real estate blog

It’s no secret that social media plays an incredibly pivotal role in our lives today. When we’re not at work, cooking, caring for the family, or sleeping, we’re probably on our laptops or phones, sifting through social media feeds. It’s hard to look away – everyone can admit it.

However, instead of letting it drain your free time, you can actually leverage this new social trend for your real estate business. By drawing clients closer to you, showcasing your community knowledge, and opening up your listings online, real estate social media is something you can’t ignore.

Here are 5 reasons why social media is critical to real estate success today:

  1. Establishing Yourself:

In a 2012 NAR Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, it was found that 90% of home buyers search online at some point during their home buying process. That means if you choose to stay off of social media, 90% of your market might never find you/learn about your real estate expertise. You know the saying: if you can’t beat them, join them. In this case, you have to, or you’ll fade into the past of real estate.

  1. Nurture Relationships:

Consumers are different today. They expect a little attention and personal nurturing before they make big purchases. What could be bigger than a home? Many home buyers will use social media to message you first before they decide to do the whole process with you. It might be a Facebook Messenger post, a question on an Instagram post, or a text through your website. Whatever it is, they are fishing for you to answer so they know you care about their well-being.

  1. Increased Exposure:

There are over 3 billion daily active users on Facebook today. It’s a lead capture for just about everyone. If you want people to know about you and your business, the most convenient way to do it is through social media. Plus, it’s completely free (although it is wise to consider some kind of advertising with the social sites).

  1. Loyalty and Trust:

You want your clients to feel loyal to you. You want them to stay with you throughout their lives and recommend you to family and friends – nothing is more important than those word of mouth recs. Social media is a great way to keep these people close and update them on you and what you are doing every single day. They will feel like they really know you. From that closeness, they will come to trust you.

  1. Follow Up:

Lastly, it’s much easier to follow up with present and past clients on social media than it is to cold call them in the middle of the day. No one wants to be pestered on their lunch break with a phone call. It puts a bad taste in their mouths. Instead, you can send a LinkedIn message, comment “great job” on their recent Facebook post, and like every photo in your newsfeed. It’s an easy way to follow up with them.

Social media and real estate go hand-in-hand. No one understands that better than us here at BHGRE Shore & Country Properties. Follow us on all of our social profiles today!

  1. The first step is to create a website where current and prospective clients can go to learn more about you, your success and the services you offer.  Let your clients learn about you and your services, this is a great place for the client to get to know you and confirm they made the right choice by selecting you to be their realtor.                

Your site should provide:

  • A great bio showcasing your skills, accomplishments, affiliations, goals and personality is the cornerstone of a great website! This is where you get to set the tone, so take advantage of it!
  • Helpful information for buyers and sellers – From first-time home buyers to the savvy investor; you’ve got access to and should provide valuable content to reach your target audience.
  • An MLS property search feature with saved-search and email capability
  • Town info like schools, restaurants, culture, nightlife, activities, etc.
  • Social Media is changing the way we do business!
  • Blog – Create your own original content and/or share other related content. Blogging is great for organic SEO and for getting your listings out past traditional outlets.  Got a hot new listing?! Blog it!  Show your clients how your digital efforts will sell their house; cause it will!
  • Mortgage calculators, rent .vs buy, market reports, school reports, helpful links, etc…

For your website to produce results you need to use it and promote it.  Your website should DRIVE traffic and affect results!  Blogging is easy, fun and shows that you are proactive and through that effort, a professional on that topic.  If you think about it, blogging and social media have a lot in common.  You’re gathering information and pictures and broadcasting it to your network and inquiring minds.

  1. Social media isn’t going away so you better dive in!

You should participate in and/or have a working knowledge of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram and google+ (at least).  Social media is evolving by the second and it is changing the way we all do business!  If you’re not using Twitter, for example, you should know why.

