As a famous mermaid in a popular Disney movie once sung…. “I want to be where the people are”. This quote holds true especially when talking about real estate marketing. If you are marketing yourself or your team you need to get your message ‘where the people are’. Depending on your demographic, postcards, open houses and some older types of marketing simply might not be the places where the most people are anymore.
Enter Facebook. Launched in 2004, the social media giant now boasts over 1.28 billion* active users . Just for reference that’s about the population of China or 3.5 times the population of the US.
Now many real estate agents already use Facebook, but do you use it for business? Every week I consult with Realtors who tell me that they are on Facebook, and they wan’t to use it for business but they either don’t know what to post or don’t have time. That’s why my team and I compiled a list of easy things to post on Facebook — things that WILL make a difference in your real estate business.
First things first: The Difference between your business page and your personal page.
Would you rather interact on Facebook with a business or a human being? If the answer is as simple to you as it is to me then the type of page you should use is simple. Businesses should have business pages, and individual sales people should use personal pages. Not only will you spur more interaction, Facebook will give you more publicity, here’s how it works: When you post as a business Facebook promotes your messages on average to less than 10% of your fans unless you pay. When you post on your personal page you can reach a much higher percentage of your friends based on when you post, and who is online in the 48hours around when you post.
Tips for What Realtors Can do on Facebook to Attract Business and Brand Themselves
1. Make friends methodically– add all past clients who you want to work with again as friends… this will end up being more effective than a CRM strategy and will cost you nothing (still add to crm).
1.5 (mastermind level)– time block 5 minutes on your calendar for every Friday to add everyone you met that week on Facebook and send them a short message. Simply adding people without messaging them is great but never establishes that you are up for easy communication.
2. A picture tells a thousand words– When you share a photo it usually reaches more people due to Facebook’s algorithm. Photos are easy to take especially if you have a smartphone and remember they don’t have to be professional grade photos. After you take a photo always post a sentence or 2 about them. Here are some things you can take pictures of and share that will engage your friends and clients and brand yourself as a Realtor/professional/awesome person.
2.1 Take pictures of your family!! This humanizes you and ensures that you are posting more than just boring listings and realty stuff 🙂
2.2 Take pictures of the homes you are showing, not just listing. Focus on cool details of the properties, not always the front of the house, describe what’s cool about them. Don’t always include price, if people are interested they will ask.
2.3 Take pictures while you work– show how fun and awesome your office and co-workers are. Emphasize that the market is busy etc…
2.4 Take lots of pictures at closing!! Take a picture of your clients, with your clients etc, then share these and tag them on Facebook with congratulations. There friends will then see this, and you will be tied to it!
2.5 Pet Pics– Cats and sex are the 2 most searched things on the internet. People love pets. A cute or ugly animal will always get some likes/comments which will then draw attention to your other realty stuff or your profile. For an added bonus take pics of animals at houses you show and mention real estate in a positive way.
2.6 Streets/landmarks– Take a picture of a street/house/landmark and make people guess where it is located. We did this and whoever won got a $25 gift card. Had over 100 people engage with us, all of whom were reminded what type of business we were in!
2.7 Throwbacks– We have all seen the “throwback Thursday”.. you post a picture of you when you were younger, people laugh and enjoy. Shows your personality!
2.8 Trends/memes– There is always some kind of trendy meme picture going around. Share/repost the ones you like. Don’t share anything offensive, but remember people like to laugh.
2.9 Profile Pic– switch out your profile pic from time to time, this gets even more free publicity than other things you share because it stays around longer.
3. Talk about the areas you want to work in– Post about restaurants, parks, businesses and events that are happening in the communities which you work or want to be associated with.
3.1 Mastermind level– Do a blog on things going on in these areas and then share the blog– this will get you the added SEO as well.
4. Tag away– Tagging people guarantees that they see what you post and as long as its not spammy is a great way to be outgoing on Facebook.
4.1 tag your business partners and affiliates, like your lender Treadstone! People love getting a pat on the back and will usually reciprocate back to you.
