Good agents see beyond the tweets, pokes and likes

As social media becomes ubiquitous across various business sectors, two of Australia’s Top 100 Agents for 2016 offer their tips on maximising exposure across different online channels.

Mark Kentwell, director of PRDnationwide Newcastle, says he has presences on Facebook and LinkedIn, but prefers Twitter since the content is sharper and more focused.

“With Twitter, you’ve really got to think about what you post because of the number of characters you’re allowed to use,” he said.

“You’ve not only got to think about what the message is going to be and how to determine it in a headline-like fashion, but also what’s appropriate for different times of the day.”

According to Mr Kentwell, his posts are a mixture of motivational content, key market insights and information on innovation in the digital, real estate and business spaces.

“A percentage of my Twitter content will also be property research and I think it’s important, if you’re sending out property research, to actually commentate at the same time.

“It’s one thing to post some stats about Sydney’s housing market, but if you’re not commenting on what that means to the audience then you’re not really providing any value; you’re just blending into the background in the sea of data,” he said.

Boosting your presence

Mr Kentwell said agents should use social media to build their online presence and visibility, rather than trying to generate direct listings or referrals.

“Someone might have already had you in mind as the agent they want to use, but if they’re hanging out on social media more than they’re hanging out on Google or realestate.com.au, then it just happens to be easier for them to contact you,” he said.

“This month alone I’ve referred five or six listings to agents in my team, because I work a fairly select type of property and area.”

Mr Kentwell noted that he spends about 10 to 15 minutes a day on social media, generally outside of office hours.

“During the week, if I’m alerted to a particular post that’s very relevant to our market, I may do a post during the day, but that would take five minutes,” he said.

“I would spend probably 30-60 minutes on a Sunday, when I’m not chewing into dollar-productive time, since Sunday’s actually a good time to post for everything but LinkedIn.”

Being selective

Nick Renna, director of hockingstuart Bentleigh, Brighton and Carnegie, said he gets better traction from social media when he doesn’t pump Facebook with information, but rather uses it occasionally.

“You can’t be putting something on there every day, but if you’re putting something on there every week or every couple of weeks, you have a much better impact,” he said.

“I think a lot of people switch off every time they put a sold sticker on, so you’re probably better off just putting through highlights as opposed to a sale here or there.”

Mr Renna said audiences want to see posts that humanise agents, rather than boast about sales results.

“I think it’s really important that people see you as human, so I have my kids on there a bit too and I try not to put any boastful things on there, but just put things on there that show I’m real.”

According to Mr Renna, social media should be viewed as a form of branding that extends an agent’s reach beyond traditional marketing.

“I don’t post a lot about hockingstuart and I don’t post a lot about my results or anything, but you do want to show that there’s a bit of success there and also that you’re a good person.”

Mr Renna said he has an external organisation that runs the Facebook accounts for his offices and updates the pages weekly, which he’s been using for over a year.

“I pretty much give them free rein, since they’ve got the gist of it now; at the start we probably gave them a little bit of guidance, but really that’s just about alerting people to our auctions and great results.”

To see who else made the Top 100 Agents 2016 ranking, click here.

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