From 6:30 to 7:45 every morning, Andrew Finney is in his “creative zone.” He turns off his phone and other distractions to focus on crafting engaging social media content. “If content creation is your thing, you’ll find the time,” says Finney, CRS, SRS, leader of the Andrew Finney Team at King Realty Group in Las Vegas. “When your content style is in harmony with your passion, you’ll follow through and be consistent.”
Whether you’re a new agent just launching your business presence on social channels or a seasoned pro who’s reengaging with followers after taking a break, building (or rebuilding) a social media presence doesn’t have to be a heavy lift, social marketers say. “Show up, be present first, and comment [on others’ posts] with complete sentences,” says Carrie J. Little, CIPS, PMN, a technology trainer and managing broker at CarMarc Realty Group in Warrenville, Ill. “This will help your social media feeds once you begin posting your own content.”
There may be others in your market crushing it with social media—but they are not you. There is room for you.
Before posting anything, search for yourself on Google and review the top five to 10 results, says social media speaker Katie Lance, founder and CEO of Katie Lance Consulting. “Click through each of them to see if your contact information is up to date, check for any broken links in your biography, and update your profile photos and cover photos,” she adds. Here are more steps to take to establish your social media presence without much hassle.
- Decide on a goal for the content you’ll create. Do you want to draw new customers or strengthen existing relationships? View your content from a business paradigm and consider the value you’re offering to those reading your copy or watching your videos.
- If you’re returning from a social media break, acknowledge your absence in your first post, says Michael Glazer, co-founder and CEO of Encino, Calif.–based automated marketing company Back At You, a REALTOR Benefits® partner. “Don’t just start asking for business. Tell followers that you took a break from social media and you miss them all,” he adds.
- Become knowledgeable on the local farmers market, a charity or sporting event, the new restaurant, or whatever will interest people in your area, Glazer suggests. Create posts to share that local knowledge, and follow up with some cool listings as an added value.
- Little suggests sharing a personal photo or family photo and telling a story about real estate or something else going on in your own life. “Our networks like to engage when we are coming from the human side,” she says.
- Ensure that you have the ability to capture the emails of those who like your social media pages.
- Don’t overwhelm yourself trying to use every social platform at the same time. Focus on perfecting your message on one network at a time—or maybe two, since Instagram and Facebook are connected, Glazer says. “Keep it simple but consistent, whether it’s a post every week or a weekly ad.”
- Video is paramount, Lance says. “Share the behind-the-scenes of a listing or an open house. With tools like Instagram and Facebook Reels, you can create video content quickly and easily,” she adds. Don’t be afraid to go through a trial-and-error period; video takes practice. Little shares a video every Wednesday on YouTube. She sends an email to her network after the video posts to remind her followers that it’s there. “I also go live [on Instagram and Facebook] every Friday at 9 a.m.,” she says, to share her wisdom with followers.
- Don’t get caught up in the buzzwords, like “algorithms” or “hashtags,” Glazer says. Just focus on creating engaging content to start, and think about adding hashtags and using other marketing tools on social media once you’ve found your voice.
Choosing the Right Platforms
“Everyone talks about TikTok; it’s a great platform. But for the average agent, it’s probably a bit too much for now,” Glazer says. “You can’t be everything to everyone.”
He suggests that real estate pros should understand which client segments are buying the most homes in their market and then becoming familiar with who they are and where they spend time on social media. For instance, millennials aged 25 to 40 represent about 37% of home sales nationwide, he says. However, baby boomers aged 57 to 76 and Gen Xers aged 41 to 56 are right behind them, each representing about 25% of home sales. “The social networks of choice for boomers and Gen X are Facebook and Instagram,” he adds.
Millennials like those two platforms, too, but also tune in to YouTube. Generation Z—those under 25—are more attracted to Snapchat, Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube.