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Are You a Local Expert? Prove It.

January 19 2015

ipad clients matureThe year is 2015 and many agents are still wondering, How do I leverage technology to grow my business? Brokerages everywhere are hosting weekend seminars about "How to use Social Media," but I really hope that no one thinks that social media requires you to create content. Your business is content.

As a real estate agent, you are selling more than a piece of property, you are selling a home--but of course we all know that. Creating a Facebook or Twitter handle to repost pictures of cool houses you've never been in won't convince anyone you can find or sell their home. With thousands of agents in any given metropolitan city, what could set you apart? I would want a local expert.

What is a local expert? A local expert is someone who has made it very apparent that they know more than I do and, that by using their services, I will be better off. Here are three steps to prove that you're a local expert:

1. Use social media correctly

Like I mentioned before, this does not mean Googling "cool bathrooms" and posting a picture with the caption "Wouldn't you want to take a bath here?" Leveraging social media means engaging your current clients on social media for prospective clients to see. "Just closed this condo with Tom and Sue (tag them in the status)." This of course means that you need to get consent from the new homeowners, but what could be a more valuable testimonial than a picture and a Facebook tag? I want to see an agent selling houses to people who are like me.

2. Add value to your community, don't just advertise in it

Bus benches and golf scorecards have plenty of smiling faces on them. But what would really turn heads is seeing an agent hosting their own golf tournament for charity, or going out of their way to help people on community Facebook pages, blogs and forums.

It is easier than you think to leverage technology to build your personal brand. Taking your brand mobileTaking your brand mobile in an effort to provide a service to potential clients and current clients would be a great way to get your brand onto peoples' smartphones. Check out Amy Cowan's "community directory" app that has over 300 downloads in the Apple App Store.

3. Leverage your existing relationships with vendors

Arguably the best way to prove that you are a local expert is to know all the local experts. Like I suggested earlier, interacting with local vendors proves a few things to your current and potential clients: other professionals like working with you, you are experienced in your local neighborhood, and you are serious about growing your network. Vendors want your business as much as you want theirs.

There was a webinar done about how to leverage your existing business relationships to build a referral network that might be worth checking out if you're a local expert.