Why Social Media Traffic Matters As Much As Foot Traffic To Realtors

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This article covers the importance of social media marketing for Realtors, supported by key statistics, references and quotes by Calvin Sibley, founder of the marketing agency Leads Nerds, Inc.

With a new generation of buyers and sellers using their smartphones to search for real estate online, it’s time for real estate agents and brokers to improve their online social media strategies. This is according to a Southern Florida broker, Calvin Sibley, who has recently started a marketing agency that focuses solely on helping Realtors with their social media marketing.

Calvin Sibley has witnessed a convergence of a smartphone-dependent generation who search for their first homes online with online real estate brokerages who want their business.

“The trend towards using the internet to search for housing and especially using smartphones and social media sites is going to continue to grow exponentially, much more than most people might think,” he said.

Sibley is the president of Leads Nerds, Inc, which he recently started to help Realtors to improve their online marketing, specifically through the use of Facebook advertising. As a Realtor himself, Sibley has witnessed the evolution of real estate marketing over the last 15 years.

“Facebook didn’t exist when I started in the business,” Sibley said, “so as a Realtor, I have had to adapt to the changing behaviours of my prospects, many of whom are now millennials.” The population of millennials, people born between 1982 and 2000, now exceeds baby boomers in the United States for the first time ever. Studies show they are a major force in the housing market which has happened, according to Sibley, “a few of years earlier than many had forecast.”

The National Association of Realtors says buyers below the age of 36 make up over 34 percent of the market. In California, millennial homebuyers made up 31 percent of the market in 2017.

The State of Hispanic Ownership Report from 2016 shows a rise in purchasing power among millennials who “demand engagement through social and mobile interaction via cutting-edge technology for which the financial services and real estate sectors are not historically known.”

According to the National Association of Realtors, 52 percent of Realtors report having had a website for at least five years, and 69 percent use Facebook for professional purposes. Sixty-one percent use LinkedIn, a professional networking website. After that, the drop is dramatic for other social media: 23 percent use Twitter, 21 percent use Instagram, and 16 percent use Google Plus.

Twenty-five percent of Realtors don’t use social media professionally at all. Sibley saw this as an opportunity and started his marketing agency, Leads Nerds, Inc, to meet the growing demands of agents eager to learn how to effectively use these social media platforms.

“Agents who embrace the changing online behaviours of their prospects will be in a much better place in their businesses a couple of years from now than those who don’t,” Sibley said.

Social media can also have many impacts on the lifecycle of a real estate transaction, according to Sibley, especially with customer acquisition.

"Social media marketing is still very underpriced,” Sibley said, “ads on Facebook especially are an incredible bargain right now, considering how targeted you can be to precisely find the prospects that agents want to target.”

Using online tools that didn’t exist less than a decade ago gives homebuyers an edge over their competition in tight markets across the country.

In California, the median home price was $505,000 in November, 2017 according to industry tracker CoreLogic, with inventory tightest in affordable areas such as the Inland Empire, where prices rose 8 percent in 12 months.

Unsold inventory has declined for 16 straight months, according to the California Association of Realtors, and sells quickly — in around 2.9 months on average, the time it would take to sell the current supply on the market. Homes spend a median of 22 days on the market.

“Considering the competitive nature of the market, both for homebuyers and their agents, it is imperative that Realtors use the tools at their disposal to get their message in front of their prospects” Sibley said, “We, as Realtors, need to go where our prospects are spending their time, and right now that is on the social media platforms which they are using every day.”

For more information, contact Calvin Sibley at Calvin(at)LeadsNerds(dot)com or visit http://www.leadsnerds.com.

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Calvin Sibley

Calvin Sibley
since: 01/2018
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