This month, The property The magazine was scheduled to sit down with Rocket Mortgage® media manager Collin Currie to discuss the ins and outs of social media in today’s competitive environment and what real estate professionals can do to leverage social media to grow their businesses.
Paige Tapping: You are the media manager at Rocket Mortgage. Describe your career path and how you ended up where you are now.
Colleen Curry: I worked for the company for six years, working on social media in a variety of roles, from community management to customer service to creating social media campaigns. Today my role is to define the strategy and costs of our major brand initiatives. In addition to working with our media agency Universal McCann (UM), I also work directly with contacts on social media including Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, Reddit, Snapchat and Pinterest.
PT: What is your main role as a media manager?
KC: My main role is working with our agencies and social partners. However, even before working with agencies and partners, I work with our internal teams to develop strategies and identify the best partnerships and social platforms to achieve business goals.
Another key part of my role is defining our plan in terms of brand marketing. I have to work with a number of integrations, sponsorships, partnerships and campaigns since social media inherently has a place in all of them.
PT: Why is it important for real estate professionals to be on social media today?
KC: Social media presence is by no means new to the real estate professional. In fact, the National Association of REALTORS® stated that 77% of real estate agents use social media to conduct business. That being said, they must constantly post on their channels while maintaining a unique brand across all of their social networks. They also need to keep their personal and professional channels separate, making sure their personal accounts are locked to keep them fairly confidential.
Now more than ever, clients are looking into the professional channels of these agents to make sure they are consistently selling homes and to make sure they are the best agent for them. To this end, real estate professionals should post photos of their current and sold listings so potential clients can get a feel for how they are selling property – and their level of success. Photos of happy homeowners in front of their new home can be really effective because they add a human element.
PT: How has the pandemic and its long-term impact changed the way real estate professionals think and approach social media?
KC: Virtual shows and tours are much more common these days. In fact, I saw statistics last summer that 45% of buyers made an offer to buy a home without ever seeing it. Clearly, having quality content online and how you connect with the consumer via social media is critical. A virtual look at homes is not going anywhere – especially given today’s intense marketplace – and people are looking for ways to truly see homes and make decisions without physically entering them. Real estate professionals want to do their best with their photographs, but clients want to see the little things. So if you can provide potential buyers with the resources to see these homes and make an informed decision, so much the better.
PT: What advice do you have for real estate professionals looking to leverage social media to grow their business?
KC: My biggest advice to real estate professionals is to do something different.
Most of the 77% of social media real estate agents primarily work on Facebook and LinkedIn, so look at your target audience and who you’re ultimately trying to reach. Then find a way to compete with these people.
Now everyone has a Facebook page and everyone posts their ads, so what is that unique thing that sets you apart from others?
Finding ways to create more content around your listings goes a long way. TikTok is a fantastic example of this. The nature of the platform is such that it will be presented to the right people, whether locals or people across the country who are interested in real estate.
Social media is also increasingly moving towards user-generated content that doesn’t have to be completely polished or professionally crafted. Just go out and be yourself.
PT: How do you see where the future unfolds, social media?
KC: We are seeing a shift towards more interest-based engagement that Facebook is actively promoting with its groups. People are no longer interested in messages from friends they haven’t spoken to in years, and instead look for information that is more relevant to their interests.
There will also be more openness and information about personalized ads and content than ever before. People are looking for content that interests them, so they curate their feeds, watch content that interests them, and are part of communities focused on what they want to learn.
PT: After working at Rocket Mortgage for six years, is there any social media initiative you’ve been involved with that you remember the most?
KC: I’ve been fortunate enough to work on a number of really big campaigns here at Rocket Mortgage, and I have to say that the last Super Bowl campaign was the most memorable. Two of our commercials this year took 1st and 2nd places in the USA Today ad counter.
It was also a very cool moment as the team returned to the office together – albeit socially distanced themselves – for the first time in a year since remotely working on a campaign due to COVID-19. Super Bowl ad support is a big day that not many marketers will experience, and I’m happy to have experienced my fourth ad – and two commercials in one year!
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Paige Tapping is the Chief Editor of RISMedia. Send her your real estate news ideas to email@example.com…