Pre social media, it took a bit of work to come across listings. You either had to open up the local paper for the day’s worth of listings, or you found printed advertisements in areas like a real estate brokerage’s front windows. In fact, if you want to go back to a simpler time, we guarantee that if you take a walk to your city’s downtown area, that practice is still alive and well. And for those of us who totally geek out on real estate, you can find us scanning front windows on vacations to get a feel for the local market.
However, the Internet has completely changed the way we advertise listings. It’s opened up a new realm of possibilities with tools like Google, Zillow, YouTube, Selling Sunset and yes — social media. In fact, social media is changing the real estate landscape, presenting a new more accessible way to window shop for listings. In a time where millennials make up the majority of new home purchases, there’s one place we know where to find them: social media.
Social media makes it easier to “window shop” for listings
Ah, the hashtag. Once an SNL joke, and greatly misunderstood by many people, hashtags play an important role in the transition to digital “window shopping.” For example, potential buyers can search their city’s listings. If you live in the city of Roseville, something as simple as #RosevilleRealEstate or #RosevilleHomes can pull up thousands of results to browse from the comfort of your own couch (It doesn’t get much better than that!). Combined with the ability for potential buyers to view listings online, this creates a challenge for agents and brokerages that aren’t active on social media. If you don’t put your listings on social media to showcase your properties, you have far less visibility.
Live Video is changing the open house experience
During the onset of the pandemic, there was no way to hold the traditional, in-person open house. Thanks to social media tools, realtors began to hold virtual open houses thanks to tools such as live video, IGTV and Facebook Live. This allowed real estate professionals to show the house live and then post to their feed or page for viewers who log on later to watch. As more and more homes are sold sight unseen, it makes sense for live video to play a role that is continually growing in importance.
It’s the best source for generating high quality leads
NAR produced the 2019 Real Estate in a Digital Age Report and noted that social media is a top technology tool for real estate professionals. In fact, the majority of realtors reported that social media was the best technology source for producing high quality leads. It even yielded the best leads over MLS sites and the brokerage’s own website. Even though social media is thought to be a great place to advertise listings or even showcase great images, it’s made it even easier for professionals to find new clients as the majority of leads are turning out to be higher quality than traditional lead generation efforts.
It’s important for branding efforts
Maintaining a social media presence is important to building the name of a brokerage or realtor’s brand. Just think of your own biases — if you’re considering purchasing from a business or using their services, how do you feel when they don't have any sort of social media presence? Simply, it’s a bit suspect. A social media presence, combined with crisp content, is necessary for your brand to build credibility and authority. There should be a purpose behind your Instagram, Facebook or any other community — random content is not going to get the job done. A well-done social media strategy does everything from boost brand recognition, build credibility, provide resources, and engage your audience… particularly clients who you hope will use you again in the future.
Home-buying populations are active on social media
We previously mentioned the importance of millennials in the home buying population — in fact, millennials have the largest share of homeownership representing the largest generation of homebuyers in the past few years. They’re crucial to the success of any brokerage or realtor because of that. To find millennials, we know where not to look: the traditional marketing methods. A sprout social report found that a whopping 72% of millennials state that social media is an essential part of their lives. It’s ingrained in everyday business from communicating with friends and family to killing time, reading about the news, and engaging with organizations. Now here’s what’s important to recognize for the future real estate landscape: 63% have increased how much they use social media in the last year and another 46% expect their usage to increase. Here, the takeaway is that social media is the place to market to this huge homebuying population. And on top of that, the majority of millennials are planning to only use social media more down the road. In response, marketing efforts should greatly prioritize social media when it comes to showcasing listings, generating leads, building relationships and branding.
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