Improve your Real Estate Social Media Strategy in 7 Days
The good news:
Most home buyers still need the help of a real estate agent to buy a home.
The not so good news:
Unless you’re selling a home to your grandma, everyone starts online. Gone are the days when yard signs attracted potential buyers to your open house.
That means that you need a website that converts. Plus, you need a great real estate social media strategy that generates leads.
Want more good news?
Setting up a winning social strategy to help you sell is fast and painless. All you need to know is where to start and what to do.
That’s why this article will show you:
- How to choose the 5 best real estate social media networks for your agency.
- 7 tips that can help you improve your real estate social media strategy in 7 days.
- How to use real estate social media management to track your success.
Once you’ve got a strategy, it’s time to start tracking your success. Use a social media management tool to help keep track of your campaigns and listen to the whole conversation.
Try Unamo Social Media today! Our tool is fast and easy to use, and free trials are available!
Here’s a shocking statistic – over 74% of buyers from all generations used the Internet to search for a home in 2017. Of buyers 37 and younger, 56% found their homes online. That’s also true for 51% of buyers between the ages of 38 and 52.
The first step in the buying process is to look online. As a result, 63% of buyers walk through a home they’ve viewed online.
The bottom line? You need a solid online and social media presence if you want to stay relevant in today’s real estate market.
But where should you start? You’re probably too busy selling houses. You don’t have time to tweet all day and upload professional photos of your properties to Instagram.
That’s why it’s important to take baby steps when you’re just starting. Ask yourself the following questions:
- How many platforms do I have the time and money to manage?
- Where is my audience and which platforms would best serve them?
- How often can I make real estate social media posts?
- How will I integrate different channels and my website?
- Do I need tools to help me with scheduling, posting, and tracking?
- How will I track my success and adjust my social media marketing strategy?
Let’s say you only have time to manage and run one social media profile.
Targeting Millennials? They now make up the majority of home buyers at 36%. Perhaps you should be on Instagram.
Here are the top five social media marketing platforms to consider for real estate social media:
You don’t have to choose them all. Decide where you want to be and what you have time to manage. You can always expand later.
First, Facebook is the best social media platform for keeping important information in one place. Think of it as an alternative to your website.
Make sure your contact information is consistent with your website and Google My Business Page. And make sure that it is easy for clients or buyers to contact you. Why?
Buyers still purchase their homes through agents. In fact, 87% of all buyers purchased through an agent in 2017. That figure jumps to 90% of Millennials. You want to make sure that your Facebook page makes it easy for buyers to contact agents.
Setting up a Facebook Business page allows you to add a Call to Action (CTA) button like the “Contact Us” button in the example. CTA buttons can help clients book agents, turning your Facebook page into a lead generator.
Next, you’ll want to make sure that your cover image is adding value to your page. Facebook has now made it possible for you to include video and 360-degree images as cover photos. Your cover image is the first thing that visitors see, so you want to make a good impression.
In the example below, Focus Real Estate has added a dedicated hashtag (#focuseffect) to their cover image. Dedicated campaign hashtags help you track your real estate social media marketing efforts.
Here’s another example of a cover image with a dedicated campaign hashtag for @properties, a real estate brokerage in Chicago, Illinois:
They’ve created a dedicated hashtag #thelifeweshare. Here, you can see how often people used the hashtag in real estate social media posts:
You can filter out your posts to see how many people are using your hashtag, who is using it, and how they’re using it. When you track dedicated hashtags, you can also see:
- Demographic Data
- Estimated Ad Spend
- Related Keywords
And the list is not exhaustive. Using a social media management tool is a great way to make sure you’re efforts are successful.
When it comes to images, the more professional the photo the better. You should consider hiring a professional photographer.
Let’s say this is not a possibility.
The next best thing is to make sure that you are at least posting images that you have taken yourself. Don’t be tempted to use stock images. People want to see actual homes online before looking at them in real life.
Note the people in the example. Having people pose in your images helps home buyers imagine themselves living in the home you’re selling. The same is true of real estate social media video content. Besides drone footage and virtual tours, consider staging a home with actors to activate viewers’ imaginations.
Finally, you’ll want to consider what features to add to your profile. Allowing clients to post testimonials or reviews is a great way to build trust. When choosing an agent, home buyers want someone who is honest and trustworthy above all else.
