As 2018 wraps up, there’s time to reflect on real estate’s
marketing landscape. How were agents using their social media platforms as
marketing channels in 2018, and what powerful opportunities lie ahead in the
According to the National Association of REALTORS®’
September 2018 Technology Survey, 77 percent of members use social
media networks in some capacity. Of the respondents, 26 percent used social
networks with the main purpose of marketing, and 25 percent used their networks
for cultivating and maintaining client relationships.
It’s time to look at the most
useful strategies real estate professionals can employ to reach their target
market through social media channels. For those ready to plan their efforts,
here are three strategies to focus on in the new year.
1. Instagram Presence and Profile Building
NAR reports that only 39 percent of
agents use Instagram, which presents a competitive advantage for those ready to
invest in the channel. The visual-centric app reached 1 billion monthly users
as of June 2018, indicating
the potential for content exposure alone makes having an Instagram account
increasingly important for business.
When utilizing Instagram, real estate pros can build a
professional and approachable image to perpetuate meaningful, personal
interactions with leads and clients. Features such as long-form, vertical video
viewing platform IGTV, live videos, stories, and ads are great options agents
can use to their advantage.
Promoting Story Highlights
A noteworthy feature is Instagram’s story highlights. After
posting a photo or video to your Instagram story, you can go back later and pin
that media to appear on your main profile. Real estate pros can use their
profiles to feature introductory videos, property-related posts, neighborhood
profiles, and other content they find relevant to their persona. This is an
excellent way to telegraph who you are and how you might be a good fit for
potential clients. It’s also an effective way to recycle quality content that
was shared previously.
2. Maximizing Facebook Reach: Chatbots and Ads
With the majority of real estate professionals already using
Facebook as a platform, what strategies are the most effective in boosting
reach? In 2019, agents should focus on automated messages or chatbots and ads
to get the most out of Facebook.
Automated Messages and Chatbots
Swift messenger response times have an impact on client relationships
and conversions. Client expectations are changing, and most consumers expect a Facebook response
within six hours.
Automated messages, commonly known as “chatbots,” can be
used to begin the communication exchange and provide speedier response times.
Chatbots increase convenience and efficiency for both the professional and the
client, answering basic questions or giving general information while agents
are away from their computers.
When creating a chatbot, consider giving the bot a personal
touch to align with your business’s brand image and humanize the interaction.
To let clients know they are talking to a bot, the bot can also be given a “bot
name.” This generates transparency while fostering a friendly tone. Manychat and MobileMonkey are
excellent options for creating powerful Facebook chatbots without requiring
much technical expertise.
Organic reach on Facebook has
declined over the past few years, even for larger account
pages. There are two factors: an increased amount of competition and changes in
Facebook’s algorithm to show less business content in users’ news feeds.
Creating ads with the right content doesn’t have to be tedious; in fact, it can
be scheduled and seamless. Ads are a way to get
in front of potential customers without having to navigate Facebook’s News Feed
3. Cross-Channel Video Marketing
As someone working in real estate, you’ll find it’s worth
investing time and resources into video marketing to
share content across all channels in 2019. Only 38 percent of NAR
members currently use video marketing, yet more than three-fourths (78 percent)
of the world’s mobile data traffic is predicted to be video by 2021. It’s better to
get ahead of the curve now.
All social media platforms offer multiple ways to record and
share video content. Agents should incorporate videos weekly, and the content
should vary; consider making agent-centered videos, client-centered videos, and
property or location previews. It’s also important to format videos for use
across all platforms. Keep videos short, simple, and focused on one purpose. In
a previous article, I outlined four main types of real
estate videos: introductions, testimonials, neighborhood tours, and
open house videos. Here are some ideas for how to bolster your testimonial and
Make Past Clients Comfortable
Powerful and authentic, video testimonials offer agents and
brokers a world of possibilities to showcase clients’ satisfaction to connect
with new leads. Some clients are very open to participating in video
testimonials, so start with close contacts who may be viable sources. Once
confirmed, give your clients clear expectations before filming and a list of
questions so that they feel confident and prepared in advance. Agents should
select clients who have unique, engaging, and positive feedback. Shoot in a
convenient location and ensure the lighting, sound, and ambiance are
Consider using aerial drone videos to expand on the depth
and space of a property, offering a more comprehensive snapshot. Highlight
distinct property or neighborhood characteristics that clients may not
otherwise notice. Using drone video for virtual tours creates a more natural
and fluid experience in comparison with station-based methods, as drones can
fly freely inside the listing and travel seamlessly to each room. Create an
immersive drone video experience by adding background music or professional
voice-overs with historical or listing feature information.
Learning From the Past
To begin planning for the new year, it’s vital that real
estate professionals evaluate 2018 metrics and key performance indicators. Some
good signs of marketing success include funnel conversion rates, client
engagement, return on investment, and retention. Evaluate your business results
against these indicators to identify successes and opportunities from 2018, and
then set clear expectations for 2019. Follow current marketing channels and use
the data they provide to refocus and implement new social media strategies for
the year to come.
Article by Adrian Fisher. Reprinted from REALTOR®
Magazine Online, Nov. 2018, with permission of the National Association of
REALTORS®. Copyright 2018. All rights reserved.