It’s no secret that social media is leaving its mark on all industries. In fact, the days of marketers pitching products and services to consumers and telling them what they need seem long gone. Instead, marketers are conversing directly with consumers, responding to questions and requests through social media.
But when it comes to using social media to market property, only 31 percent of Realtors are comfortable using social media, with only 26 percent feeling extremely comfortable. In addition, 48 percent of all real estate firms feel that the biggest challenge they currently face is keeping up with technology.1
And yet this change comes at a time when 65 percent of first-time homebuyers are under the age of 37, and this demographic expects social media to be an option for communication and information sharing.2 Millennial homebuyers are having conversations on social media, so that’s where real estate agents need to be.
If you haven’t started already, here are some tips to get your social media presence up and running.
Meet consumers where they are to build trust
Social media—where you can reach people on a personal and familiar level—is where the conversation is already taking place. In fact, when it comes to searching for a home, 88 percent of potential buyers rely on the internet. 3 But that doesn’t just mean they want to look at your website. They want to see how you interact socially, and how others respond.
Fact: 79 percent of online adults use Facebook.4
Consumers rely on finding information on social media. And, more importantly, social media allows people to share topics and information, which can build trust. This is a big differentiator in the social media conversation compared to traditional marketing tactics.
When considering a purchase, 82 percent of Americans seek recommendations from friends and family, and 67 percent are more likely to make a purchase after a friend or family member shared it via social media or email.5
Yes, “shares” and “likes” matter
You may think accruing a bunch of “likes” is just a numbers game—but it’s more than that. When people share your posts or listings, think of it as a vote of confidence, or at least an expression of interest. Others who see these shares or likes might gain a similar interest.
Social media provides an opportunity for you to put your information out into the world and have others discuss and carry it even farther. The voice of a collective people is a powerful thing, and when it comes to big decisions such as purchasing a home, you want that discussion and those voices happening in your corner.
Young homebuyers expect it
Millennials are the largest home buying demographic. They trust social media as a hub of information sharing with their peers and weigh referrals and advice more heavily than advertisements. In fact, millennials are more likely to find a home through a mobile app as opposed to Generation X buyers, who more often rely on an open house.3
This doesn’t mean millennials are simply looking at a real estate agent’s webpage for listings. Thanks to social media, house hunting is now complete with property-specific hashtags or social stories that provide quick details.
And while the internet is the number-one source this generation uses to find a home, they also rely on real estate agents more than any other generations.3 Millennials trust their peers’ recommendations, and social media is a great place to find these reviews and recommendations.
Fact: 48% of homebuyers under the age of 37 got a referral from a friend, neighbor or relative for their real estate agent.6
Think of social media as an introduction to your agent or firm. Make sure agents are available to reply to questions and comments, post photos and communicate with this audience on their turf.
Different benefits for different platforms
Trying to make yourself too present can quickly lead to spreading yourself too thin. The goal shouldn’t be getting everywhere at once; rather, focus on getting yourself onto the platforms that work best for your situation.
Facebook is perhaps the best-known social media platform, but other avenues, like Instagram, have also proven very useful for real estate marketers. Over the past few years, Instagram has become one of the most popular social media platforms, and its popularity is only expected to continue. The platform currently has more than 500 million daily users, who share, on average, more than 95 million photos and videos every day. Additionally, Instagram posts receive about 4.2 billion likes each day as well.7
Don’t tell home shoppers about the home—show them. Let them see photos and videos of the entire home. Show them the great exterior and curb appeal, but also get granular with images of specific woodwork or fun light fixtures. You can also share information about the neighborhood or show the condition of the sidewalks, parks and other community perks.
Twitter can be great for quick updates as well. But most importantly, people want to see photos and videos of a property. Overall, find what works for you and dive in. Your audience is already out there, so get your conversations rolling.