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Getting Started in Real Estate Marketing: Social Media

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Social Media Marketing

We talked last time about getting started with direct mail. Finding a farm, getting regular mailings moving, and staying consistent are all vital.

But that’s only one part of real estate marketing. Another major component is social media marketing.

Social Media: Everyone’s Doing It

While “everyone’s doing it” is a bad reason to do most things, it’s a GREAT reason to market on social media. The truth is that everyone is there.

  • 79% of internet users are on Facebook
  • 32% of internet users are on Instagram
  • 31% of internet users are on Pinterest

If you want to market to people, you have to meet them where they are. And where they are is on social media.

How Do You Get Started?

The first step in social media marketing is creating a business profile on the platform you choose. From there, you comment, share, and build relationships.

Different platforms have different user bases and different ways of interacting. It’s best to begin on one or two, build up a consistent presence, and then branch out. You can actually use tools like Buffer to share to multiple accounts at once to save time.

Facebook

A Facebook account is often an easy place to start, since you may already have one. Simply update your profile description to talk about your real estate work.

Start sharing about your business, sharing Facebook Live videos, and more! Here are some resources for how to rock Facebook as a Realtor®.

Instagram

Instagram is another incredible resource for real estate agents. The way the platform rewards gorgeous pictures, allows geotagging, and allows hashtag searches make it an ideal marketing platform.

Creating a business Instagram profile is important so that you can track which posts perform well. As with most marketing, it pays to know what works and spend more time on that, and less on other efforts.

Here are some resources that will help you benefit from Instagram for real estate:

Starting with Facebook or Instagram – or both – will give you a lot of return for your time. Once you start seeing great results, see what you can do with other social media outlets!

Making Social Media Work for You

Social media works best when you stick to a single principle: consistency. 

It’s not as important to post often as it is to post predictably.

It’s not as important to be on every platform as it is to be consistent on the platform you choose.

It’s not as important to have “brilliant” posts as it is to have steady posts.

Choose one or two platforms, set yourself up, and then keep at it! Over time, you’ll build relationships that will turn into prospects and clients.

What’s your biggest challenge with social media marketing? Share in the comments!

Instagram for Real Estate: What to Post?

This post may contain affiliate links. We truly love, use, and recommend the best!

What to Post on Instagram for Real Estate

Hope you had a great holiday weekend!

I posted last week about creating the perfect real estate Instagram profile. When you have a profile that is branded, consistent, and focused on your prospects, you’ll be turning heads every day!

The next question is, what do you POST on Instagram? As a professional, it’s probably not the spot for sweaty workout selfies. Fortunately, there are a variety of MUCH better options.

Personal Branding

Instagram is a social network, and sharing photos about yourself is one way to help people know, like, and trust you. These should be professional and appropriate, but feel free to showcase your life as it happens.

Snap a picture of your hobbies, favorite meals, adventures, and four-legged friends. Being personal is part of being relatable and approachable.

Business Branding

If you work with a team or an office of colleagues, show them off! Your Instagram account can showcase your office, coworkers, and day-in-the-life of business photos.

If you’re not sure how to show your business in its best light, consider these ideas:

  • You or team members high-fiving a happy client
  • Photos that show off the personality of the agents you work with
  • Meetings to show how focused and hard-working you are
  • Parties, outings, or dinners for a fun vibe

Sneak Peek of a Listing

Use your Instagram to build interest in your upcoming listings. People are always curious about new things, and they will feel special when they get to see something that isn’t public yet. You can snap photos of you arranging décor, photographers taking pictures, or stagers adding the finishing touch.

You can make especially juicy by labeling your photos “top secret” and pretending you are sneaking around “stealing” photos just for your followers!

Real Estate in Action

Ever wonder why HGTV shows are so popular? People love to feel like they have the inside take on real estate transactions. You can capitalize on this feeling by sharing photos of you hard at work in your real estate business.

Ideas include:

  • You meeting with a mortgage broker or banker
  • Sharing an obstacle you encountered – especially with a quick tip on how they can avoid it!
  • Setting up for an open house
  • Signing closing papers (perhaps just a pen with blurred papers)
  • Pictures of you doing pop-bys
  • You at an event raising awareness of your brand

Where Are You Spending Time?

Another great way to show how well you know your city is to check in at hole-in-the wall local treasures. Take pictures of yourself at great restaurants, shops, and museums.

Part of your Instagram account can function as a city tour guide. Describe what makes your area so much fun and such a great place to live. Prospective buyers can get a sense for whether they like what they see, and they may contact you about one of your listings.

Always tag your location! Tagging a location can significantly increase engagement with an Instagram post. Also, people can search Instagram based on zip code or landmark, so include cities, shop names, schools, and more!

Hashtag It

It’s important to extend your reach beyond your current followers. You never know who’s interested in finding you that hasn’t seen your account yet! By using appropriate hashtags, you can catch the attention of a broad range of Instagram users.

