Rethinking the Real Estate Industry’s Social Media Obsession

By Sandy D. Maclin, Jr., Principal Broker of Sandstone Realty

In the digital age, social media has become an integral part of our lives. It connects people, fosters conversations, and even influences decision-making. However, when it comes to the real estate industry, we need to question the actual benefits and usage of social media, especially in light of data from the National Association of Realtors. According to their research, approximately 20% of all real estate agents get 1-5% of their business from social media, and 10% get 6-10%. This data raises important questions about the soundness of the return on investment (ROI) of time and resources that agents are dedicating to their social media presence.


Real estate agents invest a considerable amount of time and effort into developing a social media presence. Posting listings, sharing content, and engaging with their audience all demand energy and resources. But when we consider that only a fraction of agents are getting a substantial portion of their business from social media, it’s natural to wonder if this investment is well-spent.

Administrative tasks, like curating content and maintaining an active online presence, can be time-consuming. Are these efforts yielding substantial returns, or could this time be directed towards more productive and traditional avenues for generating business? These are questions real estate agents should be asking themselves.


Beyond the numbers, there’s another aspect of the social media conundrum that needs addressing: its addictive nature. Social media platforms are designed to keep users engaged, often leading to hours of mindless scrolling and constant checking for likes and comments. This can be a major distraction from productive work and lead to a decrease in overall efficiency.

Furthermore, the constant quest for validation through likes and shares can be emotionally draining, affecting the mental well-being of real estate agents. It’s vital to strike a balance between maintaining an online presence and preserving one’s mental health.


A significant concern with the real estate industry’s social media presence is the quality of content being posted. Many agents use these platforms as a way to flaunt their lifestyles, and their content often lacks professionalism. This shift from a business-oriented approach to one that characterizes the profession as entertainment or attention-seeking can be detrimental.

It’s essential to recognize that potential clients often perceive real estate agents as unprofessional. In some surveys, real estate agents have been ranked lower or equivalent to car salespeople in terms of professionalism. This reflects the need for a reevaluation of how agents are presenting themselves on social media and whether they are reinforcing or challenging these stereotypes.


The data from the National Association of Realtors regarding the impact of social media on the real estate industry is thought-provoking. While some agents do benefit from their online presence, the majority may find themselves dedicating an inordinate amount of time and resources for minimal returns.

The addictive nature of social media, combined with a lack of professionalism in content, can lead to negative perceptions of the real estate profession. It’s time for real estate agents to assess the true value of their social media endeavors, strike a balance, and consider redirecting their efforts towards more productive and proven traditional methods for business generation. In the end, the question remains: Is the investment in social media truly worth the time and energy spent?