LinkedIn is a valuable platform that, to date, is underused and undervalued by real estate agents. Ignoring it means you’re missing opportunities. But you need to be smart if you want to market property through this professionals network.
Are you using LinkedIn?
If you aren’t on LinkedIn yet, you’re missing out on the advantages of a platform with high-value traffic, where users look for leadership. If you get in now, you can exploit the potential and claim your chosen real estate niche.
But can you use it to market real estate? Well, yes and no.
Why use LinkedIn?
If you aren’t familiar with LinkedIn, it’s a networking platform for professionals.
Before we continue, there are two key things you need to know about LinkedIn users.
LinkedIn users are also looking for inspiration. This gives you an opportunity, as we’ll explain below.
To market property on LinkedIn, you need a two-pronged strategy:
Tap into the Pulse - the LinkedIn publishing platform
Smart users of LinkedIn publish long-form thought leadership pieces of content to Pulse. Those articles are seen by people in their network and everyone else with whom the article is shared.
Thought leadership pieces should inform, educate and inspire.
Watch this video to see the Pulse articles in action.
However, the Pulse is not the vehicle to use for posting links to your property listings, but it does afford you an opportunity to share property related stories and increase your visibility and, hopefully, position you as the expert in your chosen real estate field.
The news feed
If you share good-quality content from your real estate agency website to your LinkedIn news feed, you can use the news feed to market property but every post needs to inform and educate your readers.
According to the LinkedIn Marketing Solutions team, their users engage with content when the content is:
- Educational or informative: 62%
- Relevant to them: 61%
- Helping them stay on top of trends: 48%
- Inspiring: 40%
- Helping with skill development: 38%
To be effective, all your content needs to hit one of those marks.
You can market your real estate listing through LinkedIn – but you need to be clever about how you do it, and choose carefully which properties you promote on this social platform. It’s certainly not somewhere that you can promote them all.
First, you need to build connections – and quality is just as important as quantity.
To build your network, use the tools you have available and use already. For example, when you’re following up those contacts you made through an open house, look them up on LinkedIn and connect with them.
Once you’re connected on LinkedIn, those people will see the quality content that you’re delivering, whether it’s your own, or other people’s.
When you’ve built your audience, you can sneak in a listing but you need to be strategic about how you do this.
First, you need a property with a story. Something that is press release worthy.
Perhaps the property you have listed was owned by a celebrity or an historical figure, or you expect that it will achieve a record price for your area.
Write a good-quality post (at least 500 words).
You’re looking for a good angle that will educate your network and that they perceive as being valuable to their own property purchasing journey.
Your update needs to tell your network something they didn’t already know, and that information has to benefit them in some way – it needs to be informative, explain a trend, or be inspiring.
Once you’ve written about the property, you can add a link to the listing on your website at the end of the post, then publish this update to your news feed.
However, without a story that informs or inspires, your post probably won’t get much engagement within your network and simply linking to your listing or company website isn’t going to deliver much benefit to your LinkedIn connections at all.
What area of real estate gets most benefits from LinkedIn?
It’s fair to say that Commercial property and the larger real estate networks will get the most traction with LinkedIn.
With a database of 10,000 or more, you can target your audience within LinkedIn at a granular level (title, industry, level, geography, etc.)
For residential real estate, if you have a great story, as we’ve discussed above, or you publish a high-value post about the trends in your particular market, or you’re using new technology and you want to promote that, then you can leverage your network of contacts.
For boutique residential real estate agencies, LinkedIn doesn’t offer the same advantages as Facebook, because you can’t target people in a particular geographic area. Bear in mind that most users have added their location in relation to their business address so when you try and segment your audience by geography they will be predominantly CBD based.
Link to your company page
Don’t ignore the value of your own company page on LinkedIn.
Create a compelling call to action at the end of each post and explain the value users will receive by following your company page on LinkedIn.
What about advertising and ROI on LinkedIn?
Real estate agents can promote content or use some of the advertising tools available but you need a large audience.
LinkedIn recommends the following:
- Sponsored Content: 300,000+ members
- Text Ads: between 60,000 and 400,000 members
- Sponsored InMail: 100,000 or fewer members
The LinkedIn platform, as a high-value professional network, costs more per click than it does to advertise on Facebook. However, the platform delivers better quality traffic so it can still deliver value to your real estate brand. Particularly if you are a large franchise network or brand with multiple offices and large network of real estate agents.
Unlike Facebook, which many of us use as a small business marketing platform, LinkedIn messages don’t get lost in the chatter of cat videos and celebrity BuzzFeed posts.
You’ll be reaching out to professionals who’ve provided their own details and publishing your content to an audience of decision makers in a premium context.
Add LinkedIn to your property marketing mix
LinkedIn is one of many platforms you should be using to stay top of mind.
Your audience might not be in the market to buy or sell property right now. But you can and should be engaging with them early in their buying or selling journey.
If your connections see you every week while they’re in a professional mindset. They learn something new and get a sense of your capabilities. Then when they’re at the stage where they might look for a real estate agent, you’re already a known quantity they’ve invited (virtually) into their home.