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24th March 2014

Social media for letting agents

Social media is becoming essential for business, nowhere is this more evident than with residential letting  agents. The majority of tenants are under 40 – maybe as high as 70%. Where do you find them? You may be under the impression they have to find you through property portals and organic search rankings. Both of these methods work, although search rankings are getting harder to achieve consistently for small businesses. Make life much easier by going to the places where your customers and potential customers hang out: Facebook and Twitter.  It’s revolutionary when you compare it to, for example, newspaper advertising where you pay to show your ad to everyone, whether they interested or not.

Social media isn’t just for geeks and kids and letting agents are catching on, fast. Today, various social media rankings are compiled detailing which letting and estate agents excel at social media. Nothing is more effective in marketing terms than an active presence on one or more social media platform and using the social media aspects of portals such as Zoopla. Social media is also an excellent branding tool, useful in the lettings market which is widely regarded as highly competitive.

Social media enables a lettings agency to build up relationships with tenants and landlords. It’s an opportunity for your audience to get to know the real you. Twitter works efficiently for letting agents:  New properties can be briefly described and a link in the Tweet can take users to the actual listing. That said, for a number of reasons we suggest letting agents try Facebook first, it’s easier to build up an audience quickly and once a page has fans, posting is fairly intuitive.

Of course you must know your audience. Do they want to read about the latest property statistics or would they prefer to have free concert tickets?  Your bread and butter postings might be details of new properties– after all ultimately that’s what tenants are looking for, but broad information on the area you cover works well as long as it’s not too stuffy or formally written. Likewise you can run promotions through your page such as giveaways. Some agents also team up to run Facebook pages for lettings in a given area. The important point before setting up any page is to set boundaries.

What’s the best way to build a fan base?  If a website has decent traffic it’s possible to drive people from a site to Facebook. The opposite is also true. However using Facebook advertising to acquire an audience quickly works very well and is cost-effective.  Facebook advertising allows you to advertise properties to a specific audience easily and efficiently.

The difficult bit for newcomers to social media is finding a voice. Social media is conversational in tone and it’s important to be authentic. A presence on Facebook potentially exposes you to disgruntled landlords or tenants. All businesses face the same exposure.  Whoever runs your Facebook page must operate it professionally and be briefed on how to respond to negative comments. Savvy marketing people appreciate mistakes or negative comments are an opportunity to win over an audience and generate word of mouth marketing money can’t buy.

To some extent the tone and content of your page will be set by the culture of your business., however you must manage the content and style of your page with your audience in mind.

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