Searching for a home has well and truly moved online.
And we all know that when it comes to making yourself heard online, it’s all about driving as much value as possible from the touchpoints you, your clients & your prospects are most likely to share.
According to a recent study from the National Association of Realtors, for real estate, social media has become an integral part of attracting clients and closing deals. “The world we live in today is a digital one, and searching for a home is no different,” the study points out.
That’s why social has become one of the best-performing ways to produce high-quality leads, beating out other tools such as email marketing, blog posts, and website views as a more effective way of generating business.
With 77% of estate agents now using social media as a marketing and lead generation tool, now is the time to make sure you’re doing it right.
Here’s how you can make sure you’re going down the right track…
Why you should use social media for real estate
Buying a home is one of the biggest and most stressful experiences of anyone’s life.
Like when any other large sum of money is handed over, or binding contract is signed, figuring out whether you’ve got a good deal makes up a good chunk of the stress involved.
For that reason, purchases of that nature are emotionally driven, and having someone you trust to guide you through the process brings invaluable peace of mind, and makes the transaction much more likely to happen.
Of course, you know that already, but your online brand needs to reflect that too. When it comes to developing your social media voice for real estate, your brand should be:
The best example of taking this tone has been shown by the disruptive online real estate company Purplebricks. Their value proposition is to cut out the realtor to make buying and selling homes as straight-forward and accessible as possible.
As a customer, my main pain points are:
- Why should I trust an online company?
- How do I get in touch if I need help?
- Why is this company better than regular estate agents?
That’s why being genuine, approachable, and no-nonsense has been core to their success on social media. And all of this is communicated through their online brand, and how they communicate with their customers.
All of this is communicated through case studies on their social media.
Brief testimonials are a key way of building trust, as with any business. But they’re especially important as home buyers and sellers feel the fate of their future is in your hands.
How to use social media for real estate
If you’re just talking about your own brand, and neglect to answer queries, then you’re going to be annoying your clients and eroding any hard-earned trust.
As a rule of thumb, if you’re going to have a presence on a social channel like Facebook or Google, then you should be prepared to answer questions on that same platform within about a day.
When you start setting up your social accounts for your real estate brand, it’s worth first of all considering where you can afford to spend your time. If you’ve only got time for one channel, choose to spend all your efforts on that channel, and ignore the rest.
Of course, you want to be where your clients are. For that reason, we would recommend these platforms, in order of priority:
- Everything else
So, first of all, pick your community. (Here’s our Facebook Community, Content Planning).
Then manage your community well, by replying with informative and accurate answers to genuine questions and queries people have about any aspect of buying a home.
Show them you are there to help them and are not just out to make money from their decisions. Although your conversations are likely to be brief, keep them positive and try to avoid overly-transactional information sharing.
Try to add a bit of personality while keeping professional. Making a good first impression is an important first stage of the buying journey. Customers are more likely to remember this and come back to leave a review.
Like this Facebook review below, the review will almost always refer to the communication abilities of estate agents. It’s up to you to start and end the conversation right.
Remember that you’re selling more than just a house
In real estate, people have more than just their dream house in mind.
Whether it’s a retired couple looking to downsize & move to the country, new parents looking for the best catchment area for local schools or young professionals looking for the location that suits their social life and budget the best, everyone’ priority is location.
Social media gives you a great tool to engage, promote and draw the attention to all that is good and great in the local area. This helps build a sense of community and positions your brand as a champion of the local area.
One of the best ways to do this on Twitter is to make sure you are following relevant local accounts who publish updates of local events with images. This puts you in a good position to retweet these posts to your client followers.
Showing off events in the local area, helps show you’re involved. It’s always best in these situations to personalise the retweet with some additional information highlighting why this post is important.
You will already know your local area well so start planning informative posts about what is coming up in that community.
It’s important that you also know your audience in these situations, understand what demographic you are looking to attract with the property portfolio you currently have and only post content relevant to these groups.
Content planning tools makes the actual posting part a breeze.
As a quick recap, you are there to:
- Help answer people’s queries
- Get people excited about moving house
- Show off your community credentials
Take your clients offline
Social media for real estate is helpful, but it’s not the whole process!
Make your contact info clear and available in your social bios, and include them in posts whenever you’ve included a call to action that takes people offline.
For example, you could:
- Lead people to a web page where they download a guide in exchange for their email address
- Take people to a tool, such as a mortgage calculator
- Send people to a longer enquiry form, where they can leave their phone number so you can follow up by phone
Driving enquiries on your properties is a big reason you’re using social media in the first place, so make sure you’ve got a process in place for this.
But it’s important not to be aggressive when pursuing contact information from potential clients. Instead of prompting them to get in contact with you, you could also leave your email address in your bio so they can get in touch through this more formal channel.
So, in summary…
- Pick your community
- Post case studies & showcase your team
- Be responsive on social media
- Plan your content wisely
- Leave an amazing impression
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