The sudden emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic has emphasized the importance of online connectivity more than ever. With strict social distancing measures and community restrictions still in place, businesses have relied heavily on online marketing to engage with customers and promote their products. And this includes real estate businesses.
As we entered the next age of software development, the world is relentlessly becoming more and more digital. According to the Digital 2020 Global Overview Report published by We Are Social, a global creative agency, there were over 5.19 billion mobile phone users in 2020. And 3.8 billion of these are active social media users. True enough, in the absence of physical contact, people have resorted to social media platforms to connect with people both for personal communication and business transactions.
This is also true in the real estate market. The COVID-19 pandemic has driven record-high social media and app usage among property seekers to find listings and connect with real estate agents online. Gone are the days when agents solely depend on cold calling and emailing strategies to attract potential buyers. The property market is now officially online.
According to a report by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), 77% of real estate agents in the United States are actively using social media in some way. While this statistical data may not be true in other parts of the world, this reflects a serious need for property agents to take their social media marketing seriously in 2021.
Though social media has gained tremendous popularity over the years, some real estate agents are still hesitant in using the platform for business purposes. If you’re one of those agents who haven’t leveraged your social media presence in the online real estate market, here are 5 reasons to convince you why you should shift your focus in 2021:
1. Social media widens your market reach
With more than 3 billion users, it’s not surprising how social media could bring your digital marketing efforts to the next level.
According to NAR’s report, 47% of high-quality leads in the property market came from social media. In another recent study by The Close, a real estate website, 44% of property agents claimed that they gained new clients in 2020 from their social media posts. While traditional marketing techniques, such as cold calling and print advertising are still in effect, they lag far behind social media marketing. In fact, social media marketing ranked second in attracting new leads behind referrals.
Here’s a snapshot of the findings from The Close’s survey:
Source: The Close
2. Social media builds your community following
Believe it or not, real estate agents are becoming social media stars. Though you might not get similar online popularity as the Kardashians, having over a hundred thousand followers wouldn’t hurt.
While 77% of agents are using social media “in some way,” only a few are actually using it to market their property listings. As the internet becomes the go-to resource for available properties, future homeowners would typically use their mobile devices to do their online house hunt. They will not just need photos but also virtual tours of the property. What better way to showcase your listing but through social media? They will not just need photos but also real estate videos like virtual tours, open houses, drone videos, etc of the property. What better way to showcase your listing but through social media?
Based on NAR’s report, Facebook continues to be the leading social media site for property agents, followed by LinkedIn. Instagram doesn’t fall behind and is the third most popular social media among real estate agents. The platform’s photo and video sharing features make it an effective tool to build your following and showcase your listings.
If you need inspiration, take a look at these three successful Instagram accounts of real estate agents:
Chad Carroll (@chadcarroll) – 506k followers
Joyce Rey (@joycereyrealestate) – 102k followers
Kevin Vaughan (@kevin.vaughan) – 76k followers
3. Social media helps you engage with your target market
With strict community restrictions still in place, it is not surprising why social media marketing is the second most popular strategy to attract new clients. Social media sites have replaced in-person meetings. Because of the platform’s nature to connect people virtually, it is easier for property seekers to engage with real estate agents in a way that is difficult with emails and multiple listing services (MLS). Social media enables property agents to communicate to their clients personally and visually.
Social media is also a great platform to learn about your target clients’ goals when it comes to their dream home. Because of its relaxed online culture, it is easier for your clients to engage with your posts and ask questions about your listings.
In a study published by Sprout Social, a social media management company, 57% of buyers will follow a brand to learn about upcoming products or services. After following a brand on social media, they continue to engage in different ways, such as visiting the brand’s website or app (99%), making a purchase (85%), or giving a referral to their family and friends (85%).
Given these statistics, leveraging your social media presence will surely create much-needed attention and engagement for your property listings.
4. Social media helps you monitor trends and competitors
To rephrase the adage, “keep your clients close and your competitors closer.” Social media is not only a great platform to connect with your target market, but also to monitor real estate trends and your competitors’ strategies.
With social media, it is now easier to see the latest home buying trends using certain hashtags and know what your customers truly want.
While you should not get caught up comparing yourself with other property agents, knowing how others market their listings, how they engage with their clients, what type of real estate videos are others creating, and what promotional campaigns they use will help you create a competitive analysis. Creating your own competitive social media analysis will allow you to discover more about competitor brands and help you determine the best strategies that would work for you and your client. Furthermore, tracking your competitors will also allow you to benchmark your performance against other agents in the locality.
5. Social media helps you build trust and authority
The real estate market is a service market. As such, business transactions are built on trust.
With the popularity of social media marketing, it is easy for consumers to get turned off by too much promotional content. While social media is a great tool to market your listings, it is also a powerful platform to build trust among your clients.
Giving your followers and target market a glimpse of your day-to-day life will help them connect with you on a more personal level. Buyers are also more likely to trust experts in a certain industry. Your social media accounts can help you showcase your expertise in your local market.
By posting relevant content and answering frequently asked questions related to certain properties and home buying processes, you are building your brand reputation of trust and authority.
So, what’s next?
As the numbers would suggest, the best time to improve your social media presence is now. Realtors need to maximize their social media channels not just to attract new clients and promote listings, but also to build their brand reputation. Not only is social media a free platform that requires low to no cost at all, but it is also effective in building your online presence as we enter a new age of digital development.
If you’re not yet ready to scale your social media strategies for growth, here’s a recap of the 5 benefits that will convince you to update your profile picture on Instagram:
- Social media widens your market reach.
- Social media builds your community following.
- Social media helps you engage with your target market.
- Social media helps you monitor trends and competitors.
- Social media helps you build trust and authority.
Do you have other social media tips that you want to share with our growing community? Let us know in the comment section below!
An author of Namaste UI, published several articles focused on blogging, business, web design & development, e-commerce, finance, health, lifestyle, marketing, social media, SEO, travel.
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