Securing a predictable stream of seller leads is the lifeblood of any Realtor’s success. Whether you’re a seasoned professional navigating the market’s intricacies or a newcomer eager to make your mark, the journey to attracting potential sellers requires a strategic approach.
This article should serve as an introduction to lead generation using social media, offering actionable insights and recommendations derived from nearly 2 decades of experience. We’ll explore the significance of personal branding, the art of crafting engaging content for social media, and the power of advertising to effectively generate leads.
This is not just about capturing attention but building lasting connections, standing out amidst the competition, and ultimately, elevating your real estate game. The video below is a complete presentation on the topics in this article given to a prestigious brokerage in Canada. The article beyond is an exploration of the topics discussed in the video.
How we got here…
In the world of real estate marketing, having hands-on experience is like having a reliable guide. With over 17 years in the field, I’ve worn many hats – from being a photographer, videographer, and graphic designer to delving into brand strategy. I’ve even ventured into the art of staging, both in the physical and virtual realms, and navigated the intricacies of website design and podcasting.
Along the way I’ve not only invested my own time and money but I’ve also been trusted to invest other people’s money, reaching into the hundreds of thousands of dollars, and it’s because of this experience that I have developed an understanding of the ins and outs of social media marketing. So, think of me as your ally in decoding the puzzle of creating engaging content, optimizing digital strategies, and making savvy moves in the digital world of real estate marketing.
The Three Secrets to Effective Social Media Marketing
Secret #1: Go Where the Attention Is
Secret #1 is a game-changer: Go Where the Attention Is. Picture this – you walk out into the forest with your feature sheet and staple it to a random tree. Sure, if someone were to walk by they’d notice but that’s not how the platforms work. They’re not just going to show everyone your post. They test it first with a small portion of your audience. (Around 1%) If that group doesn’t engage with it in some way it fails the algorithms test and your posts are put on mute.
Also, if the only thing you’re stapling to the tree is your listings it’s no wonder nobody engages. Just ask yourself this: “Who is this post for?” And if you can’t honestly answer that question… Don’t post it! It may sound harsh but this is the radical truth that no one’s telling you that you need to hear IF you actually want to be successful in your online social media lead generation. Just like that deserted forest, if you’re not creating something worth sharing, your content is missing its mark.
Placing your content where your audience isn’t present is akin to putting those feature sheets in an unseen locale. To gain attention, your content needs to be where people are actively looking AND it has to be worth looking at and for.
That being said, we need to address the elephant in the room: the price of paying for attention. Social media platforms are businesses built specifically to get our attention for the purposes of marketing. That’s how they make their money. We might not like it but it’s just the way it is. The same thing could be said about TV or Radio if they were still relevant. We all agreed to an unwritten rule. We’d put up with the garbage adverts if the TV show or music on the radio was good. And over time the advertisers and platforms have broken that rule which is why we all migrated to social media and on demand streaming services like Spotify or Netflix.
Here’s what you need to understand. When you post something, you’re only reaching a small fraction of your audience organically. To broaden your reach, you have to invest in paid strategies. It’s like paying for the prime booth in a bustling market — your investment ensures your content is seen by the right eyes at the right time and you get real time data to allow your strategies to get VERY sophisticated. In the competitive digital landscape, paying for attention becomes a strategic move rather than an optional extra.
Secret #2: Create and Systemize Valuable Content
Secret #2 unveils a pivotal strategy: Create and Systemize Valuable Content. It’s not just about posting; it’s about crafting a content ecosystem that resonates with the people you’re trying to serve.
You, just like your audience, fall into one of the following categories: Readers, Listeners, & Watchers. If you’re only creating one form of content you’re missing out on two thirds of your audience. It’s not enough to stick to one content format; you need a multifaceted approach. Think of it like offering your audience a buffet of options—photos, videos, and audio. Some prefer the visual feast of photos, while others lean into the immersive experience of videos. There’s also a segment that loves to consume content on the go through audio.
So, when you’re building your content arsenal, consider the preferences of your target audience. A mix of photos, engaging videos, and insightful audio content ensures you’re reaching your audience in a way that suits their preferences. It’s about meeting them where they are and delivering content that resonates.
Now, let’s zoom in on the power of personalization. Each real estate agent serves a unique group of individuals—whether it’s luxury home buyers, commercial clients, or first-time homebuyers. The key is to recognize that these groups require completely different and specifically tailored messaging.
Your luxury home buyers may appreciate high-end visuals and sophisticated content, while first-time homebuyers might resonate more with educational videos. The art is in crafting content that speaks directly to your target audience. It’s not a one-size-fits-all approach; it’s about curating content that connects with the specific needs and preferences of the people you’re aiming to serve. Personalization is the secret sauce. Diversify your formats and tailor your messages to captivate your distinct target audiences. This is the foundation of creating a content strategy that works.
Secret #3: Combining Old School Tactics with Modern Strategies
Secret #3 introduces a dynamic approach—Combining Old School Tactics with Modern Strategies. At the heart of this idea lies the concept of a sales funnel, a powerful tool in guiding potential clients from initial awareness to decisive action.
