It’s common to have a love/hate relationship with social media, but whatever your opinion, it is an undeniable part of billions of people’s lives – in December 2016, Facebook reported 1.86 billion monthly active users worldwide.
For many estate agents, the practice of selling houses remains largely traditional. But if the best agents are those with great contacts in the industry and the local knowledge to back it up, then social media should really be used as an extension of the traditional process.
With such a huge potential shop front made up of social networks, we think it’s about time the industry caught up with the rest of the world. And here’s why:
Right place, right time
People that are actively hunting for a house may well already be searching estate agent websites or listing portals, but there will be a whole section of potential buyers who haven’t progressed as far in the decision making process.
In order to reach these people, it’s important to put your house in front of them, rather than waiting for them to come to you. Social media provides a great opportunity to do just this, increasing the chances of generating interest from impulse buyers.
Display your beautiful images and videos in a format people are familiar with
Chances are, the people that will be buying your house will have their preferred social media channel that they understand and feel comfortable with.
By displaying beautiful pictures of your home (and we can’t overstate how important good photography is – but that’s a post for another time) in a setting they are used to (be it Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc.), potential buyers are likely to be much more receptive. All three of these social media channels will allow multiple images to be uploaded in gallery form.
Research has shown that as much as one third of all online activity is spent watching video. Both Instagram and Facebook will let you upload video content directly, so users can view the video from within the app. We’ve created area guide videos, and edited some to be shorter than one minute so they will work well on social media. We find this digestible video content is very popular.
Sell the lifestyle, not just the facts and figures
Facts and statistics will always have their part to play – buyers will want to know the average property price in the area, the size of the rooms, the EPC rating of the house, and much more. But a huge part of the purchase decision has nothing to do with numbers – it comes down to an intangible feeling generated by the lifestyle connected to certain properties.
The very nature of social media means that displaying lots of detail, in text form at least, is almost impossible. But demonstrating the lifestyle that your house enables is absolutely possible, with pictures and video that highlight the area, attractions, shops, pubs, schools, spots with beautiful views. Anything that will get people excited about life in your home. You could also focus on individual features in your home that make it unique. This is an approach we take on our own Instagram account.
Imagine if you could drop a leaflet about your house to, say, everyone in west London between the ages of 50 and 65, with an interest in beaches, golf and sailing. Well, with social media, the online equivalent is possible.
Facebook and Instagram allow you to create posts targeted to certain users based on their location, demographics and interests – an incredibly powerful tool for putting your house in front of the right people.
To find out more, or to discuss how we can use social media and over 40 years of experience to sell your home, call us on 01872 306 360.