Social media has evolved into a marketing juggernaut, the value of which cannot be denied. This is particularly true for the real estate market. According to the National Association of Realtors, 99% of millennial homebuyers use the internet for research. Moreover, 97% of younger baby boomers (age 57 to 66) do the same.
Thus, the answer is simple for anyone wondering why a real estate social network is important. It only makes sense for realtors and real estate investors to maintain a presence where the people who generate the revenue streams on which these professions depend are likely to look.
Any platform upon which realtors, investors and homebuyers congregate online can be considered a real estate social network. Generally, these networks are comprised primarily of individual accounts on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Users compare ideas, share listings, discuss industry news, and promote investment opportunities. Real estate companies, individual realtors, investors and interested parties from a variety of backgrounds all hold real estate social network accounts.
The focus of real estate social media networks varies. Some are dedicated to topics related to marketing. Others cater to people looking for referrals, while still others engage in troubleshooting common concerns. Regardless of the topic however, maintaining a presence increases exposure, attracts leads and enables agents, investors, and organizations to position themselves as authorities. Investors can find new opportunities and sellers can promote offerings to people who are actively seeking properties. Agents can connect with buyers, sellers, and investors.
The three primary social media networks to consider for people interested in real estate are Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram.
The oldest and largest contemporary social media platform, Facebook is the logical place to start. LinkedIn’s value derives from the fact it caters to a professional audience. This makes it ideal for business. Instagram, with its focus on images, is a natural place for real estate listings.
National Association of Realtors studies have found 97% of realtors employ Facebook, while 59% use LinkedIn and 39% have an Instagram presence.
Facebook – As of this writing, (April 2023) Facebook claims 2.96 billion monthly users, making it easily the most popular social media platform extant. Of that number, 2 billion use the platform on a daily basis. Another benefit of Facebook for real estate is the fact that its audience skews older and correlates more closely to homeowner demographics. This makes a Facebook business page for real estate a valuable tool for garnering qualified leads.
The National Association of Realtors runs one of the best real estate social media networks on Facebook. Managed by the NAR staff, it has over 23,000 members who ask and answer questions, as well as share useful information and recommendations.
LinkedIn – Proven successful for real estate companies and agents, LinkedIn offers specific groups centered on real estate. Agents, investors, and homebuyers can use these to demonstrate relevance to a given audience, engender awareness, and exchange information regarding opportunities. LinkedIn’s analytics can also be leveraged to learn more about audiences, enabling the tailoring of posts to specific interests. The key factor to bear in mind about Linkedin is it is more about building relationships, than marketing, per se.
The Real Estate Professionals and Vendor Network is one of the most prominent networks on LinkedIn. Boasting 106,000 agents and vendors, it is a great group within which to network.
Instagram – The photo-based nature of Instagram, as mentioned previously, makes it ideal for showcasing real estate listings. The platform also supports video and live streams. Harnessing its visual nature, investors, agents, buyers, and sellers can benefit from Instagram’s appealing photos, graphics, and videos. Employing hashtags broadens the reach of posts, though it should be noted Instagram’s primary value is its ability to promote and attract leads. Links cannot be posted to a specific website, so Instagram initiatives should be top-of-the-funnel focused.
Tom Ferry’s Insta provides video and insights from clients with whom he has worked to achieve their real estate goals.
Given the sheer number of networks on each platform, maintaining a presence in every network on each platform would consume more time and resources than any one person could muster. Better results can be achieved with a narrow focus on a specific set of criteria.
Key factors to consider when choosing a network to join include the number of active—and more importantly, engaged—users it has. The average age of the users in a network is another important consideration. It can also be useful to focus on a specific location or geographical region.
Consistency is key. With so many different people, organizations, and opportunities proliferating in social media, staying top of mind within your circle is critical to success. Users of the platforms covered above should post on a weekly basis at minimum. The most ardent users post daily, and some even post several times a day.
Value is another critical component. The key is to make sure posts offer a benefit, rather than adding to background noise. This way, when users see the posts, they will be more likely to give them attention because value is always derived from them. Whether it is a property tour, helpful information about financing, or clever ideas for partnering on properties, it is absolutely crucial to post beneficial content.
