Home Buyer Referrals Go Social

October 2, 2012

Real estate developers and builders have long recognized the quality of potential leads driven from personal referrals. This assumption is now supported by research from Socialnomics.net that indicates only 14% of consumers believe advertising messages, but 90% trust peer recommendations.While many recognize this new dynamic, few sales organizations know how to utilize today’s technology to expand their reach.

Yes, friends and family continue to make the seasonal trip to South Florida and other warm destinations. Often they become envious of the lifestyle they experience while on vacation:holiday celebrations in shorts, poolside barbecues on Super Bowl Sunday or simply slipping into a pair of flip flops instead of snow boots. Who wouldn’t love blue skies and 70-degree temperatures in February?

Tapping into visiting homebuyers during high season has long been a goal of real estate professionals, but encouraging referrals from current residents or local real estate brokers can be an expensive endeavor. Not long ago, lead generation through traditional marketing outlets averaged $400 a lead.Today, a strategic social marketing program can target and deliver potential buyers for less than $3 a lead, year-round.

Social networks are quickly replacing traditional communication amongst family and friends. That great shot taken on the 4th green that would be shared with the foursome, is now shared with hundreds of friends, instantly online. It’s an ongoing conversation and endless opportunities to engage with potential consumers. Knowing how and when to join the conversation is critical to developing a successful program that delivers buyers to your door.

“Social marketing is truly an evolution of public relations paired with exceptional customer service,” says Marissa Mastroianni, Digital Marketing Director for Cotton & Company. “These new channels provide an opportunity for ongoing engagement with our target consumers.  We are pulling them into the conversation rather than pushing our marketing message.”

Social media isn’t a fad, it’s a fundamental shift in the way we communicate. New networks are being developed every day. While Facebook is today’s most powerful lifestyle network and LinkedIn taps into the business community, the next big thing is always on the horizon. Affiliate marketing and referral programs now thrive through social networks and buyers expect an online presence. It’s no longer a matter if developers should utilize these channels; it’s only a matter of how well you do it.