If you've spent much time on social media over the last few years, you've probably seen this answer to branded content. It's a snappy retort to what many see as the increasingly unctuous and unwelcome expansion of corporate narratives into social spaces, leaving us subject to advertising seemingly every minute of every day.
To a growing number of people — including many of your future customers — the idea that Wendy's is our wisecracking hipster friend or we're "in this together" with Toyota or United Airlines isn't just unconvincing: it's downright nauseating. The more brands clamor to sound just like us, the more robotic and intrusive it all feels.
Many internet users are covering their ears and averting their eyes rather than engage with it.
Into this world of "corporate personhood" run amok steps the real estate agent or broker.
It's a well-known fact that many real estate agents get a substantial quantity of their leads by promoting their listings on digital channels, especially social media. Some experts have estimated that out of all professional industries, real estate experts are the most active on social media.
Going without a robust online presence simply isn't an option. The question, then, is how you can humanize your digital business. Luckily, you have some natural advantages that can serve you well.
The Human Connection Just Comes Easier for Real Estate Agents
Luckily, you have the potential to go right where so many others go wrong.
Real estate professionals stand out from the pack online for a variety of reasons:
- Meaningful, 1-to-1 relationships are at the heart of all they do
- By practicing their skills, they help others to achieve life goals
- Their local knowledge, style, and passion are unique to them
With all of this in mind, you should get excited about the huge potential the digital world holds in store. Your consistent, trustworthy online presence is an extension of your in-person relationship building. Over time, that online activity provides the momentum that brings a steady stream of leads to your door.
That's crucial to building a lucrative, sustainable business that offers work-life balance.
Let's look at some of the ways you can ensure your digital brand has the human touch:
- Prefer Your Face to Your Logo
Whenever possible, show your face, not your logo. A logo can be anyone, but your face is yours alone. This is crucial when deciding on social media avatars, your header photos on Twitter and Facebook, and more. When someone visits your website home page, be sure they see smiling faces — either yours or your customers'.
- Share Stories from Actual Customers
Customer success stories are the most important form of social proof. While many visitors will check out your reputation on third-party review sites, you should also include testimonials directly on your social media and real estate website. Written testimonials work well, but aspire to showcase your biggest wins on video.
- Be an Advocate for Your Community
Your value as a real estate agent is inseparable from the community where you practice. Use your digital presence to become a trusted guide to what makes your area special. Producing content about local events, top restaurants, and other amenities shows that you truly care about the place where you do your work.
- Use Video Marketing to Build Rapport
Video marketing is the next best thing to being there. It is a wise idea to record a video introducing yourself and your practice in your own words for your site's home page. Video tours of homes and neighborhoods are also very effective. This content helps newcomers feel like they already know you.
- Connect with Cards and Mementos
Of course, no brand is digital alone — and what you do outside the confines of the internet can enrich both your business and your customers' lives. Following up with former customers is essential to referral business, so don't be afraid to invest time in a handwritten card or include a small, meaningful gift.
- Mark Special Occasions
Holidays are the cultural touchstones we all share, while anniversaries are meaningful moments in an individual relationship. Honor both of them by producing tasteful seasonal content for your website and social media. At the same time, don't forget to acknowledge past customers on, for example, the anniversary of closing day.
- Consider Using Text Messages
Text messaging is quickly developing into one of the most intimate ways to start conversations with leads. You can get opt-ins through your website, social media, or automatically through Open House Connector. Asking a quick question can revive cold leads, but it's also a great way to let others know you're looking out for them.
Marketing automation technology doesn't get in the way of relationships; it helps you manage and deepen them. Contact us to learn more.