Danielle Garofalo is the Founder of Noisecut, a company that focuses on advancing social media and marketing techniques for the luxury real estate market. She enjoys helping those who share her passion for real estate by discussing the techniques that made her a success in sales and marketing for both small businesses and Fortune 100 companies. You can tweet her @dmgarofalo.

The key to becoming a success in real estate has always involved an agent’s ability to wear different hats for their client. Whether it’s negotiator, salesperson, marketer, researcher, or photographer, a top agent is able to transition seamlessly from one role to the next, and even juggle multiple roles at the same time.

The process was simple: a client was given an agent referral from a friend or newspaper ad, the agent met with the client and discussed their personal sales history and the history of the market, listed the home on the MLS, snapped a handful of pictures, waited for an interested buyer, negotiated the price, closed the deal and sold the home.

Hit rewind and repeat, and that’s the history of how real estate transactions have always been conducted. That is, until now. Real estate is changing because people and technology are changing. Clients today have the ability to do research on their own, so they are walking into an agent’s office more knowledgeable than ever. Because they know more, they want more. More professional pictures, more marketing, more communication, more everything. How do you provide more of everything to current and potential clients without sacrificing quality? Through social media, of course!

Here are four sites where every agent should have a presence:

– Facebook: There are 1 billion people on Facebook. 1 BILLION. With a B. If one seventh of the entire population of Earth is registered on a site, you should be there too. That number means that a good percentage of the people you know and will want to know are there. If a current client is on Facebook, they can share your listing of their home with their entire network. If a potential client is on Facebook, they can see pictures of your current listings, get the latest updates on what you’ve sold, and even see how your current clients are raving about your services.

– Trulia & Zillow: Trulia and Zillow are online real estate databases. These sites are extremely popular, each reporting monthly unique views of 22 million and 24 million, respectively. The sites allow agents to market their listings locally to generate leads, and even answer questions from potential homebuyers. Since the National Association of Realtors reports that 85 percent of home searches start online, having a presence on these two sites is a great way to position yourself for leads.

– LinkedIn: With 175 million users, LinkedIn is the largest online professional network. It’s a great way to connect to and get to know other agents and brokers. Join a group and share your experiences about almost everything. You never know what kind of insight another broker will offer that can make a difference for your business.

Although social media adaptation has been slow in the real estate industry, with Facebook recently reaching 1 billion members, even the biggest skeptics can no longer claim social networking is just a passing fad.

The industry has changed, which is good news for agents. Social networks mean more opportunities to connect with clients and receive instant feedback from potential buyers. More, is a very good thing.

How has social media changed the way that you’ve purchased or sold your home? 


Photo credit: mvptitle.com