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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! 

Pro Tips to Take Your Facebook Presence to the Next Level

Realtor Facebook Pro Tips

In earlier posts, I’ve written about how to get more Facebook followers and what you can post on your Facebook page (Part 1, Part 2). While you can’t let Facebook – or any non-owned social media or website – be your primary home base, it can still be a powerful part of your real estate marketing strategy. Here are some pro tips that will help you take your Facebook presence to the next level as you build your real estate business.

Add a Like Box to Your Website

Did you know that you can add a Like Box to your website, and that website visitors can then like your Facebook page without leaving your site? There are simple, free plugins for WordPress sites that allow you implement this strategy.

The biggest benefit to a Like Box is that it links your website directly to your Facebook presence. Since you want to build audiences that visit you in both places, it’s a great tool for building your real estate audience.

Join and Participate in Facebook Groups

There are dozens and dozens of Facebook groups available that you can join for advice, tips, and inspiration. Here’s the pro tip, though – focus on the ones where your clients hang out, not the ones where your peers do. Find Facebook groups focused on your city, neighborhood, or a local organization. When you join the conversation, you build relationships with exactly the people you want to reach.

I would point out that not all Facebook groups are relational, however – some are simply promotional and people post articles, links, and pitches without any conversation at all. Avoid those, because no one is actually listening. In addition, avoid political or controversial groups – your ideal clients come from all over the spectrum, and you don’t want to develop a reputation that affects that.

Create Non-Realtor® Facebook Pages

You can create Facebook pages that aren’t focused on your business at all, but simply encourage others to talk about related topics. Examples could be “Historical Homes in Atlanta” or “Great Architecture in Columbus”. These types of pages attract more interest because people are so wary of being sold things, and these pages aren’t pitching.

However, because these pages aren’t sales pages, you may need to take a few more steps before you can convert a visitor to this page to a lead. It’s not rocket science, though – it’s simple relationship building and trust that leads to new clients asking you to help them buy or sell a home.

Consider Paid Facebook Outreach

The bad news is that Facebook is increasingly becoming “pay to play”, in the sense that to get seen you often have to pay to place a Facebook ad or boost a post. The good news is that these ads can be very inexpensive, especially compared to other advertising options. You can also target very specific demographics, which helps maximize your return.

If you’re going to try Facebook paid outreach, I’d recommend a small test run before you commit much money. Fortunately, you can do a pretty good campaign for as little as $20 for a week. Try it out and see if you get the results you want. You may find it has a much better return than other paid outlets you use.

Facebook is a simple platform but there are a lot of pro-level tips to making the most of it as a Realtor®. By trying these four strategies, you’ll be able to gain more interest and build more relationships, which will help you make big strides in your business in the coming year.

What’s your favorite pro tip for Facebook? Share in the comments!

5 Ways Realtors® Can Get More Followers on Facebook

Facebook for Realtors

Having a Realtor® Facebook page is a great way to engage with prospects, showcase your properties, and share your expertise. However, it only works well if you have plenty of Facebook followers! Otherwise, your posts are not being seen by anyone and you are not getting a great return on your time.

Fortunately, there are strategies you can use to draw people to your Facebook real estate page. Some are more obvious, and others less so – if you take advantage of them all, you’ll do far better with your Facebook promotions.

Invite Your Circle of Influence

Before you roll your eyes and say “Duh,” hear me out. Many times we invite our circle of influence once – the day we set up our page. We send a request out to our friends and family on Facebook and that’s it. However, our circle changes and expands over time. Do you know more people know than you did in the beginning? Probably so!! Take advantage of that and invite your circle of influence in again.

Obviously, don’t send a Facebook request every month or anything like that – that will just push people away. But if it’s been a year, or you have a new connection you’d like to invite to Facebook, do it! Don’t forget about your circle just because you invited them once a long time ago.

