Social media: it’s a real estate of mind.
18 March 2019
Property marketing – 5 ways social media can help sell homes.
Most property developers and real estate agents have social media channels. But many of them are underused and aren’t focused on giving their customers what they want.
For the majority of people, a home purchase will be the biggest outlay of their lives. This makes for a market full of buyers hungry for information and in need of a trusted voice to help them through the home-buying process.
In turn, this presents property developers with a big opportunity to attract customers by providing that information and being that trusted voice. And with more and more people turning to the internet to make their purchase (50% of purchases in 2017 found their home online), property developers should be turning to their social media channels as a primary way of doing just that.
Fortunately, we’ve put together five ways that social media can be the star of their property marketing activity.
Work out your content themes.
Getting property marketing social media right takes time, so speed up the process by having content themes in place to give you a guiding hand as you go. Such themes might be:
– The properties you’re selling. Obvs.
– Buying tips and financial advice.
– Commuter links.
– Development updates, show home openings etc.
– Promoting things to do in the local area (more on this below).
– Repurposing content from locals – especially those that live in your development.
– Industry news relevant to homebuyers.
Don’t oversell yourself. You want to create useful, interesting social media channels that will appeal to anyone in your chosen area (who might not be looking for a new home now but might be in the next year or two…). If you’re just promoting your homes, people will soon tune out and not come back.
Which nicely dovetails into…
Promote the area, not just the homes.
People don’t just live in houses, they live in areas. It’s important that real estate agents and property developers inform prospective buyers of all that’s good and great about the area the house sits in and not just the house itself.
In the property marketing biz, this is known as placemaking. Its immediate purpose is to sell the local community as one worth investing in by showcasing nearby cafes, restaurants, shops, schools, and so on. Beyond that, placemaking positions you as a trusted source of information for existing homeowners and locals, enhancing your standing as a worthwhile voice in the community.
– Find out what community hashtags locals are using and join in the conversation.
– Perform outreach to the social media accounts of local shops and groups. Building relationships with them might present collaboration opportunities in the future (i.e. an introductory discount voucher to Granny Jo’s Cafe for all home buyers).
– Find out what your buyer personas are interested in and play to those interests. Do you sell to parents? If so, highlight the best nurseries, schools, colleges and universities around you.
Show some personality.
Your social media tone of voice should reflect those of your best estate agents: friendly and welcoming without being pushy or trying too hard.
Just as with your content themes, your tone of voice will depend on your brand guidelines and who your typical or ideal client is. If your target audience is retired couples in their 60s, then you might want to hang fire on those #thankf***itsfriday #amirite? hashtags.
But that doesn’t mean your captions should be dry as a bone. Remember, there’s no such thing as dull topics (or audiences), just dull writers. Find out who your audience is, what motivates them, what makes them laugh, and use that knowledge to direct your messaging.
Think of tone of voice like seasoning in food – a little goes a long way. So even if you’re writing for uber-hipster Shoreditch types, don’t overdo it. Exorcise those exclamation marks, prune those puns and abate those alliterations. (This is the exception that proves the rule…)
We can’t stress this enough – always put the customer at the forefront of your thinking when writing social. Which means making every. single. post. useful.
There are plenty of pitfalls to buying a property, so a great way to earn trust from buyers is to share insider lessons and tips that make the process as smooth as possible. In an industry where it can be hard to differentiate on product, being known as a valuable, useful voice at a stressful time for buyers is a good way to stand out from the competition.
The best place to get all educational with your property marketing is via a blog, which can house all your how-to guides, offer you plenty of material for your social channels, and improve your website’s SEO to send you higher up the Google search rankings.
Engage with your followers.
It’s called social media for a reason. So if your customers are choosing to tweet or DM you instead of picking up the phone, then be sure to get social with them in a timely manner. This isn’t just a matter of courtesy, it’s a way to keep track of those entering the top of your purchase funnel, so you should be tying your social media activity with your client relationship management processes and software.
Don’t be drawn into flame wars with your critics. If you attract negative comments then judge whether you think the person can be won round – or, indeed, if you can learn from their criticism. Can you turn a negative into a positive, KFC style? If not, then don’t respond. Your time will be better spent elsewhere.