“A lot of agents hire a social media professional to ‘do social media for them.’ I think that is a mistake,” says Katie Lance, CEO and Founder of Katie Lance Consulting.
Lance specializes in social media marketing and content strategy for real estate and mortgage companies, and is the author of “Get Social Smart.”
“Social media is social — it’s like a dinner party! If you had a dinner party with your ten most important clients, would you be there? Or, would you have an assistant run the whole event? I think it’s fine if an agent wants to hire a strategist to help them create a social media strategy, or even a social media manager to help manage a content schedule or a video editor. But, I think agents have to be very wary of outsourcing their social media.”
Social media is Lance’s passion, and she shares her insights for online success through her roles as a keynote speaker, consultant and author.
Lance recently spoke with RealTrends about the future of digital marketing and how real estate professionals should prepare their marketing strategy in 2023.
RealTrends: What is the first, easy step real estate professionals can make today to improve their digital marketing strategy?
Katie Lance: Agents should start with a digital audit. Take stock of where they are online, what they can fix immediately and how they can improve long-term. They can Google themselves and check on the first 8 to 10 links that appear. They should check to see if their profile photos and contact information are up to date.
Make sure any information about them is up to date. Take note of when they last posted, update broken links, etc. Once they fix some of the low-hanging fruit, like those outdated photos or broken links — they can develop their long-term strategy and make a plan for moving forward.
RT: Why should agents prioritize spending on digital marketing? And, if necessary, how can they justify the spending loss in other areas of their business?
KL: I don’t think agents need to spend a ton of money on digital marketing when there are so many free or low-cost options. A website is still a must-have, but social media tools like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn and others are a free and easy way to stay in touch with clients, build and cultivate relationships and attract new business.
Once an agent has a solid content strategy, where they are creating and posting unique content on a regular basis, then they can add on paid features like Facebook or Google ads. Another low-cost online solution called Canva can help an agent stand out.
RT: What cost do you find is most overlooked when building a digital marketing budget or plan?
KL: The biggest overlooked cost is the time it takes to create, edit and post relevant content. It takes time and effort to do it right, but the more you do it, the faster and better you get. An agent must set aside time weekly and monthly to cultivate an audience, spend time marketing their business and attract the clients they want to work with!
RT: Do you have any projections for the world of digital marketing in 2023?
KL: Short-form video is still going to be a big opportunity for agents and brokers for lead generation — from TikTok to Instagram Reels or YouTube Shorts. However, social media is rented ground. Regardless of the platform, I think it’s still important for an agent to develop unique and personalized content and keep an email database that goes with them wherever they go!