Social media is tough, anyway—but even tougher for real estate companies.
It’s tricky to shift properties (which, needless to say, come at a high price) on social media because they aren’t rash purchases. It’s unlikely for people to view a handful of tweets and bang down a hefty deposit, right?
That doesn’t make real estate social media marketing impossible.
In fact, it’s quite the opposite.
In this guide, I’m sharing how you can make your campaigns a triumphant success without ploughing enough cash into your strategy that could build a new home—with examples to prove how social marketing for real estate companies can help you attract high-quality leads.
Why should real estate companies use social media?
First up, let’s have a quick chat about why real estate should use social media, anyway.
There are several successful marketing techniques to choose from. Why should social media be at the forefront of your mind when managing your strategy?
Well, 44% of homebuyers use the internet to look for properties first. That’s right—people are heading to the online world, rather than traditional real estate offices or referrals from family and friends, to look for their new home.
You can’t target this huge chunk of people if you’re not making your real estate company visible when they are online.
Plus, 66% of new homebuyers are millennials—the largest chunk of any age range.
There are currently 76.8 million millennials using social media in the U.S. alone, making it the perfect place to promote your real estate services, and catch people who’re actively looking to purchase a new property.
The importance of setting goals for your campaigns
Are you convinced to start using social media as part of your real estate marketing plan, yet? Before we start creating your social plan, there’s one thing we need to cover first: Goals.
Goals, also known as Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), help your real estate company know what you’re working towards on social media. Whether you’re using the platforms to:
- Increase website traffic
- Raise your follower count
- Improve engagement rates
- Generate more contact form submissions
- Produce more property enquiries or sales
...working backward from the goal you’re working towards gives you a better chance at creating a marketing plan that will reach it.
Remember: When setting goals for your real estate marketing campaigns, always map them over to your company-wide goals. There’s not much point in aiming to generate more engagement if you need to boost the number of property enquiries you’re receiving.
8 Tips to crack the real estate marketing code on social media
Now we’ve got a solid understanding on why social media should play a huge role in your real estate campaigns, and clear goals you’re working towards, use these eight tips to make your social strategy a success:
1. Optimize your profile
The first thing you’ll need to do is make sure your profile is filled in properly.
Sounds obvious, right? But you’d be surprised at how many real estate companies overlook this aspect of their social media accounts—especially if they’ve recently moved office or changed their phone number.
For each platform you’re using, add your:
- Contact details
- Profile photo
- Website URL
That way, if your audience are looking for a way to get in touch, enquire or simply learn more about your business, the information is there to do so. We all love convenience.
Fancy taking this tactic a step further? Dive into the details of your real estate business and use the Story section on the Facebook Page to build those all-important personal connections—like this example from Best Chicago Properties:
You could also optimize the Services section on your Page, too, which allows your Facebook followers to view the exact services you offer before getting in touch—as shown on Your Move’s Page:
And, because this extra detail allows potential customers to fully understand what it is you offer, it boosts the chances of each enquiry you receive being genuine. That’ll help you save time filtering unqualified leads.
(Although it doesn’t necessarily fall within the realms of social media, the same applies to your Google My Business listing!)
2. Use real estate video marketing to showcase properties
97% of marketers say video has helped increase user understanding of their product or service, 76% say it’s increased sales, and 76% experienced more support queries after using video in their strategy.
...If that’s not an excuse to use real estate video in your social media campaigns, I don’t know what is.
But while you might already know how to record, upload and promote basic video content on social media, you’ll need to adapt—and test new video formats—if you want to make your content a success.
For example, you could do:
- A series of Instagram Stories to show the interior of a property they’re selling (remember these expire after 24 hours unless pinned to an Instagram profile).
- A Facebook Live video at one of their open house events.
- A Snapchat Story which encourages their followers to take part in a property Q&A.
- A YouTube video which explains the step-by-step process of buying a house.
- A 360 post to give their audience a full, 360-view of the property.
Just take a look at this property tour by luxury real estate developers, The Hudson. They’ve uploaded their tour to YouTube, allowing them to build a community on the second largest search engine in the world, while also promoting their development:
(Warning: While this YouTube promotion technique can work, be wary that many social media algorithms favor native content. Try a combination of external and native video to see if this affects your reach.)
Real estate expert, Zac McHardy, also used this live video tactic to promote his company—this time, in the form of a Q&A:
3. Let reviews take pride of place
Did you know that 62% of online home buyers said they’re likely to contact an agent if they have excellent reviews?
Social media has put power in the hands of consumers by giving them a platform to voice their views about your real estate business. As Sendible's Founder and CEO said in Gower Crowd's Real Estate Podcast:
"With social media you now have access to the truth - what's really going on, with all the facts. You have access to reviews; you're hearing from people who are talking about other brands."
