Regional agents - and particularly those just entering the industry - can use social media to get an edge over their less technologically-savvy competition, PRDnationwide Tamworth agent Mark Sleiman has claimed.
“I find that in central Sydney, social media is already utilised quite well,” Mr Sleiman told Real Estate Business.
“But when you look at regional real estate, no one does it. I’m hoping to spread the market to the country.”
“I’ve been active on YouTube and Twitter for about two years - they have given me a huge presence on the internet,” he continued. “It’s enabled me to promote myself as the market leader in internet advertising in Tamworth. It has also given my current listings an edge.
“For those buyers out of town that are looking to move to Tamworth, it provides a virtual inspection to entice them into moving here,” he explained.
Mr Sleiman has around 170 followers on his twitter page where, along with support for his favourite My Kitchen Rules team, he provides followers with market updates on the local area.
“Not too many people who are looking to buy are following me [right now],” he said. “The main reason [for the twitter] is awareness of the market. And nine times out of ten, one day they will have to sell and guess who they are going to come to?”
Mr Sleiman said he has been contacted by sellers via twitter and Facebook.
“It has happened,” he said. “It’s usually a friend, or friend of a friend who contacts me over Facebook and says, ‘Look, I know all about you and I’m looking to sell’.”
Mr Sleiman said social media was challenging all old ideas about attracting and keeping customers. “Twitter allows me to punch out information constantly and give my clients or followers quality information at the click of a button,” he said.
He spends around half an hour a day promoting himself and his business on various social mediums. “At first it started as 10 minutes here and there. But it’s an infectious medium to play with.”
Mr Sleiman said he first considered marketing himself through social media to gain traction in the market. “As a young agent entering the marketplace in an area such as Tamworth, which thrives on referral business - I needed to become known, and do it quickly,” he explained.
“The internet allows me to have a presence in the market 24 hours a day and it let me swiftly set myself up and begin to establish my roots for the future.
His plan for the next 12 months is to post videos and tweets with valuable industry information. “I will be discussing subjects that potential vendors like to hear about such as the current real estate market in our area, and key topics in our business such as competition, pricing your property and vendor paid marketing,” he said.