The rise of social media use in the real estate industry has increased exponentially in recent years, and for good reason.
According to a study by the National Association of Realtors, the popularity of using social media as an integral platform for attracting clients and doing real estate business has soared. Findings of the study include:
- 99% of millennials (as well as 90% of baby boomers) search for homes online
- 77% of realtors utilize social media for real estate business
- 47% of real estate businesses report that their highest quality leads come from social media
With virtually all potential buyers in the baby boomer and millennial categories using social media for their property searches, it’s clear that a solid social media strategy is vital to the success of a modern real estate business.
So, what are the most effective ways to use social media in real estate?
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The leading platforms to focus on
Real estate is a busy business, so working smart and utilizing the latest real estate marketing strategies is key to productivity and results. Specifically, it’s important to drill down a smart social media marketing strategy, and that begins with knowing which platforms to prioritize.
According to the NAR study, the most popular social media platforms used by realtors are Facebook (used by 97% of realtors), and LinkedIn (59%). Instagram comes in third, with 39% of realtors using it regularly.
Facebook is a phenomenon for connecting people the world over, and it’s just as powerful a tool for reaching target audiences.
The platform’s multifaceted operations allow realtors to post listings and other interesting content and communicate both privately and publicly, book appointments, and collate reviews, all in one place.
In addition, Facebook users represent a realtor’s key demographic. Combined with the added power of Facebook ads, the platform enables realtors to target specific demographics within a particular location for maximum reach.
Combining targeted advertising with quality content, positive reviews, and friendly interaction is a powerful tool in attracting leads and converting them into trusting clients. You can also access a highly effective and free advertising channel by using Facebook rentals marketplace for your listings.
As a realtor, LinkedIn may not be where you spend time attempting to attract clients, but it’s well worth having an impressive profile set up on the site.
LinkedIn is primarily a B2B (business-to-business) site, so it acts mainly as a digital resume. In addition, it’s an excellent platform for connecting with colleagues, collaborating with other industry professionals, and sharing opportunities.
While there may not be much client traffic on the site, some may verify your credentials via LinkedIn, so it’s important to keep it up to date and full of reasons to do business with you!
Given that Instagram is centered around images and real estate relies heavily on property pictures, the two are a natural marriage.
High-end real estate and boutique property businesses do particularly well on Instagram. The additional benefits of posting an Instagram Story to keep potential clients up-to-date with carefully curated visuals and info make Instagram an important platform for many realtors.
Effective content for real estate
Once you have determined the most important platforms to focus on, it’s time to turn your attention to your content.
Photo by George Milton
When it comes to real estate content on social media, there’s no reason to hide the fact that you are trying to sell something. That said, social media users still don’t want to be constantly bombarded with listings only.
In order to effectively attract and connect with potential clients online, it’s vital to mix up your content and keep it fresh.
Here are X ways to effectively use social media for real estate:
1. Attractive property photos
Social media is a highly visual domain, which is perfectly fitting when you’re selling something you can showcase in pictures.
High on the list of social media strategies for real estate is the use of high-quality property photography. Of course, realtors are not new to the importance of capturing property listings in their best light. Still, with so many competing visuals on social media, it’s even more crucial to publish stunning shots.
When you couple great pictures with enticing sales copy and property details, you attract likes and shares that increase your listing’s coverage. In addition, you heighten the chances of receiving direct inquiries regarding the property.
While we’re on the subject of visuals, we can’t ignore the power of video footage on social media channels. According to Hubspot, more than 8 billion videos are viewed daily on Facebook alone.
Producing a real estate video can be time-consuming and costly, but the rewards can also be significant. When done well, property video tours can create an emotional connection with potential buyers before they have even visited the property.
If you fail to include good-quality videos as part of your social media content, you’ll be missing out on some significant lead generation.
3. New property listings
Of course, this is a no-brainer. As a realtor, you’ll want to post information on new property listings. Still, instead of simply making it an info/sales dump, take the time to showcase the property well and consider highlighting any particular features that could create some buzz and interaction. Make sure to show off the property’s amenities while also sharing important information like if the property is for sale or for rent, the pet policies, etc.
Captions or calls to action are a great way to increase interaction with your post. Always stop to consider whether you have maximized your opportunity to draw attention to a property listing before posting, as every comment and share equals more coverage.
4. Promote the town as well as the property
The decision to move doesn’t just come down to the property, but the area in which it sits. Therefore, homebuyers need to understand the area they are considering moving to.
Many agents only post about property listing details, occasionally adding in some sparse location details regarding transportation and local amenities.