Here’s an example of different pages Colorado Realtors chose for their profile:
A quick side note – notice that the copy for the CTA is different than what Poppy Realty chose. Whether you choose “Contact Us” or “Call Now,” make sure your copy reflects the resulting action. Consider using “Book an Agent” to make the experience as seamless as possible.
In the sidebar, Colorado Realtors have chosen to include:
- Homes for Sale
- Agent Profiles
- Featured Listings
- What’s Your Home Worth?
Most of the above are obvious. “Homes for Sale” are listings. “Reviews” are reviews. But what about general real estate social media content? What should you post in your main feed?
When creating content for real estate social media posts you’ll want to follow the 80/20 rule. You’ll see this piece of advice everywhere. The idea is that 80% of your posts should focus on customers and 20% on your business.
What does that mean?
First, look at the “What’s Your Home Worth?” feature on Colorado Realtor’s profile. It’s one of the less obvious pages. Here’s what you see when you click on the tab:
Here, users can calculate the value of their property based on their address. It’s useful, informative, and interactive. Now, no the feature is not a real estate social media post. Yet, it exemplifies the type of information found in customer-centric content.
Here are some real estate social media post examples for your main feed:
Real estate buying and selling tips for those with no experience.
Here’s an example of an infographic that Poppy Realty published. The content shows when different age groups can expect to buy a home:
Stock images of properties with pushy sales copy.
In the worst case scenario, at least tell your audience that you’re using a stock photo:
Progress that has been made on an ongoing construction project.
When you’re a larger company that builds homes, creating commercial real estate social media posts that update clients on projects is a great idea:
Advertisements that your followers might have missed.
When you’re one of the big players you may have millions of listings. In that case, such a post makes sense. Otherwise, don’t turn your real estate social media posts into advertisements:
Other content that is great for real estate social media posts:
- Posts about what is happening in and around the community.
- Showcases of local businesses and neighborhoods.
- Contests and giveaways – great for engagement.
- Video walkthroughs of new homes or neighborhoods.
Pro Tip: Make sure that you set up your Facebook profile as a Facebook Business page. That’s because personal profiles don’t allow for features such as a CTA button. You also can’t add extras in the left-hand sidebar – e.g., testimonials or events.
Want to read more about optimizing a Facebook Business page for your real estate agency? Check out our guide: 7 Simple Tips to Optimize Your Facebook Business Page
Twitter can be a bit more personal than Facebook.
With Twitter, real estate agents can create personal profiles and use them for work. Facebook ends with the company’s profile, but Twitter can extend to individual professional profiles.
Here are some reasons why agents may want to manage their own Twitter real estate social media posts:
- To establish themselves as thought leaders.
- To stay in touch with their personal clients.
- To send out necessary, frequent updates about their properties.
- To build trust with clients by sharing more personal tweets.
Here is Jasmine Botto’s Twitter profile. Jasmine is part of the Botto Real Estate team in North Vancouver.
Jasmine tweets listings and advice for buyers and sellers by adding links to Botto’s newsletter:
February Update from the Botto Team – https://t.co/LsIgKCJAHc
— Jasmine Botto (@JasmineKBotto) February 6, 2018
At the same time, her Twitter profile has personal touch. Jasmine keeps it light by occasionally posting about something other than real estate:
— Jasmine Botto (@JasmineKBotto) December 30, 2016
Meanwhile, you still want a Twitter handle dedicated to your agency or brokerage so you can generate leads and update clients with time sensitive information fast.
Here are some real estate social media post ideas for Twitter:
- Listings for properties with images or videos.
- Tips and advice on topics like moving or staging.
- Links to industry-related articles or your blog.
- Retweets of content from industry thought leaders.
- Information about events and initiatives.
- Replies to any tweets left on your page.
Here’s an example of listing tweeted by NYLA Real Estate, an agency based in Los Angeles:
To say this room is a closet would be an understatement. Woodland, TX | $9 Million | Inquire for details! pic.twitter.com/vwe40PyUj4
— NYLA Real Estate (@theNYLAagency) June 17, 2016
So, how often do you need to tweet? Here’s the thing about Twitter. To make the most of the platform, volume is important. That means you need to tweet several times throughout the day.
The more you tweet the greater your reach and exposure. The greater your reach, the more leads you generate. If you don’t have time to make regular tweets, consider using Buffer, a post scheduling tool.
Okay, so your profiles are set up and you’re tweeting on a regular basis. What’s next? How do you take real estate social media Twitter strategy to the next level?
- Connect and engage with local businesses, brands, and influencers. Make yourself recognizable in the community as the go-to person for buyers and sellers.
