What’s the ROI of Using Social Media in Real Estate?

By Victor Quiroz

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and more recently, SnapChat, are all social media platforms that can capture the attention of potential millennial clients. Why? Because most, if not all, of these platforms are now part of millennials’ daily life. Social media sites and apps are their preferred tool to stay connected to the world.

Let’s examine this trend by the numbers: Entrepreneur Magazine found that millennials check their social media platforms via a mobile device an average of 43 times per day! A January 2015 Forbes survey revealed 87% of millennials use between two and three tech devices for social media on a daily basis. The American Press Institute said 88% of all millennials get their daily news from Facebook or some other social media platform.

The takeaway: Today, millennial eyeballs are on social media and that’s where businesses looking to target this demographic should focus their time, marketing and resources. The real estate industry has been on the social media bandwagon for some time now; most agents I know (and teach in my tech classes) make serious attempts to strengthen their social media marketing. Still, most common question from the socially savvy agent is always, “What is the return on my investment?”

The fact is that most of the traditional print, radio and TV ads of the past 50+ years try to account for the actions of consumers that marketers can’t accurately measure in ROI statistics. What do I mean? Imagine if you saw a soft drink ad on TV today, how would the soft drink company know that the ad resulted in converting you into a consumer who purchased their product? Because the ad is not trackable on an individual basis, the soft drink company would not be able to identify the exact ROI of that ad. The ROI of social media in real estate is a lot easier to track than it is for traditional marketing because with most social media platforms, you can see how many people saw, engaged and even shared your content with their peers. Precise tracking of your social media marketing tactics allows you to see consumer engagement and create conversations in real time. This aspect of social media is revolutionary because it’s something most traditional media platforms cannot do. But does easy tracking and real-time conversation mean a clear path to calculating your ROI? Not really.

Just as soft drink TV commercial marketers can’t guarantee that their ad is successful in making a consumer out of you, social media marketing can’t guarantee that potential buyers and sellers hire you as their agent. Measurable marketing stats or not, consumers work with brands and businesses they like and are familiar with. When you see a soft drink company ad you can probably recognize the brand and the brand’s products but it doesn’t necessarily mean that you like the brand or product, right? I believe consumers start to recognize and decide on real estate agents in the same manner. The more real estate agents post, engage and share via social media, the more brand awareness they bring to their millennial audience. Over time, those millennials will decide if they like your real estate brand and/or if they will do business with you.

How much time does it take for a consumer to recognize and decide on a real estate agent via social media? At the 2015 Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Sales Convention in Las Vegas in March, Seth Price of Placester.com stated that it takes around 18 months from the time that an agent implements their social media strategy for their audience to recognize the agent and decide whether to conduct business with them.

While the ROI of social media in real estate may not be as clear cut or as easy to identify as it sounds, the same can be said of everyday, face-to-face social events. What is the ROI of going to a birthday party? What is the ROI of going to a networking event? I can think of several other social activities and gatherings that some agents attend in hopes of generating business but none can guarantee immediate results. I believe that is also true of social media platforms. These platforms cannot guarantee you immediate business but they can provide exposure and a way for you as an agent to promote your personal brand and share market knowledge. With a strategic and consistent social media plan of action, millennials will start to recognize your personal brand and ultimately decide if you are the agent they will contact when they are ready to buy or sell real estate.

VICTOR QUIROZ is an agent with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties in Ontario, CA and a member of the national REthink Council. Get in touch with Victor on his website www.Victor4Homes.com or through Facebook , Twitter or YouTube.

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