Yesterday, on the 61st episode of The Thrifty Marketer Talks, I had Kurt Uhlir, a marketer and brand builder focused on real estate, as the guest. We discussed how the real estate industry has evolved and how marketing has changed over the years. Realtors and Real Estate firms have embraced social media and similar digital marketing strategies to establish their brands, carve their niche, and grow their businesses.
As per the latest statistics, 47% of real estate companies find social media as the best avenue to generate leads, whereas 77% of realtors use social media for their business in some way or another. Interesting, isn't it? Yes, it is because real estate is one of those niche sectors known for its stiff competition and drastic fluctuations in market conditions.
Real estate agents and firms face several challenges in today's economy, such as:
Volatile Markets - Characterized by frequent price fluctuations impacting tactics and profits.
Economic Downturns - Factors like recession can drive demand down and impact growth.
Stiff Competition - Real estate is a fiercely competitive field that makes it difficult for agents and firms to stand out.
Changing Buyer Preferences - Changes in consumer choices make it tough for agents and firms to stay on course.
Technology Interventions - Technology, like social media, listing platforms, property management, etc., has brought challenges.
Reputation Management - With consumers having the power to share negative reviews online, managing reputation takes time and effort.
Since social media is such a powerful tool for realtors and real estate firms, here are ten creative ideas that can give their social media game a boost:
Idea #1 - Showcase Your Listings with High-Quality Visual Content
With studies proving that the human brain processes 90% of information as visuals, visual content is impactful for delivering brand messages. It is ideal for educational, lead generation, informational, and branding content. It is found that 55% of users retain more information when paired with an image. So images and other forms of visual content are super important for marketing.
How can real estate agents and firms leverage visual content?
Real estate players and agents must use visual content such as images and videos to showcase their brand. They can use visual content to tell the brand or founder's story, promote their listings or projects, share customer success stories, general market news, and educational information for their buyers.
Visual content can take the form and shape of:
Social media graphics
Short videos for social media channels
Here are some tips for creating high-quality visual content:
Use tools like Canva or Invideo with readymade templates that you can easily customize for your content needs.
Leverage live streaming options on social platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to go live to showcase special moments or behind the scenes.
Repurpose your existing content into visual content. For example, every listing can be a good social media post with an exciting graphic.
Use your smartphone camera to shoot amazing videos of your listing, and do not forget to give a walkthrough of the neighborhoods.
Leverage Instagram and Facebook stories to showcase listings and important news effectively.
Idea #2 - Host a Virtual Home Tour or Open House
With technology by your side, you can now conduct virtual home tours and open houses whenever you want. These virtual tours can help prospective buyers or existing clients see what's latest in your collection. And here comes the best part - these virtual tours can accommodate as many guests (viewers) as possible. And this content can stay with you for repurposing into short videos and more.
Now you can use Facebook and Instagram live to give property tours or open houses of all your listings. These can be pre-planned, and with proper promotion, you can boost the reach of these live sessions. Another important factor is the live interaction you can receive with these sessions. Your viewers (prospective buyers) can ask you questions, and you can solve their queries live.
With virtual property tours, buyers can now have a first-hand experience of a property without stepping out of the comfort of their homes. They can ask their questions, share their concerns, and, when convinced, take the next step.
Idea #3 - Collaborate with Local Influencers and Businesses
The next impactful idea for using social media for building your real estate business is collaboration. Identifying and collaborating with the right partners can boost your reach and increase the reach of your social media content. With these collaborations, you can leverage your partner's network and reap benefits by reaching a wider audience.
The most important factor with this idea is identifying the right local influencers and businesses for collaboration. With the right partner, these collaborative efforts can bring amazing results for your real estate brand. The ideal partners for collaboration can be real estate influencers, local businesses, lifestyle bloggers, local influencers, and real estate experts.
Here are a few ways you can collaborate effectively:
Bring local businesses as partners during open house events, like caterers and cafes.
By collaborating with the right local businesses, offer discounts or incentives to your buyers.
Do local events like workshops with the right establishment or brand as a partner.
Collaborate with local lifestyle bloggers on content development.
Work with local real estate influencers on producing social media campaigns.
Idea #4 - Develop a Social Media Content Series or Campaign
Another idea that can bring a lot of traction to your real estate business is creating a series of social media content on specific themes. With a content series, your audience will get accustomed to it, and it can also gain virality or become popular among them.
Some key things to remember while working on a content series are:
Stick to a theme (Real Estate Thursdays, House of the Week, etc.).
Be consistent and stick to the schedule.
Leverage tools to prepare and deliver the content.
Get support if you need to keep it running.
Promote it well and ask your existing client to chime in as well.
