Using Social Media For Real Estate Investors
Below is a great article written to help real estate agents learn how to use Facebook to expand their social network, how to grow that network, and how to get your followers to look forward to your posts. What is assumed is that the reader knows that social media can be used to market for renters, houses to buy, or houses for sale. Just read below and change the word agent for investor.
Most real estate agents have a love-hate relationship with Facebook, meaning they love to hate it. It’s easier to hate Facebook than admit we don’t understand how to make it work for our business. The reality is that when used effectively, Facebook can put you in front of hundreds or even thousands of people for little to no cost. Here are some tips to help you make sense of Facebook for your business.
Have a plan
Just like the other areas of your real estate career, you need a plan for your Facebook activities. Here are a couple of things your plan should include:
1. **Misson Statement:** Mission statements may be a bit overrated, but in the case of social media I do think they can be useful. Your mission statement will help you make sure all of your posts, activities, photos, and statements are in concert with your values, ethics, brand, and overall goal. Here’s an example: *Through social media I plan to stay in touch with people I know and meet new people. I will share with them what I do, both personally and professionally. In doing so when it comes time to buy or sell real estate they will think of me.
2. **Time Management:** Facebook is easily one of the biggest time sucks ever; it’s as if a reality show and a tabloid got together and had a baby. How will you budget your time on Facebook? Ten minutes in the morning, 10 minutes at lunch? Five minutes working on your post and five minutes commenting and liking other pages? Will you allow 5-10 minutes on your mobile phone per day for impromptu posts or replies to messages and comments?
3. **Goals:** Identify some goals, such as “I want to add 10 new friends per month” or “I want to send out 10 personal messages per month.”
This is so simple it’s stupid. If you’re not willing or ready to let people into your life, Facebook may not be a viable marketing channel for you. Most people look at Facebook because they want to spy on their friends and keep in touch with their family. Real estate agents and the Avon Ladies are some of the few who are trying to peddle their trade so when you post that you just got a new listing and no one comments it’s because they don’t really care. Here are some tips for being human.
1. **Share photos:** This can be family or friends, pets, cars, or anything that interests you. Wherever you go take pictures with your phone or a camera and post. Pictures are powerful.
2. **Share your opinion:** This is touchy, and obviously don’t do anything crazy, but if you’re passionate about something say it. This will make you relatable and real.
3. **Be funny:** Maybe you have a quirky sense of humor. Share that. Poke fun at yourself.
In a blind survey, less than half of the agents I know have their contact information in their Facebook profile. Here are some of the things to include in your profile:
– Profile Picture (I like casual and non-stuffy)
– Phone numbers
– Email addresses
– Company info
– Tag line
– Your web address
– Referral tag line
The 70/30 Rule
Remember the old cliché: We have two ears and one mouth for a reason. That holds true when you’re online. It’s easy to focus more on what you’re saying rather than listen to others on Facebook. Try starting your daily activities by liking status updates and pictures of your Facebook friends. This simple “thumbs up” lets them know you are there and you appreciate them sharing. Also post thoughtful comments where appropriate. Lastly, send direct messages to the people you know. Even though this is an outgoing message it is direct communication between you and them.
This is where the 70/30 rule comes into play. Make an effort to spend 70 percent of your time reaching out to others through comments, likes, and direct messages, and 30 percent of your time posting status updates.
Your activity list
It’s normal to sit down at your computer, open Facebook with the intention of doing some cyber marketing, and then the strangest thing happens. Facebook erases your mind. All the funny ideas for status updates, all the old friends or clients you realized you hadn’t friend requested, and any other tasks you had planned suddenly disappear from you mind. This is when you break out your list of ideas.
Here’s a start to your list. The status updates with an asterisk will usually get a higher level of engagement, but if you abuse these people will lose interest in your page:
1. Make a few friend requests
2. Join a group
3. Take photos of the houses you’re showing
4. Take photos of the pets at the houses you’re showing
5. Take photos of the views at the houses you’re showing
6. Take photos of the clients you’re showing houses to
7. Take a photo of a friend, family, co-worker, or your office
8. Take a photo of you in action at work
9. Take a photo of your pet*
10. Take a photo of your favorite beverage
11. Recommend a local business, restaurant, park, bike trail, etc.
12. Recommend one of your affiliates and tag them in the post
13. Recommend a website
14. Recommend checking out a new neighborhood or part of town
15. Thank a friend for something and tag him/her in the post
16. Ask for a referral for a local business, restaurant, service, doctor, vet, mechanic, etc.*
17. Ask a question, such as “Where should I go to lunch today?” or “What is the best ice cream?”*
18. Tell everyone happy birthday
19. Thank a co-worker for helping you
20. Thank your managing broker for helping you
21. Congratulate a co-worker for a successful closing
22. Share a YouTube video that you like
23. Share a Pandora song you like
24. Share an industry tip (i.e. the buyer doesn’t pay commission)
25. Give advice on home maintenance
26. Share an article on home maintenance
27. Share a financial tip or article
28. Share an article on mortgage interest rates
29. Share local market stats
30. Look up this day in history
31. Look up a famous person’s birthday
32. Post a local news story
33. Post a local event calendar
34. Post a local history fact
35. Post a history fact about real estate
36. Post the average sales price in your market
37. Do a review on a neighborhood
38. Share a recipe
39. Share a discount or other special local deal
40. Tell people you love getting referrals
41. Like a few Fan/Business pages every week
42. Send someone a direct message just to say hi
43. Send a past client a direct message asking how they like their house/neighborhood
44. Send an affiliate a direct message to say hi
45. Post a quote*
46. Post an old photo of a younger (and perhaps more attractive) you
47. Post any old picture
48. Talk about your favorite TV show
49. Share a testimonial about your business
50. Tell people what your first job ever was
51. Share a cartoon you found online
Nathan FroelichNathan Froelich is the Co-Founder of BreakthroughBroker.com, where the mission is to provide real estate professionals with insanely simple free tools and information for success.
(May 2014 Newsletter)