Make Sure Current and Past Clients are on Your Facebook Page

Sometimes, once we land a contract, we forget all about including the new client in our ongoing marketing. I guess we figure once we gain a customer, there’s no more need. But, that couldn’t be further from the truth!! We all know that referrals are our biggest source of quality business, and what better way to get referrals than to make sure your current and past clients follow you on Facebook?

Don’t assume that once you’re done, you wash your hands of the customer and move on. Encourage them to stay in touch with you in a variety of ways – email, social media, maybe even an in-person visit to see how things are going. When they follow you on Facebook, they’ll see all your new properties and information, and may share it with their own followers – giving you a whole new set of prospects!

Don’t Use Your Page for Spam

None of us think that the information we share is “spam”, but try to see it through the eyes of your prospect. Do all of your posts talk about how wonderful you are, how important you are, and how much you sell? Do your posts consist simply of “Buy from me” and “List with me” messages? If so, I’m sorry – but your page is spam.

Prospects don’t care about you until they know you care about them. Make sure your messaging is very focused on the prospect – the emotions they feel when they consider buying or selling a home, the steps they take, and the tips that make it easier. Share about those things in helpful ways. Share about your neighborhood. When you share relevant content about your prospects, you’ll get more followers and more engagement.

Use Great Graphics

Images are a big deal online. A picture really is worth 1,000 words when it comes to catching attention and conveying emotion, two things that are essential in any kind of marketing. You can find free graphics on Pixabay, or you can use your own images, or use Canva to create great images without much expense.

Studies have shown that images should be highly relevant and carefully placed in order to increase readership. Placing the image above a headline gets more people to read the article, and putting a caption under the image helps people get the message you’re putting across, even if they don’t have the time to read your entire post.

Promote Posts

Promoting posts on Facebook is almost ridiculously inexpensive, compared to other types of advertising in real estate. You can choose your budget – from $5 to as high as you want – and target your demographics very specifically. This allows you to target your farm area, a higher-wage earning job set, specific age ranges, and much more, in any combination.

Promoted posts have another value – when someone “likes” a promoted post, you see their name listed, and have a chance to invite them directly to like your Facebook page. Once they are a regular follower of your Facebook page, they will see the wonderful listings and expertise you share on a regular basis.

Getting followers on your Facebook page takes some time, but there are things you can do to shorten the cycle. Invite new friends and acquaintances to like the page. Include links on your email signature, business card, and more. Don’t spam on your page – instead, share helpful information with great graphics. Boost posts so they get more targeted visibility. Your page will become much more successful as a result.

How do you promote your Facebook page? Share in the comments!

Five More Ideas for Realtors® Using Periscope

Periscope for Realtors

Periscope is continuing to explode as a platform! On August 2nd, 2015, Periscope surpassed 10 million Periscope accounts. Considering that they only launched on March 26th, 2015, that’s nothing short of amazing. Especially since it took two years for Facebook to hit 6 million users!

Periscope users watch 40 years’ worth of video every day. It’s totally unreal. As a Realtor®, I’d love to see you take advantage of this platform, so I’m suggesting five more ideas for Realtors® who want to use Periscope.

Before we get started, I’d like to ask a question. What would you enjoy seeing a Periscope about, as a real estate professional? Let me know in the comments, and I’ll set something up for you!

Neighborhood Updates

Do you know how many people in your neighborhood are on Periscope? Probably not, but a good way to find out is to do neighborhood updates on your farm areas. Use a hashtag related to your city or town to get attention. Talk about the real estate market, the back-to-school schedule, community events, construction projects – anything you can think of! Remember, a scope doesn’t have to be long. Just a few minutes is enough to engage and give great information.

Make a Periscope of Your Listings for Marketing

Interested in having folks see the best in your listings, rather than just hearing the input of the seller’s agent? You can’t be there an interrupt a showing, but you can give your side of the story. Use Periscope to give a walkthrough of your listing. Save the video on Katch.me, and then upload it to YouTube.

