By now, most real estate agents know that social media is a powerful tool to attract leads on a regular basis. How to do it is the next question. As we approach 2019, it requires more than a Facebook and Twitter account that you sometimes post on to have a successful online presence.
In order to be a competitive real estate agent in today’s market, you must implement some tricks of the trade when it comes to social media.
You’ll be surprised at how simple it is to apply good social media tactics once you get started — and delighted when you start seeing more leads roll in.
Don’t Ignore Instagram
Instagram might be something you shied away from in the past because it felt more obscure and less impactful to your audience compared with Facebook or Twitter. That’s no longer the case. Over 100 million people in the U.S. use Instagram, and that number is growing.
As a mobile platform, Instagram is extremely accessible. Users can open it easily on their phones and browse the accounts they follow at leisure. This increased accessibility leads to more likes and engagement on Instagram content, which can ultimately convert to leads.
Also, people are responding more to visual content these days. Instagram is the visual content leader. Every post should feature a high-quality photograph or video. Use this tutorial on how to take Instagram-worthy photos.
Realtors can use Instagram to post breathtaking listing photos, appealing images of the areas you serve and videos and photos from trade shows.
Get on the Video Bandwagon
Video content has become increasingly popular in recent years. If you want to continue to improve the number and quality of leads you receive, look into creating video content. Videos can feature new listings, contests, home-buying webinars — the possibilities are endless. Get creative with the ways you use video and consider the types of content your audience wants to see. This will assist you in making more meaningful connections with new and existing clients.
Check out this tutorial on creating social videos for the first time.
Follow the 80/20 Rule
The 80/20 concept has been around for a while, but now that we’re approaching 2019, it’s more important than ever to adhere to this rule if you want to be successful in your social media efforts.
What you post on social media should be 80% content that benefits your audience, such as blog posts about buying and selling, infographics, etc., and 20% content about your real estate business, such as certain milestones and marketing your services.
Since you’re delivering useful information that will help people navigate the housing market, they will be more apt to engage with promotional items from you when you post them.
Hook Yourself Up With a Social Scheduling Tool
Consistency is key to creating a social media strategy that will increase leads in 2019. You cannot post daily for a month and then drop off the face of the earth the following month when things get busy. Nor should you put out all your content for the entire week on one day. That’s a good way to make sure your content gets lost in the shuffle.
If you don’t have time to write new social posts daily, no problem. There are many social media scheduling tools out there that let you write a batch of social posts ahead of time, and the scheduling tool sends them out when you tell it to.
Popular options on the market are Hootsuite, Hubspot and Sproutsocial
Social media is becoming more nuanced but also more powerful. To continue to attract leads through social media, you need to adapt, just a little, to the ways that it’s changing.
Don’t forget! HomeActions sends out real estate newsletters on your behalf so you can stay top of mind with your clients. Learn more about how to get started today.
It’s not just the real estate industry that’s going digital — almost every industry you can think of is taking the plunge. But digital marketing is especially essential for real estate agents because homebuyers are looking at websites like Zillow and Trulia as their first step toward finding a home.
They are also checking out social media to find inspiration for their dream home and recommendations for REALTORS®. That means you need to position yourself in front of these homebuyers online.
If you already have a real estate website and social media accounts, are you utilizing those spaces correctly in order to get leads? If you’re not keeping yourself abreast of how to improve your digital footprint, chances are you will get overlooked for agents that have a more robust online presence.
1. The Most Important Social Platforms for Real Estate
Some of the more important social platforms for real estate agents are Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. If you don’t already have a presence on these platforms, get on them today. Your potential clients use social media to find referrals for all kinds of services, including real estate agents.
Social media is also where you should showcase the best of the best when it comes to images and videos of your listings. Always post high-quality images that highlight the best features of the homes you’re selling. The standard for content is very high these days, so a few grainy images won’t cut it. You will get buried by competition using professional-looking photos.
When you post content on social media, make use of relevant hashtags. This will help you get recognized by more users and increase your followers. You can easily research hashtags by typing in some keywords into the search bar on Twitter — such as “open house” (#openhouse) or “real estate agent” (#realestateagent) — and see what popular posts come up and take note of other hashtags they’re using. Then you can incorporate those hashtags into your own social posts.
