There’s no escaping social media marketing as a modern real estate agent. Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and even Snapchat have become essential components of digital marketing for real estate.
No matter what your feelings are on social media or how you use it personally, the enormous audiences and powerful tools social platforms provide offer huge advantages no agent could pass up.
In fact, we thought of 14 huge benefits of social media marketing that make it a necessity for the real estate industry. For anyone who doesn’t want to invest their time in social marketing or thinks it won’t provide them enough returns, these reasons should provide more than enough motivation to change their mind.
So keep reading if you want to find out 14 ways social media marketing for real estate agents can provide big gains for your real estate agency as well as how to get the biggest returns from the least amount of effort.
Earn Access to Huge Audiences
The first thing to recognize about social media is that it’s absolutely staggering how many people use it.
According to Pew Research, 69% of the American public uses at least one social media platform regularly. People under 50 are well above this average, with 86% of those 18–29 using social media, and 80% of 30–49 year olds are using it, too. Perhaps most surprising of all is how many people past retirement age engage with social media. Pew data shows that 34% of those 65 and up have an active social account.
Facebook remains the most popular platform, with 68% of adult Americans having an active account. That’s nearly 172 million people in this country alone! Globally, Facebook has over 2 billion users who log in at least once a month.
Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter also all have fairly high use in the 20% range.
Imagine if a print ad or billboard had the potential to reach an audience of these sizes!
While logic may dictate that you won’t actually be serving content and ads to all 2 billion people, tools like targeted ads and hashtags can quickly earn you audiences of thousands — maybe even hundreds of thousands — of people strong.
In turn, you get massive exposure and reach for your listings, offers, events and anything else you want to broadcast to the world.
Social Media Helps Find Leads for Listings
The most obvious use of social media is as a tool for sharing home listings in your area.
Now, we advise against blasting everyone under the sun with new home listings throughout the week. Ideally, the content you create for your own social accounts is only 20% advertising/promotional and 80% oriented towards providing your audience with value. People refer to this unscientific maxim as “the 80/20 rule.”
That said, people who are looking for homes will appreciate the listing information when they stumble upon it. One of your social followers could also see the listing and share it with a friend, family member, or associate currently on the hunt for a house.
According to the latest National Association of Realtors (NAR) data, 44% of people start the home buying process by looking for listings online. 95% end up looking online for listings or information during the home buying process, including 99% of millennials and 89% of older baby boomers.
Services like Zillow and Redfin aren’t the only place people expect to see listings, either. Social media shares from friends, targeted ads, and general browsing all play a role in discovering new home listings.
These leads actually work, too — 43% of buyers first saw the home they ended up closing on within an online listing.
Create a New, Direct Point of Contact Through Social Messaging
Most social media platforms offer a direct messaging service. People feel more comfortable, especially those in younger generations, using these services compared to sending emails or placing phone calls.
In fact, some social media messaging tools have become as popular as sending a text. Facebook Messenger reports 1.3 billion monthly users globally, putting it neck-and-neck with the world’s most popular message platform, WhatsApp.
What does this mean for you? If someone has a question about homes or real estate agent services in your area, they can reach out directly to you through social. Social messaging offers convenience and near-instant gratification for them.
If you monitor your messages closely and respond quickly, you can easily gain new leads directly from social while skipping everything else in your marketing funnel. It sounds too good to be true, but people love contacting companies through social these days! It’s why Facebook added a “Responds to Messages” response time metric on business pages recently.
Targeted Ad Campaigns Help You Pinpoint Active Buyers/Sellers
You don’t want to annoy everyone with constant sharing home listings and self-promotion, but you can show listings to people actively looking for homes or agents online through paid ads.
Targeting features on sites like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn let you serve up low-cost ads to demographics of your choosing. You can share listings of brand new homes going up in a new community to locals, for instance. You can also target people in a certain income range with listings for gorgeous luxury properties. Heck, you can even look up people who recently “liked” or “followed” a competitor, helping you serve up ads that force the agent to share exposure.
