The key to using social media effectively in the real estate industry is not to simply create a presence online, but to participate. According to Postling.com, 84% of real estate professionals are now using social media. The main benefit of social media is an increase in the quality of the referral traffic back to an agent or broker’s main website. Experts are not only seeing more traffic coming in, but visitors coming in from social media sites are staying longer and looking at more content—something that had been seen with search engines but not in such large numbers.
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The Corcoran Group, for example, created a Twitter account strictly for new listings, while their main Twitter account stays fresh with local and industry news. Because there are so many factors that must align to make a listing pertinent to a single customer, such as pricing, location and size, there is a high probability that most listings do not pertain to everyone. While an occasional listing may be appreciated by your social media community, many experts advocate engaging your audience with industry knowledge (education and statistics) and an expert perspective (commentary), rather than alienating users with useless information.
There are many sites with specialized sections for real estate professionals to lend their expertise, such as Trulia Voices and Zillow Advice. A typical question on either site will yield quite a few answers from agents or brokers specializing in a specific geographic region or area of real estate. This type of interaction with potential customers is a great way to build a credible reputation and name recognition for future consideration.
YouTube also presents a valid platform for sharing real estate tips. For example, Keller Williams Realty International maintains a YouTube channel full of videos on monthly real estate reports, real estate advice and current company events. They boast more than 970,000 video views, 294,000 channel views and more than 4,500 subscribers. Similarly, the Corcoran Group uses their YouTube channel to feature CEO Pam Liebman answering questions posed by Facebook and Twitter followers regarding the state of the housing market and New York living tips.
In order to use social media effectively as a real estate professional, you must find ways to showcase your expertise and local knowledge. As you provide useful, relevant information to others, you will see an increase in interaction and as a result, an increase in business.