From there, it can be part of your real estate YouTube channel, and you can also imbed it in your website for the listing, or post it on Trulia or Zillow. This way, prospects see the best parts of your property, probably before they even schedule a listing with their agent.

Leverage Your Real Estate Expertise

Once you’ve got a few successful years under your belt, you’ve got something to share with others about real estate. If you been massively successful for a long time, you have even more to share. In both cases, you can leverage that knowledge into become a go-to expert on Periscope. You can choose to either speak to the public or other Realtors®. If you focus on the public, you can discuss issues like pricing, finding the best neighborhood, how to stage a home, architecture, and more. For Realtors®, host Q&As about handling common objections, or talk about some specifics of the real estate trade. Either way, becoming an expert raises your profile and credibility in the industry.

Let People Get to Know You

This strategy is something you want to do in conjunction with one of the others. Periscope is most helpful because it’s eminently believable. It’s raw, on the spot, uncut footage. Take advantage of that and let people get to know you a bit. Talk about your behind-the-scenes work, talk about funny mistakes you’ve made, or share about your family. Whatever you share, be careful about being too personal, since there are creepy people out there. However, don’t be shy about being yourself. Reality builds relationships, and relationships build business!!

Host How-To Presentations

As you share your expertise (Idea #3), consider making it more hands-on by doing a how-to presentation. Show people how to stage a single room of their house by demonstrating on your own, or a client’s home with permission. You can get an inexpensive tripod that will allow you to set up the phone to record while you move around the room. You could also share how-tos about fixing faucets, winterizing your home, or anything else you happen to be handy at.

Notice that not everything – in fact, very little – on this list was directly about selling. That’s because social media is great for building up relationships that lead to sales, not asking for sales immediately. No matter what you use Periscope for, share who you are, what you do, and a call to action for them to visit your website or sign up for your email list. That will take the relationship to the next step.

How do you use Periscope? And what are you interested in seeing a scope about? Share in the comments!

Three Ways Realtors® Can Market in Social Media Without Going Nuts

Realtor Social Media Marketing

Real estate marketing isn’t easy. It’s a simple fact – although you want to spend time on helping others buy and sell houses, you have to spend a significant amount of time standing out making sure people know you’re available.

When you throw social media into the marketing mix, it can get pretty overwhelming. Social media requires a lot of time and there’s a lot of pressure to be on EVERY platform. Unfortunately, this usually backfires – you end up with a poorly-maintained presence online, and are too stressed to give great service to the clients you do get.

So, here are three ways that Realtors® can make good choices in social media marketing without losing their minds.

Be Choosy

The first, most simple technique is this: DON’T be on everything. Choose 1 – 3 social media platforms that make the most sense for your business. What do people in your farm area use most? What do people looking to enter your area use most? By being fully present on the social media that your customers are active on, you’ll get great return for your effort.

In addition to choosing where your customers currently are, look at social media options that will allow you to get a leg up in the market. Periscope is a great example of a new platform where Realtors® can establish their expertise by being one of the first to share important real estate information. In addition, some social media options allow you to change how you do things, such as using Skype to communicate with distant clients face-to-face and using Periscope to host a safer, more efficient open house.

Create a Routine

All marketing efforts require consistency, including social media. You can’t post 3 times one day and then not post for two weeks and expect things to work out. Give social media the same routine consistency you give your other outreach efforts. Create a schedule and stick to it.

In creating a routine, mix automated interaction with real-time interaction. Use tools like BufferApp to schedule certain posts in advance, so they happen while you’re doing something else. Then, schedule one or two specific times to be online and do real-time chatting with your followers. By doing this, you can build a very consistent social media presence.

Know the Best Practices of the Platform

No matter what social media outlets you choose, you’ll be most effective if you know the best practices. Let’s say you chose Twitter, Facebook, and Periscope. If those are your choices, ignore articles about using Pinterest, Instagram, or other platforms. However, study closely the tips and tricks of Twitter, Facebook, and Periscope. Remember, you can’t do it all!

