There’s no question that the Internet has come a long way since it was first introduced to the masses. Over the years, it has evolved to the point where it’s taken over much of our day-to-day lives. This is especially true since you no longer have to be sitting at an actual desktop computer in order to access the world wide web, but instead, can instantly connect through smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices. The possibilities of what you can do and find online are endless, and the majority of the general population takes advantage of this by getting online to do everything from shopping, paying bills and filling out dating profiles to video conferencing, job searching and completing college courses.
While browsing and email has consistently remained at the top of the list of polls taken demonstrating daily Internet activities in previous years, new studies reported by Business Insider show they have recently been replaced, with social media use taking over the number one spot. The steady increase of social media activity around the world is seen across the board on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and many other platforms.
As we see that users are allowing social media to monopolize the bulk of their time, it’s important to note that not all of that time is spent simply chatting with friends or posting selfies. In fact, these outlets are often used for things like keeping up on the latest news, sharing political and environmental viewpoints, engagement between businesses and consumers, etc., which brings up one of the newest trends in how people are embracing and utilizing social media.
Realtors, home buyers and home sellers alike, have begun to see social media as a beneficial tool for accomplishing each of their respective goals within the real estate market. As a result, the strategies traditionally used to buy and/or sell a home are changing, and social media is becoming the go-to source for marketing properties.
Social Media For Real Estate Agents
Most real estate agents already understand that it’s vital to the future of their careers to stay updated on all the newest technologies being used in the field and find ways to incorporate them into their routine procedures. Though offering MLS listings and putting up “for sale” signs around town are still useful to an extent, these strategies aren’t enough on their own anymore to entice new clients. Agents that aren’t following down the same path that buyers and sellers are going, may quickly find themselves left behind.
The “social” part of social media gives agents an opportunity to shine and connect with the people of their community on a higher level, and this is when they are more likely to convert into clients. While there is definite value in sharing tips and tricks of the real estate trade, fans and followers also want to get to know agents and find out what makes them stand out from all the other realtors in their area. Sharing relevant but personalized photos and stories through social media makes it easier for possible buyers and sellers to envision someone they can actually see themselves working with during one of the most important transactions of their lives.
In addition, social media allows real estate agents to highlight their industry and local knowledge, actively seek out leads, keep in communication with potential and existing clients, easily schedule and craft invites to open houses, private showings and other events and give virtual tours of the property.
Social Media For Home Buyers
People are constantly turning to social media for input on purchasing decisions and referrals for services. So why would it be any different when it comes to home buying? It isn’t. Facebook, Google+ and Yelp reviews are regularly being used to determine if one agent seems to be a better fit for a client than another. It’s also much more convenient for interested buyers to access any one of the numerous social media platforms on their mobile devices to check out listings from wherever they happen to be than it is to spend their afternoon driving around in search of “for sale” signs or gathering a stack of classifieds.
The California Association of Realtors shows in its “2014 Survey of California Home Buyers” report that mobile technology combined with social media is continuing to have an impact on home buyers and the way they hunt for available properties. Through social media sources, information about a particular home can be made more readily available, details about the neighborhood (including amenities and lifestyle) can be assessed and buying suggestions can be obtained from real estate agents and friends.
Social Media For Home Sellers
Even in a seller’s market, it can be difficult drawing attention to one specific property, so home sellers and their agents must get creative in the way they market to buyers. Companies in all types of industries have found success in using the various social media outlets to link up with consumers, and it has become an innovative approach that sellers are quickly learning to expand on as well.
The key to using social media to sell a home is to use it correctly. This means implementing a number of strategies, such as collaborating with a real estate agent who has an online presence and can reach out to their extensive network of p rs, making use of Facebook advertising and the ability to create an entire page dedicated to the property, sharing photos of home improvement or renovation projects on Pinterest, consistently Tweeting a hashtag that is unique to the home and will spark an interest, highlighting the home’s best features and its neighborhood in a YouTube video, etc.
The power of social media should never be underestimated. Social media has moved far beyond the scope of its initial purpose of and is now enhancing the home buying process by saving realtors, home buyers and home sellers valuable time. Is your company in sync with this new method of engagement for the real estate industry? Have you utilized social media as a home buyer or seller already?