By targeting the right audience, you dramatically increase the relevance of your messaging. You also avoid wasting money on serving ads to people who aren’t in the market at all.
When looking at specific platforms, the targeting possibilities get even more interesting.
Facebook Targeting Can Find People Going Through Life Changes
One of the top reasons people go out and buy a new home is that they’ve gone through significant life changes. They may have just gotten married and want to start a new life together, for instance. Or, they may have just had their first child — or second, or third, or fourth….
Sudden situational shifts like these put people’s lives in limbo. One minute, they’re planning a wedding. The next, they get back from their honeymoon and realize they don’t want to share an apartment. This makes them ripe for your ads and organic content.
People absolutely love broadcasting big life events on Facebook, too. They often directly signal this by changing data points, like switching their “Relationship Status” to “Engaged” or “Married.”
Facebook recognizes these changes, and they actively let advertisers select people who recently went through them. In other words: you can be the first home listing a newly engaged couple sees long before they officially cut the cake.
You can also serve ads to people who recently had a child or to empty-nesters who are thinking about downsizing. Getting creative with ad targeting can yield powerful recipes for generating leads — showing people the right listing or message at the exact right time in their lives.
LinkedIn Targeting Can Find People Relocating for a Job
Speaking of life changes, one of the other most common reasons people buy and sell houses is that they’ve had a job change.
LinkedIn can help you target these individuals. In fact, since people often indicate areas they have interest in moving to even before they get a new job, you can use ad targeting to help them hunt for a new home at the same time they hunt for new jobs.
Other options include creating groups offering locally based advice to new recruits in your area. You could even start a relationship with a recruiter and become their go-to gal or guy any time a new employee is moving into town. By helping make employee relocation easier, you’re actually doing them a favor, so don’t overlook the power of advertising directly to other businesses on LinkedIn.
Geographical Targeting Helps You Pinpoint Home Sellers Looking for Representation
Geography-based ad targeting provides you with a great tool to find home sellers in your area. You can broadcast your services regularly to your locality through regional and local targeting settings. If you play your cards right, you can generate leads for home sellers months or even years before they actually consider selling.
Finding home buyers for your region through geography-based advertising is a little trickier, but you can find people relocating. For instance, if you have properties in a desirable, up-and-coming area of a town, you can target people in older neighborhoods that have lost their lustre.
Additionally, targeting locals with home listings can facilitate sharing between friendly social media accounts. Just imagine the joy on someone’s face when they’re moving close to a friend or family member who says, “Hey! I may have found the perfect house for you!”
Share Gorgeous Photos, Videos, and Virtual Tours to Keep People Home Shopping Forever
Few people love ads, but nearly everyone loves art. And homes can certainly be among the finest works of art within a local community.
You can further accentuate the beauty of a home by hiring a professional photographer or videographer to capture it in just the right light — both figuratively and literally. Stunning architectural photos even have their own niche on platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. People who don’t have the slightest interest in home shopping may still want to see well-shot photos and video of homes in their area.
There’s also an intense level of consumer appeal to sharing this content. Many people who just buy a new car end up continually researching other models. Home buyers can also feel the same way — searching to see what else there is out there that they could dream about owning.
This aspirational researching and browsing can sometimes lead to both indirect and direct leads. Someone may decide that they want to move again, or they can share a listing with a friend while saying “Man, this is the house I wish I had bought!”
The level of interest can go up when you feature unique interactive elements with your home listing. Showcasing virtual tours of your home, for instance, can get people interested in exploring properties nearby. According to NAR data, half of people buying homes found virtual tours “very useful.”
Showcase Informative Industry Content to Keep Your Agency Top of Mind
Home buying and selling is a complex process that a huge portion of people nevertheless have to go through. Just getting started can be intimidating, and lots of people want information so they don’t make mistakes and don’t get “burned” during the process.
