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Getting Social: Reach More of Today's Buyers through Social Media

by Marilyn Urso

Reach More of Today's Buyers through Social Media

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Marilyn Urso

Videos, fans, tweets, check-ins, apps and now pinboards. Today's generation of homebuyers grew up with video games, email and computers in the classroom. They are totally connected, so it's not surprising many are totally internet-based consumers. No matter what product or service they need, they begin their search online, often on a mobile device.

So what social media is most relevant for these tech-savvy buyers when looking for a home? Here's a simple breakdown.

Videos: YouTube

Consumers go to YouTube to find out about everything. It's the second most used search engine. If you're thinking about buying a home, you can get information on mortgages, home inspections and how to choose a REALTOR®, as well as community tours and of course home tours. A buyer can be totally armed with all the info he or she needs before looking at a single property. As a REALTOR®, you should create your own YouTube Channel and publish videos on all aspects of the business, not just videos of the homes you are selling. Be different. Be creative. Buyers will love it!

Fans: Facebook

Facebook pages provide the consumer with more information on real estate. From posts about local market conditions to community events or open houses, it's all there and easy to find. Don't do your marketing on your personal page. Create a business page and encourage your colleagues and clients to "like" it. Also seriously consider investing in Facebook ads, where you can target market to the exact demographic you want to reach and drive traffic to your website.

Tweets: Twitter

Consumers can follow their favorite REALTOR® (or mortgage company or any other real estate related professional) to get updated information on the market and tips on buying or selling a home. Open house schedules, current sales data and community info gets tweeted daily by the local real estate experts. All the consumer has to do is follow – anonymously – to stay informed.

Check-ins: FourSquare

This web-based phone app allows you to check-in wherever you are and score points and perhaps become the "mayor." Buyers relocating to a new town might check this site for info on good restaurants, local events and happenings or to see how active the REALTOR® they are using is in his or her community. You should be creating lists and leaving tips at all the places you frequent.

Pinboards: Pinterest

This is one of the latest social websites to go viral – especially among women. Members "pin" different items on their boards. For example, a board may feature favorite cookie recipes or info on bathroom makeovers. Many REALTORS® have boards that include a variety of decorating and home makeover ideas, as well as information on the buying process and of course open house boards and listing boards. You can learn a lot about your consumers and their housing needs by the things they like and pin on this website. What kind of kitchens and baths do they like? What architecture are they drawn to? If used correctly, it is one more tool for today's social agent to better consult with and serve her clients.

Apps

There are numerous mobile apps related to real estate. My company's latest innovation in this area is easy to install and completely free. It provides consumers with instant access to homes for sale or rent wherever they are. To access the app we are using, simply text LIVR to 87778 and follow the download instructions. Whether the user is buying and wants to know what's for sale in an area or if they just want to find prices for their neighbors' homes, it's a click away. 

For examples of how my company uses these tools, check us out at: 
Facebook.com/LIVillageRealty
Pintrest.com/LIVillageRealty
Youtube.com/VillageRealty 
@LIVillageRealty on Twitter.

Marilyn Urso, GREEN, GRI, PMN, SRES, has been a licensed REALTOR® since 1993 and a member of the Women's Council for most of her career. She is a broker/owner, along with her husband Frank, of Long Island Village Realty, Inc., in Syosset, NY.  Marilyn is also a licensed instructor in New York and certified to teach several NAR designation courses. She can be reached at MUrso@LIVillageRealty.com.

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