Picture Perfect: Property and the Power of Social Media
Jim Gibson, Managing Director at HomeReportScotland.Scot
Social media has infiltrated just about every aspect of our lives. It is now almost impossible to brunch with a friend without having to wait a few moments once your meal has arrived to allow them to snap the perfect Instagram post. Only once they have finished hashtagging #eggsbenny can you proceed to tuck in. So, why should property be any different?
Believe it or not, people are starting to use social media to buy and sell property, and it looks like this is just the beginning. We’re not just talking about the plethora of Pinterest pages full of shabby chic, upcycled, chest of drawers, with dedication to DIY and all things home improvement. Today we’re seeing Instagram posts advertising impeccable new listings, celebrity endorsed property sales and the viral power of a Facebook share or Twitter retweet.
With research showing that 93% of property searches begin online, it makes sense that buyers and sellers alike are using the global power of social media platforms. Never has the mantra of ‘picture perfect’ rang so true now that Instagram filters and editing apps have become a normal part of photograph sharing. A quick search on the photo-posting site Instagram reveals that the word ‘property’ has been hashtagged over 1.8 million times and the figure continues to rise on an hourly basis.
Twenty years ago, property searching was about kerb appeal: if you stood on the street, it was the garden, the porch and the visible furnishings that lured you into the house. Now however, flawless lighting at the ‘golden hour’ of the day and meticulous attention to detail are essential to capturing knockout property shots. Enticing could-be-buyers through social media platforms means that quality photography has never been so important. If you want to sell your property, you have to show it at its best – garden shots when the sun is shining and foamy bubbles and candles in the candid bathroom snap. Property images must now capture the lifestyle that goes with the shot too – allowing the viewer to fully imagine what their life might be like if they lived there.
With Pinterest and Instagram heralded as ‘the big 2’, let us not forget about Facebook and Twitter. For many home-sellers, capturing an award-winning photograph is not always realistic, but sharing a post that contains wow factor photographs of their property is. The power of viral is a force to be reckoned with – retweeting and sharing your property ad once it has been posted by your estate agent is the fastest way to capture your circle’s interest. Your contacts can then share it with their circle and their circle’s circle and so on. If online shopping has become more popular than traditional high street shopping, it is only a matter of time before property viewing takes place solely in the comfort of one’s own home.
Social commerce isn’t the only thing on the rise either. Mobile browsing now sees 78% of buyers using this method to look for comparable home prices, with a further 45% searching for their next home. To not tap into this unprecedented world of property hunting would seem a waste.
Whilst we might still be a little way off exchanging housing contracts via an Instagram post, it is a no brainer that exploiting the world of social media to browse for your dream property, or to entice potential buyers is the way forward, and this is hugely exciting. Now, excuse me whilst I work out how best to capture the contrast between this solid oak flooring and my minimalist inspired kitchen.
Some of our favourite property accounts include:
Self-proclaimed ‘Mr Super Prime’, Daniel uses Instagram to promote property ‘to the super rich across the world’. He has previously been featured in Tatler and British GQ.
RightMove know exactly how to make best use of the world’s most popular social media platform. Daily posts allow followers to search for their dream home.
Understanding the art of living, Urban Spaces provides interesting and insightful posts on all things property related as well as showcasing the best properties in London.