social media and real estateI help businesses (of various industries) with their social media marketing initiatives, but in the last year I've focused a lot of my attention to the real estate industry. Social media is EXACTLY what real estate agents need (now more than ever) to build relationships with potential home buyers.

With member bases equivalent to the population sizes of entire countries, social media networks represent enormous opportunity potential for businesses. This is particularly true for businesses that rely on generating new leads, such as real estate marketing. It would seem, in fact, that social media and real estate marketing are a perfect fit for each other.

Social media is particularly effective in generating traffic; real estate selling is the type of business that benefits from continuous streams of new prospects. It is only logical that these two areas find each other and combine to form a dynamic partnership that promises to rock any real estate business venture. But even while there is a natural affinity between social media marketing and real estate selling, the desired positive effect is far from automatic.

Social media simply makes it easier to reach out to more people but it does not guarantee that these people will buy from you. You still need to work on setting up your social media framework, then work it until you get the results you want. Just like learning how to punch will not guarantee that you will win every fight you get into, knowing how to wield social media requires a period of hands-on engagement that gives you an idea of how this tool can help you succeed given the unique situation and problems your business faces.

Here are some things to keep in mind when launching into social media marketing for selling real estate:

  1. Define your market niche. This holds true whether or not you are considering social media marketing. It also holds true regardless of the nature of your business. Social media is all about engaging your audiences, and different audiences respond to different things. It makes it easier for you to use your social networks effectively if you can zero in on specific audience needs and wants, rather than attempt to please everyone. Will you be selling foreclosed or bank-owned property? Will you be targeting first-time buyers? Will you focus on condos and townhomes? Your answers will give you the precise segment you want to focus on.
     
  2. Find your “sweet spot” and create an offer your target markets cannot refuse. If you have played tennis you will be familiar with the concept of the “sweet spot.” It is that part on the racket that just feels absolutely right when you hit the ball, and your shot gets placed perfectly no matter what. You need to find the sweet spot for your target audiences; that is why segmenting them was absolutely necessary. What are the common concerns of this set of people? What do they appreciate, and what do they dislike? When you have found the relevant answers, you will need to craft your offer and the corresponding marketing messages around this “sweet spot.” Like that tennis shot that hits just right, you can’t miss! Create a free report, weekly property lists, video tours and other useful marketing tools around this sweet spot.
     
  3. Drive traffic to your web pages. This is where social media marketing becomes directly useful. Tell your friends about your Website, or about your business. Then ask them to tell their friends about it. The reach of your social network can be incredibly enormous. Use your social media connections as channels through which to distribute your marketing materials.
     
  4. Be helpful and be valuable. Having large social networks is only half the story, though. Connections are useful, but to really derive the benefits out of these connections you will need to convert them into relationships. And to do that you will need to cultivate trust and offer something of value to your prospects. You must earn their trust by giving away useful information that could help them with their own needs. Only after you have earned their trust will you be able to sell anything to them.
     
  5. Build your email database. If this is the only thing you ever succeed in doing out of all these initiatives, then you may give yourself a pat on the back. Your marketing database will be the core of your business, regardless of how you fare with your social media, SEO and other marketing efforts. It is what you can build the rest of your marketing strategy on.

Social media has made it easier than ever to connect with the right audience. It gives real estate agents a way to engage people within their specific area and allows them to keep them informed of property changes and other information.

As a matter of fact, it's the very reason I created Isis CMS Real Estate Edition.