Three Golden Steps to Social Media Success for Real Estate Agents

If you are a real estate agent who works social media as part of your marketing efforts, you will know how long it takes to plan an ongoing marketing strategy.  Let alone, one that delivers you the social media success it’s been dreaming of?

Many agents make it look like a walk in the park, but what is beneath the surface of how ‘cool, calm and collected’ they are, we never truly see the work involved.

What we have below is pretty exciting. It is the three golden steps to social media success for real estate agents. Follow them, and I truly believe that your social media marketing will go from woe, to go!

Three Golden Steps to Social Media Success

Building and ideating a strategy.

Planning and ensuring timing is just perfect for their audience.

Publishing it – then praying that the results can speak for themselves.

What we don’t realise, is how these the pro social marketers stay on top of everything from Facebook and Instagram, to Twitter and LinkedIn.. How they can manage an entire month’s worth of content at a time without breaking a sweat.

It’s not easy – it never has been and let’s be honest, it only ever gets harder from here.

But don’t let that deter you.

Social Media Marketing getting harder is actually a good thing.

Eventually, your competitors are going to give up. They’re going to be swamped with ‘networking’ that they’ll quickly lose their footing online and get lost in the world of social media (as intended).

So how do you prevent that from happening to you?

How do you stay on top of things whilst having the time to run the rest of your business?

And most importantly, how do you and your team stay motivated?

The trick is you build a solution that works for you as closely to automated as possible. Break it down to the simplest steps possible without digging too deep.

That’s how the pro’s do it.

They understand good content buys them traffic, and they progressively get better at applying what they understand and most importantly – how they understand the raw data they see.

Remember these three steps: Ideate, Plan and Publish.

For the most part, there is a strong connection between what you’re sharing and what you’re selling.

As a Real Estate Agent, it’s a matter of being able to separate the two and treat your audience for who they are and how to engage them.

So what do we know about your audience?

Well, for starters – we know they have needs. Real people don’t just look at the face-value of what they’re told.

Your audience (potential and current buyers and sellers), it’s not just about seeing more real estate agents saying how good they are. Your audience will dig, hunt, Google and research the heck out of you. On top of that, they’re quite powerful in vocalising their thoughts too.

That’s why it’s just as important to monitor the effect of what you’re sharing. You need to identify if the content you’re sharing is useful, insightful, purposeful and beneficial to your audience.

Stand taller online and share more than just the cheap likes and basic memes – social media success lies in the effort you put in, not the 5 second meme search a week. As a real estate agents, showing off your knowledge of the location you sell in and the properties, showing how you interact with your clients and more insight into what you do is what get’s your clients interested. Furthermore, your community wants to see the properties that you sell!

Most importantly, never stop posting.

If you and/or your team had only 15 minutes a day to make the most out of your social media campaign, how would you spend it for your social media success?

Of course, this is a great time to mention that with HouseQ, you can automate posting on social media, as well as publish and schedule posts to Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and Instagram! The perfect tool for Real Estate Agents who are wanting to absolutely smash their online marketing, but aren’t able to spend heaps of time working on it!

After all, as a real estate agent, your time is best spent where the most immediate deals lie.

Now is the time!

Now is the time to push your marketing efforts through social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn.. you name it!).

Have you ever heard about the Science of Social Timing?

HubSpot’s very own Social Media Scientist, Dan Zarrella spent the better of 2 years analysing into the best times to send emails, update blogs, post on Facebook and Tweet. And here’s a quick break down of what his research says:

– Saturday is the best day to share on Facebook
Noon is the best time to share on Facebook
– Midweek and Weekends are the best days to tweet
5PM is the best time to tweet

So we know that right now is the best time to post, and in case you miss that time slot prepare it for next week.

Marcus Wong from Warrior Forum always recommends preparing your shares 3-4 days in advance on a content calendar. That way you can always pull a last minute switch without worrying too much about breaking your posting streak.

HouseQ now has Social Media Reporting!

You’ve read above and got the point that reporting and best times of day are super important, right?

So let’s start talking about how you can work out what the best times are to post for your brand! I mean after all, every community is a bit different.

We’ve launched a social media reporting tool for Facebook, which allows you to check out the brand activity, audience demographics, post results and also some optimisation tips, including when your brand is posting vs. when people are online (COMING SOON: When are people engaging with your brand). Check back soon as this will be available on HouseQ!

