Social media has become an integral part of how real estate agents connect with clients, prospective clients and colleagues. A traditional marketing strategy alone, that excludes social media, no longer cuts it. This is particularly true if you want to work with Millennial home buyers. Over 90 percent of realtors do use some form of social media, according to a recent NAR study. Understanding the ins and outs of social media marketing for real estate agents can help you become a top-producer.
The vast majority of home buyers use the internet to look for houses. According to a joint study by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and Google, nine out of ten home buyers utilize the internet as a primary research tool. Fifty-two percent start looking online before they do anything else.
A 2015 NAR study found that 44 percent of people who purchased a home found it online. The next best source was real estate agents; 33 percent of buyers found the houses they purchased from them.
Since home buyers turn to the internet in droves when looking for a property, its critical for real estate agents to have a strategic online presence to be able to fully capitalize on all the potential buyers and sellers online. Social media marketing for real estate agents is integral to gaining the attention of prospective clients and keeping connected to existing ones.
Best Social Media Platforms for Real Estate Agents
Facebook is unquestionably the top social media platform. It has over 1.5 billion active monthly users and 1 billion daily, according social media statistics. While there are many people on Facebook, it can also be difficult to stand out in the crowd on the site.
How can real estate agents differentiate their content? By not just posting listings. Not everyone is researching houses to buy. Use Facebook to help inform and educate. Some suggestions are posting news on the local real estate market, and mortgage and property tax information. Tips on how to prepare a home for sale, keeping it well-maintained and increasing curb appeal are also useful.
Linkedin is an important site for real estate professionals. It can be a great tool for lead generation and extremely helpful for social media marketing for real estate agents. Linkedin is the place to showcase your professional credentials, accomplishments and accolades. However, don’t over do it by listing every award you ever won dating back to high school in your profile. Stick to the most impressive and relevant awards for your field.
A Linkedin profile is basically one’s online resume and is for professionals who want to network. Having an attractive headshot to use for your profile picture is worth the investment. Many agents use the same picture on all their social media sites to help build brand recognition.
It is critical to complete all the details for your Linkedin company page as well. This includes the URL to your website and links to other social media accounts.
Like on Facebook, it is important to standout from the competition. Use your banner image to help highlight what sets you apart from the crowd. Don’t be shy. If you had the top sales volume at your firm, or sold the most expensive home in an exclusive neighborhood, include those details.
Success on Linkedin is largely tied to the number of connections you have. Start by connecting with other real estate agents you know and clients. You can import contacts from your email account.
Another Facebook tip that applies on Linkedin is – don’t just post your listings. Regularly contributing useful content that has variety is key to moving the dial. For ideas, start by identifying a few of the top real estate agents on Linkedin and observing the type of content they post.
Twitter is another tool real estate agents should have in their social media toolbox. The microblogging site currently has over 320 million active monthly users, according to social media statistics.
Before you start tweeting away, it’s important to develop a social media marketing for real estate agents strategy to best position your real estate brand. If you have a personal Twitter account, consider having a separate one for work. You may be politically vocal and your tweets may turn off prospective clients. If you enjoying cooking and tweeting recipes, wonderful, but that may not be the professional image you want to lead with as a real estate agent.
In order to best define your brand, describe your ideal client in writing. Also list why you are better suited to assist them than a competitor. Finally, write down why your tweets will be superior, more locally focused and relevant. Keep this information easily accessible so you can refer to it if ever tempted to go “off-message” in a tweet.
Consider using your picture for a profile image and your real name for your Twitter handle. People like to interact with other humans. Even the the most well-known brands, like Coke and Nike, don’t have as much engagement as actual people on Twitter.
In order to be successful you need to brief; tweets are limited to 140 characters. Incorporating hashtags such as #realtor and #justlisted for emphasis helps. Here are some top real estate hastags. However, don’t go crazy, one or two hashtag tweets get 21% greater engagement than tweets with over three.
Images and video links are big on Twitter which is good news for real estate agents. Including them in your tweets greatly improves the chances they will get re-tweeted.
DONT USE ALL CAPS. It’s the equivalent of shouting and people generally don’t like it. Also, consider tweeting questions to boost engagement.
YouTube is another site real estate agents should not ignore as part of their social media marketing for real estate agents strategy. Posting videos on it can improve your Google search rankings.
Videos on YouTube are indexed using metadata. This includes the title, description and tags uploaded along with the video. Be sure to fill out all these fields and optimize them. No matter how great the video, if people can’t find it because title fields are blank or poorly written, it will not matter.
Putting some thought into the keywords or phrases that describe your videos can also yield results. Be sure to also backlink to your website in your videos.
Finally, consider including a video of just you on your YouTube channel. A personal video is a great way to introduce yourself to potential clients. It can also be a powerful marketing tool.
Instagram is a photo and video sharing app that is mostly used on cell phones. It’s highly visual nature makes it worth considering for real estate agents. The site is rapidly growing and had 500 million active users as of June 2016, according to social media statistics.
It is also owned by Facebook. There are some inherent synergies between the two sites. Once you have posted images or video on Instagram it is easy to share them on Facebook. This can increase your exposure, and provide more bang for the buck.
Don’t only post pictures of homes for sale. Storytelling is an integral part of social media marketing for real estate agents. Consider providing details about clients you have helped in videos including why a certain property was a great fit for them. This will humanize the process and you may be able to better connect with prospective clients.
Pinterest is another highly visual website. This is ideal for real estate agents because visualization is what largely sells homes. According to social media statistics, Pinterest has 100 million active monthly users 85 percent of whom are female.
In a nutshell, the website is a virtual bulletin board. Users can “pin” images or videos from anyplace online to any boards under their profile. There are no limitations on the amount of boards or pins someone can have. Followers can like and re-pin posts to one of their own boards. Users can also link their accounts to their Facebook and Twitter accounts which makes it easier for friends and family to find follow them on Pinterest.
Once again, real estate agents should not just pin their listings. Posting other types of helpful content including neighborhood news, renovation projects and holiday decorating ideas will help drive engagement.
Should You Have a Blog for Social Media Marketing for Real Estate Agents?
YES! Having your own blog should be a part of your social media marketing plan for real estate agents. It is a great tool for building your brand, showing your personality and connecting with your audience. Another benefit is that blogging is an inexpensive way to drive more traffic to your website.
Blogs can be casual and fun, as well as informative. Each post does not have to be written like it’s going to be published in The New York Times. Making the information useful and relevant is key.
In order to gain traction with a blog, you must be willing to make the necessary time commitment. Several posts a week is ideal, the bare minimum is one post per week in order to make it worth it. You want to build an audience. If you only post something once every a six months you will not have an audience.
There are many opportunities for content. As a real estate agent, you are probably asked questions all the time. Starting writing them down and turning them into blog posts.
There are many options for blogging platforms. Be wary of the free ones. WordPress is a good, low cost alternative. This website runs on WordPress.
Hopefully these suggestions will help you with your social media marketing for real estate agents plan.