New in real estate? If so, I bet all you hear about is how easy it is to find buyers and seller via social media. But, how many have you found? Enough to make a living? Maybe…but, unlikely. Or, are you a veteran real estate agent? One who has built your business long before social media was even a thought. You see, we have two groups of agents in the market place when it comes to social media. Agents who were here before, and others who came after the social media frenzy erupted and changed the world we live in right before our noses.
Agents who were here before and have a very strong business in place do not fully understand the presence of social media in our lives and business. And, many of the agents who started their careers after the social media boom do not fully understand how to use it and harness its power to grow a strong business.
I am a mix of both types of agents. I started my career just before social media took full effect, and built an incredibly significant business with out it. The core of my business was and still is focused around what is now called “circle prospecting”. This is where you cold call owners who own property around a listing or closed sale. You call them up to inform them of the market activity and ask if there is anything you can do for them. When they say “NO”, using my phone scripts, you take that “NO” and create a life long relationship. From there you create 1000’s of relationships this way and become their agent when they decide to buy or sell as well as take any referrals they might send your way.
After 15 years, I had built a million dollar a year business with zero social media. I was too busy building my business to even notice how big social media was getting. Then, one day, I had went to a RE/MAX conference and listened to a speaker from Orlando, FL, Daniel Wilson, who was burning it up with social media. I was very enlightened by his speech and went to speak to him afterwards. I was also a speaker at the same conference, but mine was about cold calling. He really opened my eyes to the new possibilities that social media had to offer. Up to that point, I considered social media to be a place for just your personal life, not your business. Man, was I wrong…
So, from that day, I started researching YouTube and Google about how to use social media to your advantage in business. I basically use the information as I do everything by learning a little bit from everything I read and listen to, then experimenting with everything I pick up. I figure out what works and what doesn’t, and eliminate what doesn’t. Meanwhile, tripling down on what does work. Here is what I have learned so far…
How to Dominate your Market with Social Media
Dominating in Social Media is the same as dominating in any other area of business. It all comes down to how consistently hard you work. How bad you want it. You must be really passionate about what you are doing or it will not work out for you due to the amount of hard work that goes into it before you find just the first taste of success. And, that first taste doesn’t even taste like much of success because of all the time and effort put into it. However, I promise you, if you are consistent over time, it will get better and easier. The only question is, can you hang in there and keep pushing, or will you quit just before a huge wave of success comes your way?
First off, there are all kinds of Social Media platforms that you can use to advertise your business. For me, I have found most of my success on Facebook, with Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat being the other three platforms I focus on. The platforms will change over time. New ones will emerge and become very popular and you will have to adapt. The skill to adapt to the ever-changing world is one of your most important skills to acquire and constantly sharpen. Today its Facebook, tomorrow…who knows. The main point at any given time in the world is to find out where customers attention is. What are the paying attention to? In today’s world, it happens to be our cell phones. You can’t go anywhere without it and everyone is looking down at theirs. You can do practically everything on your phone now. It really is insane what all you can do. You can research anything, buy anything, and contact anyone right there on the device in the palm of your hand. Now, how do we harness this power of customers attention to their phone to grow our brand and business as a real estate agent?
Facebook is currently the largest Social Media platform on the planet with over a billion users. We can go really deep with detail on how Facebook does what it does, but I just want to focus on the basics for now. First thing you must do is create a Facebook business page if you do not already have one. A business page allows you to run ads and boost your posts. You can not do this on a personal page. This give you the option to advertise. Name the page after your business. Next, you have to dress your page up with a banner photo and profile picture. These pictures should be very professional and epic looking. Use a picture of yourself for the profile and maybe a very unique picture of your area in the banner. Finish the page by putting in all of your contact and business info. Now you are ready to start making posts on your official Facebook business page. Immediately start inviting all of your friends to “LIKE” your page and this will be the beginning of your fan base which we will grow from there.
