Social Media and Home Selling


FSBO your house Using Social Media

Michele Allen
MilitaryByOwner Advertising, Inc.

There is a new strain of urban legends afloat about owners using social media to sell their homes above asking price, even in this comatose market. Using social media to build up anticipation for six weeks prior to his house auction, Kurt Oprey was able to sell his home for $135,000 over the initial asking price.  Targeted objectives to utilize multiple social media outlets can make a huge impact on your home sale. 

Get a Plan Determine which outlets you’re going to utilize, how often you are going to post and how you are going to build the excitement.

Build campaigns for every major medium and service. Don’t stop at a Twitter account and blog. Create a Facebook page, a YouTube channel, Linked In account and Flickr, Picasa and Posterous accounts for the house. By creating multiple sources of photo, video and written content, you ensure that the house shows up in any kind of search and on just about any website or service.

  1. Choose keywords that will generate results.  When you name your blog, choose words that people might be using to search for homes in your area.  "My Big Red House", may sound cute, but it won’t get as many results as "Fayetteville’s Big Red House For Sale".  The Home’s Facebook page, Twitter account and Youtube Channel should all tie in to the title which will generate when searchers use those keywords in their browsing.

Your Plan Should Create Buzz. Recently one blogger used a variety of social mediums, including their blog, to get followers involved in how to renovate the house in preparation for sale.  They posted and polled about color choices, tile choices, landscaping ideas, letting followers vote and help decide what was done to the house.  More and more followers were drawn to the posts as it was not only entertaining, but gave visitors a reason to come back and see the renovations determined and completed. 
Use your personal accounts to generate the first visitors.   "Like" your home’s page on Facebook and invite friends to share the link. Create a hashtag (#)  in Twitter and start using it to encourage friends to "follow" your house.  Use Twitter, Linked In and Facebook to share and encourage friends to share your Youtube house channel.  There is a definite balance that you should strike between introducing your home’s media pages on your personal page, and your personal page becoming a mind numbing plethora of posts about your house alone.  Friends will quickly start removing you from the newsfeeds if you don’t post great photos of your kids anymore, and its all house house house.

Collaborate to make it personal. Traditionally, sellers and buyers that utilize agents are discouraged from personal contact in order to prevent any interactions that could jeopardize the deal. But social media provides a certain amount of distance between people, allowing you to use a more personal touch in highlighting the features of a property. One agent took advantage of this by working with his owner to capture personal stories about the home for use on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and the blog. So if you choose to utilize an agent, pick one that is media savy and willing to personalize your home with social media.
A blog post was created, with the title: "Why you might want to live here by people who have," and the owner’s personal stories, photos and videos about the house were also posted.
This communication through the owner allowed him to share what he loves about the house: inside, outside, what’s great about living there, the change of seasons, what’s nearby, the community — everything from the owner’s point of view. The house, in this way, can become more than a collection of rooms — it becomes a home in a buyer’s eyes.
Consistency is Key.  Once you have established followers on your home’s pages, channels or feeds, keep content coming.  Not necessarily just about the home.  Fun happenings in the area, things that might interest a buyer about schools or moving will encourage people to share that information, increasing the web of people talking about your home.  In twitter, create a hashtag like #movingtonorthernvirginia, or find one that is already popular and watch how the followers increase.  Woody Allen said, "Eighty percent of success is showing up." When talking about social media, I think "80 percent of success is being consistent." Posting regularly helps you build interest and followers over time, and ensures you remain at the top in searches for your keywords.

Get Expert Advice.  If you are not savy about social networking, find a college kid or an expert that give you short cuts or hints to quickly increase traffic.  Utilize an agent that already has done all of this homework for you. Save precious time by gleaning insider quality knowledge from those that know.