LinkedIn for real estate professionals is primarily about generating online conversations and connections that convert to new business.
Like most agents and property managers, you’re probably on LinkedIn. But you may find it's not a huge driver of leads for you. Not directly, anyway.
It's nonetheless a critical part of your customer’s journey. Whether your online presence is primarily on an agency's website or your own one, LinkedIn in many cases forms part of your prospects' research. For that reason alone, it's worth it to create the best profile you can.
The good news here comes in threes: for one, it's not hard to maximise your profile and influence on LinkedIn. For another, LinkedIn is primed for better reach and easier access to leads than any other social media source. And for a third, with so many real estate professionals scarcely maintaining their LinkedIn profiles, there’s plenty of room for you to stand out.
1. Instantly upgrade your LinkedIn profile
Add keywords to your summary
Don’t underestimate the power of keyword searches on LinkedIn. If prospects or other agents are searching for real estate professionals in their area, chances are they will start with a keyword search. If you're ranking well enough in LinkedIn, the keywords you use can start to turf up your profile in Google search results.
And the keywords they’re searching for? They’re likely to be geographically focused, and services-oriented. Accordingly, you should be using location, profession, and service-related keywords in your personal summary. You’ll only need to add two or three to be instantly more findable. Pro tip: separate these using the vertical separator | key, which you can find above the Enter key on most Qwerty keyboards.
Include alternate spellings and misspellings of your name
This one is for anyone with a name that's frequently misspelled. Unfortunately, LinkedIn is keyword-based, and not especially sensitive to alternate name spellings. To get around that, include nicknames and popular misspellings of your name (both first and last) at the very bottom of your Summary. Again, separate these with, well, separators. It'll ensure you still get found, in spite of all your searchers' botched spelling attempts.
Include rich media
After you’ve edited your Summary, scroll down just a little further and you’ll see the Media section. If you have any links to your website, YouTube or other social media channels etc., this is the place to include them. This is also the place to upload any videos, articles, or other professional material that you have to offer. LinkedIn algorithms, like Facebook ones, also score your profile for quality. That translates in part to the completeness of your profile. So to make your profile more visible, fill in every space LinkedIn gives you—including this one.
Make an eye-catching LinkedIn banner image with your name and title
You’ve no doubt got a decent, professional head shot of you on your profile. But what about your banner image? A beautiful background image on your profile is a chance to express more of your personal brand and aesthetic. Besides that, it also makes your profile more appealing and memorable to viewers. Just make sure to include your name in the banner image too. It means prospects won't need to read the small print to find out who you are.
This can be created quickly and elegantly using the power of Canva. Canva is basically graphic design for time-poor non-designers. Get yourself a free account, and you’re ready to start creating.
Type 'LinkedIn' into the ‘What would you like to design?’ box, and it will create an image of the right dimensions, with a stack of free drag-and-drop layout options.
The rest is so ludicrously simple, you should just… go get an account already. Here’s an example of some banner images our staff made using Canva:
Stuck for good banner image ideas? You can head to Unsplash or Death to Stock Photo to find beautiful, free photos to use as your base. Then let the inspiration begin! Once you’ve created your masterpiece, upload it as your new banner image from your profile page.
2. Link to your profile more
Start by creating a public badge. A public badge is a LinkedIn branded tile with your head shot that sits on your web page or website, and predictably, it links to your LinkedIn profile. Go ‘Edit public profile & URL’ > ‘Create a badge’. If you're already signed into LinkedIn, here's a direct link to the page you need.
If that seems a little bit technical for you, alternately you could include a link to your profile in your email signature, business card, and anywhere else you publicly share details of your business.
3. Engage, curate and create using the 1:1:1 formula
Creating influence via online engagement on LinkedIn isn’t hard, and can yield bigger and better referral networks quickly. But without the right formula, engaging online can be time-consuming.
For more bang for your proverbial buck, try the 1:1:1 ratio of online engagement. That’s writing one (1) comment on somebody else’s post per day, sharing one (1) post per week to your LinkedIn feed, and writing one (1) short blog post on LinkedIn per month.
To write an article, use the ‘Write an article’ button in LinkedIn. Tip: you won't find this button on your profile. When you're signed in, hit the house icon to be taken to your LinkedIn feed, with this dialog box at the top of the screen:
There are very few professional writers on LinkedIn sharing their wealth of knowledge. By and large, LinkedIn articles are written by professionals of every industry and creed—and you can join their ranks. The trick is to write what you know, write about it from an angle of personal experience, (without overshares, obviously) and write about it with the assistance of Grammarly or another decent spellchecker.
But if writing an article of your own still gives you the heeby-jeebies, you might need some more in-depth writing advice to get you started. Start with this piece, or this one, or this one. Rest assured there’s plenty of other how-to-write articles there to light your way through your first—and subsequent—pieces.
4. Use LinkedIn to build a referral and partnership network
If you’re looking for business growth, you’ve probably already invested some energy in nurturing a referral and partnership network. To capture more services in your area, try doing geographically targeted searches in your suburb on LinkedIn for professionals from industries adjacent to property management, such as surveyors and tradespeople.
This is also a great place to find and grow your networks of other real estate professionals, too. Searching for your suburb, city, or profession can uncover LinkedIn groups of like-minded people. It's an easier way to network and grow industry relationships.
The important thing is not to connect and forget. What use is having 500+ contacts if you have no relationship with any of them?
LinkedIn adds velocity to your customer’s journey
Most prospects choose a real estate agent or property manager only after a number of touch points with your or your agency’s brand. They’ll check your agency’s website, read your reviews, check your listings, Google you… and check your LinkedIn profile (especially if it shows up in search results).
While you might continue to not see a lot of new business come directly through your LinkedIn profile, with a refresh and an engagement strategy, it can work harder for you. It might even become one of your most important pieces of online real estate. What's more, by making it easier for prospects to find your profile and be impressed by it, you’ll also add some velocity to their journey. That means they’ll convert more often, and probably faster too.
Wondering what to read next? Learn how to write a compelling agent bio. Or learn about these five productivity hacks to live by in the new financial year. Find out what property management looks like in the next twelve months, or get the cliff notes on what we released at the Autumn Release Webinar.