Nicki & Karen

Social media strategy for real estate

Nicki & Karen » May 11, 2010

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Our tactics for marketing properties on the web

Marketing of luxury real estate is increasingly more complex with the digital landscape. Largely, this is because of social media. It’s not something we are afraid of. We can’t afford to ignore it. It is increasingly becoming part of our daily routine and marketing.

Of course, the digital age (for us) started with our handheld computers (i.e., blackberrys, iphones, palms) and are changing the way we connect with our clients. Our potential buyers and coveted clients are equipped with information that have forced us to change our traditional advertising thinking. We, as agents, are still “specialists,” but even more so now. Now we must be specialists not only in our local areas, but we must be armed with the knowledge and information that our potential buyers and sellers are able to glean from the internet.

Real Estate agents owe this to our clients

In the book, “Who Moved My Cheese?“, Dr. Spencer Johnson tells a story with 4 characters—Sniff and Scurry and Hem and Haw—the story is about “change” and how we are going through it. It applies to many industries. The story is important because we must adapt to the changes if we want to best serve our clients in their real estate transactions.

Agents of change

Try as we might, print advertising is increasingly less effective. This is not to say print is obsolete. It certainly has its place, especially with our luxury listings. Our affluent buyers and sellers still read the Robb Report, Wall Street Journal and Sotheby’s, so it is important to have a presence. However, the attention to these printed publications is narrowing because of change. Attention is not as much on the printed page as it used to. In other words, the “Big Shift” is happening now. It hasn’t fully “shifted.”

Real estate reality

The reality for many agents is that there are fewer buyers (as of today) and more competition. What this means is we (as REALTORS®) must be part of the change to digital. Since we began our careers in real estate, marketing was a fundamental in order to acquire listings, to broadcast listings and ultimately, to serve the market. It is our prediction that there is a new crop of REALTORS® that will set the pace. These agents will develop a new playing field. It isn’t going to be done at a conference or through a think tank. It is already happening. Visit Trulia, or The consumer is there. The consumer is doing their own sort of comps, and collecting their own database through their savvy internet skills. The younger buyers are going to turn into younger sellers.

Keeping up means developing our own platform

We must develop our own voice. Whether you leverage your brand, as we do, with Sotheby’s, or you are forging your own. Use of these technologies and platforms becomes more and more essential. But, we must be careful how we use them. These tools are powerful and allow your brand to become extremely transparent. Transparent, however, is a sort of catch-22. If we all read Gary Vee’s book, Crush It, we know that he is a huge advocate of using video for social networking. Gary Vee also points out how Ian Watt uses the flip phone. If you’ve seen Ian Watt or Gary Vee, they are extremely effective and good at using this medium. They have a keen awareness of the media impact of using video and distributing it on the internet. Again, this is not for everyone. Neither is a podcast. Nor is a blog—especially if you are blogging for market share.

Simply put. A social media strategy for your real estate marketing must be authenticated by you. It is different for everyone. If you don’t have the discipline to write, or you are shy about writing, maybe facebook and twitter are your best tactics. But rest assured, there is a tremendous amount of attention and eyeballs on these platforms. But you must be yourself and be authentic. Otherwise, it’s the equivalent of a 3 line classified ad in the Detroit Times for the Sherwood Country Club

… with that said… tomorrow we are starting a 4 part series on Sherwood Country Club… hope to see you there!!!

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