Real estate agents are a hungry lot these days. And it’s no wonder. Existing home sales were down 2.0% nationwide in September 2023. This decrease marks a 15.4% decrease from a year ago according to the National Association of Realtors.
The 30-year fixed mortgage rate now averages 7.57%. To stay ahead, top real estate agents must chase individual investors or second-home buyers who make up many cash sales.
However, whether they are commercial real estate agents or in the residential market, these professionals rely heavily on existing relationships. Fortunately, top real estate agents have established credibility among their network and can draw from that reserve.
Leveraging social media for real estate agents
Since over 90% of listings are online, cultivating an online brand for real estate agents is essential. In fact, the best real estate agents serve as an important information source. Buyers rely on them in the home search process according to “Real Estate in the Digital Age” by the NAR.
To help attract clients, about 60% of firms produce social media guidelines for their agents to follow. About one-third apply to both personal and professional accounts. Further, 52% of real estate agents say social media is their top lead-generating tool. As expected, Facebook takes the lead among the networks preferred, followed by Instagram and LinkedIn.
Agents are expected to be on social media
Not surprisingly, over half (54%) of real estate agents feel they are expected to have a social media presence. The stated purpose is to build and maintain client relationships and/or to promote listings.
In other words, top real estate agents cultivate a social media presence. They are readily discoverable and strive to create an authentic online experience for their clients. The obligation is to build credibility and awareness among their ideal customers
The goal is to become THE specialist on a particular market segment.
Likes, comments and follower-counts are not engagement
The primary goal of social media for real estate agents should always be relationship building. Likewise, responding promptly and courteously to comments and messages, good or bad, will help you build trust and foster relationships. Hannah Macready explains this in her hootsuite.com blog, “The Complete Guide to Marketing Real Estate on Social Media.”
Although exciting, racking up likes and seeing your follower-count jump is quite hollow if your posts are void of context. Macready cautions that any social metric can turn into a “vanity” number. To avoid that outcome, tie it back to your business objective.
Engagement rate is a more meaningful number. This detail offers better insight to your online effectiveness. Shares also say more about whether your content is resonating with your audience than likes.
To determine how effective your post may be, Rachel Karten’s LinkedIn post offers the “shareability test.” The test objectively measures how likely your audience will be to share your online offering. Here’s the test in three questions:
- Will my audience relate to the content in some way? Will it spark an emotion?
- Will this post bring a connection with others in the target community?
- Does this post provide a service or transfer information in an entertaining way?
Macready’s Top 5 Social Strategies for Real Estate Agents:
1. Create a marketing calendar to schedule content that’s relevant to your target, community and area of expertise.
2. Identify your ideal customer and determine how best to reach them. Be a student of their demographic and psychographic preferences and cater to their needs.
4. Advocate for your neighbors and their neighborhoods. Mix real estate content with local events, celebrate the highlights, and deliver a personal touch with your reporting.
5. Be an early adopter of technology you can use. Real estate agents work in a fast-moving field. Commit to staying on top of social media trends and techniques.
To close sales, real estate agents must use social media to establish themselves as an expert. With industry credibility they can attract both buyers and sellers.
Photo by RDNE Stock project on Pexels.