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In the world of local real estate, mobile technology is playing a growing role in the way people search for listings and the way agents reach customers. As more activity happens online, it’s raising questions about how local real estate professionals can adapt to best serve their prospects and customers. Currently, social distancing is further affecting the status quo in an already changing marketplace.

Reflecting on these topics, Keith Watts, head of industry for real estate at Facebook, shares ideas on how real estate professionals can embrace mobile marketing, bring more of their in-person processes online and use Facebook apps to connect with customers.

Maria Patterson: Why is mobile important in local real estate marketing?
Keith Watts: For a lot of agents, the mobile phone is the central way they run their businesses. So it makes sense that mobile should be the first place they prioritize in terms of reaching potential customers. On the customer side, mobile is an important way that people connect with agents, brokers and property managers. We’re seeing that people are increasingly reaching for their mobile devices to browse for homes and rentals on their own. It’s changing things, but it’s also creating new opportunities for real estate professionals to demonstrate their local expertise and grow their businesses. They can do this by reaching people where they spend their time online and providing experiences that are convenient and personalized.
MP: How are real estate professionals marketing on mobile, and how has this changed in recent months?
KW: They are leaning into digital marketing tools. In recent months, physical distancing has affected business as usual in the industry. It’s shown that a lot of steps in buying or renting a home can already be done online—even ones that used to be considered in-person only. For example, agents can use Facebook Live and Instagram Live on their smartphones to host a virtual open house, where they take people on an interactive tour of a listing.
MP: How is your company helping agents market on Facebook apps?
KW: Often, agents have to do a lot of different things to run their businesses. We want to put more power and time back in their hands. We’re providing information and guidance to help agents get the most value from running ads on Facebook, Instagram and Messenger. We built a guide that gives an overview of how Facebook can help real estate professionals market effectively. We also provide a list of partners that we’ve worked with to ensure that agents are using the latest best practices on our platform to drive results.

MP: How should agents leverage Facebook for their businesses?
KW: We want to help local real estate professionals get the best results with the least time and effort on their part. So, we recommend that they partner with a Facebook Technology Partner or a brokerage solution. By using best practices, these partners help agents run effective marketing campaigns for brand building, generating new leads and marketing existing listings. Working with a partner makes it simple and seamless for agents to achieve their business goals.

For more information, please visit Facebook for Business.

Maria Patterson is RISMedia’s executive editor. Please email her your real estate news ideas to