By now, most real estate agents have a social media presence — but there is usually a disconnect between the content they are posting and what their followers would like to learn and see from their posts.

People who are considering buying or selling a home are emotional and often full of doubt and questions. They want to be sure they are making the right decision, as financially this will be one of the biggest and most important investments of their life!

Yes, they may come to you because of your experience and a license that backs up your credibility, but they also want someone who they know can help them navigate this complex process and reassure them that they are making the right decision for themselves, and usually for their families. Being able to do this effectively is what is often overlooked in this industry and can give real estate agents a true competitive advantage. Think about it – a client is much more likely to refer you if they feel like you had their best interest at heart and went the extra mile to truly be by their side throughout the process.

What most do not realize is that if applied effectively, social media is an excellent tool to provide that extra support. It is where you can share tips, advice and create an open dialogue with your prospects so that you can build their trust and ultimately have an ongoing relationship with them.

Here are 10 specific tips to help you execute:

1. Promote the area, not just the property.

Buyers want to know the ins and outs of the neighborhood they would be moving into and most agents specialize in specific neighborhoods and already know this information. Plus, the info is so easily accessible through social media – follow their Instagram, Twitter or Facebook pages and re-share content that you find interesting. Most cities have a “@CityOf Instagram or Twitter handle that you can repost. This could include be events in the area, stats on the neighborhood, milestones or city improvements.

2. Be Authentic.

Take the time to let your voice come through in your posts and make a personal connection with those who are following you. If you have a good sense of humor, add some wittiness to your copy and give users a taste into your personality. Always remember that consumers may be following a business but it’s the person behind the business that drives the decision on whether or not to do business with you!

3. Provide Users with Educational Content

Social media is the best outlet for this and it’s your content that will set you apart from others. You cant be only posting about listings and trying to only “get a sale.” If you want users to pay attention to your posts, you MUST give them content they find valuable. Tips, advice, facts and other content they can learn from. Infograhpics are a great way to do this and can help with making content that is hard to digest easily digestible in a visual format.

Also, the better the content, the more users will engage with it. This means they are more likely to share it, like it or comment on it. The more this happens, the higher your relevance score will be. The higher your relevance score, the more Facebook will share your content organically and the more eyeballs you will have to your posts. This is HUGE! Facebook wants users to stay on their site and the best way to do this is to give more relevant posts priority and make sure they are shown on the top of users’ feeds.

4. Take Time to “Chat” with your Followers

Social media has drastically shortened the duration of time that users expect to receive a response and most users are accustomed to instant (or as close to that as possible) when they ask a question.

Less people pick up the phone to make a call and expect that messaging you on social media will give them a faster and better response. Make sure you are ready for this and are receiving your notifications on your phone so that you do not miss out on an opportunity, or disappoint your users. Use the platform to build the dialogue and always be sure to answer their questions in a timely manner. Another way to do this is through automated Facebook messages called chatbots.

 

5. Respond to comments, good and bad.

This seems obvious but I am often surprised at businesses that fail to do this – respond promptly and courteously to your followers. Not just to ones who have questions, but those that post comments and you can comment back, like or engage with. You don’t need to respond to every single one, but the more you do, the more you show that you are invested in social media and in your users. It is also important to respond to negative comments so that you have a chance to share your side of the story, just make sure to do it in a non-defensive way. Don’t ever get into a battle with a disgruntled user and always be sure to take the high road and act professionally.

6. Overly Posting About Your Listings

Yes, you need to post about your listings and you need to use social media as a way to raise awareness and interest for them – but make sure you are not abusing this. We recommend a 1 to 5 ratio. For every 1 time you post a listing, you need to post 5 pieces of valuable content to keep people coming back and interested in your content. This goes hand in hand with tip 3 and making sure you are staying consistent with the Facebook algorithm.

7. Forgetting video

According to WireBuzz viewers retain 95% of a message when they watch it in a video, compared to 10% when reading it in text!

Yes, videos can be costly but there are many affordable solutions out there (including ours!) where you can incorporate video into your social media content and get a lot more exposure and interest than you would with just a static photo. This is especially true for property listings, which can generate a lot more interest when showcased with a vibrant and branded video.

Another added benefit: YouTube videos can improve your website’s ranking in search engines like Google — a common place where prospects start their search for a new home.

8. Only Posting Content for One Specific Demographic

Homebuyers and sellers come in all ages. Yes, a majority of your followers are probably first-timers — but not all are. Make sure you occasionally post content that connects with a more savvy audience and does not just “dumb down” the process for all.

According to a recent PDF by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), 36% of home buyers in America are 37 years old or younger and about 66% of them are first-time buyers.

9. Not Posting Frequently

The two most popular social media platforms – Facebook and Instagram — reward accounts that post frequently. This does not have to be daily but you should be posting at least three times a week. The best way to do this is to map it out monthly and start with your content pillars. Then decide how many of each you want to post weekly. For example – if you want to post tips, can you do it twice a week. If so, now you have eight dedicated posts a month. This makes the process much easier.

10. Invite your existing friends to your Facebook Business page and Instagram Account

First of all, make sure you have a business page on both Facebook and Instagram and are not posting to just your personal profile. Second, make sure you have invited all of your friends to like your business page. Why is this important? Remember that friend from high school that you have lost touch with but follow on Facebook? Well they probably don’t know you are a real estate agent and this makes it certain that they do AND makes it certain that you stay top of mind when they are looking for someone to buy or sell their home.