Should You Post Your Listings on Facebook?

Facebook-iconBy Katherine Tarbox, Senior Editor, REALTOR® Magazine

There’s been a lot of debate since the dawn of social media about best practices for selling on these platforms. When it first became widespread, a lot of practitioners started putting any and all listings on Facebook and may have even seen some success from that approach. But in the age where we’re sold to in almost every area of our life, people don’t want to be sold to through an application that’s supposed to be a list of their “friends.” The key is how you use it with your listings.

We’ve been talking on Twitter (hope you’re following us @realtormag) this morning about whether you should clog your clients’ Facebook stream with your listings. I cover technology for the magazine and from what I’ve read, heard at conferences, and seen from sales associates, the quick answer is no. Here’s a short list of tips for promoting your business on social networks.

  • Facebook should be a place to develop the brand of you. This is a network where you can share, for example, your love of the islands off the coast of New England and put photos from your trips there. If a potential client shares that same love, this is how you build affinity with them — through mutual interests. You should share the places you like to go, the people you love to see, and your passions, and this will help to make your clients feel more connected to you. By building this connection, when they do need a real estate pro, they will likely call you. It will also broadcast that you’re an authentic person.
  • You should share that you are a practitioner in the field. However, if you put too many listings out onto your clients’ wall or feed, I promise you they will click the hide button on your posts or they might just unfriend or unfollow you. Nobody wants to be sold to constantly, especially if they aren’t even interested in buying a house at the time. Instead, make posts that talk about your activities, e.g., “It’s a great Friday, made even better by the fact that I just sold a house on Smith Lane.”
  • If you really want your listings on Facebook, buy Facebook ads. I’ve heard about great results from practitioners who are using this as an ad channel because it targets the ads to the demographics you want. I know of a New York brokerage that had great results selling lofts because they aimed their advertising at young, single males in investment banking and law.

What do you think? What results have you had with putting your listings on Facebook?

Comments
  1. Completely Agree. I think the only way a realtor should post listings is if they are socially relevant to an event in the community, like for instance if a new school opens up a realtor could share a listing or two in that area but make sure its relevant and posted that way. Same concept can apply for like a new condo development by a new sports stadium and etc. Think social first whenever it comes to listings on social networks. I recently bought a home and the social networks is a great place to share a recent testimonial. My realtor (with my approval) posted my home after it was sold and posted new home goes to another happy buyer. I commented on his post and thanked him again of course which adds credibility amongst his and my networks.

    Great Article!

  2. Same here. But it is a philosophy that is published so many times already, from Chris Smith, theMLSApp, Max Pigman seminars or what have you, that you should not try to sell “property”. Instead sell yourself as a source of knowledge and “wisdom” in your “part of the woods”. So, while I have an app to show my some listings if a “fan” wants to click on it, I never post them as “status”.
    Keep up those articles

  3. I agree to an extent. We have a Campbell Real Estate Facebook page and personal pages. I would never post a listing on my personal page nor do I talk shop. But on the Campbell Real Estate page I see no problem posting a listing. We also post other things related to Real Estate. If someone thinks they are being sold to then they can easily unfriend, unlike, or hid all post from us. They are not forced to view the content that we chose to post as our status. We are friends with many other Real Estate Companies on Facebook. They post things like open houses and listings all the time. We welcome these kinds of posts. We assume by adding a name that starts with Coldwell Banker or Remax, we will see some type of advertising from them. We have friends that are restaurants and they post menu specials and events all the time. Is this any different?

  4. Facebook is another way of networking socially. Posting a listing on facebook is no different than if you walked in to a social event with your flyer and handed it to the people at the event. Would you really do that? Probably not! This is a place that you can build relationships that you eventually take off-line and interact as if you met in person rather than facebook. You do not have be face to face to be obnoxious and posting flyers repeatedly will accomplish that!

  5. I hear what your a saying but I dont think FB members are that fragile. I think some have interest some don’t. Once in a while is acceptable with most members. Admittedly I post often. However not to the degree of saturation. I frequently view other agents properties often.

