Snapchat for Real Estate Agents
Compared to Facebook and Twitter, Snapchat is one of the newer social media platforms, launched in 2011. It has some fundamental differences from other platforms, with more emphasis on one-to-one connection and privacy. However, if you are looking for a fun, informal way to stay in touch with leads and clients, Snapchat can work well for real estate agents.
How Snapchat Differs from Other Platforms You May Be Using
For many agents, Facebook and Instagram are the go-tos for real estate marketing. Snapchat is not designed to replace either of these platforms, because it works in a fundamentally different way. As a messaging app, it’s functionality is different -- here’s how.
Unlike Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, you have to seek out a connection on Snapchat. You’ll need to provide your Snapcode or get someone else’s in order to connect on Snapchat -- you won’t just collect random followers. That means you’ll need to be more intentional and more purposeful in order to communicate through Snapchat, but that also makes your messaging there more personal.
Unlike other platforms, Snapchat doesn’t tell you exactly what to do. The controls are unlabeled and designed to be intuitive, which can be difficult to get used to. If you are having trouble figuring out how to do something on Snapchat, check out YouTube for a tutorial or work with a younger friend or family member. Play around with the app to become more adept at its functions.
In addition to functionality, Snapchat is different because of the purposes for which you’ll use it. Whether sending a quick Snap to one of your connections or updating your daily Snapchat Story, you’ll find yourself using Snapchat throughout the day rather than posting as a one-time task.
Snapchat Stories disappear after 24 hours, so the emphasis is on immediacy and up-to-the-minute activity. Use Snapchat to send a quick update to a client, touch base with someone you haven’t heard from lately, and take your Story’s viewers through a day-in-the-life of a busy real estate agent. Nothing is curated and nothing is designed to hang around long-term.
Fun filters, labels, and gifs are a major part of the Snapchat aesthetic. While you won’t want to do a serious market update with bunny ears and a baby voice, using the Snapchat platform to its fullest extent means learning to incorporate some of these cutesy elements into your communication.
If you are used to outsourcing your social media management or pre-scheding posts, you’ll find that Snapchat is an exception. You’ll need to create your own Snaps and Stories in order to get the full benefit of the platform’s personal vibe.
In addition, as you get started with the platform, you’ll probably find that most of the people who are regularly on Snapchat tend to skew younger. That means that most of your heavy Snapchat users will be first-time homebuyers, rental clients, or other younger connections.
Think about using Snapchat for the following types of communication:
Brief video updates for clients throughout their buying or selling process, including reminders about deadlines, home inspections, repairs, or instructions.
Snapchat Stories to highlight a new listing or Open House, a home staging process, or a day of previewing.
Take some time each day to film a fun market update, how-to video, or other quick hit of content for your Story.
Provide tips on staging, home improvement and simple repairs, or even a cooking or craft video around the holidays.
If you are working with out-of-town clients, snap first-look videos of some of the homes you’re previewing for them.
Use your Snapchat to give a behind-the-scenes peak at content creation and to drive traffic to other social media platforms, your blog, website, or YouTube channel.
Make your content searchable with keywords like Open House, Real Estate, or the name of your town or local neighborhoods.
Add geolocation on your account so that your friends and connections can find you on Snap Maps and know where you are as you go about your days. It’s a great way to help them find that latest open house or to see just how many places you go in an average day.
In addition, Snapchat provides a paid service that allows you to create customized filters and make them available to all users within a specific geographic area. It’s a great way to reach out and promote your brand or your latest open house.
Create a custom geofilter and schedule it to drop in a specific area at a specific day and time. This could correlate with:
A local fair or festival
A neighborhood block party
The first day of school
A client appreciation event
The sale of your latest listing
This is a great option if circle prospecting or farming is part of your marketing strategy. By creating a geofilter for a specific neighborhood and making it available for a day or two, you can increase brand awareness and become top-of-mind with homeowners in that area.
Ultimately, just as with any social media platform, the success of Snapchat will depend on consistent, ongoing use and engagement. Remember, Snapchat is all about making connections and having a conversation with the people you encounter there. For best results, you should:
Make sure you are familiar with the app’s functions and capabilities so that you are using it well.
Check out other people’s Stories in order to get new ideas.
Update your Story every day in order to stay top of mind.
Engagement is key. Respond to other people’s Snaps and Stories to keep the lines of communication open.
Keep communication on Snapchat fun, light, and casual. Save serious communication for email, phone, or in-person consultations.
Snapchat offers you a platform that lends itself to fun and experimentation. The more playful you are with Snapchat the more proficient you’ll become. Just as with anything else, practice makes perfect. Don’t be afraid to try new things and even be a little silly -- your connections are sure to get a kick out of seeing that side of you.