Elite AgentTECH + SOCIAL

Social Media Cutting New Boundaries

Marketing is essential for the real estate profession but is social networking just the latest ‘buzz’ or does it have merits? In this case study Kelly Millar takes a look at some of those merits.

Managing director of Caine Real Estate Paul Caine says he decided to look at social media after CEO of Classified Ad Ventures Simon Baker launched a business specialising in this niche market for real estate agents.

Social Media cutting new boundaries

Marketing is essential for the real estate profession but is social networking just the latest ‘buzz’ or does it have merits? In this case study Kelly Millar takes a look at some of those merits.

It seems that everyone has Facebook and Twitter – your children, your friends, your family, but should you, a real estate professional?

Social media definitely has added advantages that traditional media can’t offer, especially for the real estate profession. It serves a number of functions with the most important one being that it makes you real to your prospects and clients and, in return, keeps you front of mind for real estate needs.

When your clients and potential clients read your blogs and see your images and videos, they get to know who you are, what you look like and how you fit into their community.

Melbourne real estate agency Caine Real Estate has been using social media as part of its marketing mix for the past year.

Managing director of Caine Real Estate Paul Caine says he decided to look at social media after CEO of Classified Ad Ventures Simon Baker launched a business specialising in this niche market for real estate agents.

Sobox, which is now part of the Classified Ad Ventures suite of products, provides a comprehensive solution for real estate professionals looking to take advantage of social networks.

Fully customising real estate brands across a WordPress blog, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube accounts, as well as providing hyper-local content, Sobox was the solution Caine Real Estate had been looking for.

Mr Caine says utilising social media, intermixed with his other marketing channels, has enabled the company to access different types of clients that might otherwise have been out of its reach.

It expands the communication to our clients to help them stay current and stay relevant. We are connecting with our clients by using a medium that suits them.

By using a dedicated blog, which is distributed to other social network channels, Caine Real Estate posts at least three blogs a week consisting of hyper-local content to engage its audience. The regular blogs cover real estate trends, news, community and business events, sporting updates and property hints and tips.

Mr Caine says research has shown that a blog is an acceptable medium to hold a business conversation and people will choose to read these posts because they are of interest and related to them and their community.

It is also known that community blogs that highlight real estate and lifestyle are viewed and revisited more often than blogs on agents and companies, he says.

Another advantage of social media, apart from its obvious social upside, is the amount of traffic it is driving to Caine Real Estate’s website, says Mr Caine.

When we look at our Google Analytics, our blog is the fourth largest driver of traffic to our site. This is ahead of some of the major real estate portals.

Also of interest, he says, is that Facebook is also another important driver, featuring in the top 10.

Mr Caine says this reflects how important is it to build relationships and provide a service and build credibility.

It’s about implementing and developing the branding recognition in the local and larger marketplace.

Classified Ad Ventures has helped us to do this by synchronising our content offering and enabling us to co-ordinate and manage the content knowing our branding is looked after and our content is relevant.

In a broader context, Mr Caine says that social media has to be embraced by the real estate industry and every office, regardless of whether they are involved in a franchise, boutique or an independent, needs to have social media presence.

It is very important because it provides instant communications as the market changes, for better or worse, as the message can be shared instantly. Compare this to print, where it can take weeks or even months!

Another reason why social media is key is the changing ways in which generations receive their information. Gen Y and Z don’t look to traditional methods such as print. A survey conduct by Art Technology Group in July showed that consumers aged between 18-34 are embracing social media and e-commerce more and more.

Of these future real estate buyers and sellers, 17 per cent cited information on social networking sites as playing a role in the discovery of new products and services. Thirty two per cent said they ‘like’ companies on Facebook, 16 per cent interact with their friends about products they ‘like’ or plan to buy and 12 per cent said they interact with other consumers that ‘like or use the same services.

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Kelly Millar

Kelly Millar is the National Marketing Services Manager at Metricon and also a published author and regular blogger