Millennials now make up 66 percent of the market for first-time homebuyers, and 99 percent of those looking for homes use the internet to research properties. Still, these 30-something-and-under buyers are doing more than Googling a few keywords to find their dream homes. House hunters are now including property-related hashtags and social media feeds in their searches, and that’s only the tip of the iceberg.
The second-largest search engine in the world, YouTube, is also being used to explore houses and communities. 86 percent of home shoppers say they would use video to learn more about a specific community they are considering.
In this technology-driven age, it’s crucial for home sellers and agents to remain active on social media in order to nurture interest in newly listed properties. Real estate voyeurism will only continue to expand its channels across the web.
How does a home seller use social media platforms like Instagram or Snapchat to move real estate?
Imagine being able to show detailed listing information to every newlywed couple in their 30s within a 20-mile radius. While this would be impossible to execute in person, Facebook’s ability to target posts and ads to your core demographics are invaluable. 69 percent of real estate agents use Facebook because it works. Even when Facebook doesn’t deliver results, it still has top-of-the-line analytics that will help you understand what went wrong.
Try writing posts about what sold you on the home initially. Share photos of your weekly grocery haul or your dog playing in the yard. Use the bandwidth Facebook gives you to paint a picture of what living in that home is really like. Chances are, it may resonate with a buyer.
Among content types, 52 percent of marketing professionals claim that video content has the best return on investment. Uploading a neighborhood guide or home tour of your own could attract views from the curious (which will boost your online brand and reputation), in addition to making the listing easier for buyers to discover when they research the area.
Most major markets now have qualified videography companies specializing in interior, exterior and drone footage of staged homes, helping sellers engage potential buyers before they commit to a walk-through. When 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute, it’s essential to create content that differentiates you from the rest of the real estate crowd.
What sets Instagram apart from other social media networks? It’s the ability to receive instant feedback on property and neighborhood photos. This is great for experimenting with different hashtags, captions or photography styles. You’ll know right away whether or not that Mayfair-filtered kitchen backsplash picture is resonating with your audience.
Currently, Instagram is considered the fastest-growing social media platform, with 800 million monthly users. Make sure to max out your hashtags (you can have up to 30) to tap into that ever-expanding community. And invite people to join in a conversation by including questions in the photo captions—it’s great for staying relevant in a community saturated with content.
Snapchat may not offer much in the analytics department, but with 178 million daily users and counting, it can still have a big impact when it comes to selling your home. Each video and picture you send with the application disappears, meaning that there’s only a small window to create content that captures the homebuyer’s eye.
Taking short day-in-the-life videos inside the home is a great place to start. It will help house hunters visualize what living in the space is like, while showing off the property’s amenities.
As you start crafting social media posts about a listing, remember to follow the golden rule: Create content that you would want to read. Enthusiasm is contagious, even if it’s coming from a photo caption on Instagram. You never know when a potential homebuyer may be scrolling through your feed.
Dario Cardile is vice president of growth marketing at mortgage and real estate solutions provider Altisource.