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cial networks. Considering the fact that 51% of home buyers find their homes via the internet, you cannot afford to underestimate the value of social media in your business. Where do you think they will go to ask for rec- ommendations from when they decide to purchase a home? And who do you think will be in a good position to let them know about an available property? To put it simply, if you do not have social media accounts, you face losing up to 51% of your potential client base. And that means you will struggle to sell any homes you invested in when the time is right. Without social media platforms, you also stand to lose real estate leads that would otherwise have helped you get that property that you have always wanted. 2) 88% of First Time Buyers Will Purchase A Home through an Agent, and Yet Only 9% of Real- tors Use Social Media to Market Their Listings Most first time home buyers are not willing to search for a home on their own. And yet despite the high demand for agency services, many realtors do not even bother to market their listings via social media. > WHAT THESE NUMBERS IMPLY You would do well to offer your services as a real es- tate agent to first time home buyers. You can do this by placing ads on social media platforms like Facebook. However, unlike most realtors, do not fear to mar- ket your listings via social media. You can choose to promote your listings once a week. During this time, you should ensure that you list all the homes that you have available for purchase and write a short descrip- tion of each of them. If you do not promote your business in this manner every day, it is highly doubtful that your audience will get tired of it. Just politely ask people to share and then sit back and watch the power of referral market- ing in play. If you have invested time providing value to your audience in other ways, the results of marketing your listings on social media will be positive within a short time. 3) 2% of Online Users are Facebook Users It is not surprising to see such a high number of users online make use of Facebook in their daily lives. This is by far the biggest social media platform available today. Statistics show that Facebook has at least 1.968 billion users worldwide! > WHAT THESE NUMBERS IMPLY It does not matter whether you are in the business of buying homes or selling them. If you want to reach the widest target market available anywhere online, you cannot afford to ignore Facebook. You could promote your business by marketing your listings on a regular basis. But before you do that, en- sure that you provide value to your audience. This can be done through: • Short but informative social media posts • Regular Q & A sessions that allow you to educate your audience on various real estate issues like reno- vations, real estate business operations, staging, what to look for when buying a home etc. • Live and on-demand webinars that allow people to learn more about the real estate industry. The beauty of it all is that Facebook will enable you to do all these things on one platform. 4) Visual Content Is 4000% More Likely To Be Shared On Social Media Compared To Any Other Type of Content No matter which way you look at it, social media posts are more likely to be shared far and wide if you incorpo- rate visual content within them. > WHAT THESE NUMBERS IMPLY If you have a social media account, and your marketing efforts are not bearing fruit, it is time to analyze whether you have taken the time to include images. Consider using high-quality detailed images of any listings you choose to market on social media. Incor- porate infographics to not only increase the chances of your content being shared, but to also improve your online visibility and reputation. Infographics can be based on reputable statistics about what is going on in your little corner of the real estate industry. For example, if you are a probate real estate investor, consider finding links that prove the benefits of probate properties for home buyers. Considering that over half of home buyers will find homes to buy online, an infographic showing the benefits of buying certain types of homes may be the ultimate determinant on what home they end up pur- chasing. And all those people on social media may help drive a huge amount of traffic to your site. 5) 51% of Home Shoppers Read General Home In- formation on Mobile Devices Social media is great for interaction with potential and PAGE 75 • 2017 >