If you want to sell homes in 2017, you need to develop an active and authentic presence on social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and yes, even Snapchat. Consider the facts:
- There are 300 million+ active monthly users on Snapchat, and 71% of those users are under the age of 34.
- 79% of online adults (68% of all Americans) use Facebook to interact with friends, family members, and businesses.
- Roughly six-in-ten online adults ages 18-29 (59%) use Instagram, nearly double the share among 30- to 49-year-olds (33%) and more than seven times the share among those 65 and older (8%).
- Some 36% of online adults ages 18-29 are using Twitter regularly to interact with followers and brands.
As a real estate agent, you can’t afford to ignore social media. As more millennials enter the homebuying market, it’s up to you to develop strategies and implement techniques that help you reach this audience.
Here’s the problem though: Social media can be pretty intimidating if you’re not familiar with using it as a business owner. There are a lot of tools you can use, a lot of tactics you can try, and a lot of ways you can fail.
To get the most ROI out of the time and money you put into using social media to sell more homes, leverage these 6 tips:
Tip #1: Build Your Personal Brand
In order to connect with potential clients on social media, you need to take the time to help people understand who you are and why you’re doing what you’re doing. The real estate market, as you already know, is incredibly competitive. The same is true when it comes to reaching people online.
To be successful, you need to know how to differentiate from other local real estate agents in your community. The easiest way to do it is by establishing, maintaining, and strengthening your personal brand.
Personal branding refers to the marketing strategies and tactics you implement in order to build awareness about yourself. Your goal with personal branding is to become recognizable and familiar to people within your target audience. It’s all about building a strong reputation and helping people quickly and easily understand what makes you different than everyone else.
To start building your personal brand, follow these steps:
- Step 1: Identify and Know Your Audience
- Step 2: Decide What Makes You Different, Then Embrace it
- Step 3: Hire a Professional Designer & Photographer
- Step 4: Secure Your Domain
- Step 5: Build Your Blog & Start Sharing Value
- Step 6: Participate on Social Media, and Leverage the Assets You Created for Your Brand
- Step 7: Be Consistent Offline with Your Personal Brand
- Step 8: Invest in the Right Tools
- Step 9: Fine-Tune Your Strategy & Go All In
To learn more about each of these steps (including how to implement them), read my blog post titled, The Beginner’s Guide to Personal Branding For Real Estate. It’s packed full of actionable information that you can use to build a personal brand that helps you stand out and cut through the noise on social media.
Tip #2: Leverage Video
A lot of other businesses and brands are trying to reach users on social media sites, and as a result, consumers aren’t paying as much attention anymore. The truth is, it’s becoming much harder and harder to get their attention.
To get any sort of ROI from social media, you can’t just post text-based updates or curated content from the web—you have to take the time to create visually-engaging, attention-grabbing, irresistible content.
One of the best and most effective ways to do it is with video. Video is by far the most effective type of content you can create and share for followers in order to grab their attention and convince them to learn more about you and your business.
Here are some types of videos you could be creating and sharing with your followers that will help you sell more homes:
- Home Tours — Don’t just include links to photo galleries and home listings. Instead, take the time to actually walk through a home on video for your followers. Show them what makes a particular home unique, and help them get to know you in the process.
- Helpful Tips — Help your future clients understand that you’re more than just a real estate agent, you’re a resource that they can turn to when they need help or have questions. Create short, 2-3 minute videos of yourself offering helpful tips about selling or buying homes.
- Interviews with Happy Clients — Show your potential clients how great you are to work with by getting your happy customers on camera with you. Run through a few questions with them that help other people understand what it’s like to work with you, why they chose you, how they felt about the experience, etc.
Need more help getting started with video marketing? Read my blog post, The Beginner’s Guide to Video Marketing for Real Estate. The post will provide you with more video ideas, a list of best practices to follow when creating and sharing video, and a handful of recommended tools to check out.
Tip #3: Engage with Clients
In order to see any sort of ROI from your efforts, you can’t treat social media like a megaphone. It’s not a tool for posting links to interesting articles, or to your product listings. The purpose of sites like Facebook and Twitter is to actually engage with people. In order to sell more homes using social media, you have to take the time to establish and develop authentic relationships with people who fall within your target audience.
To engage with clients, you can:
- Encourage them to ask you questions about homebuying on Facebook and Twitter.
