The Rising Role of Social Media in Real Estate Transactions

It is no secret that mindful internet marketing sells homes. After all, 99 percent of all potential home buyers use the internet to research properties. So, in this technology driven age, it is crucial for real estate professionals to learn about and leverage the many different social media platforms. Millennials, who now make up 66 percent of the first-time home buyers’ market, are going beyond basic google keyword searches and looking to social media to enrich the buying experience. Through property related hashtags and you tube community videos lies a whole new way to buy.

Social media provides a way to further connect with your local clients and groups and boost your marketing efforts. Social can build trust and spread your marketing through friends of friends. While any realtor can open a Facebook or Instagram account, it’s not always as clear how to use social media as a tool to send the right message to the right people at the right time. So how does a seller use a platform, such as Instagram, Snapchat and/or Facebook, to gain the attention of the millennials and beyond? The answer is #simple.

Instagram

Currently, Instagram is considered the fastest-growing social media platform, with 800 million monthly users pressing like an average of 4.2 billion times per day. What sets Instagram apart from other social media networks? It’s the ability to receive instant feedback on property and neighborhood photos. This is great for experimenting with different hashtags, captions or photography styles. You’ll know right away whether or not that deco tiled kitchen backsplash picture is resonating with your audience.

In promoting listings on Instagram, realtors should remember that photos tell the story on this social media platform. As such, it is very important to post beautiful images on Instagram. The use of professional photography won’t hurt, but when DIY-ing, only use filters that make the subject look natural. Sharing 15-second video clips that showcase a house up for sale will also be a part of a winning strategy.

Make sure to max out your hashtags (you can have up to 30) to tap into that ever-expanding community. And invite people to join in a conversation by including questions in the photo captions—it’s great for staying relevant in a community saturated with content.

Facebook

Without a doubt, Facebook is the king of social media. With more than 2 billion users worldwide, it’s easy for anyone to set up an account. But how should a real estate agent share content on Facebook?

Many prefer the 80/20 rule with regards to updates: 80% of posts ought to be customer-centric while 20% should be about the business. It also helps the cause of agents to post about happenings in and around their communities like local charity events, school-related activities or even gas prices (especially when they’re low). This community-mindedness also helps to position you as a team player.

Another tactic is one where the current homeowner plays a bigger role. Try asking your clients to write posts about what sold them on the home initially. Share photos of their weekly grocery haul or dog playing in the yard. Use the bandwidth Facebook gives you to paint a picture of what living in that home is really like. Chances are, it may resonate with a buyer.

And don’t forget about Facebooks ad campaigns, which 69 percent of real estate agents report using consistently. Facebook’s ability to target posts and ads to your core demographics are invaluable. Even when Facebook doesn’t deliver results, the analytics will help you understand what went wrong.

YouTube

Among content types, marketing professionals claim that video content has the best return on investment. Uploading a neighborhood guide or home tour of your own could attract views from the curious (which will boost your online brand and reputation), in addition to making the listing easier for buyers to discover when they research the area.

Most major markets now have qualified videography companies specializing in interior, exterior and drone footage of staged homes, helping sellers engage potential buyers before they commit to a walk-through. With 300 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute, it’s essential to create content that differentiates you from the rest of the real estate crowd.

Twitter

It may not be as widely used as Facebook, but Twitter is still a social media platform that real estate agents should be on. The challenge here is crafting a Twitter timeline that resonates with buyers and helps with lead generation.

The volume of tweets will greatly boost a realtor’s exposure. The more tweets a real estate agent sends out, the more leads can be generated. In addition to sharing listings, there are other types of content or pieces of information worth tweeting, like advice on moving as well as tips for staging and upgrading homes. And, of course, don’t forget your #Hashtags here.

Once you’ve opened your business social media account, the next crucial step is to post consistently and strategically. Create content that you would want to read. Enthusiasm is contagious, even if it’s coming from a photo caption on Instagram.

Real estate agents should identify and track their social media metrics to gain a better understanding of which strategies are working and which should be replaced or tweaked. Metrics like the number of “likes” per share, number of followers and level of engagement can guide real estate agents toward what they ought to do with their social media campaigns.

Don’t forget to always respond to authentic comments or messages on your social media channels as quickly as possible. This shows and tells future and current clients that you are an engaged real estate agent who is paying attention to feedback and inquiries.

As you start crafting social media posts, have fun with it! You never know when a potential homebuyer may be scrolling through your feed.


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