Ready or not, real estate is in the midst of a digital transformation.
Even before the global pandemic hit in the spring of 2020, most people looking to buy or sell a home were starting their search online.
A 2019 study by the US National Association of Realtors (NAR) found that 88% of all buyers at that time were using the internet to search for homes, with 92% of all millennial and Gen Y buyers relying on online research more than any other search tool.
Now, more than 18 months later, those numbers have only gone up.
All things real estate (property searches, closings, and in some cases, home tours themselves) were forced to move online in 2020 — and many of those practices seem to be here to stay.
According to NAR:
- 97% of all homebuyers are using the internet in their home search.
- Buyers typically search for eight weeks, viewing nine homes, five of which are viewed solely online.
- The top three tech tools that provide realtors with quality leads are social media (52%), followed by Customer Relationship Management (31%), and MLS sites (28%).
- 90% of realtors use Facebook, and 52% use Instagram.
So, what does this all mean?
In short, if you’re not making the most of your online presence, you’re missing out.
Still, so many realtors skimp on social media, making these critical mistakes that can ultimately be detrimental to their full business potential.
Let’s take a closer look at the top 5 mistakes realtors make on social media:
Mistake #1: Stick to business (and nothing personal)
Showing your followers who you are is the cornerstone for social media success, yet so many realtors don’t take the opportunity to share about themselves.
Post work-related information, but also a look into your personal life. Think of your business page as your personal account. People love seeing photos of your kids, what your day-to-day routine looks like, where you’re spending your time, and what’s important to you.
Remember: People want to work with you because they like you, not just your business. Give them a glimpse into who you are and what your personality is like, and you’re more likely to stick in their mind when they go looking for a realtor.
Mistake #2: Rely on your company brand
In real estate, your face is arguably the most essential part of your brand. You need people to recognize you, so show your face as much as possible — and that goes for more than just photos.
When you’re at an open house, property showing, or community event, take a video of yourself and post it to your social media pages. Polished, planned videos (home tours, IG TV clips, or Reels) can be posted to your main feed, while more spontaneous videos are perfect for Stories.
To further distinguish yourself, don’t just rely on your broker logo. Instead, invest the time and money to create one that’s specific to you. A clean, professional-looking logo will allow you to be recognized on social media, on your marketing materials, on your signage — everywhere!
Mistake #3: Be vague about who you serve and where they live
As of last year, the number of realtors in the United States had reached an all-time high at nearly 1.5 million. This trend means now, more than ever, you need to find a way to differentiate yourself from the competition.
My suggestion: Drill down on exactly who and what location you serve. I know this may sound counterintuitive but being specific about your market niche is more likely to grow a solid client base than making a blanket statement about the areas you cover.
For example, if your focus is selling to first-time homebuyers, make that clear. And if you work in Northern Virginia, saying you handle “all of NOVA” might make a buyer in one of the surrounding counties feel like you’re spread too thin. Be specific about your focus, and a more targeted client base will follow.
Mistake #4: Make finding new clients your top priority
While you absolutely want to reach a new audience with your social media presence, remember that’s not what it’s all about. Nurturing relationships with your past customers — clients, family, friends, colleagues — is equally important and will keep you top-of-mind when someone asks for a referral, or they go looking to buy or sell again.
Post a mix of new listings, event updates, market tips, and evergreen content to keep all of your followers happy. This includes articles, blogs, and information that answer the questions potential clients would ask.
You can also broaden your posts to cover community-driven content. What are some new restaurants or events that people should check out? What’s going on with the local schools? Do you have a list of your favorite shops or seasonal activities? Become the go-to resource for all things local, so your content stays relevant and exciting all year round.
Mistake #5: Doubt the power of social media
You know those old mailers realtors love to send out? Unfortunately, most beautiful marketing materials wind up in the trash if the recipient isn’t in the market to buy or sell.
With social media, on the other hand, you have the opportunity to consistently show up in a place where your audience hangs out every single day, so make the most of it!
Potential clients are looking for you on social media. Optimize this opportunity to reach a new audience, share information and listings, engage with buyers and sellers, and build meaningful relationships with current and potential clients.
At Brand Social Marketing, we love working with realtors, and we’ve created customized social media practices to best grow your unique client base! If you have questions about what your next steps should be or how we can work together, please reach out at any time!