- Be responsive and answer within 12-24 hours of someone asking you a question on social media.
- Use tools like Hootsuite that allow you to actively ‘listen’ to conversations happening about real estate and buying homes on social media sites, and proactively respond to or engage with people.
- Go live on Facebook or YouTube every so often so that your clients or prospective clients can interact with you and ask you questions in real-time. For example, you could make a habit of always going live on Friday afternoons at 2 PM to answer questions about homebuying or real estate. If you’ve never used Facebook Live before, take a look at this helpful guide to get started.
For more help understanding how to effectively engage with your followers on social media, check out this CoSchedule blog post, 30 Social Media Engagement Tactics That Will Boost Shares And Conversions.
Tip #4: Tell Amazing Stories
Homebuyers don’t want to be sold to. In order to connect with potential clients and convince them to work with you over another real estate agent, you have to connect with them on an emotional level. To do it, you have to be willing and able to tell great stories.
I’ve said it before on this blog, and I’ll say it again: you aren’t in the business of selling homes—you’re in the business of selling experiences. Your #1 goal is to convince buyers that you can help them find the home of their dreams—the home where they’re going to live out their lives and create unforgettable experiences and memories.
If you can become a master storyteller, you will sell more homes. So, the questions is: what type of stories should you be telling?
- Stories about your community. To differentiate from local competitors, work to position yourself as the person who tells great stories about the people, places, and things that make your community great. Interview local businesses, tell stories about events and local attractions, and find interesting people to feature on your blog and social media sites.
- Stories about your clients. Work with your best clients to craft amazing, compelling stories about their experience finding their home. Help other people relate to them and you on an emotional, human level.
- Stories about yourself. Again, help your prospective clients understand who you are on a personal level. If you want people to work with you, share more about yourself. Let them know why you became a real estate agent, what you’re passionate about, what your hobbies are, etc.
Share stories with your social media followers in the form of videos, photos, and text-based updates. When you show followers that you’re not just in it for their money—that you actually care about the people in your community, they become much more likely to trust you and much more excited about the thought of working with you.
Tip #5: Pay-to-Play
You used to be able to get much more ROI from social media organically, but things are different now. In order to get the most out of your efforts, in order to reach the right audience, you have to be willing to pay-to-play. That’s where social advertising comes into play.
If you’ve never done any sort of advertising on social media for your business before, I highly recommend you start with Facebook & Instagram. It’s fairly easy to create campaigns, the cost is relatively low, and you can actually see some pretty good results early on.
For help getting started, check out these resources:
- Why Facebook Ads are a Gold Mine for Real Estate by John Doherty
- The Complete Guide to Getting Started with Facebook Ads by Kevan Lee
- Getting Started with Advertising on Instagram
The great thing about advertising on Facebook is that you don’t have to spend a crazy amount in order to see ROI. You can create and launch campaigns that fit within your budget, and easily adjust overtime. The best way to find out whether advertising on Facebook can make any sort of impact on your ability to bring in new clients is to simply start testing.
Tip #6: Get Uncomfortable / Know Your Audience
The final way to use social media to sell more homes is to get uncomfortable and know your audience. What the means is this: you need to know who your ideal client is and where to find them. If your clients are young and first-time homebuyers, five years ago you would have been able to use Facebook to connect with them.
Today, they might be using Snapchat or Instagram more than Facebook. As a result, you need to use tools that you might not be as comfortable with using. Facebook has historically been the standard for most businesses when it comes to wanting to connect with customers—but that’s changing. To find success on social media, you have to be willing to adapt and you have to be willing to go where your clients go.
If you talk to clients and find out they spend much more time using tools like Snapchat and Instagram, put a strategy in place to start growing a presence and interacting with them using those tools. Here are some resources that can help:
- The 101 Guide to Using Snapchat to Sell More Homes
- How the Real Estate Industry Can use Snapchat and Facebook Live Video for Sales
- 18 Inspiring Real Estate Instagram Accounts to Follow
Remember: the purpose of social media isn’t to participate—the purpose is to engage. If the majority of your clientbase isn’t using Facebook, don’t focus on it as much. Go where your target client goes, and build authentic relationships with them there.
Over to You
How have you been using social media to sell more homes lately? Tell me in the comments below.