  • It’s pretty easy to link your current and future social media platforms to your new website.
  • There are easy ways to manage all of your platforms in one place. I’m currently using, there’s a free version and a $10 per month version
  • We already have tons of content to publish! We sell houses!  It’s easy for us to create interesting and eye catching content!
  • Your social media component should embrace the technology available today and create a beautiful and educational experience for your visitors.
  • People should have come away feeling that you are a knowledgeable, savvy broker that can be counted on for the information they need to make the best decision.
  • For real estate agents, being on social media drastically opens up our sphere of influence and referral base, allowing for us to connect with friends of friends of friends of clients and followers.
  • Realtors can furnish their personal brand/marketing personality by setting up a page where they can post about their neighborhoods of focus, home listings, home décor, new building techniques, alternative energy for the home; this is where your personality shines!
  • Jump in now and get a handle before it’s too late!
  1. Your Personal Brand

Personal branding in real estate is paramount.  In order to set yourself apart from the competition, you must be easy to find and when found, be seen as an expert in your field.

A brand is anything — a symbol, sigil, design, name, reputation or any other signifier — that separates one thing from another.  That’s a broad definition for what is actually a very personal message to the consumer.  People want to work with people, not faceless companies, and that’s what makes business relationships valuable.

In today’s real estate landscape, there is no success from being another face in the crowd. You have to separate yourself from the competition by being more appealing to your target audience. You can achieve that by creating a recognizable personal brand.

Before you begin, realize that you are the brand.  The face you see in the mirror every morning is your starting point; use this to your advantage — because nobody else can be you.

 Step 1: Define your brand by asking these questions:

  • What do you want people to know about you?
  • What are your values?
  • What are you passionate about?
  • Who do you look up to and why?
  • Who’s your target audience? Are they first-time homebuyers, empty nesters or condo-loving singles?
  • Ask people you’ve worked with how they would describe you.

Step 2: Craft your message.

The No. 1 rule for crafting your message is to just be you. If you try to project an image of someone you are not, people will always see through it.

In today’s social world, there is little separation between your personal life and work life. After reading your well-crafted bio on your website, clients will then look elsewhere for more information about you. Make sure the image and messaging on your social sites is consistent with your brand definition. Look at every post on your personal Facebook page through the eyes of your clients. Do they see a hardworking family man, a social butterfly or a weekend warrior? Again, think about the clients you’re trying to attract.

Step 3: Get others to tell your story through client testimonials

If you don’t tell your story, no one else will. You have to be a bit of a self-promoter, especially when starting out. Once you’re established, get your clients to tell your story.

Why does almost every major retailer have reviews on their site? Because we see them as objective. We will trust Joey in Anywhere, New York, more than we trust the companies pitching us their products.

Step 4: Build both your online and offline brand.

  • Be consistent. Use your brand logos, colors and imagery consistently on every marketing piece you create, from websites to business cards. Paying for good photography and design will always be worth the investment.
  • Set up social media profiles on at least the top four social sites: Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Twitter. You don’t need to be an avid social poster, but you can use products like Hootsuite or Buffer to help you manage and find content and post it to all your networks simultaneously.
  • Every tweet you send, every status update you make and every picture you share contributes to your personal brand. Once you understand this, you can start to be much more strategic about what you post.
  • When posting to social media, aim for a mix of 60 percent personal, 25 percent business and 15 percent problem-solving.
  • Find and register it. Turn it into a website about you with links to your social networks and your business website.
  • Create a business website, such as Keep this site about real estate and home search. Keep your personal information minimal, but link back to your personal site for more info.
  • Offline assets like business cards, fliers and mailers should be consistent and professionally designed. Use your logo and profile photo properly.
  1. The Local Go-To Agent

Empowered with your own website and social media platform you have a great opportunity to target specific geographic areas.  When there is a certain area of town that you are trying to farm, you can integrate targeted keywords that represent the area of town into your website (Shippan this, Old Greenwich that, page titles, blogging, content, etc.).