4 Social Advertising Tips for Real Estate Agents.

For Real Estate Agents and Agencies, advertising via social media channels has gone from a luxury to a necessity. Of course, there are obvious advantages, like the fact that most of your potential buyers for a property will be on Facebook during their search for the perfect home.

However, precision and competence are required to ensure that your ads are driving the results that you, as an agent or agency, require.

Facebook Advertising is your perfect opportunity to reach them, drive awareness and interest and ultimately reach your clients goals. You may also find that advertising on Linkedin (whilst no where near as powerful as the Facebook Ad Platform), Instagram (which can be done via the Facebook Ad Platform) or even Twitter (potentially more beneficial for those in the USA as opposed to Australia) can also provide substantial ROI depending on your goals.

If you are new to the social media advertising space, we already have a really handy article on Facebook advertising here. It will break down the steps required to put an ad together.

For those of you  who are looking to enhance the return you’re getting on social media advertising, check out these 5 Social Media Advertising Tips.

#1: Utilise the Facebook Ad Platform, not just the boosting option.

Facebook has a full platform for advertising at your disposal, which provides far greater customisation than simply boosting a post. It also allows you to create an ad based on your goals.

Below is an example of a stage of creating your ads which you will see. This is where you can choose your objective.

If you are running a brand ad for you as an agent or for your agency, then awareness is most likely the goal group that you’ll be looking at. If you are trying to encourage users to check out your property listing, then consideration is most likely your best option.

Conversion can be useful for a number of different campaigns, but requires for you to have your sales funnel appropriately measured, as well as have a clear action you want people to perform on the page you are sending them to. Make sure you have all of this set up before you consider whether this is the right option for your campaign.

facebook advertising

 

#2 Use the audience targeting features

Whilst these features are the next step in your Facebook Advertising process, it is still very much overlooked by many agents or agency marketing teams. Or, the feature isn’t used to its full potential.

You’ll see in the screenshot below that there are a lot of targeting opportunities with the Facebook platform. Obviously, targeting people living in certain areas is a good place to start when looking at marketing a property or your services.

facebook advertising - targeting

Detailed targeting is right at the bottom, and regularly overlooked. We’ve used the term ‘real estate’ as an example, but you can use whatever keywords you want. You can have one or 40 keywords if you so desire! As you can see, Facebook actually provides you with a fantastic array of related interests, and provides you with the total number of people you could reach with a specific interest. These are global stats however, not broken down by whatever location you have chosen.  You will see how many people are interested on the right hand side, after you have selected an interest.

Think about what your audience is interested in – “owning a home”, “investment property”…you could even look-up people who are “married with children” if you thought it might help! Paint a more thorough picture of your audience and then start really breaking down how you could describe these features. Then, you can trial and error adding various targeting options, and see how this affects the reach and total audience on the right hand side.

facebook advertising - interest targeting

Remember, the narrower the targeting, the more likely you are to reach the right people, even if the audience size is smaller.

#3 Experiment with Re-targeting

Re-targeting is a fantastic way to re-capture the attention of your audience and drive them back to your offering.

Let’s use the example of a property that you are trying to sell. You could drive traffic from a broader audience through to a page (on your website). You could then create a re-targeting campaign for everyone who actually clicked on the link and went to the site, with some more direct message.

For example:

“Sign up to hear about open inspection times”

“Get a call back for a private viewing”

“We have an open inspection on Saturday, are you coming?”

Your initial audience may have been 30,000 people of which 150 people clicked through. Your re-targeting ad will be to the 150 people, of which you may find 20-70 people respond or click through again. And so the journey continues.

Having this second touch point allows you to learn more about the intent and interest of your viewers, but also how relevant the ad was to the first 30,000 people.

Running re-targeting can warm up your leads before they even get to see the property, meaning that you could end up with more likely purchasers.

 

retargeting

Image Source: WP Curve

 

#4 Get clever with your creative

Look, you don’t need to think of the next Superbowl ad to take this tip on board.

Whilst all social media platforms have different creative specs (image sizes, video max upload sizes etc), this shouldn’t deter you from experimenting with a few different image styles.

In the image below, we can see a clever set up put together by Ouwens Casserly Real Estate in South Australia.

ouwens casserly real estate

The post very elegantly shows of the house, where to find more information and the agent in charge of the sale.

The fact that the post has creative cut-through is enough to take your hat off to them. When someone is looking for a place to buy, then have probably engrossed themselves in realestate.com.au, other property sites, and are sure to have their social media feeds on all channels full to the brim with property images and offerings. This really is a different take on the social media promotion for a property.

