RE/MAX Executive Realty agent Bill Gassett is clearly doing something right. With 27 years in the business, and over 31,000 followers on Google+ and approaching 19,000 on Twitter, it's safe to say that Gassett is hitting it out of the park when it comes to social media. For many agents, mastering social media and social networking is a difficult task when faced with the many time constraints that come with working in such a fast-paced industry. However, for agents like Gassett who spend the time making connections and sharing dynamic content, social media can quickly become a valuable and profitable tool to any real estate professional's business plan.
We talked to Gassett to get the scoop on how he stays successful with Google+, Twitter, and more, and what other REALTORS® can do to really make the most of what social media has to offer.
Nick Caruso: What regions do you serve, Bill?
Bill Gassett: I work in the Metrowest Massachusetts area which is 25-30 miles west of Boston. My coverage area includes three counties including Middlesex, Worcester and Norfolk.
NC: How many transactions do you close on average, per year?
NC: What is the average sales price in your market?
BG: This varies from town to town. A good estimate would be $350,000 to $550,000, depending on the town.
NC: What types of properties do you typically list?
BG: I list everything from lower end condos to million dollar plus homes. The majority of the homes I sell end up being between $300,000 and $700,000.
NC: What kinds of clients do you primarily work with?
BG: My business is structured to work mostly with sellers. The buyers I do work with tend to be seller clients who are staying in the area and are purchasing another property. I will also work with buyers who have been referred to me. The buyer inquiries that are generated from my marketing efforts are referred to a couple of buyer agents in my company.
NC: You have some very impressive numbers across your social media pages! What advice or tips can you give to agents who aren’t so well versed in social media?
BG: One of the biggest blunders I see with real estate agents is thinking that social media is all about selling - it is not. Social media is about building relationships with people that can potentially help your business grow. The perfect example is the relationship I have established with you guys at RISMedia. This would never have happened without three things: Decent content on my part, visibility on social media channels, and the outreach made to see if you would be interested in hearing my voice within your community.
The best way to make social media work is to be social. At the top of the list is to share other people’s content first. We all love to be put in the spotlight. Every person who has a blog loves to see other people sharing, commenting and linking to his or her articles. The way to get recognized is to be a giver first. Things usually come full circle when you are willing to give generously. One of the better ways to have that happen is to help your peers. On numerous occasions I have written content to help my fellow real estate agents, whether it is how to use Google+, Pinterest, or even some way to make their individual websites better.
NC: Can you give our readers some tips on how agents can properly network on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc.?
BG: Google+, Twitter and Pinterest are three of my favorite social channels. On Google+ I tend to share a bit more of my own content as I have found it is a great medium for spreading your voice. If you are in the real estate industry, I would highly recommend joining some of the more visible Google+ real estate communities. This allows your voice to be heard in a much larger social setting, especially if you have not obtained a significant number of followers on your personal profile yet. Numerous people share and interact with excellent real estate content here in the community on a daily basis. It is also important to know who to connect with when joining Google+. Here is a good guide of who is active on Google+ in the real estate sector. These are great folks to have in your real estate circles.
Twitter is all about establishing your voice with others who like your content enough to share it daily and reciprocating the favor for them. There are a number of people who have become regular readers of my blog that re-tweet what is shared on Twitter. The key here again is to be social. Unless you are one of the most recognized brands or are recognized as an SEO or social media guru, sharing others’ content is how you attain followers. The little guy is not going to succeed if all he or she does is broadcast and not reciprocate with others who have taken the time to share their content.
Believe it or not, Pinterest is the number one source of social media traffic to my website. The key to success with Pinterest is to have really good graphics. People are more likely to pin your content when you have done an outstanding job with a captivating visual. Taller pins tend to work better on Pinterest because of their size. Like anything else, the content within your pin needs to be excellent so people will begin to recognize who you are the more you pin.
One of the best ways real estate agents can kick up their Pinterest visibility is to join a top real estate group board. A Pinterest group features multiple members and tends to attract more followers which can ramp up your visibility in a shorter period of time. The beauty with Pinterest is your articles have an endless shelf life. People continuously share great pins whereas in other social sharing platforms, the initial sharing of your content may only last a few days.
NC: Do you have any do’s or don’ts in terms of what agents should/should not share on social media?
BG: The first instinct with most real estate agents on social media is to share their listings. Unless you are in the REALTOR®’s geographic locale and are interested in buying a home, you are probably not going to have any interest in a real estate agent pushing listings in your face. So many REALTORS® just don't seem to get this and fail miserably at social. People don't go on social networks to find real estate listings.
Consumers, however, are more likely to work with an agent who is knowledgeable. This can be accomplished by having a visible blog. Sharing your expertise via a blog is a great way to be seen and heard online by people who potentially may want to do business with you. The cornerstone of my business is my Massachusetts Real Estate Blog. This is where I share my best advice to buyers and sellers who search on the Internet to get their questions answered. One of the best things a real estate agent can do for business is have a blog that is filled with exceptional content.
Personally, I am also not a fan of people constantly sharing their political views. There is always one side of the fence you may turn off which is never a good thing in real estate.
NC: Where do you get all of your real estate news and how do you choose what to share with your network?
BG: Most of the real estate news I get comes from social sites including Twitter and Google+. I also get emails from some of the more well known real estate news channels such as RISMedia. I like to share things that can help a buyer or seller, as well as content my peers may find appealing.
Bill Gassett is a nationally recognized real estate leader who has been helping people move in and out of the Metrowest Massachusetts area for the past 27-plus years. He has been one of the top RE/MAX REALTORS® in New England for the past decade. In 2013, he was the #1 RE/MAX agent in Massachusetts. Connect with him on Google+.