The fundamentals of direct marketing are the same, only the tools have changed

Linda Day Harrison
Linda Day Harrison | 4 min. read
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Published on July 16, 2012

The other day a property manager asked me how one can make money for their company and building, using Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or any other online network. It was a great question. I believe so many property managers, leasing agents and real estate professionals are confused about how these tools can be used.

Networking sites are just that: tools. For example, just because you use Twitter, you will not make money. Twitter is a vehicle to carry a message with the potential for your message to be read by many more people without paper, postage or labor to stuff an envelope. So if you want to get the word out about a property you are leasing for instance, the goal is to touch as many people with your message as possible.

How do you do that? Well if you are a leasing agent there are companies with many employees in a given market that you want to do outreach to. It is very difficult and time consuming to create email lists of those contacts and maintain current emails. Those businesses have employees who want to live as close to work as possible. By reaching those businesses, you have a very good chance that the employees at the company also follow their own company on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIN. By sharing your information through their stream of influence, you are touching a wider audience. Yes, you have touched the company, but they touch many more people as well. Also, you can build up a great list, which is all part of the public domain and much easier to track and maintain than say a single person’s email address.

If you can imagine the postcard, brochure or three fold flyer we all used to market our vacant apartments or spaces in the past, it was a stagnant piece of paper that might be read and maybe shared, but highly unlikely. Also, you needed to maintain actual email addresses as well for each contact. All of that is outdated almost as soon as you collect it. People move around, but company Twitter, LinkedIN and Facebook pages do not!

Today, that postcard takes the form of a “post” hence the term is so closely related to the term postcard! So now you can post to that source or stream and that post does not go away. It is very powerful and lives online forever. So if you send a “post” today on any virtual business network, like Twitter or a business Facebook page or a LinkedIn status or your network du jour, your “post” does not get thrown in the garbage can. It is still alive, searchable and quite possibly being shared.

So the moral of the story is that our fundamentals are the same, but our tools are different. We are greener, using less manual tasks, such as folding, stuffing, labeling, merging, stamping and doing more outreach and online networking. As well as more researching of who to follow and who to reach. There is no difference in the fundamentals that you need to create a powerful, target market list, it is just that when you send the “post” you are pushing a tweet button or a share link, in lieu of the manual labor we are most accustomed to. The plus of all of this is that once you get your outreach system in place, it actually begins to expand as opposed to a paper mailing list or labels which actually becomes stale and outdated. The outreach and contacts you build via your Twitter or Facebook or LinkedIN outreach, if done thoughtfully, can become an extremely valuable and powerful tool for filling vacant apartments or finding new employees, or giving your customers property updates. It truly is about quality and connecting to those people who are your target market and are likely to share your news and help to expand your reach!

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Linda Day Harrison

Linda Day Harrison works for The Broker List in Chicago, Illinois, an online platform for finding brokers, deals, services, and vendors.

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