How do real estate firms market themselves on social media?

Molly Heyen, Executive Coordinator of Chicago City Estates, has some useful tips, including using Paper.li to be noticed by power tweeters like museums and city influencers.

What is so great about living in Chicago?

Chicago is a very walkable city with a diverse population. It is known for its architecture which offers a variety of housing options. Chicago has over 200 neighborhoods, each of which has a unique character. There is always something to do for entertainment in any budget and the countless eatery options make this a great city for foodies.

Housing options range from neighborhoods that are very urban to ones that are almost suburban and housing units can be anything from high-rises, to lofts, vintage apartments, townhouses and single-family houses. Downtown is an area where everything and everyone come together. There is such diversity that I often say to my husband about a stranger on the street who I would never meet otherwise, “That person lives in a different Chicago than we do”.

What do you do, and what do you enjoy about working in real estate?

Chicago City Estates is a small business under the brokerage of Keller Williams Preferred Realty in Orland Park, IL. As principal of Chicago City Estates Terri Buseman is the face of the company. She lists and sells properties in downtown Chicago. We’re both licensed residential real estate brokers.

As Executive Coordinator I manage the back end of the business. I do database administration, marketing, PR, budgeting, reporting, and planning. Since I am licensed I also help Terri with showings and open houses when needed. I love that every day is different and that my focus is on the entire business, not just one aspect.

Tell us about your firm’s marketing and communications strategy.

We market directly to clients in our database and offer them information about the real estate market as well as the community and household tips. We use social media for PR. It helps us stay connected with the community and network with local businesses. Through social media we are able to keep informed about neighborhood news and share news with others. It is vital for real estate agents to be neighborhood experts and social media helps us achieve that goal.

What channels do you use?

We blog at least once per week and post to our Facebook fan page and Twitter account at least once a day. In those channels we share a variety of information such as news articles, pictures, neighborhood news, household tips, buying and selling tips, and market trends.

We use our blog to write more extensively on any of these topics, and it is linked to FB and Twitter, so a link is posted to those accounts every time we write a new blog. We like to post more visual things on Facebook like articles, video, listings, and pictures. Twitter is used for quick bits of information, links to interesting articles, and to converse directly with local businesses.

How do you measure the ROI?

Since most people only buy a home once every 5-7 years on average it is very difficult for us to measure ROI. We look for interaction from our audience and take note of what tweets were retweeted or responded to, how much activity we have had on Facebook from week to week, and  which blog posts are getting the most traffic. Our main goal is to create a buzz, be helpful, and remain top of mind.

Where does Paper.li com into the marketing mix?

Paper.li has been a great tool for us to connect with neighbors and keep them informed of news and events. When neighbors started telling us in person how much they liked it we knew we found something good!

We were excited that the pro version is so affordable. We have created our own ads on it which gives it a look more unified with our branding. We have also been pleased at the rate by which it is retweeted, especially by major museums and city influencers who have very large Twitter followings.

What features are useful and what would you like to see in the future?

I love being able to customize the look and create our own advertisements. I would like to see the editing and promoting capabilities enhanced; they are very important in giving us the ability to add the final personal touch before sending out our daily paper.

Do you have tips to add on marketing a real estate business? Put them in the comments below.

Liz Wilson
Liz Wilson writes copy in the Marketing Communications team at Orange Switzerland and used to edit this blog. She likes talking about content, copywriting and social media on her personal blog.

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