Almost every professional is trying to integrate and use social media to gain an advantage, and real estate is no exception. Matthew Ferrara, a marketing consultant who helps coach real estate professionals on social media and video, will be in town this week as the keynote speaker for a private Coldwell Banker Pacific Properties event. Ferrara hopes to help agents at the Hawaii real estate firm to increase their social media presence and share best practices with them. CB Pacific is active on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
Ferrara shared a few of those tips with Hawaii Business.
- “All great social media is storytelling,” Ferrara says “In this case you’re telling your company and your story together.” He advises against posting listings on social media because they bore people and won’t be shared. Consumers just want people to be themselves on social media, sharing photos and letting people know what’s going on in their life. “What would you say if you went to lunch with one of these people?” he says. “You wouldn’t rip out all your marketing pieces. You would not only say things about what’s happening in your life, but you’d also ask and listen.”
- Social media is not marketing, it’s prospecting. “Prospecting is hanging out with people,” Ferrara says, “Whereas marketing is trying to have the perfect, catchy phrase that will cause people to buy your stuff.” Social media allows people to connect with customers on a conversational level rather than a promotional level. “Most of our business comes from our sphere of influence and most of the people you’re connected to on social media are people you already know,” like friends, family and past clients, he says.
- Ask questions unrelated to real estate. Realtors can get results by asking innocuous questions like, “What’s happening in your life this month?” Some people might respond, “My son just graduated!” “I got promoted!” or even, “I lost my job.” All of these are reasons to buy or sell a home.
- Don’t know what to say on social media? Then just listen. See what people are talking about, read other people’s content, search for things, etc. Realtors can learn about trends, the marketplace and potential customers, and they can position themselves in the right place when the time arises.
- Own your “sphere of influence.” Ferrara is a fan of fewer and better social media accounts, and recommends Facebook and Twitter because “those are the spaces their clients are most likely to appear,” Ferrara says. (He adds that Realtors dealing with relocations could benefit from using LinkedIn.) “I’d rather [Realtors] do something really well, show up everyday, contribute a lot, listen a lot in one or two networks,” Ferrara says. “… You don’t have to own every space, just the space where you’ll likely to find your personal sphere of influence.”
- Real estate property videos should tell a story, create emotion, and have a “script for the ear.” They should not be documentaries, Ferrara says. Instead, they should ask, “What is it about the home that makes it desirable?” (On his blog, Ferrara shares what he thinks is the best real estate property videos.)
- Mobile is the next big thing because consumers are experiencing it elsewhere and expect it, Ferrara says. He sees a lot of opportunities in tablet computing. “They’re very quick to learn but they’re light enough and have enough features that you should be able to integrate them into showings, open houses, listing presentations,” he says.