Introduction to the Concept of a Sales Funnel
Imagine your marketing efforts like a multi layer filter — a predefined path that guides individuals through different stages of engagement. At the top, there’s the vast pool of awareness, where you make your presence known. Depending on where you’re reading or watching from there may be hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people in your area who have NO IDEA YOU EXIST! Before you can help any one of them they need to know that you exist. And first impressions matter.
Do you want them to find you on the street corner looking haggard with a pocket full of feature sheets begging them to take one? (That’s what your advertising looks like BTW.)
Do you want them to meander about their day, and at just the right time be met with the pleasant smells of cinnamon buns wafting through the air, and as they turn the corner they discover a handsome baker with a silver platter covered in bits of a fresh roll, each marked with a toothpick, FREE for you to indulge in? See why a value first approach is so important?
Moving down through the filter, you should foster acquaintance, allowing individuals to get to know you better. If you’re the baker this is where you gesture your hand forward, inching the cinnamon bites closer to your prospect as if to say “You deserve a treat.” If someone walking by says no, they were never meant for the fresh cinnamon buns newly packed on the counter in the store. And no matter how much you try to chase them down you’re never going to convince them. What’s more, if you’re busy chasing someone down the street, who’s back at the shop offering out toothpicks of joy to prospects?
Finally, at the bottom of your filter, is the sweet spot — action-inducing content that prompts them to take the plunge. As your prospect is nibbling on their toothpick you might say “Hey, I see you like fresh buns… Could I interest you in a special deal?” No one in their right mind, after savouring the last flecks of sugar on their toothpick, is going to say now to a special deal. Especially after how well you’ve treated them. Ok, if you’re still here and not on your way to the mall for a cinnamon bun, I commend you. Your reward – some examples of what I’m talking about.
Awareness-Building, Acquaintance-Making, and Action-Inducing Content
Let’s break down each stage with tangible examples. In the awareness stage, picture creating a captivating video series—perhaps “Hidden Gems in Our Community.” This series highlights charming local spots, subtly letting people know about your presence in the area. Not in some big overproduced reality show kind of way. In an intimate 48 second rave captured on your phone the moment you realize just how good Loco Lou’s tacos are. When you share it make sure it’s from your professional profile so that your audience can make the connection.
“But Devon, that’s SOOOO unprofessional!”
No one wants an act. (Especially that faux professional thing that most agents feign.)
Just be you.
As you move to the acquaintance stage, consider crafting an informative e-book. Perhaps something along the lines of “Secrets to a Stress-Free Home Purchase.” You can do anything here that will serve your clients. The real trick is to pick a service you’d normally make them pay for, and then give it away for free. Within reason obviously but don’t do that hokey “Free Quote” thing.
Instead make a digital tool they’ll use or offer an actual service like free photography or virtual staging. If you do go the content route consider something that delves into the intricacies of the home-buying process while establishing your expertise and building trust. This “lead magnet” serves as the bridge, making them more than just aware but genuinely acquainted with you. Make it count.
Now, the final push—action-inducing content. Imagine offering a personalized action plan for individuals ready to sell or purchase a home. This tailor-made strategy becomes the catalyst, prompting them to take the next steps with you. This is the home stretch. Feel free to ask them to be a client now. This is where your “straight-for-the-kill” ads will work wonders.
A well defined sales funnel is your client’s guiding light. It’s about strategically moving individuals from discovery to deal in the smoothest, most comfortable way possible. By seamlessly blending old school wisdom with contemporary tactics, you create a journey that not only captures attention but converts it into meaningful actions. This, my friends, is the art of combining the best of both worlds.
Now that we understand the importance of being where the attention is and providing value there in a meaningful way, let’s delve into the execution a little bit. What follows is not what you SHOULD do so much as it is an example of what you can do to follow the principles outlined in this article and video. These ideas should serve as examples to inspire you and get the creative juices flowing.
Generate Awareness for your Brand
First, for the awareness stage we create a few videos.
1. One-Minute Listing Prep Video
Craft a one-minute video showcasing your listing preparation process. Capture the essence of what makes a property stand out, the meticulous details you attend to, and the unique selling points that resonate with potential buyers. This video is all about your approach, giving your audience a glimpse into the dedication and expertise you bring to every listing.
2. Two-Minute Video on Common Pain Points
Capture a two-minute video addressing common challenges your niche avatar faces in their specific real estate journey. Whether it’s navigating negotiations, understanding complex contracts, or avoiding pitfalls, this video aims to provide valuable insights. By acknowledging and addressing these pain points, you position yourself not just as an agent but as a trusted guide, offering solutions and expertise.
3. Three-Minute Video on Industry Secrets
Create a three-minute video unraveling lesser-known aspects of the real estate industry. Dive into intriguing topics, perhaps demystifying the complexities of interest rates or sharing insider insights that set you apart. This video serves a dual purpose—it showcases your depth of knowledge and positions you as an authority while providing valuable information to your audience.
In executing these short videos, the key lies not just in the content itself but in strategically placing it where your audience actively engages. Let’s ensure your feature sheets are no longer stapled in a deserted forest but are being showcased in the bustling market square where the attention is, and the impact is substantial.
