Even though Facebook boasts over a billion active users daily, many people are content to simply use it to look at pictures of grandkids and watch videos of dancing cats on pianos. It's pretty much the same for anyone that tries to sell their home online as well: upload pictures, share it to all your friends, ask them to share, and wait for the offers to come pouring in.
Fortunately, there are a lot more options to get your homes in front of the right audience, and many of them can be implemented with virtually zero effort. Here are a few of the more popular ways that you can use social media to help your home attract more eyeballs.
Even though photography has become more advanced in recent years, especially with the advent of smartphones, many of today's buyers are familiar with the methods that sellers will use in pictures, whether it's adding filters or using angles that make the room appear larger. For that reason, those images that you spent hundreds of dollars collecting for your home will largely go unnoticed, and, even worse, will get lost in the sea of other potential property listings.
If you truly want your home to stand out, try using video to take a virtual tour of your house. Provide a nice backdrop and use a quality camera to capture the experience from room to room. If you have access to one, consider using a drone as well to get high-angle shots and swooping panoramas not just of your house, but of the property as well. Even the most basic (but not amateur-looking) video communicates a higher level of quality as well, so if you're looking to get the most bang for your buck, shoot a good video and share it online.
As soon as a listing goes live in the multiple-listing service (MLS), usually a few curious inquiries will start to creep in. If you're looking for a quick sell, that may be a decent strategy, but if you're looking to maximize the sale price on your home, use a "coming soon" strategy to build interest in the home before it actually goes live.
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other platforms are perfect for this. By creating an informal announcement and posting it live on these areas, you are attracting the most amount of interested parties before actually committing to the sale going live. This not only allows you and your realtor to test-drive various pricing scenarios, but also gives you leverage with the potential of multiple offers arriving on day one.
It's hard to overstate just how powerful Facebook's ad platforms are. Facebook collected nearly $7 billion in ad revenue in 2016 alone, which is nearly $2 billion more than it generated the year before, meaning that more and more people are discovering the awesome targeting ability that social media possesses.
The real beauty of social media advertising lies with its targeting ability. A few decades ago, if you wanted to sell your home, the general process was to take out an ad in the classified papers, which went to every single person in a specific geographical area, whether they were looking for a home or not. While this may have been fruitful then, it also was highly generalized, meaning you paid to reach a bunch of people that had no intention of buying a house in the near future. With Facebook's targeting, you can sort by income, gender, buying habits, and even whether or not they intend to move or not. $50 on a well-defined advertising campaign can bring hundreds of interested eyes to your listing.
Use a Tracking Pixel
It usually takes the average customer a few views before they decide to make an initial move on any property, and a retargeting pixel is perfect for this purpose. By placing one in your advertisements, your campaign will automatically send your listing back to people that viewed your property once, even if they didn't click on the ad itself. This allows you to reach more people who may not have seen the ad, or who maybe were on the fence initially.
Create an Event
Open houses have been around for ages, but with social media, now you can raise awareness for yours without having to put 400 signs on street corners the week before. Create an event on Facebook for your open house, complete with video, pictures, and information about when and where, and share it to all your friends. Even better, create a sponsored advertisement to show that event to all interested parties within a reasonable geographical area. People that click on your ad can then be notified in the future about impending open houses, whether they attended the first one or not. If your agent is willing, have them show up early to do a Facebook live video at the open house to increase exposure.
Utilize Every Medium
While Facebook may be the 800-pound gorilla in the social media space, there's nothing to say that the other platforms can't help either. Flickr has 90 million monthly users. Youtube gets 30 million viewers every day. Pinterest receives 150 million monthly visits. While not all of those are guaranteed to see your home, it goes without saying that if you're trying to generate the most exposure possible, it's best to utilize as many platforms to attract as wide an audience as you can.
The key to using various platforms is to link them together, so that one can go from Youtube to Twitter to Pinterest if they want and see images or text that are complementary, though not identical. You're looking to craft an emotional story that viewers can get behind, something that they can attach to emotionally and visualize themselves in. Once you tap into your customer's emotions, selling your house to them will be much easier.
Make It Personal
While MLS listings are highly impersonal and usually just filled with blocks of hard data, social media allows you as a seller to interact with people who are interested, answering questions and capturing personal stories to communicate to buyers. Write about the community that you live in, the things you love the most about the area, funny stories from your time there - anything to make it feel less like a house and more like a home.