5 minute read

The amount of information available to real estate professionals today about their competitors, community, clients and prospects is staggering.

Just like RP DataPriceFinder and others who provide real estate data, Facebook affords you access to personal data that can dramatically move the needle for brands and individuals who know how to interpret and use it properly.

Every agent learns how to access and interpret data from the usual suspects i.e. Corelogic, Pricefinder etc, in order to find potential clients and educate current clients on market trends.

But the modern agent is using a new set of tools to find, nurture and convert new clients. And the best part is, they’re free. The only thing holding you back is a little curiosity and a little time to learn how to use these tools.

As John Hamm says in his book Unusually Excellent:

Invest in the design and the machinery required to gather, analyse, and present the data you need – quickly accurately, and easily. This, more than anything else is where the score is kept, and the winners get to keep playing, and the losers go home.

With that in mind, here are 4 Reasons Why People In Real Estate Fail At Social Media and some interesting tools you may not have known existed.

1. Agents don’t know their competition

Starting at a basic level, Facebook Insights from within your company page can benchmark you against your competitors on reach and engagement.

Facebook audience insights

Much more advanced (paid) tools such as Radian 6 provide real-time analysis around conversations that are happening about your brand and its competitors. A more affordable resource is Rival IQ (one of the tools we use at Stepps when working with our clients) which brings all of your competitors social and website accounts into one place where you can easily benchmark your business and receive notifications about popular content for you and your competitors.

Here’s what one of our clients said about Rival IQ recently:

The free comparison tool alone provides a wealth of insight for our page’s, as well as our local competitors. I had researched articles on Google and Social Media Examiner – and nothing else I found quite compared.

You can access a 14-day free trial or Rival IQ at https://www.rivaliq.com/.

2. Agents don’t (really) know who their clients and prospects are, or what they’re interested in

I recommend well structured targeted ads be used to reach prospects, build your email subscriber base, create awareness of your brand and generate leads.

The fans on your actual company pages will most likely consist of current clients, past clients or the friends and family of staff members (research by DDB Group indicates this figure to be around 85%). Your company profile Page should always be treated as an indicator of customer loyalty more than anything else and not a place to pitch your company to prospects.

Basically what we’re suggesting is: 

  • Facebook Ads: Sell, pitch, prospect (KPI: enquiries)
  • Facebook Page: Communicate, start and foster conversations with your followers (KPI: engagement)

A more advanced, but still free, feature of Facebook is called ‘Audience Insights’. It gives you the ability to drill down deeply into the demographic makeup of clients, prospects and their local communities to deliver relevant content to those people via your company page (to clients and fans) or at very low cost via ads (to prospects).

This doesn’t only provide a powerful research tool, but it gives you the ability to produce more relevant content for your fans on your social pages and perhaps knowing what content and/or messaging you could use in your targeted ads.

Which leads into the next point…

3. Agents don’t know what their prospects want

Think about a 50-year-old blue-collar worker who wears overalls to work.

  • What kind of car does he drive?
  • What kind of music does he listen to?
  • Where would you find him on a Saturday night?

Now think of a 50-year-old white-collar worker who wears a suit to work.

  • What kind of car does he drive?
  • What kind of music does he listen to?
  • Where would you find him on a Saturday night?

These two folks are the same age, gender and possibly the same geographic area. Chances are though, your answers were vastly different, and so are the values, motivations and behaviours for both men. So why would we throw them in the same bucket when marketing to them?

In order to genuinely connect with prospects you must go beyond age, gender and location. You must understand their values and motivations. The ‘spray and pray’ or ‘batch and blast’ approach doesn’t work anymore and the public are tired of it.

What do the public do with the vast amount of marketing material from real estate agents?

Here’s a little video we shot a few years back, interviewing people around the streets of our home town of Brisbane.

What we must try to do on social media (and in fact all of our marketing) to really move the needle is create deep, genuine connections with our prospects and clients.

In one word… relevance.

The way to BE relevant is to understand what information they engage with, how they engage with it and deliver marketing which is inherently helpful that people actually want to receive. Instead of what we typically do in real estate which is create marketing that people simply tolerate.

4. Agents aren’t able to connect their social media activity to real business results

Measuring how social media activity contributes to revenue can be extremely difficult to do – even for experienced marketers. But it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try.

Some agents post very rarely to their social pages, but they use the advertising tools regularly.

On the other hand, some agents post to their social pages regularly and invest in ‘boosted posts’ rather than getting into the nitty-gritty of demographic targeting and remarketing.

Both of these approaches are fine, but… you need to measure something. As we suggested above:

  • Facebook Ads: Sell, pitch, prospect (KPI: enquiries)
  • Facebook Page: Communicate, start and foster conversations with your followers (KPI: engagement)

By closely monitoring what’s working well and measuring the right things, agents can understand the true value of their social media marketing efforts and won’t do what so many others are currently doing, which is… guessing.

Summary:

Here’s the deal. There are businesses in marketplaces just like yours, right now, who are taking social media as seriously as I’ve suggested or they are engaging companies just like ours to help them understand and profit from their digital marketing efforts.

It’s not difficult to get serious about results-driven social media marketing. Think equally of your current clients and prospects, figure out what you want to track, how you’re going to track it and most importantly how everything impacts on your business results.

Let’s get to work!

Author: Josh Cobb

Phone Number: 0427 184 183

Email Address: josh@stepps.com.au

Stepps was founded by Josh Cobb in 2014. Josh has advised more than 100 brands since starting the company and hundreds of agents who have attended his workshops. He is the host of the popular Real Estate Pros podcast, oversees digital strategy for top performing real estate agents and teams, and travels the globe with several international speaking engagements each year.

Recently, Josh was named as a finalist in the 2017 REB Awards for Industry Thought Leader of The Year and the winner of  Brisbane Young Entrepreneur of The Year 2017 – Marketing, PR & Events.

In addition to web development and digital strategy consulting, the company also runs Stepps Media, a fast-growing education company that produces an iTunes top-ranked podcasttraining events, email and webinars.