Before the social media world blew up to what it is now, I was able to change the way real estate was marketed, with the use of social media, back in 2012.
As it was a new strategy, it was met with harsh criticism by some in the industry. I'd started marketing both my profile and my properties on social media, in a way that the industry hadn't seen before. Paving the way for agents to follow in years to come.
I believe the two biggest keys to my online success were:
There wasn’t anyone doing it
While I wish I had a little guidance in the early years, what the lack of activity in this space allowed me to do was forge my own path, in my own way. I wasn’t hindered by what others were doing and this was a time where likes, comments and followers had no value.
There was a lot of commentary in the industry as to what I was doing, but agents weren’t listing & selling their homes with me. Homeowners were, so that’s who I targeted.
Back then, I didn’t have a Facebook business account. Truth be told, I’m really quite private, so I only had one social media account, which was my personal Facebook. My circle of friends is quite mixed in terms of age & demographics, so I tried to offer up content that would be of value to everyone.
Because they were my “friends” the messaging was different to what I see on a lot of business pages today.
When I did my videos, I always started with “hey guys” and spoke to the camera, the way I would speak to someone on the phone. I think that resonated with people as it was simply a video diary of wherever I was and whatever I was doing. In speaking to my "friends" the language was the day to day terms we all know and use. It wasn't full of industry lingo.
As the years went on and my social media presence got stronger, I became the first reported agent in Australia to list AND sell a property with it all done through Facebook, in 2015. Six weeks later, I did it again after receiving iPhone quality photos and selling the property within 4 hours of the post being published on Facebook. Neither properties made it onto the major portals. This was unheard of at the time, but I knew I was onto something that the rest of the industry still hadn't fully grasped yet.
Fast forward to 2022, hundreds of properties marketed, sold, leased and listed through social media, a slew of industry awards and recognition, to now owning one of the most influential marketing agencies across Australia & New Zealand.
The role I have today is something I desperately needed back in 2012. I help agents use social media to drive their business and produce results.
What I’ve noticed over the years are the amount of social media startups that have appeared, coaches in this space with very limited understanding of these platforms and all the different messaging that seems to go out, so much so that it can be extremely confusing.
While social media today is a pay for play space, there are ways for you to make an impact in your marketplace without it hitting your hip pocket too hard.
It’s a saturated space - When I first started this business, a friend said to me “you have to have a point of difference, as there’s a lot of noise in this space”. The two key points that separated me from any competitor in this space, are that I’m an active agent, so I understand the industry intimately & had been proving my results for my own career for years. Something, my competitors still can’t match me on. Having a clear lane meant I was able to offer value to my clientele. I knew exactly who I wanted to target, and was able to market directly to my preferred audience and not get lost in all the noise.
Treating social platforms like advertising spaces instead of social platforms
Property portals - selling platform
Your website - selling platform
Social media - social platform - it’s LITERALLY in the name!
If there’s one thing I’ve learnt by watching a lot of different pages, it’s the complete disregard that there’s a person on the other end of the screen who is watching you. They aren’t an audience, they aren’t a database, they aren’t followers, they are people! Talk to them, not at them.
People go on to social media to be entertained or informed. They aren’t going to be impressed with you talking about how good you are all the time. There’s no value in that for them, so they will tune out. Your content needs to be of value to them, not what is going to benefit you.
Showing what we do behind the scenes
One thing we are really good at, is showing are our results. The area where we fall over, is showing what we do. Based on actual feedback from one agent in particular, he said a vendor simply thought he put a post on social media, the signboard up and boom, the property sold straight away, so the fee came into question. The homeowner was a follower of the agent on Instagram and all he saw was just listed and sold posts, so thought it was relatively easy and thought the fee should reflect that.
Where the agent had missed the mark, was showcasing the work he does to get a property ready for market. A great opportunity for the agent to pitch to the owner, before he even gets called in to pitch. Remember, most people are coming across us online now. So be sure to showcase everything you do.
Everyday for those starting out or trying to grow their brand.
At least twice a week for established agents who are offering good quality content. Posting 5 or 6 times a day with content that completely misses your audience is doing absolutely nothing for you.
Not everything needs to be on every channel, or on your walls. Stories are great because they only last 24 hours and each story goes for 15 seconds. Checking in once a day to say hello to your followers, a quick rundown of what you have planned for the day is more than enough to keep you front of mind, let people know you are active, without spamming them.
It will occur. Especially when you start to gain momentum. While it can be difficult to have someone you have never met online attack you publicly, the best course of action I suggest is simply block the person, ban them from your page or hide the comment.
Don’t take it personally. These types of comments shouldn’t hinder you from what the other 99.9% of your audience find value in. Don’t let a few nasty or negative comments stop you from doing what you do.
If you take nothing else from this article, please just remember this. There is a person on the other screen who is seeing your content. Ask yourself are you providing the kind of value you would want to see if the roles were reversed. And have fun with it, people want to see that you are human and approachable.