Facebook can be an awesome tool for just about any business. Real estate agents can make use of the social media platform as well, but must do so carefully in order to maintain ethical business relationships and best practices. Here are some things to keep in mind.
Connect with Potential Buyers
Business cards are great, but if someone takes your card and loses it or simply tosses it into the pile, you may not ever hear from him again. Try to remember the names of the people you meet in passing. You can then add those people as friends, reminding them of who you are, and invite them to follow your Facebook fan page. Then, even if they decided to stop looking for homes and start again, they’ll have access to and see your information regularly. It’ll also be easier for them to refer you to friends online.
Don’t Post about Real Estate
Sounds counterproductive, right? The trick to having visibility on Facebook is to get people to engage with you. If you are only posting listings, those who aren’t interested won’t like or comment and those who are may not see your post. Make sure you are making at least 60% of your posts non-real estate related – or at least not listings. Post “caption this photo” items, questions, articles, and other things that will really encourage engagement. The more people like and comment on your posts, the more people will see from you. That, and they won’t feel overwhelmed by posts that seem too sales oriented.
Have a Purpose
Don’t start using Facebook just because you were told to. While it is an amazing tool, starting and then neglecting your page won’t do you any good. Make a plan. Set a time-limitation for how long you’ll interact on your page each day; schedule posts so you appear active throughout the day; and set a goal for interaction. Just creating a page to have a page won’t help if no one ever sees or uses it.
Consider Facebook Ads
Consider investing a small amount of your budget in a Facebook ad. They aren’t expensive and you only pay for clicks through to your page. Use clear text and a picture of a property for sale, so it’s clear you’re talking about real estate. An ad will help you to target the friends of the fans you already have, and others in the area where you work. This ensures you don’t end up with a wide audience with no real interest in the area where you sell homes.
Be careful when using Facebook. While its’ a great place to connect, it’s not a great place to discuss specific contract details or other things you need to document properly. Use proper ethics and best practices and your marketing strategy will be successful.