Welcome to the 21st Century. As an estate agent, you stand for tradition. But, unfortunately, the world is changing and if you don’t adapt to keep up with the modern times, then you may find yourself getting left behind. The internet is the future, as much as it might pain you to hear, you can’t run from it and you can’t hide from it. So, the correct thing to do is to embrace it; if you can’t beat them, join them!
With the rise of online estate agents, the competition is harsher than ever. The market has become a sort of ‘survival of the fittest’ battle, as high street agents meet their biggest competitors head on.
You must be worried that embracing the internet might mean that you lose your traditional values. This doesn’t have to be the case. You can maintain your high street persona whilst staying relevant and competitive. This article will give you some key social media tips for estate agents.
Read on to find out some crucial modern solutions for modern agents…
Those two words dominate our society. The worst thing you can do is to underestimate the influence and power of social media. Platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, Facebook etc. are highly influential and encompass our everyday lives, whilst offering a wide reaching opportunity for audiences all over the world.
But, with so many platforms to choose from, where should you start to create the best estate agent social media?
Twitter is one of the largest social media platforms available. It is home to millions of users who utilise its services to share news, advice, deals, information or the usual cat videos. Twitter is probably the most casual platform available, with only 280 characters there is no time to waffle on about things, your comments and pieces of information must be short and sweet.
Twitter utilises things like hashtags and ‘key phrases’ to ensure that your tweets gain maximum exposure. Unlike Facebook, your tweets are not restricted to your followers (unless you choose to create a private account). Anyone can search and find you, or search for a topic that you are related to and see your tweets. It means that potential clients/vendors etc come to you, rather than you going to them.
But you will never be found if your page isn’t up-to-scratch and your tweets are not relevant or engaging. So, once you have set up your account, you need to do the following to ensure that you can make the most out of this fantastic free service:
Make sure that your bio is full, correct and professional
- This is the biggest way to let potential followers know who you are and what you do. Using old, low quality photographs for header and profile pictures will discourage people from following you, as will a lack of information. Keep it informative and simple. Take some inspiration from other successful agents; take note!
Share, post and like engaging and informative content
- It must be relevant and valuable to your desired audience.
- Tweeting about your commute to work isn’t relevant to your target audience and will discourage potential clients from following you. It will hinder their chances of successfully searching for you and maintaining a ‘follower’ status.
- Keeping on top of mentions and comments is also key to increasing your image as a business. Many people turn to social media to review, both positively and negatively, and if these go unseen then it can often escalate. Understanding your audience is key, so make sure that you are a part of the conversation.
Strategically follow people
- Don’t just go ahead and follow everyone and anyone. It will make you look desperate if you follow 2k+ but only have 20 followers, it will also spark warning signs to potential followers.
- Make sure that you follow relevant people, take a look at who other estate agents are following and follow them as well.
- If you have a partnership with another company, it might be a good idea to do a little ‘scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours’ agreement. Share and promote each other’s content; utilise your connections wisely.
- Take advantage of Twitter’s ‘Who To Follow’ feature, it is there for a reason and can be really helpful.
Tweet consistently and repetitively
- Make sure that your tweets are consistent; avoid bursts and periods of inactivity as you may find yourself annoying or boring your followers.
- Tweeting repetitively can be a risky game. Twitter has become wise to scammers who consistently clog up feeds with the same content. But there is a way around it, simple alterations to wording can change a tweet while maintaining its message. Play around with different tweets to see which ones gain more interactions. You don’t want to anger the Twitter gods.
Images, hashtags and mentions
- The best way to engage people and to make your content easier to find is to include hashtags.
- These are incredibly popular and act as a categorising tool which ensures that your tweets are directed towards the correct people.
- A person searching #realestate on Twitter will see your content in their search results without searching for you in particular.
- Images and links receive a higher level of engagement. They attract audiences as they are more eye-catching to those scrolling through their feeds. Small textual tweets often get lost in the crowds.
- The best way to engage people and to make your content easier to find is to include hashtags.
Instagram is as popular as Twitter, however, it is a picture based platform as opposed to mainly textual. Posts are centred around an image with text situated below. The great thing about Instagram is that it has a character limit of 2,200, so you can put a lot more text into your posts. Instagram is very popular with the younger generations and, like Twitter, offers an open search tool which means that anyone can search and find your account with ease. Again, similar to Twitter, Instagram offers the ability to follow specific hashtags, meaning that your posts could be found on feeds of people who don’t follow you specifically, but do have an interest in property. Posting good quality pictures with links, tags and informative text is the optimum way to gain followers on Instagram. Hashtags are your best friend and should be used intelligently and not overly so.
Creating a Facebook page for your business is really easy. But the problem is that not many people use Facebook for things like that. It is mostly used for catching up with friends, stalking ex’s and being reminded that it is your aunt’s birthday tomorrow. Oh, and who can forget the odd cat videos?
But that doesn’t mean that it isn’t a powerful tool. Think of Facebook as a slightly more professional and formal version of Twitter. Facebook pages offer a lot more to a business than a Twitter page, it is almost a social media version of your website. You can include opening times, products, services, content, pictures etc. Most people will use your Facebook page to gain knowledge about your company, so make sure that all of their questions are answered, or if not, that they are easily directed to where they can get more help.
Spend a little to get a lot.
If you are willing to invest a little in your social media presence, then Facebook ads can be highly influential. Reaching thousands of potential clients, a Facebook ad is a powerful lead generation tool which can really benefit your company.
Facebook, like Twitter, is a great platform for industry networking, as groups offer the opportunity to both connect with vendors and also to promote your own company. If there isn’t a group out there that suits your business, then create your own! Get the word out there and grow your business.
This is the most professional platform that you can use. LinkedIn is like Facebook, but specifically for businesses. This isn’t the place to post your houses for sale, but to show off about how amazing your company is. What press coverage have you received? Have you won any awards? Have you released any new products or services? This is the space to shamelessly plug your company and how incredibly amazing you are; in a professional manner.
How to make the most out of LinkedIn:
- Similar to the other accounts, make sure that your profile is full and up-to-date. Join groups where your content can be spread and you can show your company to a larger audience.
- Share content, ask questions and engage.
- Again, really similar to Twitter and Facebook, just alter your messages to suit a professional environment.
- LinkedIn is free, however, there is the option to become a ‘Premium’ member and unlock LinkedIn’s, and subsequently your companies, full potential.
For all of your social media accounts: don’t just post promotional stuff, mix it up a bit. Post articles from other websites and promote your own content.
Also, utilise the analytic tools that are available. They can help you to understand what is working and what isn’t. You can then tailor your social media to optimise your potential.
Blogs are increasingly popular in the property world as they add an extra dimension to your average estate agency. Blogs mean that now, not only can estate agents find you a property, but they can also tell you how to decorate it, the best way to prepare your house for selling and top tips for viewing a house.
They act as an incredibly successful door to your website. People looking to see how much rent they should charge their tenants, may find themselves on your website and consequently enquire about your lettings service. Similarly, a person looking at the best way to prepare their house for sale may then see the ‘follow link’ to your website and from there they may inquire about your services… it is all about creating leads! And that is one of the most valuable things.
The key to a successful blog, like anything, is interesting content; with a pinch of SEO. Write about things that your readers will want to know and make it easy for them to find it. If you don’t know how to make your site SEO friendly and don’t have the budget to hire a professional, then there are plenty of FREE helpful sites out there which will help you to make the most out of your blog and increase its ranking.
High street windows are a tried and tested method which has proven itself successful, but not everyone has the time in our society to peruse the shop windows for their next property. House hunters would much rather sit on their phone, tablet, or laptop and scroll through pages and pages of properties, given all of their options in one place.
There are the obvious options of Rightmove and Zoopla but these can be expensive, with prices reaching up to £1,750 per office, per month. But, keeping up with online estate agents means keeping prices low and budgeting effectively. That is why companies such as TheHouseShop are the perfect investment. You can list for FREE.
Nick Marr, co-founder of TheHouseShop comments on the need for agencies to embrace our modern times:
“Staying modern and relevant is key to surviving in this world. Estate Agents need to embrace change, rather than running from it. Online estate agents have gone from strength to strength, utilising the growth of the internet to their advantage. But there is no reason why you should sink while they swim. High street agents must adapt to their surroundings if they want to keep their head above water.
“Utilising the internet to promote themselves is a great way to optimise a business. The web has thousands of opportunities for finding and generating new vendor and valuation leads, you just need to be willing to try.
“I think a lot of estate agents are missing a trick by failing to make use of free marketing and lead generation platforms. On our site agents can get free listings, vendor and valuation leads and a fresh new audience. The internet can be an expensive place; online estate agencies don’t have to pay the same high street rent that traditional agents do, and therefore Rightmove and Zoopla fees are not that much of a financial hit. However, for those on the high street, fees can often be higher than their monthly rent, therefore, agents need to be intelligent with their finances. Utilising free platforms is highly resourceful and exactly what a modern agent needs to be.”