Your friends go on Facebook to passively scroll through cooking videos, pictures of puppies, that kid from high school who just got married, and occasionally, to stalk their ex.
But you’re a real estate agent, and more than ever, you must leverage your social media network to grow your business and do deals. Sure, not all of us are professional photographers, have the time to plan out posts or want to let the world know what we’re doing at every waking minute of the day, but staying connected is the name of the game.
Years ago, when Facebook was still relatively untapped, I built my college student rental business by joining hundreds of class groups and posting cheap apartment ads. It was free, and everyone was on Facebook.
Now, I primarily focus on paid advertising using Facebook’s target audience platform, allowing me to filter by schools, age and location. No other platform out there is so business-based that it’s a crime if agents aren’t implementing Facebook and its groups feature into their business plan.
Now each group is a bit different and needs to be utilized in a different way. You don’t want to be advertising million-dollar penthouses in New York City to teenagers in South Dakota, nor do you want to pitch for new clients in a group full of other real estate agents.
On top of that, I find that when I ask other agents why don’t they post on Facebook, the answer is always: “I don’t want to be that person.” They’re afraid of being a “spammer” or just flat out annoying.
The content and frequency of your posts is also determined by the group you are targeting. Personally, I break down my groups and posting scheme into the following five categories:
1. Your niche and target market
These are groups not created by you, but already existing in your social network, composed of a demographic you’re a part of. These are your typical “University class of … ” groups where people are a part of the group for a real life reason.
You might know people in these groups in real life, and people actively use these groups to see what’s going on and to stay in touch. This segment of users are the ones most like you and should be the first set of clients you go after because you already have something in common.
Post passively and carefully. Don’t be a spammer or annoying. Be an active member, a part of their community, but don’t over do it.
Just make sure they know that you’re an agent and that can help. I’d post once a week at most, maybe every two weeks. The posts must bring direct value to the group members to be effective.
2. Local housing groups
These are groups of people in your local market, actively seeking housing through Facebook and other users. These are hot leads, but you probably have no connection to them.
Again, tread lightly, and don’t over do it. Passively posting here and there your listings and services will get you some leads, but the biggest part of these groups is knowing exactly who’s an active buyer, renter or seller.
You can see the list of thousands of users in the group. Reach out directly. Take the initiative on the backend, not just through posting in the group.
3. Network peers
These are the real estate agents in your city. You won’t find a single client lead here, but these groups are extremely valuable.
Other agents might have clients for your listings, they might have off-market listings for your clients, and this is where you get the scoop on everything happening in your network.
The saying “co-broke or go broke” is very true, and knowing the agents in your area personally will grow your business.
4. Network referrals
I think it’s important to be a part of a networking circle. Each agent needs to know an attorney, mortgage broker, mover, etc.
By creating this circle, you will be able to refer your past and present clients to professionals you trust to build credibility and reap the referrals fees, and in turn, your circle will send you clients in need of an agent.
Too often agents overlook additional sources of income available to them apart from just their commission.
5. Your group
You don’t see Apple taking a day off and not posting updates, and neither should you.
Build your audience, and post daily. Listings, market trends, updates about your business — you name it. These are the clients who follow your business for a reason.
The market changes daily, and as agents and business people, it’s our job to change with the market and stay ahead of the curve. I recommend being highly active daily on Facebook. I think it’s absolutely crucial if you want to crush it in 2019.