Social Media for Realtors: Welcome to Social Home Selling
If you've been online since the dawn of the web -- a time of dial up connections about as reliable as your average teenage babysitter (not YOUR teenager of course), and desktop PCs the size of a coffee table, you'll recall that online shopping wasn't really a thing back then.
It was an amazing new world of possibilities that were yet to be explored and turned into reality. We had NO CLUE how this would impact our social lives, business and our day-to-day existence.
Amazon was only just starting to conquer the world of bookselling, online dating became a thing, and it was the time of streaming music -- remember Napster?
Now, the idea of a world without online shopping seems like bad science fiction, and worse, horribly inconvenient. To keep customers and clients happy, what you sell must be convenient to purchase.
The importance of convenience factors largely into why home buying -- the most expensive and obligating purchase most of us will ever make -- has now joined the ranks of online shopping.
More surprising is how many home purchases are made sight unseen.
A recent survey via Clever Real Estate indicates 44% of millennials would buy a house based on just seeing the listing photos, with nearly 80% suggesting they could be persuaded to buy a home sight unseen if it were a newly built home or if they had someone to look at it on their behalf.
Why is this happening?
Because millennial buyers, the most digital savvy generation, are driving the housing market.
According to Apartment List's Homeownership Report, more millennials bought homes last year than any other generation; their rate of ownership has grown the fastest, up 8% in just the last three years.
Turns out, shopping and buying houses online is a practical alternative to the traditional way of going house hunting in person. It's certainly more convenient (and during lockdown last year, the only real option). It also matters in a hot market, like the one we currently have, where houses are getting snapped up in a day (or an hour in many cases).
Timing is everything and shopping online allows you to move the process along quickly. It's especially convenient (and necessary) if where your buyer's looking isn't where they currently live.
So, for you dear realtor, all of this is a game changer.
You can't entirely sidestep traditional selling and you probably don't want to. But, you now have more opportunities to save time and increase sales with the kinds of clients who are completely focused on making the process as convenient as the online world will allow (which also includes securing mortgages).
Growing your opportunities to make more sales begins with having a really solid presence on social media. Here are 2 key stats from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) as to why:
• 47% of real estate businesses note that social media results in the highest quality leads versus other sources
• 99% of millennials (and 90% of baby boomers) begin their home search online (as opposed to in-person referrals).
The majority of those online prospects are on social media, Facebook in particular. According to NAR, 97% of realtors chose it as their preferred social media marketing tool (followed by LinkedIn and Instagram). This isn't surprising because Facebook's strength is both in its demographics and features. A big portion of its users are millennials and Gen Y, both prime home buying audiences.
With Facebook, you can tell the story of not just a house and its features, but the charm and highlights of the surrounding neighborhood, using photos and videos to really make the case about the quality of life there. For prospects who read your content, it also shows your passion and knowledge of the areas in which you sell homes, which in turn speaks to your credibility and dedication.
Plus, with the platform's features (perfect for realtors), you can publish content and updates about listings, book appointments, communicate with customers, and organize reviews/testimonials about your services. You can also use hashtags to help people find you. And, with Facebook ads, you can specifically target users who show an interest in buying within a specific area.
That's a lot of selling power for a platform that costs you nothing (except for ads, which can also be used cost effectively).
If you're not making the most of social media (Facebook or otherwise), start now. At the very least, you'll grow your network of connections as well as leads. And you might find that you love online selling as much your buyers, especially when it lands you a sale.
Not enough time for another TO-DO?
As a former realtor, turned social media muse, I get it - and - I can help you.
Please contact me at Lee@offthevinepr.com & let's showcase (and sell) some homes!