Social media is a real estate agent’s best friend. Ninety-seven percent of home buyers use the internet to aid in the homebuying process, and 43% of them search for available properties before contacting a real estate agent. Eighty-two percent of Americans use at least one social media platform, meaning a strong social media presence better positions agents to become a part of homebuyers’ increasingly digital purchase process.
However, not all social platforms are created equal. An engaging real estate social media post on Facebook might languish on Instagram or TikTok. Agents don’t just need to create high-quality and engaging social media content to grow their brand and attract leads. They also need to grapple with the unwritten rules and best practices of each individual platform.
Fear not: social media for real estate agents doesn’t need to be a headache. Here are the whys, wheres, and hows to creating real estate social media posts that build brand awareness and drive in leads.
Why building a social media presence for real estate agents is a must
Agents who have invested time into cultivating a social media presence speak highly of its benefits. Fifty-two percent of agents identify social media as the tool that brings in the highest quality leads, and 60% argue that maintaining social media pages is more important than having a dedicated real estate website.
People of all ages use social media, but it’s especially popular with millennials. Eighty-eight percent of the generation use social media daily, and 79% of them use it more than once a day. Meanwhile, millennials comprise the largest homebuying cohort in the country, making social media presence a must for agents looking to appeal to increasingly tech-savvy homebuyers.
The importance of social media to the modern real estate agent can be boiled down to four major components:
1. Real estate social media posts establish credibility
You’d be leery of doing business nowadays with a company that doesn’t have a website, and consumers have begun to feel the same way about businesses without social pages. The homebuying process is a complex undertaking, and social media helps prospects see that your business is legitimate.
2. Social media posts increase visibility
More people use Facebook than platforms like Google Reviews or Yelp to discover new businesses. Additionally, 77% of real estate agents have social media pages. If you’re not on social media, prospects in your area won’t have a hard time finding an agent who is.
3. Social media posts express your brand
Even in an increasingly online world, real estate remains an incredibly personal business. Clients want to work with agents who represent their interests, exude confidence, and have a wealth of experience and expertise. Social media enables agents to differentiate themselves and show their value before ever having a conversation with a prospect.
4. Social media posts don’t cost a dime
You won’t find a more cost-effective or versatile channel for reaching your audience than social media. It’s free to create and maintain social media pages, and you can change your message and target audience with each individual post. Yes, you need to spend time planning and creating posts, but a couple of hours a week of planning is enough to craft high-performing posts.
Dozens of social media platforms exist, but you only need to build an online presence on a select few to build awareness and drum up traffic. The three best social media platforms for engaging real estate prospects are Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok.
How to use Facebook to engage real estate prospects
Facebook remains the most popular social media platform in the United States. In the US alone, 190 million people have a Facebook account. Younger generations are the most avid social app users in general, but Facebook has managed to build a strong Gen X and baby boomer user base as well. An impressive 35% of the platform’s users are older than 45. This makes Facebook the best social media channel for appealing to potential buyers of all ages.
Facebook’s algorithm dictates which posts your page’s followers see in their “home” view — or, as Facebook calls it, their Feed. Posts that gain likes, comments, and shares positively signal the algorithm, which in turn increases the post’s visibility amongst your followers. Imagine posting a link to a listing right now on your Facebook page. Only just over 2% of your followers would find the post in their Feed. However, once your followers start reacting to your post, the visibility percentage will slowly increase.
Ultimately, your success on Facebook and other social platforms depends upon your ability to create posts that encourage audience engagement.
Best practices for creating engaging Facebook real estate posts
The tone and messaging you use in your real estate business posts on Facebook will differ based on how you want to represent yourself to your audience. As a real estate agent, people respond positively both to your vibrant personality and your authority in the field. It’s beneficial to craft posts that reflect a playful but professional tone that broadly appeals to your prospects across demographics.
Several other factors influence whether users find a post engaging or not. The most successful Facebook posts:
- Use images or videos. Research shows that images encourage users to click through to your website. Furthermore, Facebook’s own algorithm favors posts that include video, viewing the format as more engaging than both video-free posts and static images.
- Stick to short, punchy copy. Any time a user logs into Facebook, a staggering 1,500 posts could appear in their Feed. Images and video help a post stick out, but long, word-heavy posts are likely to get scrolled over by fast-scrolling users. You only have a few seconds for your post to stick out to a user, so distill your message down to as few words as possible.
- Go out daily. Unlike some other social platforms, one post a day on Facebook encourages better engagement than multiple posts a day. Businesses with fewer than 10,000 Facebook followers see a drop in engagement if they post 60 times a month (roughly twice a day). It’s also easier to create higher-quality posts when you’re only aiming to send one out a day.
