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5 Key Social Networks for Real Estate Agents and Why You Should Participate

Rebarcamp Blogging from ReBarCamp in San Francisco... 120+ participants, lots of energy, networking, great conversations on a variety of topics (from Foreclosures 2.0 to everything blogging and social networks). 

An informative and thought-provoking session entitled: "What are the 5 Social Networks Every Agent Should Participate In?"   brought out some key points to explore before deciding what social networks to join.

  1. What is your objective, outcome, goal?  And it should not just be about the sale!  The power of social networking is connecting with others and building relationships.  It's about the community and sharingIt's about you being authentic and transparent and not just another salesperson.  The same basic principles of traditional networking groups apply to online networking - it's about meeting people, having a conversation and socializing!
  2. Find social networks that fit your lifestyle, hobbies and passions.  What do you like to do?  What are your interests?  Real Estate Agent Teresa Boardman is an avid photographer.  She shared her success with Flickr - using photos in her blog and being actively involved in the Flickr community.  She goes on group photo walks set up by local members, for example.  For Teresa, it's all about meeting people, building the trust and relationship first - sales and listings will be the ultimate result.
  3. Leverage the power of your profile.  All of these networks have a profile - complete it fully!  This is your opportunity for people to get to know something about you right away.
  4. Keep it Local.  Research and join social networks that have a local connection.  You could join Yelp.com and contribute reviews of local restaurants or businesses for example.  Or, join a Meetup.com group (or start one) that you are interested in to meet new people and build community.

By the way, the consensus from the group to answer the initial question of which 5 Networks to participate in...

  1. LinkedIn - the best professional, business social network; online resume service
  2. Facebook - started out as a college crowd network and has really grown up; stay connected with your groups and contacts 
  3. Flickr - share photos - including your listings - make sure to optimize for search engines by including titles and tags for all of your photos
  4. Active Rain - largest social network for real estate professionals; great starting point for new bloggers
  5. Twitter - spontaneous blogging; you can use your cell phone to post brief comments(140 characters or less); answers the question "What are you doing now?"; broadcast to your network quickly and easily

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