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Real estate agents have a lot of competition. When it comes to marketing, they need to find that “hook” to engage with customers and ultimately land new clients.
In an attempt to stand out in the crowd, a good lot of real estate agents can be found on various social media sites like Facebook. It appears however, that most real estate agents received the memo that they should be using social media, but haven’t invested the time in learning HOW to use social media effectively.
I follow several real estate agents and groups on various social media platforms, and you know what? With the exception of the few who have hired marketing agencies to manage their brands, or have an in-house marketing team, they are all doing the same things and it’s leaving a lot to be desired.
It looks a little something like a variation of these:
- Post a link to the MLS with no other effort
- Post photos of the front of a house
- Post a link to an article about why you should live in Central Oregon
- Post a photo of a multimillion dollar dream house located somewhere else entirely
- Have posts auto share from one network to another which leaves an unattractive link to the original network, and doesn’t resonate with the people using the platform the content was shared to. i.e., sharing a post to Facebook and having it auto post to Twitter with a fb.me link
As a result, followers end up seeing a lot of MLS listings and siding. People are wired to want more. We respond to things that stimulate us or feed our soul. We want to know your story. It is in this, that you can find your unique content.
We realize, this is the most difficult part of social media, and that it takes time. If you’re not seeing a return on the time you’ve already put in, you’re less likely to spend more time to take a new approach to your social media strategy. So, we did the footwork for you with this helpful list of tips just for real estate agents.
10 social media tips for real estate agents
1.Show us what makes it special
Is there a really neat fireplace, old-growth trees, or community park? Find those little things that make a house pop, and show us those! Avoid using a single photo, instead use many photos and make a collage, video or image graphic with text.
2.Videos, videos, videos
Videos are by far the most engaging piece of content available. Uploading them directly to Facebook allows you to track how many people viewed it and gives clients easy access to provide feedback.
Make sure to post to Instagram where videos can be up to 15 seconds. Some video ideas include: a video of what it’s like walking into the house, the backyard, or even a slideshow video of various photos including the house, neighborhood, and unique features. These don’t have to be professionally produced. In fact, a smart phone video is enough to give folks a feeling like they’re experiencing it with you.
3. Tell us about the location, schools, parks and neighborhoods
Don’t just assume potential buyers know every neighborhood. Tell potential buyers what makes this house special. Families with kids and dogs may want to know what the schools have to offer and if there’s a park near by. While a college student may want restaurants within walking distance and to feel free to host guests without annoying neighbors. Knowing this upfront will save you and a potential buyer a lot of driving around and wasted time.
4. Give us decorating tips or ideas
You are the expert on buying a house and we look to you for advice on those funky floorpans or unique layouts. Showing inspiration photos or providing ideas for furniture arrangements in these cases will build trust with your audience. They’ll know you’re honest about a homes short-comings, and you’ll help them get creative.
5. Talk about events in the neighborhood
A great example of this in Bend, is the Northwest Crossings neighborhood. They have done a wonderful job of highlighting the events in their community and bringing people together who appreciate and enjoy this lifestyle. Highlighting events in or around the neighborhood will bring you the folks who are most likely to connect with that. It also alleviates any disappointment a future buyer may have if they prefer a quieter neighborhood, or have concerns about traffic.
6.Show you care about your buyers
It’s a common practice in real estate to gift a bottle of champagne or wine when a client closes on their home. Post a photo of this, or your clients receiving their keys to your social media with a congratulatory message. Not only will this show you care about your current clients, it will connect on an emotional level with potential clients who want to know you’ll be there for them through the entire home buying process.
7. Engage with your fans
Social media is a two-way street. Don’t just post content and walk away, be sure to respond to questions, comments and shares. Do so in a genuine and authentic way that shows people you appreciate them. Also remember, reaching out to people is great, but make sure you don’t make it about house shopping, that’s off-putting.
8. Stay humble and repeat
This can not be emphasized enough. It’s great to share your successes with your audience, but only talking about yourself or your achievements is a turn off. You will be dealing with clients from all walks of life, and it’s important to stay humble, relatable and friendly. On the same note, when you push content onto your followers instead of engaging with them or pulling from them, you are telling you fans you believe you are more important than them.
9. Host fun contests
Please put an emphasis on fun here. Thinking about buying a home can be a stressful time for some people, and that can make it hard to get people involved in what you’re passionate about. Offering fun contests with useful prizes like gift cards for coffee at a local shop, or a local brewery will take the edge off of your interactions and make your audience see you as being more approachable. Some contest ideas include; having fans name their favorite thing about the city they live in, or the one thing they wish their real estate agent had told them when they were first-time home buyers. These don’t have to be industry related either. Your goal here is to connect with people and get to know THEM better.
10. Don’t take your fans for granted
Consumers are more savvy than ever before. Appreciate that they want to follow and interact with you, and be sure to give back. A simple response or customer appreciation post goes a long way to telling your fans you appreciate their support.
It’s important to start small and take one step at a time. It can be exhausting and overwhelming to try to execute everything at once. Being genuine and authentic with your audience and asking for feedback is a good start. Follow that by posting engaging content, and making it native to each platform, and you should start to see some growth and engagement. Keep in mind, as with everything in business, building a valuable network takes time and is not achieved overnight. It’s a marathon and not a sprint, but as I like to say, “Something is better than nothing. A few small steps will add up to one big one before you know it.” Now get out there and connect with your potential buyers!
Looking for even more great ideas or help with your social media campaign? Contact us for more information!
Mandy Davis is the owner of Ingrain Social Media a boutique marketing agency in Bend, Oregon that specializes in digital marketing with an emphasis on social media marketing. Mandy helps clients from all walks of life and industries get their brands found online.