I was sitting at the Royals game here in Kansas City last night, enjoying the ambiance, the crowd, the boys in blue killing it — and yes, a ROYALS victory! And as I looked around, people watching, listening, appreciating our good seats and even better, the company with a dear friend of mine (who also happens to be my architect), I could see tons of people with their cell phones out, taking pictures of the players, the stadium, and of course, themselves.
With nearly everyone these days having a cell phone at their fingertips, we have such a powerful device to help us run our businesses. Most phones also take incredible photos. As real estate investors, property managers, flippers, and wholesalers, when we want to attract someone to our properties, what do we often start with? I know what it is for me… great photos!
3 Kinds of Photos I Post on Social Media to Generate BIG Interest in My Properties
1. Killer Photos of Your Listing
I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve gotten a better deal on a house because the agent who had taken them and put them on the MLS did a terrible job. Awesome for me!
One in particular was a little rental house we bought last year. It literally had one picture from the outside, the property covered in snow, not well centered and not entirely in the frame… and that house sat on the market for months. We came in and decided to go walk through it. I kept seeing it on the market, not moving price-wise, and not going pending.
When I arrived at the house, I was pleasantly surprised. The exterior siding was in awesome shape, the interior literally just needed the carpets cleaned, the walls needed paint, and just a few other updates were required (and a gas line I later found out about). It was listed around $40k, and I bought it for nearly half that.
My best guess on that property is that people just didn’t go see it because they didn’t know what they were missing. Their loss. We bought it, and it’s been a great rental house.
On the other hand, we listed a rental house a few weeks ago using great pictures that were clear that really had some style and solid color and composition. Now, I’m no photographer by trade. But I can mess with them long enough in my phone to make them look cool, and they will therefore look cool to someone else. If you like looking at the photograph and think it looks like a nice place to live, people coming to look at your listing are more likely to feel that same way. Even better, they might develop an emotional attachment to how they felt seeing the picture before they even get into the house and will be even more likely to want to rent or buy it.
2. The “In Progress” Picture
This serves SO many purposes! First, if you want to make posting to social media even easier, get a Hootsuite account and post from there. You get three free social media accounts, but for about $10-15 a month, you can post to unlimited social media accounts (I can post to 10+ LinkedIn groups, for example). Regardless of how many accounts you have to connect, you post from Hootsuite, and it posts to all your social media sources for you. You can even set a timer and plan out the entire day or week of posts from one place. It’s awesome!
So, let’s say you have a really disgusting room you just did demo on and are getting ready to put it back together. Great timing for a picture. You can use this picture to say a few things:
- Does your house look like this? I buy houses! #ibuyhouseskc #kc #investor
- MAN, this bathroom is so disgusting! Glad I have amazing guys who work for me… #investing #realestate
- Just you wait until we get the new tile installed in here .. gonna be KILLER! #hgtv #investor #contractor
Now, not only are you telling the story with the picture, you are giving a clear and concise post for people to see, think about and ponder on while they view your photo. And yes, I use those hashtags. I almost always get likes on photos from people I don’t know. Wonder why? That person did a search, and they found my photo via the hashtags.
Listen to this: Of the three flips I just finished, two of them I got through my social media sources. Obviously you could post a bunch of photos and not get a ton of responses, but even one deal makes it worthwhile.
3. The “WOW” Before & After Photo
WOW! Yes, wow is right. First, if your after shot isn’t a “wow” — DON’T POST IT! Ugh. I can’t stand bad photos. On regular MLS listings, they are bad enough, but for a retail sale of a flip project or a rental house that you want people to be super excited about, they HAVE to be right.
For example, last week we listed our “woodland” flip project online via Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. We got tons of messages about how awesome it was, asking where it was located, and how much the property was. What happens when people love them?
They post comments on the picture! They “like” it! And if you’re really lucky (or you ask people to share or tag their friends), you have automatically gotten more people in front of your new project because on Facebook, as people like that picture, it comes up in other people’s feeds as something that person had liked or commented on.
Got to love free advertising!
In the week leading up to listing it, we had already generated a ton of interest in the property before it even hit the MLS. Sometimes, like our “fairway” flip, properties sell before they even hit the market.
Why? Because I sent a couple photos to a couple agents telling them about the house. And it’s a hot market. The agent brought their buyer, and they wrote a full price offer. They had missed out on several other properties, and they didn’t want to miss out on this one.
The Wrap Up
In your social media campaigns and postings, don’t be negative. Don’t talk badly about people. Be positive. Be humble in dealing with sellers who are in tough situations. Tell a story with your words and your pictures. Give people a reason to interact. Have fun with angles, color, and editing tools when it comes to your photographs. Use social media to your advantage.
And most of all, post AWESOME pictures!
How do YOU use pictures in your social media?
Leave a comment below, and let’s discuss!