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Published on May 9th, 2012 | by Derek Overbey


VerticalResponse Customers We Admire – Long Realty Takes Social Seriously

Long RealtyMany companies across the globe claim to be social. They have a Facebook Page, a Twitter account and they’ve even jumped into Pinterest with both feet. But does all this effort really make a company social?

In today’s crowded social business environment, just having a presence is not enough…you have to walk the walk. Many of the world’s largest brands are taking the bull by the horns and dedicating serious resources to their social efforts, but a major portion of small and medium businesses seem to be getting lost in the shuffle when it comes to the approach and execution of their social strategy. And this is even more prevalent when we talk about independent contractor businesses such as real estate. Some companies, though, are really getting it right when it comes to execution, and one of them just happens to be a Roost by VerticalResponse customer.

Located in Tucson, AZ, Long Realty is not some Silicon Valley startup that has a culture built on technology and social media. It’s a traditional real estate brokerage that’s been in business since 1926. Taking a look at their social strategy rollout, you’ll see why they are experiencing success with their efforts.

Unlike most businesses that have employees, Long Realty has independent contractors (non-employees), which makes technology implementations even more challenging. That didn’t intimidate Kevin Kaplan, Vice President of Marketing and Technology though, when it came time to implement Long Realty’s social strategy. Kevin knows that people need education and training to tackle new technology and his approach to social media didn’t vary from that belief. Kevin devised a plan to educate the 1,300+ sales associates across 37 office locations.

Kevin first started by educating himself and his staff. In regards to the Roost by VerticalResponse product, Kevin arranged for me to do a deep-dive training on the Campaign Creator because he was confident it would be an asset to the social efforts of his sales associates and company. He also wanted his training staff to understand the product inside out so they could do a training road show.

Kevin then visited the offices and met the sales associates directly to train them on how the Campaign Creator social product could help them in their social media efforts. Beyond just providing a tool that would help save his sales associates time, Kevin understood that if he could get a percentage of his agents using the product on a consistent basis, it could have positive implications for the company as a whole.

Due in large part to Kevin’s approach of very specific training and education, his company has the largest percentage of consistent users of our social product of any company that we’ve worked with so far.

So what does Kevin’s approach show us? Whether you’re talking about a large real estate brokerage or a small five-person boutique, education and training is key when implementing any social program. From Kevin’s approach to getting all his sales associates comfortable with using a social publishing platform, to getting your staff comfortable with interacting with your Facebook Page, if you take the time to properly educate and train your associates on proper social strategies, only good things can happen.

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About the Author

Derek Overbey

Derek Overbey is the Senior Social Media Manager at VerticalResponse.

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