How many friends, likes and so on do you have?
One real estate team’s page I manage, The Serena Group, has 1,600-plus likes on Facebook and 14,800-plus views on YouTube (after five months).
Does that number matter to you?
Yes and no. The likes on your Facebook business page will definitely help with your credibility, but with Facebook’s news feed algorithm, EdgeRank, your posts will not necessarily be shown to all those people who have liked your page.
For example, The Serena Group’s Facebook page has more than 1,600 likes. However, I have posted content before that was served to 240-plus people, and then another post after that was served to only 40 people.
EdgeRank uses the affinity score, edge weight and time decay of the post to determine which news feeds and how many news feeds the post will appear on.
The Facebook numbers that matter most are engagement (comments and shares), likes on your actual posts and, of course, clicks to your website from Facebook.
Examples of posts below:
Which social channels do you work more?
Facebook and YouTube.
Do you ever give it a break?
No. Consistency is key with social media. The content you create is as important as how often (and the time of day) you provide it for your fans.
Does social help your business?
Absolutely. More than 95 percent of homebuyers search online for their home. They are looking for photos, video (YouTube) and then searching whom to work with. Buyers are not calling through the papers any more; they’re searching online, and they’re checking social media to make sure you have it together.
Real estate is a people-to-people business where you have to earn trust before people want to work with you. The best way to earn their initial trust and develop a relationship is through social media — online platforms that were born to develop and nurture relationships. The Serena Group receives, on average, 100 leads a month from Facebook alone.
What’s your goal for your favorite social channel?
My favorite social channel is Facebook. My goal with Facebook is to engage with the community, provide updates for the community and provide them with interesting and engaging posts.
Facebook does not work in your favor if your Facebook business page acts as a mall kiosk. If all your page does is blast your fans with BUY BUY BUY, they may hide all of your posts, report your page as spam, unlike your page or sometimes post negative comments (yikes!).
Your page needs to start conversations, be interesting, show your face and be engaging.
What’s your strategy to achieve it?
Constant research through online local newspapers, Inman (of course), research of community information, and anything that a buyer or seller in your area might find useful and/or interesting. Most clients have a Facebook ad budget where I can promote the post or campaign to reach thousands and thousands of people in their area.
Is it worth it?
Yes. Social media is not going anywhere. There are more than 1 billion users on YouTube, and on Facebook there are almost 2 billion users monthly. It takes a while to build up an audience and a page, but once you do, it’s gold!
What’s your craziest social media-related story?
The craziest was an open house I posted on Facebook for The Serena Group that we used paid advertising to promote. With $30, the post received 14 shares, five comments, 85 likes and resulted in almost 20 leads from just one post!
On what other marketing channel can you reach almost 11,000 people for $30?
What actions do you take that have gotten the most results?
The best strategy is providing content that your ideal customers will find interesting and allocating a portion of the marketing budget toward promoting posts. Good content usually takes some research and time, understanding your local market (is it a seller’s market or a buyer’s market?) and strategically targeting your posts.
Also, for real estate especially, it is crucial to have professional photos and video for social media advertising.
Is this more about “social” or about business?
It’s about social for your fans and ultimately business and reputation for you.
How do you monitor the channels? Do you use software or apps to manage your account, and which ones?
I monitor using push notifications (it’s important to respond to your fan’s comments within an hour on Facebook) and Hootsuite to monitor and analyze user activity and statistics. I also analyze post activity, engagement and so on through the Facebook Insights directly from the business page.
How many hours per day are you on social? Do you check it daily? Multiple times per day?
It is not an option to not check your social media daily. Social media is 100 percent public, and checking it daily (whether you’re posting or not) is important for damage control of spammers or sometimes people posting negative comments. Not to mention the opportunity of someone contacting your page about a property or an out-of-towner asking about the local area.
I check pages five to seven times a day, if not more.
Do you ever think of retiring?
Do you consider yourself an influencer?
Absolutely. I enjoy training real estate agents and coaching them on strategy or for most, managing their pages for them.
Are you social in real life?
Absolutely. I am involved in a few local organizations that I enjoy supporting, but my career (unlike real estate agents) is primarily behind a computer.
What did you do with your time before?
The Serena Group, prior to utilizing social media, spent a majority of its resources on mailers, advertisements in magazines and other print ads. These tools average $1 to $2 per viewed ad or flier, whereas social media can be as little as a penny a click (if the content is engaging enough).
How do you leverage your prominence or influence on social?
Consistent and timely posts and engaging with fans when they comment or direct message.
Do you have someone helping you?
I have some partners whom I leverage if the week is busier than normal.
Whom do you follow and why?
I personally follow social media experts, but the pages I manage follow the local police department, local newspaper, local restaurants, schools and so on. If you engage with their posts and like their photos, it provides another form of exposure and involvement with your community.
Where do you find the content that you put out?
Research online of local newspapers, Inman and NAR. I use BuzzSumo, a website where you can search specific topics and it will show you the most popular articles on that topic; it’s a great resource!
What has been your all-time hit share? Can you share a link to the post?
My all-time hit share was a video that I helped produce for The Serena Group to showcase their local town. The short clip serves as a “promo reel” for their growing YouTube channel.
Over 85 percent of homebuyers search for video during their home search, but less than 5 percent of agents actually use this technology. By building up your YouTube channel (tours of homes, blogs, community videos, testimonials, “meet the team” videos, local events and more), you can set yourself apart.
Video tip: All blogs and testimonial videos should be under two minutes, and all other videos (home tours, community videos, local events and so on) should be less than three minutes.
Who do you think is doing social media well in real estate?
Any agent or team consistently posting content on one to two platforms is doing social media well. Real estate professionals who are posting engaging content daily on one or two platforms that the community is responding to and enjoys are doing awesome social media.
Small-volume agents usually have social media as a task for the executive assistant, and larger-volume teams or agents employ a full-time marketing position or outsource the management to a social media expert.
Years in real estate: One
Job title: Social media manager and coach/trainer for real estate professionals
Location: Sarasota, Florida
Hours per week spent on social media: Between 20 and 30 (other hours are spent researching)
Target demographic: Age range 25 to 65-plus and within 25 miles of your city and neighboring cities; no other specifications (you never know who is buying or selling a house!)
Are you a social media all-star who’d like to participate in our profile series? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.