December 16, 2015
It seems like social media is everywhere. No matter where you turn, you can find yourself bombarded by Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Everyone you see is on their phone as they walk down the street, do their grocery shopping, or commute into work. At this point, it's become a given that almost everyone has a some sort of presence online.
So, as a realtor, why don't you?
Traditional marketing and selling methods still sell homes, but as online technology grows more and more pervasive, it means that more people are online looking to buy and sell their homes. Which means you not only need to get online, but you need to start engaging with prospective clients through an optimized social media profile.
And, only 56% of realtors currently utilize social media for their business.
But, you're already social in person with your clients and prospectives, so there's no reason why you shouldn't go ahead and be social online too. Plus it guarantees a much wider scope in networking. And yes, we've got the stats and facts to back up why you should....ready?
According to the NAR, millennials make up the largest group of first-time home buyers at 68% and 94% of those millennials searched online as they looked for a home. If you ask us, those are some pretty telling statistics. Okay, we know that you aren't looking to sell homes solely to millennials, there's still a good amount of home buyers out there that are a bit older...and guess what? They're active on social media too! As for adults ages 50 to 64 with Internet access, 64% of them are active on Facebook. That's well more than half! And you better believe that they're doing some realtor research on Facebook.
In a world where users of social media are highly active on a daily basis, only 70% of female realtors, and 58% of male realtors are active on social media. That's pretty low if you ask us, especially considering how active the current market is on social media. So what can you do? Go ahead and meet the market on their favorite platforms. The more engaging your content is, the more people in your network will see it, it's as easy as that.
Okay, so you now understand the importance of creating an engaging presence on social media, but do you know what trends you should be following or utilizing? This goes beyond looking at the 'trending topics' on Twitter. While they may be helpful, they're not always relevant to you and your business. Instead, implement these three 'trends' into your social media strategy.
Photos: Anyone can tell you that a picture's worth a thousand words, and this couldn't be more true in the real estate world....and on social media. On Twitter, tweets with an engaging image tend to get upwards of 35% more retweets than a text-only post. And this is a trend across the board; just look at the quick adoption of Instagram, a social media platform based solely on sharing images!
Social media can be a great place to share photos of your listings, but go above and beyond your listings and share photos of other things too. From pictures of the neighborhood, to sharing photos of your happy clients in their new homes (with their permission of course.) You want to add a personal touch to your social media presence, let your personality shine through and let your clients and prospective clients get to know on a human level.
Locations: Selling some homes in a particular neighborhood? Do your research. Take some photos, visit the local businesses and begin to engage with the area. When you're selling a home, you're not just selling the physical house, you're also selling the area around it. Get to know what makes the area special and promote it! Be sure to follow businesses on their social media accounts, and share anecdotes and photos from your experiences with them.
Become an absolutely trusted expert in the neighborhood and watch as clients researching the area will find your information and your new contacts in the neighborhood will start to refer clients to you too.
Hashtags: Yes, they're necessary...but certainly not necessary in excess. For those of you confused, don't fret! Hashtags (#) are used as a way to track trending topics across Twitter and Instagram. During large scale events ie: movie premiers, or World happenings, the hashtag may be used to track who's talking about it on the social platforms. Check out our tweet below where we shared a link to a blog post with advice for realtors on creating a brand identity. We included the hashtag #realestate in the hopes that anyone looking for real estate information on Twitter, can find it easily.
Now, back to you. Keep your hashtag usage relevant to you, to your business, to real estate etc. Take some time to research your hashtags across the platforms you'll be utilizing. Understand that hashtags can be a little tricky to get the hang of; resist the temptation to make up your own hashtags as you start out and include ones that are already out there. Keep it simple, no long phrases or anything that may be considered controversial.
If you're adopting social media for the first time -- take it slow. Keep in mind that each platform is utilized for different types of content, and we recommend that you don't share all the same content across each of your different profiles. Vary your content and be sure to let your personality shine through! Buying and selling a home is a personal matter and your clients will want to get to know you on a human level. Allow prospective clients to get to know you through your social media and gain their trust as a person and an expert on the market.