Some easy hashtags include your city name. Things like #YourCityOpenHouse or #YourCityRealEstate or #YourCityRealtor can be a good start. (Of course, use your real city name, not “YourCity!”)

You can also use hashtags based on stores you’re visiting, schools you’re near, or events you’re participating in. Also take advantage of trending hashtags, including seasons and holidays!

Are You Ready for Instagram Success?

You can find an incredible variety of people by creating and maintaining an Instagram account. Just think about the leads you can get:

  • Locals wanting to sell a home
  • Buyers looking for homes in your area
  • Realtors from other areas looking for referral agents
  • Past clients who keep up with you on social media
  • New clients who discover your profile
  • Referral clients who were tagged by one of your Instagram followers

If you’re ready to dive in and take advantage of this incredible platform, don’t wait. Set up the perfect profile, and then start posting! You’ll be amazed at the interaction you get.

It’s that time – time for seasonal postcards! Keep up with prospects offline as well with fall postcards. From Daylight Savings to Thanksgiving, we’ve got you covered. Order today!

A Mix of Marketing Methods for Real Estate

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Marketing Mix for Real Estate

No matter what you’re selling, you need a multi-pronged approach. There’s too much competition for limited consumer attention.

In a phrase, you need to reach your prospects where they are. 

Doing this requires a mix of marketing methods. When these are implemented consistently over time, you’ll see your business results improve dramatically.

Avenue #1: Social Media

To borrow the words of Madonna, we’re “living in a social media world,” and the way people use their time reflects it. People seem to be looking at their phones more than ever.

If you’re going to choose just one platform to be active on, Facebook is your best bet:

  • 79% of online adults use Facebook
  • Facebook continues to be the fastest growing network
  • Users access Facebook an average of 15 days per month
  • 76% of Facebook users access Facebook every day
  • Folks who use Facebook log on an average of 8 times a day

Instagram, another platform that is excellent for Realtors®, is second for usage and engagement.

Marketing on social media is essential for real estate agents. However, it can be time-consuming.

If you want to do this kind of outreach but struggle to keep up, I can’t recommend Socially Posted highly enough. They can take care of your social media while you focus on other things!

Avenue #2: Your Website

Social media platforms can determine their own terms and conditions. They may prioritize specific content over others, and make it difficult for you to get noticed.

But your website is your own domain. You can set it up the way you want, promote whatever you like, and focus visitors’ attention in whatever ways make sense to you.

As you develop your website, prioritize these elements:

  • An excellent “Hire Me” page. Your services page should not simply say, “I sell homes.” You need to persuasively explain the needs of your target audience and how you can help. A visitor needs to say, “Hey, this Realtor® really gets it.”
  • A blog. You’ll struggle to get excellent rankings in Google search unless you have frequent new content. A blog also allows you to focus on local marketing keywords, giving you great visibility when someone searches for “{City} real estate.”
  • A photo gallery for listings. Folks who come to your site may be interested in buying a home you are featuring. For those interested in selling their home, a beautiful photo gallery on your website will convince them you understand how to sell homes.
  • A way to sign up for your email list. Email marketing is one way to reach people where they spend a lot of time: in their inbox. Many people check their email multiple times a day. Wouldn’t you love for them to see your message there?

Your website is the one place online where YOU make the rules. Take advantage of it!

Avenue #3: Print Marketing

While email marketing can be effective, there’s a lot of competition. There’s a reason some people have hundreds of unread messages – they simply cherry-pick the emails that are most interesting to them.

To get around the glut, you’ll want to be involved in print marketing. People rarely get mail that isn’t a bill anymore. But other companies’ shortfall can be your advantage.

There are a variety of ways to reach out with print marketing:

  • Business cards. These are incredibly versatile and give you the opportunity to connect no matter where you are. Tuck one in with a free giveaway, drop one on your table at a restaurant, or hand it to someone you meet at the park. The possibilities are endless!
  • A Just Listed/Just Sold By using these postcards in combination, you can generate interest in a listing and share your success when it sells!
  • Farming Postcards. Your farm is the area that you’ve chosen to focus your prospecting efforts. By being consistent in reaching out to these areas, you can build the know, like, and trust factor. This improves your brand and brings in business.
  • Personal Brochures. By having some branding brochures created and ready to go, you can easily network and connect with potential customers at local events.

The best marketing uses all three of these avenues in a variety of ways. To really take advantage of this marketing mix, it pays to have a marketing strategy that shows you how and when you’ll incorporate each type of marketing.

Do you use all these avenues? If not, what’s one step forward you can take today? Share in the comments!

Why You Need to Own Your (Marketing) Home

Own Your Marketing Home

When you talk to your clients, there are a variety of reasons that they are planning to buy a home. As a Realtor®, you understand that there are a variety of benefits to owning a home instead of renting.

What you may not have realized is that it’s just as important for real estate agents to own their marketing home as well. Owning your marketing space means having a website that you have arranged hosting for. For instance, a YourRealEstate.Com website would be a space you own.

