An advocate of technology and social media, Meena Gujral connects with current and potential clients by blogging, responding to questions on real estate forums and posting links to articles on Facebook. She has worked in real estate for 25 years, with Coldwell Banker for 18 of those years, and for the past seven years she has owned Help-U-Sell Achievers Realty in Fremont, Calif.
She explains how technology has changed how she works, for the better.
“I remember the days when we used to find listings from a big thick book that was so difficult to carry around, the days when we had to map out every house, write down directions before taking the buyers in the car,” Gujral says. “The Internet and the GPS (technology) have made things much easier, saving time and energy so we can spend more time doing things we are good at, like building client relations and paying more attention to their needs. My goal has always been to help my buyers achieve their real estate goals.”
One way she uses technology to build client relations is through Trulia. She markets her listings and advertises open houses on the site, but what she uses Trulia the most for is to answer questions from buyers, sellers and agents.
“It is a platform where I get the most visibility. I get at least two to three leads every week from clients who have read my post and consider me the expert in that field or neighborhood,” Gujral says. “I have listed a few properties as a direct result from my Trulia answers. It is very easy to create a profile and get started to show up as the expert in your neighborhood.”
She suggests that Zillow.com is another site where you can set up a profile and start answering questions and advertise your listings and open houses.
Gujral also is active on other social media sites, including LinkedIn and Facebook. She explains that even though she has a separate Facebook page for her Help-U-Sell Real Estate office, she shares a lot of real estate articles and open house information on her personal Facebook page.
“I want all my friends to know me as an agent also, not just a friend,” she says. “I have actually had three friends contact me from my Facebook page and I am currently working on showing two of them homes, and the third one is a seller whose property I recently listed as a short sale.”
In addition to responding to questions on Trulia and posting to Facebook, Gujral also blogs. “I have five different blogging sites,” she says. “I used to blog twice a week, but I have to admit, I don’t do it as much now. I have had many clients tell me they saw my blog on a certain topic and that is why they called me. I just wish I had more time to blog since I do consider it good exposure.”
Another effective outreach technique for Gujral is drip email campaigns, which she has created for buyers and sellers. A drip email campaign sends pre-written messages to leads over a predetermined period of time. Clients have called her a year later after receiving her drip emails. “I am very excited that the Help-U-Sell Real Estate website will also have the drip email feature soon. It really works.”
[Note: Help-U-Sell Real Estate’s email campaign functionality will be live by early 2012.]
Gujral’s commitment to being considered a local expert extends to the new website her son is designing for her. The site offers community-level detail, where she can demonstrate and impart her hyperlocal knowledge, and the site also targets keywords that people searching for real estate in her immediate area would likely use, such as “Fremont Realtor” and “Pleasanton homes.”
“The bottom line is to make a site that both Google loves and customers love,” Gujral says. “We did this by targeting our content specific city-level keywords that we know buyers/sellers are looking for online.”
- I would advise all new agents to get out there with technology, social media and get your name across to as many people as you can. You are fortunate to be in real estate in this technology boom time where you can get so much more exposure without spending too much money at all.
- Make sure you ask for referrals from your past clients if you have been in real estate before coming to Help-U-Sell Real Estate.
- Get your clients to see you as the expert in the real estate field.
How are you using social media to get the word out about your brokerage?