How can your letting agency utilise LinkedIn?
A social media presence is something we’ve come to expect from brands these days, so it’s no surprise that most letting agents have adopted it on some level over the past few years. Facebook and Twitter are big contenders both providing solid opportunities for interacting with peers, customers and prospective clients; Pinterest and Instagram provide a visual medium; while professional network LinkedIn offers a range of benefits, from recruitment to unearthing new business opportunities.
As more letting agents take to LinkedIn to help build their brand, we've taken a look at how you can approach the world's best-known professional social network as well as some of its potential downsides...
Interacting with prospective clients
One of the main aims of any social media activity for letting agents is to engage with prospective landlords and hopefully generate some new business. LinkedIn provides an interesting alternative to Facebook and Twitter in this regard. As a professional network, agents are more likely to find professional landlords and high-earning property investors here and identify their target demographic through groups for specific communities, including landlords and property investors.
One of LinkedIn’s key benefits is that it is a professional site where users are looking to engage with professional content. This provides you with the opportunity to showcase your company in its best light and position your key staff as industry experts. You can interact with prospects through sharing content, public interactions, group discussions, direct messages and more.
Professional conversations and advice
As well as connecting with potential clients and existing customers, LinkedIn provides you with the opportunity to speak with your peers and engage in professional discussions. With numerous new policies being proposed and introduced by the Government in recent years - the ban on up front letting agent fees charged to tenants and the Right to Rent Scheme, for example - this platform gives agents from different parts of the country the chance to discuss how to tackle these challenges and the issues they are facing in day to day business.
As well as the obvious benefits of peer interaction, this type of networking provides another opportunity to publicly demonstrate your firm's knowledge and professionalism.
You're also able to view content from industry suppliers and have productive interactions with firms whose products could benefit your business.
A new wave of recruitment
Many agents will continue to use the tried and tested methods of hiring specialist recruiters and posting ads on jobs websites when looking for new staff. These methods remain effective; however, LinkedIn does provide a free alternative way to recruit.
Agents using LinkedIn effectively can post details of new vacancies and wait for the applications to roll in. Many firms also use LinkedIn to headhunt staff and speak to prospective employees directly. For agents still using traditional recruitment methods, LinkedIn can still prove very handy to look up applicants before an interview.
Search engine benefits
Another digital consideration for most estate and letting agents these days is Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). Everyone wants to appear near the top of Google searches for ‘property’ in their area and using LinkedIn is another approach to include in your SEO strategy. LinkedIn has a strong relationship with Google, meaning your company’s LinkedIn page will appear in search results and using LinkedIn can help to boost your homepage’s ranking.
What are the downsides?
LinkedIn has many positive benefits for letting agents and most problems fall back to a misunderstanding of how it works. Sometimes agents using the site will expect an instant Return on Investment, but that is rarely going to be the case. Rather than providing direct landlord sign ups, using LinkedIn is more likely to work as a brand-building exercise.
Being a B2B platform, LinkedIn doesn’t have the same level of consumers as Facebook or Twitter. And, due to its professional nature, it’s also rarely used as a website for clients and firms to have direct correspondence regarding customer service matters.
However, if used as part of dynamic, diverse and engaging social media strategy, LinkedIn can prove to be a great tool for letting agents, helping them to build their brand, enhance their recruitment process and interact with other industry professionals.