Published by Kartik Subramaniam
According to one recent study all of the popular social media networks combined have nearly 3.725 billion active users between them. To put that into context, this represents the vast majority of the 4.54 billion Internet users worldwide - and a pretty significant percentage of the 7.8 billion people on our planet.
Whether you're attempting to reach the largest audience possible as a Realtor or want to attract the attention of a small, niche and decidedly local market, social media can help you do all of this and more. But it's important to understand that you need a genuine strategy at the heart of your efforts - something to not only help make sure you're moving in the right direction, but that is also custom built to help you accomplish your specific goals (regardless of what they happen to be).
Therefore, if you truly want to succeed on social media sites like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter as a Realtor in the modern era, there are a number of best practices you'll want to keep in mind.
By far, one of the most important opportunities that you have to leverage social media to your advantage as a Realtor involves communicating the raw value you're able to bring to the table as clearly and as concisely as possible.
Really, this is a best practice that you should be following across all of your marketing endeavors - not just social media, but it will certainly help. Generally speaking, everyone you're going to be communicating with probably already knows what a Realtor does in a large, over-arching sense. They don't need you to provide them with an overview of your job description.
This means you shouldn't be afraid to dive deep into the parts of your job that a lot of people don't think about - like how you're an expert in the ever-changing conditions of your local market. Showcase your knowledge of the average time on the market for homes in your area and provide insight into what it means to be a buyer's market versus a seller's market.
Ask yourself what you would want to see if you followed a local Realtor.
The answers to this question will guide every piece of content you create - not only for social media sites like Facebook and LinkedIn, but all across your marketing strategy. Always place the emphasis on the people you're trying to reach instead of yourself.
Another important thing you need to be aware of in terms of leveraging social media as a Realtor involves the fact that you should NOT be shy to send direct messages on sites like Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn or even Twitter. If there's a particular niche that you serve, always go out of your way to reach out and make direct contact with someone to see if you can begin a conversation online and continue it in "real life."
Now, the critical thing to understand about this is that you should NOT expect every single person that you message to write you back. They may never see your message at all - or they may leave you on "read" and never respond.
This is perfectly okay... so long as you're aware that it's an inevitability and that you do NOT take it personally. Just keep reaching out to the people in your target audience in a concise, consistent manner.
But if you send messages to 100 people, maybe 20 will respond. Good news - now you have 20 opportunities to convert prospects into genuine leads that you didn't have before you started.
But while reaching out to people via direct messages is always recommended, it's definitely not something you should do blindly. Luckily, you already have a resource that will tell you just about everything you need to know about someone:
Their social media profile.
Before you send any type of message, make sure that you take a long, hard look at their account for five or ten minutes. This is critical because if someone just posted a picture 20 minutes ago about how their cat passed away earlier in the day, they're definitely not going to be receptive to a hard sales pitch. At best, you're wasting your time and you'll never hear a response from that person. At worst, you'll inadvertently cause such a negative experience that they'll tell their friends and family members about you and at that point, every one of those people is cut off from you permanently.
Speaking of personalization, one of the biggest mistakes that you can make in terms of establishing your social media presence as a Realtor involves simply copying and pasting messages from person to person.
There's no faster way to get someone to hit that "Delete" button than to open a message with "Dear Sir/Madame."
These days, people don't want to be "sold to" any longer. They simply don't have the time or the patience for it, considering that they're being bombarded by marketing messages nearly every minute of the day. They get ads in their email inboxes. They get ads on the websites they visit. There are already paid ads on social media. People have started to tune them out - they're little more than "white noise" at this point.
For example, don't be afraid to send pictures through direct messages of houses or buildings that you or your company has recently sold. Sure, you could go into detail about the transaction and what the property has to offer - but you won't be able to make the same type of immediate impact that a picture can with text alone.
Overall, this visual approach helps you accomplish a number of things, all of which are critical to your social media success. For starters, images again are just naturally more engaging than text alone and if there's one thing you need as a Realtor on social media, it's engagement.
But secondly, images are a great way to show off that you or your company (in the case of new agents) are very active in your community and the area you've dedicated yourself to serving. If people can see all of the real estate transactions you've been a part of, it again starts to establish you as someone worth paying attention to. This in turn generates an enormous amount of social proof as people start to share those images, thus exposing even more potential clients to your brand.
Whether you are just starting out in our great real estate business or you are a veteran Realtor it doesn’t hurt to lean into social media as far as possible and cultivate new relationships.
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