How Social Media Is Changing Real Estate
Remember the old days when a real estate agent put printed advertisements in their shop front window to attract interest in a property?
The growth of social media advertising is opening new doors for real estate, which brings huge benefits for buyers and sellers alike.
Real estate agents all have a presence on social media
Most savvy real estate agents now have at least a Facebook and LinkedIn profile. These can be great for connecting with our target audiences, highlighting interesting properties, and talking about real estate issues and what’s happening in our area.
Speaking personally, we promote our weekly articles on several social channels and we find it a great way to have conversations with local homeowners and reach new audiences of people interested in living in our area.
But this is just the start of how social media is changing real estate, and the opportunities for connecting with potential buyers and sellers.
Why social media is becoming essential
All agents routinely advertise their properties online on the major listing portals – realestate.com.au and/or domain.com.au – it’s where most active buyers go to look, the modern day real estate window.
But social media is the new game changer when it comes to advertising properties and targeting buyers. That’s no surprise given these key stats:
- According to Social Media News, of the 24.3 million people living in Australia, more than 16 million have an active Facebook profile. This means over 65% of our country’s population is on Facebook.
- And according to the Sensis Social Media Report 2017, these Australians spend an average of 10 hours a week on Facebook.
On the listing portals, we are waiting for people to come looking for us, but when we go to social media we are going looking for people – people who we know are interested in buying a specific home – before they are actively looking for property. It’s direct and proactive marketing without being intrusive, and it lets us spread the net wider, catch people earlier in their property search. Best of all, it lets us be very targeted in the way we go about it.
What we’re doing on social media
We’ve been using Facebook to target a defined audience for some of our properties.
We’ve used social media to amplify some of our listings on Domain and realestate.com.au and we’ve found it to be particularly effective for a big mid-campaign push, giving us views and enquiries we may not have otherwise received.
We’ve also invested separately in Facebook Ads, which link to our own website listing for a property, and allow us to target a specific audience of buyers suited to the property. This audience could include past visitors to our website, people on our database or local homeowners based on CoreLogic data.
We can also target specific demographics such as age, gender, occupation, people who are likely to be in the market to buy, and those who fit the likely profile interested in the particular property being advertised (eg, first home buyers, developers, downsizers, retirees, and more).
We can also exclude people who have purchased properties recently as they are likely less interested in purchasing again so soon.
This means we’re getting to likely buyers – both domestic and international – across all of Facebook’s platforms (from Facebook itself to Instagram, Messenger, third-party apps/games, and news sites), before they are actually looking for properties. In fact, you’ve probably seen those ads pop up in your own feed and pique your curiosity.
Increased reach is a major gain with social media. The other gain is that it enhances the visibility of a vendor’s property at a fraction of the cost of traditional media, or the portals.
In turn, we receive data on who is looking. This information is invaluable in creating and refining further targeted marketing campaigns for properties. We can tell where enquiries are coming from, which makes online enquiries a fantastic source of data.
Social media: The way of the future
Social media is here to stay, and agents who embrace it are likely to connect in a more targeted and strategic way with prospective buyers and see great results for their vendors.