HOW TO MARKET REAL ESTATE ONLINE

SOCIAL MEDIA

Since its launch to the public in 2006, Facebook has become much more than the ideal way to keep up with friends and family – it's a powerful tool for marketing your residential real estate agency. The global statistics about Facebook are mind-blowing, and they provide an indication of why the platform can be such a game-changing medium for your brand and its message.

  • Around the world, 1.49 billion people log in daily.
  • 500 000 new users are added every day – that means six new profiles every second.
  • 45% of Facebook users rely on the social network as a source of news.
  • An average user spends about 20 minutes per day on Facebook.

Setting up a Facebook page is free. It’s never going to put a strain on your finances, provided that you have the time and the know-how to create regular posts that will appear in your followers’ feeds and keep them thinking about your brand. If you don’t have the time, we recommend hiring an experienced company to manage your engagement.

This section is all about posting on Facebook. Advertising on the platform will be covered in detail in a future chapter.

Facebook Image

So, how often should you be posting?

There’s no benefit to starting a Facebook page if you’re only going to post fresh content on it once a month. At the same time, if you were to post every hour, you would soon start to irritate your followers, who would then unfollow you. According to the experts, the “sweet spot” lies between posting three times every week and posting once daily. If you decide to choose the three times every week option, you should make sure that your posts are spread out through the week – Monday, Wednesday and Friday would be a great plan to follow.

What goes into a great Facebook post?

The first thing you need to know is that a Facebook post without a picture is like going to watch a movie without popcorn – it just doesn’t work. As the old saying goes, “a picture is worth a thousand words” and in order for your post to get noticed, your picture should be high impact.

Depending on the content of your post, you could upload a series of pictures of a house that you are marketing. You could also post a picture celebrating the notable achievement of an agent or a picture of an area you are profiling. Whatever the content of your post is, the picture needs to complement the words.

The text that you put into a Facebook post needs to be carefully structured – while Facebook’s character limit is so high that it should never be a consideration, people have very short attention spans. Generally speaking, the longer your post is, the less likely someone is to read the whole thing. If you need to say more, direct the user to your website with a call to action. Make sure the text in your post is to-the-point, interesting and free of spelling/grammar errors.

Great content for Facebook posts

With a little imagination, it’s easy to find content that makes a good Facebook post:

  1. Properties for sale
    Facebook provides an excellent platform to advertise selected listings, particularly properties that will be on show in the coming weeks. A post like this should include high-quality pictures of the property, as well as a brief overview of what it has to offer. This will need to be a summarised and social-media optimised version of the blurb about the property. Avoid just copying and pasting the existing text from your website. If you’re a multi-office brand, keep your property marketing for regional Facebook pages so that followers only receive relevant content.
  2. Company insider posts
    Let your audience get to know you a little better by keeping them up to date with what’s happening in the office. Facebook provides a great opportunity to introduce new real estate agents who may have joined your team and to celebrate milestones like anniversaries or achievements.
  3. News articles
    You can share news articles by pasting a link to the article into your post and then writing a sentence or two to tell your audience why it’s interesting and relevant. Review this previous chapter on how to find relevant topics to write about. There’s even a way to make the link text disappear so that the news article becomes a seamless element of your post.
  4. Industry tips and trends
    Your Facebook page is a great place to share snippets of industry-related information. For example, information about any changes implemented to the property-buying process would naturally be of interest to someone who has chosen to follow a real estate company on social media. Similarly, any changes to interest rates, repo rates or transfer duties will always be relevant to your audience.
  5. Video
    Videos are an important factor for your website’s success. You’ll find it works for your Facebook page too. Your social media audience is hungry for content that answers their questions, entertains them and tells them more about what you do. Rise to the demand! You can also use Facebook’s live video streaming feature. It’s a good way to showcase that luxury apartment, do a Q&A session with your top agent or give a behind-the-scenes look at an event - all in real-time.

The 80/20 rule

80% of the content that you upload to your Facebook page should be focused on your customers. Think of things to say that are related to why they have connected with you – which is to buy, sell or rent residential real estate. The other 20% of your content can be posts where you talk about your business – what you offer, what you have achieved and what sets you apart from your competitors.

PRO MOVE: Thanks to Facebook’s scheduling tool, there’s no need to be in front of your computer or on your phone at the moment when you want your latest post to go live. Facebook now has its own scheduling service, so making use of an external scheduling programme is no longer necessary. There are also ways to link your website and Facebook page so that news articles and/or properties are posted automatically without having to double data capture into Facebook.

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Takeaway

Facebook is everywhere and thanks to the power of smartphones, it goes everywhere with your clients and potential clients. By posting regular, quality content on your Facebook page, you can keep your agency at your clients’ fingertips and foremost in their minds.

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