How to Use LinkedIn to Your Advantage

Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are all the rage recently when it comes to social media marketing. It seems like CE classes offered are only for these platforms. But what about the countless others? Many other platforms draw millions of business people and yet, so many of us spend little-to-no time marketing on them. Well we’re here to blast right through that and give you tangible tips and statistics to get you started marketing on platforms other than Facebook and IG. A big one is LinkedIn.

First of all, let’s aim to understand why we should be marketing on LinkedIn to begin with. Who can we potentially reach?

Who’s on LinkedIn?
LinkedIn now has 500 million members on its site and that number continues to grow each month. About 260 million people actively use their LinkedIn pages monthly.  Even though that seems like a huge number already, LinkedIn’s CEO, Jeff Weiner, has a goal to hit 3 BILLION users.

Almost 90 million millennials are active LinkedIn users as well. As we all know, millennials (ages 23-38) are currently buying more houses than any other generation. Many millennials are in decision-making positions, especially when it comes to buying their first or second home.

A lot of people are using and responding well to LinkedIn’s SlideShare. This is the perfect opportunity to showcase a current listing or give a mini presentation on interest rates, market update, etc.

Only three million LinkedIn users are actively sharing content. In comparison to how many business people are on LinkedIn (500 mil total, 260 mil active), that’s very few people getting their brand out on the platform. Which means YOUR content will be seen!

Now, we ask: What kinds of content should we be putting out on LinkedIn? Thankfully, LinkedIn is seen by most marketing executives as the best platform to find higher quality content. Typically, how-to lists or list-style posts perform the best. This can easily be used by real estate professionals in terms of content curation! For example, “3 Things to do This Weekend in Frisco” or “5 Netflix Shows to Watch this Summer” or “10 Best Family-Friendly activities in your Area!” Catch our drift?!  

Why Use LinkedIn?
According to many other businesses, LinkedIn works! According to Neil Patel, 93% of B2B marketers feel that LinkedIn is the best place to win leads.

More conversations are started on LinkedIn between business people than any other social media platform. See the below chart.

With that many people on LinkedIn and the stats to prove that gathering leads works on the site, all that’s left to do is start sharing content and getting your brand out there! 

How to use LinkedIn
First of all, set up a company profile on LinkedIn. Don’t worry – it’s free to set up! Fill in all of your information, your services in the About Us section, and include key words in this section, such as “D-FW real estate,” so that the page will come up in online searches.

Next, add a professional photo of a headshot or logo for the profile picture. You should aim to keep photos of families, dogs, or kids off the site. LinkedIn is slightly different from Facebook and people go to this site to find professionals. After that, start connecting with as many people as possible on LinkedIn.

Start adding your content as quickly as possible. Any videos, listing presentations, flyers and articles you already have is a great start.

“With more than two-thirds of LinkedIn’s users considering themselves ‘news junkies,’” Patel writes. “You’ll be hard-pressed to find an audience that is as ready and willing to consume your content.”

Incorporate LinkedIn into your daily or weekly posting habits. You can set aside 30-60 minutes at the beginning or end of the week to plan your social media posts for the upcoming week. Time blocking is crucial to being productive and your social media should be no different.

Similar to Facebook, you can create posts with just text, photos, or videos. And don’t forget hashtags! Similar to Instagram, hashtags can also be used on LinkedIn to help with Search Engine Optimization and to find followers that you normally wouldn’t without those hashtags.

Search for and join groups that are relevant to you! You can also start your own groups and be in charge of the content for that group. This is the easiest and quickest way to get in front of like-minded people and, hopefully, capture more leads. All that’s needed to start a group is to click on the “Create group” button under the “My Groups” tab. Be sure to include all the information needed to start the group and get creative with your niche.

Lastly, similar to Facebook and Instagram, ads can also be run on LinkedIn with company profiles. Here is a step-by-step article on how to run ads through LinkedIn’s Campaign Manager.

As always, First International Title is here to help! Reach out to your local rep for questions or assistance on setting up your LinkedIn page or help with any other social media platform. Need more tips? See our previous blog, “Top Seven Social Media Tips”.

Top 10 Resources REALTORS® Should Use

REALTORS® should continuously be looking for ways to increase their real estate knowledge and become better at their craft. However, sometimes it can be overwhelming trying to find the right, credible content to work with. Here are our top 10 ideas for resources and tools agents can use to always be learning.

1. News Sites
For an agent, it’s crucial to stay on top of, not only what’s happening in the local market, but what’s happening with the country’s economy overall. Distinguished journaling sites like The Wall Street Journal and Inman provide the most recent and relevant news to keep REALTORS® up to date. A REALTOR’S® knowledge from these sites helps to differentiate him/her from the other competition. Most agents won’t take the time to read and truly understand real estate and the ever-changing economy. Take 10 minutes in the morning over coffee or breakfast and read up!

2. Texas A&M Real Estate Center
This is a free website to stay briefed on the Texas economy. It’s a credible news site to quote from or reference the data in a meeting or a presentation. Check out their most recent Outlook for the Texas Economy.

