Buyers and sellers in today’s market are starting their home and agent search online, which means your presence in the digital space has never been more vital. Your clients and prospects are looking to get to know not only what you can offer in terms of services, but who you are on a more personal level.
Authenticity is a buzzword that all agents and brokers should understand, as it is essential to your online presence. Expressing that you are a relatable and genuine professional will go a long way in terms of branding yourself as a worthy, experienced and educated expert worth hiring. Your voice should be one-of-a-kind and unique to who you are as an agent, the company you represent and the services you provide –especially if you are highlighting a specific niche.
“Authenticity will be vital for building one’s brand. Sharing success stories and building trust through social proof will be vital for growth.” -Rajeev Sajja, vice president of Digital Innovation at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Fox & Roach REALTORSⓇ
These are three simple tips to help you become more authentic across your social media channels:
- Be Human. Connect with your social sphere using video content that illustrates your personality, from virtual home tours to educational Q&A sessions. Increase your engagement by commenting on your followers’ posts and communicating through direct messages.
- Leverage Imperfections. Of course, you want to share your successes with your audience, such as a closing on a recently purchased home. However, sharing challenges and obstacles can show your audience what you and your brand can really accomplish through the highs and lows of the transaction process.
- Tell a Story. Sharing these highs, lows and everything in between can highlight your relatability. Post about different experiences you’ve had while working with different clients, or even how you got into real estate and why you love it.
Rajeev Sajja, vice president of Digital Innovation at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Fox & Roach REALTORSⓇ, understands the undeniable influence that social media has on the real estate industry, noting that many agents continue to want to improve their social media presence and ultimately grow their sphere of influence, leading to more lead generation and overall success for their real estate brand.
“Authenticity will be vital for building one’s brand,” says Sajja. “Sharing success stories and building trust through social proof will be vital for growth.”
Branding is also a very important component in your social media and marketing efforts. Whether you work for a national brokerage or represent yourself independently, you want to stand out from the competition while building trust and maintaining relationships. Update your website and headshots, and even refresh your brand messaging, to best represent your business, services and goals to your clients and prospects. Be sure to utilize your updated messaging and imagery across the board, from your posts on social media to your marketing efforts, such as email newsletters.
As you build up your branding and authenticity, it is important that you also grow your pool of content, especially at the start of a new year. From educational articles and blogs, to entertaining and informative videos, now is the time to revitalize the content you share with your audience. Stay relevant and top-of-mind by monitoring trends and listening to your sphere of influence and what the buyers and sellers in your area are looking for. If you haven’t already, start a blog where you can curate, post and share engaging content that will keep your audience coming back for more, as well as increasing your lead generation.
Content That Truly Matters
What is the best type of content to share online as we head into 2022? The answer: video.
“Video is king on social media these days,” says Emily Sarno, field social media specialist at Coldwell Banker Realty. “More people are gravitating toward video content simply because it is easier to take in information through video while multitasking.”
Using video content to build relationships, generate leads and increase engagement should be your number one priority. According to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), video is the most powerful tool for real estate agents, citing a 403% increase in inquiries on listings that feature video, as well as 73% of homeowners stating that they are more likely to list with an agent who uses video content.
“Social media is all about video,” says Sarno. “Agents are likely to see 10% more engagement on video content versus any other form of digital content. Post-pandemic, platforms like Instagram and Facebook are switching gears to be more video focused, so the more users create video content, the more Facebook and Instagram will reward that content with more engagement.”
Becoming a video creator may sound intimidating to some agents, but it doesn’t have to be. With smartphones and the many apps they offer, it is easier than ever to create video content directly on your favorite social platforms. Not only will this lead to higher engagement, but it will offer a chance to gain new followers and widen your reach. Platforms like Facebook and Instagram allow users to go live, which can be a perfect setting for walkthroughs and home tours, Q&A sessions with clients and prospects and even hosted conversations with other industry professionals for educational purposes.
Pre-recorded videos can also boost your engagement or even be repurposed for later use. Home tours can be posted along with your listing on an MLS or to promote your listings on social media. Podcasts can also be recorded ahead of time to be posted to YouTube, your website or your blog. No matter what type of video content you choose to create, it is important for real estate professionals to embrace the power of video, especially as we head into a new year.
“Video is King on social media these days. More people are gravitating towards video content simply because it is easier to take in information through video while multitasking.” -Emily Sarno, field social media specialist at Coldwell Banker Realty
Marki Lemons-Ryhal, Founder of ReMarkiTable LLC and self-proclaimed “queen of video,” utilizes this form of content to support her entire business and help teach other professionals the best video tips for success.
“I do Facebook Live videos and post them to four locations including my Facebook personal page, business page and two groups. I also repurpose these videos for LinkedIn, YouTube and YouTube Live,” Lemons-Ryhal explains. “I am an Amazon influencer and creator, so I also syndicate these videos over to Amazon, so in all, they live in seven places at one time.”
Whether she is sharing educational content for real estate professionals or interviewing industry authors, Lemons-Rhyal uses her skills and strategy to stand out in the industry.
“I don’t like to do what everyone else does,” she says. “I like to do something just a little different. Being an Amazon influencer/creator allows me to differentiate myself, but it also allows me to help authors in the real estate space generate more sales for their publications, and they tend to have some really good tips and insight.”
Here are some ideas for video content you can start creating today, provided by Quicken Loans:
- Introduction Video – A pre-recorded video introducing yourself, your brand and your team to your audience.
- FAQ Video – Answer your audience’s frequently asked questions, covering topics from the transaction process to how to hire the right agent.
- Neighborhood Tours – Highlight the neighborhoods and communities for your listings to bring in potential buyers.
- Home/Property Tours – Showcase your for-sale properties and highlight specific features of the home.
- Ask Me Anything (AMA) Videos – Go live on Facebook, YouTube or Instagram to answer your follower’s questions in real time.
- Day in the Life Videos – Create a video showcasing the work you do on a daily basis to help your clients and earn a commission.
- Testimonials – Compile video testimonials from satisfied clients talking about their experience working with you as their agent or broker.
“Going live on Facebook or Instagram is a great way to share virtual open houses while many are afraid to leave their homes due to COVID-19 (at press time),” says Sarno. “Many of my agents go live on social media and have had a positive experience with lots of engagement from their audience.”
Whether you’re just starting to explore short-form content with Instagram Reels or branching out to more long form content on Youtube, Sarno is a major proponent of the power of video content to increase agent visibility and engagement, and set yourself apart from the competition.