Engagement builds loyalty. When people comment on posts, always take the time to reply. Answer questions as soon as possible when they are posed. Update posts, find new information to share and respond to other network posts. This is the fastest way to gain trust and build credibility.
Chief among the benefits of real estate social media networks is the opportunity they provide to directly interact with sizable audience. Moreover, these interactions can go a long way toward establishing authority in a given area. Social media platforms can also be used to drive traffic to websites, uncover insights and best of all — they’re free to join.
On the other hand, some people who use social media seemingly live to embarrass others. Arguments, insults, and demeaning behavior in general can sometimes be a byproduct of operating in a public forum in which anyone with a keyboard and a grudge can express themselves. Avoiding arguments is a good way to remain above the fray, as is applauding useful posts that add value to the network. Social media users live and die by the reputations they cultivate.
Another drawback of social media is the sheer amount of time that must be given over to it. The best way to hold on to an audience is to post regularly, whether weekly, daily, or hourly. Social media can be a hungry beast that turns its back when it is not fed.
The best way to avoid the drawbacks is to ensure posted content is always accurate and has value. Communicating with a group’s administrator is a good way to ensure posts meet community standards.
Social media interactions can be useful sources of investment ideas, financing options and strategies for gaining control of properties with minimal investments. Social media platforms can help investors find new properties and determine which areas are good investments and which areas to avoid, particularly when considering new towns and cities.
Finding like-minded people with whom to partner and discovering potential deals make an investment of time on a social media platform worthwhile. Lead generation, open house information, real estate listings, and insights into the real estate business in different areas can all be gained from social media networks. These benefits can make investing in real estate more useful as an alternative investment for portfolio diversification.
On the subject of portfolio diversification, traditional portfolio asset allocation envisages a 60% public stock and 40% fixed income allocation. However, a more balanced 60/20/20 or 50/30/20 split, incorporating alternative assets, may make a portfolio less sensitive to public market short-term swings.
Real estate, private equity, venture capital, digital assets, precious metals and collectibles are among the asset classes deemed “alternative investments.” Broadly speaking, such investments tend to be less connected to public equity, and thus offer potential for diversification. Of course, like traditional investments, it is important to remember that alternatives also entail a degree of risk.
In some cases, this risk can be greater than that of traditional investments.
This is why these asset classes were traditionally accessible only to an exclusive base of wealthy individuals and institutional investors buying in at very high minimums — often between $500,000 and $1 million. These people were considered to be more capable of weathering losses of that magnitude, should the investments underperform. However, that meant the potentially exceptional gains these investments presented were also limited to these groups.
To democratize these opportunities, Yieldstreet has opened a number of carefully curated alternative investment strategies to all investors. While the risk is still there, the company offers help in capitalizing on areas such as real estate, legal finance, art finance and structured notes — as well as a wide range of other unique alternative investments.
Learn more about the ways Yieldstreet can help diversify and grow portfolios.
Maintaining a social media presence increases exposure, attracts leads and enables agents, investors, and organizations to position themselves as authorities. However, given the sheer number of networks on each platform, maintaining a presence in every network would consume more time and resources than anyone could muster. The best results can be achieved with a narrow focus on a specific set of criteria.
All securities involve risk and may result in significant losses. Alternative investments involve specific risks that may be greater than those associated with traditional investments; are not suitable for all clients; and intended for experienced and sophisticated investors who meet specific suitability requirements and are willing to bear the high economic risks of the investment. Investments of this type may engage in speculative investment practices; carry additional risk of loss, including possibility of partial or total loss of invested capital, due to the nature and volatility of the underlying investments; and are generally considered to be illiquid due to restrictive repurchase procedures. These investments may also involve different regulatory and reporting requirements, complex tax structures, and delays in distributing important tax information.
Yieldstreet provides access to alternative investments previously reserved only for institutions and the ultra-wealthy. Our mission is to help millions of people generate $3 billion of income outside the traditional public markets by 2025. We are committed to making financial products more inclusive by creating a modern investment portfolio.