6 Key Tips For Harnessing Social Media In Real Estate Sales

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By Cormac Reynolds / Published by Cormac Reynolds
Getting a good price for a residential property can be especially challenging in today's real estate market. Would you be interested in a marketing strategy that can help you sell a home for $135,000 over your initial asking price?

It's possible with social media; news outlets recently reported on a homeowner in Australia who achieved that distinction by using Twitter to sell his home.

Kurt Oprey owned a home in Northcote, a suburban community north of Melbourne. In the six weeks prior to his home's auction, Oprey used smart social media marketing to boost interest in his home with the help of his real estate agent.

Though Oprey's work involved quite a bit more than simply posting on Twitter, it's certainly not outside the realm of possibility for any social media-literate owner or agent. If you'd like to harness social media in your next real estate sale, here are six key lessons you can learn from "the Northcote house."

 1) Target Specific Keywords

Oprey launched his campaign by carefully picking keywords that would be used over and over again by his ideal buyers. Together, Newell and Oprey settled on "Northcote," "house," "sale," and "auction" as the critical terms to focus on. These keywords were incorporated into every aspect of Oprey's marketing effort. Even the URL used for the home's WordPress site - www.northcotehouse.com.au - was selected to feature the target keywords.

 Focusing on vital keywords is basic search engine optimization. By using keyword selection to shape all of the content used in online marketing, Oprey and his partners made sure that their ideal consumer was always accounted for. 

 2) Use A WordPress "Microsite" 

 Microsites are intensely focused platforms that let you concentrate on telling one story and gathering pertinent leads. WordPress is an ideal platform for this kind of web presence because it's easy to familiarize yourself with, flexible, affordable, and SEO-friendly. You can add content of all types (e.g. video, images, documents) to a WordPress site and enhance it with useful plugins and widgets for social media. 

 3) Plan Marketing For Each Platform

 Oprey's efforts to sell his home went well beyond running a blog and a Twitter account. The Northcote house also received its own Facebook page, accounts on Flickr, Picasa, and Twitter, and even a YouTube channel. Oprey and his partners made sure they had distribution channels for every sort of quality content including the written word, images, and videos. 

This broad-based approach guaranteed that the Northcote house was prominently visible no matter what sort of site or service a potential buyer used to look for properties. They got lots of followers, likes and views on each platfrom. Each of the house's channels also received enough attention to make sure that they performed very well in Google with Oprey's chosen keywords. 

 4) Make Personal Connections

In more traditional real estate exchanges, sellers and buyers are supposed to be kept separate from each other so that they don't do anything to spoil a potential sale. With social media, it's more effective to use a bit of a personal touch in presenting a property's advantages and features. Oprey and Stewart worked together to select positive personal anecdotes about the Northcote house and present them across the house's website, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

The result was a distinctive online presence for the property that an agent alone would have a hard time creating. 

One of the key blog posts in the campaign was titled "Why you might want to live here - by people who have."

Oprey played a vital role in drumming up interest for the sale by sharing his favorite aspects of the property. He shared his thoughts about the interior, the exterior, the community around the house, and even the local climate. This wealth of owner-oriented information was highly effective in helping potential buyers to think of the property as more than just square footage and a collection of rooms. 

 5) Share Frequently

 When it comes to social media marketing, I ascribe to the motto that consistency trumps all other considerations. Regular posts will drum up interest from a variety of sources and encourage potential buyers to follow you over time. This sort of attention also helps your presence rise to the top of the search engines. In Oprey's campaign, the owner shared content on a daily basis in order to enlighten potential buyers about every aspect of the property. 

 6) Collaborate With Experts

 Although the Northcote example shows off the power of owner engagement, the idea that owners can close great deals on their own - or that agents can do so without professional marketers - would be the wrong lessons to learn. Oprey relied on experienced pros in both real estate and digital marketing to achieve his success. 

Creating and distributing content across multiple channels is a complex and time-consuming process. Without a certain amount of expertise and agility, it's difficult to achieve the sort of results Oprey experienced.

All three collaborators working on the Northcote sale contributed unique attributes. The owner provided moving and engaging stories, the marketer organized the diverse marketing platforms and drove leads, and the agent orchestrated the marketing effort along with the resultant transaction. 

 Though this process is complex and time-consuming, selling a house always is. Using social media to drum up interest is simply shifting your efforts into the venue where your ideal buyers are available: the internet and social media.