Ralph DiBugnara is President of Home Qualified, a digital resource for the buyers, sellers, and realtors driving today’s millennial market.
Social media has become the top outlet for consumers when starting their search for real estate. According to the National Association of Realtors, 99% of millennials and 90% of baby boomers begin their home search online. They also found 77% of realtors use social media in some form for business. As a real estate professional, you are going to be judged and possibly chosen by the client before you ever meet them, by way of your social media. The question becomes how can you attract your consumer through social media in a way that is effective and compelling. Most homebuyers, sellers, or investors have certain interests when looking through social media about real estate. Here are three tips that will examine those interests and help you make your social media into a positive for your real estate business.
1. Relate to your audience.
Most buyers of any product — especially their largest purchases — want to feel comfortable that they are working with someone who understands their needs and has common principles. Show your audience things about your life that are relatable. This can include your daily real estate routines, such as searching for properties or researching good investments. You can share who you are interacting with — appraisers, inspectors, lenders, attorneys — as well as personal routines that may relate to them, like grocery shopping, education-related activity, or entertainment. These routines should not include any controversial habits or activities that spark questioning of your reputation, such as drinking alcohol, violence, and overwhelming political or religious opinions. You are a brand, just like Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, or Verizon. Treat yourself that way. Do not post content on a page meant to attract business that will open you up to biased opinions from others at first sight.
2. Build your content around real stories.
Besides wanting to relate to you, your consumer also wants to know that you are authentic to your content and knowledgeable. The best way to do this is to tell real-life real estate stories that should include wins and losses — and what you’ve learned from them. Most people think their own story isn’t exciting because it doesn’t play like a Hollywood movie. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Again, your consumer wants to relate to you. When more of your problems and achievements are of the normal, everyday variety, it’s more likely that your consumer will be able to picture themselves in relation to you. The best way to be an expert is to avoid appearing as someone pretending to be something they are not. If your page is about your daily life in your business and not who you think you should be, you will always attract the people who really want to work with you.
3. Build relationships.
The No. 1 way, in my opinion, to be great at your job and relate is to be human. Yes, being a brand still applies, but that brand needs to be something that resonates personally with your potential clients. Connecting with your followers one-on-one and communicating like a real friend — not a billboard — is the best way to separate yourself from the competition. This can be done by sending information through messages that may be helpful, encouraging comments on your posts, and asking questions of what your audience is curious about. The stronger your connection is, the more that person will give you a chance to be their guide through business in real estate.
As our world becomes increasingly virtual, your presence on social media will become more and more an essential part of your business. Social media use is already showing signs of generating high-quality leads. Find your own start in the virtual world to become the brand of you while always being authentic to your own principles of business.