How Estate Agents can gain more from Social Media.

Confidently, only a couple of years ago, most people would agree that you’d never be able to sell a property on social media, but as we are seeing time and time again, the power of social media is helping more and more estate agents to get the results they are looking for.

Yes, a house purchase is rarely spontaneous and it isn’t something we order online like we do a pizza takeaway or a new washing machine from that discount online electrical store, but nonetheless, the shop window that social media provides is growing in strength and more and more time is spent on these social media channels by more and more users.

We must accept that progress is inevitable. Where we are now is a world that our mobile phones enable us to do so much more compared to what they did only twenty years ago – This means that a whole new generation have grown up with a constant advancements in online and mobile technology and especially within the UK, many youngster / teenagers have mobile devices and are very much tuned in to social media and the services / entertainment it offers.

It is important to think beyond the normal latest listings you want to share and instead put more time towards advising people on important decisions within their home buying process such as legals, choosing the best mortgage, planning permission for that extension, decorating/interior designing and even on issues relating to their local community such as property prices, new developments planned in the region and results from the local authority on schools etc.

So with social media being a potential profitable marketing channel, how can you benefits from some clever ideas to action on these channels to build your brand awareness and increase your chances of new business?

Getting your community to engage with you is particularly highlighted as a great way to gain ROI from social media so let us look at a few examples on how to do this:

  • You are not the only business running in your local community and sometimes the power of 2 is stronger than the power of just 1 – Tie in with another local business to increase brand awareness by running events for the those who are local to enjoy: I usually suggest the likes of tasting events held at your office such as local foods, wines, drinks (ideally from those looking to reach B2C over B2B audiences).
  • People love to take selfies to share on social media so take advantage of this. Think about giving out products that have your branding on and also run a competition to entice people to share selfies. As a quick example, maybe your agency branded / coloured umbrellas with a local map of the historic buildings in the region (so you can tie in with the local authority to promote the area) where the public can pick them up for free at your offices (or at an event) and there’s a monthly prize for the best locations in the selfie photos which they appear in.
  • Advances in the world of technology are rapidly changing and improving the way we buy our homes and making it easier to find them and get the information we require before we visit them for real. This means that any estate agency who fails stay in tune with current ways to communicate and engage with potential customers online will evitably be open to losing them to more tech-savvy rivals. Think about investing some money in to new techniques such as video and more recently, drone video marketing of property as they are making a real impact within the industry and a great deal more engaging than basic slideshow audio tours.
  • Look out for new social media channels, recently we have had Vine and Periscope and try to embrace them soonest to make a strong presence rather than being one of the agents who are one of the last to adopt things. Engage people on social media by videos on these new platforms (it is much cheaper to make videos today as we have no need for expensive video cameras and softwares to produce a good standard video as our mobiles / tablets have what it takes to do this for us).
  • When is the best time to be updating your social media (or scheduling in updates if you use a management software)? If you are targeting B2B then you should look at this happening during the working week and mostly between 8-5pm and if it is B2C you are targeting, then think about updates going out evening times during the week and of course weekends. Though many of us work evenings and weekends, you are sure to hit the greater proportion of consumers by sticking to evenings and weekends, but remember that people access their mobiles during lunch breaks so target these as well. Think also TV and Radio programmes, updates on social media related to property are ideal if they are set to release when there are property related shows on TV or when you know that the radio host has someone in to talk about property. Try and comment on anything radio or TV programme that is local and focused on the subject of property or something that effects your local community – Show that you have an interest in what is happening in your area.

Christopher Walkey

Founder of Estate Agent Networking. Internationally invited speaker on how to build online target audiences using Social Media. Writes about UK property prices, housing, politics and affordable homes.

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