Are social networks still worth the investment? In the world of ultra-luxury real estate, the answer is a resounding yes, according to top agents around the world.
With an estimated 3.96 billion (and growing) worldwide, social media has changed the way we interact with each other. This is especially true in an area like real estate where communication is key to staying one step ahead. Here, several agents and brokers explain why social platforms remain a crucial part of luxury real estate marketing.
Building a personal brand online
While most agents agree that social media can be a great sales tool, Jessica Gooch, realtor at Willis Allen Real Estate in San Diego, cited it as a great way to build an agent’s personal brand.
“Nothing can replace face-to-face engagement, but social media can go beyond print media as it allows you to introduce yourself and your services on a more personal level; your personality, your tastes and your dislikes. It facilitates a connection that you can’t get with any other kind of advertising,” she said.
The agent says that, for new clients, using social tools allows them to do their homework and veterinary professionals “without fear of being in a high-pressure situation.”
“Unlike a bench or a billboard that only shows your name and a photo with a mustache drawn on it, social media allows you to showcase your expertise so that anyone who follows you feels empowered by the knowledge. which she acquires.”
Cultivate new customers
Paul Salazar, director of estates at Beverly Hills-based brokerage firm Hilton & Hyland, uses video-sharing platforms such as Instagram and YouTube to create resource materials for his growing following. By sharing new listings, neighborhood tours and pro tips for buyers and sellers, Salazar has used social media to cultivate a whole new clientele.
“Some of my clients have met me through my Instagram Live stream where I spend 30 minutes browsing through a new listing and answering their questions. Platforms like Instagram, YouTube and TikTok have allowed me to connect with clients more If I want to provide information or get a message across to hundreds or even thousands of people, I can do it using social media platforms,” he said.
Like Salazar, Scottsdale-based RETSY founding partner and broker Josh Peters has had immense success engaging with buyers and sellers on platforms such as Instagram.
“Last year I sold over $20 million worth of luxury real estate to clients who found me on Instagram,” he shared.
Peters says his goal on social media is to showcase both luxury homes and the lifestyle that accompanies them. “Overall, communicating through social media has been a huge benefit and a great way to stay in touch with past, current and future clients.”
New modes of communication
When it comes to the next generation of homebuyers, forget about calls or texts and get ready to interact via DMs (direct messages), according to Jamie Baker, broker-owner of Houston-based Baker & Co.
“I’ve found that a lot of millennials and younger generations prefer DMs and are more attuned to that channel of communication. Of course, it depends on the unique individual,” Baker explained.
Doug Robinson, an agent with CDR San Miguel in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, has seen firsthand how social platforms can support not just an individual, but a community.
“There is a very active Facebook discussion list for residents and people curious about moving here. Due to the rules associated with this discussion forum, I am careful not to blatantly promote my agency, but I am there at least once a day to answer general questions about buying or selling a property here, and people appreciate it,” he said.
The agent added that he sold half a dozen properties by answering questions and interacting on Facebook alone.
Getting Intel goes both ways
How agents leverage social channels, especially in terms of marketing and branding, is more important than ever. But it’s also a way for agents to check who they’re working with, according to Ryan Knowles, founder and CEO of luxury boutique MAISON Bahamas.
“The advantage of our perspective is that we also get a lot of personal information about our customers, for example, what’s important to them – whether it’s family, sports, charity or something else. It lifts the veil in a way that would typically take years to get to know someone,” Knowles said.
Knowles notes that the reverse is also true, and suggests that it’s okay to share personal interests and details, but keep it professional. “If your page is full of pictures of you drinking beer or partying in nightclubs, they’ll assume you don’t take your job very seriously. No matter how “fun” your page is, a basic level of professionalism should always be maintained.
Baker & Co., CDR San Miguel, Hilton & Hyland, MAISON Bahamas and Willis Allen Real Estate are exclusive members of Forbes Global Propertiesa consumer marketplace and member network of elite brokerages selling the world’s most luxurious homes.