For an industry that typically does well using visuals to ‘sell the dream’, it’s remarkable how bad most real estate agents are on social media.
There are exceptions using Facebook and Instagram well to craft a local profile and drive leads, but alas, they are few and far between.
Listed here are 10 ways real estate agents get social media wrong, and what they should be doing instead:
1. Cringey headshots straight out of the 1970’s marketing playbook.
Please just stop. There absolutely is a way to feature your sales agents and support staff, but it’s more subtle and should form part of your storytelling; more on that later.
A cheesey (slimey?) closeup profile pic with a “Don’t I look trustworthy?” expression just isn’t helping your cause.
2. No love for your town or suburb
A common thread in top performing agents’ social media is frequent sharing of local attractions, happenings and personalities. It shows a sense of community, builds trust and adds appeal to even the most humble listings.
It also adds much needed visual interest and variety to your feed.
3. Zero video content
Most real estate agents produce video content in the form of virtual tours these days. Well guess what? That is perfect content for social media, with all key platforms prioritising video content to improve reach.
Just be mindful that they may need some editing; Instagram video posts are limited to one minute for example.
Also think about video snippets of auctions, key handovers and local community events. All proven winners.
4. Incorrect image dimensions for social media
Many real estate agents photograph properties and edit images for the key online sales portals such as Domain.com.au and realestate.com.au. And then post the same images to social media as an afterthought.
The problem with this approach is that images are often not right-sized for social media, resulting in weird framing and cropping, and an overall hacky appearance.
5. No storytelling
Too many real estate agents stop short when posting about sales, listings, new buyers and local community. The key to getting serious engagement on any of these post types is storytelling.
It’s the difference between showing a listing and promoting its auction time, and telling why this property hasn’t been on the market in 30 years, what your 2 favourite features are, and why families are clamouring for it.
Similarly, it’s the difference between a ‘thumbs up’ post in front of a ‘Sold’ sign, and a backstory of a young woman that’s worked two jobs to save for the deposit on her first apartment.
See the difference? Storytelling shows empathy, builds trust and invites a reaction. That’s going to help with online engagement, but also subsequent business outcomes from your leads.
6. Zilch education
Take the time to explain industry regulations, tax benefits and government grants. Depending on your local government there might be first home buyer grants, stamp duty concessions or zoning regulations for developers.
By educating the market you are providing more value than just a sales agent, and your followers will view you more favourably as a result.
7. No chat with your followers
This is most symptomatic of real estate agents’ feeds that only feature house listings. A well-rounded feed should be social!
Answer questions, ask for thoughts on the market, start a lively debate.
8. Only featuring the best properties
Unless you are selling properties in the Hollywood Hills to A-listers, don’t be afraid to feature properties that are a bit rough around the edges.
Be sure to up your storytelling, highlight the potential, and any interesting grants or planning approval information. These properties let you really show your stuff as a local professional. Even your most well-heeled clients will appreciate your business savvy and think more of you.
9. No mention of the behind-the-scenes hard graft
If all you ever project is cheesy profile pics of suited men and touched up photos of your listings, you run the risk of devaluing your profession and personal skill set.
Feature some posts from the office when your staying back late, up early promoting inspections, meeting developers, or your support staff preparing the weeks online listings.
It goes a long way to getting prospective clients to appreciate your hard work and lengths you’re willing to go to.
10. The hard sell
If there’s one way to summarise the most common, ill-advised approach to social media by real estate agents, it’s the ‘hard sell’.
The hard sell is a big turn-off. By all means run a social media account to ultimately get more leads and listings. But don’t try and get an audience, shape their perception of you, and convert a lead in the one post.
Instead aim for a planned approach of varied content using a combination of the tips above and aim for sustained success in the medium to long term.