How to Use New Media for REALTORs: Day 5 Meetups

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It’s Day 5 of How to Use New Media for REALTORs, a series inspired by Chris Brogan’s “If I were a REALTOR.”

In Chris’ post he says, “I’d host Meetups and Tweetups for local residents, inviting people who were house hunting.”  I’ve found when working with folks in real estate they seem to forget the ultimate goal to their New Media marketing efforts.  Using Meetups is an excellent strategy to bring people from online into an offline environment where you have a chance to connect.

Meetups?

Meetup.com is an online network of local groups.  Although this may not seem like New Media, it’s a gateway drug.  The service allows you to either find groups that you’re interested in, or create your own.  It also allows others to join your group and even provides a system for RSVPs and messages to make communication easy.

Traditionally meetups are used to bring people from an online environment to an offline meeting, but I have a little twist for you.  Think back to day 4 of this training, you know the one about community.  In that post I quoted Chris, “I’d empower as many local businesses on the net as I could, and help them be successful.”

Using Meetups is also a soft sell way of empowering those businesses to start using New Media.

Strategy for REALTORs

One thing I’ve learned working online is that it’s hard to get people from offline to online.  I’ve found that using Meetups has been a great stepping stone to get people moving in the right direction.

For the most part people will avoid any change, that’s why it’s up to you to affect this change in your community.  The most successful strategy I’ve found for getting people to use Meetup is to do it for them (at least in the beginning.)

So here’s how you can get people to use it:

  1. Start in your office:  Volunteer to post all your events and meetings.
  2. Try the Chamber:  I’ve found that most Chambers have been open to new ideas, especially when they don’t have to do the work.  You offer to set them up online and they promote it with their offline marketing.
  3. The Board:  If your connected with your local board (of REALTORS) you can offer to move their whole calendar to Meetup.  Again, you do the work and they promote.
  4. Teach:  You can invite other REALTORs  and businesses from your area to learn how the service works and how they can use it in their business.

The idea here is to provide value to your local community, while encouraging them to use this online service.  This is the first step to breaking them in to the whole New Media world.

The great thing about Meetups is that they don’t have to be formal.  You can have them a local restaurants or coffee shop (I’ve even heard of people using local bars.)  If you talk to the managers ahead of time you may even be able to work out some discounts.  Just be sure to remind them that it’s free marketing for them.

More on Meetups

If you’re interested in learning more about Meetups and how to use them, I’ve got good news for you.  I’m going to write a series on this topic next month which will include everything from setting them up all the way to results from the campaigns I used to market.

Keep an eye out for that series in February.