5 reasons you can’t afford to NOT be showcasing your properties on Facebook and Instagram

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The property industry has joined retailers, brands and services in the online marketing space, engaging with 26 million South Africans each day, on the devices in their pockets, on platforms where they spend upwards of 4 hours a day.

Consumers are increasingly turning to online channels for research, connecting and making purchases online, so every business needs to be there – particularly in a sector where the purchase is likely the largest an individual will ever make. Agents can no longer ignore social media platforms as a showcase for their brand and listings – here are five reasons why.

1. You’ll lose out to agents entering the race for the digital space

Building a brand in any industry is all about trust - a fundamental foundation for success. The way the majority of us have been forced to adopt technology over the last two years to help perform everyday tasks has changed the way we live, interact and make purchases – but what has driven that near-instant adoption is the trust we have in the brands we’ve interacted with.

Buying a property involves a years-long decision cycle for a buyer, influenced by changes in their work circumstances, the growth of a family and a myriad of other lifestyle choices. Someone buying a property wants a trusted guide to get them safely through that process. To do this, they’re looking online, where they’re looking at their other purchases and being targeted by brands. That means that the fundamentals of trust, reputation and service levels now need to be built in those online spaces. Proptech helps connect the right agents with the right prospects – and in a hyperconnected online world, it’s essential to tap into those networks in a targeted way to ensure that an agent’s digital reputation matches their hard-won offline reputation, established over many years.

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2. You’ll be working harder, not smarter

Changing online research and purchasing trends have an effect on every industry – and the property industry is not immune to this change. There are myriad processes in place across the property purchase process to standardise and check it – governance, accreditation, the Deeds Office, conveyancers and the like. While the property world is mired in paperwork and red tape, it will remain archaic – and something of an alien world - to your digital-first generation. There’s a disconnect between the way you like to research and complete transactions because of the way the real estate industry is set up.

We’re all used to the fact that we start seeing ads and content related to things we’ve researched or clicked through on social media platforms. That’s known as ‘retargeting’ and it’s incredibly useful to marketers because it helps keep brands top-of-mind for consumers - but it’s also only useful if it’s constructive and furthers both sides’ interests. When relevant listings start showing up in customers’ social media feeds, they should also start seeing details of agents who are experts in those areas and who have properties on their books that match what the customer is looking for. That’s a huge deal for agents – and a tool they can’t afford to ignore.

3. You’ll lose your area expertise advantage

While running ads on Facebook helps build an agency’s brand and showcases their listings, it also helps build an audience. Agents spend years building their network and their reputation by putting up billboards and shaking hands - think of social media advertising as taking that real-world interaction, online.

As people have found more ease and comfort with shopping and sourcing entertainment online, the opportunity to make more significant transactions online has grown – and it’s easier than ever to buy property online, from the opposite side of the planet. Online real estate marketplace Zillow has noted that 76% of millennials turn to mobile to search for property and 79% of home buyers use an online resource at some point in their search. Nearly everyone is now engaging digitally, before they buy.

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4. Your brand won’t be ‘always-on’

Proptech solutions enable agents and prospective buyers to be matched, based on the buyer’s behaviour – if a would-be buyer is looking at properties in a specific area or price range and an agent is plugged into those networks in the right way, the tech connects the two parties to proceed, based on genuine intent, rather than a ‘spray & pray’ approach. Doing that requires being active on the digital platforms where people spend their time – and Facebook & Instagram lead that pack by a significant margin.

Automating complex social media advertising and targeting processes allows companies to focus on building that trust, sending genuine prospects to them, when they’re ready. Customers may still reach out via mail, call or Google – but it’s essential that they have seen the brand on their online platforms at a consistency and frequency that places it top of mind for them, when they reach the key part of that lengthy consideration cycle. Any brand needs to occupy the new digital world its customers inhabit and take its reputation online.

5. You’ll sacrifice your place at the heart of the deal

The number one asset in an agent’s arsenal is not their listings - it’s their network. They’ve built that network over the course of their career, meeting buyers and sellers and carefully curating their contact list - and tapping into it at the right time.

Let’s make the comparison based on the scenario of an agent in a room full of people. With a website or a portal, an agent is one of a thousand touting for business to a crowded, noisy room full of people who are a mix of those looking to buy, sell, rent out and rent properties.

With Proptech solutions like Flow, agents are able to form one-on-one connections with a room full of people who are there for a specific reason - and that reason is that they trust the agent to help them buy or sell a property.

Book a demo today and join leading agents and agencies already using Flow to effortlessly reach millions of buyers, renters and sellers on social media.

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