The modern age of technology poses unique challenges for real estate agents, as well as providing new opportunities.
For a prospective real estate agent, the challenge of attracting, engaging and doing business with clients via social media could seem an intimidating and time-consuming endeavour.
Fortunately, we have spoken to a number of South Australian real estate’s most prolific users of social media, who can shed light on the strategies essential to success in this area, and the effectiveness of them.
How important do you deem social media to success in the real estate industry in this day and age?
I think that moving forward Social Media is vital to real estate success. Everyone these days conducts the “digital interview” mostly without even realising they are doing it. When a person decides to sell their home, you need to be on their shopping list. If you are not seen on social media, then it will be your competitors who are.
What strategies do you employ to market yourself on social media?
Firstly, with Facebook, I like to run regular competitions, which can get excellent traffic to the business page. The competition brings in more ‘Likes’, but also get very wide audience exposure. I had one competition that was seen by over 25,000 people.
I also use FB to promote my property listings and sales results – but I do not post only real estate content and listings – I like to mix it up as much as possible. I will often use the boost function to target specific areas or demographics for different properties e.g. reaching investors or large families. Boosting posts also gets large audience exposure which serves 2 purposes, the first is the actual marketing of the property to help sell it, but the second is the personal brand marketing that I get from these.
I am very particular about how I do my Facebook posts. Just sharing a link on your page doesn’t get much traction at all. Facebook HQ has decided that they want to be the whole internet, and they prefer people do not leave FB to go to external sites. So, if you post your own content directly to Facebook rather than a link to it on another site, the algorithms that Facebook use will give you a much wider reach. I have experimented trial and error with this. I am always studying up on best ways to use Facebook advertising, and also linking this advertising to Instagram.
Secondly, I also use Rate My Agent as I find this a great way to share my reviews and testimonials from past vendors and purchasers. I use their advertising feature which can spread an ad of my review across the google ads network. I find this gets some very high numbers of views. The Rate My Agent website also allows us to prepare reports for Appraisals which are great for promoting my services to potential clients.
What social media platforms do you use and why?
I use Facebook as the main platform of choice as it is very easy to use and can do much more than people realise. I also have started experimenting with Instagram “story”, posting little snips of my day to day real estate life. This will be something I put more effort into as I see this as a big growth area. Many real estate agents are ignoring Instagram, thinking that it’s just fancy pictures of food and sunsets. #gettingleftbehind.
I also have a Linkedin account which I keep up to date with my details, and I will often post useful real estate info there too. I believe the networking available on Linkedin is great for business orientated people and the exposure you receive can help boost all real estate agents, if done correctly.
Which demographics are you trying to target when promoting on social media?
I am targeting ALL demographics and all people. Around 65% of all Australians have an active Facebook account. So that covers a wide variety of people. I don’t particularly target a demographic, as I need all people from all walks of life to know who I am. Someone always knows someone who wants to sell a house, so I need to be top of mind.
If I am specifically advertising a new release listing through the boost advertising on FB where I may select only likely investors, or maybe a downsizing property, I will target certain age groups. If I am promoting a Suburb Market Report in my core farm area, I will only boost it to that postcode.
How does the effectiveness of social media marketing compare to other methods of reaching clients, such as physical advertisement and face to face encounters?
Well I think first up, as a Real Estate Agent, face to face meetings are the number one most important part of my business. Our Open Inspections are like auditions for new clients and business, so they must be world class and I need to be at the top of my game. When people walk away from meeting me, I want them to have a positive lasting impression. I like to use social media to compliment this so that the person you see online is the same warm friendly person that you meet in real life. I still use letterbox drops in my core farm area too, just to add to the whole package. I don’t think that one marketing method is by far the best, but I believe they can all work together to achieve my personal brand exposure.