Beginner’s guide to real estate social media marketing
Social media marketing has quickly taken over as one of the most dominant forms of marketing in the twenty-first century. Businesses now have access to a range of social media platforms where they can grow their brand, reach their audience and spread their message to potentially millions of people online.
It is a thriving ecosystem where businesses can build meaningful relationships with the audience – simultaneously inspiring loyalty while expanding their customer-base.
Real estate social media marketing has proven to be one of the strongest marketing channels for estate agencies in recent years.
Marketing on social media presents your business with the opportunity to target the specific audience who may be interested in engaging with your real estate services. It is also the place where you can establish your agency as experts on the local property market, providing insights and advice that add credibility to your business.
Finally, social media is the place where your agency can promote its own brand to the local community. Social media users favour businesses who inject their profiles with a human touch, presenting their business as more relatable and trustworthy. For an estate agency, tapping into what makes your local community so unique and special is a great way to endear your business to potential clients looking to buy or sell in your area.
With so many powerful benefits available, it makes sense for every estate agency to fully embrace this lucrative marketing channel. However, finding success on social media isn’t a simple process. For an estate agency to fully leverage the potential of social media marketing, they need to have a clear strategy aimed to maximise their reach and success.
Getting started with real estate social media marketing
If you are new to real estate social media marketing then you are going to have a lot of questions. How should estate agencies go about growing their audience, establishing their brand and generating new clients on social media?
Which social media platforms should be specifically targeted by agencies? And what are the winning content strategies that estate agencies should use to cut through the noise and establish themselves as leaders within their industry?
The importance of brand consistency on social media
Social media is a competitive landscape with hundreds of businesses vying for the split-second attention span of users every minute of every day. Brand consistency is important for every business in every aspect of their marketing – but is particularly important for estate agents on social media.
Consistent use of your brand elements (your logo, colours, fonts and overall style/aesthetic) on social media will help you build brand awareness and brand recognition within your community. Someone looking to buy a house in a particular area is likely to be following a number of different local agencies; their social media feed is likely filled with property listings, open day notifications and property forecast blogs.
How will you make your posts stand out amongst all that noise? How will you make sure that your posts stick in their mind and that they don’t get your listings mixed up with another agency’s?
Consistency in your social media templates and application of your branding across all digital marketing channels will help the audience come to associate your shade of blue with your brand. It will reduce confusion and mix-ups and it will also make your estate agency appear more professional if your branded assets are all beautifully styled and consistent.
We recommend engaging a professional graphic designer to create a series of social media templates for your team to use. They can be set up in a free and easy to use tool like Canva, with an option for listings, open days, client testimonials and more. Using these pre-designed templates will reduce the amount of time it takes to create posts, while also applying your branding and logos consistently across all social media platforms.
The importance of strategy
Successful social media requires strategy and consistency. You need to provide your audience with value and give them a reason to start following you and a reason to continue following you – and this requires strategy.
As a starting point, your strategy should answer the following questions:
- Who is my target audience?
- Which social media channels am I going to leverage? (more on this later)
- What am I going to post about? (tip: a strong social media presence is going to require more than just property listing after property listing)
- How often am I going to post on each social media channel?
- Which types of content will I post – images, videos, links etc.
- Am I willing to allocate any advertising / ad spend budget to boost key posts?
- What key metrics will you track? What are your goals for social media and what does “success” look like?
If you have a social media strategy – even if it is just a bullet point list of the above – you’ll be much better prepared. You’ll have a starting point and understanding of what level of commitment and resources you’ll need to contribute to social media as a key marketing channel week on week.
The importance of diversifying your content
A successful social media presence is going to require more than posting a new property listing once a week. If you are serious about growing an active and engaged audience on social media, you will need to provide them with valuable content that keeps them interested, long after they’ve bought the house and moved into the area.
Organising your content ideas into different ‘themes’ or ‘pillars’ is a great way to make sure that you’re delivering value and building trust with your audience, in addition to promoting your properties. We’ve shared some of our favourite post ideas to add value and build trust below to help you get started.
Value adding post ideas
- How to style your home for a property open day
- How to place a bid at an auction
- Benefits of a building and pest inspection
- Market insights: post infographics or short videos about current market trends, such as average home prices, inventory levels and mortgage rate changes
- Tips to improve the ROI on an investment property
- What is the current average price range for properties in their area?
- What property trends are you forecasting for the area?
- Are there any infrastructure projects in the area that will affect the value of properties?
- Reshare events like new restaurant openings, road closures etc in the area. Become an information source for locals.
- Share posts about the history of the area you serve.