Can you think of some ways that your brand and personality can be projected on social media? Is it videos? Is it one image creative? Multi-image creative? Find out how your competitors operate, then determine the best format for cut through.

 

#4 Bonus Tip: Review and Refine

Your Ad Manager will be your best friend once your ad is approved. Here you will be able to see the progress of your ads and have the ability to refine. During and after each campaign, ensure that you are reviewing and refining for effectiveness. Sometimes only reviewing at the end is too late, and may leave you without the results you need.

Turn Your Social Media Into Your Customer Support Extension

Don’t ever think that anything that your competitors are doing on social media is unattainable.

It’s now the high time for you to be active on social media. There are a number of social media platforms that can take your marketing endeavours way much higher. Furthermore, these same social media platforms can allow you to move from just talking at people, to facilitating genuine conversation and encouraging the start of a conversation with your prospective buyers and sellers.

Social media will not only help you build trust among your clients, but will also aid in flourishing your business to a significant extent.

Find below some of our tips for turning your social media into an extension of your customer service and support function.

Facebook

Facebook has the ultimate set-up for customer service.

Word of mouth is always known as the finest marketing strategy and as the largest social networking site, Facebook has every property to help you get just what you are looking for.

From being able to set up an incredibly professional page, which includes your contact details and branding space.

Here are our strategies for how you can promote your business through Facebook, and use it to extend your customer service.

  • The more you say about your neighbourhood, the greater is the chance for you to have more prospects in business. Always try to adopt several innovative techniques to promote your location. Apart from getting you more leads, it will also act as a great endeavour to make the residents’ living much better.
  • Don’t forget to use images and videos whenever you update anything about the location. Furthermore, create content on your site and then link people back to it from social media. There is more branding and customisation available on your own website!
  • Encourage people to direct message you. You can put a call to action on your Page to encourage messages, and you can even create ads to get people to message you as a first port of call!
  • Take a tone of voice and variance in topics that attracts both your prospective customers but also your current customers. Current customers allow you to

Twitter

Twitter used to be seen as the champion of all channels for customer service. However, with less usage in countries like Australia and the USA compared to other channels, and an increase in business functionality on Facebook, it has had less priority for small business and in particular real estate agents.

Twitter gives a limit of 140 characters, it can still be perfectly used to brace up your bonding with the potential buyers. All it takes is the start of a conversation for a social media platform to provide ROI – it’s your job as real estate agent to keep that conversation alive.

Check these nifty strategies for using Twitter for customer service:

  • While moving properties, one of the most common concerns that seem to bother people is the stress. Nevertheless, you can easily help them with the same by posting links to relevant articles stating exclusive ways for a hassle-free move.
  • Tweeting about the local news is always a smart endeavour and this is how you can promote your area the best. Always be strict about propping up the news as soon as it smacks the platform. Think about things like power outages, events like street parties and other things.
  • Use hashtags to search for conversations that you can chime in on…make sure that you are adding value #nospam.

 

No doubt, stepping up your Facebook and Twitter game for customer service will bring you much better results.

Have anything else that you think would add to the list? Let us know in the comments below!

Australians Use Realestate.com.au and Social Media to Search for Property


If the #smashedavo talks made you think that the only thing happening online was complaining and time-wasting, then you may not quite have your finger on the pulse.

The latest realestate.com.au numbers are in, and it shows that their audience spent 110 million hours looking at property across all of their platforms from 1 January to 30 November 2016.

“Australia’s property obsession peaked in October this year when interest reached the highest levels recorded according to the REA Group Property Demand Index,” REA Group Chief Economist Nerida Conisbee says.

As a result of these findings, plus the likelihood that you are reading this as a back to work kickstart for the year, I hope you are thinking what more and more agents are thinking every single day.

It’s time to take social media off the back burner, and start using it to provide real value to your audience, and start getting real returns.

Need more to convince you? How about the fact that 26% of social media users in Australia access the suite of sites more than 5 times a day! There is endless stat’s like this explaining the social media usage in Australia from Sensis. It’s a long read, but definitely some fantastic insight.

Want to know how easy it is

Until next time!

Social Media Content: 5 Things You Should Know

Don’t get caught out by old social media content habits. It’s the start of 2017, the perfect time to be reflecting upon your online activity.