5. Birthdays– One of the easiest things on Facebook is to wish your friends a happy birthday. Facebook makes this pretty easy, try to say a little more than just happy birthday to really stand out.
5.1 Mastermind level– Take it to the next level and send them a personal facebook message and take it one step further than a birthday to see how they are doing and hopefully spur a conversation.
6. Numbers don’t lie– Go to your local boards website or similar tool and post helpful and TRUE statistics about how the housing market is doing in specific areas. People love to see this stuff. Engage people, and ask your friends if they think this is true in their neighborhood as well.
7. Pose a question to your facebook audience– People love being the expert and recommending friends, restaurants, and other services. Ask your friends what the best burger in your target community is, best Italian food etc….
8. Listen for a sec– Instead of posting something, comment and like the things that your friends are doing. This ensures they see a little notification and are reminded that you exist. Listen carefully for life triggers that might signal they need to make a real estate move soon… ie having a baby, changing jobs, etc.
9. Give industry tip/advice– Post something that most people don’t know about the home buying process…. frame it as a “did you know” or other important fact.
10. Curated Content– Share a great article that someone else shared– you will not only make them feel special for sharing what they posted but when you share good information that is relevant it brands you as an expert or information source.
10.1 — Articles on industry trends.
10.2– Articles on home repairs, gardening, staging, etc.
10.3– Local community stories/event.
11. Every month post the average sold prices for some of the communities you specialize in, it might take some math but its much more valuable than the aggregated types of data people usually share.
12. Want listing leads? — Create a page on your website (if software available) that lets people find out the value of their home. Then promote this on your business page– share it with your personal page– and then promote it from your business page with Facebook’s boost post tool. You can even narrow it down to pay to advertise only to people in select cities that you target.
13. Messages > email — In an age when everyone sends mass emails all the time, its just not enough to stay in touch with clients. Facebook makes people expect a higher level of communication. Facebook message people individually and engage them in conversation. Typically you say hi, they say hi back, you ask how its going, they ask you how its going… here is the key– when they ask you how you are doing tell them how great you are and how busy you are because the real estate market is crazy and homes are selling for above asking price or some other positive realty stat. This refreshes the idea in people’s mind that you are a successful busy Realtor.
14. Dynamic Search Prospecting– This is definitely in the mastermind level but its good information for all. From your computer (much harder on smartphones/tablets) go to the search bar at the top of your Facebook screen. You can search for people in your target market and find people you know, kind of know, and don’t know who might fall in that market. For instance you could pull up all of the public profiles of “engaged people who live in Jenison, MI“. There are countless other ways to filter profiles but some common ones include: relationship status, city live in, hometown, college attended, place of work, job title, pages people like, the list goes on… You could start by searching for engaged people in your target market and then message the ones you have friends in common with first to see if they are going to be buying a home soon, if someone doesn’t respond, don’t worry, just keep trying… its all a numbers game.
15. The Other Inbox– this one isn’t so much a marketing tip as it is a tip for not missing out on leads. Facebook has a weird system of having 2 inboxes that they don’t publicize. To access it login from a computer or from safari on your phone and go to your normal inbox, at the top it should say “other” click it! Some messages from people you aren’t friends with or messages Facebook perceives to be spam may end up here, a big problem for sales people. Click here to read more on the topic.
That’s it for now– I think you all should have enough Facebook marketing for real estate to keep busy for at least a year. Remember, Facebook and other internet marketing can change in an instant to stay on top of current trends email firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a free real estate marketing consultation.
If you liked this article check out our updated guide to LinkedIN Marketing for Real Estate!
about the author:
Matt Muscat is a real estate marketing expert, professor and public speaker based in Grand Rapids, MI. He has spoken at numerous real estate conferences on topics including SEO, digital marketing, real estate lead management and many others. Through his work at Treadstone Funding, Matt provides local area Realtors with marketing advice, tips and training.
*source: Wikipedia as of 8/4/14