The ways in which prospective buyers find homes have shifted dramatically, from online listing to virtual open houses. Real estate agents must continue to leverage digital technologies to connect buyers and sellers and social media is one of the best ways of going about this.
Social media is all about connection to begin with and the number of buy-sell groups on Facebook alone is mind-blowing. Most social media platforms are also highly visual, granting an opportunity to start selling someone on the appearance of a home before they even enter it. We’re going to look at how to leverage some of these traits in order to book more property showings.
Join Local Groups
Local buy/sell groups are all the rage on Facebook; you should join them and post some of the properties you want to show. You have to be careful, however – many of these buy-sell groups have rules against overposting. You can also join local groups that aren’t specifically about buying and selling, but be aware many of these groups have rules against posting homes for sale – some allow you to post on particular days, only.
The trick to these groups is to avoid just posting your listings all the time. Instead, become an active member of your community. Discuss the happenings in neighbourhood groups. Volunteer to help those who ask. Generating goodwill will help your reputation – you don’t want to be seen as a spammer.
Use Exciting Visuals
When it comes to looking for a new home, most people are attracted to visuals first, and details like location after. You’ve already got experience staging homes for showings so use that experience to take highly detailed photos of the home. Lighting is particularly important in these shots. The order in which you post photos can be important, too – a series of photos on Instagram, for example, should follow the flow in which someone might go through the house. Start with the exterior, then the entryway, then the kitchen, moving through the home as you would if you were doing a walk-through.
Globe Property Management in Winnipeg is a good example of ways you can use Instagram to increase showings. They blend exciting visuals with industry news and blog posts relevant to the people living in their properties. Social media should never just be about selling or booking showings. If you keep information relevant to viewers, they’ll keep coming back to your page.
Use Online Booking Software
One of the trickiest parts of showing is scheduling everyone who wants to see the home. You need to have adequate time to make sure the place is sparkling clean between showings. You also want people to be able to book a showing at all times of day, especially if they’re prompted to do so after seeing the visuals you posted on social media.
There are programs available that allow you to book appointments through Instagram, Facebook, and other social media platforms directly. These programs automatically add the showing to your calendar, and grey out showing times that have already been taken up, so you never have to worry about double booking.
Some of your showings will be more than just a house tour – they’ll be an event. Think about open houses; there are refreshments on hand, excitement, and lots of people. Let people know about the open house by making an event on Facebook. When the event is happening, take a lot of pictures, and once it’s over, post those pictures to your various social media accounts. Events generate excitement, which generates followers, which generates more eyes on your posts – all of this leads to more showings.
#s and @s
Posting on social media is all about finding and retaining followers, so be sure to use relevant hashtags. You don’t want to overdo it – you’ll almost never want to use more than 10 hashtags. Focus on localized hashtags (the neighbourhood the house is in); you’ll want to find the sweet spot between too generic (#house) and too specific (#aparticularaddress).
Talk with homebuyers and viewers about their experiences – ask them if it’s okay to tag them in your posts. When you tag them and they tag you, you’ll both get prospective new followers – it also shows people that you’re a real person, not just someone looking to sell houses. Social media is all about connections, after all.
Brag (a little)
Have you won awards? Sold an amazing home to a happy family? Don’t be afraid to post about it. People want to celebrate each other’s successes, and the more competent you look, the more likely people are to view homes you’ve set up for showings. Don’t overdo it, of course – you don’t want to look arrogant. That said, pumping yourself up a little can do a lot of good.