If you’re in Real Estate, you’re in the business of building your own brand!
That means forming a strategy to meet and win clients where they spend the most time: on the mobile-friendly web and social media. These days, it seems like there’s a new social media platform to master every week: Pin this, then Snap that, and don’t forget to Tweet! It can be overwhelming, but lucky for you (and us), there’s one element of Social Media that’s constant across platforms and devices: Awesome pictures.
Social & Mobile: peas in a pod
If you’ve used a smartphone for a even a short while, you know quickly it becomes a part of decision-making. The ubiquity of mobile search isn’t just about “where should we eat tonight?” but also about bigger decisions like “where should we look for a new home?” When people do start looking, you need to fill their tiny screens with gorgeous, larger-than-life images to grab & keep their attention.
In Realtor.org’s recent “Real Estate in a Digital Age” report, researchers found that at least 50% of homebuyers used mobile search in their quest for a new abode. That’s a conservative estimate by some standards; Google’s research points to even higher and ever-increasing numbers: “Clearly, the place to reach home buyers is on mobile.”
We could keep linking you to even more articles about the importance of mobile readiness, but you’re a smart cookie — you get the point. All of this to say that the increase of mobile usage makes high-quality pictures an even bigger priority than it always has been. We’re not even touching on the topic of “video killing the photography star” — at least not in this blog post, but stay tuned!
Emerging from your Social cocoon
Whether or not you’ve been on social media since the days of MySpace, using platforms like Facebook and Instagram to boost your Real Estate Marketing presence is a bit different than creating a personal profile. You definitely want to think carefully about which platforms you’ll invest your time and energy in.
Start with two or three platforms that come naturally to you: if collecting images of places you love is your thing, Pinterest might be a good one to explore. If you’re always talking about how exciting your last vacation was, the nostalgia-driven Facebook might be more up your alley. A good rule of thumb is to consider what draws people to each platform and what they share on it: Facebook is about sharing the past, Twitter is about what’s happening right now, and Pinterest is about goals for your future.
Think about what you want to share with your clients and why they will care about it. Strategizing like this makes it easier to narrow the crowded digital marketing offerings down to the handful of platforms that make sense for you & your brand. Once you’ve decided where you’ll be online, the next step is creating content that makes people want to visit you there.
Cutting through the “infinite scroll”
Social Media is a primarily visual medium. The importance of high-quality images and video to succeed cannot be overstated. You don’t have to take our word for it, either: Here’s a great article by Real Estate publishers RISMedia on taking some first steps into the digital media space.
Notice how many times “pictures” are mentioned whenever industry experts talk about social media and mobile-friendly marketing. You’ll need big, beautiful pictures to market your listings effectively online. Beyond individual listings, a few standout shots of the nicest homes you’ve sold will make a world of difference for your brand’s impression online.
If you take away just one fact from this awesome Think with Google research paper, make it this one: “2 in 3 researched agents extensively online prior to working with them”. When people search for your name online, what kinds of pictures will they see — “good-enough” pictures of “just some house”, or magazine-quality photos of a dream home? Buying or selling a home is a monumental occasion: your brand & clients deserve to associate it with momentous images.
“Beauty can be seen in all things, seeing and composing the beauty is what separates the snapshot from the photograph.”
— Matt Hardy