Trust building post ideas
- Share agent profiles – make them fun and approachable; let your audience start to associate your brand with humans.
- Share images and posts of your team out and about in the community – publish pics of your team meeting at a local café or attending a local school fete. Don’t just say you’re part of the community – show them that you’re a part of the community.
- Share testimonials and photos of happy clients outside of their new homes. Tag the clients and try to reference an inside joke in the caption or show how well you came to know the client.
- Shout outs to other local businesses – you’re all part of the same community. Show them your support by congratulating them on milestones, recommending their services or just highlighting the access that residents in the area have to great local businesses.
- Share some of your internal culture and brand values – are trust and transparency important to you? Talk about it and give examples of how you do things differently to ensure you’re transparent.
Other post ideas
- Property tours: share virtual tours or video walkthroughs of your latest property listings. Highlight key features and give viewers a feel for the property’s layout.
- Before and after: showcase transformations of properties you’ve helped sell. Share side-by-side photos of how a property looked before your intervention and how it looks now.
- Local spotlights: highlight your knowledge of the local area by featuring popular neighbourhoods, parks, restaurants and other attractions. This helps potential buyers envision the lifestyle they could have.
- Client testimonials: Share quotes, photos or videos of happy clients who have successfully bought or sold properties with your assistance. This builds trust and social proof.
- Tips for buyers and sellers: provide valuable advice for your audience. For buyers, offer tips on evaluating properties, getting pre-approved for a mortgage and negotiating. For sellers, share home staging tips, preparing for viewings and pricing strategies.
- Behind the scenes: give followers a glimpse of your daily life as an estate agent. Show yourself preparing for an open day, meeting clients or working with colleagues.
- Trivia and polls: engage your audience with fun real estate trivia questions or polls. For instance, you could ask them to guess the average home price in your area or which home feature they value most.
- Holiday and seasonal content: create posts that tie into holidays or seasons. For example, you could share home decor tips for specific holidays, how to prepare a garden for spring or energy-saving ideas for the summer.
The point of this content is to build a relationship with your audience that goes beyond a single transaction. You want your hard-gained followers to stick around and continue to follow you long after they’ve purchased their home or finalised the sale of one.
Once you’ve provided your audience with value and gained their trust, they will be much more receptive to your promotional posts and they will be much more likely to engage with your content, tag their friends into posts or reshare posts with their own followers.
The importance of planning
You’ve got the real estate social media marketing strategy, you’ve got the post ideas and you’ve got the brand assets. Now you need to put it all together and plan it onto a content calendar to execute your social media strategy.
Content calendars should outline a consistent posting schedule that has the room to be flexible if there are any important upcoming dates or last-minute changes. They are a tool that you can use to make sure that you know what is being posted when. They also enable you to create efficiencies by batch creating posts and content and then scheduling them ahead of time. And most importantly, they ensure that you are sticking to a schedule and posting consistently.
Consistency is key to social media. Every post gains you a bit more momentum – it will be slow to start but if you commit to a regular posting schedule, you’ll see week on week improvement. But if you are constantly stopping and starting, you’ll never be able to gain much traction.
Pick your platforms
Now that you have a better understanding of the basics of how to create and execute an effective social media marketing campaign for your estate agency, the next consideration is “where”.
Gone are the days when there were only one or two social media platforms for businesses to consider. Today, the landscape has expanded to several popular platforms, each with their own type of user who may or may not be interested in engaging with an estate agency.
It is recommended to choose one or two social media platforms and then to do them well, rather than trying to spread limited resources too thinly across all platforms. Once you have an established brand and audience you might want to consider feeding more platforms into your social media real estate marketing strategy – but as a business just getting started with social media, we recommend selecting the one or two platforms that make the most sense for your business.
Facebook provides estate agencies with the opportunity to immediately tap into your local target market – many who will already be in the demographic of clients that you are looking for.
Facebook has one of the largest audience groups with the broadest demographics. You will find home buyers, home sellers, investors, renters and everyone in between on this platform. If you tap into the advertising toolkit on this social media platform you’ll be able to target people based on their home ownership status, their relationship status, their household income and much more.
Local Facebook groups also provide you with a great opportunity to tap into the community. These Facebook groups are often one of the first places that people go to ask for recommendations, so being an active member of these groups is a great way to get your brand in front of the right people.
By answering their questions – even if they don’t directly relate to your brand or service – you’ll start to build goodwill amongst the members.
Over the last few years, Facebook has become saturated with competition. It is a platform that is difficult to build an audience from scratch on and you will need to turn up day in and day out to build the rapport required to break through the noise of all the competition.
