The Step-by-Step Guide to Setting Up Your Real Estate Facebook Profile
By Matthew Bushery
About Inbound Marketing
In 2011, roughly 80% of real estate agents were using Facebook regularly as part of their real estate marketing — nearly double the amount using the next most-popular social media channel. Given how much the social network has grown as a tool for real estate professionals since that time, that figure has likely grown quite a bit.
However, there are still some agents who have yet to take advantage of all that Facebook can offer their businesses. There was a 30% increase in brand interaction on the site from January to June, according to Social Bakers. Agents who ignore stats like this are missing out on a prime engagement opportunity.
New real estate agents get started every day, meaning there are industry beginners who need to create their Facebook business profiles. Additionally, there are experienced agents who haven’t joined in on the social media revolution, or who are not optimizing their page the right way, and are missing out on a prime brand awareness and lead generation opportunity.
Whether you’re a new or veteran agent, use this simple step-by-step process to set up your real estate Facebook profile. And when once you’ve launched your page, use the tips below to learn how to setup, optimize & market your page accordingly:
Starting Your Real Estate Facebook Profile
Log in to your personal Facebook account.
Since one-sixth of the human race is an active monthly user of Facebook, we’ll assume you have a personal account. (If not, you can create one quickly on the homepage.)
Go to “Create a Page.”
After you’ve logged in, go to the scroll-down menu located at the top-right corner of your profile and select “Create a Page.” That will take you to the page below:
If you have a physical office that gets lots of walk-in traffic, you can choose “Local Business or Place,” but for the vast majority of agents, selecting “Company, Organization, or Institution” is the way to go.
This is the name that appears next to your profile photo and builds brand recognition. This area should clearly convey your brand name. Some real estate professionals choose to add their company, location, etc. and that’s fine too. Choose the most relevant terms so users can recognize you and your profession easily, but don’t overwhelm this section with too many phrases, as this can be a turnoff to users.
There’s also a title field, where you can select phrases like “Real Estate Agent” that can increase search potential if someone is specifically searching for agents.
Select your business category.
None of the categories listed at this stage directly pertain to real estate agents, but the closest one you can choose is “small business.”
Upload your profile picture.
Upload a professional-looking headshot of yourself to use as your profile photo. If you want to take it to the next level, you could even use a logo, but if you want followers and page visitors to trust your brand, it’s best to use your headshot in this space.
Grainy, low-res, unprofessional, or random real estate photos won’t do for your profile photo. Aside from sizing restrictions (your photo should be 180 x 180 pixels and will be displayed by Facebook at 160 x 160 pixels), your photo should represent your brand. If you’re an individual, a headshot is great. If the page represents your company or a team, a logo can work well. The ideal here is that your photo or image be something like looks good when it’s reduced to 100 x 100 pixels in the News Feed, 86 x 86 pixels next to Timeline posts, and even smaller on comments and on mobile views.
Fill in your company information.
Click “Update Info” and add in all of your pertinent business details. After that, fill in the remaining information about yourself and your company in the “About” page. Facebook users want to know they can trust the content you will be posting. If they don’t know anything about your real estate business, including where you’re located, your credentials, and other business info, chances are they won’t want to visit your page regularly.
Visually Brand Your Page
You should corner the market on your brand’s name on every social channel, but particularly with Facebook. You want something that closely matches your name, company name, or website name — whichever is the primary brand name you use.
Striking design enhances users’ experiences with brands. This is as true for your Facebook Page design as it is for your website. Portray yourself favorably with professional, polished, relatable photos and art, and you’re more likely to see a growth in user engagement on your Page.
Facebook Page URL
After you’ve amassed 25 fans for your page, you can select a custom vanity URL that will appear in search engine rankings and be a simple URL users can type to find your page. This URL should contain your business name (and possibly company function, like “agent”). (For those who already have a Facebook name they’d like to update, note that you can only change your username once, or you’ll have to create a new page.)
