Real estate business has gone social
Realtors who have previously relied on traditional marketing techniques, including cold calling, distributing pamphlets and knocking on doors, now have a wider array of marketing tools at their disposal to promote their business.
“Social media marketing presents a great opportunity for real estate professionals to establish themselves as an authority and build a relationship with their target audience,” says Gabrielle Jeans, director of education with HomeLife Realty Services Inc. in Toronto. “Developing a compelling social media presence and engaging your audience online helps to generate leads that, when cultivated, can turn into viable sales opportunities.”
Jeans is also the Dean of HomeLife University and delivers ongoing webinars and online training for HomeLife Members, including the FIVE STAR Higher Standards Service Certification course.
The good news is you do not need to be a digital native to know how to use social media effectively. The following tips can help you step up your social media marketing and give your business a leg up.
Curate a Balanced Content Mix
Audience engagement requires you to share relevant and diverse content. Showcase yourself as a thought leader in your field and create your brand voice on issues that are of interest and relevant to your audience. Look for content ideas by visiting online forums like Quora, Reddit and StumbleUpon to check out common or hot topics posted by people in your target market.
“Most agents say how great they are, sharing nothing but testimonials and listings and expect sellers to line up for them. This doesn’t work,” says Jeans.
She recommends curating a content mix that includes authority content to showcase the real estate agent as an expert in the field, “likeable” content to build relationships and trust with the audience, and promotional content to generate new business.
“Likeable content” is a refreshing departure from sales-oriented posts that already saturate social media platforms. Examples include sharing what is on your mind, occasional photos of your pets, posting holiday greetings, and celebrating client closings.
Promotional content refers to posts that help generate new business. This can include information about your products or services and what you offer to clients that competitors do not.
Answer questions and respond to comments from your audience to increase engagement. It also gives you a chance to address hot topics, such as what is happening in your market, how to market or add value to your home, and whether it is worth hiring a professional to stage homes for sale.
Be a Credible Source of Information
Posting local real estate news or tidbits of information about buying or selling properties is another way to generate interest in your social media platforms. When sharing a link to an article, Jeans recommends adding an excerpt from the story or offering your thoughts to make it interesting and engaging.
“People will click if it is interesting,” she says.
As potential buyers want to have a feel for their community to see if it matches their lifestyle and personality, it is a good idea to post regularly about community events around the neighbourhood and feature a booming local business.
Seeing is believing. Posting videos of home tours or neighbourhood guides can attract potential buyers who are unable to visit an actual property in person. Video tours has become more important during the pandemic when real estate open houses are discouraged or prohibited.
Incorporating compelling graphics will draw attention to your posts. It may be worth your while to hire a professional graphic designer to add striking images, charts, graphs, infographics, and other visual elements to your blog and social media posts. Ensure that your graphics explain something of value to your audience.
Showcase Client Testimonials
Validate your customer service skills by sharing excerpts of client testimonials on social media. Lend credibility to your testimonials by including the client’s name and city and create a little graphic to add visual appeal.
While testimonials are a good way to attract new clients, avoid posting testimonials too often, and make sure they are broken up with plenty of other posts. It is all about striking a delicate balance between showcasing positive reviews and blowing one’s trumpet.
Make the Old New
Updating old content for evergreen topics is a good way to make them relevant again. Often, old topics are still important and relevant to your target audience.
Use social media automation software to accomplish specific tasks on social media platforms without human intervention. Scheduling posts ahead of time and republishing popular articles help to reduce the amount of time you spend on maintaining social media accounts.
Behind the Scenes
We all love untold stories from behind the scenes. Sharing some little-known facts about your life as a realtor is a great way to engage the audience and attract new followers.
Take your audience on a live tour the next time you attend a real estate event or visit a property. Buyers and sellers are interested in house tours, learning what are the things to look out for at an open house, and the types of questions they should ask. The live video streaming feature is available on social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
Social media analytics provide insights on how effective your social media strategy is. By gathering and analyzing market and audience data, these metrics help you optimize your social media strategy by providing insight on content performance, including the types of content your clients look for and the best time of the day to post content.
Like all things else, consistency is key. “Demonstrating consistency and publishing engaging content regularly will help build a strong social community and stay ahead of the competition,” Jeans says.
Jean Lian is Head of Communications and Brand Marketing with HomeLife Realty Services Inc. in Toronto. Contact Jean at email@example.com.