But I’m guessing you already knew that.
The questions most real estate agents ask are:
HOW do I do that?
How can I use social media effectively to build my real estate business?
Let’s start by talking about six of the most common mistakes real estate agents makes when it comes to social media. When you know what the mistakes are, then you can avoid them and put an effective social media strategy into place.
Here we go.
Mistake #1: Profile Fail
The first thing you have to do when joining a social network is create your profile.
Why do so many people skimp out on this part?!
It is so important to take the time to provide concise, up to date information. If there is an opportunity for you to provide information about yourself, your services, and what sets you apart from your competition, then take it!
Each social network has its own criteria necessary for having a complete profile.
Some are more time consuming than others, but there is a reason for that.
Take LinkedIn, for example:
LinkedIn is one of the top social networks that real estate agents should be using in their strategy. Optimizing your LinkedIn profile and filling it out completely is not a five-minute process, simply because you are given the chance to provide extensive information about your work history, skills, position titles, awards and classifications, and much more.
Google Plus is another in the group of social platforms that real estate agents should be using and another that requires a good amount of time to best complete the profile section.
A common missed opportunity is the ‘Story’ section.
You are given more than an ample character length to provide tons of information, as well as the ability to use hyperlinks!
This means you are able to make things like your website, Facebook Page, and blog clickable.
The reader is able to simply click on your website right from this section instead of trying to locate your website in the contact or link sections.
Mistake #2: Branding Fail
Social media is supposed to be a way for you to create brand recognition.
But if you aren’t properly branding yourself, what does that leave people to recognize?
The key here is to be consistent with your branding across the board, from your website down to each social platform you use for business.
Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Each of your social networks should have the same profile image. This makes it super easy for a reader to recognize they have the correct “you” on a given social network.
Bonus Tip! – People respond better to a human image rather than a company logo. If you have the choice, use your personal image as the profile picture, and utilize your logo in your cover image. You want your profile image to represent you in a professional but welcoming way.
- Use the same or variations of the same cover image, and make sure they are sized properly for each social platform. Include your logo and in some cases contact information. The cover image is a prime piece of real estate (did you see what I did there? ☺) that you want to take advantage of! It should be a representation of what your business is about.
- Color scheme it! Color consistency will play a role in your overall brand and how you will be recognized.
The point here is that you want to carry your “brand” with you across the social networks you use.
Mistake #3: Lack of Consistency or Content Schedule
As a real estate related social media manager, I see it all too often; agents are only posting here and there, with no real flow to the chosen content.
To be successful in your social media efforts, post on a consistent basis.
Having a schedule to work with in terms of what topic you will share about will make your life easier and your readers will get to know what to expect from you.
Do you only post your listings or open houses?
(We’ll get to that.)
But that is one of the top reasons why people won’t like your page, circle you, follow you…you get the point.
You need to develop a posting schedule for each social network, then put together a schedule with topics you are going to cover.
What’s awesome is that there are SO MANY different things you can post about in the real estate industry!
Here are just a few:
- Home seller tips
- Home buyer tips
- Real estate related infographics (learn more)
- Your BLOG posts!
- Your peers’ blog posts!
- Things specific to your local area
- Tips for homeowners
- Real Estate advice in general
- Home décor
- Holiday and seasonal posts
- Quotes about business, life, real estate, home ownership, leadership, motivational…(you see where I’m going with this?)
- Mortgage tips and advice
And the list goes on, and on.
While each social network has a different atmosphere, the idea of posting quality content on a consistent basis is at the core.
(Well, it’s one of the two parts at the core of succeeding in your social media efforts.)
Mistake #4: Posting Listings
As a real estate agent, only posting your listings is as spammy as it gets.
No one wants to stay connected to a Facebook Page that only has houses for sale and links to the full listing.
I’m not saying never post your listings, quite the opposite!
But, there are a few ways to do it correctly to avoid being unfollowed:
- Don’t post more than one listing per week. Instead, choose the same day of the week to either introduce new listings or provide a theme, like feature property of the week.
- When you post the listing, provide an impactful introduction.
- Use one of the best pictures you have of the property, whether it is of the interior or exterior.
- Pose a question about a feature shown in the picture you are sharing along with the link to the full listing.
- Include information about the area where the listing resides.
Mistake #5: Lack of Interaction on Social Networks
I hate to use the term “engagement” here because it seems you hear that everywhere.
But I’m going to use it anyway!
You need to engage with your readers, peers, customers, friends and supporters.
(Hint, hint, this is the second part of what I mentioned earlier is at the core of succeeding in your social media efforts.)
There is a term in real estate used to describe some agents - a “post and pray” Realtor. You can read more about that in this article by Bill Gassett, a top Realtor in MA. While you don’t want to be a post and pray agent, you also don’t want to post and pray on social media.
Simply posting something to your social networks is not enough, not even close!
How you interact with and respond to the activity on your page will make or break how much activity you will see in the future.
Here are a few tasks you should do:
- Check notifications
- Respond to comments
- Seek out new folks to follow (like, circle, invite to connect) in your industry
- Visit the pages/accounts of those that visited yours and interact with them
- Retweet others
- Share other people’s content
- Respond to messages in a timely manner
The key takeaway here is that if you are just sharing an update to your social networks and then simply signing off, you are wasting your time and energy.
Be genuinely open to making new connections and being supportive of your peers, and your real estate biz will be positively impacted!
Mistake #6: Being Selfish
While it’s not good to be selfish in any sense of the word, it’s extremely important for real estate agents to share and link to other real estate related blog content.
In an article put together by Xavier De Buck, a top-producing Northcliff (Johannesburg) real estate agent, called “How To Ensure Success As a Real Estate Agent in 2016,” I had the pleasure of providing some insight regarding this common social media mistake.
You might think that linking to other articles on a similar topic would take away from the information you are providing in your own article.
That is simply not true.
- You are adding real value to your article
- The real estate professionals included in your article are likely to share it to their social channels, increasing the article’s exposure.
- SEO Benefits – Outbound links provide a benefit to your site by allowing you to achieve authority in your niche. Google looks favorably on your content when other links of authority are used. (Learn more.)
- Encourages Backlinks – When you link to other real estate agent’s content, they are more likely to link to an article you have written
In short, it’s not all about you!
Your end goal is to provide knowledge to your readers about what you know best – real estate!
One of the ways you do that is to utilize the content written by other real estate professionals who also provide their take on the subject at hand.
Additional Social Media Help for Real Estate Agents
While these six mistakes are certainly not the only ones I see being made by real estate agents, they are six of the most common.
Are these mistakes ones you can fix?
Now I’m going to follow my own advice and provide a few links to other articles about how social media (properly implemented) will positively impact your real estate business.
Check them out!
They were all written by top real estate professionals across the country, who know what they are talking about.
- Golden Nuggets of Social Media – David R. Millar (Real Estate Agent, Russian River Area)
- Real Estate Social Media Marketing: Mastering the Top Networks – Bill Gassett (Realtor, Metrowest MA)
- Why Every Real Estate Agent Should Have a Blog – RESAAS
- What Real Estate Marketing Strategies Should Realtors® Be Using? – Kyle Hiscock (Real Estate Agent, Greater Rochester Area)
- Local SEO Strategies in Real Estate – Ryan Fitzgerald (Owner of Raleigh Realty, a Raleigh, North Carolina Real Estate Company)
Lori Thomas Dickert manages social media for people in the real estate industry as well as small businesses. Native to the Lehigh Valley, Pa, she is a happy mom, wife, coffee, and dog lover!