So you’ve created your real estate Facebook business page. Now what? Oh yes! Now let’s get likes! Let’s see … “I’ll ask some of my family, a few of my friends, and every single real estate agent I can find. Next I’m going to give and take some ‘Facebook love.’ I’ll like their page, they like mine. That will help me! That will help them!”

This is how every single real estate agent acts on Facebook. Every. Single. One. Heck, this is not exclusive to real estate agents. It’s in every industry. After you’ve asked every colleague you know, after you’ve “shared your Facebook love” in every group you can find, what next? Oh! You get a message from someone offering you 1,000 likes for $40. What a bargain! Let’s do it! And then, you join a “like exchange” group. Even better! It’s free! Let’s all go like each other’s pages!

Just. Stop.

You are ruining your Facebook page. RUINING it. If you’ve done (or are doing) any of these things, you’ve set yourself up for failure with your page. Is it any wonder real estate agents are not generating leads on Facebook? When they go into it with the mentality that “likes” are important and that “who knows, everyone who likes my page may be or know someone who could use my services,” they go into it with a mentality that is incongruous with actually generating leads.

Please. You’ll get better results putting a classified ad of a home for sale in Remotesville, Wyo., in the New York Times in the “pets available” section. Seriously.

If you want your Facebook page to actually generate leads for you, to actually be valuable to you, you will never do these things:

* You will never ask your colleagues to like your page. In fact, you’ll guard your page religiously and make sure never to promote it in groups (or anywhere for that matter) that are not comprised of your targeted niche. It’ll bother you when other agents “like” your page.

* You will never “buy” likes. Never. I’m not talking about Facebook ads. I’m talking about those opportunities where you can pay $40 for 1,000 likes. Things like that.

Want to know the “why”? Here it is, but it’ll mean something to you only if you want to generate leads on Facebook. If you’d rather just be part of the party and never close a sale, this information isn’t for you.

Here are three big reasons that fake likes cost you money. Lots of it. All of the untargeted, non-niched likes you have negatively affect your page.

First of all, when your goal is to capture a lead, you’ll hit that goal head on — meaning while simultaneously capturing the “like” you’ll also capture the email. All of these fake likes (and yes, they are FAKE, even if they are real people) are not interested in your services and will not take the time to give you their email address.

You should be running a minimum of 2:1 — for every 20 likes on your page, you should easily be picking up 10 email addresses — that they willingly give you! I’ve got clients running 1:0.8, meaning for every 10 likes they get, they are getting eight quality email addresses.

That’s one reason. It’s a major one if you know the power of effective email marketing. But then, many of the “bigwig experts” in our industry are lamenting that email is dead. If you believe that, I’ve got a waterfront property in Arizona to sell you. Do you agree with them? Have you tested it? Have you given it a true effort (and not with the canned email crap you get in your CRM)?

Another reason? Are you completely unaware of the whole hullabaloo going around about how “no one” sees your page posts in their feed? Hmm? The algorithm is called Last Actor (it is not EdgeRank and never has been — that is an industry-made-up term, not a Facebook-created term, and it’s no longer in play). What is Last Actor? It means that when I, as an individual, on my personal profile, interact with people or pages, Facebook keeps track of this. Facebook wants to keep showing me what I’m interested in. So Facebook keeps track of the last 50 interactions I’ve had, and runs its algorithm according to my tastes. Which means if I haven’t interacted with your page in my last 50 interactions, I won’t see updates from your page.

Now, you may be thinking, that’s OK! Those people who have liked my page and haven’t interacted with me don’t need to see my updates. My page still looks good because of the likes, right?

Nope. There is another algorithm when it comes to pages. Facebook distributes a page post to a small amount of its page likes. Usually around 1 to 5 percent. If (or when) any of those likes engage in some way (like, comment, share, click through) with that post, Facebook increases the percent of your page likes that post is distributed to. If no one engages, Facebook reduces the initial “test” percent.

It’s bad when your likes don’t engage with your posts. Bad. If you’ve got any amount of untargeted, non-niche likes on your page, you can bet they won’t be interacting with you. They aren’t interested in what you are giving them. When they don’t interact, Facebook decides that your content is worthless, and doesn’t distribute your content any further. Not a good place to be in.

Oh, but I know what you are thinking! I’ll just boost my posts! And that leads me to the third reason. Are you willing to pay money to boost your posts in a shotgun approach? You are? Great. Spend your $5 or $10. Waste your money. Your boost will hit, maybe, another 5 to 10 percent of your likes. Again, it’s like running a classified ad in a newspaper. You are throwing out money and hoping it will stick to someone. Anyone.

The absolute beauty about Facebook is how insanely targeted you can market your business. It’s incredibly cheap and yet it’s highly targeted and offers an amazing return on investment, if you haven’t screwed it up. If you know what you are doing, you can make sure your ads target only people who are likely to use your services.

If you keep buying or acquiring likes that are irrelevant to you, your ability to target will completely disappear. Seriously. Think about it this way: If you could spend $50 to bring in 100-125 qualified leads, would you? You’d still have to nurture those leads, as some are farther out than others. Or you could spend $50 to boost your posts and bring in zero leads. Yes, I said zero. When you are advertising randomly, the results are dreadful at best.

So here it is, you have to make your choice. Do you follow the herd and do what the herd is doing? Or do you do what will make your page effective. Do you do what will bring in leads to your real estate business? Do you stand out from the crowd? Be a sheeple or a steeple, the choice is yours.

What other tips do you have for social media marketing and Facebook marketing for real estate agents? As new real estate startups might slow, which are most promising in your view?

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

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