Social media is a double-edged sword for Realtors. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn bring countless opportunities for agents to meet new clients, but misusing these platforms can hurt their pre-existing businesses and even their reputations.
Before you tweet one of your new listings or post a status update on Facebook, make sure you follow these tips on how to present yourself on social media.
Tip #1: Be professional, but still have a personality.
Your social media profiles are not just a window into what you do with your free time but an insight into who you are as a person. Through your profile and posts, people will decide if you’re the type of person with whom they want to do business.
Remember that your social media followers always value seeing your personal experiences. Sharing photos of hobbies or outdoor activities is an invaluable way to pique interest and generate meaningful connections. Sharing photos of a recent vacation to Hawaii or biking along a neighborhood path show you’re a real person with interests outside of real estate.
While your connections might enjoy a glimpse of your experiences, they don’t necessarily care for your opinions. Your immediate circle of friends might enjoy an adult joke or a unique viewpoint on a political or social topic. But when you post those things on social media, you risk alienating potential homeowners who may not enjoy that joke or share your political beliefs. It’s best not to share edgier sentiments at all.
Even when you have a strong grasp of what to share and what topics to avoid, you still run into the problem of oversharing. Family photos or selfies with friends can be appreciated by your audience, but posting them too often can turn you into a nuisance. Sharing too much also generates the impression that you have nothing better to do than post images on your social feeds all day. Focus on consistently posting once a day or once every few days as to not annoy or alienate anyone.
Tip #2: Incorporate examples from your own life when discussing real estate.
Let’s say you have a new listing you know would be a great fit for any one of your social connections. You post the listing on your page, expecting to be flooded with hundreds of inquiries on it. But when you return to your computer, you see that the post doesn’t have a single like, you haven’t received a single new email, and your phone has remained silent. What went wrong?
You didn’t make it personal! Whether it’s a cute photo, a funny cat video, an insightful news article or even a real estate listing, share-ability is largely based on how relatable a post is and its ability to invoke an emotional response. Nobody on Facebook is going to care about a picture of a house. However, they will have an emotional response to a story about someone buying a house.
It’s important to use emotional examples from your own career and personal life in sharing on social media. If you have a listing you know would be great for young, first-time homeowners, then incorporate a story about how you helped two similar homeowners in the past into another home and how happy they are now.
If you’re trying to find a buyer for an upscale, 7-bedroom home in a popular neighborhood, it might help to share the humorous story about the great lengths your best friend went through to find a house in that area.
If you leave your business card on a bulletin board at a restaurant, social media is the place you’ll communicate with everyone who picked up your card. And the way to ensure they don’t throw your card away is by appealing to emotion and being memorable.
Tip #3. Have courteous but non-invasive communication with homebuyers.
With every new advance in communication, businesses have found new ways to annoy consumers. The mail brought us junk mail, the telephone brought us telemarketers, email brought us spam mail, and social media has ushered in targeted advertisements.
The thing that junk mail, telemarketers, and annoying newsfeed popups have in common is that they are all unwanted and invasive. Realtors can still make meaningful connections with clients on social media, just as long as they do so on the client’s terms. Posting on someone’s wall or tagging them feels invasive and like spam, but sending a direct message asking if that client would be interested in connecting is more professional. Additionally, it puts the ball in the client’s court.
Another way to build non-invasive relationships is to look for neighborhood groups where you have listings. These groups are public, and their members are used to individuals sharing news or business proposals from around the neighborhood. Often, people in these groups know of a friend or acquaintance who wants to move to that neighborhood and can use your listing as a reference. But don’t do this too often in the same group. Otherwise, you might earn a reputation of being a spammer.
Tip #4: Find a way to gain customers that feels natural and isn’t “salesy.”
Some homebuyers know that they’re looking to buy a home. Others are waiting until they have a certain amount in the bank for a down-payment, and some haven’t even considered the possibility of homeownership at all. Once you’ve landed a lead online, the one thing that you need to do, regardless of what category of homebuyer they are, is make them feel comfortable. You want to let your homebuyer know you aren’t trying to force them to decide; you’re just a helpful guide to serve them along the way.
On social media, don’t bombard them with messages or like their statuses or tweets. Just periodically check in, every few weeks or months, to tell them you’re available to help them find a home when they’re ready. That way, when they are ready to decide, you’ll be fresh in their mind — the agent who was calm and patient instead of predatory — and they’ll stick with you.
The rise of social media has forced Realtors not only to reevaluate how they use these platforms to connect and engage with homebuyers but how they run their businesses as a whole. With just a smartphone, you can maintain your social media presence and generate new leads online, regardless of where you are in the world.
It’s also changed how business is done. For example, did you know that you can hire a Virtual Assistant to help you out with just about everything?
Assistants can help you with social media, edit listing photos, check on paperwork and even set up listing appointments for you. Why spend countless hours on busywork when you could be out making real sales?
What if there was a way you could manage your business just as effectively on the road as you could at the office?
This book details exactly how to do that. You'll learn:
- How to get virtual assistants to set up listing appointments for you.
- How to develop a system to handle messaging, even when you aren’t there
- How to minimize grunt work so you can focus on the real work.
The best part? The book is free; all you need is just $2.95 for shipping. Click the link below for more info:
Joe Nickelson is a real estate professional dedicated to helping home buyers and sellers achieve their dreams of owning property, and helping real estate agents stop using the sometimes-vicious tactics that weigh on their consciences. He believes that the Smart Agents books will, quite literally, change people’s lives for the better. Check out his full bio here!