Many small businesses are becoming more and more involved in the world of social media, and the real estate industry is certainly no different. A recent survey from VerticalResponse showed that nearly 66% of small businesses spent more time on social media networks in 2012 than in 2011 and there’s no evidence of that trend slowing down anytime soon. Whether it’s posting a quick Twitter update about a property showing you just had or uploading pictures of a brand new listing on Facebook or Pinterest, social media is just one more way for real estate agents to reach today’s tech-savvy home buyers.
But along with simply using your social media accounts to post a status update for all your friends, colleagues, and clients to read, social media is also becoming the newest and easiest way to login to various website accounts as well. Using your Facebook account to sign into web accounts is becoming more and more common, with over a million websites--just some of which include Bing, CNN, IMDB, Pandora, YouTube, Yelp, and Xbox--already implementing this handy login feature.
But despite the ease of use of social login and extreme convenience of not having to create a new account or remember another username and password, many real estate websites still have yet to adopt this trendy new feature. Diverse Solutions, now owned by Zillow, applied a social login feature for their website owners back in 2011 and the always-innovative Real Estate Web Masters web company has finally rolled out this feature in their new REW 4.2 backend, which was released earlier this year. But widespread use of social login among real estate websites is still few and far between.
Many real estate agents will argue that having such a feature attached to their real estate website diminishes the quality of incoming leads. In other words, without a phone number or other specific contact information, little can be done in terms of contacting website users only logging in via their Facebook credentials. However, in a world that is rapidly revolving around social media, providing the most user-friendly, easy-to-operate real estate website should be the number one priority, and there’s no denying that social login accomplishes just that.
Getting potential home buyers to your real estate website is always priority number one; however, keeping those future home buyers coming back should be a close second. And one of the the best/newest ways to do that is to eliminate what's viewed as "annoying" features on your real estate website--such as long-winded registration forms--and to start implementing social login.
Joe Heath is a graduate of Indiana University and also holds a Graduate Certificate in Real Estate Development from Drexel University. After working as a Market Research Associate and writing published Market Snapshots for Hanley Wood Market Intelligence in Chicago, Joe now works as a Web Marketing Specialist and is a managing partner at Real Estate Web Creation, LLC.