Agents' Facebook friends a ‘living CRM’

The new blood in real estate brings an innate understanding of how social media can benefit their work, but they are new to approaching and mining their existing digital network.

 Experts believe young estate agents need to learn how best to approach Facebook and Twitter friends as a ‘living CRM tool’.

Many trainers, directors and principals believe the most effective of the new breed need the hunger and knowledge as to how to best use technology to their advantage.

PRDnationwide franchise director Todd Hadley said the key thing today’s up-and-coming estate agent needs to understand is that there has to be a balance between using social media effectively and using it as an outlet to promote their professional brand.

“The immediate reach is one of the biggest benefits,” Mr Hadley said.

“Years ago people would check Facebook at work and many thought they were up to no good but now we all have to change the way we look at the reach of a personal network, and the new generation of estate agents doesn’t realise the value of that and see LinkedIn as the professional site – they don’t realise their existing value,” Mr Hadley said.

“But part of the training we do is about not relying solely on their social media contacts – they have to approach it as a living CRM tool.”

PRDnationwide run two intakes of about 20 potential estate agents annually and put them through a "rigorous" four-day boot camp at their head office in Newstead, Queensland.

Raine & Horne Bathurst has recently appointed 32 year-old Grant Maskill-Dowton as director. Mr Maskill-Dowton earned his appointment through meeting a number of sales-orientated goals which were attained through his understanding of how to communicate with people online and personally.

Director of Raine & Horne Bathurst Matt Clifton said part of the reason for the appointment was that Mr Maskill-Dowton is a great communicator and has a thorough understanding of how best to use social media.

Mr Clifton said having someone with that mindset is a top enabler for the company.

“And it’s not just Facebook and the like,” Mr Clifton said.

“Most communication comes through technology like Facebook and Twitter, and as an industry that’s where we are heading and have only now begun to scratch the surface … you need to get the experts involved.”

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