Facebook offers socially savvy real estate agents a brilliant way to connect with the community they operate in as well potential buyers and renters.
People connect with your office based on proximity to where they live. Ask yourself this question… You live in Paddington, Sydney, and you like to keep up-to-date on the property market and news. Would you a) connect with real estate offices within the suburb you live in and surrounding suburbs or b) connect with real estate offices 10-20kms away? Every real estate agent gets caught up with how many ‘likes’ and fans can they get and from where. The reality is the quality in your fan base will generally congregate within close proximity to your actual office. For this reason, your page should be area and community focused, and an informative platform designed around what’s going on in your local area.
Having relevance to your audience lies with consistent and consumer driven content. Content that entices engagement and is considered valuable to your audience from an area point-of-view. For this reason, and many others you should use Facebook as news platform. Become a thought leader in the area you operate in, and build connections so that when your fans feel the need to connect with you on a property buying level they are already comfortable with your knowledge and understanding of both the property market and local area that you operate in. This is the key to becoming a trusted brand on social media, and a great source of information for potential customers coming across your page seeking relevance to their search.
5 ways to improve your pages engagement
1. Post Helpful Content and Tips
Remove the urge to post ‘just listed’ and all your listings to your page. Whilst you live and breathe property your audience will lose interest in the content you are posting and will no doubt disengage from your page. Keep your content helpful, and informative. Post top tips, and helpful home ideas for the avid property buyer. Social media is about building relationships and trust with your audience, and offering value. Look to inspire people with relevant property content for renovations, and interior design and the like. Highlight community events, and news. Educate your fan base and remove the desire to be too salesy. Remember to track your each posts reach, and see what creates the most engagement across the week, and look to generate future content based on the highest engagement.
2. Utilise your Cover Image for Interesting Properties, and Upcoming Events
Facebook changed the image vs. text regulation on cover images. You can now add 20% text to your images and promote events and properties through your cover image. Why not have a ‘property of the week’ displayed there with a link back to your to your website and the property. What local events are happening in the area that you can highlight in your cover photo? What new cafes or businesses are opening up in the area that you can highlight? There a plethora of interesting and informative news stories that you can publish to your cover photo. Change it up once a week or every fortnight. It keeps your page fresh and your fan base looking out for the next interesting topic to come along. Remember it’s a news platform so start spreading the news!
3. Incorporate Images and Video in Posts
Most of us now know that images and videos are taking over as the most shared content on Facebook. Do note though, when sharing videos keep the file size small and length succinct. It’s great to post a video about recent market updates or an office profile. However, remember in Facebook if the video is too long you’ll lose your audience. Be smart and post property teaser videos, brief market updates. A large majority of traffic on Facebook is now on mobile devices, and if you don’t have 4G then the speed at which the video downloads will hinder the user experience and increase your bounce rate.
As for images, well we like to see visual content. Post anything and everything that is interesting. From local area architecture, to staff birthdays, right through to unique property features worthy of a comment or two. It’s not rocket science, and you’ll find the highest likes and comments will generally come by the most peculiar images posted.
Develop a content plan that helps you plan what to post throughout the week. Then look to schedule posts in your activity log at the start of the week. At least you don’t have to worry about when to post content as it will be pre-planned and drip feed to your page as and when you schedule the content to do so. Track the times chosen for each post and the reach and level of engagement. You’ll start to see patterns on when the best time to post content to your page is.
4. Add your Listings to a Facebook Tab
Whilst I mentioned earlier not to list all your properties in Facebook, I mean on your news feed. There is no reason why you can’t allow your fan base the ability to search for property while they land on your Facebook page. We developed the Digital Property App – a real estate app for Facebook designed to offer the user the same experience a property portal offers but displaying your own properties via Facebook. Keeping the user in their personal space with the freedom to come and go and not be taken out of Facebook.
You can also use the app to share properties with your vendors, landlords directly through the app. Utilise the app in your agent’s business pages, and virally market your properties with a click of a button. People can also comment on properties, encouraging and promoting further engagement socially via the real estate app. To find out more check out some of our clients pages. Click here for more information.
5. Reach Out to your Community
Now that you’re on Facebook, look for businesses that are also on Facebook within your community. Become a fan of their page, and they will no doubt return the favour. Look to affiliate with these brands and businesses and cross promote products and services. Can the local salon offer 20% off a blow-dry exclusively to your fan base? What about the local coffee shop. Why not promote $3 coffees on Friday between 2-3pm via your page to increase patronage at their coffee shop. Get involved in your community; ask the right questions, affiliate with the right people and in return you’ll become more attractive and more approachable.
The key with social media isn’t to sell your services, but rather become a ‘thought leader’ in the area you operate in. You want people to be drawn to you based on your knowledge and involvement in the local community. Through clever marketing techniques and affiliations you will be able to build a rapport with future clients as an afterthought of what it is you do day-to-day. Help your community and in return they will help you… So get involved!
If you would be interested in knowing more about best practice in Facebook then don’t hesitate to contact us for a one-on-one coffee. We are always happy to help the avid agent get more out of their adopted social media platforms. Email Peter at firstname.lastname@example.org.