Table of Contents
- Why Should Real Estate Agents Use Social Media?
- Facebook Tips For Real Estate Agents
- Set up a Call-to-Action Button
- Create Helpful Custom Tabs
- Share Engaging Content
- How to Use Facebook Ads
- Professional Real Estate Photography Can Make Your Facebook Real Estate Page Stand Out
Social media isn’t just for sharing cute and funny videos of cats or showing off photos of your family. It’s also an excellent tool for real estate agents to use to market the properties they are selling.
One of the best social media platforms to use for real estate success is Facebook. More than 2.3 billion people use the platform monthly, and more than 1.5 billion people use it every day. While other social media platforms, like Instagram and Snapchat, tend to appeal to the under-25 set, Facebook is more popular with older people, who are the same people who are likely to be in the market for a house. About 30 percent of Facebook’s ad audience is between the ages of 25 and 34 — the age group that is most likely to be buying a home.
Facebook doesn’t only help real estate agents connect with an audience of home buyers. It also offers one of the highest returns on investment (ROI) for digital advertising. About 30 percent of marketers stated that Facebook provided the highest ROI for digital ads.
If you haven’t started using Facebook yet or haven’t seen the results from using it that you would like, here’s what you can do to make the most of your social media presence.
Why Should Real Estate Agents Use Social Media?
As the world becomes more and more digital, it’s critical for real estate agents to keep up with the times. The way people look for properties has changed over the past few decades. In the early 1980s, people checked out listings in the newspaper when they wanted to buy a house. By 2016, more than 40 percent of buyers started their search for a house online.
Among Millennial buyers, 99 percent start their home search with an online search. Many search on Google and YouTube for homes and use hashtags and other search terms to find properties on Facebook.
Facebook is by and large the most popular social platform with real estate agents, as well as home buyers. About 80 percent of respondents to the REALTOR Technology Survey said that they used Facebook.
There are several reasons to use Facebook and other social media platforms to connect with potential buyers and to promote your listings. One of the most significant reasons why Facebook is worth a try is that it gives you the ability to target super-specific demographics.
With Facebook, you can define the audience for your advertisements down to the tiniest detail. If you want your real estate ads to reach people who just got married, are thinking about having a baby and who have an annual income between $50,000 and $100,000, you can do precisely that.
Facebook’s business pages also offer real estate agents a suite of metrics and analytics tools. The tools let you see who your ads and posts are connecting with. They also allow you to make adjustments to your posts and ads to better reach your target audience.
Facebook Tips For Real Estate Agents
The first step to using Facebook is to create a business page for your real estate company. You want to create a business page on Facebook, not a personal profile, even if you are an individual real estate agent and don’t work with a larger company. Business pages offer more features than personal profiles as well as the ability to create ads and promote posts.
The first thing to do when creating your Facebook page is to choose a name for it and a customized URL. The name of your page will appear in the URL, such as facebook.com/YourNameHere. To avoid confusion, try to make the name of your Facebook page match the name of your company or the address of your website. If your Facebook URL matches your company’s name and your website’s URL, then it will be easier for people to find your profile, either when searching on Facebook or through a Google search.
Once you’ve created a business page, you want to do whatever you can to make the page attractive and appealing to potential buyers.
- Profile photo: The photo you upload as your profile picture should be at least 180 by 180 pixels. Ideally, you’ll want to use a professional photograph of yourself or your entire real estate team as your profile picture.
- Cover photo: Facebook cover photos are 820 pixels wide by 312 pixels tall. If you use a smaller photo, Facebook will stretch the image to fit the space, which can make the picture look blurry or distorted. The cover photo is what a person sees first when they land on your page, so it’s essential that it be attractive and eye-catching, as well as relevant. One option is to use a photo of one of your current listings as your cover photo.
- “About” info: The “About” section gives you a space to share your company’s contact information, such as email address, phone number and website, as well as your hours of operation and when you got started. You also have space to create a short bio or business description, which can let people know what sets you apart as a real estate agent, what you specialize in and any other information you think is relevant and worth sharing.
Set up a Call-to-Action Button
Near the end of 2014, Facebook introduced a “call-to-action” (CTA) button feature for business pages. The CTA button appears on the top of the company’s page, next to the “Like” button on the lower right side of the cover photo.
If you decide to use the CTA button, you can choose from several options, including:
- Sign Up
- Contact Us
- Use App
- Book Now
- Watch Video
Some of the CTAs make more sense for real estate agents than others. “Watch Video” might be a good pick if you’ve recently uploaded a video tour of a home. “Contact Us” is also a good choice if you want to increase leads.
Another neat feature of the CTA button is that it can direct a user to a location that is either on Facebook or off of Facebook. For example, a “Watch Video” CTA can lead a visitor to your YouTube page while a “Contact Us” button can take people to the contact form on your website. “Book Now” can direct people to an online scheduling system, where they can schedule a time to tour a house or an appointment with you or one of your agents.
