The Potential Danger of Marketing Real Estate in Social Media
Real estate listings are aplenty on Facebook, whether from a friend posting about the house they are selling or "suggested posts" from an advertiser or real estate related content. These kinds of content are gaining in popularity across social media platforms. It's free advertising and often comes with dangers attached.
The National Association of REALTORS even has a dedicated section called "Field Guide to Social Networking for REALTORS," complete with articles that highlight tips to grow your real estate social marketing and delve into the benefits of social media among several others.
According to experts--using social media allows real estate agents to be available, engage pro-actively, establish a brand and build networks. Agents are rarely aware where their next customer is going to crop up, so they make use of all advertising mediums to get their product out there.
Seasoned agents make it a practice to click photos with their clients on closing and share them widely on social media, often both on their personal and professional pages. Rather than posting a random picture of a new listing with an address, agents also share in detail, the unique features of new listings. Highlighting such specifics always grab people's attention.
The ease of using social media and its reach have prompted many owners to test selling their houses themselves. However, be aware that there's an inherent risk in being so public with information.
When people post information about selling houses, you never know who is going respond. There can be the risk of non-genuine buyers getting in touch, especially if you are listing a home 'for sale by owner. Realtors, on the other hand, go through safety training classes and have systems in place specifically for these reasons. Someone looking to sell their house by posting on social media needs to be aware of the potential dangers.
The dangers of opening up an empty house to total strangers, unfortunately, extends to even experienced hands. Like the disappearance of real estate agent Beverly Carter which made national headlines while showing a foreclosed house in Arkansas to a prospective client. Tragically, Carter's body was found several days later, believed by the police to have been killed by this new client.
The shocked real estate community took Carter's death as a tragic wake-up call with safety training classes more popular these days. To capitalize on all of the real-time opportunities presented by the social Web you need to get as many people involved socially as well.
In most real estate organizations today, social is a job for some random social media person, who is centralized and managing by listening, responding, analyzing and handling other tasks. This has to change for small to midsize companies by having more antenna up than one person or a few random people.
Social media is awesome, but not necessarily easy to use for business, especially marketing. More so in real estate where we open our doors to strangers.