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Social media is a must for luxury agents, so it makes sense that it was a major topic of discussion at Inman Connect Las Vegas (ICLV) 2022. Themes revolved around how agents will need to retool their strategies in 2023 to grow their business, and how Instagram — particularly Reels — can be a great asset.
A lot of agents are already doing this, like Stephanie Aycock, REALTOR® at Zeitlin Sotheby’s International Realty, and Neyshia Go, Senior Global Luxury Estate Advisor with Sotheby’s International Realty – Beverly Hills Brokerage.
“Social media equates to a free platform to engage with current and potential clients,” encourages Go.
“Share pictures of your listings and recent sales, but make your page interesting and fun,” adds Aycock. “The goal is to keep people engaged.” Here’s their advice on how to do just that.
Be responsive, and be yourself
In order for your strategy to work, you need to commit to interacting with your sphere. “My marketing plan goals are to post at least five times a week before 8 a.m.,” says Aycock. “I use the most creative hashtags I can think of, take pictures of anything interesting I see in my local area, tag as many people as I can, and always respond to comments.”
This multi-pronged approach rapidly increased her reach and engagement rates. It also relates to one of the most important aspects of a sophisticated social media marketing plan: the human element.
“I love featuring my lifestyle to show the human side to real estate, and posting entertaining content is the most critical piece to the equation,” says Go. “Yes, this job can be very glamorous, but I think it’s important to showcase the fast food I have to eat in my car between showings, and me mopping my listings before an open house. It also shows your clients and potential database just what kind of agent you are.”
She advises agents to lean into their personal strengths in order to post truly authentic content.
- Agents who want to brand themselves as friendly and accessible might give lively tours of a property or neighborhood.
- Agents who want to present themselves as industry experts may provide an analysis of market statistics or current investment trends.
“The most important thing is to relay yourself as their market expert, and someone who potential clients will want to work with,” says Go.
Think outside the real estate box
As Aycock mentioned, an agent’s social media page should show more than just listings. “Adding valuable lifestyle content such as restaurant openings, concerts, and local events gives people a reason to visit my page,” she says. “By limiting yourself to just real estate content, you may not be reaching the audience that will follow you now and buy or sell two years in the future.”
But that’s not the only benefit. “Supporting and partnering with local businesses is a quick way to gain followers. Anytime I go to a local business, I take a picture and tag them in a story. Usually, they’ll repost my story, so I reach an audience that I might not necessarily have reached before.”
Go agrees. “People don’t like contrived social media content — a mix of beautiful real estate and real-life experience is necessary for a winning strategy,” she says.
Become an Instagram pro
Instagram was singled out at ICLV 2022 for good reason. “It’s the platform I have the most success on and enjoy using,” says Go. Here’s the formula she tends to follow:
- The typical grid-style posts are highly effective for real estate announcements, such as recent sales, new listings, and price changes.
- Stories and Reels work for these too, as well as “coming soon” listings, personal or lifestyle content, and real estate trends or news.
“Reels have been the latest and most impactful way to shoot and showcase dynamic content and reach larger demographics outside your own personal sphere — as long as you understand and try to work with the algorithm,” she adds.
The constantly changing algorithm can be a challenge for agents. Aycock notes, “I’ve found consistency is key. Don’t abandon your page for an extended period of time or it will disappear from the viewer’s feed. Adding polls or questions to your stories engage the audience. The more engagement you get, the more your page will show up.”
3 additional tips to stay on track
Aycock and Go have three final thoughts for their fellow luxury agents to help them grow their business through social media:
- Always add real estate hashtags to your posts to help people remember that you’re a realtor.
- If your budget allows, work with a social media professional or strategist to assist in getting your account off the ground.
- If this isn’t possible for you, start somewhere. Create an account for your business, download the top social media editing apps, and experiment.
“Don’t be overwhelmed or intimidated by social media if it’s completely novel to you,” says Go. “When I started, it might as well have been a foreign language to me — but in time, I was able to form a strategy that has been very successful. I can attribute at least $40,000,000 worth of real estate sales to social media connections and strategies, and am its biggest advocate.”