Sample Sidebar Module

This is a sample module published to the sidebar_top position, using the -sidebar module class suffix. There is also a sidebar_bottom position below the menu.

Sample Sidebar Module

This is a sample module published to the sidebar_bottom position, using the -sidebar module class suffix. There is also a sidebar_top position below the search.

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For the most part, social media platforms tend to promote permanent content. But there's one app that stands out for its ability to create an air of mystery by adding a shelf life to what you post: Snapchat. Although initially promoted as a social media platform for millennials, Snapchat is now being used by consumers of all ages, as well as real estate professionals. Here's how you can use Snapchat to increase your referrals and return real estate business.

Start a Following
Unlike Instagram, where you can view other people's posts without having that person follow you back, Snapchat users must follow each other in order to share content. This makes Snapchat a unique experience that tends to be more personal than other social media channels. Once you have a loyal following, you can start sending snaps to individual clients to continue building those relationships, or you can add content to your Story if you want to share en masse and set yourself up as a source for real estate information.

Tell a Story
Not everything you post needs to be shared with your entire followers list; however, with things like events and contests, sharing content with a large group of people is your best bet for getting the word out quickly. If you're hosting an open house or a client appreciation party, you can create a group on Snapchat and send fun invitations and event reminders to just your clients. You can also use your Story to create a series—regular posts that cover a single topic, such as staging. Creating a series on Snapchat can be rewarding because the content is short enough that it doesn't bore your audience and is posted regularly enough that you get a reputation for sending out fun and educational real estate content.

Create a Geofilter
Snapchat is also great for branding, especially if you're hosting an event where you can promote your own Geofilter, a unique photo filter that you create. Use Photoshop to craft a branded Snapchat filter that you can upload on Snapchat.com/geofilters. The app will let you select the day, time and place of your event, allowing your guests to take snaps of themselves with your filter. Buying out a filter for a day-long event is very affordable, but if you want a long-lasting filter, be prepared to pay quite a bit. Even though these snaps will disappear after a few seconds, your clients will remember the opportunity to engage in social media at your event, which can lead to referrals and repeat business.

Send Personalized Snaps
While posting to your Story can be useful in certain situations, there's no better way to build a personal relationship with your clients than by sending customized and thoughtful individual snaps. See a home you think a certain client will like? Take a short video snap and add some fun text and emojis. They will remember the gesture and they will want to see more since the content disappears after some time. It's a great way to pique their interest, and, at the same time, stay in touch.

Use Fun Filters
Remember, it doesn't always have to be about business. Your clients will enjoy seeing your fun side, so posting silly snaps with filters or sharing some family and friend pictures will balance out the business-related content you share. Just make sure you are never being intrusive. If you think your snaps will add a bit of fun or excitement to your client's day, then go ahead and share—but if a post might come off as pushy or annoying, hit the delete button and move on.

Like all social media platforms, this app won't be as effective if you don't have an active internet presence. Regularly post on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to make sure you are searchable. Keep an updated, modern website that you can link to so your incoming clients have a way to contact you. And don't forget the power of email marketing when you're thinking of posting things like events or contests on social media. The more you put yourself out there in the cyber world, the better your chance of receiving referral or return business.


Liz Dominguez is RISMedia's associate content editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at ldominguez@rismedia.com.

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