The majority of homebuyers go online for their search, but what makes social media and real estate marketing such a pair for agents? According to one study, 94% of millennials and 84% baby boomers used various sites to search for their future home.
To add to it, these homebuyers are definitely using social in their quest to find a new place. The problem our Q1 2017 Sprout Social Index found was that the real estate industry only responded to 11% of its incoming messages. What’s worse is the industry ranked No. 4 in the Top 10 Most Annoying Industries on Social Media in the Q3 2016 Sprout Social Index.
This points signs to an industry set on overly promoting and not enough time on engaging with potential customers. Luckily, there are some simple methods to use social as a driver for engagement and reliability.
Here are 15 ideas you can use to elevate your real estate social marketing efforts:
1. Make Social Sharing Mindlessly Easy
Think about how clients usually find you. It’s likely they start with a search engine and type in some phrase like “real estate agent [city].” If your website accurately depicts your information, you should be easy to locate and have shareable listings.
To make it easier for you and your potential client to share on social, make sure listings have responsive layouts, clear photography and simple share buttons.
The Boutique gives a great example of this in action. The listing not only includes a favorite icon for their clients, but also social network sharing buttons.
2. Add Reviews & Services
Referrals are the best kind of marketing for real estate agents. In your Facebook Page, enable both reviews and services. For ease of communication, make sure clients can book appointments with you or message for questions.
Bower Real Estate does an excellent job at providing information about its services, while leaving an area for client testimonials.
On your website, use client testimonials and information about your services. Do you provide free consultations and can they be booked online? Finding an agent is difficult enough. Make the process for connecting to your client as seamless as possible.
3. Create a Facebook Group & Participate in Local Groups
With the new feature to link Facebook Groups to a Facebook Page, you can offer even more personalized services to clients. Using Facebook Groups is a good way to navigate around the Facebook algorithm. Ideally, clients would be able to post in the Group and help each other through the selling or buying process.
Another option for Facebook Groups is using them as a networking opportunity.
Mid-America Association uses regional Groups to connect professionals in the area and to post helpful advice.
4. Use a Facebook Cover Video
Quickly grab a potential client’s attention with a Facebook video instead of a photo for your Facebook Page cover. A new feature for Facebook Pages, video covers automatically play when someone lands on your Page. It’ll instantly grab any visitor’s attention.
For bonus points, edit your call-to-action button to match the video. For example, if you talk about free consultations, make sure the button says, “Book Now.”
Live Urban Denver uses a video cover for their Page, which quickly tells any new visitor what the company is all about.
5. Go Live at a Property
Using Facebook Live for business lets you provide a behind-the-scenes, unedited look of a property. If you promote it before the listing goes up, it gives your followers a feeling of an inside scoop. These videos are excellent at engaging your audience and are often highly ranked in Facebook feeds.
Incorporating a Q&A like Zac McHardy did is a great way to get potential buyers into the door without even stepping foot on the property.
6. 360 Photo or Video
Facebook has new capabilities for posting 360-degree photos and videos. Wide-angle shots are beautiful, but they still don’t always work for getting a full impact of a room or view.
Using 360-degree videos or photos like below are a good way to change up your post types. Maybe there’s a balcony that has an excellent view or a wide open floor plan that would benefit from a 360-degree photo.
Leave no room for surprises with these great photo and video features.
7. Build a Messenger Chatbot
If you receive a lot of similar messages and questions that could be easily answered, perhaps a Facebook Messenger chatbot could work best for your organization.
You can use Sprout Social to program your bots to answer common questions like:
- What are the closest listings by this zip code?
- What are the features of this house?
- Which listings are in my price range?
- What do I need to do to prepare my house for sale?
Whatever questions you do decide on, make sure you’re still monitoring your messages and that there’s added value to the bot for your clients. See our chatbot builder in action here!
8. Incorporate Excellent Photography
Staging and photography can be vastly underrated. If you’re just starting out and can’t hire a photographer, it’s smart to buy a decent camera and take some classes online.
