What are the advantages of integrating social media marketing over solely using traditional marketing?

The advantages for agents integrating social media marketing over solely using traditional marketing efforts are endless, however I’ve summed up below the main advantages below.

#1: Your Prospects Use Social Media

There are over 15,000,000 monthly active users on social media in Australia. As a result, when prospects are searching for their next/first property you are bound to see them on social media. This provides a unique opportunity to reach your audience on a platform that they are actively engaged in. However whilst there is 15,000,000 monthly active users on Facebook, this is not the be all and end all. Instagram has surpassed the 5 million monthly active users in Australia, and Linkedin has 3.4 million. Each of these channels has it’s own mechanism in peoples lives, which means you can segment where you promote certain messages to tailor to platform expectations.

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#2: You Can Play an Active Role in the Research Phase

Incorporating a digital marketing strategy opens you up to communicating with an audience before, during and after there interactions with your brand elsewhere. If a prospective buyer drives past a house they are interested in and notice the for sale sign, or they see an ad in the paper, then allowing them to naturally flow their research habits to your digital assets (website, social media etc) increases attention on your offering.

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#3: It’s targeted

Digital marketing allows for a much more targeted approach to communication. From Google Adwords, Facebook Advertising, posting on Twitter, Linkedin, Instagram, even your listings on domain.com.au, realestate.com.au or other portals, there is a relative ease in segmenting where your listings and brand is being promoted. Facebook thus far, offers the most intuitive and powerful targeting platform, with abilities to target by location, age, interests, social network, job title and more.

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#4: Tell the Full Story

With the richer media experience that is offered across platforms like Instagram and Facebook (e.g. ability to post 360 videos, 360 photos, Facebook Live and more), you are able to tell a more substantial story about a property, or your brand. By being able to tell a richer story, it makes it easier for people to feel comfortable coming to an open inspection, or making an enquiry.

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Facebook Advertising: How to kick butt with Facebook Ads

Ready to get your hands dirty with some Facebook Advertising?

Facebook Advertising for real estate is the perfect way for you to reach your audience for less money. It is very likely that most of your potential buyers for a property will be on Facebook during their search for the perfect home. As a result, Facebook Advertising is your perfect opportunity to reach them, drive awareness and interest and ultimately reach your clients goals.

The bidding options for Facebook ads have changed slightly over time. They are now at a point where they are now more useful than ever; even thought of as the most powerful advertising engine of our time.

Your choices for controlling bidding and budget are as follows:

  1. what you’re optimizing your ads for
  2. how you’re being charged
  3. whether you’re using automatic or manual bidding.

Let’s start by showing you how to set up bidding for your ad campaign.

Step 1: Choose your objective

To start you’ll need to choose your objective for your campaign. There is a large range of objectives to choose from, including website clicks, conversions and video views.

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

facebook advertising

Select your campaign objective and then click ‘Set Audience & Budget’ to continue.

Step 2: Define Your Audience

Like all ad campaigns, you will need to decide on your audience break down too. If this isn’t your first rodeo, or you are doing these often, we would advise saving audiences. The audience definitions on the right hand side are formulated by Facebook, so it’s often a great idea to follow their recommendations.

facebook advertising - targeting

Now for all properties, you should be easily able to identify the location and age of your audience. However, on specific properties you may find a fantastic opportunity to look into detailed targeting. 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 want! As you can see, Facebook actually provides you with a fantastic array of related interests, and provides you with the total numbers of people who you could reach with a specific interest. These are global stats however, not broken down by whatever location you have chosen. You will see on the right hand side after you have selected an interest, how many people are interested.

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.

Step 3: Choose your Placement

Facebook has a number of different placement options for you to choose from. Facebook has an option for Automatic, which shows your ads where they are likely to perform best.

Alternatively you can opt in to edit your placements, where you can choose for Facebook only, or include Instagram and the extended Audience Network.

facebook advertising - placement

Step 4: Allocate Your Budget

Almost there! The last point before setting bidding options, simple decide how much money you want to set and how you want to spend it.

facebook advertising - bidding

Before dropping $10k on an ad, it’s great to do some A/B testing on a few different ads at a smaller amount (between $10-50), then compare each ad to decide which one is best to move forward with.

Step 5: Optimization Of Your Ad Delivery

Facebook defaults to the goal you selected for the ad campaign, such as Link Clicks to Your Website, Video Views, Impressions, or Daily Unique Reach. When Facebook optimizes your ad, it shows the ad to the people who are most likely to take that particular action.

facebook advertising: budget

If you change any of the options in the screenshot above, like optimization for ad delivery, ad scheduling and so on, your daily reach is likely to change also. Test this out by changing the “Optimization for Ad Delivery” and see which one seems to change the daily reach in your favour, and then assess against various combinations of bid amount, when you get charged, and so on.

