Social Media Strategies in Real Estate with Josh Saliba

Lucas Cannan: Welcome to Think Tank. If you're in real estate and you're not using social media, or you want some tips on how to use it better then this gentleman right here, Josh Saliba from Soames Real Estate is an expert in the field. And today we're going to be talking all things social media. So thanks, Josh, for having us in.

Josh Saliba: Thanks for having me.

Lucas: You're welcome. Now, obviously, at some point in time, you know, you realise social media is important.

Josh: Yep.

Lucas: Okay. When did that come about? And why do you think it is important?

Josh: Yeah. Well it came about a sort of little while ago now, I think social has been so strong for quite a while and it's really free marketing. We spent a lot of money on letterbox drops and all these other forms of marketing and when you go on social media, it's free. It's free to post you can put all your stuff up, whether it's property, many inspo quotes, all these sorts of things. So it happened quite a while ago, and I've made it a strong part of my business because I see that there's a good benefit for it.

Lucas: Yeah no doubt. And that's obviously then, you know, you had to transition into starting somewhere to you know, making a start. So, what did you do?

Josh: Yeah, I think for anyone watching whether they've got a social or if they don't have a social media yet, I think you need to decide whether you want to do personal and business together or personal and business separate. I think that's the main thing that I see a lot of people maybe make the mistake with, they try and keep it separate. I personally think you just got to put them both together. In real estate, your life, when you're working, it's your life. You're in the community, people see you outside of work. And I think you just want to combine the two together to get started. I mean, Facebook and Instagram are really the two key ones, in my opinion. You've got a lot of other social channels like you know, your YouTubes, your LinkedIn and all those sorts of things. And that might be An extra that you look at doing later on, but I think you just don't want to get on to the Instagram and the Facebook straight away. The great thing is those two are linked together as well. So you can post on Instagram and then share that to Facebook. And that reduces the amount of time you're spending on it.

Lucas: And do you use social media, you know, specifically for, you said you use it both for professional and personal reasons, from a professional standpoint? Do you use social media to target certain campaigns or to use it specifically to help your vendors or to aid your vendors? What are your sort of typical ways you utilise it in that sense?

Josh: Yeah, I guess in terms of strategy, I think you just want to be consistent with it. That's the first thing I'd say. So consistency is very, very important. And just volume, just putting out as much content really as you can. So we definitely do property stuff. There's no doubt that that's what the main thing about social, I'm trying to get a little bit away from that because I think that's the property stuff is everywhere, someone wants to buy a house they'll go on or Domain. So they don't need to see your social media feed to actually get that information. So I've been doing a little bit more around inspo photos, things like bathroom inspo, kitchen inspo, all those sorts of things, things that people want to see, they're thinking of renovating, that, those sorts of things. The one thing that I think is really important is local business posts, supporting the locals, anyone that's got a business, even just sharing some of the stuff that they put online, tagging them in it. And just it's showing people that aren't living in the area at the moment what they can expect if they come to the area. And I think a lot of agents are too busy doing maybe signboard selfies and maybe photos of them hanging over the side of a balcony with a view, that doesn't help the consumer. What helps the consumer is giving him tangible information that they can actually use to help better themselves.

Lucas: So relevancy and content is going to be important here is what you're saying. So what what is relevant? So you mentioned you know, tagging some businesses in the area. Obviously, you want to be able to show some expertise in some way, shape or form going to as well. So how do you do that?

Josh: Of course, I've done a lot of process videos, so you know how to style your home for sale, how to understand contracts, how to make an offer, what to do if there's multiple offer situations, content is very important. But you know, just give out content when for what people are asking you, if that makes sense. So if you get a client that asks you something on the weekend, create a video about it. You know, are auctions still working? That's something that I did the other week and with the market changing in Sydney. That's the question that we're getting at the moment are auctions to working. So simple, make a video about it. Put that content out there that people want to see, again, the local community stuff, I mean, any school, fetes, anything like that any businesses doing any charity events or anything like that, but very, very important and throw a bit of personal in there. People want to see that you're human. I think a lot of the time people think real estate agents aren't human, that this is very transactional it's like they come to work, do the sale go home, and they're a totally different person, but put a bit of personal stuff in there. But if you wouldn't want to see it on the front of the newspaper, don't put it on your social.