  • By regularly integrating these specific keywords into your website, you are giving yourself a distinct advantage over your competition. SEO!  You will be found faster and have more opportunities.
  • When that potential client (buyer or seller) looks at real estate in your target area of town, there is a much greater chance that they will find you.  When they do find your site (and they will), it will have information specifically about that area, so you they see you as you truly are; the local real estate professional.  Chance favors the prepared!
  • Stay Current and Look Ahead– NAR says that 96% of Americans are looking to buy their house on the internet. As realtors, we owe it to ourselves and our clients to be on the cutting edge of internet technology.
  • The internet makes it easier for ALL OF US to get to the information we want.  Whether we are looking for a house, hotel or a cheap flight, we find a website that we’re comfortable with and we make a purchase.  Take some time, thoughtfully prepare your brand and content and create the information you would want to see!
  • Are you the new guy or gal? – Are you intimidated because potential clients may be thinking you are new to the office or the industry?  Because there is no other information about you on the Web?  Well don’t be discouraged, it happens a lot.  It’s a digital world and image is everything, even more so in real life!  A smart web presence will increase your public profile, your authority and will generate leads faster than any other marketing out there.  Easily, the fastest path to success!
  • Networking through Blogs – Creating a blog on your website will help you attract an audience. This is a positive way to demonstrate your knowledge and build trust for your readers. With an active blog, clients can see how you want to connect with them.  Blogs are a great place to link social media sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, google+, Pinterest and Twitter. These sites will go a long way in developing your brand, plus, social media posts drive traffic back to your site where they can explore even more.  Is it starting to make sense?
  1. Realtor Websites Support Lead Capture, Customer Contact and CRM

In addition to attracting prospects, a real estate agent website is ideal for efficiently capturing high-quality leads. This is made possible by incorporating online contact forms for buyers or even sellers who come to your site and are interested in learning more about your services.

  • Each time a form is completed, you will receive an email notification so that no lead goes unnoticed.
  • Capturing leads through an integrated website also enables you to automatically add new contacts to your contact management system, like the one offered through our Top Producer, or assign them to an email campaign.
  • Hopefully, your business has helped you accumulate a hefty number of clients. If it has, you’ll need to manage their information.
  • A website with contact management tools lets you collect valuable client information, such as names, phone numbers, and email addresses, so you can stay in touch with clients.
  • The next step is to employ customer relationship management (CRM) tools, which track interactions with your clients, monitor growth and sales, and determine which of your services are the most popular. This wealth of knowledge lets you develop and send relevant marketing campaigns to your client base, generating leads and sales.

Takeaway Points:

By having your personal website you will:

  • Provide important resources for home-buyers that will make them more likely to trust you and work with you.
  • Become a professional in your market
  • Establish your personal brand.
  • Effectively capture digital leads.


blogging for real estate agents 1010

1 – Don’t … ask for too much money.

Yes, you know what you paid for the house. But that doesn’t mean that it’s still worth that amount—or that it’s appreciated in value since you bought it. “Your house is only worth what the market is willing to pay you,” says certified financial planner Ellen Derrick of LearnVestPlanning Services, who has bought and sold at least eight homes, including investment properties. “It doesn’t matter what’s in it. And it doesn’t matter what your mortgage is.” Your realtor has an eye on the market and knows what kind of prices homes—just like yours—are garnering now. Pricing your home too high will discourage interested parties from making an offer, and your property could sit for months, which isn’t your goal.

What to do: Have a few realtors give you a price on the home (or get a comparative market analysis), and—this is key—don’t ignore them. Keep in mind that even if you’ve made pricey improvements to the home (granite countertops, stainless steel appliances), you may not get your money back if you’re the only home on the block with such upgrades. If comparable kitchens in the neighborhood don’t have similar upgrades, buyers aren’t expecting fancy perks in yours, and may not be willing to pony up for the difference.

2 – Don’t … skip the marketing.

You may think that all you have to do is take one photo of the house, stick a “For Sale” sign in your yard and buyers will come pouring in the door. Au contraire. “The only way to guarantee that you’re going to get the highest price for the house is to use all of the marketing options available to you,” says Holly Mellstrom, a realtor in Pelham, NY. “This means Internet advertising, 30 pictures of your house, public open houses and even postcards.” The more people who see your house, the better your chances are of selling it. In an age when buyers start their searches online, counting on drive-bys and word of mouth isn’t enough anymore.

What to do: Don’t wait until the last minute to notify a realtor that your house is for sale. If you can, give her at least a month of lead time, so she can research comparable homes and set a good price. “Give them time to book their favorite professional photographer,” Mellstrom says. “And give them time to photograph your house on a day the sun is out.” In fact, if you live in a seasonal area, and you know that you’re going to put the house on the market in February, have photos taken in September, when the grass is still green and the trees have leaves.

3 – Don’t … go it alone, unless you know what you’re doing.

