Since its beginning, the career of real estate agents has been defined by the relationship of trust shared between realtor and client. Being a realtor isn’t just about having a good advertising strategy and making sure you’re reaching as many clients as possible; it’s about building a reputation as a trustworthy businessperson, and using that to your advantage.
A good real estate agent has to establish a connection with their clients via any means possible, connecting with them on a personal as well as a professional one. A realtor has to realize that the decisions their clients are making will profoundly impact their personal lives in ways that go far beyond the ways in which it will impact their professional lives.
In days gone by, this above all else, meant that realtors intent on becoming successful had to connect with their clients via in person, face-to-face means. There were and still are many aspects of a real estate agent’s career that are affected by this kind of interpersonal communication, but there is now a new factor that needs to be taken into consideration: social media.
Why is social media important?
In the 21st century, the importance of social media cannot be understated. In the fast paced world we inhibit, potential clients spend increasing amounts of time on their phones, tablets and computers, with most of that time being spent on social media. The effectiveness of traditional advertising is waning at an inversely proportional rate, making traditional advertising mediums less and less viable as a way of reaching customers.
This forces the modern real estate agent to make a difficult choice. Will you shift away from conventional methods of reaching clients and embrace social media based approaches, or cling to the old ways and watch your clientbase dwindle as quickly as your competitors grow? While the answer might seem straightforward, it isn’t quite this easy.
For real estate agents less familiar with technology, digital marketing and social media, the prospect of staking your career on these very things might seem like an overwhelming venture. How are you supposed to navigate the complexities of these high-tech marvels of modern ingenuity when you’ve barely scratched their surface in your personal life?
If you’ve come to an impasse at this quandary, don’t panic: we’re here to help. The world of social media and online advertising is indeed complex and intimidating, but it isn’t unconquerable. With a bit of work, you can bolster your online presence and connect with clients in an entirely new way. Let’s take a closer look at exactly how you can do that!
Using social media as a realtor
Regardless of your age, nationality or location, there is a good chance that you have used some type of social media at some point in your life. Whether you were posting vacation pictures on your personal Facebook account or asking a question on an enthusiasts subreddit, you’re probably at least nominally familiar with how it works.
Although social media platforms vary in their user base, interface layout and intended purpose, they all serve the same broader purpose: connecting people with one another, over the internet. Platforms like Reddit, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter all serve this purpose in different ways, but the end result remains the same.
So how can you use these tools to your advantage as you bolster your business and connect with clients? In the following section we’ll discuss some of the most popular social media platforms among realtors, and how you can use them to further your career as a real estate agent. Let’s get into it!
While it wasn’t the first social media network, Facebook has in the years following its creation established itself as the largest social media network. This free-to-use social media platform is highly accessible, as evidenced by the overwhelming presence of middle-aged and elderly users on the platform.
While its average user might be a bit more advanced in years than those of other platforms, it remains the most influential player in the social media game, and should be a big part of any realtor’s social media strategy. The ease of use you’ll find on Facebook is one of the most valuable assets the platform possesses, facilitating hassle-free connections between users.
In order to use Facebook as a part of your real estate social media strategy, set up a professional profile for yourself and a page for your real estate agency if you are its owner. Once you’ve done this, you can use both your personal page and that of your agency to publish listings, connect with potential clients and optionally to run advertising campaigns that target specific demographics.
Despite its status as a subsidiary of Facebook, Instagram differs greatly from the platform of its parent company. Whereas Facebook is a platform that lends itself to the sharing of a wide variety of different types of data, Instagram utilizes a much more simplistic user interface and a narrower target demographic.
Most Instagram users are younger than their counterparts on Facebook, generally falling in the young to middle age demographics. The platform itself revolves around it’s role as a mobile photo-sharing social network, although users can also share video and send text messages to a limited extent. Another key feature of the platform is the hashtag, or text preceded by a pound sign that functions as a keyword for the search feature.
For real estate agents, Instagram can be a great way to reach younger demographics in a more organic way than you might be able to do with legacy social networks like Facebook. A good place to start might be creating a profile for your real estate agency and then sharing photos of your listings with engaging captions.
Another legacy social media platform, Twitter has been around since the mid 2000’s. The site revolves around sharing 140 character “tweets” which can be viewed by your followers or the general user base if your account is public. The platform has added additional features and functionality since its creation, and now allows users to tweet up to 280 characters as well as share links, photos and videos.
Twitter’s user base varies greatly in age, with many users from a wide range of demographics and backgrounds. Interactions on Twitter generally resemble conversations more so than is the case with other platforms, as users can reply to or retweet tweets with or without added input.
As a real estate agent, Twitter can be a great way to connect with new clients and keep your existing clientele updated and informed on current events in the local and national real estate market. While it may not be quite as useful for advertising your listings, it can be highly beneficial as a way to build credibility with your client base.
While it isn’t exactly a social network in the most conventional sense of the word, Reddit is a useful tool that shares a lot of commonalities with Twitter, Facebook and other platforms we mentioned above. This platform has been described by its users as “ social media for people who don’t like social media”.
So what exactly is Reddit, you ask? Reddit was started as an online forum for discussing a variety of topics. Users can post links, images, videos, text and gifs to their choice of the tens of thousands of different communities or “subreddits” dedicated to the discussion of various topics and interests. Users can then freely comment on these posts in a relatively unrestricted freeform environment.
While you won’t get very far posting advertisements for your real estate agency on Reddit, where it truly comes into its own is building organic traffic to your website and social media. If you run a real estate blog or periodical, you can post engaging and well written articles to get a staggering number of free clicks that will bolster engagement and traffic.
For someone with limited experience in technology, social media can be confusing and overwhelming. You may feel lost, faced with a tremendous amount of unfamiliar information that may leave you fruitlessly wondering where to start. While this article certainly doesn’t cover everything, we hope it will be helpful in giving you a good place to start, so that you can use modern technology to your advantage. We wish you success!