‘Be More Useful Than a Facebook Group’

Learn how brokers and agents can be the chocolate in a sea of vanilla when it comes to online marketing.

If you or your agents are still using the “sell, sell, sell” approach on social media, clients have already stopped listening. It’s time to do something different, says Nobu Hata, NAR’s director of member engagement, who presented during the Broker Ideas Exchange Council on Friday during the REALTORS® Conference & Expo in Orlando, Fla.  

“The saturation of sameness in real estate marketing right now is at an all-time high,” he says. Get you and your agents out of the advertising rut by being more useful to buyers and sellers. Here are three ideas:  

1. Focus your marketing on the quality of life aspects of the neighborhoods you service rather than offering to tell prospects what they’re home is worth. They can find that out on their own, Hata says,  but you are a true neighborhood expert. Tell the story of your market using videos, photos, tips, and event calendars. Post these pieces on your website or blog, YouTube channel, and social pages. 

2. Offer a “five reasons your home didn’t sell” list on your site, share it on social, and send it to expired listings. Include home improvement and staging tips. Talk about realistic pricing. Be honest about why properties, in general, don’t sell in your market and how you or your agents can help improve the circumstances for the seller. But don't identify specific properties as to not embarrass those sellers. 

3. Target your ads or listings, but get creative about it. Hata’s wife Shay, who is a sales agent in Chicago, recently took on a listing three blocks from Wrigley Field. She decided to target a Facebook ad to people who like the Chicago Cubs page. The response was tremendous, Hata says. Facebook ad targeting can be helpful if you use it in a smart way, but agents should tread carefully when using demographic targeting to avoid violating Fair Housing laws. That means no ad targeting based on protected classes including,  race, color, ethnicity, religion, age, sex, or disability. 

Also, brokers need to be as useful to their agents as they are to clients. Start by finding out where agents are getting their information from if it’s not from you. Hata says too many agents are using private real estate groups to ask for advice on their current transactions. “Answer their questions better,” Hata advises brokers. “Be more useful than a Facebook group.”  


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