Social Media For Real Estate
As a Realtor, you will do whatever it takes to sell a home as fast as possible. After all, who doesn’t love satisfied clients and a quicker commission? But if you haven’t integrated social media into your home selling strategy, you are doing yourself (and your clients) a great disservice. When you combine social media with your traditional methods of selling a home, you can reach a larger audience at a faster pace. Whether you are selling a home in Medway Massachusetts, Durham North Carolina or Tacoma Washington, social media can be used to get your message out there.
Social media is one of the fastest growing methods of communication. Everyday literally thousands upon thousands of people join one of the major social media communities such as Google Plus, Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest among others. Using social media is the perfect opportunity for a Realtor to market to those that are interested in Real Estate.
Here’s what you need to know to get started and become a winner with social media marketing.
Social Media in General
The secret to successfully using any social media platform is to keep in mind that it is not like your website, meaning it’s sole purpose is not to sell homes or gain clients. Of course, that is the end goal, but social media is all about building trust and creating engagement. In order to have any of your postings about a listing be successful, you must first prove that you are on the site to get to know your followers and give them valuable information. Even after you have gained their trust, you need to keep it by remembering that social media is about being social, not making sales (as far as they are concerned).
Keep the self promotion to a minimum and instead focus on providing content that will WOW your readers whether it is yours or someone else’ s. Below you will find the basics on how to use social media for Real Estate promotion. When joining these sites keep in mind that each of them have their own nuances and etiquette. It is important you get your feet wet in these platforms before making social mistakes that could make you look foolish in front a very large audience.
Use Google Plus for Search Results
Okay, there are some people who might be interested in the homes you have for sale on Google Plus, but that is not the main reason to be on it. The main reason you need an active profile on Google Plus is because it can directly relate to how your website and blog posts are showing up in Google’s search ranks. Like it or not, it is possible that Google ranks pages that contain links associated with Google Plus profiles higher. Plus, if you set it up right, you can get your picture next to your blog posts in the rankings, which means your click through rate will likely be higher.
It is estimated that the amount of people who will click a search result with a persons picture can be increased by 30 percent or more! Just make sure you follow the guidelines for the Authorship program, and make all of your posts (on Google Plus and your blog) keyword rich. Just don’t over due it by “keyword stuffing” which a lot of people do in hopes of increasing their search position.
Google Plus is a highly educated community that is well worth the time to grow an audience to connect with. There are numerous Realtors who are successfully using the platform either with a personal profile, business page or both. There are also some very successful Real Estate communities within Google+ that are perfect for Realtors to share their content. While most are not for sharing listings they are great for relationship building.
Use Facebook for the Biggest Audience
Unless you have been hiding under a rock for the past five years, you probably already use Facebook for your personal life. All of your friends and family are there, and so is everybody else’s. What this means for you is a large audience that can view your home listing, and with Facebook’s “share” feature, it is easier than ever for them to pass on something they think a loved one will find interesting.
Before you can reap the benefits, all you need to do is set up a Business Page. It’s pretty straight forward, and you can start posting right away. Facebook will be the most effective for selling homes if you can remember these few key details:
- You only want to post about something you are selling about once a week. The rest of the time should be about interesting quotes, funny anecdotes, or links to articles you think your audience will find interesting and useful.
- When you do post about your listing, use photos. They rank higher in Facebook’s algorithm and are more likely to get shared.
- If anyone comments on your post, make sure you interact with him or her. Facebook is a two-way street, and not doing so may harm you instead of help you.
- Use hashtags to make your post searchable by interested parties.
Use Pinterest to Reach Home Enthusiasts
Pinterest is the ideal social media platform to sell a home because it is entirely visual. All Pinterest is about is people pinning interesting, inspiring, or creative images to their virtual bulletin boards that get shared with all of their friends, family, and acquaintances.
If you want to reach people who are passionate about homes, home decor, and do-it-yourself projects, Pinterest is the place to be. Here are some things to keep in mind after your Pinterest account is set up:
- Choose photos that are likely to get re-pinned. The Pinterest audience is looking for amazing home decor, stunning architecture, or unique features, so focus on those. You want your pin to end up on someone’s “Dream Home” board.
- Make sure all of the photos from the home you are selling have links that lead directly to your website’s listing of the home.
- Only make one board about the homes you are selling (or you can make one for each home, and then simply delete it when it is sold). The rest of the boards on your profile should be about home decor ideas, weekend home improvement ideas, and other things a homeowner would be interested in.In order to gain a larger audience of followers you are going to need to pin articles that would have interest to a large number of people. It is what you pin that will attract someone to choose to follow you are not. So for example if you have an article on top home selling tips this would be the kind of thing you could share on Pinterest. Keep in mind however you are going to need to have a great visual to go along with the article.
- Get more followers for increased exposure: One of the better things you can do on Pinterest to extend your reach is to join a good group board within your niche. A top Realtor group board is the perfect way for your content to get seen by more people.
