While the pandemic is causing major economic impacts, the real estate industry is still booming in many markets, with house prices skyrocketing in Q2 of 2021. That, in turn, has increased competition within the sector, and with over 3 million licensed real estate agents in the US alone, the race to stand out is incredibly fierce.
Agents need to establish an edge, wherever possible, to maximize their performance, and many are finding that effective social media usage can give them that push, and boost their connection with both buyers and sellers.
Indeed, in July 2021, real estate publisher The Close conducted a survey of 135 real estate professionals, with the results indicating that the majority (60%) of agents now feel that social media is even more important than their own website for their marketing and outreach efforts.
Of course, social platforms can facilitate more reach than an individual brand website, so the finding here is not a total surprise. But it does suggest that real estate professionals need to take social media marketing more seriously, and put more focus on social promotions and connection where possible.
Which, given this next stat, points to a significant gap in the current market.
Despite the majority of agents acknowledging the importance of social media in their process, many still lack the confidence and skills to maximize that potential, with only 35% of agents feeling confident with their online marketing skills.
Staying on top of social media trends can often prove challenging for agents who are juggling all their other day-to-day tasks, with constant platform updates, algorithm shifts and totally new apps coming on the scene, consistently complicating matters.
Understanding best practices, then, is an ever-evolving process. Some agents have sought to address this need with industry-specific eBooks and explainers. But as the numbers show, it remains a key area of concern.
The study also suggests that video can be a key way for agents stand out, with 79% of respondents noting that agents who use video on social media generate better impact than those who don't.
Many savvy agents are embracing video marketing, and with Instagram recently noting that it's expanding its focus to incorporate more video content, that further underlines the need to align with such, and tap into the latest usage trends.
In addition to this, 73% of sellers say that they're more likely to list with an agent who uses video.
Real estate agents are finding more ways to tap into the video content trend, with neighborhood overviews and other informational elements, in addition to traditional property walk-throughs and brand assets.
Some are even now tapping into newer platforms, like TikTok and Instagram Reels, for their property marketing.
Standing out on social media is top of mind for agents because it helps them achieve their primary objective - getting new clients. 64% of agents say they will get more clients from social media in 2021 than 2020. This stat is especially impressive, given many of them don't feel overly skilled at online marketing.
This stat explains why the majority (60%) also said that social media is more important to agents than their website for their marketing.
The data is clear, real estate agents that want to maximize their potential in 2021 need to be utilizing social media as a means to communicate their brand and listings, and build relevant connections with their audience. And video is the key medium of choice. The capacity to learn more about a property, from the comfort of your couch, is a key benefit that social platforms can provide, and meeting these audiences where they're already spending their time can also be a key driver in inspiration action, and prompting more leads.
Will agents end 2021 a lot more confident with their online marketing abilities? Given the importance of social for getting new clients, ambitious agents will emerge as competent online marketers.