You’ve heard about the importance of building a professional real estate network a million times, and it’s no secret that LinkedIn is one of the most effective ways to make connections. And while any agent can easily make a LinkedIn account, even the best agents have trouble building and leveraging their networks if they don’t know how to use LinkedIn to its fullest potential. From profile-building to advanced searching, here are our best tips for you to make the most out of your LinkedIn account so that you can leverage a large, relevant network of professionals for increased business success.
1) Creating a Stellar Profile
Before you can grow a network of trusted and relevant professionals, it’s imperative that you put time into crafting your personal profile. Your recommended connections are based on not only who you know, but also what your profile says about you. If your profile doesn’t accurately describe who you are as an agent, your connections will be less relevant.
A high-quality profile includes four elements: a profile picture, a cover photo, a short biography, and up-to-date work experiences and accomplishments.
Your profile photo should be consistent with the rest of your brand. For example, if you use a specific headshot across your other social media platforms and website, use that here as well so people can recognize you. This should be a professional and inviting photo that shows your respectability while also allowing some of your personality to shine through.
Your cover photo is what can set you apart when others view your profile. You should use it as an opportunity to showcase your real estate business and one or two impressive statistics or accolades that you have received as an agent. You can think of this as a “hook” to reel people in, whereas your biography and experiences shown in your profile will get them to stay.
You can add a personal biography under the “About” section of your profile to give visitors a reason to connect with you. A good biography should be concise but informative so that anyone can understand who you are and what you do. As an agent, it’s important that you convey your real estate experience; include a brief overview of your background, the market(s) you work in, and any specific areas of expertise.
You can expand on your experiences and accomplishments in the corresponding sections of your profile below your biography.
Go into more detail regarding specific outcomes you’ve achieved in your roles, as well as how you got to where you are today.
Add honors/awards you’ve received, publications you’ve been featured in and organizations you’re involved with.
- “Skills & Endorsements”
Add specific skills that make you stand out as an agent. Social media, real estate transactions and selling are a few examples.
- “Licenses & Certifications” and “Education”
You can also show your competence by updating these sections to reflect what you’ve achieved.
Another tip to optimize your profile is to customize your profile’s URL. When your LinkedIn profile was originally created, its URL was auto-generated with your name followed by a string of numbers. To increase your chances of being found by search engines, it’s a good idea to take out these numbers. First, click on “Me” at the top right corner of your LinkedIn dashboard. Next, click on “Settings & Privacy”, “Edit Your Public Profile”, and at the top right there will be an option to edit your custom URL.
2) Building a Solid Network
While a high-quality profile will help you get found by others, you can also grow your network by doing your own research to find beneficial connections. If you’re overwhelmed thinking about where to start, first connect with people you know. Whether it’s fellow agents, potential clients or past clients, the more people you can connect with, the more LinkedIn will promote your profile to others. In addition to this, LinkedIn will also begin providing you with recommended connections––usually people who are connected to your connections. So if you make an effort to connect with a lot of agents in your area, your recommended connections will likely be more relevant to your real estate business.
Besides using LinkedIn’s search feature and recommended connections to build your network, you can also conduct advanced searches. This is a great feature to use if you’re looking to expand your connections with a specific type of person. For example, let’s say your ideal client lives in Phoenix, Arizona, went to the same college as you and works in a business role. If you want to find this person, simply click on LinkedIn’s search bar, select a filter from the dropdown menu (like “People”), and you’ll see several options to narrow your search at the top of your screen.
Another way to expand your reach is by joining groups on LinkedIn. Groups allow professionals in a certain industry, with a certain job function or with specific interests to connect and share beneficial information with similar professionals. There are thousands of groups made for real estate agents that you can request to join. Some are more general and have hundreds of thousands of members, like the Real Estate Professionals Group, while others are more specialized by location or function, like the Arizona Luxury Real Estate group. Additionally, you can join groups for your local community to connect with potential clients and learn more about their needs.
Finally, engaging with your audience is just as important as growing your network. Posting consistently on LinkedIn will help you start conversations with your connections and stay at the top of their mind. But in order to do this effectively, you have to be mindful of what you post and when you’re posting it. For example, sharing blog posts about the state of your current real estate market or tips for buyers or sellers will likely be received well by potential clients––they’ll be interested in what you have to say and share it with their networks. On the other hand, sharing all of your listings with your network might sound like a good idea but can end up turning people away if that’s all you post. Rather than using your posts to advertise your business, focus on providing informative, helpful content and the business will come naturally.