Facebook, Twitter and even Foursquare have proven useful to agents looking for new clients — especially if they’re looking to represent new homebuyers ages 25-35. Updates and advertisements on these media outlets have the potential to reach thousands of users in mere minutes, and eager agents are wasting no time taking advantage of the chance to connect with that many buyers and sellers.

first tuesday take: The up and coming Y Generation of homeowners (those born in the 80s and 90s) is more socially and intellectually passive than the boomer generation of their parents. They will be less willing to pick up the phone to get the information they want, and much more likely to rely on the internet. With that in mind, agents and brokers can use social networking services to better connect with this demographic as they peak as homebuyers in the second part of the coming decade.  [For more information regarding the Y Generation, see the October 2010 first tuesday article, The demographics forging California’s real estate market: a study of forthcoming trends and opportunities.]

Facebook is a social networking website offering individuals, businesses and other entities the opportunity to create a personal interactive page (or profile) within the website that other Facebook users can view. Agents who use Facebook are able to communicate with homeowners in their neighborhood by posting market information on their profile, inviting users to open houses and engaging their network in conversations about topics relevant to real estate. Agents and brokers are even able to link photo slideshows and video-walkthroughs of their listings.

Likewise, Twitter offers a similar networking platform, but limits all posts to a 140 character maximum. Twitter offers agents a way to give users more concise, frequent updates of their activity, such as advertisements for the agent’s open houses or new listings.

Foursquare is less about communicating with users and more about updating them with your physical location. Agents have begun “checking in” to neighborhoods, offices and other key business locations on their smart phones to show users they are active and busy in their community. When an agent is the most active user at a location, he achieves the position of FourSquare mayor. From then on anytime a user checks in at that location, he will be greeted by the agent’s image with ads for the agent’s current listings.

Efficient representation of internet savvy 25-35 year old buyers by agents will mean garnering a progressive knowledge of all the networking and research opportunities the web can afford, including these social tools. [For more information regarding the role of the post-Boom agent, see the May 2010 first tuesday article, Looking through the window towards recovery: a real estate paradigm shift — Part I.]

Re: Real estate agents turn to social media to connect with clients from the Sacramento Bee