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How Social Media Is Making Real Estate Developers Rethink Marketing

When creating their real estate development’s integrated marketing strategy, often the marketing department can get too distracted with checking off tactical boxes to focus on the important work of storytelling, design, and building a brand people want to spend time with.

Social media is different. It requires you to tell an interesting, compelling, and consistent story to be a success. And with the way social media has become integral to our lives, especially millennials, social media success is often directly tied to business success. Consider these numbers:

  • 81% of US millennials use YouTube. YouTube reaches more 18-34 and 18-49 year olds than any cable network in the US.
  • 84% of people 30-49 years old use Facebook; for people age 18-29, that number jumps to 88%.
  • 28% of adults use Pinterest. Nearly 1 in 3 of those Pinterest users are Millennials.
  • More than 85% of US millennials in the US own smartphones. They look at their phones 45 times a day.

Why is this important? Here’s a few more stats:

  • There are more than 75 million millennials in the US, making them the largest portion of the population.
  • Nearly half of YouTube’s users have incomes of $75K or more per year.
  • 77% of all online adults making more than $75,000 are on Facebook.
  • Millennials spend more than $200 billion annually and will spend $10 trillion in their lifetimes.

The upshot of all these numbers? There are millions of millennials with billions of dollars to spend, and they are all looking at social media all day on their phones.

Of course, many luxury real estate developers are already focusing on millennials as an audience. However, old-school thinking has their marketing departments treating social as just another tactic to check off the list, one that is often underfunded or managed by junior staff. That’s a costly mistake. If your high-end apartment or condo development is focused on attracting millennials–and looking at the numbers, it should be–then you need to place social media at the center of your brand.

Social media can be used to build engagement, excitement and investment years before your first unit is ready for lease or sale. From the very first announcement to opening day, social media can be used to tell your brand’s story, let customers behind the scenes and steer the conversation.

This means you need to shoot video, take pictures, share renderings and tell stories about your brand months or even years before you have anything to sell, all in a thoughtful, strategic and cohesive manner. By investing in quality content and sharing it appropriately across your social channels in advance, you’ll pre-sell your development in a far more cost-effective and efficient way than waiting to roll out an expensive, traditional advertising campaign when you’re ready to start selling.

Not only will social media allow you to interact with your potential customers and friends they share your content with. It’s also a compelling way to gain PR exposure. Journalists, bloggers and new media websites routinely monitor social media for story ideas. The more quality content you put out there, the more likely others are going to want to share your story with their audience.

One more stat to keep in mind: 5 out of 6 millennials connect with companies on social media networks. Your audience is out there and ready to listen. The question is: do you have something interesting to say?

In our eBook How To Differentiate a Square Foot we show you the seven essential steps for building a luxury real estate brand that sells. By following our process, you’ll be able to create a brand that’s worth liking, sharing, pinning, tweeting and talking about. Download the eBook now.