The property industry is tougher than ever and estate agents need to find new ways to engage with potential buyers. Gone are the days where flashy bus stop ads or newspaper inserts will do the trick. Buyers are tech savvy and in order to stay in the game, as agents you need to be too.
Like any activity, a successful strategy requires planning. Here are five tips that estate agents and members of the real estate industry can use to better their social media strategies.
1. Consistency is key
The big thing about social media is that you need to post constantly. You can’t expect to achieve results with ad hoc posts that are poorly thought out. You need to make sure you are posting, and engaging, everyday as well as responding timeously.
In the real estate and property industry this is even more pertinent as this is your chance to engage with potential buyers. In order for them to want to buy your properties they need to know they are on the market, so make sure you are constantly postings new releases.
2. Develop a content strategy
No plan can be successful if there aren’t clear outcomes and goals — the same goes for social media and by creating a content plan you are able to plan how you want your conversation on the various platforms to unfold.
You can’t just post any content. You need to ask ‘what type of content would be most relevant for my brand, for my audience and where am I going to get that content?’
Things like ‘Tips for first time buyers’ or ‘What to look for when buying a new property’ will be relevant to your audience so you need to work useful, insightful information into your content strategy.
You can do this by creating a content grid or editorial calendar where you can map out topics you plan to post about over the next 30-60 days. If you don’t want to have to create all of this content yourself you can also curate it. Content can be curated by using Google Alerts or by creating specific lists on Twitter for specific types of content you’d like to re-tweet or re-post.
3. Location, location, location
Buying a house is very personal and so you need to appeal to that side of your buyer.
When planning your content strategy make sure to include things that only locals will know — like the best pizza place or coffee spot. Buying or selling a home is so much more than a house. It’s the local parks, the school districts, neighborhood watch, walking groups and so much more.
Your audience and potential clients love this kind of hyper-local information. By showing your understanding of how important of these factors are, and by providing this kind of information is one way that you can really set yourself apart.
4. Expand your network
To be successful in social media you need to be aware of conversations happening in your social circles about real estate or the property market and then be equipped to jump in.
You need to remember that conversations with, between and amongst potential clients are not isolated to one social media platform, and as such you can’t allow your focus to be limited.
Conversations about real estate are happening on Facebook, LinkedIn or Facebook groups, personal chatter on blogs, and throughout Twitter and so it’s evident that it isn’t enough to just post to your own social channels. Perhaps you can start your own discussions or groups and then invite colleagues, clients and prospects to be part of the conversation and add to it. This can be especially powerful when the conversation is pretty tough.
You need to be aware of the conversations that you are not part of. The conversations are there whether you are there or not so make the decision to be part of the conversation, as opposed to ignoring it.
Don’t forget about real life touch points – use your printed marketing material to encourage existing, potential and new clients to start engaging with you online.
5. Measure your success
To be able to improve you need to understand what you are doing that is working, and what you are doing that isn’t. You need to make sure you are constantly looking at all your online platform analytics to be able to identify which Facebook posts or tweets get the highest number of clicks or engagement, how much of your web traffic is coming from social networks, and what content is most shared.
Once you gain insight into this you can then realign your strategy so as optimize this content.