The 3 best uses of Facebook for today’s Real Estate Agent

prospecting Sep 13, 2021
 

The 3 best uses of Facebook for today’s Real Estate Agent

  1. To build marketplace awareness of you as the local Real Estate Agent. This is done using social proof content style posting and directly targeting those posts, to a created audience of people, who live in your marketplace and its surrounding areas.  
  2. To advertise listings for sale directly targeting your Facebook posts to a created audience of people who live in your marketplace and its surrounding areas.  
  3. To reach buyers for your listings who ordinarily would not be seeking a property purchase in your marketplace, however, being made aware of the value offered could entice the grouping into the marketplace.

The fact is, I am a big fan of Facebook for business.

For both my businesses I engage Facebook advertising to grow my audience and build awareness of my businesses in their perspective marketplaces.

However, gosh am I tired of listening to the throngs of social media expert snake charmers that send unsolicited and unwarranted private messages to personal social media accounts.

I have countless real estate agents which I coach who have been wooed by the tune of the social media experts’ charms, these real estate agents have spent thousands upon thousands on their social media endeavors with no real evidence of ROI.

Before we dive deeper into today’s post, I feel it’s important that I reiterate, that I am a believer in advertising and the social media platforms - so much so, that I literally spend hundreds of dollars a day advertising through Instagram, Facebook + Google. It just irks me to see hard-working small business owners been taken advantage of.

In today's blogpost, I am going to focus on the importance of Facebook and Facebook advertising and how to leverage off it to build success in your real estate sales career.

In today’s digital world, all real estate agents should have their own Facebook Business page. A Facebook Business Page is all about your brand and the services you offer as a professional in your field.

You might be thinking, I already have a personal Facebook page, do I really need a Facebook Business Page. In short, YES. Your private and professional life are separate and should also be kept separate on the social media platforms.

As www.outboundengine.com explains, you can use your personal account to directly message friends or comment on the activity they share on their personal page. On the other hand, your Facebook Business Page is all about your brand and the services you offer as a professional in your field.

The purpose of today’s blog post is not to convince you of the pros + cons of a Facebook business page. If you’re a professional real estate salesperson, you should have one. It’s as simple as that. The purpose of today's post is to detail for you how to effectively leverage off your Facebook Business Page to solidify your position in the community as a leading local real estate agent.

If you have not yet set up your Facebook business page, please refer to the 2 links noted below.

https://www.facebook.com/business/pages/set-up (article by Facebook)

https://www.facebookblueprint.com/student/activity/220750-how-to-create-a-facebook-page (mini-course by Facebook).

For my own real estate business (www.gaylefitzmaurice.com.au) I successfully use the Facebook business page for that business to

  • Build social proof of my ability and recognition as the leading local real estate agent in my marketplace.
  • Advertise properties that I have For Sale. In the last 12 months, we can contribute about 30% of our sales to the Facebook advert for our Listings.
  • Reaching the required buying marketplaces, which I cannot reach through advertising on the property portals.

Let’s look at these 3 uses of a Facebook Business Page and their importance to today’s local real estate agent.

  1.  To build marketplace awareness of you as the local Real Estate Agent. This is done using social proof content style posting and directly targeting those posts, to a created audience of people, who live in your marketplace and its surrounding areas.

Social Proof, what is it and why is it important?

The term was coined by Robert Cialdini in his book Influence, the concept is also known as informational social influence.

In the case of using a Facebook business page, social proof can be defined as a testimonial of the good service provided to previous customers, who leave a positive review on your page or refer it to others. (Wikipedia)

As real estate agents, we can leverage off the energy of social proof by showcasing on our Facebook business page, our listings, our successful sales, our sales activity in the marketplace and our client testimonials. The simple message we are communicating to the local marketplace by showcasing these activities is:

 ‘’Look here, other local potential sellers trust me to successfully list and sell their property, therefore I am capable of selling your property also.  ‘’

Furthermore, when we showcase our successful sales on our Facebook business page we are communicating to the local marketplace – ‘’Look here – see how good my sales ability and communication is – I successfully sold this property – I am capable to sell your property also.

What do I mean by showcasing your ‘sales activity’ on your Facebook business page?

