In the fast-paced world of real estate, Realtors can effectively use social media to boost sales by directly connecting with potential and existing clients as well as their real estate peers and industry affiliates.
According to the National Associate of Realtors, in 2016 an astonishing 91 percent of Realtors were using social media to some extent. This is up from 65 percent in 2014 and 50 percent in 2012. Further, 51 percent of buyers found the home they purchased on the internet.
With social media usage continuing to grow, knowing how to leverage the power of social media can greatly help you build your business and generate more leads. Here is a list of five proven tactics to effectively market your real estate business through social media:
1. Use Live-Streaming Tools for Virtual Open Houses
The advent of video on Facebook is not a coincidence. We live in a virtual world where more immersive content like videos, virtual reality and augmented reality are taking over. In fact, Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's CEO, said video will make up the majority of Facebook content by 2019.
Realtors can use the live-streaming technology of Facebook Live to market their properties and build their brand. In the last few years, many agents have been skeptical about integrating live-streaming video into their marketing strategies; however, technology has come a long way in a short time and now is the time to set yourself apart. With a live broadcast, Realtors can provide their clients with home buyer tutorials, local sightseeing, unique home tours, social check-ins and live question and answer sessions with potential home buyers.
Using Facebook Live, and other tools like Snapchat and Twitter’s Periscope, can help agents dominate their local market, create brand awareness, build peer networks and provide leading customer service.
2. Go Beyond Listings
The majority of Realtors' social media accounts consists mostly of listings and basic contact information. This isn’t necessarily a good thing for social media since the additional clutter of listing after listing could appear less attractive to clients.
Create a business page on all platforms you consider useful and complete your profile information. It is important to keep your information up-to-date and relevant. Use images, keywords and key phrases when updating your page to increase search engine optimization (SEO). Post content that will be invaluable to your clients like tips about staging and moving and use contests and group offers to increase client engagement.
Also, remember that just because you might not generate leads from certain sites, that does not mean they are not important in building your brand. Sites like LinkedIn can be used to position you as an authority in your local market -- and it is a great place to highlight recommendations, experience and credibility.
3. React, Respond and Engage
Whether you are posting for yourself or using a third-party like a virtual assistant to post on social media in your place, it does not stop there. Posting and never reviewing the posts is a cardinal sin in social media -- it shows you are not thinking about your clientele. You have to engage your audience by liking their posts, replying to their comments, and sharing their stories on social media. This is a crucial element of good social media practice and should not be viewed as optional. To make the most of social media, you need to be social.
Remember, the feedback you receive comes in both positive and negative forms -- and it is important to listen to both. While it is not always necessary to respond to negative comments, depending on the circumstance, it can be important to respond to such comments in a way that shows you care and acknowledge client concerns. Responding is not only a way of interacting and engaging with your audience, but it also improves your brand loyalty and increases brand awareness.
4. Focus on Building Relationships, Not Selling Houses
Establishing loyal customer relationships is a key strategy Realtors should use to improve customer service -- loyal customers ultimately lead to more sales. In today’s competitive digital economy this strategy is more important than ever in establishing customer relationships that extend beyond selling properties.
Two main reasons people use social media is to learn new things and share opinions. Therefore, use social media platforms to provide invaluable information that can help your clients over the long-term instead of just providing content related to listings.
Loyal customers stick with you before, during and after the sale. According to the 2014 National Association of Realtors Member Profile, the typical Realtor earned 21 percent of their business from repeat clients and customers and 21 percent through referrals from past clients and customers. The report also shows the number at nearly 40 percent for Realtors with over 16 years of experience.
5. Make Your Site Shareable and Spreadable
An optimized real estate website has sharing functionality. A site’s shareability allows clients to share a web address and posts over Facebook, Twitter and Instagram among other social media platforms. With this additional functionality, you are encouraging clients to share your content with others. More clients visiting your site translates into increased brand awareness, a rise in sales and increased revenue.