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3 Ways Real Estate Professionals Can Master Their Social Influence and Stop Missing Sales


Social influence is the 2020 topic of conversation discussed by Brokers. Real Estate Professionals are engaging in social influence when their personal emotions, opinions, or behaviors cause changes in clients.

Are you the “go-to” expert for your clients? Do people perceive their relationship to you, as important, especially in their decision making? Research tells us that having social influence means having compliance, brand identification, and internalization of your expertise in your industry niche'.
Answer the following three questions:

  1. How compliant are clients to my suggestions?
  2. What do my clients identify as my area of expertise?
  3. Can I see the internalization of my area of expertise within my clients?
Simply said, a Real Estate Professional's social influence is in their niche’ area of expertise. In order to be perceived as the expert in your niche’, you have to be able to produce content that separates you as the authority to your niche’ clients. You have to differentiate yourself as the thought leader to your niche’.

You have probably pondered the following questions or you might be hearing the questions about social influence asked in this way:
  1. Is blogging really useful in building my real estate book of business?
  2. How do I get rental listings, using social media?
  3. What is the importance of getting Facebook likes
  4. Should I be using twitter?
  5. Does LinkedIn work for Real Estate Professionals?
  6. Should I hire a company to do all that social media stuff?

In 2020 you will hear the word “Audience” more than ever before. Your target market will become known as your audience. What does your audience need to hear to ensure they perceive you as the expert? Brokers in 2020 will be required to educate their prospects to increase compliance, brand identification, and internalization of your ideas among your clients.

Social influence is your ability to lead a market as the authority. The key market leadership is content. You can benefit from growing your audience by understanding how to get your content into the hands of your niche’ with blogging, lead magnets, email marketing, and Facebook.

Blogging - Think of your blog as a magazine or at least your company newsletter. This is where you initially post your industry content. With a blog, the goal is to grow your audience. There are lots of resources on how to grow your audience but the basic concept revolves around collecting email addresses. 

Every email address you collect is equivalent to signing up another magazine subscriber. Make sure your messaging on your blog demonstrates your industry expertise. The best way to grow your audience quickly is by offering a lead magnet.

Lead magnets - a lead magnet is a .pdf, ebook, or audio file that is sent to the audience member in exchange for their email address. This is typically a shorter piece of content than you would sell to them, however, it is professionally designed and delivers lots of value to your audience. 

This lead magnet further establishes you as the industry expert. Where many brokers make mistakes with their lead magnets is by devaluing their industry knowledge. They offer all their knowledge for free. Your blog should be, “what to do.” This is given away for free. 

The lead magnet should be the “How to do.” Once they have downloaded your lead magnet your audience is asking you to stay in touch via email.

Email marketing - This social influence tool is the delivery vehicle to keep your audience engaged. A master's level social influence tip is to send an email to your list once a week. The email should be an extended version of the blog post you wrote. 

Include links back to other blog posts to ensure your newer readers get engaged quickly. Make sure you don’t copy and paste your blog post. Structure the introduction of the email to be more personalized as though you wrote the message specifically for them. 

Using a great email marketing provider will allow you to post your blog post on social media sites such as Facebook. 

Facebook - Look at Facebook like the magazine racks at local grocery stores. Facebook allows you to distribute your content to specific markets called groups. As you study social influence you will learn about the power of groups. 

Groups become important in growing your audience. Learn to distribute your email marketing content to your company page, and then to groups. This allows you to measure your reach and distribution to different groups.
As you can see, none of the social media tools will help with your content. This is your responsibility. To gain social influence in your space you need a message. If your brokerage is large enough you can hire someone to help with disseminating your message. 

They can utilize the social media marketing tools of blogging, lead magnets, email marketing, and Facebook.
Needing content then begs the question, how do you develop this industry content expressing you as the expert?

To master social influence content generation, you will need to master three skills reviews, referrals, and testimonials. These skills come after the close of the sale during the button up phase.
As a professional the last step in the sales process is not closing, it is in the button up. During the button up you have an obligation to deepening the relationship. You can generate all the content you need by mastering reviews, referrals, and testimonials.

Gaining depth in your client relationships helps to build trust with your audience. Your first level of depth will be in asking your clients for an online review. Your second level of depth in the relationship will be in asking for referrals. Your deepest level of client relational depth will be in asking for testimonials.

Most Real Estate Professionals stop short of completing the button up. They do not complete the button up because they join the emotional excitement when the client says they want the home. They allow the emotion of the situation to drive the remainder of the conversation.

The button-up is a three-step process of gaining a review, referrals, and a testimonial.

Reviews - Reviews are important to social influence because they allow the customer to tell their story of an experience with your brokerage. In a 2015 comScore study, consumers were willing to pay more for real estate agents with a rating of 5, out of 5. The premiums for positive reviews were 20% higher for real estate agents with positive reviews (Pan & Pirinsky, 2015).

Reviews are third party verification as to the authenticity of your expertise in a niche’ and your great service. You can utilize review services like Facebook, Google reviews, and Yelp to authenticate your authority.

Referrals - All Real Estate Professionals know the importance of referrals, but the great ones deepen the relationship during the button up by ensuring they get referrals. They are asking for referrals in their specific area of expertise. The best referral is a direct referral to a potential client, however, there is a secondary referral technique called, “asking for indirect referrals.”

Indirect referrals are referrals to people who have large audiences that you specifically serve. Remember, social influence is about education in your niche’. Can you get an introduction to someone who can help you deliver your content? Can you get an introduction to someone who could share their expertise with your audience?

The people in your audience are looking for information in making their decision in your service and in complementary products and services. For instance, does your client know a mortgage broker, accountant, or insurance agent they could refer to you? You could serve their audience if your message is interesting and you are the industry expert. In return, their network might serve your audience. You just need an introduction from them.

Testimonials - A testimonial is different from a review. Testimonials are your clients giving your organization legal permission to tell there, “Case study story.” You can utilize this case study to demonstrate your expertise to other potential customers. This helps you with messaging and helps you sell more.

While reviews can’t be modified testimonials are moldable to the story you are trying to communicate to your audience. Testimonials typically follow a format that helps to educate potential buyers in your audience. You can utilize the following questions:

  1. What was your biggest challenge when looking for an Agent to (help you find a home, or help you list your home)?
  2. What was the result of working with me that helped you overcome this challenge?
  3. What one specific thing did you love most about working with me?
  4. What would you consider the three top benefits of working with me?
  5. Why would you recommend someone work with me?

If you could tell your best friend, who was looking to move, about your experience what would you say?

These six questions form the foundation for your case study. Examples help educate your audience. This button-up process builds your social influence. This content becomes the, “Why” you are the expert in your niche’. 

Reviews, referrals, and testimonials are the three ways Real Estate Professionals can build content and master their social influence. You are missing sales if you are not viewed as an expert. Utilizing these three common techniques to serve your audience is an important part of improving your social influence in 2020.



References: 

Kelman, H. (1958). "Compliance, identification, and internalization: Three processes of attitude change" (PDF). Journal of Conflict Resolution. 2 (1): 51–60. doi:10.1177/002200275800200106.

Pan, C. H., & Pirinsky, C. A. (2015). Social Influence in the Housing Market. Journal Of Financial & Quantitative Analysis, 50(4), 757-779. doi:10.1017/S0022109015000319

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