Having an empty house with a sterile environment makes it more difficult for anyone to picture themselves living there. In fact, a survey found 83% of homebuyers want photos of the property to be available online. Photography makes a difference and the better the photos, the more attention-grabbing they will be on a highly visual network like Instagram.
Iglesias Realty Group is geared toward high-end clients, so their posts and photography reflect that sentiment.
9. Add Social-Specific Landing Pages
Online lead generation is a crucial skill for real estate marketers. And when it comes to generating real estate leads online, your landing pages could mean the difference between a new lead or missed opportunity. The National Association of Realtors discovered 72% of agents felt their total leads from the web were lacking.
The first thing you need to know is you should have multiple landing pages. All too often, real estate agents make the mistake of using a single landing page for all their lead generation efforts. However, there are several ways to generate leads, so you’ll likely need different landing pages for each.
For instance, you might create a gated piece of content such as “Top 10 Tips on Setting Your Home’s Price,” where people have to enter their email address to view it. But then on your homepage, you might include a lead generation form similar to what Blue Sky does for people to schedule a consultation.
Creating landing pages that convert is both an art and a science. It takes a lot of testing to get right. But here are a couple resources to help you out. In this helpful post, Instapage talks about the various ways to create real estate landing pages while Unbounce provides some easy templates for you to use.
10. Set Up Twitter Keyword Searches
As part of your lead generation toolkit, set up keyword searches in Twitter to alert you when people are looking to buy or sell a home. You can narrow your searches down with zip code targeting.
The best way to handle Twitter keyword searches is to automate the alerting process. Set up the search and have a service like IFTTT notify you when a relevant Tweet comes up. You can also setup specific brand keywords in our Smart Inbox to see all the latest incoming posts from Twitter and other networks that contain your target keywords. This way you can be sure to never miss out on new lead opportunities due to overlooking a Tweet.
11. Sponsor a Local Event
One of the better ways of engaging your local community is by sponsoring events that you care about. This not only provides more interesting content for your followers, but it also demonstrates your interest in supporting important causes.
Live Urban Real Estate sponsored a lounge at a local music festival. Swag was given out and while the lounge itself isn’t exactly about real estate, you never know where you might find your next client.
12. Celebrate Milestones
People love to see themselves on a business’ social pages when the content is all about their celebration. Whether it’s a house closed or a new set of keys, potential clients will connect with them on an emotional level. In a way, it’s personalizing your pages which is way more interesting than only photos of house interiors.
13. Build Up Trust
As a real estate agent, you need to build trust with your clients. If you share blog posts, write articles, publish infographics and offer free information to help your clients, they’ll begin to trust your expertise. Offering free advice without pushing your services is an easy tactic for building trust.
Ines Hegedus-Garcia works in Miami and often posts about local events, real estate advice and other information where clients would take interest.
— Ines Hegedus-Garcia (@ines) August 21, 2017
14. Stay Relevant After Closing
It’s not often you’ll have back-to-back repeat clients, but you always want to stay relevant in your posts. Did you know 70% of homebuyers completely forget who their agent was just a year after closing? Like the previous idea, you want to build up trust for you as an expert and stay connected.
This means sharing information on such things like renovations can keep your posts useful for past clients but also for current ones who are interested in the topic. Local news and events also fall into this category of posts.
Additionally, this tactic can really help with your referrals when users mention you on social.
15. Experiment With Videos
There are so many video options for posts now. Instead of a standard walkthrough of the house, maybe hire some actors who look like your target clients. Consider creating helpful tutorial videos for your clients, too. Not enough money to hire a staging expert? Pair up with an expert for some how-to videos. It establishes your credibility, gives the staging expert a potential expert and helps your clients. All a win-win.
Joyce Rey Real Estate shared a video that featured a couple enjoying their neighborhood, coming home and taking a break. It highlights all of the main features of the house and helps potential clients picture themselves living there.
There are many ways to spark up your real estate social marketing efforts. To keep track of all of your efforts, we recommend using a social media management platform like Sprout Social to keep all your social media scheduling, engagement and analytics in one, manageable space.
For any new marketing idea, we recommend tracking your analytics before and after execution. Getting familiar with how your community engages with you will make it easier for you to figure out if a new marketing idea is for you or not.