When you initially think of Snapchat, you may not think of it as a premier social media channel to use for your marketing. After all, most of the people you probably see taking advantage of the app are 20-somethings, right?

The reality, though, is the hugely popular social network is not just an app Millennials use to share short clips of them hanging out with friends, but also an increasingly useful promotional tool for brands of all kinds — including Real Estate Professionals.

Don’t believe us? All you have to do is take a quick look at these Snapchat statistics to understand why so many professionals and brands of all kinds have joined the social network and use the tool for their marketing.

Key Snapchat Statistics (Numbers Don’t Lie)

  • The average Snapchat user spends 25-30 minutes per day using the app.
  • Half of Snapchat’s 150 million daily users use the app every single day.
  • In 2016, more than half of all Snapchat users were at least 25 years old.
  • On average, roughly 10 billion Snapchat videos are viewed by users daily.

Of course, that’s just a small sampling to showcase Snapchat’s insane rise to social media stardom. The real question you need to ask is, “How can I use the app to promote my real estate business — and even get some leads and referrals?”

The answer to that question is simple: Sign up for your free Snapchat account today — and use this exhaustive guide specifically for real estate pros like you to start using it to enhance your marketing today.

Here’s all that you need to know to get going with Snapchat for your real estate marketing ASAP.

First things first: Let’s learn how to use Snapchat

So, you’ve downloaded the app, set up your account, and you’re ready to get Snappin’ away. To learn all of the ins and outs of the social tool, though, you have to start off by playing around with the app’s features.

How to create Snaps and Stories

Unlike Facebook and Twitter, Snapchat is more of a minimalist social network. You can create Snaps — 10-second clips in photo or video format — and Stories, which are collections of Snaps in chronological order (pretty straightforward, right?).

The cool thing about Snaps — aside from being shareable with all, or even just one or some, of your followers — is you can modify them with doodles, stickers, emojis, and captions to make them truly original and eye-catching. In other words, they’re not just your basic text messages whatsoever.

The former is exactly what you think it is: the ability to draw on screen and create mini graphics of sorts. The latter is also what it seems like: short captions you can use to describe what you show off in your Snaps.

Using the Chat and Call features

What’s more, you can instant message with one or more friends via the Chat feature, make Calls to connections (who can either listen in or join), and live-stream using the much-beloved app using the Video Chat option.

The latter option works wonders and is certainly a worthy rival to Facebook Live and Periscope. Instead of sharing pre-shot or -recorded Snaps, simply tap the recorder icon on the main Snapchat screen, and you can go live with friends in no time at all.

Live-streaming is definitely a top marketing activity that isn’t going away anytime soon (just look at the latest data that proves its effectiveness), so it’s best to adopt this tactic today before you fall (possibly further) behind other agents … like those working in your market.

Short life spans abound for shares

The key thing to note about pretty much all communication methods you can use on Snapchat is their life span: Everything essentially disappears 24 hours after viewing or partaking. However, Snaps and Chats can be saved by screenshotting them, if you so desire and will be stored as Memories in the app.

It’s this short life cycle that is arguably the most appealing element of Snapchat to its core base, Millennials, many of whom don’t want to leave a permanent digital footprint with their digital communications, which is essentially case everywhere else online they interact.

The app continually unveils modifications to existing features and brand new ones available for the average user and brands, but the bottom line is this: It’s revolutionized the way people — particularly Generation Y members — communicate with one another.

Snapchat is the window into your real estate life others can look through

So, in a sense, Snapchat is more on par with Instagram, which also boasts just basic photo- and video-sharing features. Where Snapchat and Instagram differ, though, is in how one obtains followers and follows others.

Whereas you can find friends, brands, and other random folks and organizations via search in Instagram (among other top social channels), you can only find and follow a fellow Snapchatter if you know their handle.

As with the other major social networks, this means having a personal account and a separate professional account is likely your best bet … unless you don’t mind potential leads and clients seeing you brag about your favorite sports team winning or hosting a BBQ in your backyard with friends.

The big, distinguishing factor for Snapchat

In short, it’s all about exclusivity and (relative) privacy for Snapchat, in that not just anyone can find/view your account or even follow you. Instead, only those with whom you share your Snapchat handle can follow you, and vice versa.

There are advertising opportunities for big brands via the app’s publishers ad-option, Sponsored Lenses. However, this is geared far more to household name brands than small or even mid-sized companies.

Given how frequently the social network changes, though, we wouldn’t be surprised if there was a similar option for smaller businesses in the near future, so keep an eye and ear out for Snapchat updates.

How Can Real Estate Professionals Build Their Snapchat Following

It should go without saying, but as with all of the other social media platforms, you won’t be able to succeed with leveraging Snapchat for your marketing without a sizable following.

That means you have one giant task to take on before you send out a single Snap or Story: Connect with as many people as possible. We don’t recommend getting just anyone to follow you, of course. Only those living or looking in your market should be considered.

snapchat open house sign

Why is this the case, you ask? Well, consider the alternative: random individuals who have zero interest in buying or selling in your market. Do you really want random people following your account? We didn’t think so.