Social media can be used to provide potential buyers with a much richer understanding of property neighborhoods. Firstly, you can add more in-depth area descriptions to listing posts for a fuller offering. In addition, whole posts can be created to help your audience better understand a range of areas and how they compare. This added value can be extremely helpful to potential buyers and result in them favoring your services more.
5. Client testimonials
Firstly, ensure that you always seek to have happy clients leave a review on your page. Of course, not every client will oblige, but always politely ask that they take the time to leave a positive review.
In addition to that, posting stand-out testimonials is a great way to showcase your success in making clients happy. Even more powerful is a success story post in which the clients are happy to have their picture taken, perhaps in front of their new home, smiles beaming.
Social media is all about connecting people. Posting success stories builds a sense of trust in you as a realtor and helps to connect your audience more personally to your business. Sharing your clients’ joy instills the sense that your business goes far and beyond turning a profit.
6. Industry updates
As a realtor, clients look to you for industry knowledge. One great way to vary your social media content is to keep your followers up-to-date with the latest market news.
Sharing industry updates not only allows you to provide valuable content, but it shows that you are a knowledgeable professional in the sector.
Be sure to make these updates reader-friendly and interesting – you’re not appealing to colleagues; you’re attempting to draw potential clients in with relevant, digestible news. This will work towards your reputation as an authority in the field, helping you gain more trust from your readers.
7. Business milestones
You may not want to seem boastful, but sharing your company’s milestones is another way to build trust and connect.
When readers can congratulate you on your achievements, they are not only connecting with you but registering your business’s accomplishments.
So whether you’ve beaten your own records or won an industry award, share the good news. These kinds of distinctions can set you apart from your competition and draw more clients in. Additionally, a real estate CRM software plays a crucial role in managing and tracking these milestones, ensuring that you can efficiently showcase your successes.
Facebook and Instagram stories are a great way to share this kind of news. Additionally, sharing fun pictures from an award night or other celebration can add a further human element and approachability to your business.
8. Viewings and events coverage
Of course, posting in the lead-up to a property viewing is popular for attracting more attendees. Ideally, you’ll want to post several times to remind people of an upcoming open house.
While social media is fantastic for generating leads from the comfort of your office or armchair, there’s still nothing like in-person rapport to win a client over. That’s why it’s so important to use social media platforms to keep users informed of the opportunity to meet face-to-face. Any events that you are hosting or attending can be created and/or shared on social media to encourage more guests.
9. Get proactive
There is much more to social media for real estate than simply posting and waiting for people to come to you.
There are many Facebook groups dedicated to real estate networking, which is a fantastic opportunity to share and receive opportunities. In addition, get in on the conversation whenever relevant property posts are made in your area. That’s not to say that it’s good practice to crash in on another agent’s content, but there are plenty of news posts and local community posts that you can comment on to attract more connections.
10. Interact and be friendly
With such advancements in technology like chatbots, consumers today expect instant responses, and that includes home buyers.
Potential real estate clients are no longer calling agents directly with questions so much as they are jumping online to find the answers. Of course, they may still approach you directly, but it is more likely to be via Facebook or Instagram comments, direct messaging, or even tweeting.
Maintaining a solid social media presence has a lot to do with keeping up your online interactions. Answer queries quickly and be prepared to chat in the comments section of posts – this is a great way to respond to one person yet potentially draw others in as you publicly reply to what may be a common question.
11. Be your authentic self
Photo by Blue Bird
Consumers absolutely need to trust in your professional acumen to do business with you, but they need to feel a connection to you, too.
Many agents outsource their content curation, but this can lead to impersonal branding that misses the mark. If creating content really isn’t your strong suit, then, by all means, seek some help, but still, try to edit or tailor it to encompass your personality.
People want and need to connect with the person they are buying from, so let your personality shine through in your content as well as your direct communications.
12. Respond to all comments – good or bad
There is one exception to this rule – don’t engage with or respond to anyone behaving abusively online. Any legitimate clients that you would wish to do business with will respect that you choose not to engage with online trolls and bullies.
Other than that, respond to all comments, good or bad. Your ability to remain respectful, helpful, and gracious in the face of negativity will not be lost on other readers.
Every public social media comment is a prime opportunity to showcase your professionalism, friendliness, and willingness to go the extra mile for your clients.
Resist the temptation to defensively argue against negative comments, and always take the time to show gratitude for any praise you receive. You can also often use comments from frustrated would-be clients as an opportunity to shift their attention towards another property of interest.
Final thoughts on Social Media For Real Estate
We’re all on our phones these days, and with such staggering statistics regarding online property searching, it’s clear that social media is vital to modern success in real estate.
So long as you vary your content, provide high-quality visuals, engage in respectful and friendly communication, and maintain regular postings and interactions, social media should make a significant difference to any real estate business.