Now there’s another tool that can take agents to untold home-selling heights: social media. Why? That’s easy: Real estate has been — and always will be — a people business and social media couldn’t be more about people. So, agents need to be on social media as much as they need to be on oxygen.
Social media is so important because that’s where the eyeballs are. In 2017, 81% of Americans had a social media profile, and over 200 million people in the U.S. alone are estimated to be on social media by 2020. What’s more, American social media usage is highest among people who live in the suburbs, people who earn over $75,000 a year and the most educated.
But that’s not all. Professional marketers are sold on social media, too. A recent survey of 271 marketing pros found that 41% say they’ll boost their social media marketing budgets “significantly” this year.
It’s clear that social media makes plenty of sense for real estate agents. But the key is to use it wisely. When you hold a wrench by the wrong end, well, you’ll be at the job for a while. The same is true with social media: Done right, it can increase your trips to the bank. Done poorly, it can drive you to the poor house.
Here are my best tips on tapping social media for your real estate business:
1. Understand your options: The social media outlets I recommend for real estate agents are Facebook and Twitter (the main staples that seem to get the most press), Instagram and Pinterest (both primarily visual, which is good for agents who like to show off their spectacular listings) and finally LinkedIn (mostly a business-to-business outlet, which could lead to referrals from other agents).
2. Get purposeful: Social media can increase awareness and get people talking about you and your services. It can also drive traffic to your website. Heck, if you post just the right thing at the right time, it might even go viral. All of these are worthy goals, but for me, it’s important to remember the primary reason for using social media: It can bring you leads. Keep that five-letter word top of mind with all your social media efforts. Always have a response option — call, e-mail, etc. — so readers can easily follow up with you, and have a strategy to reply quickly to any and all leads.
3. Be interesting and helpful: With so much information on the internet these days, actually helpful info stands out and grabs attention like a cup of steaming hot chocolate on a snowy winter’s day. When you write your social media posts, think of yourself as a teacher, not a salesperson. Educate with solid facts and material readers can use. Pledge to improve the quality of your future posts. If you do, you’ll become known as the go-to real estate pro worth spending time with.
4. Go with video: The next time you’re at a movie, sit near the front and then take a look back at your fellow viewers. More than likely, the word “mesmerized” will come to mind. We love our moving pictures. So put videos of your listings and anything else viewers might find helpful in your posts and you could capture more followers. According to Facebook, one in five videos streamed on the platform is a live broadcast and daily watch time ballooned more than four times over between 2016 and 2017. Consider doing an open house using Facebook Live to interact with various potential buyers.
5. Snoop on your competition: The cool thing about social media is it’s easy to find. Take some time to visit your competitors’ social media sites and see what they’re doing to generate some ideas you might use on your own social media posts.
With social media in your marketing tool belt, you’ll be equipped to grow your business, engage your prospects, build your reputation as a true real estate pro and make 2018 a year to remember.