With the current news of Facebook news feed changes, now is the time to focus on building your own real estate Facebook group.

With the current news of Facebook news feed changes, now is the time to focus on building your own real estate Facebook group.

Three years ago, I started my first Facebook group for real estate in my area. I decided that I would start a local group in my valley called “Flathead Valley Homes For Sale or Rent.”

I was shocked at the instant growth that the group generated. In less than one week I had over 100 people join.

As I watched my local group grow, I started thinking bigger. I thought, I have a Montana real estate license, I can sell real estate anywhere in Montana, why am I limiting myself to my local area?

This was the beginning of my other groups in Billings (the largest city in Montana), Missoula and Bozeman.

Even though I started the Billings group months after my local group, it quickly surpassed my local group, and at this time, there are 12,476 people in the group!

I have teamed up with real estate agents in my non-local areas, and I send referrals and any leads I get to my partner agents in those towns.

Currently, between the four groups, I have 25,754 members, and this, ladies and gentlemen, means that 2 percent of the population of the state of Montana is a member of one of my groups!

Let me share with you the three things that I believe make these groups continue to grow and prosper.

Make the groups closed

From the beginning, I have made these closed groups, which means that I have to approve anyone who tries to join. I obviously have nothing against other real estate agents, but as you all know, some agents have a way of ruining things.

I didn’t want other agents to post their listings or hound members of the group who post listings of their own properties.

As you all know, there are hundreds of Facebook business pages for agents in every area that people can like or follow.

My groups are free from the clutter of agents promoting their own listings as well as high-pressure sales pitches.

Add value, don’t spam

With that being said, I also do not post a ton of listings or pressure anyone trying to sell their home. I provide information in the groups.

I do a weekly Facebook Live where I talk about various issues that come up when buying or selling a home. And I will post real estate questions or quizzes to generate engagement.

Occasionally, I will do a Facebook Live open house for someone trying to sell. I have actually had people contact me and tell me that they want me to list their home because they have been “watching me on TV” for the past six months.

So when you post to your Facebook group, remember to think of buyer and seller pain points, and try to answer their questions as well assert your knowledge as a local real estate expert. People will get to know, like and trust you before you even meet.

Continue to reach

Make posts in other local Facebook classified or garage sale groups asking people to join. I will also contact FSBOs on Craigslist and Zillow and invite them to join and post in my group.

Many people are happy to join because it gives their home more exposure.

If you are considering starting a similar group, remember, this is part of the long game.

My groups did not become huge overnight; it takes some time and effort to create a group that people like and engage with. I am constantly experimenting with different posts and Facebook Live topics to generate more engagement.

It’s always a good time to start a Facebook group, so what are you waiting for?

Will Friedner is a broker with Glacier Sotheby’s International Realty in Whitefish, Montana. Follow him on Twitter, or connect with him on LinkedIn.

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