Leveraging Facebook groups and Facebook advertising tools are a great way to get a foot in the door, but you’ll need to be committed to posting regularly and driving conversations with your audience to build momentum on Facebook.
The Instagram audience is growing, making it ripe with opportunities for estate agencies to find users ready to enter the property market.
Instagram’s focus on visual content makes it an ideal pairing for stylish photos of new property listings, newly marked “SOLD” signs and happy new homeowners beaming towards the camera.
Instagram users also value businesses that are confident in their brand and aren’t afraid to highlight the human element of their operation. Hashtags also play a major role in Instagram content as they can be leveraged by agencies to target specific search terms. These hashtags can relate to the local areas your agency operates in and the services you provide, making it easier for your desired audience to discover your agency.
The platform does skew a bit younger than Facebook tends to – you will still be able to access renters, first time buyers and young families, but if your main target audience includes investors or retirees looking to downsize, you may find Instagram isn’t the best fit for you.
Instagram is also a very competitive platform and content or posts on this platform tend to have a much shorter lifespan. You’ll see better results by leveraging video content and using the ‘stories’ and ‘reels’ features.
LinkedIn is a social media platform that is frequented by white collar professionals. While it used to be associated with CVs and recruitment agencies, in the past couple of years it has evolved into a social media platform in its own right.
LinkedIn is a no-brainer for any estate agency that deals with commercial properties. But it can also be a gold mine for connecting with professionals within your local area. You can use the search tools to search for towns or cities and then connect with people who match your target audience.
You can then keep up to date with these people as they make posts about key life milestones. Did they just post about their impending retirement? You could start a conversation with them and find out if they’ll be moving somewhere more tropical. Are they relocating for a job opportunity? Will they be selling or relocating? Obviously you need to be careful how you handle this as you don’t want to come across as too strong, but it can be a great platform to get to know your audience better as they will often be more open to letting strangers into their network on LinkedIn than they are on Facebook.
LinkedIn has a much stronger emphasis on value-add content. Your property listing posts likely won’t perform as well on this platform – but information about property prices, market forecasts, real estate insights etc will land well with this audience.
Twitter has long been considered a strong platform for branding purposes in the real estate sector but has now also become known for its lead generation benefits through targeted advertising opportunities.
This is a fast-paced and news-based platform so if you have last minute listings, get mentioned in the news or media or have an urgent announcement – then this is a great platform to post that information. Keep it short and sharp though! It is a great medium for driving more traffic to your website and also enables estate agents to target leads with useful content by using the various analytics tools available.
Twitter definitely swings towards a younger audience so it is a great platform if that is your target audience but not the best option if you’re looking to build an older audience.
The new kid on the block, TikTok has amassed a huge audience in a short period of time – but how do brands leverage this?
TikTok has sub-communities that you can tap into. There are very large and very engaged communities in the home renovations, house flipping, property investment and finance spaces that you can tap into. The audience is quite broad as well – while popular with younger audiences, you’ll be surprised how many people in the 30-40 age bracket are silent consumers on this platform (meaning that they watch but don’t contribute content to the platform).
The emphasis on this platform is entertainment. Your videos need to be entertaining and/or educational, ie “here’s what £1,000/wk rent will get you in London” followed by a fast-paced video tour.
You’ll need to be creative and tap into trends – but as there isn’t as much competition on this platform yet, you’ll find video views are a lot higher than on Facebook or Instagram, so worth the extra effort to create.
One of the main differences that sets social media marketing apart from other forms of advertising is that it is a one-on-one experience, instead of one-to-many. It is a far more personal type of marketing that requires careful nurturing and management of your community to achieve the desired results.
For estate agents, community management is achieved through talking with your audience, instead of talking at them. Agencies want to engage their audience in a conversation, instead of just throwing promotional material their way and hoping it works. Buying, selling or renting a new home is a major decision for people and they want to know that their property journey will be in safe hands. If your agency’s social media approach is entirely one-sided, then people are not likely to place their trust in your care.
Instead, you should engage your audience through asking questions, replying to comments, highlighting your clients’ success and showcasing the value of your local community. Doing so will help audiences feel heard and valued.
Social media marketing provides estate agencies with an opportunity to expand their audience in an impactful way that will lead to results. Marketing your agency on social media allows you to establish and promote your own unique brand, make meaningful connections with users and reach more potential clients who will see first-hand why they should choose your agency for their property needs.
There is a lot of hard work that goes into creating and executing an effective social media marketing strategy. You need to consider your estate agency’s target market, platform, content streams, posting schedule and community management to best optimise your business’ reach and engagement on social media.
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