To find influencers, you can use a social media monitoring tool and a set of targeted keywords. For example, using the keywords “real estate” and “luxury homes” we found the following influencers:
Now, most influencers will probably be other real estate agents. What can you do with this information? It’s great for competitor research.
You could still run across an Instagrammer or a media source that could promote your content or share your real estate social media posts. Reach out and start a relationship!
- Set up keyword alerts so that you know when someone is buying or selling a home in your area. You can use this to generate leads.
You can set up Twitter keyword alerts through a tool like IFTT or by using a social media monitoring tool. Just add keywords (buying home/ selling home) or hashtags like #homeforsale + [Your City] to find out what’s happening in your area.
Here’s an example using Unamo Social Media:
Here’s an example of a tweet found via Unamo using #homeforsale. The home owner has renovated his house and is ready to sell in Georgia:
— gus houghtaling (@big_gus) April 5, 2018
But how do you know which keywords or hashtags buyers and sellers use? Some may be obvious, others not so much. That brings us to the next point.
- Research and use real estate related hashtags. The same applies if you have an Instagram account.
To research hashtags, try using a free tool like Hashtagify. The tool allows you to check if a Twitter hashtag is popular and find related hashtags.
For example, #realestate has a score of 76.4, which means it’s popular. You might want to work it into your real estate social media content. Related Twitter hashtags for #realestate include:
You’ll also want to include hashtags for geographic areas where you operate (#FL), recent events (#openhouse), and search keywords for your target market (#listing).
Using relevant hashtags in your real estate social media posts helps people find you. As mentioned above, you can also search for hashtags on Twitter to find potential homebuyers. Plus, tracking dedicated or branded hashtags can help you monitor the success of given campaigns.
In the example below, the NYLA Agency has used three hashtags:
- A Dedicated/Branded Hashtag (#NYLAagency)
- A General Hashtag (#TheDreamTeam)
- A Real Estate Hashtag (#RealEstateExperts)
— NYLA Real Estate (@theNYLAagency) May 20, 2016
Pro Tip: Want to post a link to your blog or an article? Does the link cause your tweet to exceed the 280 characters limit? Use a link shortening tool like Bitly to compress your links. That way you have more room to write a CTA or engaging copy in your tweet.
Did you know that you can use SEO techniques to increase the visibility of your Twitter profile? No? Want to find out how? Read our article: 7 Twitter SEO Tips: Leverage Your Social Presence for Better Traffic!
With Millennials taking over the home buying market, you can’t afford to overlook Instagram. Plus, as a photo sharing app, it’s a perfect place for real estate social media posts that contain images of properties.
There are two important things you need when using Instagram – beautiful images and appropriate hashtags. Again, do not use stock images. It’s better to take amateur photos with natural filters than to try to post fancy stock images.
When it comes to choosing hashtags, you want to use a mix.
- Popular Instagram Hashtags
- Niche or Topic-related Hashtags
- Industry Hashtags (Real Estate)
- Location-based Hashtags
- Branded Hashtags
- Dedicated Campaign Hashtags
Notice that stephanillouz only uses a few popular Instagram hashtags in his post. He balances them with more targeted, location-based hashtags (#brentwood) and industry hashtags (#realestate).
High volume hashtags give you reach, and niche hashtags put you in front of the right audience.
Do keep in mind that you don’t want to overuse hashtags. Mix and match a couple of hashtags from each category to get a good balance.
Notice that the house in the prior example is a luxury home with a pool. When your real estate social media post includes something niche or specific like a pool or a sunset you can use niche hashtags.
To hit the right audience, you’ll want to use industry hashtags. For real estate, good examples of industry specific hashtags include:
In the example below, chrissapp83 uses 9 real estate industry hashtags:
Notice that he’s also used a branded hashtag #ChrisSappRealtor (in blue). Using branded hashtags can help you keep track of your real estate social media posts and their success. That’s true for Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
He also uses a mix of niche hashtags – e.g., #poolwithaview.
One thing he doesn’t do is use location-based hashtags or popular Instagram hashtags.
Using location-based hashtags is a great way to make sure the right audience is checking out your post. You can start small and tag your city, followed by your neighborhood, area, and state.
You can also add variations of location-based hashtags. Let’s say you’re selling homes in Los Angeles. You might try #la and #losangeles. You can also mix it up by adding real estate terms – e.g., #nychomes or #orlandorealestate.