The photo below from Moz shows the importance of both your Name and About section with regard to how search engines will treat that data, with your name weighted as the SEO title of your page and your About Section treated as the meta description. Additionally, your About section is prominently shown under your profile photo in both desktop and mobile views, so it’s going to receive lots of eyes. Therefore, don’t skimp on really refining your About Section.
Image from Moz.
You’ll have 155 characters to explain your company’s main services and benefits. The majority of searches pull information from the About Section of Facebook Fan Pages, so it’s important these include strong key phrases that outline your value proposition and offerings. It’s also beneficial to include your website URL here to increase traffic.
Bonus tip: Add a Featured Video. A great way to increase engagement is highlighting a video right in your About Section.
You can do this by going to your Videos tab, choosing one of your uploaded videos, and selecting “Add a Featured Video.”
The cover image is likely the most important visual element on your Facebook real estate page. It prominently fills the top portion of your profile and will convey your brand powerfully. The first rule, but an important one, is sizing. Cover images should be 851 x 315 pixels, and if uploaded too small or not in those dimensions, you’ll risk having a stretched, distorted, or grainy photo — which will immediately take away from its wow factor and your brand’s professional polish.
When considering what to put as your brand’s cover image, here are some ideas:
- Focus on what you stand for by highlighting your personal brand story
- Showcase a beautiful listing preview
- Offer a beautiful park, mountain view, or seascape
- Highlight your motto, a quote, or a branded hashtag
Don’t spend too much time worrying about finding the perfect photo or graphic, as these can — and should — be updated regularly to keep users engaged.
Here are some great Facebook real estate cover image examples:
Fill Out Your Profile Completely
Many agents skip fully filling out their Facebook profiles for fear that users aren’t interested in those minute details. This is a mistake, as you can’t really account for potential leads who are vetting your experiences, as well as search engines who are ranking your profile for relevant local searches. The profile field options that appear on your Facebook for Business Page will vary based on the category you chose at set-up. You’ll likely pick from Local Business, Company, or Brand, and if you find that you want to change this later, you can do so within your Page’s Admin settings. Picking a subcategory is optional, but it can build on specificity of your profession or services, and increases visibility in very specific searches.
Let’s recap some of those category options, and some of the fields that will populate for you to complete:
Image from Hubspot.
Again, fill out everything possible.
The above diagram showed a high-level view of the field options your profile allows. It’s recommended you fill out all pertinent details (as available to you):
- Address: Where your company offices are located
- Start date: When your company was founded or when you started as an agent
- Hours: When you’re available or when the offices are open
- Short Description and Long Description: Expanded fields where you can document the areas you target, what you offer clients, your unique value proposition, the types of properties you represent, and your history of successes
- Mission: Include your business’s mission statement here
- Awards: Highlight any special awards or recognition you’ve received in the industry or your community
- General Information: Some agents use this for certifications, affiliations, speaking highlights, events, etc.
- Price Range: Agents sometimes use this field to outline the average prices of homes they represent in their area (this can also help to generate better qualified leads, however, you may want to leave this out if you’d like to attract a wide range of leads)
- Parking: Detail your office’s parking options
- Phone: Include your business phone details
- Email: Where leads can get in touch with you digitally
- Website: The URL for your main page (See other fields to add additional website domains)
Start sharing updates!
Now you’re good to go. Start promoting your Facebook page on your real estate website and begin sharing updates with your audience — everything from new listings to blog posts to Instagram photos of interesting neighborhoods.
Important: When you log into Facebook to post updates, be sure to check whether you are posting under your personal profile or your new business profile. You don’t want post selfies from your birthday barbecue to all of your prospective customers.
“Social media replaces nothing — but complements everything.”
— Neal Schaffer
Going back and forth between your personal and business profiles is simple. Go to the top-right corner of either page and click the dropdown menu. Here, you’ll see the page you’re currently not using with the phrase “Use Facebook as.” Click the page and you’ll transfer to it.
Develop Compelling Posts
Great Facebook pages are created with a steady stream of compelling content. You must post valuable articles, ideas, photos, and videos regularly enough to stay top-of-mind with your followers.