If you find that despite implementing the best practices, you’re not getting a good result from a specific social media outlet, don’t be afraid to shift to something else. Mind you, I didn’t say add something. Just shift. You can only do a few things well, so if after a few months you aren’t getting a following or results, you may need to try something new.

All of the new social media platforms can drive you crazy if you try to use them all at once. Instead, maximize your social media marketing using the three tips above: be choosy, create a routine, and know the best practices. Don’t be afraid to be flexible if things aren’t working after a good period of time. You can use social media without going nuts. Now you know how!

How do you make good use of social media without getting overwhelmed? Share in the comments!

16 Great Tips for Realtors Using Periscope

Periscope for Realtors

The previous post about using Periscope as a safer, more efficient technique for open houses generated a lot of buzz! Due to the interest, I wanted to follow up with a post outlining some tips and tricks for Realtors® using Periscope.

Things to Do

  • DO keep location turned on during your real estate scope. This will tell people where the home is located, and will allow you to be found by people searching a specific city or area.
  • DO use emojis. Emojis are small cartoon-like icons that demonstrate emotion or playful actions. This will help you be more relatable to your clients, and home-shaped emojis will also help you stand out as a Realtor®!
  • DO just jump in and do it! You’ll learn something new every time. Folks are scoping all kinds of random things, so don’t be shy!
  • DO plan a descriptive and catchy title. The title will bring people in.
  • DO announce who you are and what you plan to talk about in the beginning. Then, every few minutes, do a quick recap for folks who may have just joined.
  • DO answer common real estate questions. Do a Q&A scope, or cover a specific topic!
  • DO be an early adopter. If you get in now, you can be one of the key real estate experts.
  • DO schedule a private scope with one or two people to try it out and test features. Then, when you do your first public one, you’ll be ready!

If you want a test buddy, let me know! I’m happy to help you. I’m @NadineLarder.

Things NOT to Do

  • DO NOT scope and drive. If you see someone else doing so, exit the scope to discourage them.
  • DON’T ignore questions or comments. You’re there to interact! You can, however, say that you’re going to share and then take questions/comments at the end.
  • DON’T interrupt your sentence to answer a question or comment. It’s frustrating for those listening to your content.
  • DON’T use more than one hashtag. Your scope will have #Periscope added automatically, so by using an additional hashtag, you will end up with two. Any more than that looks cluttered.
  • DON’T think you need perfect hair and makeup and a practiced script. Know what you want to talk about, but be natural about it.
  • DON’T be afraid to block trolls. Some folks will make dumb or inappropriate comments. Tap on their name, tap on “block”, and move on.
  • DON’T have your camera below eye level. Folks don’t want to see up your nose. It’s best to hold the camera level with your face and look into the camera hole, so it looks like you’re making eye contact.
  • DON’T forget a call-to-action. Tell folks where they can find you online, on Facebook, and on Twitter. Offer a free download on your website so you can build your email list!

Periscope is a new world, and everyone using it is a newbie. It’s a great time to jump in, establish yourself as a real estate expert, and learn how to make great use of this platform. You’ll be learning right along with the rest of us!

If you have additional ideas about using Periscope for real estate, please let me know! On Twitter and Periscope, I’m @NadineLarder. I’d love to connect and follow you as well!

What questions do you have about using Periscope for real estate? Share in the comments!

Social Media Marketing For Realtors® | Why You Need It And How To Get Started

Source: Mashable

Source: Mashable

According to Pew Research, 91% of adult Americans own a cell phone, 56% of those being smart phone users. Mashable recently tweeted that 76% of U.S. Smartphone users have downloaded the Facebook app! I hope you have a social media game plan.

If you want to meet the people and be well networked to generate business, you can’t expect that people are going to come find you where you’re hanging out. The year 2002! You gotta go where the people are, and the statistics are clear, people are hanging out on social media sites like Facebook, on track to have 1.5 billion users by 2014.

