Don't be deceived by my choice of illustration: what I am about to reveal is not limited to Facebook's social network.
"We document that the recent house price experiences within an individual’s social network affect her perceptions of the attractiveness of property investments, and through this channel have large effects on her housing market activity," the abstract of Social Networks and Housing Markets noted sometime last year.
Any social media influencer, as well as any person with a strong network of peers, anywhere in the world, can use Facebook and other social networks to sell homes without needing costly marketing by a real realtor.
Yes, a real realtor is a funny literary license, yet it's what you have to consider if you want your business to thrive. Any amateur can take your place. People are showing off their homes using Facebook's handy live stream every day, and they are far more creative than normal realtors because they are not afraid to be genuine and to apologize for mistakes. The way we are doing business is changing at a fast pace because the online global village reacts more to experiences than it would react to sales pitches.
Besides being used as a tool for people who want to sell their homes, Facebook is also influencing home-purchasing decisions. In this article on TIME you learn just how Facebook can make your break your real estate business:
"People are influenced by their friends' experiences," says NYU finance professor Theresa Kuchler. "People whose friends see house prices go up more are more optimistic about real estate and invest more in real estate."
Even CBS News advised earlier this month that "friendly" chatter on Facebook could be behind the current housing bubble because as CNBC advised, real estate buying habits are linked to people's Facebook behavior and it doesn't take rocket science to figure that out.
You can draw a parallel to Google's former influence, except that now Facebook is trending and you cannot ignore trends in an ever-fluctuating market. The use of social media in real estate marketing has moved beyond customer engagement and communication. Each social media channel has a well-defined role to help you achieve your goals. Facebook is the tool for building brand awareness and for retaining more customers, Twitter is the right platform to engage with media influencers. Other networks like Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, and so on, are all about delivering a visual experience - although you can successfully employ Facebook and Twitter for the same purpose too.
So what do you do when the public takes over? You redefine your strategy to meet them half way because no matter what you like to believe about social networks, they curently affect purchase decisions all over the world. Don't make mistakes that will bring "social media foreclosure" to your business. Instead, make social media work for you.