For REO firms such as ours and our fellow FORCE members involved in brokering distressed real estate, social media can be a scary topic.

At first, our team at Fulton Property Solutions was a bit uneasy about venturing into the social media realm, partially due to our lack of acumen in the marketing space. The real question became, “Who has time to sit down and figure out how to effectively use social media while managing a busy REO office?”
We realize that in this rapidly changing industry, being slow to embrace new technology is simply not a choice for REO firms. The end goal of our business is selling foreclosed homes as quickly and professionally as possible. This must happen while increasing our buyer prospects and attracting institutional clients like hedge funds or investors. Social media marketing is the appropriate option for a manageable marketing strategy.

After some research, our team decided that we should only use social media if we had time to create relevant content and engage with our audience. Research has shown that users visit social media platforms to socialize, not receive advertising, so we knew we couldn’t simply post a stream of our listings. Your potential clients, investors, and prospects are visiting Facebook and Twitter for ways to share, interact, and learn all before they decide if they will do business with you.

What’s the ROI?

Though there is an ongoing debate about whether having an active social media presence leads to direct sales, in our case the answer is yes, but it takes time.
The benefits of brand recognition are considered intangible, so they can be difficult to quantify. We have found that using social media to expedite the relationship-building process, expanding our network, and attracting potential clients is priceless and well worth the time involved.
Since investing in social media nearly a year ago, we have seen a significant uptick in brand recognition, new business opportunities, and cross-networking—all of which is growing our business. In addition, Fulton Property Solutions is seeking to implement other online platforms such as videos and podcasts to help garner trust and lay the groundwork for making meaningful connections.

So what’s next?

From Facebook to Twitter and from Instagram to Pinterest, there are many options for FORCE members to expand their social media presence. Decide which social media platform will work best for your business and marketing strategy. Think about how you want to present your brand and what type of informative and engaging content to share.

If you don’t have time to post, tweet, or create video feed, consider using a service such as Hootsuite or Buffer, which allow for automated postings. Another option is to make a small adjustment in your marketing budget that will allow you to closely engage with a marketing firm. A marketing partner can enable you to maximize your business potential in the world of social media.

About the FORCE Member:

Trevor Nightengale

With more than 15 years of experience in real estate with a concentration on REO sales, Trevor Nightengale has a proven track record in servicing GSE, institutional, and private money clients. With upwards of 130 transactions closed in 2012, Trevor ranked fourth in his entire market area in sales for individual agents. Trevor’s approach to client service incorporates his extensive background in technology and finance to produce a sharp, accurately focused, time-centric platform to meet each client’s specific needs.