The general public may not realize it, but real estate agents are an integral part of every community. For people moving into a city or neighborhood for the first time, their agent is often the first person they encounter from the area. This makes agents the unspoken face of an area. Because of this, it is crucial for an agent to leave a great first impression – not only for their personal success through increased sales but also for the new homeowner’s sense of support and belonging.
One of the best ways real estate agents can make a great first impression (while simultaneously giving back to the community) is by interacting with the businesses around them. Perhaps the best part is that agents rarely have to step a foot inside the building.
How? Through interacting with local businesses online.
In addition to helping new homeowners feel more at home and eventually driving sales, the benefits of online interaction with local businesses are plentiful.
1. Building a Vast Network of Local Professionals
Networking is a powerful tool that real estate agents should take advantage of. The creation of long-term relationships benefits the agent by anchoring them in the community they serve. It also helps the agent create a positive reputation for themselves and their business.
While professional networking sounds like a chore, it can be a fun and effective way for agents to establish themselves, develop a sense of trust and support within the community, and bolster their career.
Once an agent is firmly rooted in their community, it becomes easy to support new homeowners by referring them to the people and businesses they need most.
2. Creating a Complementary Resource for New Homeowners
When homeowners are new to an area, they may be at a loss when it comes to knowing who to call for help. Who is the best person to call for a home inspection? Which coffee shop has the friendliest baristas and the tastiest espresso? What grocery store has the best deals?
Through building an extensive network within the community, real estate agents have all of these answers and more. In addition, a personal recommendation can mean a lot more to the homeowner (and the business).
Agents can take their connections to the next level by creating a complimentary resource for new homeowners. Whether it is a pamphlet given to the newcomer on closing day or a resource posted online, this resource can be a saving grace. Newcomers will be grateful for the recommendations, and local businesses will be grateful for the commerce!
3. Gaining Name Recognition in the Community
New homeowners are not the only ones benefiting from an agent’s interaction with local businesses. By building relationships in the community and supporting businesses in the area, agents start to be known on a first-name basis.
Through interacting with these businesses online, agents not only develop a sense of familiarity with owners, investors, and staff – they also start to be recognized by the business’ customers, followers, and clientele.
This sense of familiarity can work wonders in growing an agent’s career. People who have heard of an agent’s name before tend to choose that agent over an agent they have never heard of. Familiarity on its own creates a sense of trust. Moreover, when people see a real estate agent interacting with businesses online, they see that the agent is invested in their community.
4. Becoming a Referral from Influential People in the Community
The more agents interact with local businesses, the more local businesses will notice – and refer to them. This is a great way for the real estate agent to grow their business organically. Businesses are also likely to give back out of appreciation for your own referrals, as well as your interaction and support. Building a successful business is an endeavor that cannot be done alone – it takes the support of a community!
How to Interact with Local Businesses Online
With all this talk of interacting with local businesses, you may be wondering what practical steps you can take to jump on board. While there are a plethora of creative ways you can network with businesses in your community, we have a few ideas to help you get started:
1. Tweet About Them
Twitter is one of the most popular social media platforms on the web today. As a real estate agent, having an active social media presence is important not only for building your following but also for networking purposes.
If you visited a local business recently and had a great experience, tweet about it! If a local business has a great sale going on or posted something worth sharing – retweet it!
2. Upload a Photo on Instagram
Everyone loves to look at photos of delicious food and beverages, beautiful floral arrangements, and stunning displays. The next time you visit a local florist, boutique, restaurant, or coffee shop, snap a picture and upload it to Instagram. Be sure to tag the business and add relevant hashtags for maximum impact.
This is a great practice to get into whether you are supporting the business at an event or just stopping by for your morning latte.
3. Comment on Posts
Local businesses often post on social media, whether it is Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, or another platform. An easy way to interact, show your support, and get your name out there is by responding to various posts. Write out a thoughtful comment, answer a question, or if you don’t have much time, comment with an emoji.
4. Link Back to the Business in a Blog Post
Regularly writing blog posts is a great way to boost your website’s SEO value. Another benefit of frequent blogging is the ability to link back to a relevant local business whenever you get the chance. This linking strategy will increase the traffic on your website and boost the local business’s website simultaneously.
5. Stop in and Say Hi
While this suggestion does not involve online interaction, it does help to supplement your digital efforts. Take the time to stop into the local business, purchase a pastry or a garment, and allow the business to put a face to the name they see online. Your physical presence and tangible support will mean a lot to them, and more than likely, you will reap the reward in referrals.
All in all, as a real estate agent, you have the opportunity to make a huge impact on your community. By interacting with local businesses online and extending your network out to clients, you can effectively:
- • Generate more sales through referrals from businesses
- • Help newcomers feel more at home in their new neighborhoods through your complimentary local business resource
- • Give back by boosting sales for local businesses
- • Further establish yourself and your name in local real estate and your community as a whole
Just follow the steps we have outlined for online interaction, and watch your business – and your community – grow!