Lucas: Yeah. And I suppose that comes back to what you said before, if you are going to have a professional and a personal page together. That's one option. But if you divide the two, I mean, I see some people who change their names slightly on Facebook, you know, so they're not if they do keep it separate. So you do have those options either way. You did one video not recently, not too long ago, on your day in the life of so spoke about, you know, you waking up at 3:15am or something crazy like that. You showed what you did in a traditional day, both, you know, before you got to work and during work and after work and those sorts of things to I suppose, give that you know, idea of being an actual real person in the marketplace. And you also what you told me before you targeted that video, so you actually put some paid advertising behind that. So targeting, especially on Instagram and Facebook are really, really important. How does it work for people out there who don't know?

Josh: Yeah, yeah, it's quite complex. So just be very honest with you, it took me a long time to figure it out. I think that you and I are going to work on a bit of a checklist that we might be able to hand out to people as well. So I can get in touch with Lucas for that. But the first step I do is Google it, I think you need to understand how the fundamentals of work and I can give you a bit of information around it. But I think you need to understand that really, to know what to post when to post and do all those things. With with the targeting, there's a few different things that you can do. What we do personally, is we extract all the contacts out of our Gmail or out of your email. So you export all that out, and I'll give you first name, last name, email address, you export out of LinkedIn as well, and also out of your database. So basically, you pull all that data out and then you can go and pop it into Facebook. And basically how it works is when someone signs up to Facebook, they use their email address. Typically, if you've got that email address and their first name and last name from that export, you can target those people. So what basically what it does, you put a bit of money behind it. As an example, with our property campaigns, they run over a typically five or six week period, we might put $30 behind that. And then we'll go and target that specific audience in Facebook. So people with their emails that we've got, it's going to send that information to them.

Lucas: So Facebook's going to match, you know, the people who you've got with their Facebook profile, and then obviously, run a campaign with whatever advertisement or post you've put to target that list of people.

Josh: Exactly right in a second tier to that is so we do the marketing to that form of database or our emails and all that sort of stuff. And then the second tier is you target the locals as well. So just general, local people, obviously, we don't have everyone in our database, so we don't want to miss out on people. So we have one ad running to the database and one ad running to the locals. So then we try and go on target everyone.

Lucas: And how do you run it to the locals?

Josh: Yep. So again, it's back end in Facebook. And it's probably the easiest way to do is give a checklist out to everyone. So we can go and show them how to do it. But basically on Facebook, you'll go and post what you want on your timeline. So that might be a video or a bunch of photos or whatever it might be that you're posting. And then you'll go to the create an ad section, and then you'll follow through there. And there's certain campaigns that you can do things like video views, or if you want to send people to a website, so you can have the website in there as well. And then you can choose the people that you target each choose the money that you want to spend as well. And that tends to go out to more people than not, and then you can track those numbers. You can go a lot deeper and look at where the numbers are coming from what time they're looking at it and who's looking at it. I, to be honest with you, don't do that. I keep it a little bit broad. It's quite time consuming. I think we social you've got to get the balance right. You can't spend too much time on it. The way you're gonna make money in real estate is make the calls and get in front of people. And the social is just the extra, do the basics right then do the extras after.

Lucas: You can certainly get down the rabbit hole, there's no doubt about that. And I think just to go back on what you initially said, you know, Facebook or social media in general, you know, is a very inexpensive way to advertise naturally. And naturally your natural reach what they call on Facebook is when you target to people who already liked your page or your whoever you're friends with. What we're speaking of now is, is the actual page reach where you can invest a certain amount of money for a certain campaign, depending on you know, how much reach you wanted to get, how much would you spend on one post if you wanted to, you know, reach the local area, something like that?