You can use this to your advantage if you’re struggling to generate enquiries through your current marketing strategy by letting reviews, testimonials and words from happy customers take pride of place on your profiles. You can:
- Retweet them to the company’s Twitter profile
- Share customers’ video testimonials to their Instagram Stories
- Fill the “Review” tab on their Facebook Page with glowing 5-star ratings
If collecting reviews from real estate customers sounds like a tough job to crack, don’t panic.
You could offer an incentive—such as a discount on the next property or free valuations—to encourage previous customers to share their experience on social media, but remember their review doesn’t have to directly relate to your company, staff or service.
With homes being such a personal purchase, why not share your customer's success story—and how you helped them to find their dream home?
Take a look at this Instagram post by Brad Keyes Real Estate. Although his customer’s testimonial doesn’t mention how great Brad is as a realtor, it still gives the wow factor and potential customers a reason to enquire:
View this post on Instagram
Happy Friday! Associate Partner @buywithjosh has lived in Playa del Rey for the past 12 yrs & describes it as a “gateway from the busy city to your own private oasis.” Read more below about his insights on the area & tips on places to visit: . “In 2006, I moved from CA to NY. The 1st apartment I saw was in Playa del Rey, & I rented it on the spot. 7 yrs later, I bought my condo around the corner & have considered myself a PDR local ever since. This sleepy beach town has, up until recently, been one of LA’s best kept secrets 🤫, sometimes referred to as the “Island 🏝 of Playa Del Rey,” surrounded by towering bluffs on the east, Ballona Creek on the north, & @flylaxairport to the south. The town has gone through many changes, originally starting off as swampy marsh in the 1800s, then being developed into a beach resort town in 1920s w/ the grand Hotel del Rey & turning the lagoon into a swimming plunge pool 🏊♂️, & finally going “all in” on residential development. W/in the already small area of PDR, there are micro-neighborhoods: the more bohemian Jungle, the ritzy Bluffs, the family friendly Lagoon, & the vibrant Lower Playa, home to some of the greatest dive bars in the city: @theshack_pdr, The Harbor Room, & the famous Prince O’ Whales. Before my wife & I had our son, we were regulars at the POW, & you can still catch us there every so often doing karaoke 🎤. New restaurants & bars are drawing more people to our “island.” @chefbrookew has opened ✌️ restaurants on the main drag of Culver Blvd: @thetripel, a gastropub w/ a fantastic beer list 🍻, & @playaprovisions, which includes 4️⃣ different restaurants w/in 1 building, featuring an open-air patio steps away from the beach. PDR translates to “the beach of the king,” 👑 which is fitting due to its secluded location & unbeatable sunset views 🌅, & I ❤️ that it remains a sleepy beach town.” . PDR is relatively affordable compared to its neighbors Marina del Rey & Venice, but prices are rising 📈. In 2013, I represented the buyer of a condo @ 64000 Pacific Ave (📷 4&5), who purchased it for $757,500. 4 yrs later, @keyesrealestatela represented him as the seller, & it sold for $981,000!
A post shared by B R A D K E Y E S (@bradkeyesrealestate) on
Joyce Rey uses this tactic, too—this time in her Instagram bio:
I know what you’re thinking: “Elise, there aren’t any reviews here.” Hear me out.
Although Joyce doesn’t focus on reviews in her Instagram bio, she’s using the same endorsement tactic by mentioning the publications she’s been featured in through her bio.
Tying her name with big, well-known brands makes her real estate company more credible.
Think about it: You’re more likely to purchase a big-ticket item (like a new home) from someone who’s been featured on the Today Show and ABC, rather than a real estate company nobody’s heard of, right?
4. Share content for local people
People viewing your properties are likely to be in the same area.
(If not, and they’re buying a new house, they’re likely to be looking into the area before committing to moving there.)
That’s why you should focus on sharing content that local people would be interested in, such as:
- Local events and news
- Information on local property price changes
46% of Americans use social media as a news source, so contributing to the local social world—whether you’re sharing events or news coverage—is a fantastic way to get your foot in the door.
...No pun intended.
DTLA Real Estate use this real estate marketing tactic by posting photos of street art in the local area. Why? Well, people purchasing the types of home they’ve got for sale are likely to be interested in art:
View this post on Instagram
Just another day in DTLA 🏠🕌🏢 #dtla #realestateLA #dtlarealestate #streetartla #LAstreetart #buildingmurals #dtlastreetart #downtownla #la #larealestate #losangeles #realtor #realestate #realestateagent #realestatebroker #commercialrealestate #cre #officespace #realestatesales #realestateforsale #publicart #art #murals #streetart #streetartistry #condos #office #officespace #homes
A post shared by DTLArealestate.com (@dtlarealestate) on
Live Urban Denver take this type of social media content a step further by sponsoring a local event in the city, and sharing the photos on Facebook (with their location tagged):
Using this tactic to attract the attention of local people is a fantastic way for smaller real estate companies to get a leg-up on their competition, too.
