If there was a profession made for social media marketing, it was the real estate profession. This week I had the privilege of speaking with a group of realtors about how social media marketing could be incorporated into their marketing efforts.
- 89% of realtors use social media to some extent.
- 84% of prospective buyers contact a real estate agent to find information on available properties. An equal percentage of buyers also search the Internet.
- 96% of Generation Y uses social media sites. In fact, they outnumber the baby boomers. Realtors need to remember that this group will be their target audience in a few years.
- Home buyers who use the Internet take just over two weeks to find the real estate of their choice. In contrast, traditional buyers take close to two months to make a decision.
- Online buyers are clear about what kind of property they are looking for, making it easier and quicker to complete a deal.
As with any business owner’s marketing, you want to take the right approach to your social media marketing efforts before jumping in with both feet.
- Objectives: You want to be social and relevant. The desire is to build relationships and increase the bottom line. Defining objectives helps to focus your efforts and helps you to avoid wasting time.
- Strategy: You want to draw in prospects; plant seeds with potential customers; and gain repeat business.
- Tactics: In many cases, you want to reach a lot of people with regularity and with a good message. The key here is the message. Share insights about the homes and offer tips that people can use before, during, and after a sale. The end game is to provide industry information and tips that people may not be getting from any other realtor.
Social Media Profile Tips
It’s important to know what social media platform(s) you want to begin with before getting started. In the real estate profession, many agents are already on LinkedIn. Making that profile as robust as possible and creating a content calendar with daily or weekly posts to promote that profile will help in search engine optimization efforts.
With an effective and consistent social marketing plan, your real estate business can take advantage of the vast amount of opportunity that exists in social networks.
- Set up and complete your profile(s) on one or more platforms.
- Post original and relevant content.
- Focus on your business, but share customer-focused tips.
- Determine interval goals, time and day for posting.
- Point to a branded website such as your branch website.
Real Estate Agent Social Media Examples
Twitter offers realtors an opportunity to engage locally, nationally, and internationally with customers and leads. It can be a great way to promote properties to a broader audience and offers you the ability to get links and traffic to your site.
- Spend time listening to what people in your community and in your niche are talking about. This helps to guide your messages so that you may comfortably engage in the conversation.
- Add a hashtag to your tweets so your content appears in search results, such as #house4sale. You can use hashtags for a specific location, which helps to focus your tweets locally and to follow conversations, e.g., #btv = Burlington, Vermont.
The most popular business networking social media sites, LinkedIn is a great opportunity to connect with people looking to buy a home, sell a property, or to search for leads.
In this example, April’s profile is complete, keyword focused, and relevant. She includes:
- A professional photo
- “Real Estate Agent” in the title
- The geographic location for listings
- A customized LinkedIn contact URL
- A link to her website
- Keywords to help target a search, such as “New Jersey,” “Real Estate,” “Buying and Selling,” “Realtor Magazine,” “New construction specialist,” and “Coldwell Banker”
This relative new comer to the social media playing field is a wide-open range of opportunity for an agent. This photo-sharing-pin-board platform makes it easy for people to search for homes, room styles, furniture layouts, town images, and so much more.
In this example, you can see how one agent is using this platform to showcase many things for clients, including homes in New Jersey, architectural ideas, bathroom ideas, kitchen layouts, and so much more. Even if you’re not in the market for a new home, you can get a lot of ideas from Paul’s boards. With nearly 9,000 images and 77 pinboards to choose from, Paul is making the most of this platform and is a best practice example of how to do it right.
Though Facebook is losing some of it’s sparkle, it is still the largest social media platform in the world with over 1 billion users. In this example, Janet has done many things right, such as:
- Completing the business page profile
- Using a nice cover photo
- Highlighting a property in the news feed
- Offering tips to page visitors
- Providing a link to her agent profile
- Posting a map to her office location
In addition to the business page profile setup, consider adding these elements to your page to help make it stand apart from the competition:
- Share listings using photos, video, and information.
- Create events around open houses using the “Events” feature on this platform. Then send invitations to specific people you think might be interested in the open house.
- Share an event on your personal Facebook page to increase engagement.
All of these efforts help to increase the organic, or natural, search results for your brand, as well as for your company’s brand.
- Social Media Use in the Real Estate Profession [slides]
- Social Media for Business [eBook]
- How to use Instagram and Vine [videos] to make the most of your listing shine [link]
- Real Estate Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Tips [link]
- Twitter Terms [PDF]
- Real Estate Social Media Marketing [Facebook page]
- Top Producer Campus Social Media Marketing Tips [link]
What tips would you share with real estate agents just getting started in social media marketing?
As an agent, are you looking to make an impact with social media marketing? Contact us to help you get started.