means even a podcast, be it a solo broadcast or an exchange between a host and a guest, should educate the listener; the format should not lend itself to blatant self-promotion or false praise; tell me – tell the audience – something that is essential to earning recurring revenue or making money with real estate.
This advice is straightforward for a reason: Too much of social media is about the seemingly never-ending quest for likes, followers and friends, at the expense of creating content worthy of celebration and information too valuable not to share.
To the extent that we occupy this real estate, so to speak, to the degree we populate social media with relevant material, the better this outlet will be; the better this forum must be.
Do not worry, then, about building an audience; focus, instead, on offering content people need and want.
That is the purpose of social media, a mission akin to renovating a physical property: The details matter because what you write or say, just like what grade of wiring and plumbing you provide, determines the quality of everything you claim to pursue or possess.
With knowledge as a guiding principle, and with wisdom as an overarching goal, social media is precious real estate, indeed.
We should maximize that venue, to the best of our aspirations and to the best of our abilities.
Now is the time to occupy that real estate, to preserve and beautify its majesty.
Now is the time to socialize this social destination.
Main image credit: Roman Pyshchyk / Shutterstock.com