In today’s digital world, it’s more important than ever for businesses to utilize social media to the fullest extent. With endless potential connections and a constant flow of communication, real estate agents and brokers have possibly the most powerful tool at their fingertips, to build not only relationships, but also a successful business, by making the most of their social media accounts. With more than 80 percent of online users active on Facebook, for example, the opportunities are endless.

According to a 2019 National Association of REALTORS® study, 44 percent of homebuyers started their search online, compared to only 17 percent who started with an agent. In all, 98 percent of homebuyers utilized the internet to search for homes. With countless apps and websites, searching for listings online maximizes their ability to compare and contrast homes without speaking with a REALTOR®. With numbers like this, it could be detrimental for agents and brokers to operate without an online presence.

Social media has been credited as being the best source for generating high-quality leads, even better than MLS websites by 15 percent—and the more active the profile, the more eyes it will draw. Posting relevant and informative content is one example of how to attract more people to your business and keep followers engaged.

As a rule of thumb, it’s best to have a healthy balance of educational, entertaining content and content dedicated to sales and services. Light and informative content can include topics such as local and community highlights, helpful real estate insights, home-related tips and how-tos, as well as lifestyle and holiday topics. The remaining content can focus more on market updates, client testimonials and current listings.

With the need for consistent and topical content, utilizing social media as a business tool can be a job in itself. There are management programs, like Sprout Social or Hootsuite, which allow users to schedule future posts across all platforms. There are also services, such as RISMedia’s ACESocial, to help schedule, maintain and automatically post high-quality, original real estate and lifestyle content, such as articles, infographics and videos.

In addition to posting engaging content focused on the industry and local communities, highlighting current listings can boost business. Of course, posting available homes for sale and rent is a great way to promote properties; however, it isn’t always guaranteed to get clicks or drive business. With new features such as Facebook or Instagram Live or new technology, like drones, agents can provide future homebuyers with a unique shopping experience.

Facebook and Instagram Live allow users to livestream content directly to their followers. For REALTORS®, using this feature for walk-throughs and tours can pull in a large audience. Add attractive words, such as “exclusive” or “first look,” to showcase for-sale homes, apartments for rent or any other walk-through of a property to followers and potential leads.

Drones are a creative way to deliver entertaining and informative content through social media platforms. As most people are drawn to visual entertainment and different ways to look at things, drones give agents the ability to show off listings in a new way. Presenting a home from up above to see the full property and surrounding neighborhood gives the audience a unique view and will bring them back for more.

By utilizing social media and the many features that come along with it, real estate agents and brokers have a prominent tool to be and stay relevant. Utilizing these platforms allows businesses to grow faster than ever before, reaching larger demographics and providing unique and educational experiences, content and information. For REALTORS® looking to expand their business and maximize their influence, social media is a great place to start.