Become your prospects Acquaintance
The stage is set, and the spotlight is on once you’ve created some content for your audience. Now it’s time to amplify the reach of your carefully crafted videos. Strategically leverage paid advertising on social media to get these videos in front of specific audience segments, measure the engagement, and identify your marketing-qualified leads. Envision paid advertising as the courier that delivers your content to the right audience.
Launch a video view campaign on the social media platforms where your audience is most likely to be, precisely target specific audience segments based on demographics, interests, and behaviors, and get your brand out there. Whether your audience comprises first-time homebuyers, luxury property enthusiasts, or commercial investors, tailor your campaign to ensure you reach those who matter most. By aligning your content with the interests of each segment, your paid advertising efforts become not just visible but highly impactful.
With your videos in the digital arena, over time measure their impact. Social media platforms offer robust analytics tools, allowing you to gauge engagement effectively. Track key metrics like video views, click-through rates, and audience retention. These metrics offer more than numerical data; they unveil the preferences and behaviors of your audience. Some things you create will perform better than other things. If you want to learn more about how to measure your campaigns performance get a copy of “Real Estate Marketing: 65 Questions Real Estate Agents Asked Google About Marketing – And The Answers” for FREE and read Question 57: What is a reasonable price to pay per Real Estate lead?
Your marketing-qualified leads will “raise their hand” by watching most if not all of your video. Those who not only watch your videos but also interact with your content, visit your website, or express interest in your services demonstrate a genuine need for your support. Utilize these insights to retarget the most engaged segment of your audience with invitations to the various lead magnets you create. Test which ones resonate most. When you find a winner you can siphon your marketing dollars into more concentrated efforts.
You see, paid advertising is more than visibility; it’s a strategic move. It’s akin to securing the prime booth in a bustling market, ensuring you are seen by the right eyes at the right time, and nurturing future relationships. By integrating paid advertising into your social media strategy, you not only elevate your digital presence but also cultivate meaningful connections with potential clients.
Inspiring Action From Your Prospects
Crafting an effective Call-To-Action (CTA) is an art that involves clarity and persuasion. When they’re primed and ready, your audience members are going to need a nudge in the right direction. A clear directive on what steps to take next. Remember that lead magnet you gave away? Well they were willing to trade their email with you for it so that automatically made them Sales Qualified Leads. It’s time to sell yourself.
You probably have or have been told you need some sort of “Newsletter” program but have you ever understood the role it plays in engaging with your audience? It’s not just about regurgitating stats and reports every month. Nobody actually cares about most of that information unless there’s some context. This is where your newsletter can really make a difference.
Craft personalized emails that go beyond generic responses. Acknowledge their specific interests and actions, providing tailored information that adds genuine value. The call to action is the bridge between engagement and conversion. By strategically guiding your audience through targeted campaigns and personalized communication, you not only get the opportunity to encourage specific actions but also to lay the foundation for lasting relationships. This is the final touch in executing the first secret, ensuring that the attention you’ve garnered translates into meaningful interactions and, ultimately, successful client relationships.
How We Can Help
So that’s it. Now you can confidently go out there and run your own marketing strategy without having to rely on anyone else. You are also armed with the right information to make informed decisions about who you choose to include on your team. Now, I’d be remiss if I didn’t take this opportunity to at least mention that there are a number of ways our team can support your efforts.
Rather than trying to sell you a one-size-fits-all solution like the other agencies out there I’d like to actually meet you and learn more about YOUR goals. If there’s something I can do to help I’ll share that, and if there’s something I can offer you if you’d like to go it on your own I will also do that.
There are typically 3 areas where you might find yourself in need of our assistance.
We have a complete menu of other items that may serve your business including photography, measurements, videos, websites, SEO, and just about anything else you can think of so feel free to peruse that as well.
In the dynamic landscape of social media marketing, adapting is not just a choice—it’s a necessity. As we wrap up this exploration of the three secrets to effective social media marketing for real estate professionals, it’s crucial to reinforce the significance of staying agile in the ever-evolving digital space.
Adapting to the Evolving Social Media Landscape
I’m sure it goes without saying. Marketing is in constant flux, shaped by emerging trends, algorithm updates, new platforms emerging every year, and shifting user behaviors. To thrive in this environment, real estate agents must be agile and proactive. The strategies presented here aren’t static rules but adaptable principles designed to resonate with the current pulse of social media.
Marketing is an interactive process much like science is. It’s a continuous learning experience. You make an educated guess on things that might work, test them, log the results, and adjust course as needed. The strategies in this guide should serve as foundational pillars for your online strategies. Networking with fellow professionals, attending industry events, and participating in relevant online communities can provide valuable insights and keep you at the forefront of innovation.
Success in social media marketing isn’t a destination. It’s an ongoing effort. The opportunities in the vast digital expanse are boundless for those who navigate it with an open mind and a strategic approach. May your social media endeavors be both rewarding and transformative as you embark on this exciting journey.
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In the event that you do want additional support you can use the calendar below to schedule a no cost consultation with one of our marketing strategists. On the call we’ll go over what you’ve been doing and help uncover some of the hidden opportunities you can capitalize on.