Real estate is sometimes a thankless job as you have to work a lead for a long time to see it mature. Sometimes even after putting in the time and effort, it just doesn’t click.
What went wrong. How could I lose this deal?
Sometimes it all boils down to the faith people have in you. Real estate purchases for most individuals is the costliest transaction they ever make in their life. You as a realtor need to understand this and acknowledge the anxiety and responsibility that comes with it.
How will you be able to grow your real estate business and make sure you build your brand too. The answer is, ‘by being social’. In today’s world, you need to make sure you master the social so that you can dominate the local.
In this article we list down the steps, you need to make an impact in social media. You will find not generic steps but actual actionable steps that you can implement in Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to grow your brand there. You will also get a list of tools that you should use to get your business growing. These are tools that I have narrowed down for you as I use them personally.
This article gives you detailed insights to:
1. Facebook for Real Estate
A. Create a Facebook Fan page
The first step here is to create a Facebook fan page. You cannot promote your business from your personal Facebook profile, so it is essential to create a Facebook fan page for your real estate business.
There are a few essential elements to creating an awesome Facebook page for your real estate business:
- Choose a profile image: It usually helps if the profile image is yours instead of generic stock images. Users, especially in the real estate field, feel at ease when they realize they are interacting with a person. Stock images can make your real estate page look spammy, and there are a lot of them out there.
- Choose an appropriate cover image: The cover image you choose should convey the larger idea of what you’re offering. In the real estate business, this translates to beautiful homes with landscaped gardens overlooking a pool. You basically have to sell the idea of getting your customer their dream home. You can even upload pictures of available properties as your cover image.
You can get the image sizes from http://bit.ly/28OSNQs
Goes without saying that you have to keep this image quite real and not give the impression of using a stock image.
3. Custom URL: You can also get a vanity URL for your fan page while setting it up. This helps users to identify you better when you share your page links. It promotes authority.
B. Customize Your Facebook Fan Page to Get Buyers Attention
There are various buttons that you can add on your Facebook fan page to drive results.
90% of Facebook’s active users are on mobile. Adding a ‘Call Now’ button enables the visitor to respond immediately to a listing that matches his needs. As a realtor, you need to make it simple for the buyer to contact you.
Another relevant way for realtors to customize their page is to add a ‘Sign Up’ button. Using this, brokers can send the incoming traffic to a form to collect email ids.
Either get a call directly or take the time to nurture your lead through a drip campaign, Facebook arms real estate agents with the right tools to take their business forward.
C. Use Images and Videos
Image and video posts generate the highest engagement. Try to use them as much as possible in your news feed. People will engage with the post if they identify the property in the image. Local realtors have a distinct advantage here.
You can use videos smartly too. Property detailing videos can be made using Facebook Live (more on this later in the article) so that people can get a virtual tour of the listing.
Your Facebook page can also be an important destination for valuable information that buyers need to know. You can make how-to videos for buyers to fill out appropriate documents for getting bank loans or to lease out your apartment. You can create a checklist in a video detailing the necessary clauses needed in a purchase agreement.
Providing valuable information like this will ensure that you have a cult following in the community. Buyers will value your opinion about property deals and can even land you a few sponsorship deals.
D. Communicate Consistently
You need to be in touch with your fans (Facebook page fans) and hence need to generate and send out content consistently. In this case, let us assume that you have a website and a blog to go with.
Facebook typically needs 2-3 posts per day to generate good traffic. Any more than this and your page could come across as spammy. It is generally accepted that out of these three posts that go out, one of them could be from your blog or a property listing.
The other two posts that go out need to carry valuable insights about the real-estate market. They could be about the bank policy on real-estate loans or major online portals where you can list your property.
Essentially you have to ensure that your page is a go-to page for anything related to real estate buying or selling.
E. Facebook Live
Facebook Live is an important tool to keep in touch with your audience. Though this feature is not available to all, if activated for you, it needs to be put to use immediately.
Facebook Live lets you share a video update “live” with your audience. You can share it through your personal profile or your Facebook fan page. It can only be activated through Facebook app on Android, iPhones, and iPad.
Facebook Live can be used to engage your audience through short updates about the real-estate industry. You can also use it give your audience a virtual walk through of a property that you are inspecting.
Facebook Live is an invaluable tool to build credibility in the marketplace. People see you as a genuine expert in the real-estate field whose opinion they can count on.
F. Facebook Ads
Apart from using the tricks as mentioned earlier, Facebook also gives you a range of ads to narrowly target your audience.
You can use Facebook ads from Facebook Ads Manager to trigger ads to the following goals
You can create ads to target a key demographic specifically. Facebook Ad Manager’s console lets you choose your target audience very minutely. This helps realtors choose the right audience who are likely to buy a property. In one such example, you can target families with young children who are likely to move.
