Social Media & Smartphones for Buying, Selling – and Living In – Your Homes

46: In the 21st Century, we don’t need to tell Fort Lauderdale home buyers or sellers how important the smartphones are to listing, marketing, selling, or buying real estate. As a buyer or seller, you’ve probably already used real estate technology tools to research the home, the community, the schools and businesses in the area. You’re probably reading this article on your smartphone right now.

That’s why this video-and-blog series on real estate technology tools and strategies is so important. The Gary Lanham Group at Coldwell Banker Fort Lauderdale Beach Office is revealing how we’ve been migrating from analog marketing to digital platforms. We’ve developed and used social media as a tool to connect for every stage of the real estate shopping and selling process for single-family, duplex, and triplex homes and area condominiums.

Smartphones are increasingly important to actually living more comfortably in your residence.

We’ve seen success across the region. From Las Olas Isles to Lake Ridge, Wilton Manors, and throughout Greater Fort Lauderdale and Boca Raton, we use smartphones, apps, cameras – and the skill of a social media editor and marketing team – to master the process of finding and marketing remarkable homes.

For today’s social media marketing efforts that rely increasingly on tech tools to connect real estate agents with buyers and sellers, it begins with the smartphone. Using them, we’re able to shoot quick videos of properties or communities. We even discussed last time how we shoot and share videos to help cement our client relationship. No sooner do we leave the company of a prospect, than we’re shooting a follow-up “welcome” video thanking them for their time and interest, and letting them know our next steps.

The Smartphone’s Available Features

That’s just one novel feature we use regularly. Of course, as Realtors we regularly use all the available tools, like the Multiple Listing Service (MLS); form and PDF apps that allow us to write, review, and sign contracts on the phone; photography and videography tools to shoot, share, view, and zoom in on images to get a better view of a home’s unique features.

It’s our personal onboard computer. It even serves as a personal “hotspot” that can connect our laptops to the Internet.

If you’ve spent any time surfing our website, blog, and social media sites, you know The Gary Lanham Group at Coldwell Banker Fort Lauderdale Beach Office heavily invests time and resources into our social media and technology tools to connect with the marketplace. We shoot videos, which are edited by our social media expert Chetachi Egwu, Ph.D., from MediaScope. Tachi has taught us how to write articles, presentations and advertisements, and successfully take our marketing to the Internet.

Our hope is that our content becomes part of a robust library of educational resources that South Florida consumers turn to to learn more about the Fort Lauderdale real estate marketplace. From the comfort and privacy of their own homes, homeowners and buyers can read shared content - and share it themselves.

Whether on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube or other sites, they’re sharing content, videos, articles, and opinions. Whether for Millennials - the fastest growing segment of home buyers and owners in the nation - or Baby Boomers like us, we’re all embracing social media with impassioned fervor.

Who would have thought that the platform that Mark Zuckerberg started at Harvard to allow friends to keep up with each other’s lives in college would connect Millennials, boomers, friends, parents, even grandparents? With Facebook’s sister service, Instagram, homebuyers from the Northeast hoping to migrate to South Florida have incorporated social media into every corner of their lives.

We even can use the smart phone’s web browers and text function to connect to such services like HomeLight. The service identifies the best Realtors in a given community or region and connects them with those hoping to sell or buy real estate in various neighborhoods.

All from that computer we carry tucked in our pockets or purse.

Home Marketing Only Part of Social Media & Smartphone's Power

The ability to communicate with and share videos quickly and to access our messages is only part of the power today’s smartphones provide. “Whole home automation” is an increasingly popular service that smartphones deliver. Downloadable apps, connected to servers in the home, enable users to turn on or off the home’s air conditioner and climate systems and internal and external lighting; open and close shades and blinds; even arm and disarm the security or alarm system.

You can even get a view of what the home’s surveillance system sees – or has recorded. That’s a smart technology power tool changing our world and making us more connected – and safe.

The combination of smartphones and social media empowers customers to contact us simply, efficiently, and quickly - as quickly as they see a home they want to tour or when they decide to list a property. It’s as easy as see an article or video online, click through to the social media or website to contact The Gary Lanham Group.

Social media also brings another powerful function not seen with “traditional” media: Accountability. Any advertiser or relationship-focused business owner wants to know where the most recent customer or prospect came from. The analytics available through social media and websites put this information at our fingertips.

Smart Tool Analytics Connect As All

Whether you explicitly ask, “How did you hear about me?” or use these analytical tools, the information is there for taking. When you harvesting this data, it truly empowers consumers and real estate agents to make better choices. That leaves Realtors and other social media-savvy business owners to build that relationship by not only cementing the prospect with a follow-up video, but thanking the referrer directly.

If you’re active with today’s social media toolbox, you’ll find you’re able to stand heads above other Realtors. At The Gary Lanham Group at Coldwell Banker Fort Lauderdale Beach Office, we embrace all that social media delivers. Some are reluctant to change from analog to digital. But at our firm, we’ve been licensed and trusted Realtors for long enough to say with some authority: ignore macro-trends at your own peril.

Besides, all sales aside, social media is a fun place to live, work, and make new clients - and friends. That’s where we prefer to live and work, whether in Lake Ridge,  Wilton Manors, the Corals of Oakland Park, North Andrews Gardens, or Bay Colony.

Gary Lanham Group at Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate is a boutique real estate organization offering sales, leasing, and brokerage services to the Greater Fort Lauderdale area. A listings agent matches home sellers with buyers and tenants with landlords. While Broward County is our universe, we focus on Coral Ridge Country Club, Oakland Park, Wilton Manors, Pompano Beach, and the surrounding areas. Call us today at (954) 695-6518 or visit www.GaryLanhamGroup.com.

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