A common misconception in the real estate industry is that every real estate professional should be using social media regardless of their service, investing niche, or platform. Social media can be a powerful tool to help expand your business and find new clients, sellers, or buyers, but only when used correctly. This guide to social media for real estate investors explains the various platforms available for use, tips for when to use them, and ideas on how to use them the right way.
Why use social media as a real estate investor?
Before you jump on to Twitter, create an Instagram account, or start a business page on Facebook, take a step back and think about what you are trying to accomplish with social media. You may personally use social media to connect with personal friends, family members, or acquaintances, but in the business world, social media is used to sell, market, and reach new clients. So for an investor, that means social media can be used to network with potential buyers, sellers, investors, or service providers or for marketing your services or business to the right people through regular posts or paid advertising.
Real estate investors can use social media to:
- Educate, engage, or create awareness about their services as an investor.
- Connect with potential investors, clients, buyers, or sellers.
- Market your services through organic reach (regular posts) or paid advertising.
- Increase the likelihood of being discovered in a search engine for a certain topic.
Which platforms are best to use?
Choosing the right social media platform for your target audience is key to seeing success with social media. Knowing your audience's preferences and where they spend their time online is an integral part of meeting them where they are and delivering the right type of information or content on the best social media channel for you. Take a look at the top five social platforms available for use as well as how they are used and who they are ideal for.
Designed for: Video storytelling, education, and entertainment.
Great for: Reaching potential investors, setting yourself up as an expert in your field, or answering common questions asked by your target client.
How to use it: Create videos to answer relevant questions, like "how to sell my house for cash" or "how to reduce my capital gains taxes when selling a property" (example). Explain what you do as an investor, showcase how you do it in vlog-style videos or general question-and-answer format videos (example), or case study videos (example).
Ways to reach the target audience: Using keywords in your title, video description, and video tags while creating video content that relates to frequently searched or asked topics in search engines. Can also do paid advertising.
Designed for: Networking and connecting with others while marketing your services, current property, or investment opportunity.
Great for: Fix-and-flippers, landlords, and real estate investors in general.
How to use it: Posting content, videos, text, or images related to your investing business or day-to-day investing life. This could include:
- Photos of your latest fix-and-flip or investment property.
- Lifestyle shots, such as you at the closing table or driving for dollars.
- Joining active groups that relate to the type of investing you do and participating in the conversations there.
Ways to reach the target audience: Hashtags, connecting with new friends, posting in groups, or paid Facebook advertising. You can also market your rental property or list a home for sale on Facebook Marketplace, or you can connect with other investors, lenders, buyers, or sellers through Facebook groups or a paid Facebook ad.
Designed for: Networking with other professionals.
Great for: All types of investors.
How to use it: Sharing relevant information, educational content, recent projects, or helpful tips relating to your field and business. This can be in the form of images, videos, news articles, blog posts, or other content.
Ways to reach the target audience: Hashtags, connecting with new colleagues, joining groups, or paid advertising. Just whatever you do, please don't send automated emails congratulating a connection on their work anniversary!
Designed for: Sharing news, tips, relevant content, or thoughts on current events.
Great for: Real estate agents; fix-and-flippers; or real estate investors looking for investors, buyers, or sellers.
How to use it: Posting simple sentences, links, or content related to (limited to 280 characters per tweet or less) current events, such as current investment opportunities or economic and real estate stats (example). Share images or videos from other platforms like Youtube (example). The goal here is to inform and engage your audience.
Ways to reach target audience: Posting tweets and utilizing hashtags.
Designed for: Storytelling through images.
Great for: Vacation rental owners, fix-and-flippers, long-term investors looking to raise money.
How to use it: Posting photos of your investing business and day to day investing life. This could include:
- Engaging or detailed images of your vacation rental (here's a great example).
- Before and after photos of your latest renovation or investment project (example),
- Lifestyle shot,s such as you at the closing table or driving for dollars (another great example).
Ways to reach the target audience: Paid Instagram ad or hashtags.
Every social media platform operates in a unique way. It's the reason we have such a variety of platforms, because they serve different purposes in the marketplace. While it may make sense to have a Youtube, Instagram, and Facebook account, it may not make sense to be on every platform. Learn how each platform works, the best ways to deliver quality content on those platforms, and determine which one(s) are best for you.
How to use social media correctly
It's super important that you learn how to use the platform before diving in. No one wants to see a terrible image, poor quality video, illegible text in a story, or an excessively long tweet telling them why they should work with your company.
Get the knowledge you need
Take some time to learn how each platform works, what it takes to create quality content, how to use things like hashtags to be discovered, and what goes into creating engaging and visually appealing images or videos. Youtube and blog posts can be extremely helpful in gaining the necessary information on how to post and what image size, video quality, or audio is needed for the specific content or platform. It also helps to watch others who are successful on the current platform and get inspired by their different techniques or strategies.
Clearly define who you are and what you do
Decide if your personal social media accounts can serve your need and purpose or if you should create a separate business account, where you can create a quick summary of who you are and what you do. Your "about you" should be brief and informative so a reader or potential client knows they've reached the right person immediately.
Natural vs paid marketing
While paid ads can do wonders for reaching the right audience with a well-curated ad, it isn't right for everyone. If your goal is to raise capital, share what you do in a more natural approach through photos and text. "Humble bragging" may not feel natural, but if done correctly it can stir the interest of family and friends. I can't tell you how many family and friends have reached out to me years after I started investing because of a lifestyle post I shared or a recent project I was working on.
Quality over quantity
Quality will always trump quantity, so make sure each post, tweet, or share you do meets certain quality standards and relates to your audience -- and try to post on a fairly frequent basis. Some choose to post several times a week, while others find once a week works for their audience.
Hire out if necessary
If you don't feel confident navigating and sharing on a specific platform, hire a company to help do it for you. Just remember that because someone portrays themselves as a professional or expert doesn't necessarily mean they know what they're doing. Do your due diligence on the company by looking at other accounts they manage to ensure they're competent and can meet your goals for that social media platform.