Since larger real estate companies are likely to sell in various locations (like California and New York), it’s tough for them to post local content without isolating a segment of their audience. What’s interesting for the New York followers won’t be for the California fans.
5. Participate in local online communities
Facebook Groups, in particular, are great for connecting brands with local people since it’s the biggest social media platform in the world.
Think they’re not for you?
Over 1 billion people use at least one Facebook Group—meaning there’s bound to be a bunch of your ideal customers using one, too.
Local neighborhoods use Facebook Groups to swap information and stay in touch. That makes it the perfect place to start chatting to your potential customers, and build your reputation in the area.
Find these by searching “LOCATION + neighborhood” in Facebook search, and hitting the Groups tab.
Here’s one I found for Melton Mowbray:
You can also get involved in Groups that are specifically for property listing sharing, like Hot NY Properties:
Planning on using Facebook Groups to generate more buzz around your real estate company? I’ve got one warning: Don’t oversell.
Coming across as too promotional—and only sharing links to property listings you’ve got on your website—will be off-putting, especially if the aim of the group isn’t to sell.
Instead, answer questions, help people who’re struggling and offer free advice. That way, you’re building your personal brand, reputation, and the chances of someone visiting your website when they’re ready to enquire.
6. Start pinning photos to popular Pinterest boards
Buying a new property is a huge investment, and often brings change.
That’s why you should start using Pinterest—a platform where 47% of users are likely to experience a major life event in the next six months.
Plus, Pinterest is a visual platform. People can’t buy a home without viewing it first, right?
To start your real estate marketing strategy on Pinterest, begin by Pinning photos from the properties you’ve got for sale, and adding the listing as the source URL. You could also pin photos from your blog content to these boards.
Here’s an example of how Rightmove do this:
At Properties also use Pinterest to market their real estate brand, as we can see from these photos pinned from their site:
But, gaining traction on Pinterest is tough—especially when you don’t have the time to Pin content to your profile multiple times per day. Enter: Group boards.
A collective board allows other profiles to contribute, these group boards tend to have a high follower count (due to the abundance of content being pinned every day). It’s your aim to join and share your content to these boards.
Here are a few to get you started:
- Pinterest Real Estate Group Board
- Real Estate | Mortgage | Social Media
- Real Estate Group Board
- Real Estate & Mortgage Corner
- Real Estate Tips & News
7. Sprinkle hashtags throughout your content
Have you ever thought about using hashtags in your real estate marketing campaigns?
Considering they have the potential to improve brand awareness (especially when found in hashtag search), it’s a small tweak you can make to the content you’re already posting and see great results.
Start to introduce these links by including a combination of:
- Branded hashtags: Designed to be used by your real estate company and followers—e.g. #RightMoveTips
- Generic hashtags: Used by anyone with a shared interest—e.g. #JustListed
Why? Because branded hashtags build your own following, whereas generic hashtags allow you to reach people who might not otherwise see your content.
Realtor Patrick Ivey uses generic hashtags (#ForSale and #JustListed) to promote a new listing on Facebook:
Pacific Union also use generic hashtags in their Instagram comment to build following and dominate the hashtag search feed:
View this post on Instagram
This newly constructed 5,542-square-foot modern farmhouse in Napa features 5 bedrooms, a personal gym, and is set on 4-plus acres that includes a heated pool, spa, and fire pit with dramatic mountain views. . 📍4128 East 3rd Ave., Napa Presented by Hillary Ryan Offered at $7,950,000 #linkinbio
A post shared by Pacific Union (@pacificunionrealestate) on
Here’s a quick list of real estate hashtags you can use to get started:
8. Schedule content in advance
Your time is valuable, so you don't waste it. Every spare hour you spend on creating social media posts could be better used on meeting potential buyers and sellers. The trick is scheduling your content in advance.
You’re able to save time (and effort) by spending a few hours on a Monday morning planning your real estate content, rather than 45 minutes per day—or whenever you think, “I haven’t posted in awhile”.
Scheduling social content in advance means you’re better prepared and aren’t rushing to keep your account active.
When you know the goals you’re working to, and have time to strategically plan the content that’ll help you reach them, it’s a win-win for everyone involved.
Final thoughts on using social media for real estate marketing
Are you inspired to start using social media to generate more enquiries for your real estate company?
Remember to make sure each strategy you use helps you work toward your goals, and focuses on providing value to your target audience.
As a soon-to-be homebuyer, I can’t wait to see your content crop-up in my search!