2. Paid Advertising to Promote Your Real Estate Business
Consider paid advertising using Facebook Ads or Google AdWords pay-per-click (PPC) online advertising.
Facebook makes it easy for you to “boost” a post, whereby you put a certain dollar amount behind a post. You choose your budget and the audience you want your post to target. For instance, you can target buyers or sellers based on location or demographics, or even their hobbies and behaviors.
Boosting a post on Facebook ensures that your message gets in front of the right people.
You should also consider Google AdWords pay-per-click (PPC) advertising for your real estate website. It’s a way of advertising your website on Google so that it appears at the top of the page when users search for different keywords, such as “homes for sale,” “local realtors” or “open house.” Every time someone clicks on your ad, leading them to your website, you pay Google a fee.
There are still things you want to do to get organic traffic to your site, which we’ll go over, but PPC is a way to bring in additional paid traffic through advertising.
3. Make People Come Back to Your Website
Make sure that your real estate website is easy to navigate and a place where users want to return. Start by making sure all your images look professional. If you have pictures of yourself or your business, these photos need to be high quality. First impressions matter, and potential clients will choose another Realtor over you if their website looks more professional.
Another way to keep people coming back to your site is to create content that interests them. You could post weekly blogs about the real estate industry or certain markets. You could also blog about open houses, listings, up-and-coming neighborhoods and more. Try mixing up the content with some charts, videos and infographics. Creating interesting content will keep users engaged.
4. Collect Emails
The purpose of your digital efforts is to get leads, so you need to give users the option to provide their email addresses. In marketing, a squeeze page or landing page is where you collect the email addresses of those who visit your website.
Make an Offer
A squeeze page should act as an offer to the user that requires them to input their email. This could be in the form of an e-book, e-newsletter or an estimate on the value of their home. Whatever the offer is, make sure it’s essential for them to give out their email in order to receive the special gift.
5. Use Website Analytics Tools
The only way to know whether your website is working is by tracking views and the behavior of users on your site. How long are they staying on your site? How many unique visitors are you getting a month? Are users visiting your site and then navigating away almost instantly? The easiest way to track this is with a tool like Google Analytics. Google makes it easy for new marketers to learn how to use their features, which you can read about here.
Once you understand some basics of website analytics, it’s simple to start developing your website around what users want to see. Perhaps your site isn’t user-friendly enough. Maybe your content isn’t as engaging as your competitors’ content. Tracking the analytics of your site will help you identify and fix these issues.
We always recommend making sure you have a digital footprint because most of your clients will hear about you through the web. A great way to get started is by following these guidelines and signing up for biweekly real estate email newsletters. We make it easy for you by writing email newsletter articles and sending them out to your sphere of influence on your behalf. Check us out today!
Visit HomeActions.net today to start connecting on a regular basis with your real estate contacts and improving your real estate business.
As a Realtor, your job is to interpret the real estate market for clients. Should your interpretation include commenting on politicians’ attempts to influence and regulate homeownership? Or should you just keep your mouth shut and hope your clients’ political yard signs aren’t blocking your for sale sign?
I believe that when you do it right, talking about politics can position you as an informative commentator. Done wrong, it can alienate your client base.
Here’s a simple two-question test that tells you which political issues will help improve your reputation and which will cost you customers:
1. Does the issue influence my clients’ home value or their ability to buy or sell property?
2. Is NAR’s position on the issue one that benefits my clients, too?
If you answer “no” to ether question, it’s not a good issue for your communications with homeowners. An issue is only appropriate to discuss with clients if it’s directly related to real estate. When an issue benefits Realtors but not homeowners, you’re wise to avoid the topic, too.
If you can answer “yes” to both those questions, the political issue is one you should be talking about to your client base. It benefits them to know about it and it benefits your industry as well.
Political Topics Garner Clicks
That was the case with one of the most-read articles among the nearly 3 million newsletters HomeActions sent out last month. House Democrat Wants Big Changes In Credit Reporting explored changes in credit reporting proposed by California’s Rep. Maxine Waters. If it passes, the bill would likely make it easier to get a home loan, creating more potential homebuyers. That’s a win for homebuyers, home sellers and Realtors.
The key to covering politics without offending anyone is to write about the bill rather than partisan politics. You’ll know you’ve done a good job at that when you get comments back from people who agree and from people who disagree with the proposal, but no comments from people criticizing you for supporting or opposing the bill.
