Social Media for Estate Agents – It does not sell houses?
With the vast majority of agents only playing at using social media, posting their inventory to sell, or let on Facebook, and maybe the odd twitter here and there, I want to discuss a few reasons why social media is an essential, not a random bolt on revenue generator.
I am not advocating spending thousands on pay per click marketing, or any of that, I have never paid a penny, what I am saying is have constant contact with your past, future and present clients, via social media. It will not cost the earth, it does involve setting time aside, but you will win big.
Imagine that your office window, (if you have an office) you know that huge plate glass window full of window cards, what is it there for? Answer it is a lure, an advertisement of your trade and even a tool that makes a passing buyer – in pre-lockdown time connect with you.
Imagine now another office window, the screen of a mobile phone, that is the 2020’s reality, everyone who does property is on social media on average three hours a day, and rising. So, if you do not appear, you do not exist.
Alarmist, well talk to the owners of Primark, their model is we have great stores, and a great cheap product, but Associated British Foods who run them are getting a bloody nose as no-one can buy, they are not an online model.
The problem with agents is that they are too busy, to connect their narrative to the outside world via social media. For example Mr Smith has a unique property on a large plot, he needs specialist advice on the best way to maximise his selling potential. Mr Agent who has in his team someone with 25 years of planning expertise, would be an ideal person to advise, but Mr Smith does not know this and just goes on his mobile and up pings some agents, who he contacts.
Scenario two, Mr Smith has seen through social media that Mr Agent has a specialist who deals with maximising properties on plots with potential for development, he follows this content for months as in the Spring he retires and then will be moving. Spring arrives and he reaches out and the agent is instructed.
Social media is the long game, how long? well about a year before you see a huge uptick in business, but it is worth the investment, as once you are digitally embedded in the brains of those living in a three-mile radius of your office (which might be your garage or your bedroom or your high street office) the opportunities keep rolling in.
Here is an example for all those doubters, in September 2019 I started using Linkedin, day one I had one contact, and I started posting short insightful content, three small paragraphs each day, not selling what I do – but giving advice and ‘thought leadership’. The months passed and by March 2020 I had 7,000 connections, and all of a sudden, my mobile started to ring, ‘strangers’ just called me up and wanted my services.
They knew what I did, as they had been following me for months and when they had a need they reached out; today I have around 18,000 connections, organically made in 17 months. I get maybe 10 potential new clients a week, and they are often from other countries.
Now if I had an office in London, would someone in Valencia or Texas or Brisbane walk past my office see my company name plate and pop in for a chat, well probably not.
Time to think digital, yes, it is an effort, in the early days I spent two and a half hours tapping way composing useful free content, but now I have a huge hidden tribe that listen to me, I am not saying they like me even, but when they have a need, when they want to know about the digital transformation of real estate, or where they fit into that picture – typically they call me.
Yesterday it was Tel Aviv calling, and I was out being exercised by Zara, and in between throwing her ball and chasing after her across the muddy fields, I secured a new client, who I probably will never meet in the flesh, but will be income.
Agents it is time to connect with your new old and current clients, social media allows this, today is a good time to start.
If you have a view – please let us all know by emailing me at [email protected] – Andrew Stanton Executive Editor – moving property and proptech forward.