If you’ve gotten sucked into the Facebook vortex, you know well how addictive the social media site can be. Most people have it on their phones so that they are able to receive constant news about family, friends and companies they like (literally and in Facebook terms). Think of Facebook as the most personal way to reach potential clients with words, pictures, videos, and links to helpful articles and useful information for helping them get their home sold for the most money in the shortest possible time. Get in on the action ensuring that you not only create your own Facebook business page but also include compelling content that will help you garner potential new home listings or sales by using these simple tips to build a successful real estate Facebook page.
Setting Up Your Real Estate Facebook Page
You probably have a personal account, but it’s important to create your own business page separately so that you don’t have to monitor personal information you share with your business. You must have a personal account in order to create and access your business page. A wealth of information on how to set up your page as well as how to access it is available within Facebook or online.
The most important areas to focus on when you set up your real estate Facebook page are as follows:
Cover Photo – This is the large photo at the top. It’s a great way to display a collage of homes that demonstrate the kind and range of properties or niche market you list, for example, or a sort of ad that highlights a premier listing. Be careful, though – Facebook looks down on actual selling, so avoid including prices and other “selling” details.
Profile Photo – You can also always change this to keep your page more interesting and to update it periodically. You can use your logo if you have one but preferably an image of you with a “For Sale” sign or with a client in front of the house they are selling would give this space a more personal touch. Remember, your Facebook page is supposed to convey how you can help them, not all about you and how good you are.
About – This is the comprehensive tab below your cover photo that gives an overview (location and website) of your business as well as specific information about your business in the Page Info section. Be sure to be thorough with what you include here. You can change your Facebook web address to something catchy and searchable like http://www.facebook.com/ChicagoRealEstateListings if it is still available. Or you can focus on a specific area or neighborhood. Start Info includes the date you started in real estate in order to establish credibility if you’ve been in the business for a long time. Work a little bit on the Long Description and Mission, enlisting the help of a family member or friend who has strong writing skills. You’ll want to mention what you do, your philosophy on working with clients and how you work with them. This may evolve with your business and experience, so don’t be afraid to change it – it’s encouraged!
Start Liking Other Pages and Promoting Likes – In order to gain more traction on your page, be sure to like other pages so you can tag them in relevant posts (which will, in turn, get your message out to their networks). Start with the pages of your preferred lenders, inspector, etc. Then, branch out to the community – local restaurants and businesses, political figures like the mayor and town council, and the city itself. Don’t forget to ask your clients through an announcement to like your page (Hint: Don’t just use the mass-invite tool Facebook provides. Actually send them a custom message via Facebook or through email and ask them to like your page. It will be much more effective that way.). Share the page with your personal FB friends and ask them to like it as well. You can also share it on your blog. Would you mind liking the Home Value Leads Facebook Page? We’d appreciate it.
The Nitty-Gritty: Content
Okay, so that was fun, wasn’t it, and not too bad? Now you’re probably groaning at the idea of filling up your Timeline where all your posts go with content. But if you realize the potential impact your Facebook page can have on your business, you might get a little more excited!
To start, what kinds of content should you include? Remember, this should be more about providing useful information than how great thou art.
- Tips on staging, remodeling, exterior maintenance, packing, moving – anything that would be found helpful by a potential seller.
- Market statistics including recent sales and new listings in the area.
- New restaurants and businesses
- Any of these businesses having a promotion? Share it with your page (and make sure to tag the business).
- Articles about new developments in the areas you list, general real estate news and other shareable content.
- Fun items like funny videos you come across that relate to real estate sales that you can comment on.
- Client testimonials – if it can be video, even better!
- The list goes on and on – get creative!
So how do you come up with this content for your real estate Facebook page? As with anything in life, things are a lot easier to do when you plan. So come up with a schedule in a simple spreadsheet that lists the day, date, content and image/video you’d like to share. Start populating with content ideas and pretty soon you’ll have a whole month of things to share. Try to spread out the type of content. I know you want to share every listing or brag about how great your skills are, but keep those to maybe just once a week (or every 2 weeks). Be sure you have at least three to four posts during the week at a minimum, and the more the better.
Once you have that down, you can actually pre-schedule these posts to your real estate Facebook page. That’s right, you imagined yourself having to remind yourself every morning to post content for the day, didn’t you? Once you have your schedule, you can simply add the text, image or video to your timeline, but instead of hitting “Post”, click on the arrow next to it. A menu pops down where you can select “Schedule Post”. Enter the desired date and time then, voila! It is set for that day and time in the future. If you want to change a scheduled post, simply go to “Activity” at the top and click “Scheduled Posts” on the left. You can then click on the little arrow on the upper right of any scheduled post to Reschedule, Edit or Publish Now. That means you can schedule a week’s worth of content to your real estate Facebook page on a Saturday evening. Just don’t forget to check in frequently and see if you have any comments to respond to!
Other Cool Features For Your Real Estate Facebook Page
Did you know Facebook pages are like little websites for your real estate business? Check out these features and see how you can use them to your advantage!
Reviews – Once clients like your page, invite them to post a review of your services on your page. You can find reviews by clicking on the “More” tab below your cover photo.
Photos – You can also create albums where you can create little vignettes for different purposes in addition to great photos of your listings. Maybe you are showcasing a neighborhood that you are trying to get more listings for – create an album of photos of places in that neighborhood that people would love to know about. Be sure to add a description for the album and each photo. You can also tag businesses in them or people who like your page.
Videos – Like photos, videos of your listings with your explaining them to prospective buying agents or home buyers not only gives you another avenue to sell your clients’ homes but also demonstrates you going above and beyond to potential listing clients. If you aren’t too shy, create an introduction video as well!
Events – A great way to invite your Facebook followers or even your personal page friends to an open house, a seminar or other event you are throwing relevant to your business. Fundraisers are great, too, to showcase your philanthropic ventures. Be very targeted about this: Nobody likes to be invited to an open house when they live half way around the country. Work smart, not lazy.
Notes – Notes in Facebook are like a blog. It’s a great place for you to add “case studies” about clients. You can then share the link on your page, on your website or in a newsletter. It’s just another great spot to be creative and to highlight things. Some real estate agents use it to give advice to their clients to establish their expertise in listing and selling.
Boosting – You might notice a button on the bottom right of your posts that says “Boost Post”. For a set price and period of time, you can actually target certain demographics and share that post beyond your followers. Don’t break the bank and use sparingly – it can be a great way to get more traction for an important post and to gain new followers.
No matter how you choose to use your real estate Facebook page, look at it as an important tool in your marketing program. The more you use it, the more you will define the best way to use it for your schedule and personality. Be sure to share the feed on your website and to make it a prominent part of all marketing assets.
How else have you used a real estate Facebook page to help gain more listings? Leave your comments below and share your insight and experience or let us know if you have any questions!