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Your Online To-Do List (So Important, You Should Have Done These in 2009!)

Blog Contributor Business Challenges, Professional Development, Sales & Marketing, Technology & Social Media 9 Comments

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Stefanie Hahn

Stefanie Hahn

By Stefanie Hahn

What was hot online in 2009?

1. Google LOVES Facebook Fan Pages. Have you set one up for your real estate business? You should – trust me on this… no one wants to see your business on your personal Facebook page.  Setting up a Fan Page is a fast and fun way to share your business information, listings, real estate news, blog posts, photos and more with people who want to see what you’re up to in the real estate world.  Set up your page, start posting and begin gathering fans.  You should post your listings, real estate news and information from reputable sources, interesting and informative blog posts – yours or someone else’s – local blogs would be best, and post photos and videos of your listings and the areas you work in everyday.  Go to http://www.facebook.com/pages and click on +Create Page to get started.  You can build your page out before activating it for the Facebook universe.  And this is so great – Facebook gives you some basic stats on your “fans” – click on the “Ads & Pages” icon on the lower left (next to Facebook Applications) when you are logged in to see your fan page statistics.

2. Are you taking video? Why not?!!  YouTube was the second largest search engine this year.  The second!!!  You NEED to be shooting video right now.  Good thing for you it’s so easy to do these days!  Hopefully you put a Flip Video camera on your holiday wish list… the Flip cams are super easy to use and come with software that makes editing and posting online easy peasy.  Also important… invest in a tripod.  Please don’t make us queasy as we try to watch your listing video.  In this case, practice really does make perfect.  You can even practice at you own house.  Play around until you feel comfortable, turn all of the lights on, speak loudly and clearly and move slower than you think you should.  Shooting your video in segments is always a good idea – you can stitch the segments together while editing.  Once you feel good about it, sign up for a free YouTube account and create your own channel!

3. Twitter exploded in 2009. Are you tweeting your listings and more?  Twitter is a necessary evil.  You should be on Twitter and tweeting three to four times a day about your business.  Tweet your listings, links to all things real estate, what you are up too… Follow local people – many of the people you follow will follow you back if you seem interesting enough.  Twitter can grow your online network insanely fast.  Begin networking with locals that follow you on Twitter, consider attending local Tweetups in your area and take the online conversation offline at an alarming pace.

4. Are you blogging…or at the very least reading and commenting on blogs? You need fresh content to get to the top of the Google heap.   But unless you are (a) a good writer and (b) naturally inclined to write (meaning you like to write) – you won’t enjoy blogging and your blog will suffer.  Blogging is a commitment, much like joining a gym.  You have to blog regularly (4 times a week is suggested) to really have an impact.  On top of that, no one will read it until you really get going – and that can take quite a while.  My suggestion?  Read, read, read.  There are loads of fantastic blogs out there if you know where to find them.  Use a service like www.regator.com or www.alltop.com to start finding blogs you enjoy and find useful.  Use the keyword searches to find all sorts of great blogs and save your searches so you can always find the most recent content.  Commenting on blogs – which by the way is just like creating fresh content that Google loves – is a great way to get your name out there.  Make sure your comments are thoughtful and add something to the post.  Please don’t comment just to see your name on the comment trail.

5. Have you set up free accounts on Trulia and Zillow? Are you claiming your listings and answering consumer questions?  Trulia and Zillow are posting Realtor.com-like site stats these days – which means you need to be there.  Both sites will allow you to create a free account.  Both have a question and answer section where consumers can answer questions and YOU can be that helpful and informative expert on the other end.  Almost everyone already syndicates their feeds to these sites (there was some recent controversy about this but Zillow has indicated it is still accepting feeds for free), so setting up the free account will give you a little more info, allow you to upload your photo and provide you with additional street cred.

There are only a few days left…but I beg you not to leave 2009 behind without ticking these items off your to-do List!  2010 is only going to bring the real estate business more fun and exciting tools.  Some of them are coming to the surface already.  Please don’t be left in the dust of 2009.

Stefanie Hahn is the education director for Coldwell Banker Hearthside, REALTORS® in Willow Grove, Pa. Visit her Web site: www.StefanieHahn.com.

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Comments 9

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Your Online To-Do List (So Important, You Should Have Done These in 2009!) : YPN Lounge -- Topsy.com

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  3. The title should read: “Your Online To-Do List (So Important, You Should Have Done These in 2009 if they fit into your marketing strategy!)”

    Too many people say that you should do these things when many of them are a waste of time unless you’re engaging your audience. Engagement is a two way street. If I had a “friend” that was tweeting or making FB status updates 3-4 times per day about their listings I would unfollow them and hide them in my feed. Very few people use SM properly and this is because too many people just say, “You have to be on Facebook and Twitter.”

    It just isn’t true. If these tools fit within your marketing strategy, great use them, they can be fantastic tools. If they don’t and you can’t engage your audience with them, they are a waste of time. If you’re annoying your “friends” with a bunch of “Metweeting” they’ll unfollow and hide you. If you can engage your followers and fans, great, do it.

    I do like your Tweetup suggestions and using Twitter to keep in touch with people, but that’s more the engagement stuff I’m talking about versus the Metweeting. I also like your comments about FB fan page stat tracking and Video, but the goal needs to be continued engagement.

    We also need to be careful about Google. We know how it works today, we have no clue what’s going to happen once caffeine launches. SEO as we know it goes away unfortunately.

    Bottom line, these things are necessities, but they can be nice tools to use in the implementation of your marketing strategy. Further they are worthless without engagement (back and forth). More important is to have a well defined brand and a strategy to further the brand than to worry about Tweeting and status updates and making videos if those things don’t help to better your brand.

  4. Marty – thanks for commenting! I am looking forward to seeing your continued success with these tools in 2010 🙂

    Ryan – thank you for your comments! I think, with the exception of video, that all of these items are really about engagement. The “engagement” is the whole point of the Facebook Fan Pages, Twitter, blogging, and the Trulia and Zillow accounts – you are engaging your audience through different social media tools, whatever their preference as you “ask” them to be a fan and they “choose” to follow you or read your blog.

    Personally, the back and forth with my social media network creates a comfort level unlike any I have experienced when I finally get to meet my network pals in real life. Our pre-engagement online can feel like years of knowing someone when you are finally face-to-face.

    I think you can tweet your listings. I follow loads of real estate people all over the country and as long as they are mixing the personal tweets in and engaging me in the conversation, I’m cool with seeing a few of their listings.

    You’re right SEO is another animal entirely. I usually start any SEO conversation with “right now Google loves this …” because who knows how the rules will change tomorrow. But that’s the best part!

    All of these are really just my humble opinions. Thanks again for reading and commenting!

  5. Thanks for the suggestions for the blog readers. Without a tool like that its tough to stay on top of all the articles I want to read. I would love to see what this article would look like if it was updated for 2012

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