The Million Dollar Tweet
As a former writer of property adverts for luxury estates, I have a special place in my heart for a well-crafted real estate strategy. However, I never really considered the role social media could play in the industry, until this morning. While browsing the social media news, an unusual little story caught my eye.
It seems that property owners in Australia are starting to harness the power of social media to sell their homes faster, and for higher prices. This is an innovative response to the highly competitive and rather expensive Australian real estate market, which still has not seen the dramatic crashes experienced by other property markets in the wake of the global economic downturn.
Image adapted from a photo by Lynne Kirton under Creative Commons Licence.
In February, a man in Melbourne sold his bungalow for AUS$1.05 million, a price that was more than AUS$135,000 above the reserve. How? In addition to the efforts of his real estate agent, the man created a website, blog, Twitter feed, YouTube videos and a Picasa photo album about his experience of living in the house. Inspired by his success, a web savvy couple in Sydney recently created a miniature social media empire for their property.
They started a Twitter handle, Facebook page, Pinterest account, Google+ profile and populated all of these sites with compelling, personal photos of their home and neighbourhood taken with their smartphones and jazzed up with Instagram. Within hours of being listed, the property received more than 600 page views, and later had 48 groups go through during its first inspection.
Their success speaks
to an integral strength of social media – the ability to create a direct,
personal connection that inspires confidence and emotional attachment. Through
their posts and photos, the owners allowed perspective buyers to have a glimpse
of the real life behind the listing. Through experiential examples, rather than
advertising copy, the couple could evoke their feelings about the property and interested
parties could tap into this as a glimpse into what their lives might be like if
they were to buy the home.
With the ease of setting up blogs through platforms like WordPress and Tumblr and the wealth of different social networking sites out there, anyone can do something like this, regardless of their technical know-how. Of course, the Sydney couple knew their market – a hip area where a lot of young people want to live and thus a prime target for this type of approach. Also, they knew where to draw the line and still directed the business side of the transaction to their real estate agent to let the expert handle those matters.