The anatomy of a post typically consistents of:
- Photo/Video: Visual posts still get the highest engagement, so try to include visuals in most of your posts. You can also feel free to tag your brand in relevant photos, as well as leads who might be interested in the content.
- Text Description: Always include a description or introduction for your post. The first 18 characters also act as a meta description for search, so use keywords to help users easily find your posts.
- Link: Provide a destination link, preferably to your website, where users can continue the experience. Services like bit.ly will allow you to track and monitor clicks.
- Hashtags: While you don’t want to overload posts with hashtags, a sparing use of these for highly relevant terms can help your posts populate in searches.
SEO tip: Above we discussed Facebook’s Graph Search and how that impacts the results that populate when users search within Facebook. Remember to include any major keywords or pain points affecting your audience with your posts to increase chances your content will be shown. You can do this through the description copy, shared article titles, hashtags, tagging, and more. Optimize each of your posts accordingly to connect to your leads’ needs and interests.
The key to mastering Facebook engagement is posting a strong mix of directly related and indirectly related posts — both personal and professional — that refer back to your position as an informed agent.
While you’ll want to focus on content from your blog, listings boards, and open houses, you’ll also want to post fun memes that your leads can identify with, great shots of your community, restaurant reviews, local news, and even ask questions of your leads, like which kitchen layout they’d prefer between two of your favorites.
Don’t be afraid to show off your personality (so long as you’re still professional). Also, check out our guide to posting on social media to see what other posts work well on Facebook, and see other accounts that are doing things right when it comes to getting users excited.
- Sharing posts from other locations, like Pinterest, can also help keep users engaged on your page, so integrate other social channels to post directly to your Page.
- Pin important posts (as necessary), like an event or ebook download, to the top of your feed so users see them first.
- Test out different post times and days, so you can find the sweet spot when most users will see your content. You may need to also adjust how often you post. For some brands, that means posting once a day, while others post multiple times a day. Monitor your page’s analytics to determine how often people are interacting with your page, and adjust accordingly. Use our social media scheduling guide to help you plan out when to publish your posts.
Effectively Use Lead Generating Features
There should be a strong connection between your Facebook page, your real estate website, and your business, so at every juncture, whether using an app extension, a button, or a link, you should be getting users to your homepage, content, or emailing/calling you.
Post important data in multiple places.
Whether it’s your phone number, email, or website URL, make sure your important contact information appears not just in bio sections, but in posts, photo descriptions, and additional descriptive areas. This will increase your opportunities to have conversations with leads.
Customize the Call to Action button.
We’ve written extensively about using calls to action on your real estate website, emails, advertisements, etc., but did you know that Facebook offers you a prominent CTA button on your Facebook Page? This appears on the bottom right corner of your cover image, and provides another option for a user to interact with your brand.
You’re able to edit your call to action to get users to sign up for your newsletter, get in touch with you, watch a video, and more.
Optimize Your Real Estate Facebook Page to Increase Engagement
Setting up your real estate Facebook profile is one thing — optimizing it is another. There are countless ways you can take advantage of the social network to help you with real estate lead generation.
Let’s say you and another competitor have equally optimized Facebook Pages — who will rank higher in searches? The brand that has the most engagement — more likes, inbound links, comments, shares, and the like. Therefore, optimization and engagement go hand-in-hand to fuel one another. Don’t stop at filling out your profile: Now you must continually build upon your profile to get users excited to interact with it. Regular posting, smart use of calls to action, and lots of visual and interactive elements on your page can help your content appear more often for users, and can increase the frequency with which folks visit and stay on your real estate brand’s Facebook Page.
Here’s a few of the most important things to do:
Use Relevant Keywords in Page Info Where It Counts
SEO isn’t just for your real estate website. Using local targeted keywords for your real estate Facebook page also allows your page to be found for relevant search terms. Think about the key phrases that drive organic traffic to the content your audience likes to read on your website. These are focus areas you’ll want to play up on your Facebook for Real Estate Page as well.
