Should Real Estate Agents Use Snapchat

Snapchat is the social app that has already captivated the attention of tweens and teens, and is now finding its way into the hands of older generations and even of some businesses’ marketing strategists. The reason is simple: Snapchat is really engaging. The app’s users have 10 seconds or less to view an opened post before it disappears. They have to pay attention.

At some point around midyear 2016, daily usage of Snapchat surpassed Twitter, with about 150 million people using the service daily. While there is little doubt it’s the next big thing in digital communications, is Snapchat something you should be using to market homes? The short answer is: Why not?

Marketing Homes with Snapchat

As an in-the-moment and fully visual form of communication, Snapchat can support your other online efforts by conveying more than information. The app allows you to go beyond telling a story to show what you are experiencing. In this way, the app is like an ongoing conversation with someone who can’t be there to share in what you are seeing and experiencing. This could include how the sun hits the mantle of a home you are previewing or the way a backyard sounds. This makes Snapchat a new and effective way of driving viewers to your website to view listing details, if they see the snap.

Unlike your Facebook, Twitter and blog posts, your Snapchat isn’t discoverable by the public. The app lacks a search function, and its content isn’t organized into channels. Instead, you push your content out to those who agree to see it. This means gaining followers occurs slowly— and quality definitely trumps quantity. Display your Snapchat code on your other social channels, business card, ads, and open house brochures to grow your following. The upside is whoever views your content, will want to see it.

Snapchat 101

6 Tips to Get You Snapchatting

After downloading the app, you may find it helpful to visit Snapchat online to go through a tutorial on how to access the features and to understand the icons. Once you are ready to snap to it, here are some tips to keep in mind.

  1. Share your Snaps correctly. The two main ways to use Snapchat are sending your Snaps directly to your followers through Chat or adding your Snaps to My Story. The first method is recommended if you have a relationship with a follower and, for example, want to send them some pictures of a home you think they’ll like. The major downside is that the Snap can only be viewed once, and then it’s gone forever. The second method, adding your Snaps to My Story, is the best way to go for showing off your Snaps to all of your followers. More on that next!
  2. Use My Story. The app’s My Story function allows you to weave together a series of photos and videos into a narrative that can be viewed as many times as your viewers want during the 24 hours it’s available. Since you can share with all of your followers at once, this is the best way to show your new listing or an open house.
  3. Be yourself. The goals are to demonstrate what it’s like to be in the listing’s neighborhood, to showcase the home you are Snapchatting, and to give an idea of what it’s like to be in a car driving around with you looking at properties. Although, you shouldn’t use Snapchat while actually driving.
  4. Use the text function. It’s a good policy to add a short headline, such as “Great view,” so followers understand what you are sharing. For video you’ll also want to include audio to make the most of the few seconds you have to communicate.
  5. Get permission. Make sure the homeowner is fine with Snapchatting from their home. To reinforce how your services lead to happy beginnings, you may also want to create stories around your clients’ closings by snapping photos to celebrate the key exchange, provided your clients are okay with it.
  6. Keep using Snapchat. Challenge yourself to use Snapchat at every showing—whether it’s pretty tile work, how rooms connect, or performing karaoke in the car with your client.

Snapchat may be the latest social tool at your disposal, but it enables you to extend your reach just a little farther, while engaging in a more personal way to deepen your client relationships. With practice, you’re likely to find it snaps right into place as part of your overall marketing strategy.