Times change and things are always progressing forward, if you don’t keep up, you’re destined and doomed to be left behind. Social media is where people are gathering, keeping in touch, asking for referrals and so much more, you must present and participate if you want to remain relevant.

If you don’t have a social media strategy, it’s time to get one. If you do have social media accounts and you’re not on them, it’s time to get active and get yourself out there. The world around you is connecting via Facebook and you really are missing out if you’re not there. You’re not so much missing out on a party or a good time, you’re missing out on connecting with people, building relationships and building your brand. You’re missing out on business to other Realtors who are connecting with your sphere of influence on-line. Those Realtors who are active, are talking about the market, sharing their expertise, and offering advice. They’re becoming the “go-to” Realtor for questions regarding the real estate market because their available and present. Go figure.

If you’ve been holding off on social media because you’re not sure “how to do it”, the best way to learn is to participate and watch what other people do. Pay attention to what you like and what you don’t when it comes to how others approach it. Please be sure to connect with me on social media, you’ll find me on Facebook, Twitter, Linked In and Google+.

RT @mashable: 76.1% of U.S. smartphone owners have downloaded the Facebook app https://twitter.com/mashable/status/378271772313157632/photo/1

Real Estate Marketing: Why Social Media Doesn’t Work

IMG_1729 A recent rant about social media on Inman News by Dave Barr left me wondering what has Dave all worked up and insisting social media doesn’t work. He was very absolute in his thinking when he said “Social media is a joke and does not produce any results, regardless of which platform you use.” This was in response to an article about social media effectiveness. I myself, tend to disagree with Dave and feel a social media presence essential to your success, which led me to wanting to investigate further.

Dave says social media doesn’t work, but has social media channels. The big question in my mind was…how active and committed is Dave to his social media channels? Is he truly working at social media and coming up empty or is he coming up empty because he’s not working at it? When someone is truly committed, they rarely come up empty.

Here’s what “my five-minute social media investigation” identified:

  • Dave’s website is quite nice and very well branded with links to his social media outlets. Nice logo and color scheme!
  • I couldn’t find Dave on Facebook. Social media channels must be on to work.
  • Dave does have a Twitter feed, but it isn’t consistent. @sarasota_homes
  • Dave has a blog hosted on Blogger, not his own domain, which serves up awesome content for Blogger, but not for Dave. Blogs need to be self-hosted to be effective Internet search marketing tools.
  • I was impressed to see how active Dave was on YouTube with videos.  Nice work!
  • Dave’s last post on Google+ was two-months ago. Google+ isn’t my strong suit either Dave, but I’m working on it! Google+ is becoming a much more important social media outlet when you consider Google being “God of all search”.  Bill Gusset (@massrealty) is a Realtor® who is big on Google+ and writes about it.  I know Bill, 100% due to his social media presence and if I needed a Realtor in Massachusetts, he’d be the guy I’d call!  Social media absolutely works for people like Bill, who are active and dedicated to it.

The moral of the story here is that you mustIMG_1730 participate for social media to be effective. If you aren’t active in your posting, conversing, sharing, Tweeting and retweeting, liking, following, “1+ing”, connecting, “Pinning” and “Repinning”, “YouTubing” or otherwise, how do you expect to see results? Results come to those who work at it, unless your Joe Montana who joined Twitter (@joemontana) in January 2013 and had 35,655 followers in less than three-months, with only 32 posts. He did his time winning all those Super Bowls, so he doesn’t have to work as hard at his “social media” game.  Within the first few days of having a Twitter account, he had 1,972 retweets on one of his posts.

I’m really not trying to bust anyone’s chops as my own social media plan needs constant work, attention and improvement.  I want to highlight how important it is to commit yourself to something if you really want to see results.

We just launched a new Facebook Page specific to Real Estate Marketing Magazine and hope you’ll join us there!  You too Dave, it’s about everything real estate marketing related and it will help you stay connected and current.

Sources: Inman News