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Get the most out of social media to develop relationships

Searching for a home to buy is now an online activity. If you’re a real estate agent, you already know this.

According to a recent study from the National Association of Realtors, social media has become an integral part of attracting real estate clients, building qualified contacts, developing relationships, acquiring customers, and be remembered by them. “The world we live in today is a digital one, and searching for a home is no different,” the study points out.

Social media has become one of the best-performing ways to produce high-quality real estate leads and is an effective way of acquiring prospects, earning their trust, and their business.

When it comes to making your profile more visible online, it’s all about driving as much value as possible from the digital touchpoints shared between you, your clients, and your potential customers.


Why you should use social media for real estate
For most, home real estate purchases are stressful experiences that are emotionally driven. Buyers need someone they trust to guide them through the harrowing process. And since so much real estate research and shopping now starts online, your online ‘brand’ should be:

• Genuine
• Approachable
• No-nonsense

We’ve poured over countless realtors’ social media account and have found that a clear value proposition of cutting out the non-sense and make the buying and selling homes as straightforward and accessible as possible works best.

Through your online brand, your posts should help elevate some of the pain points that homebuyers feel, including:

• Why should I trust this real estate agent?
• How do I get in touch if I need help?
• Why does this agent offer that’s different than others?

Your genuine, approachable, and no-nonsense online brand will become the core to your success on social media platforms. These attributes will reflect in your communications with your customers.

In addition to carrying a friendly tone, your social media account also should post case studies and testimonials to gain the trust of your audience. These details are especially important as home buyers and sellers feel the fate of their future is in your hands.


How to use social media for real estate
Your online brand needs to be more than just talk and good vibes. Your social media presence also has to be functional as a way to communicate with buyers and sellers. If you’re just talking about your own brand all the time, and neglect to answer queries and solve their pain points, you’ll end up annoying potential clients and eroding their trust.

When planning your social media strategy, you need to consider how much time you realistically can spend managing these accounts. If you’ve only got time for one channel, choose to spend all your efforts on that channel, and forgo the others until you have enough time or staff to respond to inquiries in a timely manner.

We recommend focusing on the following platforms in this order:

1. Facebook
2. Instagram
3. LinkedIn

Think of your social following on any of these platforms as your community. You need to manage this community well in order to keep the members’ individual trust. Reply with informative and accurate answers to genuine questions and queries people have about buying a home.

Show your followers that you are there to help them and are not just out to make money off their big decision. Although your online conversations are likely to be brief, keep the tone positive and try to avoid overly transactional information sharing.

Don’t be shy about adding a bit of personality while keeping professional. Making a good first impression is an important first stage of the buying journey. Customers are more likely to remember if you’ve added value to their home-buying journey.


Remember that you’re selling more than just a house
In real estate, people have more than just their dream house in mind. Whether it’s a retired couple looking to downsize and move to the country, new parents looking for the best public school district, or young professionals looking for the location that suits their social life and budget the best, location matters.

Social media gives you a great platform to engage, promote and draw the attention to what’s special and attractive about a given locale. This helps build a sense of community and positions you and your brand as a champion of the neighborhood or area.

It’s a good idea to follow relevant local accounts who publish updates of local events with images. Retweet these posts and your followers will be able to imagine what it would be like to live in that location. Showing off events also helps demonstrate that you’re involved, care, and know what’s up. Quote tweet with some additional information that highlights why the post is relevant to your audience.

Understand what demographic you are looking to attract with the property portfolio you currently have and post content relevant to these groups. Content planning tools can make the actual posting part a breeze.

As a quick recap, your real estate social media brand should:

• Help answer people’s queries
• Get people excited about buying a house
• Show off your community credentials
• Include business contact information in the bio

In summary: be sure to represent your community, show you’re committed to that community by posting case studies and actively being involved with what’s happening in the area, and you’ll slowly earn their trust, and create new opportunities to develop relationships.