    Thank you,

    Murray Rubin

  6. I find it kinda ironic that a blog article talking about “social media” has no retweet button or facebook buttons?

    Have you ever thought about making it easier for your readers to share your articles?

  7. I developed a “Fan” page, those who accept my invite to the “Fan” page get my Real Estate information, this keeps the listing information and other related information to those who choose and would expect to see this information…

    I know that I like seeing others in the community and what they are doing in our business, be it their listings or other items of interest…

    Just my thoughts…

  8. This is a great free application that you can show your listings on facebok page.
    This is how it looks like.
    http://www.facebook.com/RyanRunte

  9. I disagree. Of course every Realtor will speak of pros and cons, never seeing eye to eye. While so many of you are against sharing listings on FB, my business FB Page has allowed me to sell 2 properties and obtain 1 seller, 3 buyers and one renter soley from/thru FB. As usual, moderation is the key. So go ahead and advise Realtors against posting their listings. It just means that I can enjoy more exposure, referrals and business. I love it!!

  10. Fan page! People have to Like or opt into a fan page. Fan pages are fair game and my opinion posting listings, flyers, stats, successes, client testimonials etc.. are allowed
    and appropriate. I believe every agent should have a homes for sale tab on their personal page and fan page but most certainly on there fan page. Posting listings can be appropriate
    on your regular page too depending on your purpose for posting. For example, you just figured out how to make youtube videos for your listings and you feel you accomplished something by learning how to do this
    On your own without paying someone else. That is something you would likely talk about at a social event so I think it would be appropriate for facebook. Your not so much posting the listing as you are sharing an accomplishment.
    Same could be true if you landed a significant listing – maybe the most expensive home you ever listed. Sharing an accomplishment is a social practice. The ability to also show your accomplishment to everyone at the same is what makes facebook so unique.

  11. Katherine Tarbox

    Thanks for all of the great comments. On a business page, I think some listings are OK. I was mostly addressing putting listings on your personal page, which a lot of associates do. I don’t think it’s a good move in terms of selling.

  12. I agree and was greatly saddened by the fact that our MLS now allows members to post their listings directly to FB on their personal page (with no option for posting to fan/company page).

    I saw a flood of listings posted one after another for many days after the announcement. In my opinion, it is a violation of FaceBook terms of service on personal pages at worst and a huge annoyance at best.

  13. Katherine, can you check the NAR MLS IDX policy and advise if publishing IDX listings on Facebook is in compliance with the model rules and regulations?

    Would it be considered sharing data with a third party?

    Is Facebook a webpage URL under the control of the Agent or Broker?

    Is the Broker’s logo prominently displayed on the page where IDX listings appear?

    Is the Agent’s DRE number prominently displayed?

    Seems like it my be a rules violation if you use IDX content. You may be well advised to use different photos and descriptions rather than IDX.

  14. Rosemarie Villanova

    I do not totally agree.
    I have had great results from Posting “Open Houses” on my Face Book Page but I do not flood my time line with listings. I announce and after that Only Open Houses !

  15. Realtor.com will help me get set up to post listings on FB. I am assuming they mean a business page. So is a ‘fan page’ the same as a business page? Is the business page accessed through tabs or links on the personal page? I believe it should be an option for a ‘friend’ to look at all of my listings. However, an open house or a unique property might remind my friends that I invite their curiousity.

  16. James

    I post my listing to an album called “For Sale” and have sold 9 of them to FB people in the last 18 months.

  17. We do post listings to our fan page, but not everything we carry. We post new lists and price reductions and that’s it, which works out to about maybe 15-20 total every week. And we post them only once. They get a lot of views and we’ve gotten more than a few queries that way.

  18. To state areas in your article about not posting listings and/or open houses may or may not be correct yesterday and maybe even today, but you being a writer for Realtor Magazine, one would think you are educated to the fact that technology, needs, trends and industry standards change almost moment by monent in this “new normal” real estate market.