Facebook has also released another tool called Facebook Canvas. Facebook Canvas is another version of Facebook ad but is much more immersive. It is specifically designed for mobiles and gives realtors a chance to tell a captivating story.
2. Twitter for Real Estate
A. Create a Twitter profile tailored for real estate
Start by creating a Twitter profile for your business. Unlike Facebook, you can use your personal profile to promote your business on Twitter. The choice is entirely yours. You can start with one account and then graduate to a separate business account in the future to handle your business needs.
- Profile: The basics here are the same as those we discussed in Facebook. The image sizes change, though. You can get the image sizes from http://bit.ly/28OSNQs
- Profile Bio: Twitter gives you only a 160 character ration for bio. Make them count. Your primary focus should be on building credibility and be found when people search for real estate. Use hashtags like #realestate in your bio itself to make you stand out from the crowd.
Give your website URL in the space provided. This provides another avenue for people to reach you.
B. Visual Media in Twitter
As in Facebook, visual media drives engagement on Twitter. Not using images, videos and Gifs in Twitter is a cardinal sin as tweets are small posts. To stand out in a timeline, they need to be supported by images or videos.
Guidelines: Twitter allows, four images, or one video, or one gif in a tweet. You can use the images and videos that you use on Facebook here too.
Gifs is another way of interacting with your followers. Use gifs when you’re interacting as this adds personality to your account.
C. Tweet Consistently
Twitter is a fast platform with an impatient user base. You have to be creative to draw some of the attention toward your profile. For that, you need to tweet consistently.
The right frequency to tweet is around five tweets per day. The ideal way is to distribute the tweets as 60% news about real estate industry like informational articles or news report. 20% motivational, as people usually give up when the going gets tough. Remind them why they joined this in the first place. The remaining 20% has to be about you. It can be about the deals that you close or available property listing.
You will find it difficult to manage your clients and your Twitter profile on the go. I have put a list of tools you should use in the later part of this article, to establish your real-estate business.
D. Use Twitter Polls
Twitter polls help you to get public opinion right there. It helps build engagement.
Leverage a Twitter trend or use polls to promote a content or blog that you published. There are many ways in which you can use Twitter polls to get the right buzz around your service.
Ask opinions like, How do you think this latest budget will impact real estate? Or which of these prez candidates will reduce interest rates? Twitter is a medium to vent. Polls help you to accumulate them.
E. Use Twitter Lists
Approximately 500 million tweets are sent per day. You will find it difficult to follow the news. Twitter lists can be utilized here to organize the accounts that you want to follow.
You can have a public Twitter list called ‘real estate news’ and add accounts like https://twitter.com/InmanNews, or https://twitter.com/realtordotcom. You can add another Twitter list which follows real estate influencers like Amy Chorew (https://twitter.com/amychorew), Seth Williams (https://twitter.com/retipsterseth), and Candace Taylor (https://twitter.com/CandaceETaylor) to name a few. You can then go on to add a private Twitter list with your competitors added there so that you know what they are up to. This way you can always stay ahead of the curve.
F. Twitter Ads
Twitter ads are a great way to get potential clients. Like Facebook, you can use Twitter ads to drive the following goals
Your best way to utilize Twitter ads for real-estate is to trigger them towards website click or to get leads on Twitter.
Twitter campaign for website clicks or conversion will generate leads by sending them to your landing page. ‘Leads on Twitter’ campaign will collect leads on Twitter itself.
Once you select your campaign, you need to choose your audience. You can do it based on keywords, followers, interests, behaviors, and events. You can choose narrow down to an extent where you target only Twitter users who have recently bought a car. There is a very strong chance that they could be looking for a house next.
This level of targeting help you get your foot in the door. The trick here is to experiment with various targeted audiences by investing smaller amounts and check the results. Once you identify the right target increase the spending to grow your business.
A. LinkedIn Profile Basics
LinkedIn is basically your online resume. Your profile needs to mention everything about you in a very professional manner. Your profile should reflect your personality in a professional way. It should showcase all the skills and the qualities that you possess to get the right business contacts.
LinkedIn is a very reliable platform to get quality leads. A lot of care needs to be taken by you while curating your professional image here. Real estate deals are big ticket personal deals. Your LinkedIn profile needs to give a lot of confidence to a prospect to approach you.
Profile Image and Cover Images: The basics are the same as what we discussed in the Facebook section. You can improve upon your cover images by adding some of the achievements in the image. Like a customer testimonial or the number of property deals that you have closed in your career, or just your phone number. You can get the image sizes from http://bit.ly/28OSNQs
You also have to change your URL to your first and last name. By default, LinkedIn gives you an id, but it gives you the option to customize it as well. It adds value to your brand and projects you as an authority figure instead of a rookie.
