Social Media – how to use it to get your phone ringing blogpost for estate agents by Sam Ashdown

“We’re spending £400 a month having our Facebook page managed; could you take a look and see if we’re doing the right thing?”

I got this email from a Stoke estate agent and immediately popped onto her Facebook page to take a look.

What I saw there literally made me face-palm… she only had 93 likes. So she was spending around £1 per week per fan. That’s crazy. And I told her so.

Quite reasonably, she asked me what she should be doing and my first recommendation was ‘ditch the agency’.

And do it herself.

Now I know this is not a popular approach. After all, we’re busy estate agents with properties to list and sell. We just don’t have time for social media.

Whoaaaaaa……  just hang on a minute.

So you don’t have time to create a message that reaches hundreds of people within seconds, makes it super easy for those people to respond, and is totally free?

And instead, you have time to create leaflet campaigns, newspaper adverts and sponsor the local footie team?

Let’s think again.

Because it’s time to rethink the whole purpose and implementation of social media. Because most of you are doing it wrong.

But it’s not your fault.

You’ve been misled about what should be on your Facebook page, how to use Linkedin, the best strategy for Instagram and what to post on Twitter.

In this post, I’m going to take you back to basics, tell you which platforms to focus on and which to ditch, what to post where, and how to get Social Media to make your phone ring

Just like we do at AshdownJones. Because if it can work for us, it’ll work for you too.


Social media gurus don’t understand our industry

Not only are their pages and profiles generally underwhelming, they just don’t get that we’re trying to attract and engage with vendors and landlords, not buyers and tenants.

And social media agencies can only work with what you give them. No content = boring pages.  The number of Facebook pages I see social media agencies running that are just full of links to House Beautiful, Telegraph Property and even the Rightmove blog – they are so irrelevant to your brand.


Social Media should be colourful, creative and compelling

Yes, it’s a challenge to find the time and an effort to create something new all the time. But it’s a challenge and an effort that is so worth it in the long run.

Let me give you a concrete example: last week I got two market appraisal requests via Facebook: one from a stranger and one from someone I’d lost touch with years ago. Combined fees: £15,225. And to put that into perspective, that would pay for a full-time marketing assistant in our office for a year.

We work hard to make sure all our chosen platforms are engaging and interesting, and we are consistently rewarded by terrific new clients and valuable referrals.

Choose your platforms

Instead of trying to be everywhere, be selective about which platforms you choose; only choose those that you’re comfortable on, that can make the greatest impact, that fit your brand image, and most importantly, the platform where your clients are.

We currently use Facebook and Instagram the most, plus I use LinkedIn. I haven’t yet exploited our LinkedIn Business Page, and our Twitter is very underused right now. Both are on our list for growth this year.

I haven’t included blogging here, because content creation is a different subject. Once you’ve created your content, you can use your chosen platforms as a distribution network; amplifying your content to a wider and wider audience.

Don’t do this on social

Regardless of the platform, here are some golden rules of what not to do on social:

1. Post properties – you’re not Rightmove. You’ll only alienate vendors

2. Link-spam – no one is interested in the latest link from House Beautiful

3. Hide behind the brand – people don’t want to engage with a logo

4. Sell on social – it’s not the place. Not sure anywhere is, actually.

5. Get political – or otherwise push controversial opinions

6. Complain – no one likes a whinger

Do this on social

1. Post interesting content that people actually want to read

2. Be you – this is a people business, not a property business

3. Vary your posts – images, videos, competitions, content; keep it interesting

4. Be helpful – keep your posts useful so they have a benefit to reading them

5. Stay positive – your audience is more likely to engage with you if you’re happy and upbeat


The Five Step Formula that works for us

After trial and error and masses of testing to find out what works on social, I’ve created a Five Step Formula that works no matter which platform you’re using:

1 . A day in the life – you, your team, doing whatever you do when you’re not being an estate agent

2. Behind the scenes – the most important of the five; people love seeing behind the curtain of an estate agency. 
3. Sneak peek – a new property coming soon works well, to build interest in advance

4. Tips and advice – from the tiniest household hack, to the most in-depth video Q&A, your audience will lap up your advice and consider you an expert

5. Local – connect with your local businesses and give them any support you can. It will come back to you in spades.


You now have three choices

1. Ignore the above and carry on as before. After all, you’re doing ‘ok’, right? Who’s worried about Purplebricks anyway….

2. DIY – figure out how to create the four steps to implement your own social media marketing funnel. Just don’t waste a ton of time and cash in the process.

3. The smart choice – let us create your social media marketing funnel for you. Here’s why:

  • You don’t have the time to create your own. You’re supposed to be listing and selling houses.
  • You don’t have the expertise – unless you’ve spent the last 10 years studying and learning, like we have.
  • Once you’ve got your funnel, you’ll have it forever. It’s evergreen, which means it will never go out of date. Because we’ve designed it that way. It’s an investment for your marketing future.
  • Your marketing agency – if you have one – won’t understand the nuances of our industry like we do.
  •  Don’t reinvent the wheel – we’ve done it, proved it, and now we’re prepared to sell you ours, all done-for-you and wrapped up in a nice red bow.

Sam Ashdown, the independent estate agent

What to do next: Do you get my Supertips? They’re jam-packed full of great tips and marketing strategies just like this one, and best still – they’re free! Get yours here ->

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