Real estate is a business based on images and perception. With so many tools out there to visually and emotionally connect with leads, it’s surprising that more agents are not using social media to reach more buyers. On Instagram, for example, users click the ‘like’ button 2.5 billion times. Per day.
SnapChat is one of these tools, and with 100 million daily users it can be leveraged to give a behind-the-scenes look into the world of real estate. Last week, Snapchat introduced Snap Maps, a new feature that leverages users’ location services. While Snapchat was always relevant to real estate agents, the update opens many new possibilities for connecting with clients and prospects.
We spoke to Craig and Darren Fine, part of the Goldman Brothers ‘Dream Team’ of Sydney Sotheby’s Realty, who appear to have cracked the code for making social media a simple and effective tool to help establish a personal brand and create connections.
Craig and Darren run their personal SnapChat accounts as well as their own Instagram pages and the Goldman Brothers’ Instagram page. Their Instagram pages are filled with pictures of their luxury listings in Sydney’s Eastern suburbs.
They make the point that content on one social media page might not be suitable for another platform.
“Snapchat is more personal and not solely for business because we have a lot of our friends on our Snapchat accounts. We want to give people an insight into what we get up to day-to-day. The idea behind it is to try to build up a story and give us a platform where people get accustomed to seeing a high calibre of properties or lifestyle,” Craig said.
Darren echoes this sentiment: “There are particular photos that would look ridiculous if you posted it on Instagram or Facebook. But Snapchat is something you can post 20 things on your story a day.
“The good thing about geotags is that people are constantly seeing you out and about, and in their minds, they are likely seeing us selling in all different places and all different properties.
“The idea behind everything you do on social media is to be at the top of mind constantly. When someone says something real estate-related, they think about us,” Darren said.
The pair say that while using social media can be spontaneous, it does require some thought and planning to be effective.
“We have an alarm that goes off at 4.30pm every day to remind us to post on social media. But often when we are out and about we naturally just post because we are there. It’s a bit of work but it’s also fun. Who doesn’t like posting a picture and people engaging with you? It’s nice when people recognise us and come up to us and say, ‘Oh, you guys sold that great house in Bellevue Hill’,” Craig said.
Posting on Snapchat is done more on the go and is the boys’ favourite platform to use.
“Snapchat is more impromptu; it’s not supposed to be perfect and rehearsed. On Saturday morning we might post a pic of us in the gym. Then we will go to our open homes and post there. We use it to give an insight into our life and the cool people we engage with. It all works in conjunction with online advertising and growing our profile,” Darren said.
Each platform can be used for different content.
“On Instagram you have more random followers. That’s where you have to be more professional. You make sure you post high property content. SnapChat you can get more personal. You can post more insight into your life. That’s where you can have more unedited raw footage.”
While social media is easier for the brothers, who as millennials grew up with constant connection, they encourage all agents to use the tools that are at their disposal.
“We would encourage others to use it, especially agents. Older people as well. We got our mum into SnapChat because she would ask us, ‘What do you guys do in the day?’ So we told her to follow us.
“Even if you have one person who has seen your SnapChat and seen your listing and they call you, it is worth it because you never know where your next lead or listing will come. Why would you not cover all available bases?”
Darren remembers the words of Henry Mason, the CEO of Trendwatching, who spoke at AREC.
“He said we are in the experience economy. Eighty-five per cent of high net worth individuals would rather buy a luxury experience rather than luxury goods. Because of the advent of the internet and social media platforms, giving people insight is the new biggest trend. That’s why people do it and why it’s so effective. They don’t value the material goods that are accessible by anyone,” he says.