Posted by: Kaplan Real Estate Education
Updated: January 15, 2019
Real estate is a social business. Your entire day is built around communication. Conversations with clients, networking with other business professionals, following up with leads…the word “social” might be the single most appropriate word to define your industry. There’s also no shortage of interest in the real estate profession. Thanks to a plethora of real estate-themed television shows, the general public is enamored with your business. You can’t help but watch one of those shows and fall in love with the lifestyle and work of a real estate agent.
So, if real estate agents are social by nature, and the general public is clearly intrigued by real estate, why do most real estate agents fail at social media? Take a look at these graphs from HubSpot:
According to these graphs, nobody posts more to social media than real estate professionals. Yet posts from real estate agents receive less interaction than those from any other industry. Here are three mistakes you may be making on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social media platforms that could be holding you back.
#1: A majority of real estate social posts are self-serving and predictable.
When you post to your social media profiles, what do you post about? If you’re like most real estate agents and brokers, it’s a mix of property listings, open house announcements, and statements about your willingness to help people buy and sell a home. What do all three of these have in common? They’re all about you.
Facebook and Twitter have algorithms that determine the value of the content you post. That value is based almost exclusively on how many interactions (likes, comments, shares, tweets, replies, retweets, etc.) it receives. A post that doesn’t receive any interaction within its first hour of appearing in newsfeeds is deemed invaluable and will drop off the face of the virtual earth soon after.
So what do you do to drive more interactions? This is a channel where you can apply the single most successful effective marketing strategy for real estate agents. Put your readers first, just as you would your buyers and sellers. Create content your fans want to read and interact with. Post questions that compel them to answer. Share staging tips or home improvement ideas to help readers increase the value of their home. Consider starting a blog covering the kind of content your followers would like to read and share links to that content on social media. Give readers a glimpse into your daily life as a real estate professional. Remember…they’re already a little intrigued by your job.
It’s perfectly acceptable to sprinkle in open house announcements and product listings. After all, that’s your business. But when you put the reader first with the majority of your social media content, even your self-serving posts will drive more interactions because you’ve made your business likable.
#2: It doesn’t have your personality as a real estate agent.
What do you do that sets you apart from every other real estate professional in your market? I hope that’s an easy question to answer. Let’s face it…real estate is a competitive business. The most successful agents have a brand—they are known for being exceptional at something specific. That brand is the personality of your company, and it should be a big part of your social media strategy.
Do you specialize in helping empty nesters downsize in space, while upsizing in amenities? Do you help first-time buyers balance their expectations with reality to find the right home for their lives and budget? Are you an expert on REOs and short sales? Are you simply the quirky agent in the pink car that everyone knows and loves? That works too! Use what sets you apart to convey your brand and your personality on social media. Writing slogans and content that are memorable and set you apart as a real estate professional in a competitive industry is key.
#3: There’s no consistency.
For many real estate agents, social media is feast or famine. We all have good intentions, but the demands of running a business on a day-to-day basis often force social media (and marketing in general) down the priority list. Unfortunately, if you’re not applying consistency to your social media strategy, you’re not giving anyone a reason to pay attention.
Most people know that they should be using social media more consistently, so why don’t they? The biggest reason is that they don’t know what to say. For that reason, we suggest developing a consistent strategy that starts with planning. One way to do this is with daily, weekly, or monthly features. Consider sharing a tip on a given topic every Monday. Or develop a daily trivia contest and enter all of the winners in a drawing for a small prize at the end of the month. Be creative! The best part about a strategy like this is that you can do all the heavy lifting at once. Set aside an hour each month and write all the content you will need for the next four weeks. With some social media services, like Facebook, you can even schedule your posts out in advance. Employ a “think ahead” strategy and be prepared for those five minutes you have to post between a listing presentation and a closing.
Social media provides you with an affordable opportunity to build and communicate your brand and grow your business. Employing the real estate agent social media tips above will position you to take advantage of that opportunity. As with anything, getting started is often the hardest part. If you'd like even more social media tips, check out this article.