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The AI revolution is officially upon us.
And there’s a tasteful way that real estate agents can utilize the tool in their social media strategy to make their lives easier while staying true to themselves, speakers at Inman Connect Las Vegas said during a panel moderated by Inman’s Laura Monroe on Tuesday.
Glennda Baker, of Glennda Baker & Associates at Ansley Atlanta Real Estate, said she believed in agents maintaining ownership over their social media content.
“When it comes to AI, there’s no disputing that it’s going to have an impact on our industry, but ultimately that person, just like the filter you use on your photos, isn’t going to show up in front of your clients,” she told the ICLV audience. “If you’re going to let AI create the content, shame on you … I’m the old dog on the stage, but ultimately that’s the truth.”
Giselle Ugarte, of Action Forward and The Talent Brokerage, said there are smart ways agents can implement artificial intelligence to make their lives easier, but there’s no way AI can completely replace an agent’s work on their own social media or other parts of their business.
“I believe you should make it an extension, not a replacement,” Ugarte said. “Use it for research. Use it as a coach. Don’t use it to replace your actual coach, but use it to find pain points …”
Mike Sherrard, of eXp Realty, likened AI to the invention of the tractor.
“Centuries ago, farmers did everything manually,” he said. “Some decided to do it the old way, some decided to use the new tool … It’s never going to make an agent obsolete … but the ones who capitalize on it are going to be able to use it to leverage their business.”
Let AI do some of the work to free up your time for other tasks, and then insert your own personality, Sherrard advised.
However, an agent uses AI in their social media content, keeping content relatable — and not worrying about how viral it is — is paramount.
“It’s not about virality,” Baker urged. “That’s your vanity talking. AI and social media are about relatability … Your ability to relate to the consumer, to give them real content, to give them reliable content, that is what they’re looking for from a real estate agent.”
Ugarte added that a lot of people get stuck in the trap of thinking about where they should be rather than thinking about what they want their own life to look like, allowing their life online to mirror their life in reality and showing intention through their content.
“I would rather you post one video a week that you feel good about, rather than doing it every single day,” she said. “What does this post say about me? What does it say about the audience I’m trying to reach? How does it bring value?”
Sherrard also spoke about how important it is to enjoy the platform you work with, which will ultimately be reflected in better content. He said he sees social media as a larger-scale version of the relationships that real estate agents are continually fostering in person.
“Everybody says they get into real estate to create relationships, and all social is, is creating relationships at scale,” he said. “Falling in love with the journey is so important … When you’re trying to be a different version of somebody else, that’s when you burn out.”
He also strives to create content in an unbiased way, evaluating his content by looking at it from an outsider’s point of view and analyzing whether or not it stacks up in terms of entertainment and educational value compared to other similar online content.
And stop posting all the time about your wins selling X property for X amount over asking in five days, Baker advised.
“It is useless,” she said. “Talk about what [clients are] not seeing. As an industry, we’re making it look like anybody can do it.”
Ugarte reminded the audience that Baker’s most-viewed TikTok is about when she accidentally sold the wrong house, not a story about highlighting her biggest win.
“What she is doing is owning her biggest mistake,” Ugarte said. “It shows her clients that she’s learned from her mistake and will never sell the wrong house again.”
Finding success in 2024 is all about building good habits and sticking with them Sherrard said.
“It’s a mindset issue,” he said.
Meanwhile, Ugarte advised agents to stay intentional about their social media posts starting at the beginning of the year.
“Think about what’s going to lead to DMs in my inbox, email account, changes in my bank account. Have that due date and stick to it, or find an accountability partner,” she said.
Baker urged agents to stay authentic and take ownership of what they create.
“I would just say as an industry, it’s so important to create content that you can stand behind,” Baker said. “When you put something out, you’re putting out your name, your expertise. It is a representation of you …
“And speak about your passion,” she advised.