For those who are re-assessing how they approach their content and social media marketing, we think that the list below should give you some pretty positive direction.

Number 1: Content is fluid

Stop thinking of content as a video, a blog or another individual asset. Content really does come down to the story you are telling, and a story can be told in thousands of ways. It can be short, long and countless other descriptors. Look to build content pieces around a core content idea.

For example, you’ve just been awarded Real Estate Agent of the Year for your area (heck, the world!). This doesn’t just have to sit as a logo on your site. Think of “Real Estate Agent of the Year” as a content idea, which can take many forms. It could be the award logo on your site. It could also be a video interview, a blog about what people are getting with the agent of the year, amongst many other things. Content is fluid, so don’t get stuck on one style.

You’ll have a lot more to talk about with a lot less.

Number 2: Social Media Content can be re-purposed

Furthermore from point number 1, content doesn’t just take different forms but can also be a constant ongoing conversation.

Video doesn’t mean YouTube. Video can be shared on Facebook, in an email to your contacts or on your website. Going back to the Real Estate Agent of the Year concept, you could create a landing page on your website all about this including your specific video.

Think about how else you’re content can be used. You are after all investing a bit of resources to it and you want to make sure it runs the full marathon if you get my drift.

Number 3: Content can be timeless

Fads and phases are always going to be around, sure.

Relevance is only held until it’s not, absolutely.

However, that doesn’t mean that you have to resort to shamelessly using things like “memes” to showcase all of your business communications. Think deep about your message and ensure that it is clear.

Really good content lasts a lot longer than you think.

Number 4: Social Media Content needs to be seen to be effective

If you are of the mindset that content will speak for itself and that no ad budget is required to get the word out, then think again.

You are investing often a bit of time or resources into your content. Whether it’s a video series, a podcast, your blog or other sources, it’s a waste of time to create this content if you are only reaching 10 or 20 people (in most cases).

When you are creating and developing content, always ensure that you have some money put aside to promote this content, and make sure you drive it’s promotion hard.

Make your content work for you.

Number 5: Content can get you customers

With the right thought and strategy, you will get customers as a result of your content efforts.

Have no doubt about that.

Personal Branding with Digital Marketing

There is not a slight measure of doubt that face-to-face time is the most important time you get with a client; both prospective and current. Nothing speaks higher volumes of who you are as a person compared to how you interact and deliver for a client direct. This is why referrals are always the strongest leads.

However, in the age of digital consumption, you can no longer rely on the time you get to spend with people and the referrals that leads to new business. Creating and maintaining a personal brand foundation online is important not only for general visibility, but also for people to learn more about you over time. Humans have become much more quiet beings when it comes to research. Those phone calls or email enquiries are often as a result of extensive research behind the screen of their mobile device or computer.

Building a personal brand online is just as essential as building it offline.

There are many best practices when it comes to personal branding for an agent, and a simple Google search will put you onto some great resources. However, as a quick note I recommend:

  • Be consistent: post regularly, maintain consistent head shots, ensure contact details everywhere are up to date and keep your conversation points to a select few!
  • Be real: there is enough spam online, don’t be another. Allow your fun quirks and charms to shine online. People appreciate a personality.
  • Be responsive: look, the fact of the matter is that you won’t be receiving 100 enquiries a day as soon as you get on social. But when you do, always respond quickly – as it encourages others to ask questions.

What are the main things agents want from their marketing?

What is the main thing agents want from their marketing? Well it doesn’t take a blog to work that one out.

Results.

Agents want to see their marketing efforts working, and streamlined into their business processes. Simple processes and automation, ease of implementation and reporting with substance and visibility are crucial to allow an Agent to know what is working and what isn’t (plus the ability to make the necessary changes).

Digital marketing is incredibly transparent. An enquiry from your website about a listing has clearly come from your website. 10,000 views on Facebook means 10,000 views. There is much less guessing and estimation of results on digital, plus clear attribution for results.

So, what should agents be looking to measure online?

For those who are looking to maintain a healthy sales funnel online, there are 4 key metrics that you should measure:

  1. Targeted Reach
  2. Clicks to a Listing
  3. Brand Awareness
  4. Enquiries

Amongst your various digital marketing campaigns, platforms and assets, online offers second to none capacity to not only reach goals for these metrics, but also the ability to measure the results.

Targeted Reach can be measured within analytics dashboards of each social media platform like Facebook.

