A career in real estate can be exciting and rewarding, but it can also be fickle. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that realtors made anywhere between $20,700 and $95,540 in 2012. This large gap has to do with it being a commission based industry: if a realtor sells a lot of houses, she makes a lot of money; if she only sells a few, she doesn’t. As a result, realtors need to take special care to market themselves and reach their target audience.
Years ago, marketing yourself involved a lot of word of mouth, brochures, mailers, and the obligatory advertisement on a bus bench. Now that social media has become mainstream, marketing is much easier. Still, while social media is ever-present, not every site is created equal. Some sites are better geared for marketing towards your target audience than others. Read on for a look at the best social media sites for realtors.
Everyone in the world seems to be on Facebook. That, in itself, is enough reason to use it for marketing. On Facebook, you can not only advertise your services, but you can also showcase the homes you are showing through pictures and videos.
Facebook also allows you to advertise. Through the options Facebook provides to business pages, you can set an amount you want to spend each month and only pay for users who are driven directly towards your website. This pay-per-click advertising helps assure you only pay for quality leads, rather than those who are unlikely to convert.
Marketing on Twitter has similar advantages to marketing on Facebook. In short, Twitter allows you to market for free and potentially reach a huge number of people. Twitter also has the advantage of being very business-focused, perhaps even more so than Facebook. While Facebook statuses are largely dictated by updates about personal life, Twitter offers more of a mix between business and pleasure.
Twitter, because it limits character count, is most ideal for short snippets about services and houses available, but you can also attach pictures and videos, or include links to more information, blog posts, or to your website. Twitter is ideal for getting a brief, easily digested message out to as many people as possible.
Another useful site for realtors is Pinterest. This site isn’t as effective for marketing your services as Facebook and Twitter, but it is perhaps more effective when marketing actual houses that are for sale.
Pinterest is a visually driven website, with people posting pictures of things that interest them to boards, which they can share with their friends. A large part of this site is home focused: people post home improvement projects, furniture, and home furnishings “hacks” as well as pictures that highlight features of their dream homes. Because of its visual focus, Pinterest is an ideal place for showcasing the homes you’re attempting to sell.
Social Media Sites to Think Twice About
Marketing isn’t like press: more isn’t always better. If you’re trying to decide where to focus your social media campaigns, there are some sites that realtors might as well pass over. Which sites should be skipped? The answer lies in your target audience.
Realtors’ target audience is anyone hoping to make a home purchase. Who’s most active in the housing market? Recent data about the average ages of home buyers shows that most people buying homes are between 30 and 50. As a result, marketing through Instagram may not be the best option for realtors. Instagram is a site largely compromised of young people: 90% of the 150 million users on Instagram are under the age of 35.
While those in their early thirties may be an attractive demographics for realtors, those who are younger are not. While those users may follow a realtor, they may only be doing so aspirationally. People this young are simply not at an age where buying or selling a home is a realistic priority. With many Instagram users being in high school, college, or young adulthood, they are more a target audience for snack food purveyors than they are for realtors.
Any time you’re trying to evaluate whether a new social media platform will be useful to you, keep in mind which demographics are its most active users. If the population of active users doesn’t match well with your target demographic, your time and energy would be better spent elsewhere. Focusing on the social media sites that will be most helpful will help you get the most out of the top social media sites for realtors.