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As some of you who read this Blog know, I have experienced several serious setbacks following what was supposed to be fairly routine knee-replacement surgery. While it has kept me from many of my duties, including staying on top of this Blog, it has also taught me some things, and confirmed quite a bit about what I preach about Social Media.

Particularly in Real Estate, people do business with people they like. Grow your Facebook (and other Social Media) network, and develop real friendships with people you can help.

Looking through my Facebook page this morning, I took notice of the posts I had made since my initial surgery. I had so many family members, friends. clients and simply Facebook acquaintances who reached out to see how I was doing, I decided it easier to post on Facebook to keep folks updated than to try to return calls, texts, e-mails and messages to everyone.

My posts have had dozens – sometimes hundreds – of comments and statements of prayer and support for me and my health. I continue to receive private messages from many who have had genuine care and concern for me – most people I met from helping them at some point on their Real Estate marketing.

The point of this is that Social Media – and for me specifically Facebook – has been an incredibly effective tool for seeking out new contacts, engaging them and developing relationships. While I utilize Facebook as a way to find new prospects and share our services, Facebook has helped me develop relationships and help people – potential clients – get to know who I am, and what my values are.

People want to do business with people they know and like. My Facebook community knows I am a Real Estate Trainer and Marketing Specialist, but so many of them know me personally; we have developed friendships and mutual respect. Social Media helps us get to know new people as more than just potential customers, but as real people.

Sharing life’s ups and downs with people I know, and getting feedback from each other on the questions of life – on top of sharing my expertise and marketing tips – has helped me grow my Sphere of Influence. And as my Sphere has grown, my relationships with the people within my Sphere have grown.

Particularly in Real Estate, there is so much competition, it is vital to continue to let more people know who you are and what you do. And while I will always believe and teach the value of personal contact, there is a lot of value in staying connected and developing your Social relationships.

Once the conversation begins, the friendship grows. As that happens, those people will be more likely to turn to you with questions – about the market, the industry, the area – all the things that make you the expert for them.

Remember, the NAR says that 1 out of 10 Americans has a Real Estate need each year. Grow your Sphere to hundreds, then thousands of people who know you are a Real Estate professional, and feel good about who you are. Share your expertise in the spirit of helpful friendship, and those friends will turn to you when they have a need.

As always, feel free to reach out if need help with any of your marketing needs.