Monday, November 14, 2011

Need Proof of Social Media ROI? Look to Real Estate

In what may be the real estate coup of the decade, two Century 21 Realtors landed a Facebook referral for a sale worth $1.1million by engaging a lead with content and reviews that convinced him to send his business their way. In a twist that has the Realtors’ competition kicking itself, the lead was lured from a competitor’s Facebook page after the Realtor there failed to answer a query on the page.

While this is an extreme example, Realtors are increasingly getting on the social media band wagon and reaping its rewards. According to Fast Company, 84% of real estate agents are using social media, and real estate companies are spending more and more marketing dollars on developing apps, websites and social media sites that engage the house buyer or seller and easily connect him or her to a local agent. The described scenario above makes the case for not only posting your own content, but ensuring that you’re paying attention to what your competitors are doing and that you’re listening to customers and potential customers.

A Realtor friend of mine is looking to change up her marketing strategy by focusing most of her marketing budget on social media and digital. It makes sense, given that most people in the market begin their home search online. She’s already seen great results from an email marketing campaign in which she targets her fellow Realtors when she has an exceptional house come up for sale, but she’s also relied on an expensive radio campaign to create awareness among consumers. As a result, she enjoys name recognition, but she has been able to track very few referrals back to the campaign.

As a grad student in Northwestern's Integrated Marketing Communications program and as her marketing advisor, here is my advice to my friend:
  • Focus on SEO to ensure that you’re found when consumers begin their search for houses or a Realtor.
  • Move from a push marketing strategy to a pull strategy by offering informative, educational content to consumers through a blog, Twitter feed and Facebook. In this way, she can position herself as a thought leader on real estate in her market.
  • Focus on trigger communities, like Trulia Voices, where your customers are already spending time. Provide advice to these customers to build credibility, awareness and trust. Give to get!
Written by Kaylene Riemen, MS IMC 2011, Northwestern University, @kayleneriemen

    1 comment:

    1. Thanks for sharing some inspirational points about outsourcing Social Media for Real Estate. It is very substantial.