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Luxury agents can’t afford to be shy in today’s marketplace, where brands are built on social media and the best leads emerge from a massive online audience. But posting photography and pre-recorded video is just one portion of an agent’s digital marketing mix — thanks to livestreaming, real-time video also has the potential to drive huge value.
I started incorporating livestreaming into my real estate practice a few years ago. However, I’ve been showcasing properties in front of the camera for much of my career, serving as a host and producer for various lifestyle and real estate programs. Informed by this experience, I’ve uncovered my own formula for what works when streaming video to a live virtual audience and what doesn’t. Here are my top tips.
When livestreaming works
People constantly record, upload, and stream content on their social media channels. You might feel pressure to keep up, but I’d urge you to slow down and be strategic. With livestreaming especially, less can be more. Be intentional, and you’ll be able to deliver significant engagement and memorable experiences.
1. Make the most of one-time opportunities
When there’s an exciting event or uncommon occurrence with a unique story behind it, seize the day and livestream it to your social channels. Whether you’ve landed a fabulous new listing or are announcing your next open house, a time-sensitive call to action is a useful livestreaming hack for generating interest.
2. If inspiration strikes, follow where it leads
If you’ve got a great idea for a livestream — whether at one of your listed properties or out in your local community — take it and run with it. I produce my best content when I’m passionate about something, so if you’re inspired to create and share video in real-time, plan where you’ll go and what you’ll do, and hit “record.”
3. Go for what’s good, not what’s convenient
In theory, an agent can livestream all the time. In practice, that would cheapen their brand and wear out their viewers. This is a case where quality always wins out over quantity, so be mindful of investing in the stories that genuinely have an impact and build your audience.
Creating reality TV
So you have a chance to broadcast live on social media, and you’re taking advantage of it. Before you’re live on the air, where there are no do-overs, here’s some advice on ensuring a successful livestream.
1. Capture the viewers’ attention, and hold it
The first few seconds matter. There’s much content out there vying for your viewers’ attention, and if you can’t win their interest immediately, you’ll lose them. Lead strong and cut to the chase.
2. Balance authenticity with professionalism
Yes, livestreamed social media often has a distinct DIY aesthetic, with jostling selfie sticks and out-of-frame faces. No, this aesthetic is not acceptable for agents representing some of the most exceptional real estate on the planet. Even if I’m just livestreaming, I try to have my tripod with me or have one of my colleagues hold the camera.
Of course, you should be yourself — but you should also keep it professional and classy. That means a steady camera and a clear, concise delivery. No one wants to feel dizzy viewing your video or listening to your commentary.
3. Tell stories that are fun, real, and relatable
Bring a sense of humor, humility, and honesty, and put the “real” in real estate, as your viewers expect authenticity. For example, take them behind the scenes of a photoshoot or show them the preparation that goes into staging. It’s a lot of work and not all glamorous, but it’s fascinating for your viewers and relevant to your brand.
4. Engage audiences with active participation
Your audience is there with you when you’re livestreaming, which differentiates this medium from more conventional video content. Take advantage of this interactivity. Ask for their input or opinions, or post a poll. Audience inclusion not only fosters connection, but it’s also a lot of fun.
5. Tried and true channels will serve you well
There are a lot of social platforms out there, with some designed specifically for livestreaming. Nevertheless, you need to meet your audience where they are — and in my experience, that means overwhelmingly favoring Instagram and Facebook.
Social media has plenty of influencers, but only a small group hold distinguished professional licenses granting them access to the world’s most covetable properties. As you livestream as a luxury agent, show your business, brand, community, and industry in the best light, and you’ll be rewarded as more and more potential clients tune in.
Dana Flanagan is a REALTOR® with Sotheby’s International Realty in Connecticut and Florida, bringing over 20 years of expertise across all price points. As President of International Real Estate with Wall Street Luxury, she oversees a concierge service for ultra-high-net-worth clients that delivers luxury real estate opportunities, marketing solutions, and vacation and destination experiences. Boasting a strong presence on television and social media, Dana hosts and produces several lifestyle and real estate TV shows airing nationally — including American Dream TV and A Taste of Winter and Dining Divas on the Travel Channel. Her listings have also attracted the attention of HGTV’s House Hunters.