By NICOLE MURRAY
Social media has transformed operations in every industry, including real estate. The power now lies within the hands of the consumer because they can browse through listings, educate themselves about mortgage rates, and research real estate agents before speaking with professionals.
As a result, industry leaders are using platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and TikTok to reach new clients and show off properties. Some have found success, while others complain the effort is not worth the amount of business it generates.
Mike Leipart, managing partner of the worldwide Agency Development Group, says that social media can be financially beneficial for brokers and real estate agents if it’s used well. He points out that it is a low-cost and trackable way to advertise services.
“Social media is a great thing to happen to real estate because we now have access to trackable, result-oriented data at a fraction of the cost. You used to have to buy advertisements in a newspaper and hope someone would flip to that page on that day,” Leipart said.
However, experts agree that mindlessly posting to social media with no rhyme or reason is a waste of time. That is why The Mortgage Note spoke to industry professionals across the country to find out what the secrets to social media success are in 2023.
Be Relatable And Stay Humble
Rob Jensen, broker/owner of the Rob Jensen Company in Las Vegas, says one of the most important things is to humanize a page as much as possible because buyers – no matter their age – are more willing to work with someone they feel like they know.
“People who do social media very well mix the business with who they are. Treat social media as an ad for yourself, not just what you do. The more people feel like they have a connection with you, the more likely they are to use your services when their time to buy comes,” Jensen said.
As an example, Realtor Nick Smutz of VRI Homes in Keyport, New Jersey, has “Hometown Hotspot” videos that he sprinkles throughout his feeds. They showcase a local business or event.
“The Hometown Hotspot videos get the best engagement because it shows the human side of me that cares about my area and supports the businesses where I live. People want to see us out there supporting those around us,” Smutz said.
When it comes to sharing about business, professionals should try to keep the spotlight off themselves.
Jules Zaphire, a real estate professional at The Pantiga Group, is licensed in New York and Connecticut. He says the priority of anyone’s online presence should be the buyer and the seller. It is a huge mistake when the sole focus is on the agent.
“I am flattered when anyone chooses me to be a part of their journey through the biggest purchase they will ever make. I make sure to state that in my posts, include them in the celebration photos and just hit it home that this is not about me. I just helped them through the process,” Zaphire said.
Know Where Your Audience Is
Where content is posted will affect who pays attention. It is important to identify a target demographic and the best platforms to reach them because each generation tends to have a favorite.
Facebook and Instagram are most popular with Generation X and Baby Boomers. They respond well to informational posts that include what sellers need to know about the housing market because these generations usually consist of owners who need to sell their current house before buying a new one.
“There is a lot of new terminology that they may not have learned about when buying a home 20 years ago,” says Smutz. “The goal is to get them ready for those next steps.”
On the other hand, TikTok is popular with younger Millennials and Generation Z.
People in their 20s and early 30s may not be ready to buy a home yet, so that is why Zaphire uses TikTok as a way to develop relationships with future buyers.
“I post educational content on TikTok so the upcoming generation of buyers starts to become familiar with me before they are even ready to start looking,” Zaphire said. “They have no background, no idea where to start, or what the process entails so my goal is to make myself their trusted source of knowledge.”
Try Posting Content On YouTube
Many industry professionals don’t consider YouTube as a marketing and lead generation strategy for their business, but Jensen said they should be active on this platform.
He said YouTube users are more intentional with their searches and are more willing to sit through longer videos if they offer the information they are looking for. The longer a person watches a professional’s content, the more trust they develop for them.
To be successful, videos need a captivating hook and exciting visuals to keep people paying attention. Jensen said one of the worst ways to start any piece of content is “Hi, My name is Rob and I am going to show you….” because users will have already moved on to the next video.
“Get creative with your storytelling skills. It is not ‘Get your house inspected.’ It should be, ‘This client lost $100K because of this grave error. Here is how you can avoid making the same mistake.’ Which are you going to stay and watch?” Jensen said.
At the same time, don’t try to overdo it. All social media posts should serve as an invitation to conduct business, nothing more.
“You are never going to sell the house in a video,” Zaphire said. “Don’t show every inch and don’t throw everything at the viewer all at once. What the video should do is get people to give you a call because you have piqued their interest.”
Be Consistent And Spend The Money
Industry professionals need to post on a consistent basis to maintain their following.
“When you are not consistent, you are no longer top of mind,” Smutz explained. “If you take a week off, for example, this could be when one of your followers decides to start the homebuying process and you run the risk of them choosing another agent.”
At the same time, just posting content will not get very far in today’s pay-to-play social media world. It has been shown that even if a person or business posts many times a day, they won’t get the same results that were possible before boosted posts took over the scene.
Jensen said the biggest mistake he sees is that professionals will not spend the money to get more eyes on their top posts.
“If Coca-Cola made a cool commercial but only showed it to their friends, it wouldn’t do much. It is worth the spending because it only costs a few hundred dollars on social media to reach a few thousand people. This is nothing compared to the days of dropping $10K on newsletters to reach 13,000 people,” Jensen said.
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