For those who are interested in spicing things up for there campaign, then there is two customisation opportunities here that we highly recommend.

  1. Ad Scheduling: This gives you the ability to choose the days and times in which your ad is being shown. If you know when your ideal audience is likely to be looking at this content, then it’s a fantastic way for you to ensure your budget is spent on reaching the people you really want to reach.
  2. Delivery Type: This functionality is about how you want your ad budget to be spent. Standard means that your ad is shown evenly throughout the day, whilst accelerated allows for the budget to be spent as it naturally would, which often means the budget is spent a lot quicker! Up to you, depending on the sales format of a property.
  3. Bid Amount: You can choose automatic or manual for the bid amount for your Facebook ad. For the sake of assisting beginners with getting some results, the bid amount defaults to automatic. Bids are based on the action you want people to take. You can optimize around the goal. For example, based on your average conversion rate from your Facebook ads, and the value of that conversion to you, you can work out a ROI that works for you. Facebook will give you a bid range, and a suggested bid. For most, you usually want to bid in the middle of the range of what Facebook suggests, and you’ll see the reach changing on the right as a result of your choice. For the most part you usually pay lower than your bid amount. As mentioned on socialmediaexaminer.com, “You can bid higher to make sure your ad is seen more. Or you can bid lower if the click is worth less than the amount Facebook suggests, which is a way to decrease costs. However, if you bid too low or are out of the range, your ad won’t be seen at all.” If you are going with manual, then make sure that you are checking this regularly across the course of your campaign for optimal results.

Step 6: Create and Run Your Ad

Once your ad campaign details are set, you are ready to get onto actually creating your ad!

You can choose from promoting a post you’ve already publishing, or you can create a new one. If you are creating a new ad, then there is many formats to pick from, as you can see from the screenshot below.

facebook advertising: creative specs

You can then progress through to adding your image/s, video or other media, then proceed to choosing your page and text. Below is an example of what the Facebook dashboard looks like. You can choose your Facebook page and even your Instagram Account if you have chosen this and it is connected to your Facebook page account. You can then choose a URL, your headline, description, link title and description and a call to action (picture below as “Learn More”).

facebook advertising - create your ad

Bonus Step: 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 means that you won’t be getting the results you need.

 

selling real estate with social media

Selling Real Estate with Social Media: 3 Reasons Why it Works

Selling real estate with social media is a great opportunity for real estate professionals. When you’re in real estate, you’ll use just about any tool you can in order to get more homes in front of more customers and more people showing interest in purchasing or renting a property. Yet, many real estate professionals have been slow to implement social media strategies in their businesses.

For those who are in the group of real estate professionals that are hesitant about social media’s ability to help you perform your job better, these 3 reasons why social media platforms are useful for real estate agents should put some if not all of your concerns to bed.

#1 You can reach a lot of people

When I say a lot, I mean a lot. For just $10 boosting your post on social media, you can reach over 10,000 new people, depending on your location and targeting settings. This is quite an affordable messaging channel.

This reason is often re-butted with “well all my listings are on domain.com.au and realestate.com.au so I’m pretty sure that people are seeing my listings”. This is true. 100%. People are seeing your listings. However, in order to do this people needed to decide to open up realestate.com.au or domain.com.au on their phone or computer and browse the listings, of which some of your properties may have come up. The problem is that people don’t look through EVERY property. They use search filters to refine the properties they are looking at to match what they think they are after – but that doesn’t mean a listing you have isn’t exactly what they are looking for.

The benefit of social media platforms is that you can PUSH these messages across to your audience. They are on social media looking for something to inspire, distract or entertain them, and your property showing up in their newsfeed may do exactly that.

#2 People use social media for due diligence

You may have a fantastic network of customers, partners and more that have been very good in terms of new business for you. However there are always those people within that network who won’t blindly follow a referral, or people who haven’t been referred to you, who will check out your website and social media to assess your ability to sell their home.

Seeing that you are using social media to promote properties (and seeing engagement on these posts), can show these prospective clients that you know what you are doing in the digital arena.

Plus, continuously posting on social media allows for subtle extensions of your network through brand awareness, and increasing the people who can say that they have ‘heard of you’, and perhaps more likely to act on a referral given by your network.

Finally, presenting not just your properties but your brand professionally will help your audience understand who you are and how you carry yourself/your brand in the real world.

#3 You can play the long game

Social media requires consistent, high quality and interesting content for your users. As a result, you are allowing people to take their time to make a decision. Unlike many other businesses which can offer sales prices, real estate agents are in the services game which is where it can be a bit trickier to pull such a marketing manoeuvre (and most likely to leave you looking cheap and untrustworthy). Your prospective clientele may take 6 – 24 months to make a decision to sell their property, so social media is the perfect communication form to get your brand on the shopping list for a future sale.

