If you’ve ever wondered how to sell a luxury listing using influencer marketing, or wondered how other agents are using it successfully, you’re not alone. Influencer marketing is a fairly new concept to the real estate world in the context of building your presence online, and it’s a tactic that must be executed well to make it worth your time and effort.
That said, going into 2020 and beyond, luxury real estate agents who fall behind on the advances in technology may have a harder time getting listings. This isn’t a reflection on their capabilities, but a perception that their reach is limited. Before the widespread use of social media, word-of-mouth marketing was the top way to gain referrals. It was largely dependent on face-to-face interactions.
With many of us connecting online, word-of-mouth marketing has morphed into influencer marketing. This new form of marketing engages with curated content that addresses pain points in a conversational way. In other words, this type of marketing relies on using a third party to market to consumers—or in this case, to market listings to potential buyers instead of directly selling.
Part of becoming a Certified Luxury Home Specialist is learning how to embrace these new concepts to best serve your clients, and knowing how and when to implement them into your own marketing strategy. Since influencer marketing is all about fostering “social proof”, it may be worth trying in a buyer’s market when listings are moving slowly, or with new developments.
Using social proof to extend your reach
Social media has been widely invited into our lives, becoming an almost natural extension of our lifestyle. It has quickly become a new form of validation for people and businesses. We have reached a point when “likes” and “follows” are no longer a way of expressing appreciation for a piece of content; they can now be monetized to increase an influencer’s reach.
By having an influencer endorse your listing, you are not only accessing his or her audience, but also showing your own audience that you are of value. This provides a double win, as their audience will see them as relevant for incorporating someone that is of interest to them into their feed, and you will reach their audience by becoming the Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist who is now on their radar.
Finding the right influencer for your listing
There are a wealth of influencers on every social media platform. Most are willing to work with you for a fee. Depending on their popularity in your niche, some might be a worthwhile investment.
There are three types of influencers: mega, macro, and micro. Mega influencers are celebrities of every level, from the A list to the D list. A macro influencer is someone who is mostly famous on their platform. Many YouTube influencers have legions of fans on that platform, yet are largely unknown to Instagram’s devoted followers. Micro-influencers are those who are well-known to a select group of people. An example of this is a ‘mommy blogger.’
Explore which influencer marketers are closely aligned with your brand by reviewing their photos, blog articles, personal interactions, and videos. Once you find one that aligns well with your brand, explore how they engage with your target audience. Whether the influencer is connected to baby boomers, millennials, or a specific profession, the one you choose must represent the lifestyle your niche audience hopes to achieve.
There are even some real estate agents (both luxury and traditional) who have become popular influencers and have massive followings online. It may even make sense to reach out to one of them to post about your listing, or to invite them to take photos of a listing with you so that both of you can post and build excitement around it. Hearing an unbiased, yet specifically knowledgeable third party rave about a property could create more buzz than you can with direct marketing.
Implement this strategy
While becoming a Certified Luxury Home Specialist can foster trust on its own in the affluent community, implementing the influencer marketing strategy on top of that can give your services and listings an even bigger boost.
It may seem intimidating to reach out to an influencer, but most don’t have to be asked twice, as they are always on the lookout for fresh content. An obvious strategy would be to simply have them spend some time enjoying the amenities of your latest listing and take photos or videos highlighting the property’s best features. If you’re using an influencer from the real estate niche, this may be the simplest way to access their audience.
Another way to use this strategy that’s especially beneficial for both parties involved is to actually help an influencer who’s just entering the homebuying process and invite them to record their journey from being curious about the market to celebrating their status as a new homeowner. Like any other prospect, most will be happy to work with a Certified Luxury Home Specialist since it indicates that you have a certain amount of experience.
One way to do this is to search for hashtags on Instagram such as “#justmarried”, “#newdad”, or “#newmom”, or other hashtags that may indicate that someone is about to start looking for a new home and take a look at some of the most popular posts that come up. Go to their profiles and see what their following and engagement looks like. A good rule of thumb is to not only pay attention to the amount of “likes” on their posts, but also the comments. You also want to aim for influencers who have at least 10K followers. This means their following is truly engaged and they aren’t just purchasing “Likes” from a website (which does happen!).
When sending them a message or email, make sure to lead with how this transaction could benefit them. And of course, if they agree, be sure to write up a contract outlining the exact terms of your agreement.
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