• As agents, we tend to think that if we like each other’s Facebook business pages, we will close more deals, but this is false.
  • Disengaged or disinterested followers devalue your Facebook business page.
  • Business pages should be used as funnels for unmet prospects, and personal profiles should be used to cultivate relationships with people you have met.

I see this all the time: real estate agents exchanging Facebook business page likes with one another.

Every time I see it, I just want to scream from the rooftops, “You’re killing your Facebook lead generation.”

But alas, we have this theoretical idea that — somehow, some way, in some form or another — if we go around patting each other’s backs on Facebook, it will bring more closings to the closing table.

When I do say something, I always get responses that seem to make sense — at least on the surface — but if anyone digs just a tiny bit below the surface, they fall apart.

Those responses include:

  • More exposure is good for my business.
  • I want to be available for referrals.
  • But a top agent I asked said to move all agents to my business page.

These are just a few of the plethora of reasons why real estate agents engage in “like” exchanges.

Let’s hit each one, shall we?

More exposure is good for my business

Really? How so? Can you track this statement? Can you back it with statistical data?

In my over 20 years in real estate, I have yet to get actual, statistical data from a single agent on this. They’ll spout its truth, but they don’t have any evidence to prove it.

You see, it’s just the old way of thinking that’s always been theoretical because it sounds right on the surface.

But the problem is, the statement is ambiguous. What constitutes exposure? What is the content? Who is the audience? What does “good” mean?

We know it takes seven to 13 touches before our message sinks in, and we’ve translated to mean that more exposure equals more business.

Even if it is true — does that mean all exposure is good?

Here’s where most agents fall by the wayside and tend to be more stubborn than realistic. To get the exposure theory to work for you, you must be exposing the right content to the right audience.

If exposure is good, it must be the right exposure — and the right exposure is a prospect who want to buy or sell. A real estate agent in another market is not that prospect.

Let’s look at this from another perspective — that of Facebook. We’ve all heard that Facebook is now a pay-to-play platform. That means if you are a business and you want to make sales, you are going to have to invest in the platform — both in time and money.

You aren’t going to get a whole lot of focused, free exposure anymore. In other words, all this time you are spending getting your colleagues around the country to like your business page is not helping you at all in any way, shape or form. Period.

You’ve got to have your Facebook business page set up for real estate lead generation — not for exposure — and you’ve got to be engaging in lead generation-focused activities.

In fact, if you’ve been collecting likes that aren’t interested in your content, you’ve devalued your Facebook business page — drastically.

And you’ve locked yourself into a box — a box that you’ll be constantly working to get out of (which is futile), once you realize you could be getting actual leads if you understood how Facebook works.

I want to be available for referrals

I have never understood why real estate agents spend more time focusing on staying connected with colleagues and hoping to get potential referrals than they do on consistently exposing their services to real prospects.

Why on earth are we spending 80 percent of our energy connecting with sources who will bring in less than 5 percent of our closings in any given year? Why, indeed.

I also question how adding a real estate agent to your real estate business page — a page that you are (hopefully) providing valuable, relevant content on, for your particular target market — is going to make you available for referrals from agents all over.

First of all, the page isn’t relevant to the agent in another market, so they aren’t going to stay involved in your page.

Their disengagement means anything you post won’t be showing up in their Facebook news feed, which ultimately defeats your intended purpose — referrals from said agent.

There are much better ways to stay connected with colleagues around the country — ways that will give you more referrals.

Here’s another thing: The more disengaged your page “likes” are, the more Facebook penalizes you and makes it even harder for you to get your content into the news feeds of your page fans who are real prospects. It’s all part of the algorithm.

Last, but not least, when it comes time to “pay to play” — otherwise known as running ads — you are going to be wasting a whole lot of money putting ads in front of people who will never use your services.

Would you add colleagues from around the country to your snail-mail campaigns focused toward homebuyers or sellers in your local market?

If you would, you’re wasting copious amounts of money on something that will never give you a return (and if it does it’s a crazy, ridiculously small return) and need some serious targeting and marketing help.

But a top agent I asked said to move all agents to my business page

This one kills me. Agents go to conferences and conventions and revere the agents who are on these panels. They revere them because they are making the big bucks doing a trillion and one transactions each year.

Although I firmly believe in doing what is working and not reinventing the wheel, you’ve got to make sure that what is being touted as working is truly working.

Without getting into specifics, my team has closed more transactions than 99 percent of the agents on these top agent panels.

One thing I excel at is lead generation and conversion, and I’m a tyrant when it comes to digging deep and doing what actually works. We look at statistical, empirical data — not anecdotal gut feelings.

These agents have no idea how to use Facebook. They don’t know how to generate real estate leads from their Facebook business pages, nor do they understand how to cultivate more referrals from colleagues around the country using Facebook.

If they did, they would know that their business pages are funnels for unmet prospects, and their personal profiles are cultivators for “met” relationships.

In other words, connect with colleagues on your personal profile and use lists to keep them organized. Use your Facebook business page to drive leads into your capture points.

So what should you stop doing?

You must (I can’t emphasize must enough) stop exchanging Facebook business page likes with your colleagues.

If you want to grow your business, and you wish to take advantage of the No. 1 lead generation resource available to you today, then you’ve got to take the time to understand how Facebook works for real estate lead generation.

There is more to Facebook lead generation than just stopping this practice, but this is the biggest mistake I see agents making. And I thought it’s about time I started addressing it. I even go as far as to say that asking people to like your page is a big fat no-no.

As I was writing this article, I realized I was making one big assumption about you — that the reason you are using Facebook is because you want to close more transactions.

If that is your goal — then you need to think about and analyze what you are doing on Facebook. Don’t just follow the crowd because, quite frankly, the crowd doesn’t know what it is doing.

My question for you is: Have you been out there exchanging page likes with other agents? Are you going to change that and do something that works to bring more closings to the table? Do you disagree?

If so, please share with me why — and as you now know, I like real data behind statements, not feel-good anecdotal sharing of gut beliefs.

Christina Ethridge is the founder of LeadsAndLeverage.com, helping real estate agents capture, convert and close Facebook leads.

Email Christina Ethridge.

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