STRATEGIES TO EMBRACE
Promote the local area
According to the NHBC Foundation and Savills, location continues to be a consistent key influencer for homebuyers of all purchase types. With that in mind, it is essential to promulgate the location as much as the home.
Heaps of location-specific content is uploaded on to key platforms at a daily rate, with many cities having dedicated Twitter handles. You can use these handles to promote the properties you have listed in that city; so long as it’s relevant and of value to your audience. Not only do these accounts offer credibility for your audience, but they also have a tendency to be receptive by retweeting your shout-outs – increasing your post’s reach to their followers.
Educate your audience
The world of real estate can be very alien to your audience; especially first-time buyers. Therefore, we should aim to educate our followers. Whether it’s clarifying property jargon or talking about common real estate pitfalls, the goal should be to make your buyers smarter, giving them a smoother browsing experience and ability to make that important decision.
Again, social media is the perfect outlet for this, considering we can send out bitesize content for the reader to digest. If you have a blog, you can also write helpful articles and use the social platforms to promote them. Below are some ways to educate your audience:
Bust the property jargon – the terms, Help to Buy, shared ownership and stamp duty are certainly common language to us. But this doesn’t apply for the first-time buyer and even those looking to purchase their second home.
Real estate facts – post facts that will help buyers understand the process and benefits of their decisions.
Engage with your followers
The way in which homebuyers are making enquiries has changed. Fewer calls are being made to estate agents as more take to social media. With that being said, purchasers expect instant responses, meaning we should try to minimise the time taken to respond. We should also respond to every comment or complaint. This shows you give a good level of customer service and show them that they are valued customers.
Bust the property jargon. Terms like Help to Buy, Shared Ownership and Stamp Duty are common language to us, but not to a first-time buyer.
It’s not all bad though, as most of your comments will be questions from potential buyers as they look to improve their knowledge and decision making. So, be sure to help as frequently as possible!
PRACTICES TO AVOID
Shouting about your home listings
Of course, it’s great to let people know about the homes you have available. After all, this is how you will create conversions. However, the properties shouldn’t be the primary focus of your conversation; nor should it dominate your feed. The last thing you want to do is create a selling page instead of a helpful, useful profile that homebuyers can follow.
Turning a blind eye on visual content
Homebuyers are visual buyers and when graphic elements are added to online messages, 65 per cent of information is retained. Therefore, video content and lots of images will prove a successful content strategy. Typically, video shooting and editing are overlooked because of the expense, but these visuals can create an emotional connection between the home and the buyer. Hence, 90 per cent of consumers find it very helpful to watch a video when making a purchasing decision.
Solely appealing to first-time buyers
We shouldn’t assume we’re only connecting with first-time buyers, even if your customers are majorly looking to purchase their first home. The dominant audience of each platform will vary when it comes to their demographics, and this relates to different purchasing trends. For example, more than 80 million Facebook users are aged 45 or older. So, when communicating on this platform, connect with families and downsizers. The trick is to discover where your audiences are, before blasting a uniform content strategy across all platforms. This will increase your strategy’s effectiveness tremendously.
Now that we have covered the positive aspects and common pitfalls of a real estate social media strategy, you should be ready to make an impactful presence – worthy of a follow!
Tara Dulake, Digital Marketing Director www.theoraclegroup.co.uk