Engage with your audience and answer their queries.
Here are some examples of thematic content series for real estate agents and firms:
Weekly Virtual Open House (Open House Fridays)
House of the Week
Weekly Customer Spotlight
Daily Home Buyer Tip
Idea #5 - Provide Expert Advice and Resources for Homebuyers and Sellers
As a real estate agent or business, you must focus on producing content that will make you a trusted partner for home buyers and sellers in your locality. Buying a home is one of the most important decisions in everyone's life. So having a trustworthy real estate partner by your side can be a welcome relief for every home buyer.
You can leverage social media to become that trusted partner for your clients and prospects. Create valuable content focused on delivering the best value to your audience. These can be advice for buying homes, getting the best mortgage rates, choosing the right neighborhood, and more.
Make it a practice to share valuable resources with your audience via content curation consistently. Identify the right sources of information and develop a habit of curating and sharing valuable information with your audience.
Idea #6 - Host a Social Media Contest or Giveaway
Another way to gain traction on your social media channels as a real estate professional is hosting a contest or giveaway for your audience. A contest can boost your audience's participation and create a buzz for your brand. It will also help you promote your real estate business to a wider audience. You can create excitement and bump up participation by offering prizes or incentivizing participation.
Here are some ways you or your real estate brand can leverage social media contests and giveaways:
Referral Contest: Encourage your existing clients and audience to refer new buyers to your business and earn gifts. These gifts can be coupons, free home-related services like cleaning, etc.
Content Contests: Hold contests where your audience can post content like photos and videos on your social media. These can be pictures or videos of their dream homes, modifications, etc. These contests will help in creating user-generated content for your channels.
Holiday Contests: You can ask your community to post pictures from their best holidays or dream holidays; the best one can take the prize home.
Idea #7 - Engage with Your Followers and Encourage User-Generated Content
Here is an interesting statistic for you - 92% of shoppers rely on reviews and testimonials while choosing a brand. Interesting, right?
Your customer testimonials and reviews are your real estate brand's most powerful content assets. So always remember to deliver the best experience to your clients/prospects and encourage them to leave their reviews for your brand online. Engaging with your audience and always looking for avenues to create user-generated content is imperative on social media.
User-generated content for real estate companies can be:
Social media shout-outs
Online reviews on Google, Yelp, etc.
Customer testimonials on your website and social media
Participation of your buyers in your social media content, like live streams
Contests on social media platforms
Idea #8 - Use Paid Social Advertising to Target the Right Audiences
Another idea to leverage social media platforms for boosting your real estate brand is paid advertising. You can advertise with location targeting to your audience on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. These platforms bring powerful targeting capabilities with their paid advertisements, including demographics, interests (home purchase or mortgage), location, and behaviors of your audience.
So you can build targeted campaigns with your best offers for prospective home buyers in a locality and gain traction. Other modes of targeting you can utilize with paid social media include:
Lookalike Audiences: These audiences exhibit similar characteristics to your target audience.
Retargeting: You can use retargeting to target users who have interacted with your brand.
Ensure you understand your advertisement goals and prepare content per the format specified by platforms to promote your best offer to your audience. By sticking to these best practices, you can deliver the right message to the right audience at the right time on the right platform. Doing this can help you generate leads, boost engagement, and grow your community.
Idea #9 - Stay Current with Social Media Trends and Best Practices
The last idea I want to leave you with is a long-term one. This idea can bring tremendous results for you as an agent and your brand in the long run. As social media has become a critical element in every real estate company's marketing plan, you must keep yourself updated on the latest in the field. Doing this will give you a first-mover advantage compared to the other realtors or agents in your locality.
Staying updated will help you adopt the latest best practices and social media platforms as and when they crop up. You will also be the first to leverage the latest social trends to promote your brand. So invest time and energy in following the right blogs, communities, and thought leaders in social media. Learn about new trends, practices, and algorithmic updates and adopt them for your social media success.
As a modern real estate agent or firm in today's competitive world, you must be creative and strategic regarding social media. With the right strategies and tactics, you can utilize social media platforms to boost your brand awareness, establish yourself as a trusted partner, and carve a niche for your brand. You must understand that social media marketing is a long-term play, and you will need all the creative ideas to succeed.
Your brand must adopt best practices like posting valuable content consistently, engaging with your audience, answering their queries promptly, and connecting with the right partners. By staying updated on the trends and adopting them first, you and your brand will become your target buyers' go-to real estate advisors.
P.S: Do not miss Episode 61 of The Thrifty Marketer Talks on Maximizing Your Real Estate Marketing: Proven Strategies for Agents and Firms with Kurt Uhlir - Click Here