B. Create a company Page
You can create your own company page in LinkedIn too. This is akin to creating Facebook fan pages. Unlike Facebook, you can use your personal profile and company page for official purposes. This gives you another avenue to interact with prospective property buyers.
Real estate deals take a long time to mature and hence it is important to be in constant touch with your prospects. With a company page too in your arsenal, you can develop a long standing relationship with your clients.
There is another underutilized tool hidden on a company page. This is a showcase page.
You can make up to 10 showcase pages per company page. You can use these pages to target different attributes of your real-estate business. You can create one page to explain all the documents and transactions involved in buying a property. You can have another one detailing various options that banks provide to help people buy their dream houses. You can create another one talking about local news. These pages will help to segment your content delivery so that people find it easy to find and subscribe to your inputs.
Remember, it is always about helping your prospects with the best available resources. LinkedIn has a lot of tools to help you. Let’s use them.
C. Create professional groups
This is probably one aspect of LinkedIn that you can be utilize to the fullest. Create a group to accumulate property listing and news from a local territory.
Create a group like this and keep it private, i.e., people will have to ask you to join the group. The advantage is that you control the flow of information in the group, which you can use to your advantage.
It also gives a potential property buyer a very focused forum to get all his inputs about a locality and the listings available there.
Don’t get greedy here and turn down your competitors to enter the group. Remember it is to help your clients get the best possible inputs. So get a firm grasp on all these avenues available to get quality buyers.
D. Join professional groups
The groups you join are listed in your profile. While going through your profile, your prospects need to get that confidence that you can get them their dream home.
Finding the names of associated groups related to real estate conveys that you are focussed and in touch with peers from your industry. It is always about building trust through your LinkedIn profile.
LinkedIn bought SlideShare in 2012. After this acquisition, you could connect your LinkedIn account to your SlideShare account. The advantage here is, you can publish a presentation related to say, Why Scranton is the right place to invest? All the text used in this presentation will be available on that page. This helps a lot in SEO.
Apart from this, the content can be published in LinkedIn at the same time. Since the profiles are linked, you don’t have to to push this content manually through LinkedIn again.
You can repurpose your blog content as SlideShare presentations so that your content gets authority over others. It also helps if you distribute your content so that a wider audience has access to it.
F. LinkedIn Ads
Like other social platforms, LinkedIn also gives you the option to target prospects using their ads. LinkedIn has two types of ads, ads that lead the users to a sponsored content or through text ads that show up on LinkedIn pages.
Just like Facebook and Twitter LinkedIn provides you the option to target users based on their job title. LinkedIn being a professional social platform, it makes logical sense to use that option here rather than behavioral targeting.
You can write white papers on taxation code in your locality and go for the sponsored content ads. This kind of authority content traditionally does well in LinkedIn.
4. Tools to Help You Succeed in The Real Estate Industry
SMhack is a simple social media management tool. It helps you to monitor, analyze and publish content to multiple social profiles from the same tool.
You will be able to schedule your posts to Facebook and Twitter and verify the results with in-depth analytics to see how your strategy is working out. Automate your posts for every week or every two weeks. This will reduce the stress of sending out content manually.
You will even be able to follow influencers in real estate through their blogs (RSS feed). This enables you to be in constant touch with the industry and share valuable content with your followers.
B. Social Mention
Social Mention is Google for social media. It searches for the keyword that you specify in social media and gives you the results.
Socialmention is a very handy tool to search for leads. It helps if you know that someone is discussing real estate loans which you can join.
This helps in gaining authority and helps in SEO. You can also use it to keep a tab on your competitors.
Buzzsumo is a tool that you should use to get the best content for the keyword specified. It shows you the top shared articles and blogs in your domain.
This tool is particularly useful for realtors as they can curate the content that goes out of their social profiles and boost engagement. Run experiments and what kind of headlines you should use to draw users into your content.
You can also use it to know what is ‘hot’ in your domain based on the shares that are shown. If there are a number of blogs on a topic, conduct a webinar or a podcast and add your sound to the mix.
MailChimp is basically an email marketing service that also lets you maintain email lists.
Consider you have opt-in forms on your real estate blog to capture subscribers. You may also have forms to capture leads that sign up for a webinar or a property review. These leads need to be stored in a different list and need to be targeted with different mails.
MailChimp lets you do that. You can also design mailing templates using this service.
Real estate business is a complex job that depends a lot upon your image and reputation. Gone are the days when you had to use newspapers, billboards at bus stands or radio ads to boost your brand. Social is the new medium where your audience resides now. Leverage them using the strategy and tools that we discussed and watch your business grow.
You can tell us your thoughts on the key steps that we outlined for you. Have you tried something else which has worked for you? Tell us and we will update this article. We continually update our articles so that our readers get the latest insights. Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below, tweet to https://twitter.com/smhackapp or write on our Facebook wall https://www.facebook.com/smhackapp/