- Get boosted. Your posts on Facebook only go out to users who follow your business page — unless you want to pay to boost a post. Boosted posts can be customized to target users outside of your followers. The more you’re willing to pay, the more users will see your post. If a particular post has gained a great deal of engagement from your followers, it might be worth throwing a few dollars behind it and targeting non-followers within your market.
The 3 best types of posts to use on Facebook
It pays to create imaginative and diverse types of posts on Facebook, but there are a few social media post ideas that play to Facebook’s strengths, including:
1. New listings. These are the bread and butter of your business. Highlight the most attractive features of your home in the listing and add your voice and flair to the proceedings to capture attention and foster engagement.
2. Client testimonials. It can turn users off to hear businesses talk about how great they are — so let your customers do it for you! A quote or screengrab from a positive review adds credibility to your business. And don’t forget: Facebook loves video posts. Bonus points if you manage to get the customer on video for a more personalized, authentic testimonial.
3. Advice & tips. People seek out real estate agents for a reason: you help make a complex process less stressful. Post videos, information tidbits, or blog posts describing common home buying, selling, or owning conundrums and your professional advice for overcoming them to show off your hard-earned real estate knowledge. This also positions you as a continuing resource for customers you’ve already helped in the past.
How to use image-centric Instagram to boost your brand
Facebook’s parent company Meta owns Instagram as well, which means that many of the same algorithmic rules apply when posting to the site. Engagement is still the name of the game. However, Instagram is designed as a far more visual platform than Facebook. The text in an Instagram post supports the visuals, not the other way around.
This intensely visual medium attracts a younger audience, namely millennials and Gen Z, who make up more than 70% of users. It’s the millennial audience that makes Instagram worth pursuing for real estate purposes. The generation is now the largest homebuying cohort in the US, and they make up nearly half of Instagram’s estimated 123.1 million US users.
Instagram is all about persona and aesthetics. Instagram users are invested in the people behind the accounts they frequent. A Facebook post of a listing could include an image of the house in question. On Instagram, you’re better off taking images or videos of yourself touring the house. Agents who figure out how to visually convey their brand and personality are the ones who see the greatest post engagement on the platform.
Best practices for creating engaging Instagram real estate posts
A key component to success on Instagram is the concept of influence. An Instagram influencer is someone who has built a reputation amongst users as an expert in a certain field and commands a sizable following. Many companies end up paying influencers to market their products for them because 49% of people find the recommendation of influencers more reliable than that of a business.
Real estate agents are already experts in their fields, and selling houses is already a visual experience. This enables agents to lean into the “influence” side of Instagram instead of the pure “business” side. Posts should feel more relaxed and less “business”-y than those on Facebook. Additionally, real estate agents should post images and videos that position themselves as a focal point just as much as the house they’re trying to sell.
Engaging real estate Instagram posts should also:
- Include great aesthetics. Eye-catching visuals are a critical component of Instagram success. Make sure you’re taking good pictures with a quality smartphone camera and use Instagram’s default filters to achieve visually appealing results.
- Focus on first-time homebuyers. Not every millennial will be a first-time home buyer, but a study by the National Association of Realtors found that 81% of younger millennial homebuyers were purchasing for the first time.
- Include the phrase “link in bio.” Instagram doesn’t allow for hyperlinks in the body of posts. However, you can add a link back to your website in your bio that appears at the top of your Instagram profile. Subsequent posts can then include the phrase “link in bio” at the end of the body text to drive users back to your website. Pro tip: Instagram only lets you include on link in your bio. Use one of several “link in bio” tools to link out to your social pages, website, and any other platforms you’d like to send your users to.
- Use hashtags. The symbol formerly known as the pound sign (#) allows you to categorize your posts. You could include a “#realestateadvice” hashtag in a post where you spill secrets about the homebuying process. A user browsing Instagram under the same hashtag could then find your post through the platform’s search function, thus increasing your post reach.
- Embrace video. Again, Instagram and Facebook are owned by the same company. The algorithm prefers video, and 88% of users want to see more video content from brands they engage with.
- Post frequently. When you crank out quality posts, your followers can’t get enough of your content. Research indicates that accounts with up to 250k followers see maximum engagement when they post at least 14 times a week, or roughly twice a day.
The 3 best types of posts to use on Instagram
Unsurprisingly, the best types of posts to use on Instagram focus on two things: quality pictures and an emphasis on YOU. These posts include:
1. Virtual tours and open houses. Don’t just include a static image of a listing. Take your camera around and show off a listing both inside and out. This allows you to highlight both the house you’re selling and your own skills as a real estate pro.
2. Wins. Successful Instagram influencers focus on results. The best result an agent can achieve for their client is a successful close. Snag pictures or videos of your clients on close days to capture their joy and show your followers that you get the job done. It never hurts to get a picture in front of the house in question or to throw yourself in the picture, either.