Wanting to know how you can make the most of social media for your real estate business? Check out this article we wrote, giving you our top tips for social media!

Top Social Media Tips for Real Estate Agents

Real estate agents know the power of making connections with people — it’s those connections that when nurtured, provide them with ongoing business and great client referrals. The rise in people’s use of social media platforms for things like sharing, discovering and connecting with others has made them an ideal place for real estate agents to work on growing their sphere of influence. Whilst obviously there is not much better than face to face time with buyers and sellers, social media can allow for an extension of this in the time you don’t have with these people, as well as allowing people to see you and your brand during their discovery and learning phase before picking up the phone.

However, being a success on social media involves more than just creating an account and posting your properties.

Find below are some social media tips for real estate agents…a couple of things that we think that you should be doing to improve your relevance with people on social media, thus catapulting you to success!

Social Media Tips for Real Estate Agents

1. Post about Your Neighbourhood

Show off the neighbourhood in which your listings are based. This not only educates your buyers on the neighbourhoods in which you sell in, but also shows the expertise you possess of where you are selling homes. For example, if you are selling in a community which has lots of little events like markets, fare’s, gigs or even just a lovely community of people who get behind holiday’s like Halloween…then talk about it! Talking about certain happenings, amenities or elements of the culture of a neighbourhood will naturally attract a certain sort of person to join your community – the sort of person who might be a future resident!

Show how wonderful your city culture is. Show all the beautiful features it has to offer. Post about local events in your town. If you’re going to a neighbourly event, tell your Fans, and invite them to join you. Ask questions, too, to spark engagement.

2. Show How You Treat Your Clients

You care for your clients. You already do this in person, so now it’s time to show you care about your clients on social media as well. It could be a picture of your latest homebuyers or happy sellers, it could be a picture of the gift you leave on the kitchen bench for the new owners, it could be a reflection on a lovely meeting you had with someone today. The new clients know who they are, and it shows prospective homebuyers that you genuinely care and follow up.

3. Post The Properties You Have Available.

Yes, use Facebook to post your listings, too.

A lot of other social media experts would suggest that this falls under promotion. But honestly, your community is likely following you for a few reasons:

  • they like you
  • they enjoy what you post
  • the are on the hunt for a house and want to see what you offer
  • they’ve bought from you before and want to support you

As a result, I believe that along with posts about the neighbourhood, how you interact as an agent and so on, that posts about the properties you have available at the moment is just as much about posting interesting content as anything. However, when you post your listings, ensure you keep the personality of you and your brand. This is not an ad in the weekly paper talking to people who don’t know you you are. You are talking to your community! Tell about the home, and what points will sell it. Tell how many bedrooms and bath. Tell the address. Tell the price.  But say it with your charm and style, and it will be engaging.

If you feel like you are getting to dry, try a to ask questions about your new place, like “what do you like about it?”, “what do you like about the neighbourhood?”.

4. Use Facebook Ads!

To round up these social media tips for real estate agents is for you to get onboard with Facebook Ads.

It’s one thing to talk to your current community of followers across your various social media platforms. But Facebook lets you up the ante so to speak, with the ability to reach 1000s more people outside your current audience, as well as target your ads to a suitable audience. We highly recommend posting properties on Facebook, and then running ads with the goal of increasing clicks to your property listing on your website.

You want to make sure that your information reaches home buyers and sellers when they are ready to make a sale or purchase, and Facebook Ads are the perfect way to do that. Facebook Ads allow you to target prospective clients according to demographics, topics of interest, and so much more to make sure that your ad is seen by the right person. Unlike when people are on realestate.com.au or domain.com.au, on Facebook people aren’t just looking for houses, but they are still in a discovery mentality. They are looking for something to stimulate them.

There you have it – our top social media tips for real estate agents! Any that we’ve missed? Feel free to add them in the comments below.

Selling Property: There is someone who wants to buy one of your listed properties…they just can’t find it.

Selling property? We just wanted to let you know that there is someone who is interested in purchasing one of the properties that you currently have listed…they just can’t find it.

Did you know that almost all of your potential buyers and sellers are using social media? Some once a week, some once a month, some once an hour! It’s a reason why so many people who are selling property are harnessing the power of social media.

The problem is that even though you may be using social media for selling property (or may you aren’t yet!), unless you are posting at the right times to reach your audience, you are at risk of NO ONE seeing your posts. That means no one sees your brand kicking goals for your clients, and interested buyers aren’t seeing the properties you are selling. It’s a lose, lose.

Not only this, but if you are not posting very much, you are at risk of only reaching a few people – and this may not be enough to get the best results for your clients.

Finally, your future clients are probably looking at your social media to assess how innovative you are as an agency or to see how quickly you might sell their house. If you aren’t posting much and not showing off how much interest people truly have in your brand and the properties you list, you are at risk of becoming irrelevant! Now that’s something that nobody wants.