- #[your city]
- #[your neighborhood(s)]
- #[your region or area]
- #[your state]
In the example below, Metro City Realty used customized, location-based hashtags including:
They also used four of the general real estate hashtags listed above including:
Using branded hashtags allows people to identify a post as a real estate social media post. Instead of seeing another aspirational home, they’ll understand that they can buy.
As mentioned before, branded and dedicated campaign hashtags also makes it easier for you to keep track of your posts.
- #[your real estate team]
- #[your brokerage or agency name]
- #[your name]
- #[name of your social media campaign]
For example, #ChrisSappRealtor is branded hashtag. Also, Snyder Pritchard Homes turns their agency name into a hashtag – #SnyderPritchardHomes – and adds the name of the parent company for good measure – #williamraveis.
Pro Tip: What can you post on Instagram besides beautiful photos of homes? Try using Instagram Stories to show your day-to-day activities as a real estate agent. You’ll give your followers interesting, personal content to engage with, and you’ll build trust with your clients.
Still not sure how to use Instagram for your real estate business? We’ve got you covered. Check out our article: Instagram for Your Business: 11 Tips for More Engagement
YouTube isn’t for everyone. If you’re not doing a lot of video content, you can shelve plans for a channel until later. But let’s say you do have the time and money to make videos.
What kind of real estate social media posts are appropriate for YouTube? Well, the platform is perfect for posting video walkthroughs of new properties.
Older clients especially find virtual tours helpful, but 48% of all buyers appreciate video walkthroughs. Another 27% find videos helpful in general.
Here’s an example of a very basic video walkthrough of a typical home in Ohio:
Notice that the person making the video is only using his phone and walks through the house pointing out the property’s features. There is nothing fancy about the video, but it still got over 100,000 views.
Don’t want to speak? No problem. Here’s another video walkthrough that only uses music:
Want to get more creative? Try catching up with clients after renovations. Testimonials or Before and After videos show that your properties have potential and that you’ve created trustworthy relationships with past clients.
Pro Tip: Once you’ve created a video for YouTube, share it across other channels. Made a video for Facebook or Instagram? Reformat it for YouTube and post it on your channel. Videos are great real estate social media content that you can share across multiple platforms.
Having a hard time getting views on YouTube? Want to know how to get more YouTube views for free? Read our article: 21 Tips on How to Get More Views on YouTube for Free
Again, LinkedIn is one of those social media platforms where it’s best to have a business page and to encourage all your employees to have their own personal profiles.
That way clients can check out individual agents and still get information about your business.
Use the platform to connect with other professionals, recruit new employees, and post professional content.
What type of content is best for LinkedIn?
Design your real estate social media content for LinkedIn to establish yourself and your brand as trustworthy. Also, it’s a good idea to post content that establishes you as a thought leader in your industry.
LinkedIn isn’t the best place to post listings or images of properties for sale. Use the platform instead to build integrity, trust, and expertise. That way, buyers and sellers who check you out on LinkedIn get the impression that they’re working with people who know what they’re doing.
Once you’ve got your real estate social media profiles set up, what’s next? Here are seven ideas that you can try out or consider over the next seven days.
So, let’s get started on a few ideas to boost your social marketing strategy.
Facebook groups are great for getting your content in front of a targeted audience. Also, you can think of joining real estate groups. In these groups, you connect with other realtors and share advice and initiatives. Here’s an example:
To find local groups for listings, try “homes for sale [your city]” or other keyword combinations. You may be surprised to find content that isn’t real estate social media content.
For example, “homes for sale Indianapolis” resulted in two groups with pets for sale. In that situation, use Facebook’s auto suggest feature to find more relevant keywords.
To find real estate related groups in your area use the keyword “real estate [your city].”
Creating a your own Facebook group isn’t difficult either. You can find the option in the drop-down menu. Select “Create Group,” give your group a name, add members, and choose your privacy settings. Click create and you’re done.
Pro Tip: If you’re administering a Facebook group, be sure to put a link back to your main Facebook business page. That way all of your profiles are interlinked and connected.
Have you ever considered doing a Facebook Live Video of a walkthrough? Maybe you should. Why?
Live streaming allows the audience to comment and react in real time. You can use the opportunity to conduct a Q&A session about the property. Plus your audience gets a feeling of exclusivity or of being an insider.
Facebook also allows you to choose your audience for a live stream. That gives you a better opportunity to get your real estate social media content in front of the right people.
