Is Social Media Worth the Effort for Real Estate Agents?

  • Is social media marketing worth it for real estate agents?
  • Can it help you grow your real estate business over time?
  • Can you actually get clients by using social media?

These are some of the most common questions among real estate professionals who are considering a social media strategy. In short, they want to know if the rewards justify the effort.

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Ultimately, you’ll have to decide for yourself if social media might be worth pursuing. But I can tell you from experience that it’s a potential game-changer, when used properly.

Read on to find out why….

Is Social Media Worth the Effort for Agents?

I’m thinking about using social media for my real estate business, because I’ve heard it’s a good way to connect with potential clients. But I’m not sure if it’s worth the time and effort.

Does this sound like you?

If so, there are two things you need to do in order to answer this question:

  1. Consider the worst-case and best-case scenarios for using social media.
  2. Understand the commitment that’s needed to succeed with social media.

Once you understand these two things, you’ll have an easier time deciding if it’s a strategy worth pursuing—or something to avoid.

And remember, you have little to lose by experimenting, other than your time!

What’s the Best and Worst That Could Happen?

To determine if social media is worth exploring, real estate agents should consider the best-case scenario as well as the worst-case scenario. Chances are, you’ll start off somewhere in the middle and (ideally) move toward “best-case” territory over time.

But you have to know what both of those scenarios look like.

Worst-case scenario:

  • You waste a lot of time and effort on social media without seeing any results.
  • You post something that offends or alienates potential clients.
  • You receive negative feedback on social media that damages your reputation.

Best-case scenario:

  • You build a large and engaged following on social media.
  • You generate leads and gain new clients through over time.
  • You position yourself as an expert in your local real estate market.

The difference between these scenarios largely depends on the amount of effort you put in.

If you post random content two or three times per month and expect it to transform your business, you’ll probably end up disappointed.

But if you turn your social media account into a valuable source of information for your target audience, it might actually go somewhere. It could become a valuable tool that helps you grow your real estate business. It could even outperform all of your other marketing efforts.

The Pros and Cons of Using It

To flesh this out a bit more, let’s explore some of the pros and cons of social media for real estate agents.

Potential pros of social media for real estate agents:

Here are some of the main benefits and advantages of using social media for a real estate business.

  • Reach a large audience: Social media platforms have billions of users worldwide. This gives real estate agents a large pool of potential clients to connect with and possibly engage.
  • Little to no cost: You can launch and manage a social media strategy with little or no out-of-pocket expense. Granted, these platforms do offer paid advertising options. But you don’t have to use them. Some agents get great results without relying on paid ads.
  • Build relationships: Real estate is the business of building relationships, and social media gives you another way to do this. You can use it to share valuable content with your audience, communicate with them directly, answer their questions, and build new relationships that could deliver new clients.
  • Generate leads: As a real estate agent, you can generate leads through social media in a number of ways. You can use it to promote featured listings, offer free consultations, or generate inquiries about local market conditions (to name but a few).
  • Showcase your expertise: By sharing your real estate market knowledge and expertise through social media, you can position yourself as a local market expert. You could even brand your social media account around this goal.
  • Limitless applications: Real estate agents who get creative and experiment with social media often “stumble upon” highly effective strategies. With its low cost and broad reach, social media invites this kind of experimentation.

The bottom line here is that you have a lot of compelling to reasons to experiment with a social media strategy. And with no barrier to entry, there’s nothing standing in your way.

Potential cons of social media for real estate agents:

Now let’s examine the flip side of this coin. Here are some of the potential downsides and disadvantages of using social media for a real estate business.

  • Time-consuming: Social media can be time-consuming to manage, especially if you’re using multiple platforms. You could gain followers by creating and publishing high-quality, original content on a weekly basis. But that requires a serious time commitment.
  • Hard to stand out: With so many real estate professionals using social media these days, it can be hard for an individual agent to stand out from the crowd. You’re basically competing for people’s attention. And in a major city or market area, there can be a lot of competing voices.
  • Negative feedback: Social media can be a breeding ground for negative feedback. So you’ll need to be prepared to deal with this in a professional manner, in case it occurs.

Ignore the Doubters and Naysayers

So, is social media worth the time and effort, from a real estate agent’s perspective?

The only way to answer this question is through direct experimentation. Don’t go by what other agents are saying. Don’t base your decisions on the doubters and naysayers. Experiment with it.

In my experience, the loudest objections to using social media (or any other form of marketing) come from those who have failed at it. On the other hand, real estate agents who develop a successful model tend to keep it to themselves.

If you do a Google search for “is social media worth it for real estate agents,” you’ll mostly see feedback from two groups:

  • Companies that offer social media services and want you to think it’s the greatest thing sliced bread.
  • Real estate agents who tried it, failed at it, and gave up out of frustration.

But you won’t hear much from those agents who are currently crushing it on social media.

After all, if you work hard to develop a successful strategy on social media, perhaps through countless hours of trial and error, why would you share it with the world?

How to Succeed With Social Media

In my experience, there’s one major difference between the real estate agents who develop a strong presence on social media, and those who don’t…

Effort.

You have to be willing to put in the time. You have to create your own original content, such as local market updates, neighborhood profiles, new listings—or whatever else your target audience wants. And you have to do this on a regular basis, weekly at least.

For real estate agents, social media is not a “one and done” or “fire and forget” marketing strategy. It’s a stick-with-it-over-the-long-term kind of strategy. So you have to be up for that from the very beginning.

Do you want to know the “big secret” to developing a successful real estate social media strategy? Create useful information that helps a specific audience, and then share it on a regular basis in an organized manner. It’s really that simple.

Instead of viewing social media as a place to occasionally “post things,” try to develop a more specific strategy. For example, you could transform your social media profile into a local source for real estate market news. You could even brand it to support this kind of objective.

Now it’s not just “some real estate agent” account. It’s a valuable source for timely and local real estate market news. It has a purpose and an audience. It gives people a compelling reason to follow the account, by delivering information that can help them succeed.

Here’s how to develop this kind of strategy

So maybe the question isn’t whether or not social media is “worth it” for real estate agents.

A better question to ask: Do I have a clear strategy for delivering value to my target audience on an ongoing basis? Do I have a clear purpose and goal in mind?

If you answer yes to both of these questions, you should at least give it a try.

Brandon Cornett

Brandon Cornett is a mortgage content marketing expert with 17 years of experience. He also created the Home Buying Institute, one of the nation's leading informational websites for home buyers.

Brandon Cornett

Brandon Cornett is a mortgage content marketing expert with 17 years of experience. He also created the Home Buying Institute, one of the nation's leading informational websites for home buyers.