Cover story: Agents embrace social media
Social networks have become invaluable tools for real estate agents who want to enhance their business.
Once considered as just a way to get back in touch with old high school classmates or follow celebrity gossip, social networks have become imperative for real estate professionals.
Approximately 84 percent of agents use social media in some form, according to November statistics from the National Association of Realtors.
Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter are popular among agents looking to get out the word about their services. They use these networks to make connections, promote their expertise, advertise upcoming open houses and offer helpful hints to prospective homebuyers and sellers.
Miranda Opiela is the social media director for Prudential Carruthers Realtors in the District’s Uptown office. She said she uses social media to market her real estate services and connect with potential clients.
“Social media has helped me to make connections I might not have had otherwise, as well as to strengthen existing connections,” Ms. Opiela said. “It has made folks aware of what I do for a living and in turn they’ve reached out to me with questions and requests for help.”
She also said social media use allows agents to schedule their time or be spontaneous by using mobile devices to interact with potential clients.
Anthony Corrao, a real estate agent at Long and Foster in Columbia, Md., said he uses Twitter and agreed that the spontaneity of the site is a benefit. He said that by tweeting about an open house he often can catch the attention of agents who might be in the area and have them show up at the home.
“Twitter is a phenomenal resource, and it allows you to get things out quickly. You can use it impulsively,” he said.
Mr. Corrao said he also uses other social networking sites extensively. He said social media networks are replacing email and added that he often gets more feedback from social media sites than he does from email.
She added that real estate agents should aim to be on the cutting edge of all technology, including social media outlets that can enhance services for their customers, clients and peers. She said the ways social media sites are used vary by tool and by agent.
Analysts say one of the advantages to using sites such as Facebook is that it’s easy to get the attention of hundreds of people by linking to a page.