Social media and digital technology have changed the way the real estate world works, and it doesn’t show any signs of slowing down.
Apps, social media sites and other online outlets are giving buyers and sellers a way to find out about more properties and grow the audiences looking for real estate.
The boom in smartphone technology has seen a growth in the use of apps specific to real estate: Zillow’s app was used about 8.5 million times a month in 2011, while Realtor.com app users look at about 30 million homes a month on mobile devices.
Social media platforms, meanwhile, have become a premier space for showcasing homes inside and out. Facebook and Google+ give sellers a unique ability to not only feature photos of homes, but to drive what may be casual visitors back to real estate listing sites. The business development and lead generation aspect of social media sites has turned them into must-haves for anyone in the business wanting a complete marketing strategy. And while Facebook and Google+ solidify their place in a real estate professionals toolbox, other sites are gaining steam. Pinterest.com, a photo-driven, scrapbooking site in which users “pin” photos they like on a digital board, has skyrocketed in 2012 to one of the biggest online drivers for referral traffic. Real estate sellers are getting the eyeballs of buyer and investors by posting property photo there.
Video, of course, is big too, with YouTube becoming an essential spot for home walk-throughs. One real estate pro recently told MSN.com: “Our video use over the last two years, I would say, has just gone through the roof. People want to watch … they don’t want to read.”
For those customers who do want to read, real estate investors are blogging more and leveraging their expertise. By having many profiles and outlets online, real estate sellers are able to grow their online footprints and get the properties they want to sell in front of many more potential buyers and investors than just an old sign in the yard.