Creating a ‘walled garden’ around your listings

How to use social to create interest from and attract the right audience.

Topic – What not to do on social

Mentor – Travis Thom

  • Take them on a property journey
  • Using FB data
  • Creating a lead magnet


Kasey:   Hi, Kasey McDonald here from the Property Management Training Academy and I’m at the California Association of Realtors Conference here in Long Beach, California. And I had the pleasure of meeting Travis Thom from Elevated Real Estate Marketing who was one of the guest speakers here today. Thanks for joining me, Travis.

Travis:   Thank you.

Kasey:   We were having some conversations last night around social media and it’s certainly a big platform, or a big space, where real estate agents and property managers are looking now to whether they’re showcasing their listings for sale or for rental, and of course, obviously, their brand. So can we talk maybe through tips you’ve got on the best ways that they could be utilising social media to attract the right audience?

Travis:   Surely. So one of the key things that we really wanted agents to focus on is being able to create a walled garden around their listings. So if you have a property for sale, really take it through the lifecycle of every life stage. So if it’s ‘Coming Soon’ and ‘Just Listed’, ‘Just Sold’, whatever it might be, every different life stage is an opportunity to really maximise the lead generation for that listing.

Travis:   So one of the common things that we see is that people just post a listing on their personal page and they say, “Here’s a property. Here’s about fourteen different photos, a little brief information about it.” They get some engagement, but that’s to more of your sphere of influence, to some degree. And you’re really not even reaching that many people inside the Facebook News Feed that are friends of you, friends of yours. So you wanna make sure that you can actually create a campaign that is targeting people that are actually interested that are in that life stage, whatever it might be.

Travis:   So based on the targeted interests of what they’re looking at online and offline, Facebook has all sorts of data that we can really pinpoint and say, “Let’s target people within a twelve mile radius around this listing. Let’s let them know that it’s ‘Coming Soon’, that they can see the price, photos, and details before it even hits the market.” Right?

Kasey:   Yeah, right.

Travis:   Gives them, sort of, enticing information. Create a lead magnet, that’s kind of what we call it, right? Some sort of lead carrot that pulls people in. And you really wanna make sure you’re not giving away all the information, but just enough to leave them hanging, wanting more, so they opt-in and they give you their information in trade for information about the property.

Kasey:   Building audiences, because it’s something even for myself when I’m trying to do some targeted advertising for my training business, I kind of struggle to go, “Well, how should I pick the right audience?” Or “Where do I target?” So what are some tips around, specifically for our real estate agents if they’re looking for those people, what should they be putting in those searches for the audiences?

Travis:   That’s a great question. Every market’s a little different. Australia’s different than the U.S. and the U.S. is a little different than Canada and Mexico and London in some of their types of searches. But we do find common interests that are kind of universal. So buying a house is one. Focused on people that have taken specific action, if they’ve looked at let’s say or Zillow in the U.S. Within certain markets you might then start to focus on what else, what other life stage they’re moving into.

Travis:   So the common life stages that we see that have the biggest impacts in terms of someone saying, “I’m gonna make a decision to move based on my current life stage.” They are separated or divorced, or getting divorced. They are getting married, kind of the flip side of that, which is the biggest one. Or they just had a child or they’re retiring and they’re needing to downsize. So if you think about a few different layers there … we need to look at what life stage they’re entering into, what is the psychographic, demographic profile of those individuals as they move through that life stage and in the certain market area.

Travis:   So they could be a first-time home buyer and they probably are fitting within a certain age range of 25 to 45 years old and they might have gotten engaged or married or they are about to have a child. Facebook has all of that data and you can kind of layer then based on a few different other types of property searches, property portals they’ve looked at, HGTV, different things that they might be watching that pinpoints that they are expressing actual interests and intent, and then layer on the life stage component to it.

Travis:   So same thing with then people downsizing. You’re gonna target Baby Boomers, so predominately 50 to 65 plus, that are either retiring, looking to retire, they like AARP magazine with is kind of when you reach that age you start getting those magazine publications. Different things like that that indicate, okay, they are in a special type of life stage where they probably need to sell their home. So they’re empty nesters, they might be grandparents with kids, and you just layer in all those different targeting interests. And right now broad interest targeting’s working really well with the Facebook algorithm. They’re really enjoying you giving them just enough information where they can start to go and feed out and find the right prospects, and the algorithm is getting smarter and smarter everyday.

Travis:   So you don’t necessarily need to add in 15 or 25 different interests. You just need to give them a couple different things that are sprinkled around based on life stage, psychographic profile, and anything that they’re doing currently that might indicate that they either are looking to buy or sell. And most of the time what we see are that sellers are also buyers, right?

Kasey:   Yeah, absolutely yeah.

Travis:   Sellers typically look out on the market first and they want to know, “What does the market look like? Are there any homes that match our desire and need? Is it within the school district that we want to move into? Should we even put our house on the sale, on the market based on what we’ve seen out there?” So if they’re making that kind of intent to look out first, five or six months before they even list their house, you need to be able to put the right type of content out there to really pull those people in. So that could be a market update, that could be a home valuation, that could be ‘The Top Five Mistakes Home Owners Make Before They Sell Their Home”, certain things that are focused on giving them valuable information and reciprocity.

Kasey:   So Instagram is obviously playing a big … it’s the space now. There’s a lot more people advertising on there, instantly becoming a bigger player I think. Where do you see that impacting Facebook and where real estate’s going?

Travis:   We do see that Instagram is almost taking on Facebook more and more. Facebook does own Instagram and Messenger and WhatsApp. They own the top four most popular apps in the world. So all the data’s kind of really fed together. And Instagram about 14 or 16 months ago adopted Facebook’s algorithm. It was fully integrated in there. Now what we do see is that Instagram has further organic reach than Facebook does. So with that, knowing that you have more organic reach on Instagram, you probably want to start to get more followers, use more hashtags, focus on people that are kind of entering that life stage.

Travis:   Millennials, Gen X, definitely a big population inside of the Instagram world. We are seeing that there’s people engaging more on Instagram posts than Facebook sometimes. So with Instagram there’s a lot of opportunities and right now we’re gonna see more and more advertisers really push into Instagram Stories. We’re seeing a lot more lead generation come from Instagram as well. Facebook is still winning with the lead generation, but we are seeing more and more adoption to certain types of app formats inside of the Instagram feed and a lot of it has to do with images. So Instagram is really leading with different types of animated images and we’re seeing that Instagram Stories has 400 million users a day on Stories which is pretty big, right?

Kasey:   Yeah, that’s huge.

Travis:   So that’s a great storytelling tool to be able to showcase your brand. It doesn’t necessarily get a significant amount of engagement, but we do see that you’re getting more brand awareness out of Instagram Stories. And knowing Instagram and how Facebook work, they’re always going to evolve with that, right? The more data they have they’re gonna evolve. So if you can master that space now, and really build up a strong following, and have solid content that really gets people into following your page, you’re gonna be much better off a year from now when you start to turn the lead generation machines for them.

Kasey:   Thank you very much, it was a pleasure meeting you.

Travis:   Thank you very much.

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