Three Secrets of Social Media for Real Estate Agents

Published on April 7, 2014

by Nikki Buckelew

Secret #1 of Social Media:

It's Intimate & Personal

At its core, the most powerful (and magical) muscle of Social Media is the way in which it allows people to get to know you and feel as if they have a bond or relationship with you. That's right; to become your friend. And that's what you wish, correct?

It's hard to put my finger on it exactly, and I know it seems a bit strange, but when I “Like” or “Follow” a well-known author, business leader, musician or “star,” for some bizarre reason, seeing their regular postings allows me a glimpse into their world and makes me feel as if I really know them.


The same is true for those of you whose postings I follow – my colleagues, clients, friends, contacts, and acquaintances. Seeing your regular postings make me feel as if I'm part of your life and allows me to know you so much better.

You know, I may never meet your children, grandchildren, husband, or dog in person, but I've been seeing your pictures of them for years, watching the kids grow, and you know what? I feel as if I know them too and I love seeing your photos of them. I know them. I know you too.

It's crazy, but that's how it works. Maybe it's a bit superficial, but it's still real and it's a good thing.

The most powerful secret of Social Media is to be intimate, personal, and real. You don't need to go overboard with it, and should definitely maintain some sense of privacy and security, but don't be afraid to let people get to know you online. Share some struggles (occasionally) of your daily life. Talk to your Facebook and Twitter feeds as if they were a person (they are...sort of) and your best friend -- minus the dirty laundry.

That's how you build your tribe and truly get to a spot that Zig Ziglar would absolutely love in the arena of “How to Win Friends & Influence People.” Social Media posts are a great start.

Secret #2 of Social Media

Worry LESS about what YOU have to say and are posting, and MORE about what OTHERS are sharing.

This may seem to be a bit contrary to what I just said above, but it's really not. The key is to establish a sort of rotating schedule, where one day you're posting a behind-the-scenes glimpse at your life, and the next status update is all about someone else.

In other words, spend less time fretting over your own posts and more time COMMENTING on and sharing the posts of others.

The people and businesses that you follow should be a mix of those you know combined with those that are strangers. That's how you stay in touch with and strengthen your current relationships - while also building brand new ones.

Dedicate 10 or 15 minutes each day to scrolling through your news feed and offering short little comments on the posts of others.

Think about it: aren't you always somewhat saddened or even offended if no one Likes or Comments on a post you've shared? The simple fact is that everyone wants their posts to be recognized! It just makes them feel good. So take a few seconds and type an occasional “nice picture” or “beautiful family” or “good luck on the sale.”

A Like, Share, or Comment goes a long way in building good will, relationships, and sociability. And, over time, this repeated action will help you get to know new people, and be presented with new opportunities. You'll discover that people and businesses you don't already know begin to follow you because you've been polite and social enough to comment on their posts.


Secret #3 of Social Media

Content, Content, Content: Following the NPR Model

In real estate, the mantra is “location, location, location.” In social media, it's “content, content, content.”

The platforms of social media will provide very little benefit to you (read: no one will want to follow you or glance over your posts) if the only content you share is a continual assortment of real estate news and pictures of your listings. Conversely, people do love a great success story or hearing about something you did in your professional life that was “over the top,” especially when it’s posted by your fans rather than you.

Guy Kawasaki is a former Apple executive and considered one of the foremost experts in technology and social media marketing. His followers number in the millions on Google+, Facebook, and Twitter, respectively. He utilizes what he calls the “NPR Model” to guide his social content and marketing strategy. Here's a brief description in his words:

Guy Kawasaki

Guy Kawasaki

“My orientation toward social media in general is what I call the NPR Model. My role is to curate good stories that entertain, enlighten, and inspire people 365 days a year. My goal is to earn the right to promote my books, companies, or causes to them just as NPR earns the right to run fund-raising telethons from time to time,” he says.

That's exactly the content model you should follow on a LOCAL basis as a real estate agent. Continually post and share those things that “entertain, enlighten, and inspire,” so that you earn the right to occasionally ask for an indulgence in the form of promoting your listings and services.

You'll find this content everyday in your own social feeds, on the news sites you frequent, in your email, when talking with clients, and by setting up simple tools like Google Alerts for information about what interests you in your seniors niche.

Ideas for social media posts:

Pictures of you with others -- every opportunity is a photo opportunity!
Events happening in your community that would appeal to your target audience
Famous quotes
Heartwarming photos or stories
Why you love what you do
How you enjoyed your day off from real estate
Something you learned at a class or conference that will help you better serve your clients
A great customer service experience you observed

Final thoughts…

Despite our best efforts to help you with social media, I know first hand that sometimes the thought of maintaining all this online conversation can be a challenge. If you prefer to outsource SOME of it (remember, social media is personal) in order to be consistent when things get busy, it’s perfectly OK to enlist support. Honestly, we have behind the scenes support for our Facebook Fanpages because when we are on the road it’s hard to stay current.

Here’s my secret … Mark Bingaman. He is a social media virtual assistant from Ohio and can not only get you set up correctly, but help you maintain your relationships when you get busy. Email him here and see what he can do for you. Mark is a bit under the radar in his promotions and works primarily by referral with a lot of our real estate agent clients, so he understands what you are working to accomplish.

There you have it… do it all yourself or hire some of it out, but social media is here to stay!

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