Whitepaper

North America Real Estate Marketing Report (Part 1): Social Media Driving Lead Gen in 2020

November 19, 2019

Coming soon: Chatterson’s North America-Wide Real Estate Report. Find out how the top real estate companies in North America are tackling lead generation in 2020.  

Soon you’ll be able to read in greater detail about the top marketing tactics and concerns of the leading real estate developers in North America and how they’re planning to tackle their marketing strategy and lead generation in 2020. Our survey went out to 5000 people in the industry across Canada and the United States seeking input on what’s hindering them, what’s driving their business and how they plan to grow.  

The first key takeaway we can share with you now is that social media will play an even more critical role in real estate marketing in the years to come, and the tactics for successful engagement are rapidly changing. Your competitors are definitely on social, and you may be as well. But the question is: are you doing a good enough job? 

Social Media Matters for Real Estate 

The reason social media marketing matters now more than ever is straightforward but not exactly simple. There are more people than ever on social media in 2019 as adoption from the Baby Boomer generation continues to grow, and as Generation Z enters adulthood they’re not only continuing to consume social media content as ravenously as they were before, they’re also becoming a target audience for homebuilders with growing buying power. The same goes for Millennials, they’re engaging and buying through social media, and they have more money to spend than before.  

How does this uptick in social adoption translate into the real estate world? More than 76% of home buyers found their homes online last year. This mobile usage includes searches on Google as well as the most popular activity to engage in on your phone: using social media. 

Social media continues to be an excellent and preferred way for buyers to interact with brands. Home buying customers are willing to engage with your brand on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube more than they’re willing (or able) to engage with it through traditional advertising. Millennials especially are more likely to post a question to your social media channel asking about a home listing than they would be to email you that question.

While mass-reach advertising channels such as TV, radio and out-of-home will always have their place in your real estate marketing budget, they can’t be the only channel you utilize. Social media is critical in building life-long brand enthusiasts out of your home buying customers. 

But here is the best part: social media marketing is highly measurable. You can prove the ROI of your social media budget using hard facts and uncomplicated data in order to communicate its value throughout your organization. Audience targeting is also much more specific than other long-standing methods. You can geotarget your campaign to focus on one region and one group of people within that region, such as by income (the difference between a condo customer and an estate home buyer), age (are they retired and looking to downsize or needing a move-up  home for their growing family) and interests (do they want urban vibrancy or access to fun in nature). 

Measurement is one of the reasons social media marketing has become such a breakthrough success for so many Chatterson clients: it’s the number one concern for the majority of real estate professionals. For clients across North America, we tackle everything from building and managing your content calendar, developing share-worthy creative and copy, and establishing a strategy that mixes paid and organic content across every channel. The ratio of cost-to-impact on social media is seriously tantalizing.  

Tips for Standing Out on Social in 2020 

Whether you’re just getting moving on your social media efforts or you need to inject new life into your decade-old strategy, here are some tips that every real estate marketer needs to know going into 2020. 

1) Utilize Social Video

Video is being prioritized over other types of content on platforms like Facebook thanks to updates on their algorithm. That means your typical strategy of engagement (tag-a-friend contests, asking for comments on posts) won’t get you the same kind of reach they did before. An easy way to make your video stand out on social feeds includes using things like dynamic text on screen (or subtitles). Many people don’t have the sound on while browsing their phones (mobile usage of social media is dominating), so, they won’t hear your music or voice-over. Write out your message for them.

Whatever real estate product you’re selling, show people what it’s like to actually be in the home and in the community. Get outside the four walls you’re selling and highlight in a visual way the lifestyle your audience is seeking.

2) Talk Back to Your Audience

Social media content is literally begging for engagement from your audience. You put a post out into the world hoping potential buyers will like, share or even comment on it. When they do, what you say back matters more than anything. If the first thing you respond with feels like a hard sales message (unless they’re specifically asking for information about a product), they likely won’t engage again. But if you treat the interaction like a conversation between two people rather than a brand and a person, they could become a fan for life.

Social media users are likely to engage with real estate brands to ask a variety of questions including things like what the show home hours are (even though they’re visible online, don’t just point users to a website, tell them directly when they can come by). They could also ask about the neighbourhood/community you’re selling in. Ensure you have details to provide about amenities like recreation, shopping and dining. Your social media team should know how far it is from the community to the downtown core, and how long it takes to get milk when someone runs out at home.

3) Engage with Community Influencers

Tap into the people in your community who already have a healthy and trusting social media audience. These people can be ambassadors for the neighbourhood you’re promoting if you include them in your real estate social media marketing plan. Because your product is only part of the package your clients buy when they choose a home, it’s critical to show off the benefits of the areas outside the home. If the city’s newest and hottest café is right around the corner, connect with a social media influencer to highlight the café and community and share their content on your channels. If you’re holding an event in your community, invite multiple influencers and pay them to engage with your brand in-person and online. Your audience will trust the content coming from these influencers far more than they’ll trust content that comes solely from your brand.

If you don’t believe social media marketing can propel your real estate sales into the next stratosphere, read about how Chatterson’s client Seton did just that. The social media campaign we developed for this massive new community in the south of Calgary not only met our immediate goal of selling units fast, it also built up lots of brand equity through earned media. People wouldn’t stop talking about the campaign, generating buzz in the short term, and making Seton a place people won’t soon forget. 

Find out how Chatterson can revolutionize your social media marketing today. 

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