Whether someone is searching within Facebook or through a search engine, it’s important that you do search engine optimization (SEO) for your Page. If you’ve optimized your Facebook Business Page effectively, it will rank well in search engine results for those searching for related real estate needs, agents in your area, or your brand directly. This may be a great entry point for early stage leads who are trying to find out a bit more about you before they hit your website. They likely want to see more of your personality and the types of content you post, or even follow you so they won’t have to worry about remembering to go back and find your website later.
Take advantage of Graph Search by finding out more about your audience.
Searching within Facebook Graph Search gives users a more targeted search: They’ll receive results indexed within Facebook, related to people (both friends and extended network), pages, posts, hashtags, and locations that are most related to and in context of their search terms. For example, typing in “million dollar listing,” Facebook will infer based on the full search term that a user is likely looking for the hit TV show, and will populate relevant posts, statuses, articles, pages, and more that mention that. Understanding and playing around with Facebook Graph Search will broaden your understanding of how it operates, and how you should therefore optimize your own pages and posts with key phrases your extended network can easily locate when searching for things in your specific community or for real estate advice.
For instance, if you want to see which of your followers lives in your market, type “People who live in [market name here]” into the search bar at the top of the page, and Facebook will provide a list of residents there.
Other ways you can use Graph Search include:
- Listing your business so users can find your location in Graph Search
- Identifying fans’ hobbies, interests, and liked pages
- Finding other brands and professionals to connect with
- Locating past clients to see what they’re up to
Publish links to your blog posts and other content with appealing images.
This should be done on a daily basis, which requires you to keep up with your real estate blogging. When posting on Facebook, don’t just post links to your blog posts and insert the headline. Tease users by asking questions or offering interesting statements that will make them want to check out your content.
Also, there are certain times that work best for Facebook posting, but play around with specific times during your first couple of months to determine which periods are ideal to publish content and updates. Also, be sure to add in appropriate hashtags (yes, hashtags) for each of your updates.
“Boost” your posts to reach your targeted audience.
An interesting development in recent years on Facebook is the ability to now “boost” your posts. This allows brands to target who their audiences are and narrow down who can see the updates you publish.
You can roughly segment who to boost your status updates to by who likes your page, age, gender, and location, meaning you can target those in and around your community who are likely to be your core audience. For instance, those aged 24-45 in your city and their friends. It’s not the most ideal targeting method, but one that could still garner you new followers.
The cost to start boosting content is $5 and goes higher based on how big of a reach you want for your content. Play around with the different price tiers that offer you different reaches. That way, you can eventually decide which one works best for your real estate marketing.
Advertise on the social network.
Paid ads on Facebook offer another real estate marketing opportunity for agents. Creating text or display ads on the site can bolster your brand awareness and get more Facebook users to find their way to your real estate website. Much of agents’ referral traffic comes from Facebook, so adding this marketing layer to the site can help you entice more users to check out the listings on your site.
Share images and videos of your business, including listings.
Be sure to tag customers in photos so they can share your post with others on their News Feeds, thus maximizing your Facebook profile’s exposure. And you can kill two birds with one stone — ever since Facebook bought Instagram, it’s become a cinch to post Instagram photos and videos to Faceboook.
Build your audience to maximize your presence further.
Though you likely will tell your family, friends, colleagues, and peers about your Facebook presence, you can better ensure they follow and like your page by using the “Build Audience” feature. This allows you to import contacts from your email and promote your Facebook profile with ease.
You’ll also want to identify those not already in your personal network and reach out and let them know about your new page, including local real estate groups and organizations and other real estate pros in your area. And when fans and followers like your content or engage with it, reach out to them and start a conversation. These connections are the lifeline for your page’s success.
Attract former clients to your ‘Reviews’ section.
Positive real estate reviews help you leverage customer satisfaction to build trust with leads and convert them into clients, and are also very helpful for SEO visibility. While any client has the ability to post in this section, proactively manage your brand’s image by requesting reviews from former clients. If they’ve already chosen to do one on Yelp or elsewhere, ask if they’d write a few words and give you a rating so your followers have a sense of their impression with your services. Then, make sure this section is displayed high on your page (see below about section positioning).
Build Personality with Added Features
Keep your followers and page visitors interested in your page by using some of the built-in features your Facebook Business Page offers:
Create photo albums.
