Use the Power of Social Media to Sell Your Home
Given the new reality of a downsized military, it’s more important than ever to make sure that if you are trying to market your home for sale or for rent, then you need to make sure that your advertisement not only markets your house well, but also that it’s seen.
You’re competing for a more limited market, so make sure to use the resources available to you to make the most out of your real estate marketing budget.
Social media offers a key advantage that military families have today over previous military family home sellers and landlords as it presents the opportunity for low cost or no cost marketing. For those who understand how to use social media effectively to highlight their home, you’ll get more eyes on your home, and when you’re trying to rent or sell on a PCS timeline, the more good exposure, the better.
What are you even doing here? (Said aloud in your best Mean Girls impression!)
Before blanketly posting pictures of your house all over social media, know what and why you’re on social media in the first place. To know what you’re doing, you must first start with why. Your “why” is your goal.
- Potential Goal 1: Your home needs a new family to love it.
- Potential Goal 2: Your home needs to make you as much passive income as possible.
- Potential Goal 3: Your home needs to find a buyer by the end of the month.
Though each goal is similar in nature--the creator of each goal has real estate to offload to either a buyer or renter--each goal is sufficiently nuanced so as to change not only the message of each marketing campaign but also the location of each posting. A simple posting in a local spouse’s page with a picture of your house and a rental/sale price just won’t suffice; you need to know who you’re talking to.
Make a plan already!
Once you’ve identified your goal, you’ll need to make a plan. As General Patton famously remarked, “A failure to plan is a plan to fail!”
A simple plan could look like the following.
Make arrangements for photographer and, ideally, a video tour.
When making a social media strategy to market your real estate, you can’t underestimate the value of good photography and videos. In many cases, they will make or break your sale. For some pointers on what photos to take, check out a couple of our posts:
- Get More Value for Your FSBO
- Top 4 Don’ts for Your Home Listings
- What 10 Photos You Need for Your Home Listing
Create a spreadsheet with headings.
- Social Media Site (Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc.)
- Forums (links to local spouses' pages, base housing pages)
- Hashtags: Spend some time researching what hashtags are popular to describe your new area. Look for examples by successful local real estate agents. You may not use the name of the installation; you may use something like the name of a road or popular neighborhood, such as #WimberlyGardensHousesforSale.
- Message: A separate document with a few template messages will help you tailor your message to each forum and site. When making each message, think short, to the point, and emphasize emotion. Make sure to put your key selling words right up front, and recognize that most people will not read your entire post.
- Date Posted
Check your analytics for efficacy.After one week, go to each site and count the number of interactions on your posts to see where you’re gaining traction and what you may need to tweak in order to boost views and engagement.
Engage in conversation.
Social media is social first; it’s a marketing media second. If someone responds to your posting through a tweet or a comment, meet them where they are and respond in kind, even if your post specified that they email you or private message you only. If someone is messaging you, they are interested in finding a home.
Respond as soon as possible, particularly if you are marketing to a military family who may be looking for a home to move into tomorrow! If you don’t respond until tomorrow, then you’ll have missed your window of opportunity with that client. If you’re not a quick responder or you can’t be as a result of your particular assignment, then either set up an email with an auto-responder for your house or hire someone such as a virtual assistant to respond immediately for you.
Adopt a welcoming, approachable manner in your responses.
Yes, you may have the best house on the block, and your prospective tenants would be lucky to live there, but it won’t serve your goal well--getting your house rented--if that type of attitude comes across in your posting. There’s another concerned and stressed military family on the other end of that question about your home that struck you the wrong way. Perhaps it was even a rude or mean comment.
This is no time for hurt feelings! Keep in mind that the commenter is just another person worried about finding a good, safe home for their family who may not have worded their question as thoughtfully as they might have.
I’m stressing this point because this type of miscommunication happens all the time. In your response, it will help you reach your ideal tenant if you come across as friendly and welcoming. You may not rent to the person to whom you're responding, but you’ll increase your likelihood of renting to the person who is paying attention to your response. That person may not inquire about your home if he doesn’t like the way you explain your response to your other prospect.
If you can follow this these tips to set a social media goal, make a plan, and execute it effectively when selling your home, then you're well on your path to becoming a successful military home seller or landlord!