As Realtor's we are always trying to separate ourselves. We ultimately want to generate good leads, and sell more homes, but sometimes we are impatient and want the end result without putting in the necessary work to build our business and brand.
Facebook has been an all out mission to buy Snapchat, which they tried to purchase for $3 Billion in cash in 2014 (read more about that here). They didn't try to buy them because they have cool looking filters. Facebook, being arguably the best advertising platform in world, wants Snapchat in their portfolio because of the advertising potential. It is the most fun way to share, and with the Geofilters Snapchat allows you to buy, you can create brand awareness intuitively. Open your minds my fellow Realtors, it's 2016.
What are Snapchat On-Demand Geofilters?
If you have used Snapchat before, you have probably taken a photo and added a filter, like a cool stylized name of your city. Snapchat now will let allow users pay for something called On-Demand Geofilters. This is your own filter you design that anyone can use, in a chosen geographic location. There are a number of rules you will need to follow, and your submission will be rejected if you don't follow them. You can upload the image you want, choose geographically where you want people to use your filter, at what time. It will then come up with a price based on area popularity, square footage of your geographic "fence", and the time frames of which you chose your filter to appear (you can do it for up to a month at a time.... expensive).
To start creating a Geofilter, visit: https://geofilters.snapchat.com (you will need a Snapchat account to login)
Use an interactive image to maximize filter use
The ultimate goal of using Snapchat Geofilters with your Real Estate business is to bring more awareness, while making your filters fun and something people actually want to use (see the image on the left as an example, click to enlarge). Don't just put your logo there.
The guidelines for what you can actually put on your ad are fairly strict (see the guide here, and make sure to look into the Advertising Policies as well). You cannot create a call to action ("Visit my website www.bothellhomes.com), even if says something like: "Buy and sell Bothell Real Estate!" Trust me, I tried. I did verify you can say things like "We are on Facebook." Play around with it. You also will need to make sure the image quality is very high. Use a vector program or Photoshop. I added a bunch of little arrows to make it more fun when people are snapping. Remember, you want people to actually use your filter so it creates a ripple effect of many people that will see it.
Step 1 - Upload your Geofilter image
This process is simple, navigate over to https://geofilters.snapchat.com and login. Upload your image, which must be 1080x1920. Remember to check the guidelines as stated above.
Step 2 - Date & Time of when your Geofilter will appear
Now this is where you need to be a little strategic. Pick a period that you know a lot of people will be there. On the next step we will talk about where your filter will appear, but make sure to choose the right time and that a lot of people will be there, preferably a younger (not too young, lol) crowd. The longer you keep your filter active, the more you will have to dish out. And I mean a lot more - If you wanted to place a filter around the Space Needle for a month it was getting to be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Do it for a couple days. The other thing that determines the cost is the size of the area of which the filter will show, so let's talk about that.
Step 3 - Choosing an area for your Geofilter
This is where you will need to do some research, mixed with your fabulous common sense. The site will ask you to click around and create a "geographic fence" around your area. The smallest it can be is 20,000 SQFT, and the maximize size it can be is 5,000,000 SQFT (super expensive). Larger doesn't necessarily mean better. You want to be in an area where you know a lot of people gather that are on the younger side (I'd say between 22-45 years old). I chose the new McMenamin's Anderson School in Bothell, which has multiple bars, outdoor firepits, a hotel, a movie theater, etc. Lookup where popular events will be happening in the area. Keep your ads local like mine above. Look for places like malls, popular bars, parks, etc. You could even draw one around a bank where people get pre-approved for mortgages. Not a bad idea eh?
Step 4 - Choose Geofilter Name, Business Name, and submit
On this page, you will need to choose a Geofilter name, and a business name. You cannot enter your website. No symbols. Just words. Snapchat may place a "Sponsored by: [YOUR BUSINESS NAME]" text on top of your filter momentarily upon someone swiping to it. So choose wisely. I put "Kevin Boroumand RE" so I can brand my name too. You will also pay on this screen. $43.70 for me. Not bad for a weekend at a pretty popular destination. I will update you guys on what happens.
If your submission gets approved, you will receive an email that looks like this. It may take you a couple times. Luckily, Snapchat has a really responsive support team, so you should have no problems ultimately.
I will keep this page updated with results that I get. Think about it this way: If someone happens to see your filter and they have previously been on your site, seen your picture on Zillow, or have skimmed across your name on a mutual friend list - you are further solidifying yourself with your brand. This is definitely a long term marketing tool.
If you have any questions/comments on Geofilters for Real Estate or anything else, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or comment below! Good Luck!!
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Kevin Boroumand Real Estate