Earlier this year I had my first “Instagram closing” for a waterfront home sale here at Lake Martin.
Let me explain how it went down.
I saw a #sneakpeek of a new listing for a home in the Real Island area on my friend Becky’s Instagram feed. I forwarded it to my potential buyer and within 20 minutes they drove by the house. I scheduled a showing and the next day they made an offer, beating out a couple of other buyers, and got under contract. We closed soon after.
I was pretty amazed when I reflected that it pretty much happened over Instagram.
Not that Instagram or any social media is the end all be all.
In my opinion, too many real estate agents think that merely “having a presence” is the point of social media. They think they have to be everywhere. They brag on the number of platforms they’re on and say “Follow me on Facebook” or “Like my stuff on Instagram.”
I tend to think “Why should I follow you?” Or more accurately, “Why should the public follow me or any agent?” What is in it for them? Everyone these days has a Facebook page or Instagram or whatever. Big deal. It’s free.
The big question is “What are you (as a real estate agent) doing with it?
Social media is a tool, just like a phone or a car or a camera.
What separates effective agents from self-promoters is that effective ones think “How can I help my clients with this? What would they like? What is useful to them?”
If you are an agent reading this – think about it – what’s a more helpful way to use your phone to help your
buyer – texting them a picture of the view of Lake Martin from a home? or posting a selfie of you (gobbling
up all of the screen space) in front of the same view and posting it on social media? My friend Becky nailed it when she posted the sneak peak. She was being helpful to her followers and showing a great view of the home. It worked.
I admit, I have an ego just like the next guy. Probably more than the next guy. Sometimes it is a struggle to me to not give in to those that advise agents to constantly “promote your personal brand” by splashing your name and Glamour Shot all over the place.
For the record, I do think that brand promotion has its place – in limited quantities for specific purposes. But, I also think that my approach suits me personally.
My approach- to use my marketing muscle to talk about Lake Martin.
I try to talk about my sellers’ properties, not myself. My goal is to help buyers learn about Lake Martin, not about me.
I realize that along the way, parts of my life will inevitably spill into the interweb and my marketing. You can’t help it when you put so much of yourself into something. However, such spillover should be incidental to the process, not Step 1 of it.
To return to the Instagram example, true- that’s how we found it. But, my buyers would not have listened to me on that one had I not earned their trust over years of looking at other homes online and in person. In other words, social media was one of the tools we used. Not the only one.