How has social media affected the property industry?

There’s no doubting that business participation on social media is the flavour of the month, with almost every established brand now having a Twitter page, a Facebook group and a frequently updated blog, we can assume that there must be some very significant benefits to business’ getting stuck in with social media.

The property industry is no exception. In fact, many property agencies and developers are experimenting with multiple accounts that are geographically targeted, and also using less conventional social media websites such as Flickr to promote properties that are for sale. So why is it that we can’t resist getting involved in this new generation of Internet communication?

Selling a property (or any product) requires developing trust and a strong relationship with a customer, social media allows this to occur online very cost effectively, in fact as most of the leading social media websites are free to use, the only expense is your time.

While social media is not the most effective tool for generating leads, it is excellent for communicating with and retaining customers. This brand awareness can help develop leads in a long-term sales strategy, many leading property agencies are currently adopting this approach, making the property industry increasingly competitive.

Social media is also a great method of business networking for property industry professionals. Property blogs and networking websites such as LinkedIn can be used to identify other professionals in the industry who can be easily contacted to negotiate and develop relationships with.

So are their any negatives with social media?

There are still some of the more ‘traditional’ property Industry marketers out there who are reluctant to implement social media into their marketing campaigns due to its large time consumption and lack of easily scalable ROI results. One of the main concerns with social media as a business-marketing tool is the freedom of interaction from customers – which if negative, can destroy a brands reputation. For example: If a homeowner were unsatisfied with the property agent they had been dealing with, they could freely pass their negative feedback about the company on to future customers by contributing on social media websites.

While this is one of the scary things about social media, it is far better if your brand gets involved and rectifies any bad publicity with a resolving statement, instead of sweeping it under the carpet and hoping it doesn’t get found. Sometimes a bit of bad feedback can actually help your brand gain points for good customer service if you’re seen to be actively rectifying your customer’s problems.

Written by Ruben Martinez at Gartoo.

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