by Kate Dirrane
In recent years, the impact of the Millennial Generation on the housing market has become impossible to ignore. Young professionals have become savvy consumers in a world of limitless search tools and instant messaging, and this is never more evident than in purchasing a home. Websites like Zillow make the most recent listings available at our fingertips, and with one click, we can be in touch with the real estate agent or loan officer. There is no need to settle, not in the era of HGTV and Pinterest fueling the need for picture perfect homes from the start. In essence, presentation has truly become everything.
This age of instant access has not only changed the products we look for, but also the manner in which we shop. Whether it is a new pair of shoes or searching for our dream home, the search has become internet-driven with option overload and extensive research. This has led to a fundamental shift in the way companies and salespeople reach their consumers. We’ve entered into a new era of salesmanship, one that is bound together by authenticity and accessibility—an era of “social selling.”
Historically, the sales profession was once associated with unwanted telephone calls or the overzealous car salesman that just can’t seem to give you a straight answer. We’ve seen the execution of sales evolve over time with technological advances that have made reaching potential customers far easier. Social Media has transformed into a hobby, a sort of leisure activity for teens and young adults in today’s world. We’ve traded in cookbooks for food blogs, and dog calendars for ‘It’s Doug the Pug’s’ daily Instagram post. However, our use of Facebook and Instagram does not stop there. Our beloved websites have been slowly infiltrated by ads, fueled by our Google searches and recent likes. Our Social Media pages have turned into a perfectly curated top producing salesman. Our needs are anticipated before we even realized we had them.
While major corporations spearheaded the initiative, we’ve slowly, and then all at once, seen the use of Social Media from individual salespeople. This is especially true in the real estate profession, with a social media presence becoming not only an option but also a necessity. Loan officers and real estate agents have begun using Facebook to market products, open houses, and most importantly, themselves. The Internet has given consumers hundreds and thousands of options, all easily comparable by a few simple clicks. So, how does one loan officer stand out from all the noise? Social Media!
Our various platforms have given companies and salespeople an invaluable gift. The gift of controlling one’s own image. We’re now in direct control of how others view us, all due to the content we choose to disseminate over the Internet. We all now can add curator to our resume, because keeping up with these platforms is no easy task!
Not all social selling is created equal. Millennials want to see you. What sets you aside from the average salesperson? This means sharing your business model and events, yes, but also sharing yourself. What are your interests and hobbies? What do you do in your personal time? All of these qualities create a complete, three-dimensional person that instills trust in the consumer. What makes you stand out from every other real estate professional in your area is what matters. This also means being in tune with what millennials are looking for in a salesperson: genuineness, personal connection, and a greater mission than profit. Although it may seem counter-intuitive to the more traditional perspective on professionalism, now it is important to show what charities matter to you and what you do on the weekend for fun. This creates a strong sense of brand loyalty as well as the consumer forms a connection to you versus a company.
Tapping into the ever-evolving role of Social Media in our world will give you a huge advantage in business. You are already working hard on events and creating business, why not take a few extra minutes out of your day to document it? Small changes, such as status updates and uploaded photos to your Facebook page can make big differences in visibility. You can generate business in the comfort of your own office and just through being yourself. That doesn’t sound too bad, does it?
Kate Dirrane is an Account Representative for National Mortgage Insurance where she covers the New England Market. She brings 5 years experience and a fresh Millennial perspective to her local market. Contact Kate at Kate.Dirrane@NationalMI.com.