by Sean Hess (Sean@StAugTeam.com), Broker and Manager for St. Augustine Team Realty (www.StAugustineTeamRealty.com). Join us on Facebook and Google+.
I didn't get a harumph out of that guy!
In the often hidebound world of real estate, new things aren’t embraced easily.
I attended a conference of real estate professionals last month where a Realtor definitively declared, “Facebook can’t sell real estate!” There was much harumphing (think of the scene in Blazing Saddles) and approval from other Realtors around the room.
The truth is Facebook really can’t sell anything, in the same way that old-style print ads and billboards can’t sell anything either.
What sells is the product being marketed, and in real estate that’s the service we provide as Realtors.
Facebook’s strength is that its reach is so broad, and yet can be so tailored to meet the needs of the consumer. But we can’t reach that broad audience if we don’t know what it can do or how it works.
Content Gets ‘Em in the Door
We use our blog (yep, the very blog you are reading) to get people though the door.
We create posts that are based on questions that everyday real estate customers ask, the more basic the better.
We use Facebook to promote these posts, because of its broad reach.
Our goal is not to sell real estate, per se, our goal is to create a relationship with consumers, which is what real estate sales is all about.
So these blog posts, this content we provide, let’s the consumer know that:
We are experts.
We are transparent.
You could do a lot worse than hire St. Augustine Team Realty.
As the consumer is often a year out from a sale when they first start doing research, this allows us to establish a trusted relationship with them over time, before they ever interview an agent.
Keeping Them Interested: Engagement
That initial bit of content may get the consumer through the door, but keeping them interested is a different thing all together.
What keeps them interested is/are images and video.
We try and keep a good mix of photos and video, all very local, done by us most of the time, and all tied to town or real estate somehow. These don’t bring a whole lot of new people through the door but they keep our fans interested.
Some agencies in other cities report that they’ve been able to generate traffic from hyper local posts about restaurants and attractions, but whenever we go off piste like that with our consumers, they lose interest fast.
I think that is because our fair city of St. Augustine is a tourist town and the restaurant and attractions angle is already covered, exhaustively. And if they’re on my site they really want and need to know about real estate norms here, not a good place to eat.
If you’re moving to Holland, Ohio, however, where the restaurant scene isn’t as actively covered (who knew Rosie’s made such great pizza?), then a hyper local post on a restaurant might be a post that brings a new customer through the door, or keeps one interested.
How Often To Post: The Organic Drop
Now welcome to oppositeworld. You post less to keep them interested.
Yep, and we found this out on accident.
Let’s face it, on sheer interest level, real estate sales ranks right up there with funeral plot sales and life insurance.
If you post too often about real estate–even if your fan or follower is in the heart of a real estate sale–they will drop you. It’s not something they want to see in their feed everyday.
Or, it will remind them that they are no longer interested as real estate as a subject, and they will drop you.
When someone is no longer interested in real estate as a subject and they unlike us, I call that “the Organic Drop.”
And we don’t want this to happen.
Since real estate is a referral based business, we want to keep as many people on board as possible. That way even if our follower isn’t actively involved in a real estate transaction, we will stay on the tip of their tongue so that they can refer us to others.
For example, there was someone who was already involved in a real estate transaction (not with us). They had a question about real estate, and they found the answer in a blog post we did (about binder deposits) via Facebook. They closed on their transaction successfully.
When a friend came to this person to ask about referring a real estate agent, this person—instead of recommending the agent they used—recommended us. Because we proved to them we were experts.
And we could answer the questions their agent couldn’t.
You May Be Able to Overpost Niche Content
Let’s say you are a real estate agent that just works Charleston, South Carolina, and your true niche is the historic district there.
By true I’m talking about an agent who lists or sells a majority of their properties there, not some dude just in from the world who starts calling himself an “expert.”
Historic downtown Charleston real estate is an interesting enough subject that you may be able to post everyday about it and people won’t tune you out. You could fill a year’s worth of posts just on beautiful front doors in that area.
But historic downtown St. Augustine, Florida, even though it was just named one of National Geographic’s “Must See” destinations in all the world…we don’t do enough business in that one segment to justify posting everyday on it…even though you could.
Truly most of our customers…and most customers in our market…are interested in homes that are not located in the historic district here. If we ignore the needs of those customers they will conclude we are out of touch with them, and they’d be correct.
So we stick with what we know. And we try not to lay it on too thick.
Hire St. Augustine Team Realty the next time you go to buy or sell! Email us at ReQuestion@StAugTeam.com or call Broker Sean Hess at (904) 386-8327.
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