• Snapchat’s reach with millennials is part of its allure; however, the time investment required to grow an audience and convert buyers is incomparable to the ease of Facebook’s use and capabilities.

Are real estate agents turning away from Snapchat as Facebook continues to build on competitive features in its platforms like Facebook Live and Instagram Stories?

The answer is undoubtedly: yes. And with good reason. Snapchat’s steady growth slowed by 82 percent after the launch of Instagram stories.

And with features like broader audience access, live videos living on your business page forever after the broadcast is over and no time restrictions, it’s easy to see why agents are choosing to use Facebook Live over Snapchat.

Even more to the point, it’s worth asking whether or not Snapchat was ever a platform that agents should have been using in the first place.

Snapchat’s ability to reach young people is part of the shiny object allure, however, the time investment required to grow an audience and convert buyers is incomparable to the ease of Facebook’s use and capabilities.

This isn’t about liking or disliking Snapchat. But let’s just look at the facts:

The Snapchat crowd is mostly younger than homebuyers

The average first-time homebuyer is around 32 years old, and according to the National Association of Realtors 2016 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, the typical homeseller in 2015 was 54 years old.

Meanwhile, 71 percent of Snapchat users are under the age of 34. Almost half of those users are under the age of 24.

Some might argue that you’re planting seeds with future homebuyers, but are you prepared to continue planting seeds with that audience for two to 10 years with Snapchat?

Snapchat is a long-game investment

There is no way to be easily found on Snapchat based on interests or keywords. So Snapchat users have to seek you out and be manually added as a contact.

Snapchat set its platform up like this by design. The positive side to that is that your audience will be more committed and loyal to the content you put out.

But for the sake of argument, let’s say you get people to do that. You start building up your list of people who follow you on Snapchat. You encourage people on Facebook and Twitter to add you on Snapchat. You put it on your business card.

Are you prepared to invest that kind of time building an audience when you know that over 70 percent of your audience is statistically unlikely to buy or sell a house for years?

Unless the focus of your business is selling or renting low-priced apartments to people under 30, Snapchat is going to perform worse for you than other social media platforms (more on this below).

Snapchat tends to fare better for apartments

If you look at Snapchat success stories from companies like Snaplistings NYC, members openly state that the majority of the success with Snapchat is happening with lower-priced apartment sales and rentals due to the younger audience that dominates Snapchat.

Any higher-priced listings are typically for entertainment value only to keep the young audience engaged. Higher-priced properties are typically still better showcased through more traditional methods or via social networks that have a higher average user age.

Read the success stories of individual agents who are using Snapchat smartly and religiously, and you’ll find that it’s more about engagement and entertainment than it is about about getting any kind of immediate, lead generation results.

Millennials still spend more than double the time on Facebook than they do on Snapchat

When people say things like “all the young people are on Snapchat,” that’s not even close to being an accurate picture of how people under 30 are using social media.

An article from Recode, points out that the 18-34 demographic still spends 2.5 times more time on Facebook than they do on Snapchat.

The fears of missing out on reaching the younger generation by not using Snapchat are completely unfounded. The argument that Snapchat holds young people’s attention better and longer doesn’t hold water.

Why agents are leaving Snapchat for Facebook (or why they should if they haven’t already)

Snapchat did a lot right in terms of making it easy for agents to create and share videos with its audiences.

The trouble with that is they made themselves vulnerable to a competitor doing the same thing better, with a larger audience that’s easier to market to.

Which is exactly what Facebook did.

Facebook Live lets you record video walkthroughs of properties, share them on your pages, boost them to wider audiences and run a targeted video ad to people who are likely to move.

The average Facebook user is statistically more likely to buy and sell real estate in the near future than the average Snapchat user.

As Snapchat’s growth stalls, and even young users ditch it in favor of Facebook-owned Instagram, it will become less and less viable for agents trying to cost effectively reach any audience, including the under-30 crowd.

Facebook gives you all of the advantages of easy online video combined with the realistic potential of reaching a large number of people who are statistically likely to buy or sell real estate.

It won’t be long before Facebook erases Snapchat completely from the conversation and reigns as the first-choice marketing and lead generation social media platform for agents.

Want to use live video to engage people in a more friendly and effective way? Facebook can do that.

Want to target people who are most likely to be good real estate leads? Yeah, Facebook can do that too.

Want to reach the under-30 crowd and plant seeds with potential future clients? Sorry, Snapchat — Facebook does that too.

Tyler Zey is the digital marketing director and contributing editor for the Real Estate Digital Marketing blog on easyagentpro.com.

Email Tyler Zey

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