Facebook live is the perfect way to connect and interact with your online audience, in real time. It not only lets you stream all the excitement of an auction, it provides you with lasting content to share across your social media streams.
Facebook Live is an engaging way to promote your auctions or open homes.
I’ve had a couple of clients ask me lately about Facebook Live and how it can be leveraged for the real estate industry. So, I’ve outlined a guide for any real estate agent interested in using this service to boost their profile and get more ‘bums on seats’ – virtually speaking!
Firstly, what is Facebook Live?
Facebook Live is a way of broadcasting live events in real time to your Facebook followers. Introduced in early 2016, the technology is used by public figures, entertainers and businesses to get up close and personal with their audience.
Setting up Facebook Live is simple – create a new post and then tap on the Live Video button. Facebook will ask you to tap the Go Live button when you’re ready to broadcast. While streaming, you’ll be able to check how many people are watching. You’ll also be able to respond to comments and switch to and from the front and back cameras of your phone for different perspectives.
Before you live stream your property auction
The challenge of Facebook Live isn’t using it, it’s getting people to watch! The key is to promote your upcoming live event well in advance of the auction date.
At every open home, remind the buyers who you speak with that they’ll have the opportunity to watch the auction via Facebook, if they can’t make it in person. A few days before an auction, send out an email to your database as well as any interested buyers or local businesses.
Make the following points clear:
- That this is going to be an exciting event with a number of eager bidders.
- That even if they can’t make it in person on the day, that interested parties can watch the action unfold in real time from their smartphone or computer, and even again after the fact.
- Iterate that is a great opportunity for inexperienced bidders to gather tips about the auction process for when they’re ready to bid on a property themselves.
- That anyone planning to watch should ‘Like’ your page on Facebook so that they’ll receive notifications about your forthcoming Facebook Live Auction, and a prompt when it’s about to kick-off.
- Create a title for the event, e.g. “Live Auction, Beecroft, 65 Hannah Street” so that users are clear on what they’ll be viewing.
Before things get underway, take some test footage with your phone to make sure that you’re standing in a good spot without too much shadow or light flare and that the sound quality is clear. The test footage will also give you an idea of the strength of the internet connection where you’re standing – if it’s flaky you may have to reconsider your tactics.
Prewarn the auctioneer so that they know they’ll be on camera and can make a point of welcoming Facebook viewers too before everything gets underway.
Stuart Benson, an Auctioneer who has used Facebook Live to capture his events as they unfold, recommends telling people that they are being filmed, as a courtesy, at the start of the Auction.
“If anyone is opposed to being on camera, direct them to stand in a location that’s away from the general crowd but still in full view of proceedings.” – Stuart Benson
See Stuart in action, in this Facebook Live stream at a Century21 auction in Dural NSW.
During your Facebook Live streaming event
While you’re broadcasting, stand close to the auctioneer and out of the wind if possible – as this can interfere with the sound quality.
Consider using a tripod so that the camera is steady throughout the broadcast.
Check the number of viewers online and invite them to subscribe so that they get notifications of future auctions.
Whilst you are filming, don’t forget to interact and change angles. If the bidding slows down you can switch the camera back to yourself, take a few steps away from the auctioneer and do a bit of a running commentary. When things get really tense you can focus on the bidders and the crowd as well as the auctioneer.
Facebook users can comment during a broadcast. If they’re doing this, but there’s no time to answer questions you may want to quickly say that you’ll respond to feedback after the auction, or organise for another member of your team to be stationed at a computer to manage the responses. Comments will reappear one by one during the replay, so it won’t be confusing for viewers to hear you read out or interact with people.
After your Facebook Live broadcast
Once the auction is finished, you will have a full recording of the property auction to share. Facebook lets you edit your video and asks you to choose a thumbnail image as well as a category (go with home & garden). You can also set a call to action message (as highlighted above) at this point too.
Once it’s all done and dusted, you’ll be able to access a link for the final video and reshare it across your other social media channels, such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Google Plus. Here’s one that was created by McGrath’s Kevin Dearlove;
Kevin’s auction video received a very impressive 9000+ views, 80+ Likes, 15 or so comments and 3 shares. A great result!
You can also share the link to your auction with your database in your next newsletter, reminding your followers what it’s like to engage you and your team. Add a brief written overview for those who don’t have time to watch the whole event.
It’s all about the engagement stats
Facebook shares statistics with you, letting you check how many unique views the clip has had, how many watched for less than ten seconds and how many times your video has been reacted to, commented on and shared.
Fortunately for the real estate industry, the financial cost of using this technology is very low. You don’t need fancy equipment or special talents, just you, a smartphone and an internet connection.
Creating this interactive experience provides forward thinking real estate agents with a point of difference from the competition. It allows you to invite the entire world to your auctions and builds your reputation with a wider database of potential buyers.
Want help with digital marketing? Contact me for a free 1 hour phone chat, where I will review your online profiles.