Use Twitter as a Teaser
Twitter is not just about finding out what your favorite celebrity ate for breakfast: It can actually be a very powerful business tool and can be a great way to lead people directly to your home listings, as well as other creative and helpful content you or someone else has written. After you set up your Twitter account, you can start tweeting to the world about how great your listing is as well as other helpful Real Estate tips.
Some key tips to follow for Twitter are:
- Each tweet only gets 140 characters, which has to include the link to your listing. You can use a URL converter to make your link short so you have more room for the part that will actually entice readers to click it.
- Get creative. Send out a tweet about interesting tidbits of information from the listing, followed by the link to the listing. A simple, “Check out this beautiful home for sale!” will get you nowhere really fast. You constantly need to engage with your readers in order to be successful with social media.
- The Twitter feed does move along much faster than other social media platforms, so you can post several times per week about your listing, but make sure you are tweeting about unrelated, interesting topics as well. If all you do is share your listing your followers will quickly lose interest and it will be a complete waste of your time. Frankly nobody is going to really care unless you have established yourself with other helpful and interesting content. Always keep in mind that social media is about building relationships and not selling. The #1 Realtor social media blunder is posting about listings and not much else.
- Hashtags are very relevant in Twitter, so make sure to leave some room to add them into your tweet to make it searchable.
In Real Estate when a Realtor is being interviewed by a perspective home seller one of the things they are going to want to know is how there home is going to be exposed online. Using Google Plus, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter should be a component of every Realtors social media marketing plan.
Remember a seller is going to be looking for what distinguishes one Realtor from the next so if you are not using social media as a means of marketing and the next guy is, you could be out of luck! Having a social media strategy is the kind of thing that can be the difference maker in landing a listing and ultimately your next sale!
Don’t forget to participate in twitter # chats, they’re a good way to connect with other very active twitter users to boost your engagement and gain visibility
Bill, this is a great summary of the three primary social networks Realtors should be engaging to build their online presence and establish trust and authority in their niche. Personally, I think Google+ is more effective due to the posts ranking in the search results.
I’m not sure why so many agents in my area prefer to knock on doors in 100 degree heat, pay for print ads that do little to attract their desired client, or continue to buy fake leads and spam them with canned email responses as their primary way of building relationships and growing their business.
Wish I could fly you out here to speak to our board about the effectiveness of building a ‘brand’ through social media and blogging.
Jeremy thanks for that. Can’t say I have ever tried Twitter chats.
An excellent article Bill and a good reminder that real estate agents should be utilizing social media to reach consumers. At a minimum, the 4 you mention above should be part of agents’ regular marketing efforts.
As always, you are over the threshold with your advice. Sending along to my realtor friend in Raleigh 😉
Great job Bill, I will be sharing your good advice around all the SM platforms you mentioned.
Hi Bill – great post! Have you checked out Houzz yet? Thoughts?
Hey, thanks for this! I recently wrote an article on the top 5 Social Media Mistakes Realtors Often Make, and you covered some remedy’s of those in here! 🙂
Great article! I recently wrote a blog about the use of mobile applications to aid in finding the perfect home, but these are great steps a seller/realtor can take to get their home sold faster. Here is a link to my article in case you’re interested. I would love your feedback on this approach! http://thesocialobserver.com/2013/11/buying-home-theres-app/
Do you think sellers or buyers have the advantage when it comes to real estate social media?
Excellent information. 2013 was a really hard year to real estate. However social media is and will be a great help.
Use of Facebook campaigns are really important because the segmentation is better than Google Ad words for instance.You can focus on specific people interested on Real Estate. The use of Google plus is really important in aspect related with SEO and organic position on search engines (Google). The use of photography social networks are really important for sharing pictures of our proprieties , channels like Instagram, pinterest or flick.
Twitter is an important way of communication, it can be a important help about customer services.
Thanks for sharing.
Social networks are one of the best sources to bring traffic to any website, so social media is something that everyone involved in the real estate should take into consideration. Comment that talk about Google plus the management of communities in this social network is very interesting, is the way to bring traffic, share information about properties and find potential investors or buyers in the communities of Google plus.
This is great…it’s absolutely crucial to remember that building relationships with your followers is by far the most important aspect of social media. Everything else is secondary, no matter what industry you are in. I’m the marketing specialist for a real estate team in Louisville and I primarily use Facebook to send traffic to the blog on our website (which can be seen here: http://www.rivervalleygroup.com/blog/). I’m always trying to find ways to engage our audience but to have a sense of consistency as well. Great article!
Thanks for your marvelous posting! I quite enjoyed reading it, you are a great author.I will be sure to bookmark your blog and definitely will come back from now on. I want to encourage that you continue your great job, have a nice day.
See http://realestateblaster.net for this very functionality
Local blogging is a good outlet for people local and afar who may be relocating to the area.