We Want Your Facebook Tips!

By Brian Summerfield, Online Editor, REALTOR® Magazine

Are you on Facebook? Do you do business through it? If so, we want to hear about how you’ve leveraged this social network.

Specifically, we’re looking for your personal experiences with and insights on the following:

  • What are the most important steps to take in creating a Facebook fan page for your business or brokerage?
  • How can real estate pros be good “friends” on Facebook?

To share your ideas on these topics, contact Online Editor Brian Summerfield at bsummerfield@realtors.org.

Brian Summerfield

Brian Summerfield is Manager of Business Development and Outreach for NAR Commercial and Global Services. He can be reached at bsummerfield@realtors.org.

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  1. Facebook is a must! As a Real Estate Brokerage Owner, I use it in many ways. I have just under 2000 ‘friends’ and at least 1200 of those are agents from other areas. Facebook is a great source to connect with agents from other Citys or States. I believe many agents/offices forget how a strong referral business can benefit them!
    Sondra McFeters, EXIT Realty Owner – Portland Oregon

  2. Any great fan page that I have stumbled upon thus far has one common element and that is true freedom for the fans to comment and interact on the fan page. Unfortunately, I see many fan pages who limit comments and that just creates a broadcast that many just tune out.

    One of the best ways to engage friends on Facebook is not to overwhelm with only real estate talk and listings. To often I come across individuals whose only wall posts are about their business. Engage others on a personal level to get them to want to read what you have to say all year round.

    James K Barath, Benchmark Mortgage – Northwest Indiana

  3. very well said James K Barath, Benchmark Mortgage – Northwest Indiana.

    many fan pages do limit comments and for me it definitely tunes me out. and even more importantly is DO engage friends on Facebook others on a personal level to get them to want to read what you have to say all year round.

    DO NOT overwhelm with only real estate talk and listings. I tune that out too!

    Thank you,
    Vianey Ojeda, Hanover Properties – Glendora CA

  4. Brian Summerfield

    Hi everyone! Thanks for these great suggestions. Be sure to check out the April issue of our magazine, when we list these and other technology tips.

