25 Ways to Use Live-Streaming Apps for Your Real Estate Marketing
By Matthew Bushery
About Inbound Marketing
Oh, the many ways real estate agents can now use social media for business. Slightly more than a decade ago, Facebook was just getting started on college campuses nationwide. Today, more than a billion folks use the social network daily. Many agents and brokers face the roadblock of trying to stand out from the noise on these platforms with their social marketing campaigns. Thanks to the emergence of some new mobile tools, it’s become easier for agents to reach their audience through real-time online video marketing — specifically, via apps like Periscope and Meerkat, arguably the two most popular among marketers today. Learn how marketing through social media–integrated tools, like the 25 use cases listed below, can help you connect with your audience in a brand new way.
(UPDATE — MARCH 2016: It appears Meerkat won’t be a major player in the live-streaming world, per this Re/code article highlighting an email about the company’s future from its founder to the service’s investors. However, it seems Meerkat will remain in the live-streaming/video space in some capacity, so keep an eye out, as it may still prove useful for your real estate marketing strategies down the line.)
1) Walking Through Your Listings
This is possibly the easiest way to use live-streaming apps in your real estate marketing: Simply stroll through your existing listings in between showings and open houses to give your online audience, including qualified leads who follow you on Twitter, a glimpse of what the homes you represent look like, what features they have, and any other pertinent information your potential buyer wants to know.
2) Providing Neighborhood Tours
If you don’t have any listings at the moment (hopefully this is never the case), then head out into the neighborhoods where you typically sell homes — whether it’s by foot, bike, taxi, pedicab, or roller blades is up to you — to show off what life is like in your market. Ideally, it’s best to select a sunny day when conditions are optimal for your live stream viewers to study the landscape. When you come up to notable homes, buildings, and shops, offer some context and background info to educate your following.
3) Conducting Client Interviews
Ninety-nine out of every 100 clients you serve may be beyond thrilled with your work, but if you don’t capture those buyers’ and sellers’ happy smiles right after the paperwork has been signed, sealed, and delivered (not to mention creating written case studies), you’re missing out on a fantastic real estate video marketing opportunity.
4) Joining Community Meetups
From get-togethers featuring the best and brightest business minds in your area to potluck dinners and bake sales at the local community center, there are many Meerkat and Periscope marketing opportunities of which you can take advantage. If you will speak at one of these events, even better: Set up a tripod next to where you’ll talk so those watching remotely can see and hear your speech.
5) Heading to Industry Conferences
Believe or not, your audience may actually want to know what local, regional, and national pundits have to say about the state of the residential sector and mortgage markets, just like you do. So, when looking at your real estate conference calendar, denote which events you can break out live-streaming apps to capture the speakers who grace the stage offering their input on everything from how home sales will finish out the year to what the latest and greatest home decor trends are.
6) Discussing Trends with Experts
Building relationships is one of your primary functions as a real estate agent. Use your networking skills to find individuals to interview through live-streaming apps. Just as you would with your real estate videos for marketing on YouTube, you must plan substantially for these interviews (though if your connections are fine with spontaneous, off-the-cuff discussions, just go with the flow).
7) Chatting with Local Entrepreneurs
Another common type of connection agents make in their markets is with entrepreneurs and executives at locally based brands. If you’re buddies with a tech startup guru or a high-ranking official with your town’s biggest employer, ask if you can chat with them for 10 minutes on Periscope or Meerkat to get insights into how they grew their business, how they’re disrupting their industry, and — what might be of most interest to your audience members — if they’re hiring.
8) Eating at Great Restaurants
The quality of bars and restaurants may not be the primary driver behind home buyers’ decisions … but it definitely plays a role for most of them. If you happen to live in an area with phenomenal fine-dining establishments, contact the restaurateurs and/or head chefs behind those operations and schedule time to talk on video. A live stream that details the newest and best courses, wines, and beers on the menu at eateries would prove too good to pass up for many folks who consider themselves foodies, so keep it light with these conversations and let the food-preneurs you speak with draw in the viewers to your live stream. Oh, and showing off your delicious dishes and cocktails certainly doesn’t hurt, either (think of live-streaming your meal as the equivalent to posting food photos to Instagram).
9) Sightseeing Locally
It happens to everyone, no matter where they live: They don’t really see certain aspects of their community as “special,” while tourists who visit can’t get enough of them. Try to remove the fact you live in or near the primary housing market in which you work and think of people, places, and things the average tourist who heads to your area would love to see.
10) Staging Homes for Sale
Working with professional home stagers can provide agents with lots of tips and tricks on making their listings hit an emotional chord with prospective buyers. Take the wisdom you get from these stagers and share it via live stream on your smartphone or tablet so your audience of sellers can glean insights for how to prepare their residences for listing.
11) Showcasing Life at the Office
Do you and your colleagues and associates like to throw the occasional (heck, or even weekly) party to celebrate agents’ birthdays, big closed deals, and other occasions? Highlighting these gatherings can really show off your personality to your prospects and show you’re fun to work and hang out with — something home buyers and sellers take into account when looking for agents to hire.
12) Attending Company Outings
Aside from gatherings at the office, use Periscope, Meerkat, or a similar live-streaming app to capture moments at company outings, like dinners, bowling nights, trips to sporting events, and family picnics. Humanizing your real estate brand to convince leads you’re down-to-earth means being transparent with your audience and showing them there’s a real person behind the blog content and email newsletters.