Create Helpful Custom Tabs
When you create a Facebook business page, several tabs come as standard. The tabs appear at the bottom of your cover photo and along the sidebar on the left side of the page. The standard tabs you’ll see on a Facebook business page include:
You also have the option of creating and adding custom tabs to your page. Among the benefits of adding custom tabs to your page is the opportunity to direct visitors and people who have liked your business to specific content. For example, you can create a “Reviews” tab that will display reviews and ratings people have left for you. You can also create a tab for “Videos” if you want to direct people to videos of your listings. If you regularly schedule Open Houses or First-Time Home Buyer information sessions, it makes sense to create an “Events” tab to direct people to your upcoming programs.
Creating custom tabs for your real estate page does require a bit of effort on your part. To make the tabs, you need to log into your account as a developer, which you can do with your usual login information. Once logged in, you choose to create a new app, then add the app to your platform. After you’ve added the tab to your page, you can log back into to regular Facebook and arrange your custom tabs as you wish.
Share Engaging Content
After you’ve created your Facebook page, the next step is to start engaging with your audience — that is, the people who’ve liked your page. Your audience can be people who are thinking of buying a house someday, people actively on the market for a home and people who are looking for an agent to work with, as well as sellers who want someone to list their home and potentially help them find their next one.
The content you share on your page should serve the needs of your audience. While you do want to mix some promotional content in with your informative and useful content, it’s better mostly to share useful content and to go easy on the purely promotional materials. Here are some ideas of content you can create for your Facebook page.
1. Create and Share Videos
Video is huge on social media. People watch more than 100 million hours of video on Facebook each day. Nearly half of all Internet users watch one hour or more of video on Facebook or YouTube weekly.
In the real estate world, videos can help a property or listing come to life. A walk-through video of a home for sale helps a potential buyer feel as if they are really inside the house and can create a better sense of how the rooms of a house flow together.
2. Create and Share Photos
Photos also help to bring your listings to life and can offer your page’s fans and followers a sneak peek behind the scenes. Whenever you have a new listing, create an album for it on Facebook and share several photos of the house. Hiring a professional real estate photographer to take the pictures of your properties will make a big difference when it comes to the overall visual appeal of the property and how attractive it looks to buyers.
When sharing photos on Facebook, it helps to think outside the walls of a house. Aerial photography allows you to capture images of the property from a unique angle. Photos of a home taken from high up in the sky can make it seem magnificent and awe-inspiring. Using aerial photography can also make you more attractive as an agent for people looking to sell their homes.
You don’t only have to share photos of the houses you are marketing. Facebook is an excellent tool for humanizing your business. Feel free to share pictures of people who recently successfully bought a home through you or pictures of people who successfully sold a house with your help. You can also share photos of your agents doing community service or volunteer work or pictures from company-wide activities and events.
3. Offer Tips to Buyers and Sellers
Your Facebook page allows you to establish yourself as an expert. Showcase your knowledge and expertise by creating content that helps people who are trying to sell or buy a home. Some ideas for useful, informational content include:
- Guides for first-time buyers: Create something like a “Home Buying 101” ebook to share with people who are in the market for their first home.
- Video quick tips: Create a series of short videos — less than 60 seconds — during which you or one of your agents answers common questions buyers or sellers have.
- Live video Q&A’s: You can also host a live Q&A session using Facebook. During the session, invite viewers to use messenger or the comments box to send in any questions they have.
- Neighborhood information: Show your audience you know your area by putting together articles about local neighborhoods. Your neighborhood guides can include details on local restaurants, shops, schools and other useful information.
How to Use Facebook Ads
Along with creating a Facebook page for your real estate business, you might benefit from using Facebook’s ads feature. One feature that makes Facebook ads particularly useful for real estate agents is the ability to target each advertisement you create to a clearly defined audience. Facebook offers a wealth of targeting options, including:
- Household income
- Type of Profession
- Life Changes, such as recently married, new parents or divorced
- Education Level
You can even set your ads up to target people who are “likely to move” or who are “new mortgage borrowers.”
Another useful feature of Facebook ads is that you don’t have to create separate posts or content to use in the ads. If you have a post that performed well organically, such as a “Home Buying 101” guide or a video tour of a recent listing, you can pay to promote or boost the post, ensuring that it reaches more people in your target audience.
Facebook also lets you set a budget for your ad spend, which is usually a dollar amount per day. You can see how many people you are likely to reach with an ad based on what you can afford to spend. The targeting options also give you an idea of the size of your overall audience and the potential impact of a paid ad.
Professional Real Estate Photography Can Make Your Facebook Real Estate Page Stand Out
With more than 2 billion users, Facebook can be a powerful marketing tool for real estate agents everywhere. Creating a page on the platform allows you to show off your listings, attract new clients and set yourself up as an expert in the real estate industry. Using professional photos and videos on your Facebook page can further set you apart.
Real Estate Exposures offers professional photography services in Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey, Delaware and Washington, D.C. We’re happy to answer any questions you have about photos of your real estate listings and to help you choose the photo and videos options that will most appeal to your target buyers. Call 717-687-2289 today to schedule a photo session or use our online contact form to learn more about what we have to offer you.