Boy, times are changing!
We carry these smartphones around in our pockets that, if you really think about it for a second, manage and control every aspect of our lives.
Our calendar, our means of communication (personal and business), our entertainment, our workout buddies, navigation, running our businesses, marketing, advertising, networking…
Our phones are now our boarding passes at the airport, the keys to our homes, and control centers for literally everything.
Really let that soak in for a second to realize exactly how different our lives are today from 10 years ago. Everything is done on our mobile devices. With that in mind, you’ll soon see why you need to start using Snapchat for real estate marketing.
The internet has changed EVERYTHING.
We’re living through such a massive shift in our society and culture and how we live our daily lives, that it’s hard to remember how we functioned as humans without the internet.
I contend that there has never been a bigger shift since the Industrial Revolution.
…And this is MUCH bigger.
But we’re really just getting started.
We’re really only a couple of decades into “the internet” and already companies like Amazon are dropping packages off with drones just an hour after submitting the order!
We can already use our phones to unlock our doors, turn the lights on in the kitchen, brew coffee, and start a load of laundry, all while still at the office or on vacation!
Doesn’t it then make sense that the way we market ourselves, and our real estate business should keep up with the world we live in?
How many of us actually do?
If we’re honest with ourselves, many will realize that we’re still operating our businesses as if it’s 2002.
Hell, I still run into real estate agents that don’t know how to text or email!!
I hate to say it, but relying solely on sending out Just Sold/Just listed postcards, quarterly newsletters to past clients, and calling FSBO’s and expired listings is OVER.
The world has transformed right in front of our eyes.
And many of us won’t accept this until it’s too late and our business has evaporated.
Don't Miss out on the Next Big Thing
As Realtors and business professionals, we can choose to either embrace technology and social media and all its amazing capabilities, or we can put up our dukes and resist; at least for a little while.
How many of you resisted joining Facebook?
My hand is up.
I was one of those people, and I was only 24 when I first saw Facebook.
(My mother was on Facebook before me!)
For those of us who resisted Facebook until we were one of the last, how did that work out for us?
We were behind the curve, not ahead of it.
Imagine if we were one of the first people on Facebook instead! How much further ahead (on Facebook) would we be right now?
Fast forward to today; you’re not only active on Facebook, but you love it because you finally see its value; it’s amazing ability to market real estate, and ourselves.
With Facebook Ads, we can specifically target people “likely to move, who are married, with homes valued over $300,000, in Cottonwood Heights Utah, between 2300 East and 2700 East, who earn over $70,000/year, who are empty nesters, and who like watching Grey's Anatomy on TV”.
Pretty amazing, right?
Facebook is absolutely awesome, and should definitely continue to be a big part of your online marketing.
But it’s old news.
Snapchat is the social network of the future, and the future is now.
As I write this in January 2016, Snapchat is becoming mainstream. By the end of 2016, I believe it will be THE social network.
If you’re under 25, it already is.
What the Heck is Snapchat?
Snapchat is a video and photo messaging app/social network.
You can take photos and videos, add text and drawings on top of them, overlay the time, temperature, or add cool graphics on top and send them to your friends and followers.
These photos and videos are called "Snaps".
Users set a time limit for how long recipients can view their Snaps (from 1 to 10 seconds) before they disappear forever.
Because the Snaps disappear after they’re viewed, you’ll most likely have your followers’ full attention! They won’t be scrolling through a news feed at hyperspeed - because there is no news feed.
It’s all about attention, keeping the attention of those we want to see our message.
This is exactly why I’m jumping on Snapchat to market my real estate business in 2016, and why you should to as well.
We’re an ADD Society
We live in an On-Demand world – a world in which many of us legitimately get pissed off when another human being calls us.
You, too, have probably been irritated by a phone call at a time that was not convenient for you.
You would’ve preferred a text.
Why do we now prefer texts to phone calls?
Because a text can be read and responded to on our time, whenever it’s convenient for us.
Netflix put Blockbuster out of business because they gave us the ability to watch what we want to, when we want to. Same thing with Uber disrupting the taxi cab industry.
We want everything on demand.
Snapchat allows our followers to open our Snaps when they want to see them.
But the best thing about Snapchat for real estate marketing is that you can keep someone’s FULL attention! If they don’t pay attention to your snaps, they’ll disappear forever.
Where else in our society can you capture and retain attention like that?
How to Use Snapchat for Real Estate Marketing
Real estate is visual.
Videos and photos are everything, and that’s exactly what Snapchat is all about.
I like to record Snap videos when I’m previewing a listing.
If the home for sale has a great view of the Salt Lake valley, I Snap it; sometimes I’ll narrate it and/or draw on the video to highlight certain things.