Social media like Facebook and Instagram, non-self-hosted websites like YourRealEstate.wordpress.com, and free websites you get from other providers are all non-owned, or rented, marketing spaces. Renting your marketing has a lot of drawbacks, just like renting a home.

Rent is Always Going Up

Just like rented homes and apartments are always getting more expensive, being seen on a “rented” marketing space is more and more expensive over time as well.

On Facebook, you used to be able to reach a lot of people for free simply by having a Facebook page and building a following. Now, Facebook is moving more and more into “pay to play,” where you have to pay for ads to reach people. Organic reach is plummeting.

And there’s nothing you can do about it because you’re renting.

Instead, own your online property (your website), and you can get 100% of the views you earn from fans. No one will be hiding your page from your fans.

You Don’t Control the Rules When You Rent

Rented properties have a lot of rules. There are rules about how long someone can live with you if they aren’t on the lease. Rules about what pets you can have. Rules about whether you can paint or renovate.

The same is true when you rent your marketing location online. Facebook ads require a specific text-to-image ratio, or they will be rejected. Instagram limits how many hashtags you can use per post. No matter where you rent, the landlord makes the rules.

When you have your own website, you make the rules. Want to add a community page? Go for it! Want a page that’s nothing but pictures? Perfect! Would you like to create a community page where visitors can comment and ask questions? No problem!

Rented Properties Can Go Under

When it comes to physical properties, they aren’t going to disappear physically, but the ownership can fail and cause a significant decline in the value and experience of living in the building.

With rented marketing properties, however, they can completely fail and disappear. Sometimes an upgrade or a hacker causes the site to be down for a few hours. Sometimes a business completely fails, and the website is taken down.

No one expects that to happen to behemoths like Facebook and Instagram, but no one expected AOL to go from internet dominance to being completely irrelevant either. Don’t put too much faith in an online property that you don’t control.

You Can Combine Renting and Owning

This article isn’t intended to keep you from using social media or other “rented” outreach to connect with your audience. We’re just trying to show the importance of having a marketing platform that’s fully yours.

Unlike choosing a home, with marketing you can (and should!) combine renting and owning. Have your own website, and don’t be shy about directing your followers and fans from social media to your site.

If something goes wrong or the rules change, you’ll have a lot of people already accustomed to visiting your website. You don’t have to rely on Facebook approving your ads. You can draw people over into a space you control, and show them what you want.

Do you have a new website and need to update the contact information on your business cards or real estate marketing postcards? We’d love to help – contact us today!

How to Make Social Media for Real Estate Easier

Make Real Estate Social Media Easier

Using social media for real estate can be a challenge. Not only is it hard to find the time, it’s also hard to know what to post. Even if you do log in to social media with some good ideas, you can easily get sucked into the time-killing games, responding to friends’ posts, and more.

Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be this way. There are ways to make social media for real estate much easier. Here are some simple tips.

Choose a Small Number of Platforms

There are benefits to almost every social media platform, and there are no end to the number of people who want you to join the newest fad. Unfortunately trying to be everywhere will backfire. You won’t have the time to maintain your presence. A spotty, inconsistent presence in 10 places is far worse than a consistency in one or two.

Don’t be sucked in! Choose one or two social media platforms that make the most sense for your particular business. Stick with them and be consistent. Here are some questions to ask to help you choose a platform:

  • Where do my best customers hang out?
  • Where does my target community have groups or forums I can join?
  • What platform makes the most sense in terms of my strengths in expressing myself?

Use a Scheduling Platform

Using a scheduling platform has incredible benefits. You don’t actually have to log in to a social media account, for one thing, so you don’t get sucked into debates, games, or whatever other distractions there are. Secondly, you can post to a variety of social media all at the same time.

My personal favorite is Buffer. You can connect multiple accounts from the same social media – for instance, your business Facebook page and a personal Facebook account, or multiple Twitter accounts. You can choose which platforms get an update by simply clicking to select or deselect the option. It’s very simple to use.

A lot of folks also like Hootsuite. This platform allows you to post to social media quickly as well, but I just find the layout less intuitive personally. You may be completely different!

Choosing a scheduling platform will allow you to post your social media updates for a week in a short amount of time. You’ll save hours and hours.

Consider Outsourcing

Even with these tips, you may struggle to keep up with social media. That’s fine! There are affordable options for outsourcing social media updates. I personally love Socially Posted. They’re U.S.-based social media specialists, and they’ll post daily updates for you 365 days a year.

I especially love that they are able to post target market focused articles, photos, and local news and events. This is so important for Realtors®! You won’t end up with a “me-too” social media feed where you’re saying what everyone else is.

To make things super easy, consider finding someone who can help you with social media updates. Whether it’s a service, a spouse, or a friend, it can be worth the money to have help with social media!

How do you handle your social media? Share in the comments!