  5. I do a majorit of my business off of Facebook and I find that my personal page is the best way to build business. I teach a class here in the Houston Area, I call “The TRUTH about Social Media Marketing” and it is based on the idea of relationship building.
    Here are a few analogies that I use in my class that will give you insight to how I use Facebook successfully.
    Analogy 1: Apartment Manager: My name is Ozzie and I am the Apartment Manager to Ozzie Facebook Apartment complex. I get to pick and choose who I allow to live in my complex, when I add you as a friend. In the middle of my complex is a great big common area where people can mix and mingle, share pics, etc.(Commenting on the Home Wall).
    In my own apartment within the complex people can talk directly to me(Writing on My Wall). Kinda like coming into my apartment to chat.
    I usually only allow “tenants” to stay in may complex if I can recognize their pic or their name right off the bat or if we have many mutual friends and I can tell which group of friends they are from. Every few weeks or so I will look through my friends(tenant) list and “Unfriend”(evict) people either because we do not really have anything in common, they do not really participate, or if I just really do not want them seeing my personal life.
    In my apartment complex I have amassed just a little over 1,000 FB friends within the past few years. You must understand that I am an extreme extrovert.
    Idealogy behind my Facebook success:
    When I got into real estate I was told that the secret is to “stay in front of people”. If we had no Facebook, we would still be working off of cell phones and e-mail. In order to “stay in front of people” we would have to take time to either call, text or e-mail our hundreds of people in our sphere of influences in order to make sure that our friends, family, acquaintances were not being snatched up by other REALTORS®. Facebook allows me to stay in front of hundreds of people and keep a unique relationship that is actually much stronger than it appears on the surface.
    Analogy 2: The High School/Facebok affect
    In high school we all had the yearning to fit in and be relevant. Many of us did not want to be the outcast, we wanted to belong to a group of friends or team, etc. Facebook works the same way. Many of us are on Facebook looking to feel relevant/important. I do not post pictures of my vacations, kids, andother events for my health. I do it so others will take notice, make comments, and sometimes click the “LIKE” button. These interactions make me feel special, like people actually care about what I have going on. So, when you click on the “LIKE” button or comment about how cute someone’s kids are, you are reciprocating that feeling of relevance and developing a bond that I call the Facebook affect, because it is much more powerful than we think.
    Example: I have many stories of referrals or business that I attribute directly from Facebook, but I will tell you 1 story. An old friend from High School that I really only spoke to about 10 times int hose 4 years friended me. Once we friended, I checked out pictures of her kids and she checked out pictures of my kids and we both commented and began an ongoing message of about 10 back and forth messages. About a week or two later, she messaged: “Ozzie, I have a co-worker that is looking to buy a home and I told her you were the man.” The funny thing is that I never mentioned that I worked in real estate and she nor anyone she is close to has ever used my services…. How did she know I was the man?
    95/5 Rule: Although I use my Facebook Profile page for mainly personal relationships, I als use the 95/5 rule. Which means that I am 95% personal on my Facebook Profile Page and 5% business, but not advertising business… Indirect educational business. Within that 5% I post tidbits about our real estate market, the $8,000 Tax Credit deadlines, and sometimes I will find the best foreclosure deals that I can online and I will message people that thereare great deals in our area(without using any identifying information). Between this 5% and my profile information, she just knew that I was in real estate.
    Analogy 2: Cocktail Party: “Get to know me before you sell me”
    My pet peeve is REALTORS® that advertise more than they build relationships. People on Facebook are annoyed by tons of advertising and spammers. If you are not following the 95/5 rule and doing more real estate post than personal posts, then you are being called a spammer.
    Within the common area of our apartment complex is a cocktail party type atmosphere. In a cocktail party atmosphere people mix and mingle and tlak about all kinds of stuff, but no one likes the guy that is obvisouly there just to sell you something. He tells you what he does before you ask and he give a business card and a sales pitch before even hearing what you have to say. SO, STOP POSTING SO MUCH ABOUT BUSINESS AND SPEND MORE TIME DOING WHAT A GOOD NETWORKER DOES BEST: GENUINELY CARE FOR PEOPLE AND DEVELOP A RELATIONSHIP AND THE REST WILL FALL INTO PLACE.
    This is part of my basic “The TRUTH about Social Media Class”, but I go further into creating “Fan”atic Pages in my advanced classes.
    TIP FOR FAN PAGES IN REAL ESTATE: We are not in an industry where it is easy to gather fans that care about our industry. If we were a rock band, celebrity, or a pro sports player it would be easy to create a successful fan page. BUT…. We are not, so we have to think outside the box to build a “fan”atic following.
    Here are a few outside the box ideas on how to build a “fan”atic page: 1) Trivia questions at set times each week for prizes. Give people a reason to keep coming back and a reason to tell others. 2) Post all local events and be a page where people go to find interesting events in your community.
    These are just a few, there are many more.
    Hopefully I did not bore anyone and actually enlightened a few.
    Thanks for reading.

  6. @Ozzie great ideas and analogies.

    The greatest insights I’ve gathered is to become and resource and think about what your community wants to know.

    You are an ambassador.


  7. 1) Add Google Analytics to your facebook page
    LEARN HOW @ http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/how-to-add-google-analytics-to-your-facebook-fan-page/

    2) Use Static FBML to make a HTML-type landing page for your facebook fan page that looks like your website

    3) Monitor it daily and have a strategy
    5 easy steps to develop your strategy @ http://www.entrepreneur.com/marketing/onlinemarketing/article205930.html#

    4) Read http://mashable.com/ for all social media updates

    5)Follow me on Facebook to learn the best new social media ideas as they are developed

    Jonathan Usher
    Exquisite Certified
    Home & Business Services