In a high-demand market, buyers and sellers are hit with a bunch of noise from every angle, so it’s up to agents to differentiate themselves from the pack. One universal avenue that agents are having success with is using social media to share their unique value proposition.
“Social media is so important for me to stay connected with those people that matter to me,” says KW agent Meka Wilson of Atlanta, who credits 50% of her sphere referrals for 2020 and the first half of 2021 to social media. “In staying connected, I’m also able to do business by using Facebook and Instagram.”
Related reading: Four Ways to Find Business Success with Facebook Groups
In Bucks County, Pennsylvania, Juliana Gainsburg doubled down on social media as a lead generation strategy at the beginning of the pandemic. It paid off in a big way – she was able to lead generate on TikTok and Instagram, closing a total of eight transactions based on those leads. Through social media, she also landed the first agent to her downline. To date, Gainsburg’s most popular TikTok has 3.1 million views and almost 500,000 likes.
Related reading: TikTok for Real Estate Agents: Land Leads Through the Newest Social Media Platform
Make Social Media a Priority
When you incorporate social media into your lead generation strategy, don’t forget to add it into your time blocking. Wilson and Gainsburg each spend between 10 to 14 hours a week on their social strategy. While that may seem like a big number, keep in mind that most of that time is not spent on creating content but instead on engaging in conversation, which keeps you in front of your sphere. “It’s like having a phone call or conversation by responding to their post,” Wilson points out. “It’s a dialogue.”
Lesley Peters of Atlanta, who co-owns three market centers with her husband, kicks off her lead-generation time block each day with a Facebook 5/5/5, and in doing so, she has closed 20 agent referrals through social media over the past few years.
“I want to gain mindshare, and by doing that I’m constantly in front of our sphere,” she says. “The least expensive way for me to stay in front of them is through social media.”
Five Social Strategies for High-Demand Markets
Here are five tips for stepping up your social from Gainsburg, Wilson, and Peters:
1) Be yourself. When you’re authentic, people are drawn to you, and that authentic you is who people want to do business with. “It’s all about showing people who you are as a person and being able to translate your transparency and how genuine you are to how that coincides with being a real estate agent,” Gainsburg says. “I always suggest trying out engagement posts just talking about if you’re going to restaurants or if you’re trying new things in your market center’s area. Talk to people about things you like. There are plenty of ways for you to connect with your sphere organically, and it doesn’t always have to be about real estate.”
For Wilson, it helps to remember that, at the end of the day, everyone online is looking for connection. “Most of the people I interact with, especially around my age and who have similar interests, are on Facebook,” she says. “I use it as an opportunity to talk with them, and I don’t just talk about business. I talk about the trips I’m going on to help people know more about me because people are going to work with people they trust and know and like. So I give people an opportunity to get to know me and hopefully like me.”
2) Don’t be a jack-of-all-trades. Find a social media platform that works for you, because if you don’t like it, you won’t use it. “Pick one thing that you feel like works for you and just give it your best shot,” Gainsburg says. “You’re not going to love everything, or some things might not be fun for you, so find something that works that you like.”
For Gainsburg, that means targeting Instagram and Stories, specifically. “I have a goal of one to three feed posts on my Instagram and Facebook a week,” she says. “I find I’m focusing more on my Stories, which I could do maybe five or six a day. That’s where I find my sphere engages with me the most.”
Related reading: Storify Your Success: 10 Tips For Building a Winning Brand With Instagram Stories
3) Embrace video. Push past the stage fright, and get ready for your close-up. “My biggest fear was what would I look like and how did I sound,” Wilson says. “After getting past that fear by just doing it, I was able to look at what I was doing and make adjustments. If you don’t do it, you won’t know what you need to correct. If you don’t like the way you look, do something about it. Change an angle, change the lighting, change your background.”
Wilson also points out that perfection is overrated. “If you fumble or if you miss a word, people want real,” she says. “Don’t worry about everything being so scripted. Have an idea of what you want to talk about, but don’t worry about hiccups because everyone is human, and they actually appreciate us more if we show how real we are.”
Another way to take the pressure off the spotlight? Schedule a low-key video recording session on a less busy day. “I like to time block on a free day like Sunday to maybe record a few videos and then put them out later,” Gainsburg says.
4) Use diagnostics to optimize your posts. Most social media platforms offer basic tools to gain insight into who is seeing your posts and at what time of day. Wilson prefers posting to Facebook for that reason. “I like using Stories on Facebook so I can actually see who is looking,” she says. “When they touch it, you get to see the people’s names. Just looking at those diagnostics gives you the information to know what people are doing, what’s their age, where they are living.”
Peters suggests some quick DIY analytics to rev up your social. “Go back today and look at your past five to 10 posts,” she says. “What got the most engagement? Now you know what you need more of.”
Also, if you’re trying something new, Gainsbourg recommends giving the numbers some time to take shape before you jump ship. “Find things that will bring people to interact with and then kind of play around,” she says. “Give it about a month of testing at different times, and then you’ll be able to get a better idea of what works.”
5) Ask for help. Whether from a class, coaching, or a savvy associate, another perspective may offer tweaks for refining your social strategy. “I like to call myself ‘auntie’ in my office, and so I let some of the newer agents help me out,” Wilson says. “When they looked at my posts and saw I was using the same hashtags for the past three years, they said, ‘Hey, you’re doing yourself a disservice by doing that.’ Then I got introduced to Hashtag Expert. Asking others does help.”
Still stuck? The key is to get going. “Start where you are with something simple,” Wilson says. “You don’t have to create anything. You can go and find posts that are out there and repost them.” The full session on social media with Peters, Gainsburg, and Wilson – along with many other trainings – is available exclusively to KW agents within Connect.