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Is It Useful for Real Estate Photographers to Promote Listings They Shoot on Social Media?

Published: 11/02/2017
By: larry

George in California asks:

A local real estate photography company offers to advertise a listing they photographed for their clients.  They advertise on their company social media page and charge agents for the service. This appears to be a popular service. Is this legal?

I see no reason why promoting your clients listings on social media is illegal. Promoting listings that a real estate photographer photographs has long been very common and it probably promotes the photographer as much as the agent:

  1. Before the advent of social media, we discussed the concept of area listing sites operated by real estate photographers. This was actually a way of marketing agents.
  2. I can remember many years ago when Fred Light was telling me that a standard part of delivering his property video was to upload the video to many of the popular video sites. Fred apparently still does this and includes the service in the price of the videos.

I'm sure this would be a popular service whether or not you charge extra for it. I can believe that there are many older agents that are not social media savvy enough to promote their own listings on social media. However, I would think that it would be more effective if agents promoted their listings on their own social media accounts rather than the photographer's account.

Anyone else out there doing any of this for your clients?

8 comments on “Is It Useful for Real Estate Photographers to Promote Listings They Shoot on Social Media?”

  1. While I haven't been doing this long I have been posting a few photos of each of the homes I've photographed as well as the tagging the agent in them (if they are on social media) and their office so their friends can see it too. I try to include their business number also. Anything extra that can help promote myself and my clients is a win for us both.

  2. I always post the pictures to my social media site, tag them and share it on their
    Social Media when available. I do charge for it but not separately, I consider it a cost of doing business, therefore it is an expense and is factored into the price.
    Thus to customer it is a valued added service not something the pay extra for it.

  3. The legality would be the main concern for me. I don't believe it would be illegal to charge for a service like this (it's advertising, just like if the agent purchases a bus bench ad or an in-store display), but it seems that it would have to be made abundantly clear that the agent's contact information and RE license number would be displayed on the advertisements. That way the photographer is merely a distribution channel, rather than it being misconstrued that the photographer is the one who has the listing or is offering to sell the property without the credentials to do so.

  4. Considering there are about a billion people registered on just Facebook, the amount of prospective clientele you can reach via social media is quite amazing. I try to post a link to every RE project I do - sometimes the realtor doesn't want it or their client, for whatever reason, doesn't want it on-line (of course when it hits the MLS my Facebook page and website is the least of their worries), but the realtors let me know before I get the files edited. All my clients know that I share all my shoots - and many of them are very happy about it when their listing sells because someone saw it on my website or Facebook. Realtors know to check my website and follow me on Facebook because there will be 12 to 15 new properties a week shown there that aren't on the MLS yet. I got several of my clients from my Facebook posts and if I get a cancellation I just post the opening and most often it is filled again in a few hours.

    I also post my RE shoots on Google+, but it is not as well followed. They have a rating system on Google that can be beneficial for your website standing in Google Search, so that's another option for getting more clients from social media.

    So, yes, I find social media to be extremely useful for both my clients and myself.

  5. Social media is a powerful tool for client retention and marketing. Most properties get posted on my Facebook business page, LinkedIn, and twitter with the front shot, a link back to the tour, agent name, agent phone number and property address. The key to doing this is the OG properties (Open Graph Protocol) inside each of my tour html pages. So when the share buttons are used inside of the tour, the OG properties is populated in the new post.

    The great part about this is anybody sharing the tour will be spreading the word about the listing and my images. This gets others on social media to market for me and the agent. What I do not post is anything about the sale of the property no price, no MLS number, NOT even the term “For Sale”. That way the tour never has to be removed from the web. I will pull the tour down only on request. This is why I have the last 1,200 photo shoots on my web site as the portfolio. Link backs are great SEO as long as the linked page is valid.

  6. It's the agent's job to market the property. I just provide them with images to accomplish that. I deleted my Twitter account last year and never intend to have a FB account. I believe that even if somebody looks on FB for real estate, they are also looking at real estate specific web sites such as Realtor.com or Zillow which are set up specifically for RE. Posting on Twitter about RE listings that I have done strikes me as shouting down a well. If I don't have a couple of thousand followers looking to buy a home in my area watching my feed, what's the point?

    Due to all of the weird regulations that MLS's have, there is a broker I do work for that teases listings on FB before they are officially listed on the MLS and that has worked out well for him on some listings. He admits that he does get a ton of useless inquiries that cost him time so he only uses the Social Media approach for certain listings. The goal is selling the property and getting more under contract, not "Likes".

    ROI is huge for an independent business person. If you invest several hours a day on FB and the investment nets one job a month, you're could have spent the time more profitably researching agents and getting out to open houses and other events and meeting agents in person. In four hours of cruising open houses today and talking with agents, I have the names of two local agents from an office I haven't done any business with yet that could be looking for a photographer. I'll be calling them on the phone tomorrow. If I get at least one job out of my sales calls today, that will be an excellent return.

  7. I always post the real estate images I've created on my Business Facebook page. I also share some of the higher value listings on my personal FB page for additional exposure. It's impossible to know if this ever helps sell the listing, however, I do know that these postings have helped me to obtain new business from people who've LIKED and view my FB pages. It seems like a common sense marketing tool for my photo services!

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