Social media for real estate professionals

Social media is a simple, engaging and cost-effective marketing tool for property professionals. Over three million New Zealanders* are on Facebook alone – then there’s Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter and LinkedIn to think about.

The average Kiwi spends two hours and seven minutes* a day on social media, with 69% of users accessing social media every day  – that’s a whole lot of time for you to catch their eye. 

 

Social media and the real estate industry

Because realestate.co.nz is a wholly digital media platform, we are able to gather some great insight into the average Kiwi’s online property journey. Our own internal research tells us that buyers, vendors, renters and investors all use social media throughout their property buying lifecycle.

By being aware of the average property lifecycle, you can begin to understand the types of content vendors and house hunters are looking for online at each stage of their journey.

 

The property journey


 

The online property lifecycle

Interested in the market – Kiwis who are interested in the market will peruse their local paper and Property Press. They use social media for home inspiration and will browse realestate.co.nz on their tablet while watching TV – this is known as dual screening.

Serious sellers and nosey buyers – this is the time potential buyers and sellers begin to engage with real estate professionals. But before they pick up the phone or drop you an email, they do some research. Usually, they’ll start by taking a look at your online profile – this may include your profile page on realestate.co.nz or your company website, and your social media pages. Google your name and see what comes up – this is what potential buyers and vendors will be looking at. Is your online presence up to scratch?

Serious buyers, renters and investors – finally, we have those Kiwis who are seriously looking to buy, rent or invest right now. They visit open homes, set up saved search email alerts and keep up to date with the property market through social media and the realestate.co.nz blog. They expect to see listings on their social media feed, but also property news, home décor inspiration and DIY tips.
 

Where should you start?

As a real estate agent, having a social media presence is important because an increasing number of buyers and sellers expect to find you online. Social media allows you to appear more genuine and personable to potential clients - you become a ‘real’ person, not just a smiling face on a billboard or a flyer.

First of all – start by starting. Below, you’ll find a breakdown of the social media channels we use at realestate.co.nz, and the pros and cons for each. Decide what you’re passionate about and find channels that naturally align with those passions. If you’re a stats person head to Twitter, but if you are all about beautiful imagery head to Instagram. You’ll find it much easier to succeed on a platform that allows you to post content you already care about.

If your posts make people go ‘oh, really’, ‘hmm interesting’, ‘that’s awesome’ or ‘no way’ – you’re on the road to success.

 

Social media for real estate salespeople

 

What channels are right for you?

Twitter

Pros – you can post as much as you like and it’s easy to retweet another user’s content. Tweets can link directly to your listing.

Cons – you must be quite active and people can be negative. You will find more internet ‘trolls’ on Twitter than other platforms.

Is it right for you? Are you a stats person? Like to get your message across short and sharp? Have lots to say? Then Twitter is the place for you.

 

LinkedIn

Pros – allows you to have in-depth conversations with business-minded people and your real estate industry peers. Great for business brokers and commercial agents.

Cons – as a primarily business-focused channel, LinkedIn may not work as well for residential agents. It’s also not the best place for commercial agents and business brokers who just want to push listings – it’s important to join the conversation.

Is it right for you? Do you want to be a thought leader in the real estate industry? Have plenty of knowledge and expertise to share? LinkedIn is the platform for you.

 

Facebook

Pros – this is a great channel to tell a story (about your listings, market, suburb or community). One post a week is sufficient. Facebook is a great place to showcase a mixture your personal and professional sides – show users you are human and not just a property selling machine. Posts can link directly to your listing to drive traffic.

Cons – it’s important to provide your followers with interesting and engaging content – Facebook is a storytelling gig. Posting listing after listing won’t cut it – you’ll get lost in the feed. Find a balance between personal updates and work posts - this isn’t a place for your diary entries, but all work and no play may make you seem a bit dull. Facebook is becoming increasingly ‘pay to play’ meaning you will realistically need to set aside budget to ensure users see your great content.

Is it right for you? Are you a story teller? Don’t mind mixing business with pleasure? Will you take the time to craft a post that you’d be happy to see in your own personal timeline? Facebook is for you.

 

Pinterest

Pros – Super easy to use and loads of fun.

Cons – it can be difficult to target a specifically local audience. It can be hard to drive traffic back to your listings.

Is it right for you? Do you love sharing pictures of dream homes? Do you often sell beautiful or stylish properties? Are you interested in interior design and home décor? Do you have a creative side? Pinterest is perfect for you.

 

Instagram

Pros – if your content is good you can post as often as you like – four or five times a week is ideal. You can group your pictures using hashtags so others can find them easily. Instagram allows you to tell a story through imagery and users are quite generous with their likes (this can mean lots of engagement).

Cons – it’s harder to link back to your listings. You can’t schedule posts so you have to do it as and when you want it to appear.

Is it right for you? Do you love sharing pictures of dream homes and interior design inspiration? Are you a visual person who enjoys engaging with your customers online? Instagram is for you.

 

Once you’ve chosen one or two platforms to begin your social media journey, start by simply giving things a go. Have a look at what others (in New Zealand and overseas) are doing to gain inspiration when you’re trying to determine what works.

Test different types of posts at different times of the day and remember: content is king. Post things you would find interesting and don’t forget to engage – social media is a two-way street. Aim to be a part of the conversation and build relationships with your followers. 

You talk to people all day long and have plenty of stories to tell. Now just need to write it down and post it out to the world – easy peasy!

*We Are Digital Social Report January 2017

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