5 Ways Property Professionals Can Use LinkedIn For Networking

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LinkedIn has grown to become the ‘go-to’ networking tool for both B2B and B2C companies and professionals from all industries. With over 500m users, over half of which are active monthly, the opportunity to connect with like-minded professionals at the touch of a button has never been easier.

The property industry is renowned for its sociable and interactive networking environment, with individuals generally very well-connected within their own circles. But how does this translate online? In a market that has proven challenging over the past few years to say the least, the importance of staying marketable, maintaining and expanding your networks and connections, growing your business and keeping up to date with the property industry has never been so prevalent.

Here are some of Deverell Smith’s favourite tools for using LinkedIn to connect, network and develop your career in the property industry.

 

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BE UNMISSABLE

Nowadays, the probability of being Googled or searched on LinkedIn by a new business or career prospect is extremely high. Set up correctly, your LinkedIn profile is likely to appear top of Google for any search on your name and in LinkedIn for any search relating to your profession. These searches could be genuine opportunities and it is important that your profile is complete and professional in order to capture them.

According to LinkedIn “Users with complete profiles are 40 times more likely to receive opportunities through LinkedIn.” A good place, therefore, to start is to check your Profile Strength meter to gauge how robust your profile is. The strength of your profile will increase as you add more relevant content to it and you can see recommendations on which profile sections you could add to in order to improve the discoverability of your profile in search results and to increase profile search appearances.

Only when your Linkedin profile is full of useful information with endorsements and recommendations, and you’ve connected to at least 50 people, will you reach what is known as ‘All-Star Status’. In additional to ensuring you complete all sections of your profile, below are just some of the key factors that can affect your rating:

    • Your headline (just under your name) is your online brand and is the first thing, along with your photo, that a potential connection will see when you come up in their search results, so make it count and stand out. Utilise all 120 characters to showcase your job title, industry, location, areas of expertise, keywords and other pertinent information.
    • A professional profile picture is another must, as profiles without them are less likely to be trusted or noticed. Linkedin has also introduced the option to add a background photo to you profile page; add some personality to your page by choosing an eye-catching – but professionally appropriate – background image.
    • Customise your URL. Make your personal profile look more professional (and much easier to share) by customising your LinkedIn public profile URL. Instead of the standard generated URL containing a mix of random letters and numbers, a ‘vanity’ URL looks much cleaner and improves your likelihood of coming up in Google search results. E.g. http://www.linkedin.com/in/johnsmith. Click here for information on how to set your personalised URL.
    • Add interesting content, like videos of a presentation you did or an article you wrote, to help differentiate your profile and provide real-life examples of your accomplishments. LinkedIn also has a quick and easy method of adding any relevant certifications to your profile which have been shown to increase profile views six-fold against those that don’t have any.There are a couple of ways you can add these to your profile; if you complete a course or certification with one of LinkedIn’s partners, they’ll send you an email that allows you to automatically add this accomplishment to your profile. Alternatively, you can add a certifications section to your profile and add them manually. Click here to see how.
        • Finally ask for recommendations from colleagues or contacts and offer to return the favour. Just as in the real world, word of mouth is a powerful tool and people are more likely to trust you if they read positive reviews about your work ethic and expertise.

       

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THOUGHT PROVOKE

We have all seen the Richard Branson-type posts on LinkedIn, but nowadays you don’t need to be a celebrity business mogul to share your views and expertise. Whilst no one wants to read about what you ate for dinner last night or see a selfie of you and your cat (especially on LinkedIn!), sharing meaningful, professional insights is being encouraged and applauded by the platform. Traditionally, you would have had to be an industry leader and seasoned public speaker to be able to share your expertise at a property event but now, through long form posts, everyone has the chance to stand out.

Done well, by offering thought-provoking industry expertise that serves your connections and not your own interests, this powerful tool can really harness the purpose of LinkedIn – to uncover new business opportunities and network with experts within a particular industry. Find out more on how to publish articles on LinkedIn here.

 

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GIVE THE GREEN LIGHT

If you’re looking for a new job, then LinkedIn is the ideal place to look for opportunities and advertise your availability to potential employers. However, unless you are on gardening leave or returning to work after a break, the likelihood is you won’t want your current employer to know you are looking to switch careers.

Luckily LinkedIn has a feature called Open Candidates, which gives you a discreet way to quietly signal to recruiters that they’re open to new opportunities. By navigating to the jobs tab on the main menu, you can select to update your career interests. From here you can select whether or not you are ‘open’ to new opportunities, detail when you’d like to start, what kinds of roles you are interested in and where you’d like to be based. Only you can see this section and it is never displayed on your public profile. LinkedIn then gets to work, making sure recruiters know about what you are looking for.

 

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INVEST IN TOOLS

With our networks growing by the day, it can take time to seek out the right connection that matches what you are looking for. Tools such as LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator help make the job much quicker and easier by allowing you to target the right people, understand key insights, and engage with personalised outreach.

With an advanced lead and company search feature, recommendations for connections at your target companies and real-time updates on your accounts and leads, you can spend more time reaching out to the right contacts at the right time.

Linkedin’s Mentioned in the News is another useful automated feature that looks for online news articles and matches names in those articles to LinkedIn members or organisations, making it easy for you to keep up to date with any press coverage your connections may have achieved, thus opening up opportunities for you to connect and interact.

 

 

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EMAIL INTEGRATION

These days, you don’t even need to be in LinkedIn to view people’s profiles; Microsoft Outlook Social Connector is a feature that lets you work in Outlook while staying up to date on the status and activities of your friends and contacts, whether they’re from your organisation, or from social networking sites like Facebook and LinkedIn. It displays your contact’s profile picture from the site you connect with, lists all your contact’s social updates and even displays all messages that you and your contact has exchanged through the site. Sales Navigator for Gmail is another useful tool that allows you to view rich LinkedIn profile data for your contacts, leads, and prospective leads directly in Gmail. You can leverage that knowledge when you reach out, as well as save leads to Sales Navigator without leaving your inbox.

You can also download your address books from Outlook or any webmail application and choose which people you’d like to add to your network, saving you the time of having to check individually whether people you already know are in LinkedIn.

Deverell Smith is a leading property recruitment specialist. Contact us to find out how we can help advance your property business and career.
Deverell Smith Limited, 2nd Floor, Cannon Green, 1 Suffolk Lane, London, EC4R 0AX Tel: 020 7291 0900