What this all adds up to is the need to make a list — one that includes all of your past and current clients, existing leads, industry peers, agency colleagues, and anyone else you’d want to follow your Snapchat account.

Leverage email to earn followers

While it’s certainly no guarantee these individuals will ultimately follow you on the social network, your best bet is to send a highly personalized email to this niche group making “the ask” to follow you.

 

Example Email Asking Someone to follow you on Snapchat

Hey there,

Hope everything is going well for you! I just wanted to let you know that I’ve joined Snapchat and have been Snapping away, sharing my experiences out on the job, helping my clients and touring the neighborhood.

I’d love for you to follow my account! You’ll be able to catch up on the latest, most interesting developments around town, check out my latest (and gorgeous) listings during open houses, and get the occasional buying and selling tip and trick.

I hope to catch up with you soon! In the meantime, feel free to connect with me on Snapchat: [your handle here]

Best,

[Your name]

Besides reaching out to a targeted list like this, your best bet is to feature your Snapchat handle, along with those for Twitter and Instagram, if you have accounts set up on those channels, on your website and in your email signature.

After all, if people are getting your emails or visiting your site, chances are they’d make great followers for your Snapchat account.

Here’s how to create interesting Snaps and Stories.

The main features from Snapchat to incorporate in your real estate social media marketing efforts and, in turn, spend the most time honing are Snaps and Stories: the premier way you can engage with your audience using the app.

Given you only have a finite amount of time to send individual Snaps and that Stories, while pieced together with those Snaps, are only slightly longer, you need to make the most of the content you share with followers.

Take your next listing showing, for instance:

  • Let’s say you’re preparing the home for sale in question, making sure everything in the residence looks as stunning as possible for prospective buyers. How can you leverage this common occurrence for your business?
  • One ideal Snap or Story to send off to your Snapchat network of sorts is to take quick-hit videos of the lovely property you represent, jazz it up with emojis, doodles, stickers, captions, and a stunning filter.
  • Once the final Story is optimized and ready to go, you can select specific followers with whom you want to see it — say, buyer leads in your CRM and buyer’s agents who may have interested clients for your listing.

And just like that, you not only have a great, short-term branding asset, but you also have a potential lead-generating social share.

The use cases for Stories is seemingly endless, and this is one of the best scenarios REALTORS could dream of for using the app in general, but you get the point.

As long as you have something truly intriguing and unique to share, your followers interest will, in all likelihood, be piqued, and they’ll want to keep following you to get even more similarly engaging content.

Essential Best Practices For Using Snapchat

You may be wondering, “Working in real estate isn’t exactly the most exciting thing in the world. Why would people want to follow me?” Ahh, but you forget about one of the most popular reasons people love Instagram and Pinterest.

Aside from gazing at gourmet dishes from the best restaurants in town and celebrities in their natural habitat of Hollywood, many users of image and video-based social networks like Snapchat and the aforementioned two love looking at distinct homes — usually, of the high-end variety.

While you may not work in a luxury niche, that’s not to say you can’t share plenty of Snaps and Stories that highlight beautiful, expansive, and breathtaking properties from all around your market.

Having said that, you don’t want to go around promoting the competition’s listings, so just be sure to only Snap notable homes of interest that aren’t listed for sale and weren’t sold by competing agents and brokers.

Snapchat Mistakes To Avoid

Now that you have an idea of what most people enjoy seeing on Snapchat (at least from a real estate perspective), it’s important to avoid the pitfalls of the social network and prevent making business-altering mistakes — most notably, saying or doing something obscene.

It’s pretty easy to remember you’re Snapping to followers who only follow you because they want to see the aforementioned stunning properties and catch up on the latest goings-on in your community.

However, it can also be easy to forget to whom you’re speaking via the app (keep your core audience in mind!) or where you are at any given moment you record a video Story (avoid anywhere with people cursing in the background, for instance), so pay close attention to your recordings before sharing them with anyone.

Another potential roadblock to success you could run into is the ultimate sin of modern marketing: being boring. No one wants to follow a snoozefest of a Snapchat account. The whole point of the social network is to be new and different and exciting. So, let your personality shine!

Being yourself is not only good advice for essentially all kinds of marketing messaging you send to current and would-be prospects. It’s also the mantra to live by with your Snaps and Stories. Be authentic, be real, and be compelling.

The Ultimate Snapchat Marketing Secret For Realtors

Are you ready? Well … the truth is … there is no secret to using Snapchat for real estate. Rather, it’s all about nailing down what we’ve laid out for you: growing a comprehensive following, experimenting all of the time, and keeping up-to-date on the latest Snapchat trends and features.

In other words, the key to thriving with the large (and ever-growing) social network is to keep up with its constant changes being, learn how to leverage new and modified features for your brand, and continue to get the right people following so you can reach an increasingly growing audience of possible leads and referrals over the long run.

Remember: Persistence is key with any type of new marketing tactic, channel, or trend you try for your business. So, while you may not hit it out of the park in your first go-around using Snapchat to promote your brand, stick with it, and you’ll see the fruits of your Snapping labor over time.