Josh: Yeah, so typically, I'd spend about $60 per post, I only promote property posts with the exception of a couple of other things in the mix, if it might be a local fete that we sponsored. We had a marquee set up there and we did a really cool video for that. And I did sponsor that as well. But typically property videos is all that I'm really sponsoring. So about $60 You know, $30 goes to the database, and $30 goes to the locals. And that spread between the two. Now the great thing about marketing it from Facebook is that it automatically goes to Instagram, as long as that video that you've put up is under a minute, if it's just photos, it will automatically go to Instagram. So that's a great thing about advertising through Facebook is you don't actually need to go and promote it again on Instagram, because it does it automatically for you.

Lucas: Yeah, okay. Second tool is because you also mentioned you go, you can go down a little bit down the rabbit hole here, when you upload your databases onto Facebook. And I know a lot of people say, you know, Facebook or social media is the database of you know, the modern generation. Do you divide them at all? You know, do you have a buyer database, you put some posts, potential vendors, an overall one or is that you know, what do you do? What's your strategy in that regard?

Josh: Yeah, look, I don't personally separate them. I think again, you can't spend too much time on this. This is an extra. Yeah, this is not the basics. Do the basics well, this is just a bit of an extra on top of it, I keep my database, the emails, the LinkedIn, that's all in one category in Facebook. And I just target all of them with the locals as well. You can get specific if you really want to where you have a your owners, your homeowners in Facebook, and then you buyers separate, and then you might only serve properties to the buyers. However, there might be a homeowner thinking of moving, that sparks their interest, that specific property that they get marketed. Plus, also the homeowners need to see that you're actually listing and selling real estate, because that's how we win business. So I just keep it nice and broad. I wouldn't go too specific with it.

Lucas: Okay. Now, you mentioned before, you know, content is super important. The other thing you mentioned is frequency and posting. So you said you did it three times a day?

Josh: Yeah, so 7am, 12pm, 7pm. That's the three times that I post online. Now I schedule all my posts. So there's a really cool app. Anyone doesn't have an on Instagram called Later. You can pay a monthly subscription for that you get different types of subscriptions, the one on one, you get 100 posts per month. And basically what I did was I sat down over three or four Sundays, I saved a lot of Instagram photos, any property photos, any videos that I had any videos, you can cut them up a couple of times over, like over a minute and a half or two minutes, you can cut them three times, then you got three different posts there. You got your inspo photos, like I said, and your local businesses and I basically just compiled a list of all these photos and obviously hundreds of photos there and then I scheduled them. And then like I said 7am, 12pm, 7pm. So then I get a notification on my phone that the post is ready to go. Basically what you can do is when you upload it, you can put the text that you want in the post as well. Basically you get a notification, you hit the button, you hit post, you pop your hashtags in, and bang, you're ready to go. So again, the key is not to spend a lot of time on this. This is just the extra. This is not the basic.

Lucas: And inspo for those people meaning inspirational quotes or pictures or those sorts of things.

Josh: It's social talk.

Lucas: Exactly. Okay, so basically what you're saying is sort of because you said you know, you can go down the rabbit hole here, you've got an app that sets your posts you did on a Sunday, so doesn't take time it worked. And how long do you post it for us how long you a set for at the moment.

Josh: In advance, I'm up to February next year, so February 2018, at the moment, so three months, three months, so three times a day is very frequent. You can get away with doing one a day. You can. I do post on Sundays, and I try and keep the Sundays personal. What you want to think about is each day has its own hashtag and this is getting quite technical now for people that are already in social that want to go a little bit deeper. So you've got like Monday motivation, you know, your Thursday throwbacks. Then you got things for Sunday's and you want to look at what typically people would post on those days. So what do people post on a Sunday, they might be at the beach or they might be going having breakfast or anything like that. So that's what you want to look at posting. And that will also help build your followers as well build your likes, and therefore give you a bit of traction in that space.

