Social media can be a great way to grow your real estate business, but chances are — you’re doing it wrong.
Agents are told time and time again to use social media for their real estate businesses to help grow their business and expand their market. They are directed to advertise their listings and find leads on social media platforms. Rarely are they given any direction or instructions on how to do it, nor is there a comprehensive “how-to” guide provided with the mandate. The "gurus" tell you that it's a great way to generate real estate leads so you HAVE to do it! The result, most real estate agents are doing social media wrong. Very wrong.
We want to help you do social media right because it makes it a better place for all of us. We’ll begin by reviewing some of the most common mistakes made by real estate agents and other sales professionals. Join us for this whimsical journey through bad social media marketing.
Real Estate Social Media Mistake #1
The scenario: You walk into a gathering, any gathering will do. As you mingle, you’re talking with friends and co-workers, and you spot Dick. He is wandering through the event yelling, “Life insurance! I sell life insurance!” John has made no attempt to engage in conversation with anyone in attendance — he is simply hollering at the top of his lungs, hoping someone will inquire and engage him in a conversation, at which point Dick will gladly share his expertise.
This is how most real estate agents behave on social media platforms. “Houses! I sell houses!” is all anyone ever hears from them. Simply broadcasting their message, never interacting with anyone except perhaps a close friend or family member. That is, of course, unless the topic is real estate - then they are happy to jump into the conversation (without reading any of the other replies) to offer their expert advice. Whichever social media platform they are on, whether Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, or Twitter is treated as nothing more than a broadcast platform for their latest real estate listing or closing photo. They have become the proverbial used-car salesman, hocking their wares at every opportunity.
Don’t be a Dick.
Real Estate Social Media Mistake #2
The scenario: Meet Jane. Jane is the sweetest person you know. She is always chatting with someone, and everyone genuinely enjoys being around her. Jane is always offering some nugget of wisdom with the most helpful of intentions. Jane regularly asks you how you are, how your family is, how your relationship is… it’s almost as if she knows everything about you! No surprise, you know almost everything about her because she is such a social butterfly. You just aren’t quite sure what she does for a living.
Jane represents the opposite end of the spectrum that Dick does. Some real estate agents are so dead set on not being seen as that social media used-car salesperson that they NEVER talk shop. The result? People don’t know that they are in real estate. When it comes time for someone to list their home, or start looking for a new place, they don’t even think about these agents. The agent hears that someone just bought a house without them and they feel as though they were stabbed in the back! Then a For Sale sign pops up in someone’s yard that they know and they feel crushed. How could they list their home with someone else? Pssst - your friends love you but they forgot what you do!
Don’t be a Jane.
Real Estate Social Media Mistake #3
The scenario: Mary is that woman at the party that just hangs out in the corner, or at the bar just lurking and listening. Mary makes no effort to engage with anyone. When someone does talk to her, it is only in passing. She barely makes eye contact and gives short answers. Remember that one girl at your junior high dance, avoiding eye contact and standing off to the side? That’s Jane. Once in the office, it’s an entirely different Jane — she’s confident, knows what she is doing, and is probably one of the best you’ve seen at work in any field..
Mary is the type of real estate agent who is on social media but you would never notice. They never post any messages, memes, or even interact with anyone else. The last time they posted — 2018. When you see them on the street, they know all about what's going on in your life because they have read every one of your posts. So they are there, lurking, but If it wasn’t for that random “like” every now and then, you wouldn’t even know they were on social media.
Don’t be unforgettable, like… what’s her name again?
Real Estate Social Media Mistake #4
Joe enjoys what he does for a living, but he likes to distract himself during his downtime. Joe has dozens of apps on his phone to keep him occupied as an escape from the daily grind. Joe dedicates his evenings to his Xbox or Playstation, happily immersed in a fantasy world all his own.
You know exactly who this real estate social media profile fits: their Facebook wall is covered in Candy Crush or whatever the latest Facebook game is. When they aren’t posting requests for power gems, they are sharing their latest quiz results —“Which Twilight Character Are You” or “What is your Spirit Animal” - you know the ones. If you didn’t know they were a real estate agent, you’d swear they lived in their parents’ basement. Heck, they actually might… you aren’t 100% sure at this point.
Don’t be Joe (or “Vlad the Conqueror”, as his gaming friends call him).
Are you making these mistakes?
Go review your 10-20 latest posts on your social media profiles and see if you fall into any of these categories. If you are, it’s not too late to get it right!
Engagement is key to a successful social media presence. It is perfectly fine to post real estate content on your social media profiles, just do so in moderation. Use the “3 to 1” rule: three fun and friendly posts for each real estate post you want to put up. Gary Vaynerchuk calls this the “Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook” method. Make sure you are engaging in other people’s posts with genuine conversation. If your neighborhood has a Facebook group, make sure you are a part of it and interactive. When someone brings up real estate, don’t just ask them to send you a direct message for more info. Answer the question right there in the thread if you can or ask for more information to show that you are helpful and engaged and actually know what you are talking about.
Here's a bonus tip for you
Do not, I repeat, DO NOT put your social media on autopilot. If you have any of your real estate program set up to automatically feed to your social media profiles, shut them down now. Your postings need to be native (done within the platform, not from a 3rd party tool), genuine, and done when you can respond to comments.
Social media is supposed to be social. Yes, it can help you generate more real estate leads or help you to recruit real estate agents to your team or brokerage, but that should be a side effect of developing better relationships with your "friends" or "followers." Conversations lead to transactions. Start having conversations.
What do you think are some of the worst social media mistakes real estate agents can make in social media? Do you agree or disagree with our list? Tell us below...