If it seems like the hashtag #realestate is trending, that is because it probably is. On an average day, the phrase is used 972 times on Twitter, garnering 638,916 impressions! It’s no wonder real estate professionals and investors are turning to social media to build relationships, market properties, and grow their businesses.
So, how do you get started? How can you tell when your social media initiatives are working? Most importantly, how should you streamline processes so you spend less time on social and more time basking in the benefits? These tips can help.
Pinpoint Your Goals
Are you looking to form relationships with real estate agents so they will let you know about top REO properties? Do you want to reach buyers? Connect with prospective tenants? Determine the objectives you want to achieve through social media. This will steer your decisions regarding the best networks to use and the right content to share.
“To be successful in social media, you will want to find your niche and the voice that resonates with your audience and is consistent with your brand,” says Amy Zimmer, an associate broker at Hall and Hunter Realtors, Birmingham, Alabama. “It also takes discipline. Spend a little bit of time each day cultivating relationships in the social media world by interacting with other people, as well as getting your own material out there.”
Determine the Best Digital “Locations”
Just as in real estate, location is everything in social media marketing. Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and real estate-specific networks like RedFin, Realtors, Zillow, and BiggerPockets all represent good opportunities for investors to forge connections. However, it does not pay to stretch yourself too thin.
Instead, focus on one or two networks where you feel most comfortable, then focus on building a network and providing value to your followers. Michael Aharoni, executive director of Sell to a Veteran, Inc., a non-profit organization that helps veterans navigate the homebuying landscape, first focused on engaging with his Facebook network of close to 2,000 NYC-based business professionals, and then branched out to create a Twitter following by sharing similar content.
“I invested the time to build personal relationships on Facebook, and now I am gaining visibility on Twitter and extending my reach,” he says.
You can use tools to help you streamline social media management. Recommended resources include HootSuite, a social media scheduling application, or IFTTT, a Web-based service that lets you connect your social media platforms and automate certain tasks, such as posting to Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram simultaneously at optimal times of the day.
Share the Right Content
Bill Gassett, @massrealty on Twitter, has almost 31,000 followers, and attracts the attention of buyers, investors, and the media with homebuying tips and a daily Twitter newsletter. Entitled “Real Estate Social Media Marvels,” the online digest curates the best real estate and social media marketing content from Gassett’s massive network.
Where do you find content that people will want to read and share? Look in all the places you normally read tips and articles: Newsletters delivered to your inbox, your favorite industry blogs and websites, and industry leaders you follow on social media.
Finding great content does not have to take long if you create a file of useful articles as you find them, which only takes a few minutes per day. Then, Zimmer advises, spend an hour each week scheduling the content.
“If you wait to find all your content at once, you could spend hours looking for the right article,” she says, noting that she invests about 30 minutes per day engaging with followers who respond to her posts. “By pre-scheduling posts, I can spend my time as a real estate agent, not a social media manager,” she says.
Why Go Social?
“Investors can place targeted Facebook ads to let people know they are looking for houses to buy or to reach prospective buyers in their area,” Aharoni says. “Investors have to be diligent and use multiple tactics, including social media, to get insight into what is coming onto the market before it is even listed.”
Zimmer adds that her involvement in social media helps her stay on top of industry trends, sell homes, and raise her agency’s profile and visibility.
Whether you are looking for homebuyers or tips on up and coming neighborhoods, social media provides yet another avenue to achieve success.
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