What comes up when you do a google search of your name? If you’re a business owner, hopefully a few articles in which you were quoted discussing a new venture or product. If you’re an athlete, well, I doubt any of my readers are athletes so lets just ignore that one. But what about real estate brokers. In Omaha alone, there are over 200 real estate brokers (quite a bit considering the metro population is just about 850,000. How does one differentiate themselves from their competitors. We all can discuss the deals we have done, the people we have worked with, and our level of expertise in our focus. But making ourselves interesting, involved, and insightful is what can differentiate ourselves from the next guy.
Let me start by asking this, how many times do you google the random prospect that calls in off the sign to see if he or she is legitimate? I do it about every time. Often times, I am amazed that absolutely nothing meaningful comes up. Why then, do we assume that our prospective clients, building owners, and corporate clients do not do the same?
In a world dominated by social media: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, blogs, etc., we have the ability to control what comes up in our search. Being in my position, a first year industrial broker, I don’t have the luxury of having a large base of individuals that promote my expertise by word of mouth. I am not the most logical person for the local media to call when writing a story about the state of the Omaha Industrial Market. But that does not mean I don’t have the ability control what comes up when my name is googled by Mr. Prospect. Here are a few effective FREE tools that I have used over the past few months to help promote the business of ‘me.’
Twitter is probably one of the most effective tools out there to prove to prospects that you are knowledgable about your focus. Tweet about relevant news in your community, a deal that you just completed, or a new and immersing trend in your field. It shows people who you are “current” and are informed about the industry that you are involved in. It also provides a great opportunity to show you are more than just a broker. Tweet occasionally about the baseball game you went to, the event you recently attended, or the concert you’re at. It shows personality and makes you out to be human, not just a guy that runs around going to meeting and showings all the time.
Tell people what you do. Don’t assume that because you are Joe the Office broker that people know what it is that you do. Maybe you are a specialist in the field of medical office or CBD office. Let them know what your skills are that make you unique. Most importantly, give them some insight as to how you became who you are: what you studied, where you studied, what you’ve achieved, and what you can do for your clients.
Have an opinion on a new company opening new operations in your town? Are you in favor or opposed to a controversial development? A blog is a fantastic way to create your own relevance and to get your point of view out there. It also provides a great way to again show that you are relevant and knowledgable about your field of expertise and make it known.
These are just a few of the tools that I have been utilizing to help build and promote my business. I am not sold on the concept of advertising through Facebook (maybe just a little bit like GM, and apparently all those out there selling its stock like a hot potato). But there are so many tools out there to help tell people the story of you. Maybe the prospective client I just cold called takes the extra minute to google me and find out more about who I am. Maybe he or she doesn’t. Regardless, it is important that the information is there for the taking.
Now, I have not gotten that phone call from Mr. Prospect who calls me and says “Hi I read about you online and want you to work for me.” Honestly, I don’t think that will ever happen. But that’s not the point. The point is to further yourself as an expert in your field and to prove your knowledge, insight, and worth to a prospective client if he or she actually does want to find it. I’d personally rather it be there for the taking than take the chance of it not.