If you’ve bought and sold half a dozen homes of your own or you live in a sought-after neighborhood where they sell in two days, you might be able to pull off a For Sale By Owner. If you aren’t a seasoned pro, however, let a professional take the reins. “Some people don’t buy and sell houses more than once or twice in a lifetime, and there’s a lot of money at stake,” Mellstrom says. “And there are so many disclosure laws now. Depending on the laws in your state, you’re really accepting some liability by trying to sell it yourself, unless you have a friend or an attorney who can guide you through the process.” A realtor also knows what’s selling around you, and for what price. She can tell you whether an offer is reasonable, and help you negotiate smartly. Plus, you may not save as much as you think in the end. “People who buy For Sale By Owner houses automatically discount the price they’re willing to offer because there is no realtor involved,” Mellstrom says.

What to do: If you can, get a realtor recommendation from a friend or colleague. Check references, conduct interviews and go with someone with a proven track record.

4 – Don’t … neglect to fix things that are broken.

If sellers walk through your house and spot a handful of items that need immediate repair, they’re going to wonder how well you’ve maintained the things they can’t see. The entry way is a big tip-off. Got a loose hand rail on the steps, sagging screen door or jiggly door knob? Fix them. Clear your gutters, patch holes in your walls and address dripping faucets.

What to do: Do a walk-through of your own home, pretending that you’re seeing it for the first time. What things have you always meant to fix? Now is the time. Spend a few weekends dealing with all of those niggling projects to get your home in show-worthy shape.

5 – Don’t … get emotionally involved.

Yes, it’s your house. Yes, you sweated blood and tears to get it just the way you wanted it. But, no, that does not make it someone else’s “perfect,” particularly when you’ve made some unique decorating decisions. You want the space to look as neutral as possible, so buyers can envision themselves in the space. So even if those teal walls in the bedroom look knock-out great with your duvet, they probably won’t match anyone else’s things. Let go of the features you love, and make it a house most people could love—and that might mean painting all of the walls a soft, neutral color. “My office at home is a robin’s egg blue,” Derrick says. “But if we get ready to sell that house, you can bet I’m

What to do: Have a realtor walk through your home, and when she tells you what you’ll need to change to make it marketable, listen to her. Start thinking about your house as a commodity, not an extension of your identity. If buyers don’t love it, it’s not a personal insult. It’s simply a deal that didn’t work out.

6. Don’t … leave your stuff everywhere.

You want buyers to feel like they could move into your house tomorrow—with their things. And your collectible tchotchkes, photos and utility bills make the space feel a little too personal. “That first impression is really important, and if they’re greeted with a huge photograph of you on your wedding day 25 years ago over the fireplace, that’s really distracting,” Mellstrom says. “It sends the message to the buyer that ‘This is my house, not your house.’”

What to do: Before you put the home on the market, get a few boxes and grab every extraneous thing you see: photos, knick-knacks, books. If it helps, take a few pictures of each room, and try to view them through a buyer’s eyes. What could you remove from each room to make the space feel bigger? “You want it to look like a hotel room,” Derrick says. “Hotel rooms look comfortable, but they don’t look like they’re somebody else’s comfortable.” Also? Don’t hang out at showings. While you may want to tell prospective buyers about all of the things you’ve done to the house, it’s best to leave them be. If there’s some information you think is important for them to know, leave a flyer on the kitchen counter.

7 – Don’t … get offended by a lowball offer.

Just because someone came in with a really low bid is no reason to walk off in a huff. Now’s your chance to negotiate. “Buyers are trying to buy your house for the lowest price possible,” Mellstrom says. “Don’t blow them off. They might love your house. You can’t blame them for trying.” In other words, it’s not personal, and it’s not a slam on your housekeeping. It’s a business transaction.

What to do: Come back with a counteroffer. Typically, most buyers will come back with a second offer, which is a better indication of what they’re really willing to pay.

8 – Don’t … lose a sale over something stupid.

It’s possible to get 99% of the way through a home sale, only to stall out at the end over a minor detail. Don’t be that seller. “I’ve seen people throw away getting a $450,000 house sold over somebody wanting to take the mantle instead of leaving the mantle over the fireplace,” Derrick says.

What to do: Unless it’s an heirloom that’s been in your family for generations, remember that you can probably find another one—but you may not find another buyer at that price. To be safe, if there are things you’re feeling like you can’t live without, such as the curtains you found at a crazy flea market or the light fixture you discovered at an antiques store, replace them with something else before you show the house.