Can social media help you sell your house?
It's a question lots of homeowners are asking themselves as social networking sites become increasingly important in the real estate marketing industry.
Buyers already expect more from estate agents and property portals after getting used to a real-time online presence around the clock from friends, family and companies. With house hunters enjoying a more informal platform for finding a home, private owners can take advantage of the lack of a middle man and engage with potential buyers directly.
How can social media help you sell you house? Sell My Property gives some top tweeting tips:
Ã¢â¬Â¢1. Don't sell
If you're starting on Twitter now, the last thing you want to be doing is selling. You've got to change your whole methodology of thinking. You need to engage and interact. Some company Twitter accounts don't even mention their own products, they just quirky cartoons or photos and you want to be following because it makes you laugh.
Ã¢â¬Â¢2. Make sure you're worth following
Companies such as @WaterstonesOxfordSt and @Innocentdrinks spend their day posting jokes and amusing pictures to entertain their followers, ensuring a strong relationship with their consumers. "Sometimes we just sit back and relax, safe in the knowledge that our store will be one of the best places to go after a devastating pandemic," Waterstones tweeted today. "We look at the Adidas store and laugh. Sure, trainers will be useful in a post-apocalyptic world, but will they teach you how to grow food?"
Ã¢â¬Â¢3. Be original
There are over 200 million people using Twitter. In a crowd that big, originality stands out. Not necessarily jokes and pictures, but something different. One seller's son in the US set up a Twitter account solely dedicated to a single property: @IAMAHouse1. "My owners just hung mistletoe in my foyer. With all the kisses going on around here, gotta admit I feel a little used," the house tweeted in December 2011, building up an amusing, accessible way to boast about its appearance and features.
Another private seller in Australia took the same approach, creating @NorthcoteHouse, an account that boosted the number of attendees to the property's auction and leading to a sale. @IAMAHouse1 had similar success:
Ã¢â¬Â¢4. Be active
Social media allows you to be contactable at all times of the day: not just office hours. One house hunter and property marketing expert, Charlotte Ashton of AB Property Marketing, told TheMoveChannel.com about her experiences with an estate agent: "I was looking for a house and I arranged to do a couple of viewings with an estate agent before work. I made sure I was there before 8am and he didn't show up. I couldn't get hold of him - the mobile number, office numbers didn't work - so I went on Twitter and within five minutes I got a reply. And at the end of the day, the MD of the whole company got in touch to apologise!"
Ã¢â¬Â¢5. Connect with people
As well as connecting with potential buyers, bigger companies or social media accounts can also give you a much-needed helping hand. "Lots of journalists use Twitter as a tool to find stories because it's more immediate than press releases or emails," points out Charlotte.
Another avid Twitter user, @RightmoveAddict, told TheMoveChannel.com how her profile shot up thanks to help from bigger companies, leading to the creation of her own real estate site: "It's the access to big brands that you've never had before. For example, Rightmove picked up on my name and they've become a big part of the business, sponsoring areas on the website. That never would've happened if it hadn't been for Twitter. On my personal blog, I also showcase properties that agents send me - these companies are forward-thinking and understand how social media can get their message out to an audience without using traditional methods."
If they can do it, so can you.
For more advice on selling your home and information on how SellMyProperty.org can help you, click here.