Editor’s Note: This article was originally published by Web Marketing Today. Practical Ecommerce acquired Web Marketing Today in 2012. In 2016, we merged the two sites, leaving Practical Ecommerce as the successor.
Every day, real estate agents use Facebook to connect with prospective home buyers and to foster business relationships with peers. Maintaining these relationships, however, requires a bit of handiwork, which is where this article comes in.
Here’s how to use Facebook to build relationships, find new followers, and market your agency more effectively.
Set Up a Facebook Page
Marketing on Facebook starts by setting up a business page. Although many agents use their personal profile, it’s better to create a business page, for two reasons: It’s more professional, and it allows you to market to your followers more efficiently using features not available in your personal profile.
Facebook Page Marketing Tips
Once you’ve set up your page, follow these tips to keep it fresh.
1. Update Your Cover Photo Frequently. Use the cover photo to highlight the homes you have for sale. You can change images quite often so use this space to your advantage. Follow Facebook’s policies when doing so.
2. Create Helpful Tabs. Add a tab to your Facebook page that highlights featured listings, such as this one from Huntington Beach Homes & Happenings.
3. Remember the 80/20 Rule. 80 percent of your content should be customer-focused, and 20 percent should center on you and your business. Using this formula will encourage more engagement and interaction.
4. Respond to Comments. Reply to comments posted on your page, good or bad, and do so promptly. This signals current and potential clients that you are paying attention.
5. Use Photos and Video. Whenever possible, use images or videos in your posts. According to data from Wishpond, an online marketing company, posts with photos tend to get 120 percent more engagement than those without them. Posts with photo albums receive 180 percent more engagement.
There has also been an increase in interaction with videos. One study even stated that video posts are beginning to trump image posts in terms of engagement.
As an example, Cindy Hagley, a Realtor with The Hagley Group, presents 60-second real estate market updates on her Facebook page.
6. Focus on Local Interests. People want to know what is happening within their local community, a fact that is especially true for those moving to a new area with which they may be unfamiliar.
Post about local charity events, school-related activities, or highlight a popular local business. In general, post about anything you feel the community would find interesting.
Here are three examples.
- Huntington Beach Homes & Happenings posted about a local attempt to break a world record for the most people riding a surfboard at once.
- The company also showed support for a local elementary school fundraiser.
- Susan Fox, a Realtor with Hawaii Life Real Estate Brokers, posted about low gas prices she found in the area.
7. Share Interesting and Informative Facts. These can stimulate likes and comments.
Inman, a source for real estate industry news, used this colorful image coupled with an interesting fact on its Facebook page.
8. Offer Helpful Advice. Tips about how someone could stage her home for sale or decorate her new home are good ways to gain likes and comments.
Home Star Staging posted this tidbit about how to place furniture around a fireplace.
9. Use Humor. It never hurts to sprinkle in a little humor when appropriate.
Consider the following photo, posted at Hooked On Houses, from an MLS listing where a homeowner took the phrase “Help your buyers visualize living in your home” quite literally.
10. Post Images of You, Your Team, and Happy Clients. Posting photos of you and your team participating in community functions or at office parties helps to put a personal face on your business. Potential buyers want to know that they are dealing with real people, not just faceless corporations.
Also, posting photos of happy customers standing next to their newly purchased home can benefit you, in two ways: It demonstrates that you are successful in helping people buy a home. It also shows that others trust and use your company.
Hunter Real Estate posted this photo of a happy family after their purchase.
11. Post Photos of Fancy, Unique, and Eye-catching Homes. These can also arouse interest and foster likes and comments.
On his page, Mark Murvai, a realty specialist, posted pictures of this stunning home surrounded by gorgeous scenery.
12. Rely on Facebook Page Data. Facebook Insights, an analytics component tied to Facebook pages, provides valuable data about followers — such as their age, gender, and location — that can help you better understand your target market’s demographics.
Tips to Grow Your Follower Base
Lastly, here are some ways to use your page to grow your follower base.
13. Gather Leads. Have visitors sign in when you host an open house, and then send them a request to like your business page shortly after their visit. Doing this can help you gain new followers because they are more likely to remember you now rather than a week down the road.
15. Use Your Personal Profile. While the best place to market your services is on your Facebook business page, it is helpful to mix in some real estate-related posts each week on your personal profile. It reminds your friends that you have the business page and gives them an opportunity to like it if they have not already done so.