When looking for this information, most people turn to the Internet. In fact, the NAR says that 13% of people (and 18% of millennials) looked for information about home buying as their very first step.
A wealth of information real estate agents and their industry associates can share that people will find useful is readily available. Topics can range anywhere from “How to Spot Mold Damage” to “How to Save Money During Closing.”
Writing your own articles on a blog and then sharing them on social is therefore one of the best ways to drive traffic to your real estate website. You can provide benefits to people actively considering buying or selling their home, and you can also offer value to homeowners in general.
By getting people to read and engage with this content, you increase the chances that they remember you first when considering real estate agent services. You can also keep them regularly engaged with your posts so that they can get the occasional nuggets of information they love.
Earn Email Signups More Easily
The same tactics that can draw social media users to your website can encourage email signups and other conversions onto your marketing contacts list. You can direct them to your website through content teasers, for instance, and use a prominent lead capture form nearby to encourage them to sign up.
You can also earn signups directly in Facebook now thanks to their new Lead Ads format. This type of ad shows up as a banner and then turns into a sign-up sheet when clicked. Since people often don’t want to leave apps while browsing on their smartphone, advanced ad formats like these have transformed digital marketing for real estate agents.
Create a Hub Page for Events Like Open Houses and Local Sponsorships
By using social media marketing for real estate agents, you can provide a convenient anchor page and invite tool for any events you are hosting. Whether you have an upcoming property open house or you are participating in a local event like a charity fundraiser, giving people a convenient place to get event information is important.
Facebook and LinkedIn tools also let you send out invites to the event based on people within your followers and marketing lists. They can indicate whether or not they plan to come, giving you valuable data that provides you anticipates attendance numbers. Most importantly, anyone who indicates that they are “going” to your event can receive a convenient reminder when the time comes near.
Embed Social Links on Your Listings for Easy Sharing
Social media can benefit you outside of your social pages, too!
A great example is how you can add social sharing widgets to your listings and other content. By providing a convenient button for sharing, you can increase the reach for your articles, home listings and everything else on your website.
Some sites even allow for embedded commenting or post uploads, turning your real estate agent website into a hub for both listings, new informative content and social engagement.
Create or Interact With Groups to Boost Visibility and Leads
Social media groups provide guidance and support to community members. You can join these groups and participate as a voice of local knowledge. Groups you participate in don’t even have to be directly involved with real estate, either. For instance, if you have a hobby you can contribute your voice to fellow enthusiasts in the area.
Your participation drives up awareness of your brand and multiplies opportunities for people to be exposed to your content. And, if the group requests it or has an interest in real estate transactions, you can use group posts to keep everyone informed about home listings and upcoming events.
Earn Positive Reviews and Showcase Glowing Testimonials
Facebook and other social media platforms give you the opportunity to earn reviews from your past clients. After your page is properly set up, you can send out a polite request to everyone you’ve worked with for a review. You can also ask for reviews at the end of your transaction with a buyer or seller.
Remember that your peers can review you, too! Just remember to stay ethical by not telling them what to say or not suggesting that their review must be positive.
Social media also works well as a platform for showcasing happy past clients. You can keep Facebook and Instagram followers updated on recent successful closes, for example. Or, you can take a moment to interview your new happy homeowner or recent home seller to provide content for your social pages.
People tend to respond well to people-based ads and happy stories, so play up the human angle and emotion of these testimonials using powerful imagery combined with text.
Set Up Social Monitoring Alerts for Instant Lead Gen
Many other positive benefits and amazing uses of social media exist that you can explore for yourself. As one last note, though, we want to suggest setting up a social monitoring tool that alerts you to certain keyword phrases in your area.
For instance, you can set a tool Hootsuite to alert you anytime someone asks Twitter about “homes for sale near Ranchos Palos Verdes” or wherever you happen to sell homes. Even though the person may only be expecting an answer from their friend group, you can swoop in and politely direct them to your listings.