Sales activity can be demonstrated by documenting key points in your sales deals, for example, a post that your seller has just accepted a contract on a property, or maybe you place an ‘under contract’ sticker to the property ‘for sale’ board; you can add to your Facebook business page, an impromptu shot from your mobile phone of you placing the sticker on the board. Similarly, to this example, you could take a photo on your phone, of the photoshoot day or styling day at one of your listings, another example of this type of post would be a photo of the queue of cars sitting outside a hot listing on the home open day.

Posting this sales activity to your Facebook business page is communicating to your local marketplace - ‘look here, I am an active real estate agent, and I am doing regular business in the local marketplace’’.

If you have been following my blog posts or videos for a while, you will know I am a big believer in testimonial marketing, so much so, all my personal real estate profile marketing is based on testimonial marketing. Why is that?

Let’s look at the word Testimonial.

testimonial

noun

a formal statement testifying to someone's character and qualifications.

The simple science behind why I focus so heavily on testimonial advertising is this: People believe what other people say about you. Good and bad.

When it comes to dealing with salespeople the dominant and underlying questions potential clients will always have, are:

  • Can you effectively do the job?
  • Do you offer a safe place to do business? In other words, are you trustworthy?

A positive client testimonial answers a resounding YES to both questions.

You may be thinking, this all sounds great Gayle, however, we have a slight problem… I have no followers on my Facebook page.

Now that you are a little clearer on the use of a Facebook business page as a vehicle, to deliver powerful sales messages to your local marketplace; we will look at how Facebook advertising is all about bringing awareness of your service as the local real estate agent; and how it can be used to spread the message of your awesomeness to that local marketplace.

It’s that ping of realization you have on the power of Facebook as a tool to grow your real estate sales success, which signals a massive opportunity to the social media snake charmers mentioned earlier in today’s post.

Suddenly, you think to yourself, ‘sh*t that makes sense, I need to get on social media and I need to get my message out there. You may start thinking … hmmm, I’m not sure how to go about this….

Next, you hand your business sovereignty and acumen to a ‘social media expert’, along with a metaphorical blank cheque and the instructions, spend at will’.

Ugh, I see this all too often with my coaching clients!

Today’s blog post will continue in a tone of common-sense straightforwardness. Again, as a reminder of my point earlier, I am a lover of social media + social media advertising, so much so I spend hundreds of dollars a day advertising on the different social media platforms; however, I am not a lover of BS nor am I a lover of small business owners been taken advantage of. Let's continue on…

To ‘communicate with the local marketplace through Facebook’, the marketplace first must actually realize your existence as the local real estate agent.

The most effective way to introduce your message, and to continue to reach your local marketplace as an active real estate agent for that marketplace, is through the process of ‘boosting’ posts from your Facebook page to a ‘targeted (custom) local audience’.

What does ‘boosting’ a post from your Facebook page mean?

Boosted posts are ads that you create from posts on your Facebook Page. Boosting a post may help you get more people to react, share and comment on it. You may also reach new people who are likely to be interested in your Page or business but don't currently follow you. (Facebook)

Learn more on the link I have noted below: https://www.facebook.com/business/help/240208966080581?id=352109282177656

What is a ‘‘targeted (custom) local audience’?

Facebook Custom Audiences offer some of the best targeting available. They are highly defined groups of people including those who already have a relationship with your business, such as past customers and people who have visited your website. An audience can also be created to target people who live within a particular area/locality.

Learn more here: https://www.facebook.com/business/ads/ad-targeting

Enter the snake charmers! Around about now, the snake charmers will be telling you, you need to build out entire advertising campaigns and sales funnels.

Let me tell you, as local real estate agents, targeting a local marketplace, my friend, no you do not!!

As an owner of a digital product that I sell on the daily to a global market, my online courses, and coaching services, I spend hundreds of dollars a day on targeted advertising campaigns and sales funnels.

As an active local real estate agent who lists and sells 50 properties each and every year, I spend from $5 - to a maximum $20 a day boosting posts from my real estate business Facebook page, serving those boosted posts to a targeted custom local audience.

Let me explain the difference. 

As the owner of a digital product, my products target English-speaking real estate agents globally, this marketplace is quite massive.

Consider what I am selling; it’s an intangible product, I’m selling a digital course, which will teach the student how to win at real estate sales, I am also selling coaching services; neither product can you hold in your hands as a tangible product that has been purchased. Furthermore, for either product to be effective, it requires willing participation from the purchaser after purchase.