3. YouTube
Seriously! If an agent has a specific question on how to do something or simply want to learn a new topic, search YouTube for an answer from other agents or experts. Tech Savvy Agent is a great YouTube page to follow. They keep their readers informed on all things technology, to make lives and jobs just a little bit easier.

4. Pinterest
Pinterest is the perfect social media site to engage with for the more creative agents who love pop-bys, creating adorable closing gifts, hosting an outstanding open house, and simply staying inspired to give their clients a unique experience. Countless real estate boards can be found by simply searching for “Real Estate.” It’s also great for finding new flyers or guides to share with buyers and sellers in order to make their transactions as smooth as possible.

5. Real Estate Champions
Whether a brand new agent or an experience broker, this site has something for everyone. Coaching, live classes, training, and free resources are all available to agents on their website. You can also follow them on Facebook to stay up to date on cutting edge industry news, announcements, and insight from their president, Dirk Zeller.

6. National Association of Realtors
NAR is “America’s largest trade association” with 1.3 million members representing all sides of residential and commercial real estate. They aim to help all of their members become more profitable and successful. From education to events to politics and various resources, NAR has everything a REALTOR® may need for information. Find out how to join here.

7. Canva
For the agents who don’t have high marketing dollars or brokerages who provide all marketing materials, is the perfect (FREE) graphic design website. Agents can create beautiful and clean flyers, post cards, logos, tags, business cards, and social media posts. This user-friendly website accommodates any person with any level of design experience, from beginner to professional designers!

This is a great website for free flyers and guides to download that help with client education. The site also has various tools for lead generation, management, and business growth. Similar to Canva, this can also be invaluable for the agent who has a limited marketing budget.

9. FirstInAgent ONE
This is the perfect real estate app to run buyer closing costs, net sheets, open house flyers, and find new infographics to share online or with clients. It takes seconds to run reports and share with clients via text, email, etc. Sell a house while standing in line at the grocery store! Find FirstInAgent ONE in the app store.

10. A Coach
Having a personal real estate coach may be worth the cost and time. A personal coach can teach agents how to be self-motivated, professional, a public speaker, and/or how to brand themselves. For REALTORS® just getting into the business, a professional coach can give them the push they need to put themselves out there, start prospecting, and build their book of business.

Your First International Title reps are dedicated to helping you reach your goals and build your business. Reach out to your office’s rep today and set an appointment to see how we can assist you!

Foundation Tips for Homeowners

Because of the long periods of heat, Florida can be infamous for its fair share of foundation issues. As the weather becomes dry and hot, the soil around your home will contract and possibly cause your house to shift. This can explain cracks and uneven surfaces in your home. To avoid some very costly and time-consuming house repairs, here are some tips from various companies on how to care for your foundation.

Schedule a yearly plumbing inspection
According to Granite Foundation Repair, “plumbing leaks are one of the biggest causes of foundation issues. Check for leaks in sprinkler systems, freshwater lines, sewer lines and other parts of your plumbing system.”

If you notice a plumbing leak anywhere in your house, call your plumber immediately.

Install root barriers
If a large tree with invasive roots is too close to your home foundation, you can have root barricades installed. You may also have the tree removed from your property to prevent damage, such as heaving in driveways and sidewalks, cracking in walls and sometimes even sewer line issues.

Common trees with invasive roots are Silver Maple, American Elm, Live Oaks, and Magnolias.

Keep the soil around your home foundation at a constant moisture level
Many Florida homes have a sprinkler system installed around the base of the house. If your home does not have this, it may be worth the time and money to install one and prevent swelling and shrinking of the soil around your concrete.

“The soil… [has] a tremendous capacity to absorb (and lose) water,” An article by Dawson Foundation Repair stated. “This means that the soil will swell when it is very wet and it will shrink when it is very dry. This creates significant stresses on the concrete slab which is resting on top of the soil. Keeping the soil around your home foundation at a constant moisture level with seepage water hoses will help reduce the chances of needing house leveling in the future.”

Install a good drainage system for your home
Houses are built on either a positive or a negative slope. A positive slope ensures that water is draining away from the building. A negative slope does just the opposite: it forces water to flow towards your foundation.

Be sure to consistently clean out your homes gutters and downspouts. Granite Foundation Repair also explained how to unclog a clogged downspout: you may need to insert a plumber’s snake into the downspout to clear it out completely.

Monitor your home’s temperature
To the best of your ability, keep your house at a consistent temperature without going too high or too low. Too many temperature fluctuations may cause your structure’s concrete slab to expand and then contract, which causes foundation damage.

Keep a Foundation Log
It may be a good idea to track the changes in foundation, especially by noting the size of cracks and such. To a foundation repair specialist, this written log can be extremely valuable, should your house need repairs.

Check your homeowner’s insurance
Depending on your policy, it may cover foundation or plumbing repair. This would ease up a lot of the out-of-pocket costs for you and your family.

Questions? Comments? Reach out to your First International Title rep today!