You’ll Get Comments
Here are some examples – real comments from viewers who had something to say about Maxine Waters’ attempts to change the way credit reporting works:
There were homeowners who applauded the bill: Current system is unfair to all citizens! What she is proposing is very fair, because items in the Credit Bureaus are one person’s opinion, not the truth!!
There were homeowners who think it’s a bad bill: She basically wants to hide bad credit. Did we not learn from the 2008 meltdown? We should not lend to those who can’t or won’t make the payments!!!
And there were people who think there are more adept politicians than Rep. Waters: Maxine Waters is an idiot… and would put us back in recession to get reelected.
But the most telling comment (and the one you want to see come back to you when you write about political issues) is this one: Thank you for gathering this information for us.
While thousands of homeowners read that feature, not a single comment came back criticizing our Realtor clients for supporting or opposing the Waters bill. Because the coverage did neither. It simply outlined what Rep. Waters wants to do to change credit reporting.
When you write about politics, you’ll almost always get people fired up. The key is getting them fired up about the issue (or the politician) rather than fired up about your personal political views. Stick to the facts and let your clients form their own opinions and you’ll always be seen as an expert in all things home-ownership.
Since everyone likes to save money, sharing HomeActions articles about reducing homeowners’ ongoing costs is a great way to make your clients keep opening your emails.
The proof is in last month’s article click rates. The most popular article, Will Shutting Vents Cut Your Energy Bill? explained why shutting too many vents can cause problems in your HVAC.
The article worked because it delivered an “ah ha!” moment to viewers who thought they were saving money by closing off HVAC vents in their home.
You wouldn’t expect an energy-efficiency story to be contentious, but this one was. One viewer suggested the article was funded by oil companies. Ironically, there was also an email from a viewer with an oil company email address arguing that shutting vents couldn’t possibly harm the HVAC.
A few days later, a viewer wrote one of our Realtor clients and said the article was spot on. He’d had to pay $6,000 to remediate mold caused by shutting off about half the vents in a home.
You Have Backup
Things that influence a homeowner’s wallet will engage them. Another very popular story in August looked at changes coming to the FICO score this fall. FICO Changes Score Calculations: Will Your Score Rise? highlighted what’s changing in FICO, when those changes will happen and why mortgage credit likely won’t be immediately affected.
Explaining the details of the change (and the likely influence on how much homeowners have to pay for credit) positioned you as an expert in consumer credit.
Any time you explain something complicated, people are going to have questions. When that happens to you, I’m here to back you up.
You can send question to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll draft a response for you to send to the client.
-Dona DeZube is Chief Content Officer for HomeActions.
To work, an email newsletter has to get opened. That’s what makes coming up with a great subject line such a huge challenge.
Even viewers who recognize your name will give you only a few seconds to grab their attention via your subject line and the few words that show up in the preview pane of their email.
Try these nine tips for getting the clicks you need to succeed:
- Your word budget = 50 characters. Overspend it and your open rate will drop. Envision your subject line as a promo from a magazine cover.
- Identify yourself. Your clients screen emails and delete marketing messages from strangers. Using a consistent short phrase increases recognition.
- USING ALL CAPS MAKES YOU LOOK LIKE A SPAMMER. Use capitals sparingly.
- If your email is neither exciting nor relevant, exclamation points won’t make it so!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
- Customers value your local real estate market knowledge. Highlight it by putting the name of your market in the subject line. If you’re blogging about a local paving scam, your subject line might be: Driveway Scammers Go Door-to-Door In Smithtown.
- Questions can grab attention when they trigger a need to answer. You could also write about the scammers like this: Have Smithtown Driveway Scammers Hit Your House?
- Tell me what’s in it for me. Shoot for a subject line that promises a benefit or the solution to a problem: 3 Ways to Outsmart the Smithtown Driveway Scammers.
- Avoid these words: Free, help, percent off, reminder. Would you open this email: Reminder: Free Help Still Available for Homeowners Hit By Driveway Scammers?
- Focus on what your viewers are most interested in: See Where the Smithtown Driveway Scammers Hit.
Don’t get this? Go with an email service provider who knows your market – homeowners. Our customers can set their email’s subject line as the title of the first article. That’s handy backup for times when they don’t add custom copy or for those too busy to write great subject line.