While many agents are utilising social media to communicate with their marketplaces, some remain against social media tools according to a recent survey.
Managing director of Focal Real Estate Glen Spink said he did not use social media as he did not see the value of it in generating sales.
“Anyone who wants to buy real estate will go to the area where it’s sold, which is realestate.com.au. I don’t see that Facebook will help with making any sales at all," he said.
“It’s good for people sending text to one another rather than talking, but the only way you can sell something is to talk to somebody.
“All it does is fill in agents’ time. You have to go out and talk to people. You can’t get sales any other way."
The Real Estate Business 2013 Half-Yearly Sentiment Survey has revealed that 71.5 per cent of the 284 respondents use social media to communicate with their market. On the other hand, 22.9 per cent said they did not use social media, with the remaining 5.6 per cent only using social media to connect with their network or office.
The survey also found that Facebook was a popular tool amongst agents, with 61.2 per cent of 268 respondents saying this was the social media site they used most to communicate with their market.
Managing director of RE/MAX Western Australia Geoff Baldwin said social media was important to help people find agents.
“I don’t believe you can be successful in the work that we do either as a trainer, franchisor or any aspect of real estate without allowing people to check you out," he told Real Estate Business. "These days, we are an open book and I think social media falls right into that.
“Social media is a terrific way to communicate with as many people as you possibly can. The simple fact is that there are eight to nine million Australians on social media every day, so you really would have to be fairly naive to think you can be without it.
“I think it’s an important way to get out to your market and Facebook advertising allows you to target your different categories and demographics.”
However, Mr Baldwin said there had to be a balance and a disciplined approach to using social media to ensure time was not wasted, and that content posted online was of value to the public.
Kate Payne, director at REWIRE Group and social media specialist, said principals need to alter their thinking when they create Facebook strategies for their businesses.
“Social media was once seen as something that decreases productivity in the office, but I can assure you the shininess has worn off - we are now getting down to business,” she said. “Social media is modern-world PR.
“There have been studies that show 78 per cent of people trust peer reviews - like the ones on Facebook. Just 14 per cent said they trust advertising.
“You should be taking these figures and using them to gain customers and engage with them via your individual social media pages.”