Facebook Live for REALTORS®

Live video streaming is growing in popularity, and it’s easy to capitalize on the trend. Facebook Live allows users to broadcast and record an event – such as an open house – as it happens. Read on to learn more about Facebook Live, why REALTORS® should consider using it, and how others have already taken the plunge.

In a nutshell, Facebook Live is an online video-sharing tool that enables users to broadcast live video from their smartphones. Before broadcasting, users type a short description of the event, and then their followers are sent an alert so they can “tune in,” watch, and ask questions in the comments section during the broadcast. After the live broadcast is finished, the video is automatically saved on the creator’s business page or personal timeline.

Facebook Live is a useful tool for real estate professionals because it has a wide reach and allows users to view homes remotely. Market research shows that the average adult watches upward of one hour and 15 minutes of digital video per day, and millennials are the biggest consumers of live streams. According to eMarketer, 63 per cent of millennials have watched live content, while 42 per cent have created it. In other words, not only is the world now on social media, but it’s also watching video online, and potential first-time homebuyers are major consumers of live streams.

Facebook is one of the most watched live video platforms, and a fierce competitor to YouTube and Snapchat. Paul Verna, an eMarketer senior analyst, says “Facebook’s investments in live video are paying off. The data points to a fluid market in which Facebook is emerging as the leader.”

Experts say that the authenticity captured by live streaming is what pulls people in. It’s important to do some prep work, however, before going live. In an article for online housing industry magazine Curbed, writer Patrick Sisson notes that “video tours aren’t anything new, but the ‘rawness’ of these platforms offers a new hook when pushing property.”

Katie Lance, a social media consultant for real estate pros, concurs, explaining that you don’t have to aim for perfection, but you “can still be prepared by having an idea of what you’d like to talk about.” She also suggests jotting down a few points to refer to before going live. It is also a good idea to ensure that you have the necessary permission of those in the video, as well as the homeowners’ permission (of course).

So how are people using live video streaming? Sisson cites a New York property manager who says that Facebook Live is about efficiency: broadcasting open houses live lets busy clients take in the sights and sounds of the property from the comfort of their chairs. Meanwhile, another industry professional says that he uses it to help international clients get a sense of the local market before they make the big trip to view homes in his area. As Sisson explains, it’s “an easy way to cull down a long list of properties when there isn’t enough time to see all of them in person.”

Used strategically, Facebook Live is a great tool for REALTORS®. Live streaming can take some courage and a bit of planning, but it’s relatively simple to do. And once you take the plunge, you’ll be on the cutting edge of social media use.

Show them they can