We have made it easier to post property listings directly to Facebook. Now, you just have to copy the link to the listing and paste it into the status box, and the primary image, the property address, and the description will populate on the page. (See the example on the right.)
You can then delete the link and write whatever you’d like to say about the property, such as pointing out a unique feature or promoting an open house.
We are working on making it even easier to publish a listing on Facebook by adding a button on each property profile that will enable you to directly post to your business or personal page.
As a licensed broker for 11 years, and an active real estate investor for about 16 years, Help-U-Sell Triad Realty’s Steve Vincent knows a thing or two about long-term commitment. He says this consistency is the key to marketing success, too, especially on Facebook.
Triad Realty’s Facebook page has existed for maybe two years, but he didn’t concentrate on it until recently. “It’s become essential to stay in touch,” Vincent, a former Facebook skeptic, says. He now counts it as one of the important spokes in his marketing wheel. This new commitment has produced some results already.
The page has increased its number of fans by 60 or 70 since early February, and Triad Realty has acquired two seller clients through Facebook. One client saw his seller’s photo of her “Under Contract” sign on her Facebook wall and contacted Triad Realty about listing with the office.
The other client, who’s likely to sign this week, is friends with one of Vincent’s personal friends. She has been keeping track of Triad Realty’s activities on Facebook and recommended the office to her friend who’s getting ready to sell.
“Over the last two years, I’ve been communicating with her [Vincent’s friend] without even knowing I was doing it,” he says.
Vincent is still in the learning stage and doesn’t consider himself a Facebook expert, but he has discovered a few methods that have worked for his audience.
Be willing and able to post often. You can’t post once or twice a month and expect something to happen. Over time, you build your brand. Personal posts are best. Congratulating clients, with or without an accompanying photo, seems to get the most reach and interaction. New listings are second best, and third-party blog post links get the least response. Keep posts shorter and simpler. These get more interaction and views. Ask friends and clients to like your page. “We’re not shy anymore about asking people to like our page,” Vincent says. Triad Realty is promoting the page via email, in person and through other methods. Make your page sticky. Vincent has contracted with a third-party company that supplies his page with up-to-date real estate information, including school reports and recent home sales. It also links fans to his website to search for homes.
Next on Vincent’s Facebook marketing agenda is soliciting more client testimonials. So far, the page has received a few glowing posts from happy buyers and sellers just by happenstance.
While Facebook is the newest marketing tool, he remains loyal to his first method also. “The most effective marketing we do is our arounds postcards – our just listed/just sold postcards. They are a staple from the beginning,” Vincent says. As an extension of those, he has added the new co-op postcards to his marketing plan for this year. He intends to send to the same carrier routes at least six times this year, continuing with his belief in consistency.
Tell us about your marketing successes or ask us for Facebook tips in the comments section.
The new Facebook Timeline for business pages will become mandatory on this Friday, March 30. If you haven’t set up your page for the changeover, we can help.
One of the most important and easy ways to prepare your new Timeline is by adding a cover photo. The recommended dimensions are 850 pixels by 315 pixels. We have a cover photo on our Facebook timeline that you are welcome to use until you have your own image. You can access our cover image in the download library. Open the folder named Broker Website Tools, where you’ll find another folder called New Website Artwork. The cover image is in the NewSocialMedia subfolder.
When you are ready to select your own cover image, keep these rules and suggestions in mind.
Facebook does not allow promotional or text-based cover images. You also can’t include pricing or your website URL. Avoid stock images and try to incorporate the Help-U-Sell colors. A couple of ideas: a quality photo of your office building or an image of you and your friendly staff wearing Help-U-Sell shirts.
The new profile picture dimensions are 180 pixels by 180 pixels. You can use a logo or a photo of yourself. The key is to be consistent with your branding and be identifiable.
If you have any questions or want feedback on your Facebook cover image, please contact Kendra or Tony.
An advocate of technology and social media, Meena Gujral connects with current and potential clients by blogging, responding to questions on real estate forums and posting links to articles on Facebook. She has worked in real estate for 25 years, with Coldwell Banker for 18 of those years, and for the past seven years she has owned Help-U-Sell Achievers Realty in Fremont, Calif.
She explains how technology has changed how she works, for the better.
“I remember the days when we used to find listings from a big thick book that was so difficult to carry around, the days when we had to map out every house, write down directions before taking the buyers in the car,” Gujral says. “The Internet and the GPS (technology) have made things much easier, saving time and energy so we can spend more time doing things we are good at, like building client relations and paying more attention to their needs. My goal has always been to help my buyers achieve their real estate goals.”
One way she uses technology to build client relations is through Trulia. She markets her listings and advertises open houses on the site, but what she uses Trulia the most for is to answer questions from buyers, sellers and agents.
“It is a platform where I get the most visibility. I get at least two to three leads every week from clients who have read my post and consider me the expert in that field or neighborhood,” Gujral says. “I have listed a few properties as a direct result from my Trulia answers. It is very easy to create a profile and get started to show up as the expert in your neighborhood.”
She suggests that Zillow.com is another site where you can set up a profile and start answering questions and advertise your listings and open houses.
Gujral also is active on other social media sites, including LinkedIn and Facebook. She explains that even though she has a separate Facebook page for her Help-U-Sell Real Estate office, she shares a lot of real estate articles and open house information on her personal Facebook page.
“I want all my friends to know me as an agent also, not just a friend,” she says. “I have actually had three friends contact me from my Facebook page and I am currently working on showing two of them homes, and the third one is a seller whose property I recently listed as a short sale.”
In addition to responding to questions on Trulia and posting to Facebook, Gujral also blogs. “I have five different blogging sites,” she says. “I used to blog twice a week, but I have to admit, I don’t do it as much now. I have had many clients tell me they saw my blog on a certain topic and that is why they called me. I just wish I had more time to blog since I do consider it good exposure.”
Another effective outreach technique for Gujral is drip email campaigns, which she has created for buyers and sellers. A drip email campaign sends pre-written messages to leads over a predetermined period of time. Clients have called her a year later after receiving her drip emails. “I am very excited that the Help-U-Sell Real Estate website will also have the drip email feature soon. It really works.”
[Note: Help-U-Sell Real Estate’s email campaign functionality will be live by early 2012.]
Gujral’s commitment to being considered a local expert extends to the new website her son is designing for her. The site offers community-level detail, where she can demonstrate and impart her hyperlocal knowledge, and the site also targets keywords that people searching for real estate in her immediate area would likely use, such as “Fremont Realtor” and “Pleasanton homes.”
“The bottom line is to make a site that both Google loves and customers love,” Gujral says. “We did this by targeting our content specific city-level keywords that we know buyers/sellers are looking for online.”
For new Help-U-Sell Real Estate brokers, she offers the following tips.
I would advise all new agents to get out there with technology, social media and get your name across to as many people as you can. You are fortunate to be in real estate in this technology boom time where you can get so much more exposure without spending too much money at all.
Make sure you ask for referrals from your past clients if you have been in real estate before coming to Help-U-Sell Real Estate.
Get your clients to see you as the expert in the real estate field.
How are you using social media to get the word out about your brokerage?