If you post an original uploaded photo or graphic to Facebook, or if you’re tagged in someone’s photo, these will be added to your Photos tab automatically. But, creating albums that are dedicated to your services, listings, or surrounding community can also help keep users engaged on your page.
Then, add descriptions to those photos.
Many people don’t realize that adding descriptions and links to posts can help increase their being found in Facebook Graph Search, and get users to click through to your website. Additionally, if you’re creating an album, use key phrases in both the title and description of the album, and geotag the location as well.
Bonus tip: Add descriptions and links to your profile and cover photos that click through to your website, listings pages, blog posts, etc.
As of last year, Facebook video views were averaging 1 billion views a day, so there’s no doubt that video engagement on Facebook can help you grow brand awareness and draw a strong following. You can showcase these as posts or upload them directly to your video section. Use the same tips as with photos — optimize your video posts with detailed, keyword rich descriptions, and links to additional resources on your website.
Here, Social Media Examiner offers pro tips on developing great brand videos that will work well with Facebook audiences.
Tabs appear as the top menu options underneath your cover image and are another element on your page that encourage users to engage with your brand. Some businesses use tabs to showcase photos, videos, and other social sites (like Twitter and Pinterest), but you can also use them to advertise services like free home valuation, newsletter sign-ups, ebook downloads, etc.
Facebook Apps give your page additional functionality to simplify tasks like getting newsletter sign-ups directly to your Mailchimp account, making appointments that sync with your calendar service or CRM, or market event invites from a third party.
Search through the Apps section in Facebook to see what might be pertinent for your audience. Choose 3–4 that are helpful to you and your audience.
Like other pages.
While it may seem counterintuitive, liking other Pages on Facebook can help leads and followers infer a sense of your personality. Think of it as meeting a new person and finding out you both have the same taste in music — you’re much more likely to engage with that individual and see if they’ll develop into a friend.
It’s just as helpful for users to know what you value as a brand. “Like” some pages that are helpful to you and your followers, such as home decorating and renovation pages, real estate industry news outlets, and local publications or businesses.
Comment on posts (your own and others).
Don’t forget that part of being successful on social media is being social. As users comment on your posts, respond back in a timely manner with in-depth feedback. Additionally, as you follow other Pages’ content, comment and add insights there as well. You should be an active participant in the Facebook experience, not an automated machine.
Reposition Features on Your Page
Placement matters. Most people will visit your Page’s main view and may not click around to other tabs or albums, so it’s a must that the important details appear on your main page.Additionally, where things are positioned on your front page matters, as the top of the fold information (the part seen in the browser without scrolling) will get the most eyes.
Additionally, where things are positioned on your front page matters, as the top of the fold information (the part seen in the browser without scrolling) will get the most eyes.
So, let’s say you haven’t installed any important apps yet, but that section appears right below your bio (highly visible), it’s time to hit the edit button and move it down below, say, your robust reviews section.
To move sections, hover over the top-right arrow (>) of the section. A little pen symbol will appear and a pop-up that says “Manage Sections.”
Hit that, then drag and drop the sections in order of preference, and click save. Preview how it looks on your profile to ensure you have the layout you want.
Bonus tip: Think about SEO here as well. The About section and Reviews should be more prominent because they contribute to search and engagement at higher rates than the “Posts to Page” section, for instance. Make sure the areas of higher importance receive higher positioning.
Generate Inbound Links
Increase rank by linking to your Facebook page in other areas, like your website, emails, and blog. This will ensure that folks are visiting (and hopefully liking and engaging with your page), and will signal to search engines that it’s a high traffic URL, increasing your SEO potential.
Have a personal Facebook page? Cross-market it with your professional one. This post focuses on Facebook for Business Pages for your brand, but many agents and brokers open their personal Facebook profiles to leads and customers as well.
If you’re hoping to use this tactic to increase lead generation, make sure you’re using the same relevant terms and keywords there to attract audiences as well. You’ll also have a larger space in your personal profile to create a robust, detailed bio.
