Real estate is a tough industry. Whether the market favors sellers, that can escalate bidding wars, or buyers that make listings disappear like vapor, the place to be – is where they are. You need to be in their space before they even get there. Your online presence in multiple channels will help you gain clients, but only if you are active. You must embrace the technology and platforms that social media lives on, and you must be active in those channels. You also need to learn how to use different apps to create images for sharing in these channels, and how to update the message for each audience.
The Goal of Social Media for Real Estate Professionals
The goal of social media channels is to create interest and followers and to drive them to your website. Creating followers can be accomplished with any social channel, and you will need to decide what you want people to do once they arrive on your website.
Is your goal to get them to sign up for monthly newsletters, register for a webinar, or maybe to RSVP for an open house in their area?
How to Brand Your Social Media Channels
Before you invest in one or two channels, run a name check in each to ensure that you can post content that matches your name. If the name is available, and you aren’t ready to start posting in that channel, create the profile anyway. It’s not a great idea to have zero content on a newly developed channel. However, it gives you the ability to use that channel when you are ready.
Remember that your brand should be consistent in all channels. This helps create brand recognition and consistency in what your followers expect from your company.
How Not to Use Social Media
- Don’t use it for selling.
5 Great Social Media Channels for Real Estate Experts
- Your Website
Your Real Estate Website for Local Search
Houston is highly competitive for both residential and commercial real estate, and your website must be optimized with the right content for Houston buyers and sellers to find you through online search. Adding fresh content in the form of new listings, a blog, or industry news will create value for your website and help you with search engine ranking. Search engine optimization (SEO) is not an instant fix. Just as it takes time to develop a reputation in real estate, it also takes time for search engines to rank your website for value and reputation.
Not everyone that visits your website will be ready to buy or sell. However, if you create the right atmosphere and can capture their user information, you can nurture the relationship until they are ready to enter the market.Add fresh content in the form of listings, a blog, or news to create value for your website. Click To Tweet
Your website should be visually interesting and easy for users to navigate. If the site is text heavy, consider adding visuals and a call-to-action that will encourage users to contact you. Not all consumers understand the difference between a real estate agent, a real estate associate, a real estate consultant, a REALTOR®, a broker, or a broker associate. Help your visitors understand who you are, and what you can do for them based on your current title. Give them something of value that will keep them interested in your services. Develop a blog about your area and the benefit of living in those communities and email it to your followers on a schedule. If a new company opens in the area, take some time to learn about the company, and include the information in your blog.If your website is text heavy, add images and a call-to-action to encourage users to click through. Click To Tweet
Provide Referrals to Local Services
Connect with local companies that provide related services. At some point, your buyers will probably need a reputable roofer, plumber, electrician, landscaper and you could be a great referral. If you can provide information about the history and reputation of your referrals, then you continue to build your current relationship and will likely build word-of-mouth with new buyers and sellers.
Your website serves several purposes.
- Has a local presence
- Provides expertise
- Generates leads
Real Estate Professionals Should Have a LinkedIn Profile
LinkedIn is a professional networking site that captures virtually every industry, and every job title. It is used to share news, industry updates, job postings, and also has a platform for publishing articles. LinkedIn should not be treated like Facebook. Avoid politics, personal discussions, relationships, or religion. There are currently more than 7 million LinkedIn profiles with the term ‘real estate.’ However, this is beneficial for local search, because it provides the city or region that you work.
If you have a blog that you use to create awareness and drive traffic to your site, then also consider using the Linkedin Publisher platform. Don’t use it to sell, but instead write articles that buyers and sellers would find interesting. Also, you can use hashtags on Linkedin, but I recommend that you avoid using emoji’s in your posts and articles.
Use Hashtags to Create Interest About New Real Estate Listings
Twitter moves extremely fast, and an easy way to keep up is in the form of hashtags. While you won’t find everything, because not everyone uses hashtags effectively, you can search specific hashtags for specific posts.
This is particularly important for local search because you can include words like; #Houston #GreenwayPlaza #Uptown #UpperKirby and #realestate to create interest in your selling area.
The important thing about Twitter is that once you create a profile, you need to stay active on the platform. It takes time to generate real followers. However, it is better to have 100 real followers than 1,000 fake followers. Those fake profiles will never engage with your brand, and they won’t buy from you, so don’t buy Twitter followers.
Create a campaign around each new listing that will create interest around different topics. One post can focus on location, one on features, one on schools, one on shopping, one on ‘things to do’ in the area. Don’t pile it all into one post, and that goes the same for the other social channels. Develop a campaign and schedule your posts.Create an entire campaign around each new listing to create interest around different features. Click To Tweet
How to use Instagram and Pinterest for Real Estate Marketing
Instagram and Pinterest are visual-driven social media sites, and they continue to grow at incredible rates. These are perfect platforms for real estate because you can post both photos and video. You can create boards that are specific to your local market, or by feature, design, or anything else of interest in your area of expertise. Each photo and video should be branded, and your post should contain a link to the listing. Direct links can be added to Pinterest photos that send traffic to your website. Instagram allows you to include a link in your bio but does not have clickable links for individual photos. However, there is a #growthhack available from elink.io that allows users to combine all social media profiles in single place. This is an easy way to direct traffic so they can view all your channels through one link.
Want to show future clients how successful you are in real estate? Create a SOLD board and use it as a storyboard, and engage with users that post comments. Effective storytelling is something that stays with us, as does the related imagery. Do the same for new listings. We are more compelled to remember something that has a story, and that makes it easier for people to remember specific posts.
Create a photo collage, brand it, and post in your channels, but change it up a bit for each channel. Don’t forget to include a link to your website. Pinterest and Instagram are also hashtag friendly, which allows users to find your content more readily than scrolling through images on their feed.
And please, never post a photo of a bathroom – with the toilet seat up.
Facebook for Real Estate
Facebook creates opportunity and challenges for business pages. Even very strong and ethical brands have trolls on their page. Trolls are difficult to manage and take your time and attention away from running your business. The other issue is that the page needs to be monitored 24/7 because one bad post can bring you weeks of negative attention.
Facebook users want to engage with brands, and many would love to be your brand champion or Influencer. However, you will find much less drama on Linkedin, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter.
How to Decide Which Social Media Channel is Right for Your Real Estate Business
After building and testing your website, decide on which channel you have time to dedicate to writing and developing creative images. If you’re not comfortable writing in 140 character increments, then Instagram or Pinterest may be better suited for you and go for it!
If you need help with your real estate website, social media and content development, please contact us. Our service includes a comprehensive analysis of digital channels, analytics, and branding to improve website visibility, page rankings, and the quality of leads to help grow revenue and attract new customers for your small business.
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