Smart phones, tablets, laptops, etc. have forever altered the way consumers make purchases and gather information. Living in a “plugged-in” society allows technology users to read reviews, compare similar products, share items with friends and family, and purchase almost anything from the comfort of their own living room. The same also goes for home buying.
According to the National Association of Realtors® Profile of Home Buyers, 92 percent of buyers used the Internet during their home search in 2013. The use of social media in that home search process is increasing, as well. Ninety percent of buyers said they would be open to receiving information from their agents via social media.
Here are some helpful tips on using Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. to your advantage as a home buyer:
Agent Pages & Referrals
The real estate world has seen a revolution in marketing; forty percent of agents closed two to five deals as a result of their social media marketing in 2013 and 89 percent of REALTORS® used social media to some extent to market homes, according to the Home Buying Institute.
An agent referral from a friend or family is appreciated, but the majority of buyers will dig for additional information, including online reviews. Look for agents who connect with their followers on a consistent basis, upload listings with photos and/or video, boast good reviews and post engaging and interesting real estate topics. This same concept can apply to your Loan Officer as well.
Determine What You Like & Make It Known
Go ahead and “pin” that kitchen layout, elaborate landscaping or home style on to your “Dream Home” Pinterest board. Ask your agent to follow you to get a feel for what your home desires are and to better identify potential homes for you.
Follow agents who pin listing photos and videos to keep track of listings in your area. Type out what you’re looking for in a status update; a friend may know someone who is selling without an agent, already on the market or thinking of selling.
Time Sensitive Info
Twitter serves as a constant stream of up-to-date information. By connecting with realty offices, real estate agents, mortgage bankers, etc. you can check in on daily changes in the market, mortgage rates, open houses, home buying tips and price reductions.
Neighborhood Information & Amenities
Social media has changed the way we communicate, so strike up a conversation with your own followers! If you’re considering a specific house, post the virtual tour. Wanting personal input on a certain neighborhood or school district? Ask for it. Though it’s probable you will want to do a walk-through before writing a home off, it’s helpful to have someone who lives nearby give their point-of-view beforehand.
You are already most likely a social media user anyway, so utilize it! There is someone in your network who is either selling a home or knows someone who is. Reach out for insight on neighborhoods, school districts, houses and agents.
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net