You can certainly reuse some of the details from your website bio, but use inviting copy to make this bio more engaging for the platform.
Make Adjustments for Mobile Design
Facebook notes that 1.25 billion of its 1.44 billion active users are coming through mobile. That’s a huge mobile audience interacting mainly through the app itself.
Keep in mind, then, that your profile can look very different when squished into a mobile framework than it does on the desktop. Have text in your cover photo that’s fairly small, a profile photo of a detailed home, or a very long About section? These can all be obscured or cut short when viewed from a mobile app.
A simple fix is previewing your Business Page on as many devices as possible to get a preview of what it will look like for the average user, making sure photos and descriptions aren’t being cut off, and that important contact information and URLs to your website are visible without having to scroll.
Use Page Insights to ensure your page gets the traction you want.
One of the best features of Facebook for Business is the Insights tool, which allows you to (of course) get all of the important insights about your Facebook profile’s performance. With Insights, you can determine the demographics of your page followers and those who’ve liked your page, where your followers live, what updates they specifically liked, and much more that can help inform what to post on your profile.
Innovative Facebook Real Estate Marketing: Advanced Steps for Agents
When using Facebook, real estate agents can’t rely on a “set-it-and-forget-it” mentality. As with any other real estate marketing strategies, agents need to add new tactics to the mix, remove ones that don’t work, use new resources to improve their processes, and stay current on the latest features, updates, and announcements that come from Zuckerberg and Co.
To ensure your real estate Facebook page actually generates new leads and business, instead of just likes, comments, and shares, you need to be active on the social network and take advantage of everything it has to offer.
Use these tips, tricks, and tools to augment your Facebook for real estate strategy and get more leads moving through your inbound marketing funnel.
Ask your existing followers what they want in a real estate Facebook page.
Canvassing isn’t just something politicians do. It’s also a viable method for agents to learn more about their audience — specifically, what kind of content do readers like?
You can be general with your questions, like “What types of blog posts do you most enjoy reading?” and “Do you prefer consuming written content or more visual content, like infographics and videos?”
Or, you can be more overt with your inquiry and relate your questions to your Facebook page, like “What kind of home buying and selling information do you typically search for online?” and “What would make you want to watch a real estate listing video?” to improve the odds of getting straightforward answers that inform your content creation.
Ask your fans and followers these questions and their general perceptions of your brand through online surveys, polls, and questionnaires (which can also provide you with detailed responses to be used in testimonials). Of course, you’ll likely think of new questions over time that you never thought to ask originally, so add those that can give you a better concept of what needs changing and adjusting in your Facebook strategy.
The real key with these messages — and getting the responses you need to make your Facebook page more efficacious — really lies in personalization. Don’t just list the questions and say “Answer soon, please.” Instead, write a few paragraphs explaining your intent and why you’re contacting the person in question (e.g. “You’ve liked several of my posts, so I figured you’d be an ideal person to speak with for this.”).
Learn the best days and times to post your real estate Facebook content.
Look at your editorial calendar for your real estate social media marketing and then compare it to 100 other agents’ calendars.
Okay, this would be a drastic waste of time, but the point is if you actually sat down and compared and contrasted each, you’d notice not a single one looks exactly the same. That’s because every brand and professional’s Facebook presence is unique
Facebook Insights (more on that below) and your Google Analytics can give you the most accurate data regarding which posts perform best, and on what days and at what times they tend to get the most traction.
Let’s say you share a particular type of blog post once a week (for example, a weekly roundup of local events going on in your community).
By publishing these articles on different days and times over the course of a few months, you can gather data from the aforementioned services for each post to see just how successful they were.
Sure, sometimes there aren’t any major differences in traction for your status updates based on when they go live on your page, but if you publish a steady stream of original content routinely on your page, there are bound to be at least some articles, graphics, videos, and other pieces that show vastly different numbers when it comes to generating traffic to your site.
Even the tiniest change to your real estate marketing plans can lead to far greater engagement and lead generation figures, so leave no stone unturned and you may end up improving your website goals every month … as long as you continually incorporate links to your site in the content, of course.
