A House Made Out of Oreo Cookies?

What You can Learn From Nabisco About Using Social Media to Market Your Real Estate Business

Everyone’s urging you to use social media to promote your real estate business.  And it’s

Oreo House

Oreo House

easy enough to set up Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn accounts.  But using them effectively is challenging.  How do you become belle of the social media ball  rather than a Facebook wallflower?

You might start by posting the above “brick” wall to your Facebook as a reminder to clients about the value of getting a house professionally inspected before closing a deal.

Pose the question: ” Is the home you’re about to buy purchase built on a solid foundation or is the mortar as crumbly as an Oreo cookie?”

In one simple post, you connect with your core clients as well as Oreo’s 87,000 Instagram followers and billions of cookie lovers worldwide.  More important, perhaps, you prove that you care about your audience, that you’re using social media to connect with home buyers and sellers rather than to simply advertise your services.

With a little creativity, you can distinguish yourself from your real estate competitors.

Here are 3 tips on improving your value on social media.

1.   Find new ways to discuss old subjects.

Prospective home buyers want to know how much home they can afford.  You’ve probably gotten so accustomed to the question that  you could quote the square footage of a property in your sleep.  And you may have ready answers for clients whose dreams are bigger than your budgets.

Approach the subject in a new way.  Consider asking your social media followers?  “Would you like to own a house BIGGER than the Toronto home Ellen DeGeneres covets?”

Then post the photo below.  It’s a 312-square foot house that the talk show has expressed an interest in buying, according to the Mother Nature Network.

You can use the picture to discuss the appeal of small homes.  And you can good-naturedly describe the 1,000-foot bungalow among your listings as “bigger than 3 celebrity-sized homes!”  Once you’ve gotten your audience’s attention, you can engage them in a serious discussion about how to make small spaces seem larger.

2. Provide Meaningful and Specific Advice to Home Buyers

If you’re selling to out-of-town clients, they have a lot of questions.  Beyond the quality of

Small House

Small House

the schools and the terms of neighborhood covenants, people new to your area want to know about the location of dry cleaners, grocery stores, fitness centers and such.

Use your social media accounts to answer these questions.   Engage your audience by asking them to share stories about their favorite places to grab a cup of coffee or get their nails done.  If a tailor you regularly use is offering a sale — a coupon on his site or a widespread promotion through Groupon –post the sale.

You make friends with your audience — and your local businesses.    And to demonstrate

Groupon Ad

Groupon Ad

that you mean what you say, take photos of yourself dropping off a shoe that needs repair or enjoying an iced tea on the patio of a local restaurant.  The photo adds believability and helps clients relate to you.

When people relate to you, they want to buy or list a house through you.  Social media gives you unprecedented opportunity to demonstrate that you’re genuine, not just the face on a billboard or a website.

3.  Exchange social media posts with other local business owners.

Although it’s bad form to advertise your own services on social media, there’s nothing wrong about boasting about the services of others.

Invite local bankers, mortgage brokers, home inspectors and insurance agents to post on your social media pages.  And what do you get in exchange?  A chance to post on their pages.  You both get the advertising you want — without breaking the rules of social etiquette.

Expand your scope.   Exchange guest posts with any local business owner who is not a direct competitor.  You each get a link back to your site — an important factor in SEO page rankings — and you expand your audience.

Any savvy business owner will be receptive — your home buying clients are his potential customers — and your potential clients will be as well.  If people know you are strongly tied to your community — and demonstrate this in real life ways and not just in board memberships — they will trust your judgment about home value, neighborhoods and real estate prices.

Strike Up a Conversation

As a real estate agent or broker, you know that conversations are key to making sales.  Social media is your key to starting conversations.

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