Real-estate agents are an integral part of the homebuying process. Individuals or families often enlist the help of brokers to find the best deals currently on the market. The same applies for those looking to sell their property. Although the process can be done without any outside help, it is more difficult to do so, and brokers have a much deeper knowledge and experience of the housing market to ensure their clients receive the best value for purchasing a house.

The real estate process has been simplified due to the convenience offered by technology. Homes are listed online on popular services such as Zillow, in addition to the mobile applications offered by Trulia, Realtor and Zillow. This make it easier than ever to find the necessary information. This wealth of information has led to real-estate brokers adding another function to their job title: social media guru.

Why social media?

Way back when, brokers could attract business by putting advertisements in the paper or renting space on bus stop benches and highway billboards. Those methods are still utilized, but changing demographics have caused a shift in mindsets. The Pew Research Center said that sometime in 2015, the millennial generation will overtake baby boomers as the largest generation in the U.S. This group will comprise individuals and families going through the homebuying process for the first time and it's up to real estate agents to appeal to them.

Part of that process is finding the best form of communication. In 2015, the Internet is the dominant form. Print advertisements and billboard ads are still effective, but not as much. As a result, real-estate brokers need to turn to social media and tap into a larger generation of homebuyers. If you're a broker confused about social media, there are good habits to practice so you can avoid potential mistakes.

Be personal

Nothing is worse than Twitter or Facebook posts written in a tone that sounds like a robot. Millennials have grown up using Internet-slang and casual tones, so you can keep your posts lighthearted.

You will also need to watch how you present yourself. Regular tweets and posts that boast about your personal achievements may push homebuyers away from you. Instead, talk about how you can help them and tie in your various accomplishments. Likewise, Placester recommends the occasional family photograph to showcase your personality, and other positive social media habits.

Post at the right time

Social media is all about how much your messages resonate with audiences. This means scheduling posts during hours where traffic will be highest. Placester listed the peak times for various networks:

  • Google Plus: 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
  • LinkedIn: 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Twitter: 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Facebook: 1 p.m to 5 p.m.
  • Pinterest:  2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. to 1 a.m.

Scheduling posts and showing activity during these time periods will help brokers appeal to homebuyers. You also need to maintain a regular presence. This means you shouldn't go weeks without posting any content, only to have 10 posts in one day. You will want to spread them out so homebuyers see the content and digest it. The more regularly scheduled posts you have, the more you'll be remembered.

Keep everything organic

Social media has turned into a business, as some industries pay for reviews and followers. Don't follow in their footsteps. Gaining followers will not come overnight, but it's definitely possible. Homebuyers will follow you and ask for real-estate help once they notice you're a reputable broker. It's relatively simple to tell if followers are fake, and the same applies to fake reviews.

One topic brokers should focus a lot on is home inspection. Buyers want to know the background of a potential purchase. Whenever an inspection is completed, brokers can highlight how few underlying issues are present. They can also inform homeowners they can easily and cheaply resolve anything minor found by an inspection. Homes in good condition will attract interest. 

Engage with audience

One method to organically grow your followers and increase exposure is by engaging with followers. If someone tweets a question, answer back. You should engage with your audience on a regular basis on every network. Respond to as many positive and negative posts as you can. Even a simple thank you to someone who liked a recent content piece can go a long way.

If that sounds overwhelming, it's OK to scale back your social media campaign and only focus on a handful of services. Streamlining your social media will help you better manage everything, so you can regularly post content, reply to comments and schedule posts.

The homebuying process is a long and sometimes confusing one, especially for first-time buyers. Real-estate brokers can help with the homebuying process by advertising their services on social media and communicating with potential leads. Both parties will benefit: the broker will have new clients, and the buyers will have reliable help.

However, it's important to keep in mind various habits to ensure your social media displays great content at the right time.