Should Real Estate Agents use Social Media?

Real Estate AgentsIf you are trying to run a successful business, you should probably have a plan for engaging in social media. This social media need is as true, if not more so, for real estate agents as it is for other types of business.

A lot of trust is put into the professionals that set up clients with homes in which they will live for possibly their entire lives. Being open, transparent, and available online is the best way to engender that trust.

Real Estate Agents and Real Relationship Issues

Real estate is a funny industry in that it is so critically focused on a close working relationship, sometimes months-long, between the client and the real estate agent. Not only does money change hands, but both parties need to understand each other broadly and deeply in order for a transaction to be truly successful.

Deep relationships can be an issue in an industry like real estate, though. While it may be easy to get to know a local grocer since you are buying another loaf of bread each week, it is much more difficult to develop that same rapport with real estate clients.

Your clients may only come to you once or twice in their lives, and so the pressure is on to make as good an impression as possible. There is a lot you can do with social media beforehand to ensure that you enter into a relationship with prospective clients who are as informed about you as possible.

Building Community within a Community

Online marketing is all about presenting exactly the face of your business that you want, so that anyone looking for a real estate agent will be impressed by what you have to offer and how much you appear to know about selling and buying homes.

Social media can be the best way to reach out to your clientele, many of whom will not know they need your services until something suddenly forces them into the market. A few ways to reach out proactively are:

  • Answering questions: Many agents treat their online presences as digital versions of home flyers. This is untapped potential – it is possible and technically easy to implement (via Facebook, Twitter, or your own website) a question-and-answer system to engage with potential clients if they are uncertain about any aspect of a property.
  • About the industry: Generating content about the real estate industry both shows that you know what you are talking about as well as eases others’ fears about immersing themselves into a decision process that can be so impactful. Blog about previous questions you have had, or update statuses on Facebook with common misconceptions about buying real estate for others to read and comment on.
  • About you: Having an active life outside real estate and displaying part of that life for all to see moves you beyond being just a real estate person. If you are pinning your hobbies on Pinterest or tweeting celebrity gossip, you are making yourself available to potential clients in an emotional way that says you are real, not just into real estate.
  • The listings: Of course you can’t get by without having your homes listed online these days, but it can go well beyond the straightforward listing. Reach out to others by sharing photos of the property on Instagram. Connect with folks on a deeper level by sharing a funny story about a property. Draw attention to your open houses through Facebook events.

Social media can be and is often a rewarding and fun experience. So much about real estate is traditional, detailed, and formalized, but the outreach doesn’t have to be.

With the right planning, it can be a simple extra step to take social media in your life to the next level. And like any online marketing campaign, it will take time to manage, but this is a direct investment in expanded attention, better community, and more interest in what you do.