If you think LinkedIn is just a resume board, it’s time to change that misconception. Successful real estate agents are adding LinkedIn to their tool kits for expanding networks and zeroing in on new prospects. With the right tactics, the professional networking site can double as a powerful lead generation machine.
Far better than cold calls and open houses, LinkedIn can help you prequalify leads to find those who are ready and motivated to buy or sell properties. When you are ready to turn on a steady stream of new leads, here are five steps to open up access to millions of potential clients.
Step 1: Create a Compelling Profile
Building a great profile is the key to establishing trust and credibility. Highlight successes in the “experience” section and use a recent, professional photograph as your profile picture. Don’t use an old photo or a glamour shot, as prospects may not recognize you when they come for a meeting in person. Create a tag line that sums up individual strengths in a few words, like a logo for a personal brand.
Step 2: Expand Your Network
Search your email contacts to find out if past clients and other business partners are already on LinkedIn. Connect with them for referrals, recommendations and access to their extended networks. It’s very likely they know others with similar characteristics who will be in the market for property in the very near future.
Step 3: Be Active in Professional Forums
LinkedIn Groups have many forums for answering questions, establishing credentials, picking up new lead information and identifying top contractors or other service providers. Think long term. This is not a place to advertise or ask for phone numbers. Listen, help people find the information they need and become a resource that they will turn to when the time is right.
Step 4: Post Content on Pulse
After a new blog hits the company website, publish that content on LinkedIn Pulse. Your content will reach a much wider audience looking for real estate information. An email newsletter is a good place to include links to LinkedIn articles, which doubles exposure, brings more profile views and encourages email forwards. Subtly ask readers to share the information with their friends.
Step 5: Test Sales Navigator
For serious leads and data, Sales Navigator is one of LinkedIn’s newest paid tools that is designed specifically for lead generation. Get real contact information for high-quality prospects, learn about the topics that interest them and respond to them in language they relate to on an instinctive level. The Lead Builder function will even give lead recommendations based on various criteria and using information on the web outside of LinkedIn.
Waiting for Connection
If you don’t feel ready yet for premium upgrade or paid tools – after all, why pay to bring in more leads than you will ever need – many find that just the free tools, especially Groups and Advanced Search, deliver homebuyers and sellers at the right stage in the process.
The real question is, “Do I have enough time to follow up properly on the leads I have?” What happens next with these leads is up to you. However, agents will never again have to sit in a quiet office waiting for the phone to ring. All the leads for a successful career are there waiting on LinkedIn for you (or someone else) to connect with them.