Is Your Fort Lauderdale Realtor Also Your ‘Friend’?

47: If you use social media, you probably have a lot of “friends.” Grade school and college classmates, coworkers, neighbors, even family have earned “Facebook official” friendship status. You might also be friends with some of your professional service providers, like your attorney, accountant, or Fort Lauderdale real estate agent. Truth is, at The Gary Lanham Group at Coldwell Banker Fort Lauderdale Beach Office, we know the role of social media and video marketing as part of real estate marketing. We take these friendships very important.

We like to think of ourselves first and foremost as “friends” of our clients, prospective clients - and the people they introduce us to. After all, referrals are the dominant source of new business for many service providers, including our team. And social media is possibly the most visible display of this friendship status.

Think of the ways that friendship reveals itself. It comes when a service provider earns “friendship” status. It’s show when a client or bona-fide “friend” likes or shares a provider’s post or video, or when they tag that provider - whether a person or a firm - in a new post.

Each carries an implied endorsement that’s highly valued by people like us, and invaluable to professionals who build their business by reputation. It feeds on authenticity.

It’s called “trust.”

High-Tech Meets Old School

How do Realtors use social media and video real estate marketing to build trust? Building trust with social media marketing is part high-tech and part old school. Even with social media, trust comes as a result of building relationships. The “traditional” model shows that the vast majority - 75 percent - of business comes via referral from a trusted source. Those sources include family members, friends, and past clients.

Social media realtors build on the inherent trust accumulated over time and relationships. Used well, social media and the tools we all have access to everyday elevate those relationships.

Consider something as simple as photography and video. In the real estate industry, we’ve used both for generations to show listed homes in all their beauty. Whether stills or video, those shoots used to require highly trained and equipped professionals to stage, light, and photograph the home - inside and out.

At the Gary Lanham Group, we still hire the best photographers in the business to shoot compelling photographs for our listings. We even have them shoot video for posting to the web. We rely on professionally shot and produced video to build warmer relationships with our customers and prospects. As with any business, “storytelling” with social media and real estate captures the essence of what the agent is trying to tell.

Video & ‘Authenticity’: The Third Tool for Real Estate Marketing

As we’ve discussed in previous blogs, social media, smartphones, and video marketing have earned an important role in our real estate promotional toolkit. Today, video in all its forms is the third tool in that kit. They make that “storytelling” in real estate social media truly come to life.

We build relationships with those we know and trust. Video allows us to get to know, trust, and build stronger relationships with those around us. With video, we can see - and get to know each other.  We see each other’s mannerisms, facial expressions, even our quirkiness.

We reveal our authenticity. And that’s what people relate to.

Think about what your friends say they like about your posts. They like your humor, your commentary, maybe (or maybe not) your politics. If you’re a professional service provider, an attorney, an accountant, a Realtor, they also see and hear your experience, knowledge, insights, and wisdom. Whatever they see, like, or experience, it’s authentic.

The ultimate takeaway, if done well, is that they appreciate what you bring. They say to themselves, “I want to do business with them.”

As “live video” becomes more common on services like Facebook and YouTube, Realtors will deepen our engagement with motivated sellers and motivated buyers.

Cross-Generational Marketing - Social Media Style

I’m a baby boomer. A lot of our clients at The Gary Lanham Group are baby boomers. We seem to connect well with them (maybe it’s my gray hair). As you’ll discover in an upcoming video, other team members at The Gary Lanham Group also connect with their generation - and others. Eileen Mulkey, for example, connects with fellow boomers, as well as the friends of her millennial children.

With one current buyer, Eileen was contacted by a family relation from several years ago. They’d gone years with no contact. When the time came, they recalled Eileen for her business sense, her approachability, and her “honest approach.” They knew Eileen from the early days of social media. Then, social media, powered by smartphones and apps, strengthened that bond.

As Facebook friends and connections on other social media channels, they saw updated on her continued success. They also saw videos of the homes she’s listed and expertise she’s shared.

it wasn’t a stretch for them to turn to Eileen when the time came to search for a new home. They trusted Eileen not to steer them to just any home for sale.

Social Media & Video Built on Trust

As we’ve said, our business has been built by referrals. We take all customers at any price point; everyone deserves the right home, whether starting their lives, growing their family, elevating their station, or planning for retirement. We succeed by exceeding every client’s expectations.

Over the past 18 months, our business has grown, predominantly by referrals, and with at least a quarter of all new business coming from social media real estate marketing. It’s coming from people like you, who have seen us on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, or LinkedIn. Or through our empirical ranking on HomeLight or CRS Realtors rankings.

One way or another, these all are referrals.

What we aren’t seeing is as many advertisements running in glossy magazines or the daily newspapers. Those days are long gone. People's time is short and precious. We lead busy lives. Today, they go straight to their social media to find referrals and recommendations. They “GTS” - or Google That Stuff - for such terms as "waterfront real estate" or “beachfront condominium realtor Pompano Beach.”

Educating the Client, Building the Relationship

So if you're out there and you're working with social media and video marketing, your information will be there as a library of articles, videos, posts and other content.

This content is part of our mission to “educate, educate, and educate some more.” We want to be the Realtors for our customers, their family members and friends. We’re equally content to be a resource for those who have questions; real estate is complex, so having a trusted source for reliable information and insights about the market can help diffuse the confusion and bring clarity to what for many is the largest economic decision they’ll ever make.

So surf our site, send us an email, or drop us a question via social media. We'll respond. We want to be your Realtor - and friend - for life.

If you want to know about real estate in Fort Lauderdale, from places like Las Olas to Lake Ridge, Sailboat Bend and Wilton Manors, reach out and let’s start a conversation.

Gary Lanham Group at Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate is a boutique real estate organization offering sales, leasing, and brokerage services to the Greater Fort Lauderdale area. A listings agent matches home sellers with buyers and tenants with landlords. While Broward County is our universe, we focus on Coral Ridge Country Club, Oakland Park, Wilton Manors, Pompano Beach, and the surrounding areas. Call us today at (954) 695-6518 or visit www.GaryLanhamGroup.com.

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