By Brian Summerfield, Online Editor, REALTOR® Magazine
If you want to become recognized as your neighborhood’s real estate expert, you should create a fan page for it on Facebook, advises Max Pigman, vice president and national speaker at REALTOR.com®. Pigman talked about how to get some marketing traction via social media in a Friday morning session at the 2009 REALTORS® Conference & Expo in San Diego.
He said that real estate pros can “take over” their neighborhoods if they create a fan page, invite residents to join it, and post updates regularly about community events and local real estate and development trends.
“This becomes the perfect place to assert that you’re the real estate expert for your area,” he said. “Every time you send an update, everyone can see it. If you get strategic with this, you can connect with your sphere at an unbelievable level.”
Real estate professionals might be tempted to use this page to churn out listings. This is a mistake, Pigman said. While you can create a fan page for your business and post listings there, it’s not advisable when you’re trying to build a sense of community via a neighborhood fan page.
In general, conventional marketing techniques don’t work well on social networks, he added. This can be problematic for many real estate practitioners, who are accustomed to “interrupt marketing”—i.e., regular advertising breaks in TV shows, radio programs, and print news.
“I still see REALTORS automatically shoot their listings into the status feed,” Pigman said. “We’re really missing the boat here. We’re not thinking about engagement, we’re thinking about advertising. We think, ‘Hey, it’s free eyeballs.’”
When it comes to social networking, you should convey authenticity and passion with regards to your personal and professional interests and be genuinely interested in learning about others, Pigman said.
“Be willing to share some personal information,” he explained. “People want to know that you have a life outside of real estate. I’m not saying you can’t ever talk about real estate. I’m just saying you need to turn it into a conversation.”