Notes From An Expert: Social Media Marketing In Real Estate-Nazar Kamangar/bridge consulting blogs
There are many schools of thought when it comes to social media marketing for small businesses. It’s incredibly important to remember that various industries have different social media strategies and standards. Today, we’ll be focusing on gathering some insight on social media marketing in the field of real estate. Maryann Lawler of Keller Williams Realty has had a lot of success in real estate despite the challenging housing market. She is kind enough to share some of her social media philosophies with us today.
What inspired you to get into real estate?
I was doing data entry at the John and Mabel Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota, Florida during the restoration of Ca d’Zan. I would weekly take photos of restoration work, and any time any item was moved in the museum, we kept a record of it. I was majoring in art history at the time, and while it was rewarding work, it wasn’t what I wanted to be doing long-term. I began to realize that even if I continued on to a Master’s degree, I wouldn’t have direct control over my work output contributing to my income. My mom was in real estate and needed some help, so what started out as just a change of scenery became really compelling as a way to control my own income.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
My clients. Hands down, it’s the people. The second you finally hand the key over and the buyer starts crying, that’s an awesome feeling.
What are some of the challenges you face in today’s market?
The market today involves a lot of distressed properties. I have to deal with the dynamics of short sales and foreclosures, and that makes it so much more challenging to get from start to finish. So many things can go wrong.
You grew up with a parent in real estate. What are some of the more traditional real estate marketing methods you remember from that time?
Mailings to clients, a lot of calling, signs in the yard. Instead of an online system like the MLS site, giant books came out every month detailing all the listings in an area. My mom used those as booster seats when I was a baby. I remember a lot of newspaper ads. It wasn’t a very direct approach. Customers weren’t really targeted. Instead, real estate agents cast a wide net to try and attract clients. This could all be very costly, due to the materials and the manpower required.
Are you seeing a trend towards using social media marketing in your field?
Absolutely. If you’re a real estate agent and you don’t have a Facebook or a LinkedIn page, you have been left behind.
What kind of social media marketing methods do you personally employ?
I have limited myself mainly to Facebook and LinkedIn because I don’t want to be all over the place. I prefer to be very present in just a few areas. But I do answer real estate questions on a real estate website called trulia.com. They have a question and answer section as well as searchable listings, and I have been directly contacted by future clients via my presence there. Last year I sold a home for a couple after I answered a question they had comparing two subdivisions. They appreciated the differences I pointed out and it led to them interviewing me and two other agents. They chose me because they said I was the most interconnected. Facebook is great too, because my personal contacts and neighbors see my listings and I get more word of mouth sales that way. I specialize in historic homes, and I have a lot of success posting those listings on Facebook.
How else does social media marketing give you an advantage?
It’s a great way to stay connected with past clients and allow them to interact with you on a more personal level. Then, in the future, if they need help buying or selling a new home, you’re still fresh in their mind. There’s a John Maxwell quote I love: “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” Real estate is all about making connections with people and building relationships so that you can get them into their dream home. Social media makes it so much easier to both build and maintain deeper and more meaningful relationships with my clients.