3. Introduction videos. There are hundreds of real estate agents Instagram users could follow — so show them what makes you unique. Quality real estate content is important but giving your followers a peek at what makes you you will help you stand out on a crowded platform and maintain interest from your followers.
How to use video to appeal to young homebuyers on TikTok
TikTok takes the increasing preference for video on social platforms and takes it to its logical extreme. You can only post videos on TikTok, though you can embed text within your videos to support them. The platform is younger than both Facebook and Instagram and also attracts a younger user base than both. Twenty-five percent of TikTok’s 78.7 million US users are between the ages of 10 and 19, which often leads to businesses dismissing the platform as a marketing resource.
This is a critical error for real estate agents, as 44.1% of TikTok users fall between the ages of 20 and 40 — the prime age range for first-time homebuyers. TikTok also grew an incredible 40.8% in 2021, and marketers who dismiss its relevance today will find themselves having to catch up in the future.
TikTok celebrates authenticity and humor over the glossiness and hyper-stylization of Instagram. People take to Instagram to show an idealized version of themselves, their lives, and their jobs. Meanwhile, TikTokers take to the platform to joke about customer interactions or admit to embarrassing mistakes they’ve made throughout their day.
Fortune favors the bold, the creative, and the comical on TikTok. Real estate agents who generate serious business on the platform understand the need to remain vibrant, unique, and friendly even while discussing drier or more serious topics.
Best practices for creating engaging TikTok real estate posts
TikTok’s algorithm is unique compared to that of Facebook. It doesn’t factor in the number of followers an account has when it comes to how many people see a post. This benefits real estate agents starting on the app, most of whom will only maintain a small following in the first several weeks or months of use.
In other words, you don’t need 10,000 followers to be seen on TikTok — you just need good, engaging content that includes:
- Hashtags. Like Instagram, hashtags help categorize videos and make them searchable by the broader user base. You have to spend money on Facebook to run geographically targeted campaigns, but simply including city hashtags in TikTok will help get your videos in front of users from that area.
- Individuality. People on TikTok expect something unique in a post, whether it be humor, a unique take, or mind-blowing facts. Not every post has to be gut-busting but find something that intrigues people looking to be entertained. Talk about a real estate fail you recently experienced. Talk about the craziest feature of a house you’ve sold.
- Memes. TikTok allows you to embed music, audio, and even video clips from other posts in your own content. Certain clips trend from time to time. If you find a way to include these trending clips in your videos, you can piggyback off the trend and gain traffic by association.
- Consistency. Post at least once a day. If people are engaging with your videos, it’s worth posting more! But posting a half dozen videos a day with little engagement is time that could be better spent doing other lead engagement activities.
- A niche. Did your “5 things I wish someone told me before going into real estate” post rack up views? Consider turning it into a series that users keep coming back for.
The 3 best types of posts to use on TikTok
1. Insider knowledge. Divulge your “secrets” to warn or advise fellow TikTokers on a complex topic that you can explain simply (and charismatically).
2. Day in the life. Post a funny, relatable story about something that went right (or wrong!) with a listing. These posts help soften your business persona and allow you to appear both relatable and knowledgeable in your field.
3. Local posts. Show viewers you’re a local pro — and signal to the algorithm where your target markets are. Some examples: tour a neighborhood, throw in some local real estate facts, show users a great local vista, or highlight a historic home.
Best practices for creating engaging real estate social media posts
It pays to create unique posts for each social media account that speaks to each of your unique buyer segments. However, there are a few universal tips that will help you take your social media game to the next level:
- Choose the right platforms for your target audience. Identify who you intend your message to reach and who will respond best to it. For example, your comical post aimed at millennials is likely to see far more success on TikTok than on LinkedIn.
- Create a social media content calendar. Yes, it will take time to plan and schedule posts, but creating a calendar will help you create a cohesive strategy for your posts well into the future. Social media management tools like Buffer and Hootsuite make content planning a breeze.
- A little time investment goes a long way. You’re already busy enough maintaining client relationships and managing other social media marketing channels. Don’t sink a huge chunk of your week into cobbling together the perfect social post. Fifty-seven percent of realtors spend 1–4 hours a week on social media.
- Drive visitors back to your website. Include CTAs to an appropriate landing page to drive users further down the marketing funnel and ultimately get their contact info.
The first step to creating real estate social media posts: Make a plan
With so many nuances to each social media platform, it pays to take a step back to brainstorm your plan of attack before ever typing out a single word. You want to use social media to build your brand — but what is your brand? What tone works best with your personality? What kind of posts will best represent who you are and how you can help homebuyers land their dream homes?
Social media projects users’ ideas, messages, and opinions to the world at large with the click of a button. Make sure the persona you project into cyberspace aligns with your business goals and your personal credo. From there, start mapping out the platforms and content that you know your audience is looking for and grow your business with your brilliant social media posts.