3 Social Media Mistakes Real Estate Agents Can Make

Social media is a wonderful tool for making an online presence in the local community, especially for real estate agents. Agents can have a difficult time juggling houses on the market, but social media can create a faster turnover rate with its speed, convenience and number of people using it. For real estate, social media is a gold mine.

Even though social media can improve and popularize a business, it can also send it crumbling to the ground in a matter of seconds if used poorly, immaturely or ignorantly. It’s important to understand how this can happen and what a real estate agent can do to prevent such a mishap. A great way to learn is from past mistakes, even from others.

Slander

It’s one thing to intentionaly stir up some controversy for attention, but insulting someone with an irrelevant or immature comment is a big social media mistake. Take for instance, KitchenAid’s tweet about President Obama’s grandmother. Obviously, the statement was ridiculous and didn’t have any facts to it, deeming it as pointless and just cruel. As bad as it was, however, something good was taken away from this mistake. The leader of KitchenAid handled the situation very professionally and took full responsibility, which was a redeeming factor the company. If ever in a similar situation,

  • Take ownership of the mistake.
  • Apologize.
  • Make it up to people.

This is critical for real estate agents, especially in smaller markets. If something like this occurred, it’s possible the whole market could turn away from them. Since real estate is based on a commitment to community and strives to increase the health and standard of living in that community, this is certainly not the right code of values real estate agents should be carrying out.

No Clear Audience in Mind

Another mistake that can confuse or disinterest people is not knowing your audience. This is an extremely important note for real estate agents. Chances are, they’ll be selling houses to a whole range of demographics, sub-cultures (depending on the size of the city) and age groups. This can certainly confuse people who follow a group of agents on Facebook or Twitter. The correct wording, intent and overall message of the posting of a new house for sale can make or break the attention and interest of followers and in the end, potential home buyers or sellers. Upon using social media,

  • Form a strategy.
  • Post and check regularly.
  • Answer questions.

Poor Timing

One benefit of social media is the ability to post content and comments quickly. However, the downside of that is everyone is doing it. A lot of information goes live all at once, which means it’s going to be more difficult to stand out.

  • Know who is targeted.
  • Know where they spend time on the internet.
  • Know when they spend time on the internet.

The first thing that real estate agents need to do is know who their target audience is. For instance, let’s say an agent is targeting a middle-aged couple for a new house that went on the market. I’d say a good time would be during the day when one of the couple is on lunch and has a free moment to check Facebook or Twitter. Or maybe even during the work hours, since some jobs can get slow during times and people surf the web. Timing can make a sale in no time. Without timing, a real estate agent could be sitting on a bunch of houses without a single interest.

For real estate agents, when it comes to properly using social media, it’s best to utilize these outlets like any other with the values the group or individual is founded upon. Social media can be very beneficial if taken seriously. Remember why you’re there: to provide information, assist the community and act as guidance for those looking to buy and sell a home.

Samuel Ott writes and blogs on behalf of Jim Manning, a St Louis real estate agent with the STL Real Estate team.

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