In 2023, HubSpot reported that the main reason 63 per cent of realtors were using social media was to promote their property listings. Given today’s digital landscape, this hardly comes as a surprise.
But does social media really lead to leads for realtors?
An end to door-knocking and cold-calling
While the days of door-knocking and cold-calling aren’t quite over yet, social media might be calling for the end of an era.
“I was actually making 50 to 75 cold calls a day when I first started and wasn’t enjoying it,” says Conor Kelly, an agent with Stonehaus Realty. “So, I started doing two TikToks and one Instagram story a day. I was anticipating it to take three to five years to get a decent lead flow. But, a month and a half later, the phones started ringing.”
If you’re a realtor who’s interested in social media platforms but you’re unsure where to start, follow these tips from other agents who live and breathe social media.
Tip 1: Listen to your audience
When it comes to social media, it can be easy to overlook the “social” component. Social media is more than about creating high-quality content — it’s also about engaging and listening to your audience.
When Alex Dunbar, an agent with the Real Brokerage, first started creating content in 2018, he was making videos he thought would be of interest to his audience, primarily on educational topics like explaining property transfer tax or closing costs. But then he started analyzing data on what his audience was actually most interested in.
“Now, I go back at the end of the year and actually look at where all my deals come from,” says Dunbar. “I can tell you I had this many come in through TikTok, YouTube or Instagram.”
Listening to his audience has helped Dunbar create content now that is more aligned with what his audience is truly interested in seeing — whether that’s city and neighbourhood guides, moving and relocation tips or market updates on Greater Vancouver, for example.
Tip 2: It’s not all about you
Imagine you’re having dinner with someone and they only talk about themselves the entire time. No fun, right?
Same goes for your social media content. It shouldn’t be all about you.
Take Tyler Burrows, an agent with Oakwyn Realty. He’s recently gained social media attention with his hashtag #TouringWithTyler. Burrows regularly posts walkthrough video tours of properties for sale, especially unique ones like lofts, on his social media accounts. The catch? They’re not his own listings.
Now, Burrows estimates that about half of his leads come from social media. Not only has he been able to build relationships with the listing realtors of the properties he’s viewing, but people have begun reaching out to him when they’re in search of properties similar to the ones in his video tours, like lofts.
Tip 3: Don’t let the trolls get to you
While your social media engagement will likely be mostly positive, it might also attract the occasional troll or two in your comment section.
“Some of them are so bad that I can’t even say them here,” says Kelly.
It may be easier said than done, but the simplest advice would be to simply ignore the trolls.
“I just don’t let other people’s words have power over me,” Dunbar mentions.
Tip 4: Give it time
Becoming a social media sensation isn’t an overnight process. Having a strategy and being consistent is key to a realtor’s success.
“You have to consistently put things out on a daily, weekly, monthly, annual basis to actually start to see results,” says Dunbar. “If people see you one time, they’re not immediately going to like you or build trust with you. But when they see you’ve been doing it over a long period of time, that’s when they’re going to reach out.”
“Views don’t necessarily equal deals,” explains Kelly. “I didn’t get a legitimate lead until I went to a presale in Mission and ended up closing four deals off of that one video.”
But, it took time and a consistent social media presence for Kelly to gain that level of influence from a single video. Gaining credibility and trust might be more important metrics than views, impressions and engagement rates — even if they can’t quite be quantified.
There’s no one formula for social media success. What might work for one realtor might not work for another. It’s about finding your voice and what works best for you.
“The important thing is you do it your way,” says Burrows. “And you stick to it.”