From here, you will want to create three posts every single day for the rest of your career. These posts can be a cool picture of your area or a property, an interesting article you found online about the area that you can share on your page, one of your listings that you can share on your page right off MLS, or a video you took with your phone. The point is to make three posts every single day, PERIOD. You do this even in the beginning of your social media journey when no one is even looking at your page or your posts. This will show the world how hard of a worker you are. Once you get big on Social Media, people will look back months and months on your page looking to see your past activity. You will want them to see solid activity. This will make them feel comfortable that your are, and always have been, a hard working agent.
Once a day, boost one of your posts for $5-10. This will place your boosted post on the newsfeed of customers in your area. Be sure to use the targeting to narrow down the audience you want to see your post. For example, you don’t want to run an ad to 15 year olds. Look at age, location, interest, etc. Play around with tis and have fun with experimenting. This is a real thing. People you know and people you don’t know will see your boosted post. This will build strong brand recognition for you in your community. The secret here is to have a boosted post running every single day. This way they see your name over and over again with another interesting post about the area and/or the market.
Facebook Live is a new feature that has really taken storm. Use this to your advantage. Go live at open houses, new listings, etc. Go live and do a 1-2 minute market report and boost it across your community. Facebook will alert your friends when you are live and they will tune in. It will also stay on your page where customers and friends can watch it later. I did a Facebook Live from a new listing a few months ago and had a full price offer before I got back to the office. This is a powerful tool. Do not overlook it.
Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat
Instagram and YouTube are the two platforms that I am building up around Facebook. They all work together. The internet wants to see you consistently posting content in as many places as you can. Intertwine them and brand them as your own. GO to your user settings in Instagram and link your Instagram account to your Facebook business page. By doing this you will have the option every time you post a picture on Instagram to also have Instagram post the same content on your Facebook business page for you. This makes it really easy to post pictures and video that you post on Instagram on your business page on Facebook. — USE HASHTAGS. Instagram uses hashtags to allow other users to search for people with the same interests. Use 5-10 hashtags per post on Instagram. This will increase your followers dramatically over time. Like Facebook, post three times a day on Instagram. Do not link every single post to Facebook. And (important to all Social Media), post about half business and the other half personal. This will make your content more interesting to your followers and allow them to get to know you a little bit.
YouTube is only the second largest search engine in the world. Ignoring this platform is a big mistake. Create a YouTube channel and start producing content with your phone about your area and your listings and sales. Start documenting your business and properties. As time goes by, you will get better at doing videos and editing them. The bottom line is to start a channel and create 2-3 videos per week. Link these videos from YouTube to your Facebook page.
Snapchat is a platform that allows you to create “stories” out of 8 second videos of your day. Download Snapchat on your phone and start figuring it out. Add all of your contacts to it and start documenting your every day. You will find that many people you know are on Snapchat and are watching and following you there. This platform is mostly used by a younger crowd (for now), but that is rapidly changing. Go ahead and get in now and start learning how to use it. It will get bigger and bigger. Snapchat has a feature called Geo Filters that can be used to advertise your business. Create a Snapchat Filter branding your logo, picture or tag line. Geo Filters, once created by you, can be uploaded into Snapchat (online) and used by users in a specific location. A great way to continue building your brand. Even if you do not get around to creating Geo Filters, continue using Snapchat to document your productive day and allow your followers there to watch you in action.
Networking on Social Media
To date, there are 1.2 Billion users on Facebook, over 400 Million on Instagram and over 150 Million on Snapchat. And, these number are low compared to what they will be over the next 5-10 years. Extremely low…Start taking advantage now of the huge opportunity before us right at our finger tips.
You can also learn form other agents on Social Media. There are plenty of Facebook groups full of realtors helping each other and offering advice. Just search for Real Estate groups in Facebook and check them out. It’s really amazing when you think about how easy it is to find groups of people with the same interests as you that you can connect with and learn from. Take advantage of this as well…
I hope this blog post has helped you understand Social Media a little more and has given you a few tips on how to use it to your benefit.
If you have any questions for me, feel free to ask.
RE/MAX of Orange Beach
Real Estate Author and Coach