The world of real estate has changed enormously in just a short period of time. From the challenges of the housing bubble and subsequent bust to changes in the way people buy houses and qualify for mortgages, real estate agents have faced endless challenges. The new technology-powered social media is moving forward with lightning speed (literally!), and it has become an essential part of almost every industry including the real estate business. COVID-19 pandemic has supercharged the process of going 100% virtual because let’s face it – no one wants to touch those business cards and flyers anymore!
Five Smart Social Media Marketing Tips for Real Estate Agents
by Maxwell Alexander, VP Global Marketing at AlmaxRealty
If you are a real estate professional, you are all too familiar with those changes in buying habits. It was not that long ago that potential buyers would drive around their chosen neighborhoods, attending open houses, and pickup up flyers along the way. These days, those buyers are more likely to shop from their couches, searching for suitable properties on their phones and tablets, and going on virtual tours via the posted pictures and videos.
The shift to online home shopping has presented both challenges and opportunities for real estate agents. Agents who fail to adapt to these changes risk falling behind and losing their edge, while those who know how to use social media stand to gain. Here are five smart social media tips to help real estate agents succeed in this brave new world.
Provide valuable content and real/authentic advice.
Social media should not be all about marketing. Successful real estate agents are ready to help their clients with everything from moving tips to advise on home staging. Incorporating that valuable content into your Instagram + Facebook posts, TikToks, tweets, and other social media interactions can increase customer engagement and improve your odds of success. Warning: Stay real and don’t use other people’s content! Speak from your own experience and use your own examples and authentic content such as your own photographs, videos, and quotes. Social media platforms and search engines are smart enough to recognize stock photographs, copy/pasted text, stock videos, and memes with movie screenshots and celebrity faces you downloaded from the Internet and they will shadowban your content or your entire account for good, so good luck with getting any likes from this sort of stolen content. Another warning from a professional graphic designer and SEO strategist here: Do not ever place any typography (text) over images because you have already failed just by thinking about it. The main reason is that posts with text are ranked lower by search engine algorithms and also chances are you don’t have a master’s degree in typography and your $0.99 app for making “cutsie posts with headlines” will just give away your amateur approach. Remember that a good picture worth a thousand words, so don’t try to pretty it up (=ruin it) with poorly executed 3 extra words on top, and if the image isn’t good enough in the first place, simply don’t post it at all.
Focus on quality of life and community instead of buildings.
When people buy a house, they are not just buying a place to live. They are buying into a lifestyle, and the nature of the neighborhood will weigh heavily in the decision making process. Successful real estate agents know this, and they use social media to talk about various neighborhoods and what they have to offer. From news about the local school district to a calendar of events at a nearby park, this quality of life postings can tip the scales and turn browsers into buyers. At the same time as a licensee, you have to observe Fair Housing Act rules and come across as respectful, considerate, and professional while staying true to yourself.
Invest in professional photography assets.
Expert quality real estate photography content is the King when it comes to real estate marketing. You heard it right! Google, Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com, and any other real estate marketing platforms are optimized to deliver amazing photographs and NOT videos, virtual tours, real-time video walkthroughs, or any other trendy “marketing trash” those salespeople are trying to sell to you for hundreds if not thousands of dollars. The ability to post photographs is one of your most valuable social media marketing tools, and you want to make sure your properties look as good on the screen as they do in person. Work with a professional real estate photographer (not your nephew who managed to buy a professional camera at BestBuy). Professional photographers don’t take pictures of buildings, instead, they tell a story through their photographs, they use the light and layout to portray the feelings and a particular mood, they make accents and show opportunities. This is where the value is, and it’s your fiduciary responsibility to your seller client to be able to communicate that value through amazing and professional real estate photography.
Use your Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and TikTok accounts to share new listings.
You should be sharing your new listings on social media, giving potential buyers new properties to consider, and increasing your odds of a sale. Your Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and TikTok feeds are the perfect venues for this stream of new listings, and you need to make the most of it. One thing to consider: stay medium-appropriate, meaning that Instagram is great for pictures and hashtags, Facebook is great for pictures plus a link to Zillow or your own realty listing, Twitter is superb when it comes to text and popular hashtags, and TikTok, of course, is made for 15-second videos. Even though you can share various content types on all of these networks, you will get the best ROI on content that a particular platform specializes in, hence more likes, views, engagement, and eventually leads.
Spruce your social media marketing feeds with relevant yet juicy content.
Real estate is the most interesting and exciting thing you ever thought exists, however, your social media audience doesn’t think so. Not only because there are pictures of cats and cute puppies out there, but also because Realtors are one of those occupations that struggle with a negative consumer sentiment baggage (learn more about it from my personal branding boot camp), so your best bet will be to come across as an actual and fun human being, rather than something close to a used car salesperson. I am sure you have some talents and hobbies because you didn’t get into real estate to be a boring nine-to-five kind of person, so go ahead and share it on your social media accounts along with a healthy share of less desirable real estate content. Just don’t forget to check-in and use relevant keywords and hashtags to keep your content area-specific. Geotargeting allows you to focus on a specific city or region where you operate. Additionally, the type of relevant non-real estate content could help you to reach a particular audience. For example, if your goal is to sell luxury real estate, think of content that would be associated with a luxury lifestyle. Or if you are selling commercial real estate, share content that is relevant to this specific market niche. The more you fine-tune your content, the easier it will be to reach the right people.
Social media can be a powerful tool for professionals from all walks of life. From sharing valuable information with your client base to targeted marketing, social media has enormous potential for every salesperson. If real estate is your product, you can use the power of social media to get the word out, attract new buyers, and build on your past successes. Having said that, not every real estate company is as forward-looking as Alexander Maxwell Realty – The Best Real Estate Team in New York’s Hudson Valley Region. I am fortunate to lead the company’s global marketing strategy because thanks to social media and the advancements in communications technologies, local real estate market has never been so global. The new generation of real estate buyers grew up surrounded by state-of-the-art technological solutions and this is exactly what they expect from us, Realtors. AlmaxRealty has got its agents covered in every aspect of real estate marketing and infrastructure with complimentary world-class photography, global distribution, PR, personal branding, not to mention, that every AlmaxRealty agent has their own personal mobile app to share with their clients. How cool is that? If you are thinking to switch, now is the time, so don’t hesitate to reach out to me (almaxrealty.com/maxwell/) if you have any questions or simply checkout the commission split, after that you’ll be sure to schedule your onboarding interview and join the best real estate team in the Hudson Valley!