Making Social Media Work for Real Estate Syndication
By Adam Gower Ph.D.
Every real estate developer has their own way of reaching their investors, their own brand image, logo and voice, and a value proposition to offer on their social media accounts. Despite this, there are some universal building blocks that everyone can follow to build a successful social media presence.
These are strategies and guidelines that have been applied successfully by some of the top real estate crowdfunding marketplaces and developers as they raise capital for their projects. Here’s how you make social media work for you too.
Know Your Investor
Before you post anything or even launch your account fully, your first step is to define your ideal investor by creating an investor ‘avatar’ so you can understand who you’re posting for. Who are they? What do they like? What do they value? Where are they online? How much do they know about real estate investing? How much do they know about you? How do they prefer to get information?
You can have multiple avatars. A real estate crowdfunding platform, for example, will have at least two main avatars; investors and developers looking for investment, both of which are distinct audiences with difference needs. Define both audiences and develop a strategy that maintains a balanced focus with enough content to interest both groups.
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Does your social media presence let people know who you are as a real estate investment company? This is going to be an essential part of your overall syndication strategy.
Investors are increasingly looking at the online presence of a company to learn what it’s about and decide if they’re interested or not. They won’t reach out to you directly; they will instead make a decision based on what you’ve put out into the world.
Make sure all your social media profiles have informative bios and posts talking about who you are as a company, what you do, your value proposition and what makes you special.
This messaging needs to be in the form of educational content and not advertising language. If you do this well, you’re helping to eliminate one big reason for a high bounce rate.
Investors want to be able to know who they’re dealing with, especially if they’re interested in investing in real estate and if you offer something of value in the form of educational insights into real estate investing, you’ll be partway to creating a reciprocal relationship with your investors.
Why would they invest with someone they don’t know much about or that makes little or no effort to answer (pre-emptively) their questions when there’s a similar company that lays everything out on the line? Get ahead of your competition by providing everything an investor needs to make an informed decision to invest, not only in real estate, but to invest with you.
Value Above All
It’s easy to get caught up in the data, looking closely at what your social accounts are doing for you and how they’re helping your syndication efforts overall. The backwards reality of social media is that by focusing too much on how social media is helping you, you might be making it worse.
Your social media accounts can only be effective if you’re providing a high level of value to your audience.
While it might feel more helpful to push your experience or deals, your prospects won’t like that and may be turned off from your pitch in general. If you focus on providing value to your prospects above everything else, it can lead to higher engagement and a better response when you do occasionally ask for the investment.
Educate & Relate
With social media, you have to meet people where they are. Real estate syndication is a brand new market for social media that presents an old, established industry from a new angle. To be effective, this will involve teaching people about the industry, and about how it works.
Relate to people where they are. If you’re trying to get first-time investors interested in what you’re doing, you don’t want to post advanced content that’s difficult for them to understand. Meet them where they are and address the issues your audience is actually facing. This may require some research and preparation, but it’s worth it.
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Stay Aware of Updates
You’ll be able to serve your audience best if you know what tools are available to you. Subscribe to blog or email lists, follow prominent social media creator or support profiles, and find the most informative sources for updates about the social platforms themselves. Something is always changing in social media, whether it’s a new feature, and updated look, or a new regulation.
By keeping up the date on what’s changing on each platform you’re on, you’ll be serving your audience better and increasing your chances of your content staying in plain sight.
Know what’s happening when it happens and you can stay ahead of the curve.
Have a Content Plan
Social media often feels like a platform for posting on the fly and being “authentic” by keeping up with at-the-moment updates. But the reality is that sponsors who handle social media best have a carefully crafted content plan that’s scheduled out days, weeks, or sometimes months in advance.
"If you were actually to post on your whims, putting up what you felt like when you felt like it, your social media accounts would be a mess. The goal is to make it authentic, but the have some rhyme and reason to your posts."
Planning your posts and outlining how you create content doesn’t take away from the authenticity of your brand. In fact, it builds on it by making your accounts and posts cohesive.
It’s helpful to outline a process of how you make content. Decide what kind of content you want to make, then create a sort of template or style guide to keep your content consistent. Be intentional about everything from the images to the writing style and the hashtags. It’s okay to deviate from your plan occasionally, but don’t make a habit out of the spur-of-the-moment posts!
Remember the Relationship
Relationships are a two-way street. Building an effective real estate syndicate is a lot about putting out the right content and attracting views and visits from your ideal investor audience. That’s a large part of the equation, with the other part being how you respond to your prospects. Don’t expect them to do all the work!
Follow people back, like their posts, respond to comments, and generally interact with people. This isn’t just something you put your interns on to keep them busy. Interacting with your prospects should be a central part of your social media strategy. All your responses and interactions should fit in with your general brand voice, brand guide, and value proposition.
Trying to overhaul your social media accounts and build your online presence? Start with the ideas shared in this article. Build your accounts up with these things in mind and see what a difference it makes for not only your social media presence, but your customer engagement and loyalty.
Copyright 2019 - ADAM GOWER PH.D. - All Rights Reserved
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