Lucas: And that's a great point you mentioned, because the ultimate goal is with any of your content is that you want to build your likes and your following. And you've got 1500 on Facebook and 1600 on Instagram. Obviously, now if you were just to put a post on there without any paid advertisement, you're getting a natural reach already. It's going to be relatively large. So how do you persuade a particular person on social media to see your content obviously automated seen paid initially to then go to your page and like it? How do you do that?

Josh: Yeah, look, I think it's just the quality of the content really serving people what they want to what they want to see. Now, I think a lot of people get caught as a society we get caught up in how many likes we've got, how many followers we got, how many comments we get on each post. I don't think it matters too much to be honest with you. It's great to see that you've got people following you because they'd like your content, it doesn't matter. I find a lot of the time when I made a lot of homeowners, they say to me, oh, we see a lot of your stuff on Facebook. And I think to myself, well, I've never liked any of my stuff. So I actually didn't even know that they were following it. And they might not be following, they just continue to see it popping up. And that's how we're targeting them. So I wouldn't focus too much on the likes. How do you enhance likes, again, it's just the quality of the post frequency as well is very important. stop posting selfies of you in front of a signboard saying sold by doesn't help the consumer at all. If you want to do something like a sold post, maybe you could put up a testimonial from the vendor saying this is what the vendor said, here's a photo of their property. And this is what it sold for. Something like that might be really cool. Maybe a video of the owner having a chat about what they thought about the process and how you handled it. Think outside the box, you know, think about what would appeal to you as a consumer and they're somewhat selfies. They don't give value to people and that's probably why a lot of people aren't getting the followers or the likes.

Lucas: Okay, so what I'm going to take away from this is you got to set it up, work out whether it's going to be personal or professional, and work out which way you're going to go. You need to be consistent with the content. And effective, effective the big thing. So don't be or Domain by by giving out you know, that sort of information, just listed just sold. It can help on occasion, but really work on that effectiveness of the content. And targeting is a big one there. So using the people who you've already got a relationship with in your database, and target those people plus all the people who you may not have get them in there. So there might be you know, you broader local community.

Josh: Yeah, definitely.

Lucas: Anything else I missed?

Josh: No, look, I think that's about it. But look, don't get too bogged down in it. This is an extra do the basics. Well, to be honest with you, it's sometimes better to have someone running it for you. So whether it's someone within your team or a company that you can hire. Companies can be quite expensive. However, I'm going to get to a point where I'm not going to handle it. anymore, I will just put another put another team member on my team, and I'm still working out whether I'm going to give that responsibility to her. Not that she's not capable of doing it. But again, the basics, making those calls, meeting homeowners going and doing appraisals, doing all those sorts of things, is what's going to make you is what's going to make you a million dollars. Putting a post on Instagram is not so I think you've just got to find that balance.

Lucas: And that app you said helped as well. Right Later.

Josh: Later. Look that that thing has been a game changer. It really has. You don't need to spend time on it. Again, the 7am and 7pm. It's outside of work hours, so it's not going to affect your work. And what I what I find is if you see something on Instagram that you like or on Facebook that you're likely to screenshot it, share it to Later, Later the app, it'll upload itself, and then when you go home or you're on a Sunday preparing all your posts for that week or that month, all those screenshots are there. So you can just cut them out. Put the text in that you want and I think the key is to follow people that are doing better than what you're doing or doing what you want to say, you know, so go follow me steal my content, I don't mind. You know, I do it to other people. It's the same thing. So I think you want to follow people. There's a lot of people in the states that are doing really cool ideas.

Lucas: Other industries as well, you know, they don't have to be real estate specific because they can do like you said, inspirational quotes and videos that you can that you can certainly utilize yourself. Well, thank you so much for your time, Josh, really appreciate it.

Josh: No problem.

Lucas: We hope that helps everyone out there. If you've got any questions for us, please put them in the comments below and we look forward to talking you soon.