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November 16, 2018

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How social media is changing real estate

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Powered by Century 21 Gavish Real Estate

For many real estate agents, social media has become a powerful marketing tool to promote listings, reach clients and make important connections within the industry.

It also allows agents to post in real-time and instantly update their followers when a new property hits the market. This is especially important because increasly, homebuyers are beginning their search digitally–according to the National Association of Realtors, 44 percent of homebuyers in 2016 started online.

“We’re in an era where social media is part of our daily lives,” said Iddo Gavish, CEO and founder of Century 21 Gavish Real Estate. “What began as a way to connect family and friends has evolved into much more. Social media can grow brands and businesses, and give consumers the power to engage directly with agents.”

While the benefits of social media marketing can be plentiful, there are potential pitfalls as well. Here is a look at how agents and homebuyers can leverage social media to accomplish their real estate goals.

Tips for real estate agents

Social media offers great networking opportunities and a dynamic platform to feature home listings, but that’s not the only benefit of developing a rapport with potential homebuyers.

“Most importantly, social media helps establish trust with the customer, which is crucial in our industry,” Gavish said. As such, Gavish recommends prioritizing quality over quantity when posting, so as to avoid damaging brand integrity.

Other tips

• Post the right content: “Posting content that is engaging and provides value to the customer is a key element of any social media strategy,” Gavish said. “If you’re not providing valuable content to your audience, they won’t connect with your brand.”

• Be consistent: Create an account that’s specific to your brand and post on a regular schedule. “You want your followers to trust you as a reliable source, so our team posts frequently–at least three to four times a week,” Gavish said.

• Communicate openly: “Social media allows you to interact with clients and potential customers while assessing their needs without having to meet face-to-face,” Gavish said. You can also follow up with potential customers and check-in on the status of their home search.

• Be personable, not personal: “Posting content that isn’t related to the real estate industry is absolutely unacceptable,” Gavish said. “Keep personal posts off your timeline–your client expects your company to be professional, so you must reflect professionalism online.”

• Know your audience: Make a plan that’s designed to reach a specific audience and cater to them. “Trying to reach too broad of an audience is a common mistake. Your feed won’t be appealing to every social media user out there–and that’s okay!” Gavish said.

• Don’t shy away from comments: As a brand, addressing social media comments can be tough–especially when they’re critical or unkind–which is why it’s necessary to approach commenting with tact. “Always be open to feedback, whether it’s good or bad,” Gavish said. “Ignoring comments from users demonstrates that you may not care about the growth and image of your business. Your customers should be your No. 1 priority, and listening and engaging with them in a positive way can prove very advantageous.”

Tips for homebuyers

Looking for a home can be a long and, at times, arduous process, so using social media can help streamline your search.

“Homebuyers should find and follow local agencies through hashtags, demographic searches and word-of-mouth,” Gavish said. Once you’ve found an agency that resonates with you, scroll through its feed and reach out for more information.

Following local real estate agencies is also a great way to learn more about the housing market if you’re new and/or unfamiliar with the area.

Other tips

• Know what you’re looking for: “Agencies frequently feature specific properties to a larger audience, in order to narrow down the clients who would be a perfect fit for the home,” Gavish said. Because of this, buyers should have an idea of what they’re looking for and act quickly when a property strikes their eye.

• Find a feed that speaks to you: “An agent’s feed can tell potential homebuyers a lot about the properties they specialize in,” Gavish said. If you’re following an agent or agency that frequently posts homes that don’t interest you, keep looking until you find an account that better suits your goals.

• Keep an eye out for deals: Exclusive promotions and offers from agency accounts may pop up from time to time, so take advantage when they do.