• Understanding the strategy to using Facebook business pages in our real estate business is pivotal to our success on Facebook.
  • Treating our Facebook business pages as a funnel rather than an online, stagnant brochure will change our results.
  • Seeing that our Facebook business pages are about the prospect, not the agent changes how we use them.

So, you are setting up your Facebook business page for your real estate business — awesome! I do have a question for you, though: “Do you know why you are setting up a Facebook business page?”

What? Why on earth would I ask you why? Isn’t the “why” obvious? You want a Facebook presence. You want to be everywhere and give your real estate business legitimacy.

But again, I ask you why. What is your end goal?

“Duh, my end goal is real estate transactions,” you might be thinking. “Besides, everyone else is there; I guess I need to be there, too.”

All too often, if not most of the time, we jump into things without understanding what we are jumping into.

What’s your strategy for using it? What’s your plan for generating leads from it? Is it a place you should be versus a place you think you need to be?

Will our time and energy spent on this produce viable fruit? In other words, will it result in closings?

And no, “hope marketing” is not a viable reason for being somewhere or doing something.

Alexey Boldin / Shutterstock.com

Alexey Boldin / Shutterstock.com

What’s that? It’s the place we go in our minds when we think, “Well, doing this can’t hurt” or, “If I can get my name out there, the hope is that the right person, in the right frame of mind, will see my name and remember it when they are ready to buy or sell real estate.”

Guys, that is a ridiculous reason for doing anything. We should have clear, precise, distinct goals when using Facebook.

We need to understand how Facebook works. We need to have a plan, and that plan needs to include how we set up our Facebook business page from the very beginning. Our foundation.

Here’s the deal — Facebook business pages exist so that you can connect with your “unmets.” You know, people you’ve never met before.

It’s called lead generation. Bringing in leads that you don’t know yet. Bringing them into your sphere (also known as your database) and then nurturing those leads into clients and closings.

To that end, you definitely need to set up your Facebook business page in a way that nurtures that strategy and that produces the end result and connects you with people you’ve never met before. And it’s to that end that I give you these best practices for setting up your business page.

1. Ignore what you see everyone else doing because they are doing it wrong.

Remember, your goal is to use Facebook for funneling your unmets into your database.

The kicker is, most real estate agents are not using their Facebook business pages to connect with their unmets. They are using their pages as yet another online brochure about themselves.

They ask all of their friends and family to “like” their page. They treat it like a second personal profile, and then they’re confused and wonder why they should even have a Facebook business page if they’ve got a personal profile.

If you want clients and closings, don’t follow the crowd. Ignore them and proceed to do the opposite.

2. Your Facebook business page isn’t about branding or exposure — it’s about lead capture.

Now, before you get all up in arms and fight this concept, consider this: When you focus on branding and exposure, that’s all you get.

It takes a whole lot of time and money to get to a point where people think only and always of your brand. In fact, it’s a lot of money down the toilet.

But when you have a strategy in place — when you have a plan focused on lead generation — you not only reap the results of that focus but also you get the benefits of presence.

In other words, focusing on lead generation will get your name in front of multitudes of people. You’ll get the exposure you desire while simultaneously putting food on your table because you’ve got closings.

3. No, you don’t want to put your IDX on your Facebook business page.

Did I just say that out loud? I’m positioning myself to be dismissed by vendors and real estate agents alike here.

You see, vendors have a product to sell you, and they like that you are thinking in terms of your business page as just another Web presence. They can sell you something!

Something that doesn’t work. Something we think works, but it doesn’t. Something that is actually a shiny object or billed as the next silver bullet.

And still, your colleagues will insist putting IDX on their Facebook business page changed their businesses overnight. OK, maybe not that extreme — but they will tell you that they’ve gotten leads from it.

But when you dig deeper and ask how many, how often, who, what, when, where, why — they don’t have a factual answer for you. That’s because they didn’t track it. So what they tell you is anecdotal at best.

You don’t want IDX on your Facebook business page for a number of reasons.

First and foremost, it’s a waste of time and money.

Our business pages are actually viewed by less than 2 percent of our audience. That means out of 100 people who come in contact with our actual page (not just a NewsFeed post), fewer than two of them actually visit our page (and, quite frankly, those two are probably our competitors or a vendor who wants to sell us something).

The second reason? You want to leverage Facebook.

If you don’t drive visitors who are interested in seeing homes to a page that you can pixel (your IDX on your website, as an example), you are wasting a whole lot of time and money.

4. Your Facebook business page isn’t about you.

This one is the biggest one.

We think that since we are putting “our business” onto Facebook, we need to share as much as possible about our business. But we treat our pages like an online brochure.

Quite frankly, no one is interested in you. They are interested in what you can give or do for them. We filter out the sales crap and seek out resources. Give them resources.

Your Facebook business page is about your future client. It’s about them. It’s about their wants, desires, hopes, needs, problems, dreams — it’s about them.

Don’t treat your page like a brochure. Treat it like a dynamic resource funnel that your future clients are accessing.

Have your contact information there. Learn how to drive traffic to resources. Learn how to sell without selling.

Let your future client discover just how awesome you are through your actions and deeds. These hold much more power than your words.

5. You aren’t a local business.

Most agents hop on the local business category for their Facebook business page, and this is usually their first mistake in the actual hands-on creation process.

You aren’t a local business. You are a real estate agent.

Think about it. Who or what is your business?

Your business is you. You are selling your services. You aren’t selling retail products. You aren’t looking for walk-ins (in fact, if you are a busy agent, you are rarely even in the office), so why on earth do you want to waste valuable space on Facebook with a massive “map and address?”

Instead, choose the Brand/Product category and the Service/Real Estate Agent subcategory and utilize the space now available for calls-to-action and lead-capture links rather than a map of your brokerage.

6. Do not make Facebook your home base.

You need to have an online home base — your own website.

By your own, I mean yours, not your broker’s. You need your own domain that you bought and registered yourself. You need your own website that you built or had built yourself, and it should allow you to embed Facebook pixels.

As agents, we like when things are done for us, but the problem is, most things done for you aren’t in your best interest. So you’ve got to understand the why and then outsource appropriately.

With Facebook now promoting a form of blogging on its platform, many people will spend the time and energy just using Facebook as their home base, and when something happens (like Facebook shuts down your account or changes the rules), you lose out. You threw out every moment of time and penny spent.

Own your home base and leverage Facebook as a resource to drive traffic to your home base.

Now, I’ve got a question for you: What did I teach you today that will change how you use Facebook?

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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