You’ve probably seen some information about our product HouseQ around the place. After a very successful launch we are seeing great results with our users. We think that this is because of some of our products key features, which are helping our users unlock the potential of social media for their business. These features include:

  • Ability to post onto Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Linkedin: all at the same time!
  • Ability to add your properties straight from your CRM.
  • Ability to automate your social media with our Queue; meaning that your social media will always be updating with your properties!

So if you want to join the many others who are making the most of the opportunity social media holds for real estate agents, then register now for free!

Virtual Reality for Real Estate Agents

Virtual Reality for Real Estate Agents, is set to emerge as a powerful tool in selling property developments off-the-plan. Buying selling homes involves a lot of emotional and subjective decisions. Before these transactions even take place, real estate professionals need to work with these decisions and get creative to even get in front of these buyers and sellers in the first place. Without a doubt, video marketing is one of the best ways to appeal to the emotional, subjective factors in buying and selling a home, and 360 video has taken this to the next level. Just like any other form of marketing though, poor video marketing methods can turn off a buyer or seller just as quickly as it reels them in.

“VIRTUAL REALITY IS A REALLY POWERFUL TOOL AND WHEN APPLIED TO THE REAL ESTATE INDUSTRY GIVES CONSUMERS GREATER CONFIDENCE TO PART WITH THEIR HARD EARNED DOLLAR AND PURCHASE OFF-THE-PLAN” – StartVR


Example of 360 video

360 Video and Virtual Reality, has rapidly become one of the most popular ways for realtors to market their properties. The ability of video to help sell homes is also increasingly well understood by homeowners. Consequently there is a strong preference by sellers to use realtors who offer 360 video as part of their marketing. According to 360VirtualReality, the stats are truly compelling as to why you would opt in for 360 video and VR as part of your marketing process for property:

  • 60% of prospective buyers find virtual reality video tours to be very useful.
  • Just under half of prospective buyers like to view a virtual 360 video tour of the property in order to make an informed purchasing decision.
  • Real estate listings with video receive 500% more inquiries than those which do not include video.
  • 80 % of homeowners would be more likely to list with a realtor who uses 360 degrees , virtual reality video to market their home.

THESE DEVICES ARE MUCH MORE THAN THE SUM OF THEIR PARTS FOR THE END USER. THEY ARE MINI TIME MACHINES AND MEMORY MAKERS. THEY ARE PORTAL DEVICES THAT CAN TAKE YOU ANYWHERE, REAL OR IMAGINED. WE ARE JUST SCRATCHING THE SURFACE THIS TECH’S POTENTIAL. – StartVR

If the statistics above are to try and boring to convince you that VR and 360 video are something you should absolutely be considering, then check out these 3 reasons why it should be on the cards.

Why Virtual Reality for Real Estate Agents may emerge in the future?

#1 A picture tells 1,000 words. A video has 30 frames per second. That’s a long story.

Video is by far the next step in telling the story of a homes’ charm. It’s quite difficult to convey space and depth by just using regular pictures, and it’s difficult to get a feel for how the house flows in regards to design without actually walking through the house; this is no longer an issue with 360 video.

#2 Remove some burden from the homeowners

Trying to sell a house means ensuring that it is constantly kept in a state of near-perfection; you don’t always get a warning for when someone wants to come and check out the property, and there’s often not enough time to do a quick clean-up. Plus this can get expensive for regular cleans, constantly kicking homeowners out of the house and hiring furniture if it has been hired for sale. VR and 360 video alleviates some of this pressure because the images used for both are only taken once, when the house is looking its best. Eventually someone will want to take a walk through the house, however it’s drastically reduced quantity from the open houses required without 360 video.

#3 Ease of presenting homes to interstate and overseas investors/buyers

Let’s say you’re a real estate agent across multiple countries or states. For example, you are selling property in Australia but you have Chinese investors who cannot come down easily and view properties. VR and 360 video assist with giving these investors the best opportunity to assess the house and it’s viability for their portfolio or as a new place to live, without the expensive trip over to view a house that may or may not by viable.

 

360 video is becoming more ubiquitous and more widely-supported. YouTube and Facebook support 360 video and they are viewable on mobile and tablet devices. These channels are also fantastic for embedding into other sites like Realestate.com.au, your website and also for advertising in these social networks. Plus, the cost of 360 video cameras is falling, making them more business-friendly.

As for virtual reality for real estate agents, it’s still not particularly cost-effective. One VR scan of a house can start at $300 but it can rise to almost $1000. At this time, VR is something that only makes sense for high-end, expensive (and expansive) homes with high-dollar buyers. However, as technology changes and becomes more affordable, there is little doubt that both 360 video and Virtual Reality for real estate agents will find their way into the world of real estate marketing.