These days it seems that social media and marketing is on everyone’s mind. From corporations to small business owners and Self-Employed individuals like Realtors – everyone is trying to figure out the best way to use social media to their advantage.
Over the past few years, corporations were first to dive right in to social media finding creative ways to brand their company and increase communication with the world around them. Following behind them was the small business owner – watching how corporations use social media as a tool to network with others and now we are starting to see the trend of Real Estate Professionals using social media to overcome the real estate crisis. The core goal of Real Estate Professionals is using social media to attract sellers looking to list their homes or buyers looking to purchase homes.
Real Estate professionals are social by nature – their job requires it of them – no one really wants to buy (or list) a home with someone who isn’t friendly, caring, or personable. So it’s only natural for this industry to start to jump on board with the trend, although I’m surprised they are not more dominant in social media. Social media should be used much different for a Real Estate Professional. Through social media – agents and brokers will find a success in lead generations, sales and brand building with platforms such as facebook, twitter, youtube, and FlickR, as well as specific real estate platforms like Trulia, ActiveRain, or Zillow.
Below is my top five uses of social media for a Real Estate Professional – I’ve spoke with several agents who say that social media is for “big” brands like Prudential, RE/MAX, or Watson and I couldn’t disagree more! In fact, the opposite is true – people like to work with people, a small office has a huge advantage and upper hand in social media. Taking the right steps now makes a huge difference in the long run. Don’t use your social media company pages to post “I’m at Starbucks” use it to build your brand, be real, appeal to your audience, show your listings, and be the talk of the town.
1. Build your brand – use social media to showcase your brand. What is it about your office that sets you apart from your competition? Be sure to build this brand through your logo or tagline which can be easily incorporated into social sites. If your office is “Mary Joe Realty” – then make sure you have a logo that shows that – could be anything that defines you, something from the city or town is often a good start if you don’t have a logo already. The home page of any of your social outlets should state your company information, tagline or motto, and the company logo. This helps followers or potential followers set your brand apart from anyone else. Plus – as a bonus – every message you put out will be attached to that logo, so without it you’re just another face on the web. When you have the opportunity to attach a message with the same logo over and over on the internet why wouldn’t you?
2. Be Real – Buyers and sellers want to relate to their agent and want to know they are a real person. Agents and brokers should showcase who they are, where they came from, how long they’ve been in the industry, accreditations they’ve earned, awards, accomplishments, training, etc. These are all key factors that make you – you. Don’t forget to include photos of yourself, your family, events you’ve attended, and so on. This will only help people see you as more than a company.
3. Appeal to your audience visual side – Buyers want to SEE a home. Using social media, agents have the opportunity to showcase a home by uploading photos or videos, even if fans or followers aren’t in the market for a new home, they will often forward the listing to friends or family who are in the market. Another key component to your social media strategy is understanding that users are a visual bunch of fact seekers! Social media followers love to see data, charts, and graphs about the town and market but they like this information to be viewed at their luxury so be sure it’s in an easy accessible place where they can bookmark it for future reading.
4. - Don’t be afraid to show your listings- Real Estate Professionals tend to feel they shouldn’t use social media to post listings but that is, after all, my people are fans or following you. There are two kinds of fans for a Real Estate Professionals – those that are in the market and those that are just curious – will never buy but want to know everything about the trends and market in your area. Post your listings – but have a good mix of content, you shouldn’t post a new listings all day everyday- find your best listings gets photos or videos come up with your sales pitch for the home and post away! You can also try Marketplace, which serves as Facebook’s classified ads, and prompts your contacts that a listing has been posted.
5. Know your stuff – Give advice and tips for buyers and sellers. What do we need to know about the process, a home loan, insurance, home improvement, and so on. It’s the same information you would give to someone you met with face to face so provide this ahead of time – how your following that you are the expert in the industry. Another important piece of knowing your stuff, that is often overlooked, is knowing your town. What’s happening in your town? People want to know what’s going on in other areas- be the local neighborhood news. Remind people of local happenings, concerts, coupons/specials around town, big events, community welfare and good news. Any event happening in town could draw a visitor from another area and wouldn’t you want to be the one they found that information out from. A visitor means a potential buyer and naturally they will buy from the one who drew them to the area to begin with. Living in Sunny Palm Coast is a bonus for Real Estate Professionals - a subtle reminder to northerners that “It’s a warm 70 degrees in December” never hurts. Strengthen your postings by adding a link to the community event, a photo of the event, or link to the weather report.
In a nutshell, use social media to share photos and videos, update listings, community news and events, buying and selling tips/advice– it’s what makes Realtors see success in social media. “Real Estate Agents shouldn’t just create a presence, they should participate in it.”
Still not sure what to do… that’s okay, I get it – you’re nervous (great part is you really can’t mess this up) but if you’re still not convinced see howConcoron Group uses social media – it will blow your socks off – and all they are doing is communicating!