Social media has been proven to be a valuable real estate marketing tool. It has become a full-fledged, proven business-builder, carving paths to fresh online leads with every share, according to a recent report in RISMedia.
Finding time to make the effort is another story. A survey by RISMedia found the majority of real estate professionals (57%) say social media is a “time suck,” compared to the 47% who believe it is “time well spent.” Forty-five percent of respondents say they spend 0 to 1 hour per week on social media for their business, while 32% spend 2 – 4 hours. Thirty-four percent say they post to social media 2 – 5 times per week, while 33% post 0 -1 time per week, and 17% post 6 – 10 times per week.
“The majority of Americans now get their news and information from social media and that’s exactly why real estate professionals are using it to influence their prospects and consistently keep their services top-of-mind – but the reality is, most simply don’t have time to make the concerted effort,” says John Featherstone, CEO and publisher of RISMedia.
Facebook is the most popular platform, used by 91% of respondents, followed by LinkedIn at 72% and Twitter at 45%. Facebook is the most widely used platform for real estate marketing at 79%, with LinkedIn at 39%, followed by Twitter at 31%.
The respondents who post to social media tend to focus on sharing listings and open houses (83%), homeownership and home improvement tips (62%) as well as neighborhood and community news (57%). Others (50%) post videos and photos and local or national real estate news (46%).
The number one reason respondents say they use social media for their business is to promote their name and brand. “Most of my business is referral or repeat clients,” commented one of the respondents. “Facebook helps me keep in touch with them.” Another claimed that, “Social media keeps me in front of friends, clients and followers. I get leads and referrals through Facebook pages and threads.”
Time isn’t the only investment real estate professionals are making in social media. 24% said they allocate 1 – 20% of their marketing budget to social media (including advertising), with 27% spending between $100 and $500 per month. Because the majority advertise listings and open houses, the cost is often directly tied to the amount of business at a given time.
Overall, real estate professionals are seeing their social media efforts impact their bottom line for the better. “Social media gives real estate professionals the ability to connect with their prospects like never before,” says Featherston.