As an owner of a digital product, first I need to sell the concept, then the value and benefit of the purchase, I also need to sell the service, and finally, I must sell or support the purchaser into using the service they purchased, for them to achieve the desired result.

For all this to happen, I need to communicate effectively and regularly with a MASSIVE marketplace - because for my potential client to purchase from me, they must first be convinced I actually know what I am talking about. As a final description of selling a digital product my friends, my business needs to stand out from all the noise of social media platforms and the millions of other digital products on sale. My landscape, my playing field, my battleground for my online business to survive is the digital landscape.

The key difference between my online courses business and my local real estate business is the landscape in which my businesses must survive and thrive.

The playing field, battleground of my real estate business is the marketplace of 4000 houses in which I sell property in daily.

The local property owners in my marketplace do not need to be convinced that they require the service of a real estate agent to sell their property successfully. It is a normal transaction to sell or purchase property through a real estate agent.

What the local property owners need to be convinced of by any real estate agent is: ‘are you the right real estate agent for them’.

To market successfully as a local real estate agent, first, you build awareness of your service within your local marketplace, and then, you build on that awareness, with the message that you are the right real estate agent for the job.

Real estate agent profile marketing really is as simple as that.

Anything outside of these 2 messages will cause distraction and dilute the strength of the key messages.

All advertising for a local real estate agent should be answering the local property owners most dominant questions when it comes to dealing with real estate agents; these 2 questions are:

  • Can you effectively do the job?
  • Do you offer a safe place to do business? In other words, are you trustworthy?

The most effective way to communicate this message to your local marketplace is by showing proof of your work.

This can be done through publishing your most recent client testimonials, new listings, successfully sold properties, and any awards you win, as posts to your Facebook business page.

Facebook is also a super channel if you’re inclined to write market-update blog posts or share a blogging or vlogging social channel you have as a local real estate agent. As long as the content you are producing is always answering these two questions:

  • Can you effectively do the job?
  • Do you offer a safe place to do business? In other words, are you trustworthy?

… then your content will hit the mark of building your business and profile in the local marketplace as an active real estate agent.

To get the best use out of your Facebook business page in your endeavor to build a successful career as a local real estate agent you should consistently post-activity around these 4 topics:

-             Here is a client testimonial I received.

-             I just sold this property.

-             I just listed this property.

-             ‘I won this award.

The main purpose of local advertising is to build up awareness of your business within your local marketplace and to attract new customers, so you and your business make money.

It is really that simple. I like to call out the simplicity and foundational reason behind why we as local real estate agents put effort and energy into local marketing, there really is no need to overcomplicate it.

 

Let’s recap:

  • You have a Facebook Business Page
  • You are posting content consistently and regularly. This content always is answering the underlying questions from your local marketplace
    • Can you effectively do the job?
    • Do you offer a safe place to do business? In other words, are you trustworthy?
  • We have learned that with Facebook advertising you can create an audience of people.

A strategic move of any local real estate agent is to create an audience of anyone who lives within their marketplace and the surrounding 10KM of that marketplace.

You might be thinking, why the 10KM surrounding my marketplace?

This is a simple tactic to reach 2 important groups of people.

First, to potentially reach landlords who own property in the marketplace where you sell property, however, live in the surrounding suburbs. Its commonplace for local landlords to buy investment properties not too far from their own homes.

Second, to reach the local buying market. Buyers generally live in the suburbs surrounding where they intend to purchase their property.

Now you have created a targeted audience of:

  • Potential property sellers, buyers, and landlords - who live directly in your marketplace.
  • Potential landlords who own property in your marketplace but live in the surrounding suburbs.
  • Potential property purchasers who are interested in buying in your marketplace but currently live in the surrounding suburbs.

To wrap up the point, the key action you can take on your Facebook page now is once you post the above-detailed content, next you will ‘boost’ the post to the audience you have just created.

You should be thinking of boosting at least 1 fresh post a week to your audience with a small spend of a $1 - $2 a day.

Do this consistently to build up boosting your Facebook business page followers and to build awareness of your local business and services to the marketplace.

The beauty of boosting a post from your page is it will draw the local audience back to your page. This is what we want, we want the local audience to become aware of your services and to follow your page. Your intention will be to build on that connection and solidify your placement in the local community as the local real estate agent.

