The Importance of Social Media in the Residential Property Market

Having a well polished web site is all well and good, but how much better is it for your client and their network, to receive regular reminders via social media apps that showcase your properties, drive them to your site and ultimately secure more sales?

Lets look at some stats. Every second, on average, around 6,000 tweets are tweeted on Twitter, corresponding to over 500 million tweets per day? On Facebook there were 1.94 billion monthly active users as of March 2017, 32 million user accounts just in the UK.

Social media apps such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Linkedin are of increasing importance in the residential property market, having the advantage of allowing notifications without ad blocking. When a user follows your page your posts are seen by people in their network, an easy way to get your latest featured property to a wider audience. Additionally, if linked correctly, your post takes the user to your website without the client needing to use a search engine, or your company needing a dedicated app.

Traditional Email versus Social Media Channels

So what does this mean for your e-mailed mailshots, will they fall out of fashion as much as big shoulder pads and the glossy A4 fliers of the 1980s? Deloitte’s 2016 Consumer Survey shows the reach of e-mail and apps are rising in parallel. Every smartphone comes with an email app, hence its popularity. It is a simple way to communicate, however, blanket group e-mails are both impersonal and counterproductive. Posting to your own Social Media page drives clients towards you and gives much wider and more targeted coverage.

The best of both worlds

The future lies in combining these tools, for example personalised mailshots, which link to fully interactive, cross platform compliant reports. Here at Houseprice.AI, our property app, Horizon, includes cutting edge interactive reports that can be e-mailed to your clients and also posted to social media for other followers to read, combining the best of both worlds. Horizon also has a smart feature that enables you to chat directly with your potential clients from the interactive report, whether they click on the e-mail link or the social media post. In fact these conversations are not only with clients that were e-mailed the report, but with any interested buyer who clicks on that post.

When To Post or Not To Post

It is important to establish the perfect balance of social media posts – just enough to keep people engaged, but not so much as to irritate them. Automatic and poorly scheduled posts that tweet the same post on the hour every hour quickly become tedious and a turn off. You can use Facebook and Twitter Analytics tools to make your posts more effective. For example Twitter statistics show that the most popular time to tweet is 12-1pm, the most read are first thing, and the most liked in the evening. Use the tools to help you decide what works best for your business.

There is no doubt that social media channels will play an increasingly important role in the marketing of property sales and lettings. These need to be quickly embraced and adapted as the powerful marketing and business generating vehicles they can be, and as forward thinking 21st century estate agents become hybrid agencies, with a presence in both virtual highways and local high streets.

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Factoids and Snippets about Property Valuation Methods

Marie-Esprit-Léon Walras (1834 –1910)

While delving into the history behind the development of AVMs, we came across this interesting pioneer. Léon Walras was a French economist who formulated the marginal theory of value (independently of William Jevons and Carl Menger) and pioneered development of general equilibrium theory.

“I say that things are useful whenever they can be put to any use at all” - Léon Walras

In the early 1870s the theory of marginal utility started a brand new microeconomics. The main impact on future development of AVMs was the theory of value. Before these bright sparks, the classical thought was that exchange value was based on building costs, particularly labour. Marginalist theory linked value with use and demand. So, if you flood the market with new property, the demand is diluted and the cost becomes almost irrelevant.

Initially Walras enrolled at the School of Mines in Paris but didn’t like engineering and quit. He tried several diverse careers. These include, but are not limited to: a journalist, a railway clerk, a bank director, and even a published romantic novelist! He applied for economics posts in France but was under qualified, and complained that the orthodox French economists passed on their chairs to their relatives. Finally he obtained tenure at the University of Lausanne in Switzerland.

Whilst Jevons was lauded in England, just as Menger was in Austria, poor Walras was in Switzerland where the academic appreciation of economics did not have a major role. However, Walras continued his dedication to his theories, and simulated an artificial market process that would get the system to equilibrium, a process he called “tâtonnement” (French for “groping”). He hypothesised that tâtonnements in the markets for productive services and for consumer goods are interrelated.

In 1895 Walras’s successor to the chair of economics at Lausanne, Pareto, presented Walras’s ideas in his own books, and finally began their widespread dissemination.

In 1904, Walras wrote to old friends about his future:
“I have not the least doubt about the future of my method and even of my doctrine; but I know that success of this sort does not become clearly apparent until after the death of the author”. then in 1909 a celebration of his jubilee was held by the University of Lausanne. He was honoured as the first economist to establish the conditions of general equilibrium, thus founding the School of Lausanne.

Walras's prediction of success proved accurate. His theory of general equilibrium has been developed further in the 20th century and these have become an integral part of mainstream modern economics.

For sheer genius, and intuitive power in divining the underlying structure of fundamental economic relationships and their extensive interdependencies and consequences, Walras has been surpassed by no one.

Acknowledgements: The Concise History of Economics 2nd Edition, Léon Walras: The life of Léon Walras and perspectives on his thought edited by John Cunningham Wood, Advances in Automated Valuation Modelling edited by Maurizio d'Amato, Tom Kauko,