    There are thousands of very smart Realtor professionals throughout our nation who are using Facebook, both personal and/or business pages with great success with listings and open houses featured. This is not a black and white issue as you elude to. I think it would have been better for your article to elude to that also.

    As written, many Realtor agents out there who would consider using Facebook as a venue for their listings and open houses, and for you to clamp down their minds with your thoughts is unfair. With all due respect, your article could have been better balanced.

    We are part of the ERA realty group and we see Facebook used more and more each day by our brother and sister “Top-50” firms with great success.

    Thanks for reviewing my comments.

  19. I totally agree that posting of listings is not the right way to handle your personal FB page you should create a business FB page or as you mentioned use the targeted ads on FB. If one posts a listing, then another, and another, soon that is all you see is listings. I am not on FB to see listings unless that is what I need to find and if I need to find them I will start searching for them.

    Use your FB page to let others know you are in Real Estate, but do not push it in the faces of others that are not interested and that is what you do by posting a listing or announcing you are holding an open house.

    By the way, is that the way those who post listings anf open houses act at live social events? Do they walk around the room handing out flyers, posting notices on the walls? No, I would like to think they are in a social setting and act accordingly.

  20. I do not think listings shoud be posted directly on Facebook. An agent,or an office, has the ability to develop their own page and linking it to FB which could list all their properties,open houses, etc., without using up this “social time”. It should not be used as a replacement for MLS!

  21. I locked myself out of my admin for my biz page. Anyone know how to get back in there?? Tks

  22. I am a Business & Productivity Coach & a social media instructor who works with a lot of Realtors. I totally agree that your listings should not appear on your personal profile and that the best strategy for building relationships is the same on Facebook as it should be in the outside world which means make genuine connections with each other to promote you (your personal brand) because more people will want to do business with you because of who you are. I do however recommend to my clients that they create a Business page (as long as their company does not prohibit it) and I feel a business page is an appropriate platform to promote and share your listings.

  23. Katie, I LOVE this article and think you are right on with your opinions. REALTORS need to quit telling their friends to call them for all of their real estate needs and just talk about what they love to do. Your example of “It’s a great Friday, made even better by the fact that I just sold a house on Smith Lane” couldn’t have nailed it better.

    Thanks!

  24. I think everyone that has posted so far have made valid points. People may love a page with new listings because it is just convenient for them while others may be annoyed with listings and clutter that isn’t in their particular price range or location. One thing I’ve learned in all my latest research in what the heck to do with all of the amazing opportunities we have these days is, “By trying to please everyone, you please no one.” Have a personality, stick to your style, and see how it works. In my town of Las Vegas, there is an agent that posts all kinds of crazy stuff on his fb page that I personally find goofy and not relevant at all, but it landed him a role on National Geographic about Las Vegas & casinos! Good Luck and have some fun with it.

  25. I am amazed:

    How many agents have not read or even thought about the wisdom of putting listings on Facebook.

    How many agents seem to think that advertising laws and rules (and company policies) don’t apply to Facebook pages–“if I think it’s a good idea, I can just do it.” (Victor Lund’s post at least scratches the surface of this.)

    How often the logic of “it’s free” is a defense for using Facebook to advertise. To those who use that logic, I suggest you tack your business card and listing sheets in public restrooms, that’s free too.

    And I haven’t even yet mentioned how many agents seem to think that it’s okay to share the details regarding showings, clients, and transactions on Facebook.

    One other thing that I find interesting about nearly all of these posts… no one questions whether or not our listing clients think this is a good idea.

  26. I don’t agree with this post. Our “friends” have the ability to bypass a post if they don’t want to look at it, I certainly do when something hits my wall that I don’t care about. I don’t think they should be blasted out there daily or even weekly, but I do think it is beneficial to put new ones out there for people to see. If they aren’t interested, they aren’t going to look.

  27. Ricardo Mendonca

    It is allowed to promote new listings, price reductions, or back on the market listings on Facebook even if it is not my listing?

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