13) Giving Advice to Home Sellers
Some of the best video posts you can produce are ones in which you share your intimate knowledge of the home selling experience, including how sellers can become informed on local housing market conditions, how to stage their residences, and maintenance tasks they should conduct throughout the interior and exterior of their properties.
14) Offer Expert Home Buying Tips
Share tips with members of your audience interested in purchasing homes to help them better prepare their finances for securing a mortgage and to give them a sense of what to look for in their desired neighborhoods. Chances are you have some existing real estate marketing materials on subjects related to buying, so turn those into mini scripts for your Periscope marketing streams.
15) Talking Shop with Colleagues
Positioning yourself as the most knowledgeable agent via your online real estate marketing is the first and foremost priority, but don’t hesitate to share the stage, so to speak, with fellow agents at your firm. For instance, if a colleague specializes in helping first-time buyers purchase homes, turn the camera on them and ask for any advice they can dispense to novice buyers.
16) Sharing Big Announcements
Whether it’s a big life event, like getting married or becoming a parent, or a business-based one, such as getting certified as a Realtor, share your news with your online followers. Again, this goes back to the “humanizing-your-brand” mentality that can make you memorable to your audience and help you share your passions and goals with leads and clients.
17) Answering Leads’ Questions
As long as you promote it well in advance, live-streaming apps can provide the perfect forum for answering questions. Let your audience know when your Q&A session will commence — just give your followers time to prepare questions for the live chat. Don’t feel the need to spend an hour replying to viewers’ queries. Set a firm start and end time and alert your followers that you can answer more of their questions on the phone, via email, or in person — perhaps during your real estate listing presentation.
18) Crowdsourcing Ideas
Your friends, family, and colleagues are great sounding boards to discuss ideas you have for work or even passion projects, but sometimes, a fresh perspective from outside your social circle can give you new inspiration. Use Periscope or Meerkat to brainstorm ideas for both professional tasks, like improving your branding (e.g. ask your audience what their favorite existing brand logos are, what color schemes they like, and other visual-oriented questions).
19) Reviewing Local Businesses
More specifically, give positive reviews to help locals discover new businesses in their community — after all, lambasting a local establishment to your audience won’t help much or make you seem like a pleasant agent. Think of the best pizzerias, salons, home goods stores, food trucks, and other popular businesses nearby that you can provide live-streaming testimonials for, and, if possible, try to walk by them and even use their products and services as you give your reviews.
20) Promoting Others’ Ventures
In a similar vein to local business reviews, leverage connections you have at other businesses you regularly buy from or respect by telling your audience what makes them so great. In return, ask these entrepreneurs and professionals if they don’t mind reciprocating the praise with a positive review of your agency. This mutually beneficial lauding of one another should only be done if the business you recommend is actually worthy of the recommendation, of course. Telling your audience to use a product or service that’s subpar won’t do you any favors.
21) Sharing a Skill or Hobby
Getting thoughts and opinions from prospects and clients who join your live-streaming sessions is great, but be valuable to them as well: Share a skill that can aid them in some fashion. Provide business organization skills to the professionals in your digital network. Give time management tips to help people get an extra hour each day. Heck, show off your athleticism and teach your audience how to execute the perfect tennis serve or throw a tight spiral with a football — anything that can offer assistance and/or insights is a big plus in helping you stand out from the crowd.
22) Telling Personal/Professional Stories
Storytelling: The oldest of pastimes — one not everyone has mastered, though. It takes a lot of effort to become a great storyteller: from having actual interesting tales to tell to relaying those accounts in an inspiring and intriguing manner. If you feel like there’s one or more stories you ought to share with your buyer and seller leads (perhaps the one about how you became an agent), do so in real-time with your live-streaming app of choice. You likely already share compelling stories via your real estate agent marketing without even realizing it (hint: your blog!).
23) Spending Time with Family and Friends
No, your audience doesn’t want to watch you watching TV or doing your taxes. However, the occasional spontaneous live stream of you spending time with loved ones can only help you come across as personable and relatable. For instance, if you’re at a local festival enjoying games with the family, provide a live view of the happenings around you: the food trucks, the rides, the music. The more interesting and film-worthy the activity you tackle, the better, so only stream the excursions in which your audience will actually find useful and/or entertaining.
24) Hosting Contests and Giveaways
Here’s one of the more unique real estate marketing tips that can bolster your brand engagement: If you want to grow your social media audience in a big way, host a contest. These have proven time and time again to bolster brands’ fan and follower totals. It doesn’t have to be a big offer or giveaway: All you need is a simple contest setup (e.g. the first person to answer a trivia question right gets a free, one-hour home buying consultation). Just remember to actually promote the live-streaming session during which you’ll pose the question and select the winner to get the most people to view it in real-time and partake.
25) Watching Your Audience’s Streams
Who says you need to be the one streaming in real-time to nurture leads? View live streams shot by leads, clients, and even other brands whom you follow and comment when appropriate (in other words, if the stream appears to be geared more toward friends and family members than, say, local businesspeople, it might be best to avoid engagement).
Discover many other advantageous real estate apps that can help your online strategy in this exhaustive Placester Real Estate Marketing Academy post.
Do you plan to incorporate live-streaming apps into your marketing plan and create real-time real estate videos as part of your social network marketing?
Published on August 21, 2015
Written by Matthew Bushery
I'm the Sr. Content Creator for Placester, where I educate real estate professionals about modern marketing and, in turn, help agents and brokers make the most of their online presence, earn more traffic, and generate more leads and business.