While all eyes are on Facebook as the ultimate platform for Real Estate lead generation, Snapchat is emerging as one of the top up-and-coming platforms for Real Estate professionals. As with most social platforms, being there first gains you a huge competitive advantage to getting in front of your audience.
We wrote this guide to illustrate why we think Snapchat is going to become a powerhouse for Real Estate professionals and why it makes sense to start investing now. This guide won’t include the nitty gritty details on how to setup Snapchat or troubleshoot it, but here’s a great blog once you decide if Snapchat is right for you.
What’s the Opportunity?
There’s a massive opportunity to create an audience and a following in and around your neighborhood by owning the story around a property and the city or town around it. You can easily craft daily content about a home and and the area where you plan to sell property by being the person who connects the dots in the community. This includes featuring key businesses, community features like parks or local gathering places, and even short personal “snaps” about your day-to-day activities, both personally or professionally. Your content doesn’t have to be directly about homes, but sharing your unique knowledge and perspective about the local amenities such as schools, parks, and shops will make potential buyers feel connected to your content.
The opportunity is an obvious one. The more CONSISTENT and QUALITY content you produce, the more awareness and following you’ll amass. It does take time and patience and doesn’t happen overnight. Don’t expect leads to come in a couple of weeks. If you’re not prepared to invest for at least six months, now is the time to stop reading and save your time.
So why Snapchat? (and why NOW is the time to start)
Snapchat has a strong emerging demographic of 30 to 45 year olds. Much like what occurred with Facebook, in the next 2-3 years, Snapchat will attract a more mature audience. There’s a lot of value in being a first mover on the platform.
Just as interesting is Snapchat’s growth among the elite top earners within the 30 to 45 year-old range. The average Snapchat user spends 25-30 minutes per day using the app and almost half of Snapchat’s 150 million daily users use the app every single day.
Content creation with Snapchat is easy and can be done as you go about your day. It doesn’t have to be “polished.”
Putting Snapchat into action right away
- Promote your next Snapchat “Open House” on your website and social media channels. Let people know that they can tune in to your Snapchat Story anytime on Saturday to watch live Snaps from an open house. Engage your audience by asking what they think about the place, what they liked, what they didn’t. You can showcase every room, or you could get into nitty gritty details.
- Send 10 second market report videos to your Snapchat contacts. Film a selfie video of you giving them the straight-goods about some market statistics, the latest record sale, or a local community development. Don’t try to fit everything into one video, break it down into 4 or 5 engaging clips, and send them throughout the day, whenever you have 10 seconds! This is a great way to keep your personal brand alive in peoples’ minds on a regular basis, and to promote your expertise on the subject.
- Interview a local business owner. Your dry cleaner, your Starbucks barista, or local restaurant owner would welcome the opportunity to be featured. All you need to do is ask for their participation and ask them one simple question on the spot. Post the Snap and or a series of them, and you’re all set.
- Send photos of beautiful homes in a neighborhoods to your contacts and add them to your Story as well, so your contacts can view a bunch of beautiful properties, updated regularly, whenever they check out your Story!
- Drop by your former client’s house to say check in or drop a little gift and ask them if they’d do a quick Snap testimonial for you.
- Get personal. People crave authenticity and want to take interest in what you do. Working out at 5am? Take a Snap. Golfing with a client? Take a Snap. Showcase your personality through video and photo Snaps regularly, and add them to your story. Give potential customers a chance to get to know you before they ever meet you!
Setting up Snapchat
Download the app to your phone, set up your account, and you’re ready to go.
Snapchat is more of a minimalist social network. You can create Snaps (10-second clips in photo or video format) and Stories, which are collections of Snaps in chronological order.
You can modify your Snaps with doodles, stickers, emojis, and captions to make them truly original and eye-catching.
You can instant message with one or more friends via the Chat feature, make Calls to connections (who can either listen in or join), and live-stream using the much-beloved app using the Video Chat option.
The key thing to note about pretty much all communication methods you can use on Snapchat is their life span: Everything essentially disappears 24 hours after viewing or posting. However, Snaps and Chats can be saved by screen-shooting them, if you so desire and they’ll become Memories in the app.
Build your following
As with all of the other social media platforms, you’ll need to start by promoting your new presence on Snapchat and start growing an audience.
While it’s tempting to start inviting friends or other agents in your office, resists and target those living or looking in your market.
Why is this the case, you ask? Well, consider the alternative: random individuals who have zero interest in buying or selling in your market. Do you really want random people following your account? We didn’t think so.
What this all adds up to is the need to make a list — one that includes all of your past and current clients, existing leads, industry peers, agency colleagues, and anyone else you’d want to follow your Snapchat account.
The simplest way to attract new followers is by using your current social or even more traditional channels to invite people to follow you. If you are active on Facebook, Twitter or another social network, create a few compelling posts as to why people should follow you on Snapchat. Remember to clearly articulate the value you will provide and what’s in it for your audience. For example “Join me on Snapchat to catch up on the latest, most interesting developments around the community, check out my latest (and gorgeous) listings during open houses, and get the occasional buying and selling tip and trick.
If you’re not active on other social networks, you can easily do the same with email, your next newsletter, or even print media.
Exciting and authentic wins every time.
It’s very common to have anxiety about sharing and worrying about how you’ll be perceived. The beauty of Snapchat is that authenticity is the sizzle on the steak. People crave to see the real you. They WANT to see you working out in the gym, taking your kids to school, or competing for a listing. Don’t overthink or rehearse, just grab your phone and snap. It all disappears in 24 hours, so even if you embarrassed yourself, that’s perfectly okay. The more you snap, the better you’ll get at it and the more your audience will go.
Patience, Patience, Patience
We already covered this, but will repeat it again because it is THE MOST IMPORTANT thing. The number one reason why people don’t’ see results with Snapchat (and social media in general) is because they don’t have the patience. Results take time and every time you create content, you’re planting a seed. It may take months for your work to pay off and giving up is often the easy way out. Remember this: Your success does not depend on how engaging you are or how entertaining people find you. Your success depends on your consistency and longevity. Before you commit yourself to action, write down your goals, carve out the time and we look forward to hearing about your Snapchat success.