The Lumentus Social team enjoyed our second stint on the trade floor talking to brokers and agents around the country at the 2014 National Association of Realtors Conference and Expo last week. Of course, we are also always looking for an excuse to give the Big Easy a visit.

While most scheduled sessions highlighted the major events of the year, we were more interested in diving into the insights and innovations that would help brokers and agents to improve their business. We saw a lot of new things, but one fact remained consistent across all topics: social media is just as important as ever!

Here are some other key takeaways:

Power of Video

One major takeaway from the conference this year was the power of video. Simply supplying listing images is no longer enough. According to Cecelia Choi of Google, 13% of real estate searchers are looking for video content, and that number is going to continue to grow.

Here are some quick guidelines for creating effective videos:

  • Create videos that tell a story. When creating a video, tease, don’t tour.
  • Create real videos, not slide shows of still images
  • If there is nothing impressive about the home, tell the story of what is like to work with you or how the home is in a great community

Of course, powerful content is pointless without a strategy for it across your social media channels. For an added boost, encourage your clients to share the video on their social media accounts.

Power of Presence

As ubiquitous house information is online, brokers and agents must look to differentiate themselves by building a personal “brand.”

Agents and brokers must differentiate their “brand” by establishing a strong presence both offline and online. Seth Price, VP of Marketing and Sales for Placester, says, “The consumer is firmly in the driver’s seat and no longer wants to be sold. They want to be educated and informed. They want their problems solved.”

Here are some reasons why your social media presence is so important:

  • Studies show that consumers want to interact with agents well before the start of the transaction
  • Consumers spend 70-90% of their purchasing process doing research
  • Strong visual posts allow agents to capture consumers early in their buying process

And while it is nice to have a website to showcase your brand, the one place where real estate agents can prove their worth and demonstrate their industry expertise on a daily basis is social media.

Power of Culture

Culture is how you live the presence of your “brand.” It is the rules and guidelines that set you and your team apart. This should also live both offline and online. As Nick Segal of Partners Trust says, “We attract people to come work with us only because we share the same core values.”

Here is why social media is key when establishing an office culture:

  • Perception is reality. Your posts on social media dictate the way the outside world will see you
  • Social posts promote consistency. The content that a brokerage posts can help guide the content agents share
  • It is another way to highlight your values. If customer service is a key value of yours, social media is the perfect tool to help dispense great service

Everything that you post on social media helps to craft a buyer’s perception of you, so it is important to take the time and make sure that all of your content falls in line with the core values that govern how you want to do business.

We had an amazing time at the National Association of Realtors Conference and Expo this year. It is clear that no matter what area of your business you are focusing on this year, social media can be an essential extension of that effort.

We’d love to hear what you took away from the conference. Please share your experiences in the comments.19