Setting up live streaming is a bit more complicated than creating a group or an event. First, you need to download streaming software then you need to click “create a live stream.” You can go live from your Facebook page, an event, or a group.
You’ll get something called a stream key that you paste into the software along with the server URL.
While you’re streaming a live video, viewers can react and comment in real time. You can also write comments and respond to your audience while the video is streaming.
You can also embed the live stream in a website by clicking on </> near the bottom of the page. You’ll get an HTML code that you can copy and paste to your website.
Having trouble coming up with real estate social media ideas?
When you go through a content dry spell, maybe it’s time for an event. Facebook events can range from local events and open houses to training or company events. You can organize events and invite guests.
For example, The Pineapple Group, a real estate agency in Pennsylvania, organized a roller skating party:
The local roller rink went up for sale, so the Pineapple Group created a fun event for the whole community. As a part of the marketing effort for the property, they made photos and videos during the event.
Such an event gave the agency an opportunity to connect with their community. They also created hype for a property and got great photos and videos for marketing purposes. Notice that almost 200 people liked the post thanking guest for coming to the event:
Pro Tip: Your event doesn’t have to be extravagant. Is there a local festival or charity run? What about that booth you set up every year at a conference or recruiting event? You know what you’ve got in the pipeline. Add it to Facebook and you’re good to go.
Some days, you won’t have listing or an event. You won’t have videos or any real estate social media content at all.
On days like these, try posting some free advice across your channels. What kind of advice? Here are some examples:
- How to Move
- How to Stage
- How to Sell
- The Buying Process
- Neighborhood Tips
- Interior Design Trends
- Real Estate Statistics
Remember honest agents are what people want. The more advice your share and tips you give, the more honest and trustworthy you will seem to potential clients. Here’s an example of a real estate social media post with advice:
While we’re on the topic of advice, a blog is one of the best places for detailed content of this sort. Real estate social media posts allow for a snippet of advice here and there. But blogs allow you to answer all your clients’ questions in detail.
The thing is, 95% of all buyers use an online website as a source of information. A further 12% want to find information about the home buying process.
Now, let’s say you have a blog with articles that walk new buyers through the home buying process. You use SEO best practices. Your articles are ranking well on Google. What is the result?
You’re giving your audience what they want. Plus, your blog is bringing new people to your website and keeping them there. You’re boosting your organic traffic and generating promising leads. Nice, right?
At the very least, your blog can establish you as an expert in your industry and build trust with your clients.
No, blogs are not social media marketing, but they can go hand in hand with your social media efforts. That’s because you can push links out across all channels. Plus, you’ve got great content for your website and your newsletter. It’s a win-win.
Another great real estate social media post idea is to promote success stories.
When someone finally buys or sells a house, you’ve got a success story on your hands. Ask your clients if they would be happy to share their story. Most will be proud to have their success shared with others.
Plus, other clients will see that you secure the happiness and success of your clients. Congratulations, you’ve just made the whole experience that much more human.
Here’s an example of how The Wright Group, realtors from Ohio, shared a buyer’s success story on Facebook:
Pro Tip: Notice that the names of the buyers are not mentioned in the post. If you want to take success stories to the next level, you can create a testimonial. Ask your successful buyers and sellers if they’d be willing to make a statement that you can share on social.
Unfortunately, Facebook made recent changes to their algorithms, placing an emphasis on content generated by family and close friends. What does this mean for your real estate social media content?
That means that most of your followers aren’t going to see your posts. And if they do, it’s hard to hit them with the right content at the right time. That’s why it is now necessary to buy ads and promote your content.
Buying targeted ads on Facebook gets your content in front of the right person at the right time. You’ve got a home to sell? A Facebook ad will put it in the feed of someone looking to buy. It’s unfortunate but necessary.
Don’t want to spend too much money? Facebook points to Zephyr Real Estate as an ad solution success story. The San Francisco real estate agency used Ringtail’s ad automation solution, resulting in 76% lower cost per lead.
The solution allows you to auto-generate copywriting for ads. You enter the content it converts it to copywriting. That way you can send bulk ads out without having to waste time on creating copy for each individual ad.
You can make your real estate social media strategy as easy as picking a platform and posting images. You can take it to the next level with the 7 day idea strategy outlined in this article.
Regardless, a good strategy is all about being online. Just be there. Connect with your audience. Build trust. And the rest will come.
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- Improve your Real Estate Social Media Strategy in 7 Days - April 9, 2018