LinkedIn is fast becoming a key element of any property professional’s business development, career progression or indeed collaboration strategy.

As the ‘Facebook for business’ LinkedIn’s popularity is growing at a staggering rate – according to the good people at Socialnomics a new user joins LinkedIn EVERY SECOND.

So, how can property professionals harness the power of LinkedIn?

Here are our top 10 tips to help property professionals get the most out of LinkedIn:

1. Complete your profile – This may seem basic but it is super-important that you take the time to make your profile as complete as possible.

In fact, you should be continually updating your LinkedIn profile as you develop new skills, experiences and add more content using the various profile functions– after all, your LinkedIn profile is your permanently accessible CV so it should reflect your position and capabilities at any time.

2. Promote your profile – Add your LinkedIn profile to all communications including your email footer, business card and website to point relevant traffic to your online presence.

3. Add contacts, regularly – Get into a habit of building your network by reflecting on each day’s interactions for appropriate contacts to add. It is important to build a well-rounded LinkedIn network, so look to add potential suppliers, influencers, future employees or collaborators as well as seeking to add prospects.

4. Tailor your approach – When looking to add a new contact on LinkedIn ALWAYS write a bespoke introductory message. You should include details as to why you would like to connect with that person and also advise anything you may have in common with the person such as shared contacts or groups.

5. Refer back – Take some time to periodically check back over your LinkedIn contacts – just as with your CRM system it is beneficial to be aware of changes in circumstances of your contacts. Has someone moved jobs recently? Has a contact been promoted? Does someone in your network know someone you would love to be introduced to?

6. Give recommendations – Whilst a good deed is its own reward it is also true that good deeds online are repaid multiple times over. Be willing to provide recommendations to trusted contacts to enhance their LinkedIn profile – but ensure that any recommendation is warranted as by recommending someone you are providing an endorsement of their character and work which is a reflection of your judgement.

7. Request recommendations – Testimonials and recommendations are key in all sectors, none more so than property. Request recommendations from previous and existing clients and colleagues to give your LinkedIn profile more credibility.

8. Join groups – There are thousands of groups on LinkedIn – these are the perfect place to share your experiences and comments with like-minded people. They are ideal platforms to forge new business relationships and a must for getting the most out of LinkedIn.

9. Join in discussions – Within groups there are ongoing discussions – this is the perfect opportunity for you to gain valuable knowledge and insight by creating discussions and harnessing the wisdom of industry peers. Discussions are also an ideal platform to share your own experiences and expertise to help others and position yourself as an authoritative voice in your specific area of the property industry.

10. Surf. More. – As with other social media platforms (most notably Twitter), LinkedIn becomes more useful and effective the more you use it. Take some time to just ‘surf’ and check out the ever- growing functions available in LinkedIn – you will be amazed at how much information can be harnessed – the more you explore, the more useful LinkedIn becomes.

Please share your experiences and top tips for LinkedIn in the comments below.