As an active real estate agent and the founder of the informal real estate advising forum, Jason Cohen Pittsburgh, Jason Cohen is well-aware of the importance social media holds for real estate professionals. In this post, Jason highlights a few of the dangerous missteps he sees on social media platforms and warns other agents against making them.
Thirty years ago, the best – and perhaps only – way to quickly find a potential home was to make an appointment with a local real estate agent and search for promising listings together. Now, however, the searcher is at an advantage; according to a survey published by the National Association of Realtors in 2016, a full 44% of buyers searched online before reaching out to an agent. Listing information is literally at a buyer’s fingertips; with a few quick clicks or swipes, a buyer can see home options in her preferred neighborhood and come to a real estate agents with a few options already in mind.
On the flipside, this easy access to information isn’t always as effortless for real estate agents. Professionals need to make sure that their listing data is continually updated and accurate and further maintain a positive professional presence online. This need has driven 80% of NAR agents to Facebook, and 71% to establish profiles on Linkedin. However, even well-meaning professionals can wreck their social media image if they commit one or more of these serious social media missteps.
Posting unrelated and/or polarizing content
Your work page is an online extension of your office; treat it as such! Save any political or potentially controversial posts for your personal account, and make sure that the majority of your posts are related to real estate, harmless community news, or the listings you handle. If you post potentially inflammatory content on your personal page, limit your privacy settings. The last thing you want is to drive away an otherwise interested client with unrelated posts.
Over-promoting on social pages.
A few advertisements or listing updates are beneficial – endless streams of promotion are not. Don’t spam your clients with marketing posts! Not only will you turn away potential clients, but you might find your content filtered as spam by social media algorithms.
Social media platforms are meant to be connective – so connect! Ignoring comments will make you seem standoffish, disinterested, or rude to those who attempt to make a professional connection with you via your social media pages. Be involved, and give your social followers the time they need.
Doctoring listing photos.
Not only is altering your listing photos to look more attractive expressly forbidden by the NAR, but doing so will make you seem untrustworthy. Invest in a good photographer and take photos that reflect your properties well without digital interference.
Never posting original content.
Don’t be a fake! Put time into creating and publishing unique content. If you usually have little time to spare, try setting aside an hour or two at the beginning of the month and using a free social media service such as Hootsuite or Postcron to schedule out your posts.
Nowadays, a solid online presence is a necessary part of being a real estate professional. Take charge of your social media presence!
For more written and multimedia content, please visit Jason Cohen’s website at JasonCohenPittsburgh.net.