Clicks to a listing are easily identified on your social media channels, but also verifiable on your listings on realestate.com.au, domain.com.au or on your website (you can use Google Analytics, if you aren’t already).

Enquiries can be measured simply by the number of genuine leads you have seen come through to your inbox!

By tallying your reach, clicks and enquiries for each listing or month, you’ll be able to identify over time which of the various online activities are affecting each metric, and whether or not certain refinements to your strategy are leading to better results.

Finally, brand awareness is an important metric to assess how many people are seeing your brand on a regular basis, not just your listings. Seeing where this awareness is coming from will allow you to determine whether or not your brand is likely to be noticed and acknowledged.

How Should Real Estate Agents Measure Results of Social Media Marketing?

Agents want to see their marketing efforts working, and streamlined into their business processes. Simple processes and automation, ease of implementation and reporting with substance and visibility are crucial to allow an Agent to know what is working and what isn’t (plus the ability to make the necessary changes).

Digital marketing is incredibly transparent. An enquiry from your website about a listing has clearly come from your website. 10,000 views on Facebook means 10,000 views. There is much less guessing and estimation of results on digital, plus clear attribution for results.

For those who are looking to maintain a healthy sales funnel online, there are 4 key metrics that you should measure:

  1. Targeted Reach
  2. Clicks to a Listing
  3. Brand Awareness
  4. Enquiries

Amongst your various digital marketing campaigns, platforms and assets, online offers second to none capacity to not only reach goals for these metrics, but also the ability to measure the results.

Targeted Reach can be measured within analytics dashboards of each social media platform like Facebook.

Clicks to a listing are easily identified on your social media channels, but also verifiable on your listings on realestate.com.au, domain.com.au or on your website (you can use Google Analytics, if you aren’t already).

Enquiries can be measured simply by the number of genuine leads you have seen come through to your inbox!

By tallying your reach, clicks and enquiries for each listing or month, you’ll be able to identify over time which of the various online activities are affecting each metric, and whether or not certain refinements to your strategy are leading to better results.

Finally, brand awareness is an important metric to assess how many people are seeing your brand on a regular basis, not just your listings. Seeing where this awareness is coming from will allow you to determine whether or not your brand is likely to be noticed and acknowledged.

You’re Not Using Facebook Right If You Aren’t Advertising

Facebook in Australia has over 15 million monthly active users. Facebook as well as many other social media channels has been the opportunity of the century for businesses globally to speak to a wider and/or more targeted audience.

In terms of accuracy in message distribution and transparent results, Facebook is second to none. But if you think that just putting up a photo of your latest listing or some happenings around your office, then you are going to be disappointed with the results.

With the rise in popularity of the Facebook platform gave the opportunity for it to be monetised with the advertising mechanism. Businesses have now really taken a hold of this opportunity and as a result, the competition has led to dramatically reduced organic reach and engagement.

It has now become a pay to play landscape.

5 Social Media Content Creation Apps to Make Your Social Media Stand Out

As a real estate agent, you are always looking for ways to stand out amongst the crowd. Well, for social media, we’ve compiled a list of 5 social media content creation apps to help you do just that. Photo editing, video creation and more – this is the list you need!

Canva

Canva is a photo editing and graphic creation tool, making design simple for everyone.

Entirely online-based and featuring free designs, layouts and graphics, Canva makes it easy to whip up Facebook advertisements, social media posts, flyers and presentations. Available on desktop and mobile.

canva - social media content creation tool real estate agents

Adobe Spark

Adobe Spark is about creating ‘impactful social graphics, web stories and animated videos’. It is available on both web and mobile, allowing you to complete edits and create content that is slightly more complex than free services. The application requires download and offers a free trial before full commitment.

adobe spark - social media content creation real estate

Wordswag

With Wordswag, you can add cool text, words and quotes onto your photos, creating custom text layouts and fresh content within minutes. It can be accessed on iOS and Android mobile phones but does not have a desktop site. The app has an initial price, and requires in-app purchases to allow access to more than the basic features.

wordswag - social media content creation

PicMonkey

PicMonkey is a web-based option for content creation, offering filters, fonts, overlays, frames and collage abilities to alter or enhance your own images. There is a free trial and a free version, both with limited options and advertisements.

picmonkey

piZap

piZap is another web-based photo editing option. It offers capabilities to edit, collage, design, create emojis and social media covers – content from complete scratch or building on images you upload. The application has a free trial period before suggesting an upgrade to the paid ‘Pro’ service.

pizap social media content creation