When you’re a real estate agent looking to grow your business online, it’s important to be aware of what your peers are doing. By taking advantage of the latest tools and strategies, you can find new, relevant ways to connect with your target demographic.
In no particular order, here are 6 of the most relevant Facebook trends for agents looking to make an impact in 2019.
1. Virtual tours
For several years now, virtual open houses have been an increasingly popular option for agents and buyers alike.
Agents enjoy them because they make life easier—eliminating the need to buy refreshments, as well as the stress that comes with giving individual attention to each attendee. And many home buyers are thrilled to have the option of touring a home from the comfort of wherever they are.
So, rather than hoping for this trend to pass, embrace it for what it is—a cost-effective, low-stress solution for connecting with a significant number of potential buyers at once. If you need a little help planning your virtual open house, check out this short video.
Offering users the option to document their everyday activities through a series of short, temporary posts, Instagram Stories have become one of the most popular features of any social media platform. Given the fact that Facebook owns Instagram, it’s little surprise that this feature has been implemented on Facebook, as well.
As an agent, you can use Facebook Story to show off listings, answer customer questions, or let people know a little more about the real you. Your Facebook Story is a great place to engage in brand storytelling, as it allows your customers and prospects to follow along with your day, without cluttering up your business page with dozens of short videos and photos.
Even better: Facebook Stories are incredibly dynamic. You can update the Story for your personal and business pages, as well any events you’ve created and groups you’ve joined.
3. Automated messaging
In 2019, your clients will continue to seek quicker, more convenient customer service. Being the first to respond to a question could mean the difference between landing a listing or the seller moving on to the next agent.
This is where automation can come in handy. While you’ll ultimately succeed based on your ability to provide an exceptional, personalized customer experience, it helps to be able to communicate the most important information to clients right away.
At the very least, you should create an auto-response on Facebook Messenger—thanking people for their message, offering a phone number or email address where they can reach you, and promising to get back to them as soon as possible.
Of course, as technology advances, you can do far more than just put up an “out of office” message. You can also create chat bots that are able to answer common questions your customers might have, or even send messages to those who have messaged you previously.
4. Personal branding
One of the best ways you can create these good feelings around your business is to establish a personal brand. When it comes to high stakes transactions like buying or selling a home, people don’t want to feel that they’re working with a faceless company. Instead, they want to know they’re in the capable hands of an actual human being, who will steer them in the right direction and do whatever it takes to get them the best deal.
When it comes to branding yourself on social media, consider the 80/20 rule: devote 80 percent of your content to offering value and fostering connections, with the other 20 percent of posts reserved for product promotion.
As mentioned above, Facebook Stories are a great tool for building a personal brand, but don’t stop there. Consider starting a blog about your journey in real estate and sharing those posts on Facebook. Use Facebook Live to host a Q&A or take your followers behind the scenes in your work space. Above all, don’t just use Facebook to get the word out about your listings and open house—use it to create meaningful connections.
5. Hyperlocal marketing
With each year that passes, your leads are becoming more and more immune to traditional marketing efforts. In order to make the kinds of connections that will result in not just individual sales, but also valuable referrals and repeat business, you need to offer value.
Yes, people want to work with someone who they can trust. But what they really want is to work with the local expert. When it comes to real estate, there are few things more powerful than becoming synonymous with your immediate community.
You can become a local expert by sharing information and resources that people can’t get anywhere else. Create a comprehensive calendar of local events—from the most widely attended to more niche events—and pin it to the top of your Facebook page. Post about other businesses you frequent, and which your followers might enjoy. Offer tips for home improvement projects. When it comes to offering value and insight to your followers, the sky is truly the limit.
More than anything else, you should strive to become the ultimate resource—the person who locals check in with when they really want to know what’s going on.
6. Facebook groups
If you’re serious about connecting with people on a hyperlocal level, you can’t afford to overlook Facebook groups.
Whichever community you serve, it’s incredibly likely that there is already at least one Facebook group where locals interact. Find and join any of these groups (or, if none exist, consider creating one). Then, do your best to connect with the other members on a human level. Talk about news, events, and concerns that are relevant to your community.
When the opportunity presents itself, you can make the other members of these groups aware of what you do for a living, and even ask if they know anyone who needs your business. But when the people in your community know you as a neighbor first and an agent second, there will be a sense of trust built in from the very beginning.
If you’re a ReminderMedia customer, you should post the American Lifestyle digital edition in Facebook groups, as well as on your business page. Your followers and neighbors will enjoy the compelling articles and videos included in each issue. And, since the digital edition contains your company’s branding, it’ll help you stay top of mind with your community.
Now that you’re more aware of some of the biggest Facebook trends in 2019, you can use this information to boost your online presence and build the kinds of relationships that will bring you more business for years to come.