So, you might be thinking at this point – that sounds cool, but shouldn’t I be doing a Facebook advert?

Let’s look at the meaning of the word Advert: it means a notice or announcement in a public medium promoting a product, service, or event. It is also explained as a marketing communication that employs an openly sponsored, non-personal message to promote or sell a product, service, or idea.

When boosting a post from your page, you are advertising your service as a real estate agent. Boosted posts are in fact adverts – they are adverts that are launched from your page.

You may also wish to have an advert created which promotes your business, think of it as a digital leaflet, which is distributed to your local audience. For local businesses, the only difference between a boosted post and running a Facebook advert is the boosted post is generated from your Facebook business page posts.

A Facebook advert is built out in ‘adsmanager’ and is launched off out into Facebook, targeting your audience, however, the advert is not sitting on your page.

An advert can be linked to your website or a property listing.

For my own real estate business, I use both options, however, my focus is posting directly to my real estate business's Facebook page and boosting the post from there. A boosted post will also allow you the option of directing the viewer to an external link.

The main advantage of a boosted post to me is it’s building up awareness of my page and services to my most important audience; my local marketplace of potential sellers, buyers + landlords.

Let’s move on to the next 2 best use of Facebook for the local real estate agent…

  1.  To advertise listings for sale directly targeting your Facebook posts to a created audience of people who live in your marketplace and its surrounding areas.   
  2.  To reach buyers for your listings who ordinarily would not be seeking a property purchase in your marketplace, however, being made aware of the value offered could entice the grouping into the marketplace.

There are 2 key reasons why you should advertise your new listings for sale on Facebook:

  1. First and foremost, to build awareness with the local potential sellers in the marketplace, that you are an active real estate agent in the marketplace, and that you regularly list and sell property.

The biggest profile marketing hack of all time when it comes to positioning yourself as an active local real estate agent in the marketplace is to simply do your job and to be seen to do it!

Local potential sellers will call you directly to chat about selling their property when they see you regularly and actively sell property in their local marketplace.

It really is that simple.

When you are advertising on your Facebook business page that you have a new listing for sale, your first marketing priority is to the potential sellers in the marketplace.

It’s a simple ‘look here message’ – I’m successfully listing and selling in your suburb.

  1. The secondary priority is to reach the marketplace of local buyers.

You might be thinking, Gayle if buyers wish to purchase a property, they will search on the property portals. That is exactly correct. However, in the last 24 months, I can contribute 30% of my property sales came from a buyer who first viewed the property on Facebook.

So why is that? The property portals can be a little restrictive when it comes to advertising a property for sale. In general, the new listing is required to be advertised under its suburb (town or city) grouping and will be set into a price marketing bracket by the backend system of the property portal. Of course, this makes sense, however, sometimes it can be difficult to reach the right buyers for the property with these limits on the advertising.

Advertising the new listing for sale through Facebook removes these barriers as you can serve the advert to your targeted audience. Very potentially, and that which I have had great success within my own real estate business, is the ability to reach buyers who were not initially looking for property in the actual marketplace I sell, on the property portals, however, the Facebook boosted post from my business page, helped them realize the great value offered in purchasing within that marketplace.

In my own real estate business, I post the new listing to my page, and then I boost the post from my page to my targeted audience.

In general, I will spend $10 a day for either 7 or 14 days boosting the post.

Below I have included the Facebook marketing results from a couple of ‘new listing’ boosted posts, I ran from my own real estate Facebook business page.

To wrap up today's post!

The 3 Best Uses of Facebook for Real Estate Agents are:

  1. To build marketplace awareness of you as the local Real Estate Agent. This is done using social proof content style posting and directly targeting those posts, to a created audience of people, who live in your marketplace and its surrounding areas.
  2. To advertise listings for sale directly targeting your Facebook posts to a created audience of people who live in your marketplace and its surrounding areas.
  3. To reach buyers for your listings who ordinarily would not be seeking a property purchase in your marketplace, however, being made aware of the value offered could entice the grouping into the marketplace.

The underlying message you should focus on communicating through your marketing activities, to your local marketplace is:

  • I can effectively do the job.
  • I offer a safe place to do business. I am trustworthy.