The viewer of the Snap will get a feel for how the view of the valley looks in person. They can then message me from within Snapchat and request more info about that particular home.
Do any of your listings have unique aspects that you want people to see?
Go record some Snap video that shows them off!
Much more effective than a few eloquent words buried in your MLS description.
The other night on Snapchat, I showed off some new smart home technology at Home Depot. My followers saw some cool new smart home gadgets, learned how they work, and now they know to watch my Snaps if they want to hear more about smart home technology, not just real estate.
I add these Snaps to My Story, viewed as one long string of photos/videos, which allows me to create a few minutes of valuable content for my followers.
A “story” collects all your snaps together in one place and is visible to all your followers & friends for 24 hours.
If you create a video that is so great that you don’t want it to expire in 24 hours, with one button you can download the whole Story to your phone and put it up on YouTube!
Who is Already Using Snapchat to Advertise?
Movie studios like Columbia Pictures are using Snapchat to deliver movie trailers or exclusive extra content to their followers. They are now putting Snapcodes on their movie posters for new movies like The 5th Wave.
Are movie studios just wasting their time & money advertising on Snapchat?
I believe they simply see where the world is moving and are getting in ahead of the wave, not behind it.
Additionally, some major brands like CNN, Comedy Central, ESPN, Wall Street Journal, Mashable, and National Geographic are part of Snapchat Discover, where these brands highlight exclusive Snapchat video content & articles, and then direct viewers back to their websites.
Taco Bell has been using Snapchat and seeing great results.
They said that 80% of their followers opened the videos Taco Bell sent them, and 90% of them watched the videos through to the end!
How’s that for engagement!!
Where to Learn How Snapchat Works?
I know this sounds like a cop out but… YouTube it!
There are so many “How To” videos on YouTube that teach you how Snapchat works.
Learning to tell stories on Snapchat is key, so follow marketing influencers who are already doing it successfully, and follow their lead.
If I had to choose just one marketing/business expert to follow on Snapchat, it’s him. (username: garyvee)
Watch how he uses Snapchat, and follow his lead.
Gary is a true Snapchat master.
You can follow me on Snapchat and see how I personally use Snapchat to add value to my viewers.
I’m sure you can get a few ideas for snaps of your own.
Either type in my username (dustinbrohm) or take a screenshot of my Snapcode.
You’ll see how I use Snapchat to tell stories and educate people about real estate and smart home technology, as well as to highlight specific Salt Lake City Homes for Sale.
Even more valuable than snapping your listings and real estate related content, Snapchat allows me to be authentic, unrehearsed and real.
These days most people are turned off by the polished, rehearsed salesman giving a sales pitch on why they’re the best Realtor for the job. They want to work with someone authentic and real, but who has also given them value and educated them.
No one wants to be chased down and told all the many reasons why they need to hire you.
Stop chasing business.
Now Pay Attention, This is Very Important
When using Snapchat for real estate, make sure that you’re not snapping 100% about real estate!!!
This is true on all other social networks, too.
If you are always posting about real estate related stuff, you will make a ton of people tune you out.
Spice it up a bit!
This is your chance to be yourself and show people who you are. If you are constantly talking real estate, you’ll bore the crap out of a lot of people.
Is your baby boy doing something goofy? Share it on Snapchat as part of your Story.
Are you going on vacation this weekend? Excellent, share those experiences with your followers too.
Show that you have a personality!
Show people that you’re not only a knowledgeable real estate agent, but that you’re a pretty cool person to be around too.
In terms of being authentic, I believe that if you’re not self-conscious after doing a video, you’re probably not being authentic enough.
So get out of your comfort zone a bit.
Be a little goofy, if that’s who you really are.
Be yourself and let your followers get to know you.
Not the rehearsed and buttoned up version of you that we’re used to putting online.
Play the Long Game
Although Snapchat is a perfect way to get in front of a younger group of potential clients, don’t think you’re going to start getting business after 1 month.
Snapchat is just a tool in your marketing toolbelt, but success won’t happen overnight. It takes time to grow a following on Snapchat, and then direct those followers back to your website and other social media channels.
It’s important that you commit to at least 6 months of regular, consistent Snapping.
Just like any other form of real estate marketing, it takes time and consistency to see results.
But that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun!
It all comes down to a simple decision – will you decide to download Snapchat and learn how to use it?
Or will you resist it for the next 2-3 years, making excuses like “Snapchat is just a fad” or “Snapchat is just for young people” and keep doing what you’re doing?
I suggest that if you want to still be in business 2-3 years from now, then start making an effort to stay current with the social platforms of today.
Plus, who says it can’t be fun?