Optimize your Facebook real estate page’s multimedia — especially listing photos.
It’s just not enough to throw a picture of your latest listing up on your Facebook for Business page. Rather, beautiful real estate photos that highlight the most attractive areas of the homes you represent should be accompanied by details about those listings — asking price, square footage, room totals, and noteworthy features, to name some.
Put yourself in the shoes of prospective home buyers searching online for their next home: Wouldn’t seeing a photo collage emphasizing multiple attractive elements of a listing and relaying a brief but informative description of the property be more appealing than just a single photo without any details included?
Moreover, your real estate videos need to have “pop” to engross your Facebook audience. What this means is adding graphical overlays, musical cues, high-definition video quality, and an overall theme and message. Even if you’re just showing off one of your listings, there needs to be a narrative built around it.
For instance: Do you represent a home for sale that’s in a neighborhood or community with historic structures and buildings? Highlight those aspects of the area along with the property itself to bolster your selling point. Does your most-expensive listing offer plenty of amenities, like a swimming pool and tennis court?
Show people taking advantage of them: leisurely diving into an in-ground pool or a duo playing a singles match and volleying back and forth.
Educating consumers through visual content has proven to be advantageous for professionals and brands in just about every industry, especially as it relates to their online marketing efforts, so put an extra focus on creating appealing imagery and recordings (or at least hiring the right graphic designer, photographer, or videographer to develop them for you.)
Request “referral friends” through existing leads and clients on Facebook.
You’ve heard of referral leads, but this differs slightly in that you ask your existing followers to connect you with one or more people in their Facebook inner circle who have discussed buying or selling. Feel free to reward anyone who offers up a name or two (by “reward,” we mean buy them a coffee — nothing outlandish). Users may be more willing to do this than you think, given they have friends, family, and colleagues they know are in need of representation or are searching the market.
Requesting connections such as these needs to be done very carefully, particularly for those you are friends with on the social network, as you don’t want to appear too pushy or desperate.
A single private message on the platform is all you should send to individuals:
- If you haven’t spoken to them recently, remind them of your relationship (e.g. “Hey [name here], I don’t know if you remember but we connected at that local BBQ a few months back.”).
- If you have been in touch with the person lately, ask how they and their family are doing (e.g. “Hope everything is going well for you. Have your kids started back up at school yet?”).
Personalization and humanization of these messages is imperative — otherwise, you’ll come across as a spammy salesperson.
Hold contests, promote videos, and conduct polls with Facebook apps.
Those are just a few of the purposes Facebook apps can serve. There are also apps that allow for lead capture form creation, ones that showcase reviews, and even appointment-scheduling apps — the latter of which is a perfect means to get followers’ contact info straight into your inbox and customer relationship management (CRM) database and a way to quickly and efficiently advance them through your sales funnel.
Some of the best apps to download and use for your Facebook real estate marketing needs include:
- Heyo: One of several app suites in the Facebook marketplace, Heyo offers tab features that can help you host contests, showcase promotions, and offer deals to your audience. Think of it as a landing page extension of your real estate website.
- Woobox: With more than 20 Facebook tools, including a “fangate” that shows different content to fans and non-fans and a quiz-creation feature, Woobox has several solutions that can amplify any brand’s marketing on the social network.
- Pagemodo: Creating a sleek, stylish Facebook Business Page becomes a cinch with this app. Its custom tabs allow for easy lead capture, while its “Suggested Posts” feature helps businesses find the right content to curate and share.
Provide personal recommendations to your most qualified Facebook prospects.
General contractors, electricians, plumbers, dentists, dry cleaners — you can probably roll off at least a few suggestions to Facebook friends regarding the best of the best in these respective fields (and many others). When you see that leads and even past clients you’re connected with on Facebook are looking for assistance in finding the best vendors to work with and places to shop and eat, be the first to offer your suggestions. Going the extra mile with real estate leads is hardly a new concept for agents, but it’s still one that needs to be executed consistently.
