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Facebook Live for Real Estate Agents: Helpful Tool or Waste of Time?

By Ben Shepardson | July 20, 2017

Facebook introduced live video capabilities over a year ago, and social media-engaged real estate agents embraced it as a marketing opportunity. From showcasing open houses to live Q&As, Facebook Live provided an easy foray into video marketing for time- and budget-strapped agencies.

But does Facebook Live really help sell homes?

The easy answer to this is Yes... and No.

How Real Estate Agents Should Use Facebook Live

For many real estate agents, the thought of virtual open houses was the first to come to mind with Facebook Live. Granted, it's a genius idea, but that's where agents usually stop. Which is unfortunate, because live video can offer much more than a showcase for your listings.

Remember, social media usually follows an 80/20 ratio: that is, 20% should be sales-focused while the remaining 80% should be on branding and connecting. So if you are using video listings as part of your 20%, you can consider other ways to use video in the rest of your strategy. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Live DIY demonstrations for homeowners
  • Explore areas of the community you serve
  • Show cool home features you find in your travels or in clients' properties
  • Behind-the-scenes peek at what happens at your office
  • Live action from community events you're a part of, such as a fundraiser or charity event
  • Provide helpful tips for home buyers and shoppers, such as how to stage a home or answer frequently asked mortgage-related questions
  • Talk about real-life situations you've experienced with your clients (if that's okay with the client, of course!)

While Facebook Live may not result in a home sale directly, it can provide additional branding opportunities that will boost your clientele. Buying or selling a home is a journey, not an instant process. The combination of several factors creates the formula for your next contract. And Facebook Live can certainly be one of those crucial ingredients.

When Facebook Live Becomes a Waste of Time

Like other social media marketing tactics, Facebook Live is only as valuable as the strategy behind it. If you simply adopted live video streams because you thought it was an automatic brand differentiator, you won't be too pleased with the outcome.

Live video streams need purpose and goals just like any other marketing tool. You need to know why you're live streaming open houses, who you expect to reach, and how this video will provide value to those who see it. If you are planning a live Q&A session, you need a plan on how to get people to tune in when you tap the button. If you are demonstrating a DIY project or sharing ideas about how to stage a home, you need to define goals and direction for each video.

In addition, Facebook Live can make an impact if you continue to invest time and effort into it. Adding a live video here and there won't create the same effect as a consistent live video strategy. Make sure you don't give up too soon.

Facebook Live can prove valuable to real estate agents, but it depends on how well you use it.

Ben Shepardson is a Realty Biz News Contributing Writer and has a long track record of success in online marketing and web development. While pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems, he worked doing enterprise-level SEO and started an online business offering web development services to small business customers.
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