Ways To Use Social Media For Real Estate

Over the past two years, real estate professionals have found creative ways to overcome the real estate crisis, including finding innovative uses for social media. After facing drops in home sales well into 2010, real estate pros have been forced to utilize their offline skills in an increasingly social way online. By using photo and video sharing to enhance listings, along with professional networking sites to hone their sales skills, real estate veterans have made strides in moving inventory in tough times.

Agents, brokers and realtors have found successes in lead generation, sales and brand building through use of mass audience social platforms, including Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, Meetup, and LinkedIn, as well as real estate specific platforms, like Trulia, Zillow, WellcomeMat and Architizer.

Whether they are sharing videos, listings or advice with their communities and prospective buyers or sellers, real estate pros are making progress in using social media for real results.

The core goal of real estate pros utilizing social media is to attract sellers looking to list their homes or buyers looking to purchase homes. Naturally, the 1.0 version of social media for real estate is setting up pages on social networks that fit your company’s content and audience.

The main thing real estate companies are seeing is that the quality of the referral traffic back into their main website has significantly increased. Not only are they seeing more traffic coming in, but visitors coming in from social media sites are staying longer and looking at more things — something they had also seen with search engines but not in such large numbers. Companies have generated business through both Facebook and Twitter. People engaging agents directly on Facebook in particular has been increasing significantly over the past few months.

Sharing Listings, Tours, and Showings

In the real estate world, listings, open houses and tours are the main stepping stones towards making a sale, and the digital world has made those steps much easier. While an occasional listing may be appreciated by your social media community, many experts advocate engaging your audience with industry knowledge and an expert perspective, rather than alienating users with useless information. Because there are so many factors that must align to make a listing pertinent to a single customer, such as pricing, location and size, there is a high probability that most listings do not pertain to most people in a given social media audience.

James Kimmons, real estate business expert on About.com, advises real estate pros to refrain from overwhelming their followers and connections with real estate listings. He advises,

“Promote you, your business, and your expertise in your local area real estate market. Do it with market commentary, education and statistics. Link out to your IDX search page, because a lot of your visitors will want to look at listings at some point, just not your listing du jour.”

There are many sites with specialized sections for real estate professionals to lend their expertise, such as Trulia Voices and Zillow Advice. Both sites are frequented by prospective home buyers, on the search for answer about topics ranging from pricing and relocating to financing and closing. A typical question on either site will yield quite a few answers from agents or brokers specializing in a specific geographic region or area of real estate. This type of interaction with folks on the market is a great way to build a credible reputation and build brand recognition for future consideration.

YouTube also presents a valid platform for sharing real estate tips. Maintains a YouTube channel full of videos on monthly real estate reports, real estate advice and current company events. Use this to build a base of subscribers.

If you are a real estate professional, keep an eye out ways you to showcase your expertise and local knowledge. You should start to see an increase in interaction, as you provide useful, relevant information to others.

Connecting with Other Real Estate Professionals

In order to improve upon their skills and network in the industry, real estate professionals are using social networks specific to their industry. Some of these networks include ActiveRain and The Flipping Pad. More well-known social networks, including Meetup, Flickr and LinkedIn are provide space for real estates pros to connect and learn from one another. Other group settings on social networks, such as the National Association of REALTORS on LinkedIn, or the Photography for Real Estate group on Flickr, are great places to connect with specialized professionals in the real estate industry.

From connecting with buyers and sellers to networking with industry peers and lending expert advice, there are many ways to utilize social media as a real estate professional.

What are your tips for using social media in the real estate industry?

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