For real estate agents, having an online presence is no longer optional. In a world where so much of our interaction is now online, the advantages of using property portals and social media to reach house-hunters cannot be ignored.
Global property portal Lamudi looks at six easy ways real estate agents and brokers can harness the power of the Internet to reach a wider audience.
1. Pictures, pictures, pictures
High-quality photo are crucial for creating a strong first impression and, ultimately, to getting more house-hunters to attend a viewing. Research from residential real estate firm Redfin shows that professionally photographed homes are more likely to sell – and for more money. However, you do not necessarily need to fork out thousands for a professional photo shoot. If you are taking the images yourself, keep the following in mind: use a good camera, make sure the property is clean and tidy, and try to take the photos in natural light where possible.
2. Share your property listings
Use social media to spread the word about the properties that you currently have on the market. To drive traffic to your listings, set up a Facebook, Twitter or Google+ account for your business, where you can post photos and links to your properties. This is now one of the best ways to spread word about your catalog of available properties. And do not forget about your own social media accounts: share your top properties with your personal network as well.
3. Be targeted with social media
With so many options for social media these days, how do you know whether Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or LinkedIn is right for your business? Instead of spreading yourself too thin, select one or two of the networks where your customers are most likely to be active. Focus your efforts on building a strong following on these key channels before setting up additional accounts on other platforms.
4. Engage with customers directly
More than any other channels, social media offers the opportunity for you to directly engage with your customer base. Rather than only posting links to your property listings and promoting upcoming open house times, get creative with the ways you interact with potential clients. For example, look for users on platforms such as Twitter who are actively searching for property to buy or rent; reach out to these users with suggested properties to match their needs.
5. Post real estate news, advice and more
Share news about developments in your local real estate market, as well as tips and advice for property-seekers, on your various social media channels. This is a great way to position yourself as a market expert and gain the trust of your client base.
6. Try content marketing
Producing your own content is another way to build trust and convince property-seekers that you are a true market expert. Create a blog on your website where you answer house-hunters’ most frequent questions. You could also produce a weekly newsletter that promotes new properties on the market.