Of course, you can’t go the extra mile if you don’t have anything to offer your audience. Build up your connections by networking regularly in your market. For example, if a convention for home remodelers is taking place in your area soon, make an appearance to hand out business cards, shake hands, and talk with construction companies, renovators, and other professionals. This will allow you to make recommendations to leads and clients with confidence since you can vet each pro you connect with (in other words, ensure they’re appropriately certified and well-reviewed).
Every piece of your own content you share needs to lead back to your website.
Some real estate agents use social media solely as a medium to enhance their brand awareness and get people to notice and talk about them. One reason seemingly every agent needs to use social networks, however — including Facebook — is to garner more tangible results for their business.
Routinely engaging with your fans and followers, and sharing others’ content to get more eyes to your Business page, are the tactics you need to employ, but the endgame is the same for each of these tasks: Getting Facebook users to your website and viewing your business information, area pages, and listings — essentially any page on your site that includes a way for you to get more information from your visitors.
As social media automation service Buffer notes in this blog post, the first and foremost thing you need to create the perfect Facebook post is include a relevant link. If your post explains information about a busy commercial street in your town with lots of interesting shops and cafes, add a link leading back to a neighborhood page on your site that further explains the area. If a status update features a brief summary of a blog post you wrote recently, send users back to the original article on your site and ensure the page is optimized with a lead capture form.
Promote your real estate Facebook presence in every other facet of your marketing.
In an ideal world, all you would need to do to widen exposure to your Business Page and increase page views and post clicks is hit publish. We don’t live in such a wonderful world, though, meaning you have to use other outlets to promote your content. One channel you should take advantage of is email marketing. Sending emails through your drip campaigns for different lead lists allows you to measure which of your contacts most enjoys your content and, in turn, adjust whom you share certain content with.
Your Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, and other real estate social media accounts offer additional promotional means for you to spread word about your Business Page and the specific activities you perform on it, like holding contests and offering gated content behind forms. Creating blog posts that feature your most noteworthy and informative status updates, tweets, and other social media posts from a given week or month on your website can bring attention to all of your social media profiles. Use an app like Storify to streamline a mix of these posts in the order in which you prefer to tell a story around a given subject matter.
Comb over your Facebook page’s analytics featured on the Insights page.
Spending time evaluating the important metrics for your account is the only way you can develop a better approach for your presence and spend your valuable time creating content that resonates and translates into friends and followers spending time on your website. This includes — but is not limited to — clicks on links and videos in your posts, your published content’s reach, and the click-through rate of your ads.
For instance, if posts you produce don’t lead to the number of clicks to your real estate website that you set out to achieve, or those who click and end up on your site don’t stay for long, it’s a clear-cut sign you may need to address both the copy and images you use in the post itself, select more relevant links to include, and better optimize the pages you send clickers to with more information and value (e.g. more listings, more info about listings, better listing search functionality, etc.).
Advance your Facebook real estate advertising with more detailed ad targeting.
We can’t talk about making the most of real estate Facebook pages without discussing how to develop and optimize ads on the social network. Hopefully you already have several real estate advertising ideas in play on the site (or at least in mind for future ads). Either way, using Facebook’s ad platform is one of the premier ways to target the right people online and get them flocking to your website. Location, demographic, interests, and behaviors are the core criteria for determining who should see your Facebook real estate ads, but the social network constantly adds new targeting filters and functions that help brands reach even more niche prospects who closely meet their customer persona criteria.
Another way to take your Facebook real estate advertising to the next level is using Custom Audiences, which allows you to upload contact information for existing contacts to whom you would like to target your ads.
Add email addresses or phone numbers for contacts in your CRM who you think could lead to new business into your Facebook ads setup and you will be able to share super-targeted ads with them.
As with pay per click for real estate, setting a strict monthly budget for these ads and monitoring their progress closely is a must, but the rewards that can be reaped and the lead-generating time that can be saved are big.
Download our Facebook real estate lead generation guide today to enhance your agency’s Business Page.
Published on April 25, 2019
Written by Matthew Bushery
I'm the Sr. Content Creator for Placester, where I educate real estate professionals about modern marketing and, in turn, help agents and brokers make the most of their online presence, earn more traffic, and generate more leads and business.