4 Ways Real Estate Agents Fail at Social Media

real estate agents social mediaEveryone has been told to jump into social because it is so good for their business. I know for a fact that Realtors hear it all the time. Sadly, many people don’t really know how to use social effectively and they don’t understand what drives different social platforms.

The people I see wasting their time, and money, the most on social is Realtors. I am not claiming all Realtors don’t know what they are doing; I am just saying the majority don’t and I am going to tell you why.

1) Some Realtors Don’t Understand Twitter

Twitter is really about conversation and relationship building. There is a ton of information to find on Twitter and it can be powerful when it comes to influencing sales, but that is only after the person using a Twitter account took the time to build friendships and/or a community. I use Twitter to find articles that educate me, but it took time to find just the right people to provide me with the type of links I was looking for.

Twitter takes a lot of time and effort. You just don’t tweet random things and walk away.

I see way too many Realtors tweeting about houses they have listed. Things like;

“Just listed…Gotta have this house.”

Ummm, no I don’t. I already have a house and the tweet you just shared told me nothing so I won’t be sharing it with friends, FYI.

It is a massive failure to tweet only about houses a Realtor has listed and blog posts that discuss the houses they have listed. If that is all the Realtor has to say, they should avoid social completely.

2) Some Realtors Don’t Understand Facebook

Facebook is called a social network because that is what it is. People like to be “social” with other people. Facebook users do not want to be spammed with information about houses they have no intention of ever buying.

Newsflash – your friends may agree to like your page, but they can also tell Facebook to stop displaying your posts in their feed. This means the only way they are going to see what you are discussing is to make an effort to go to your page to see it. Do people have a reason to go to your Facebook page?

Facebook business pages are often a major joke to many of us in the industry. They provide no value and often appear to be a spam factory. If you want people to engage in your page, you have to give them something. It can be an idea, a funny item, an interesting conversation and even support of some kind. You have to create something people will go back to.

Example of Creating Engagement

Realtors need to blog about things that matter and educate people, share the post on Facebook and engage the audience in conversation about the topic. Example:

“5 Common Things That Go Wrong with Pool Decks: What You Need to Know Before You Buy or Sell.”

This title would interest anyone that has a pool deck, not just those buying or selling a house. You are educating home owners, buyers and sellers. If you shared an article like this and asked your Facebook community what other issues they see or if they are having any of the issues mentioned you are starting a conversation. You are being social and engaging your audience.  Most importantly you are educating people on taking care of their homes and people love to be educated.

Be strategic on Facebook and find ways to keep people talking and also coming back.

3) Some Realtors Don’t Understand That Bragging Irritates People

It is great to let people know who you are and what you have accomplished, here or there, but NOT all of the time. If you spend your day bragging on social about how fantastic you are, what awards you have received, why your brochures are the most creative of all, how rich you are or why God broke the mold making you, please stop. No one cares and you are irritating people.

When you try to get people to believe you are wonderful it is obvious and it turns people off.  As I said in point #2, educate people. Give them something and educate them.

Be real, be friendly and be someone people can be interested in. By engaging and creating friendships you create trust. When people trust you they are more likely to listen when you finally share a great house (but you have to do it the right way).

4) Some Realtors Don’t Understand They Shouldn’t Only Share Their Listings

The most interesting thing about Twitter, that most people don’t understand, is that Twitter isn’t about oneself; it is mostly about sharing what others have created. People tell me they follow me on Twitter because I keeping sharing great articles they can learn from. These articles are NOT what I have written, but what others have written. I am sharing great things and NONE of them make me money, but the shares have created a following and engagement.

If you are a Realtor and you see a really great home pop up in foreclosure it is most likely wise to go on social and say:

“Hey, to all my local friends, this 3/2 house just popped up in foreclosure in X neighborhood. If you or a friend is looking for a good, affordable house let me know.”

I get that it isn’t your listing and the commission isn’t the same, but what it does is tell your friends and audience is that your concern is what is best for them and not that you are just concerned about making money.

If You Want to Be Good at Social

This applies to ANY industry – you have to:

  • Do for others.
  • You have to share information that is helpful and educational.
  • You have to give more than you receive.
  • You have to spend time building relationships.
  • You have to care about the people that are speaking to you.
  • You need to not be focused on self.
  • You cannot brag.
  • You CANNOT only discuss yourself (and Realtors, your listings).
  • You absolutely have to engage.

Realtor Photo via Shutterstock


Melissa Fach Melissa Fach is the owner of SEOAware, LLC. Melissa specializes in consulting and training companies on how to effectively handle their online marketing strategies. Her company specializes in SEO consulting, content development and web development services.

24 Reactions
  1. I think these lessons apply to all…not just realtors. Great post!

  2. Mark @ ThinkTraffic

    Great post Melissa.

    I think point one is a perfect summary of why most businesses (realtors or otherwise) fail at Twitter.

    Some people don’t get Twitter, and that’s fine – but using it like a free advertising channel is simply a waste of time.

    Ps, I shall be tweeting this post out, for exactly that reason!

  3. It’s ironic that the best realtors are very social in person, but would fail so badly on social media. Why do people think they have to become someone or something else on a social media site? Be yourself.

    • You are right, Robert. I never thought of it that way and I don’t know why people try to be someone they are not on social. Being yourself is what makes people unique and memorable.

  4. Great post, Melissa. I especially agree with your “bragging” point. I just read an article about this very topic and it tied it to the fact that talking about your accomplishments is beneficial as long as your exhibiting your creditably and how you can genuinely help others with your products and services. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this subject.


  5. Thanks for spelling out the unwritten “rules”. We are all guilty of some of these and I end up feeling a little guilt any time I do tweet my own listings – probably shouldn’t but when you really get to know social media, and respect it, you do your best to follow the rules. I followed you on Twitter. Feel free to put the hammer down on me when you see me getting out of line! Thanks for the article, Mark

  6. I like your post. For many agents they fail to do anything for fear of goofing up. I say just jump in with both feet. Learn as you go and ask lot’s of questions. If you are not savey about a social media site talk to someone who is. For us older folks talk to the younger people. You will be amazed what some of them know.

  7. Your post is so true. I’ve attended about a “billion” seminars on social media – facebook in particular – on how it will get me qualified buyers and sellers. The pricing to set it up is always between $300-$1000. However, none of the gurus can recommend anyone that is actually deriving income from a real estate facebook site. We tend to spend way too much money on software, advertising, etc. and it falls by the wayside – perhaps we should take those funds and go on vacation.

  8. I see way to many agents talking about how many listings they have, or how quickly they sold a house and too few providing helpful and useful info. Thanks for this great post!

  9. Great article and advice that every realtor should read – it’s easy to brag and push our listings but balance and social interaction is needed – just makes sense. Thanks

  10. Great article! I have been telling young realtors for years that social media is not a substitute for face to face networking. Social media re-inforces relationships

  11. I completely agree! I think most businesses don’t get social media. They know for a fact that it is beneficial for their business but doesn’t always give enough time to really figure out how to use it. It’s not just about the number of likes and followers, but the quality of it. Thanks for your post, very very helpful!

  12. One of the best articles I’ve read so far.

  13. So, with three years gone by, has it gotten better for realtors or not? I think they should start promoting their social posts with more super local-centric events and neighborhood happenings?

  14. The old days are gone when real estate agents doesn’t know anything about how to use social media for growing their business. Nowadays, there are thousands of real estate agents who are into blogging and available on several social media platforms. But the future of real estate agents is in dark. With the introduction of latest technologies in marketing field and competitive real estate apps, it will be hard for real estate agents to survive in the market.

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