If you are a realtor, you know that marketing comes with the territory. In order to be successful, you not only have to constantly marketing properties, but you also have to constantly market yourself as an expert in your field. Traditional methods of marketing for realtors, like newspaper ads, flyers, open houses and even radio air time spots, just do not work any more.
The goal of any successful marketing campaign is to reach as many people as possible. To accomplish this, you have to go where the people are. Where are the people now days? On the Internet – 7 billion of them, in fact – according to recent Yahoo! surveys. Where, specifically, are they on the Internet? On social media sites like Facebook, which boasts 1 billion users each month – according to the same Yahoo! Surveys.
Facebook is not just for hooking up with old flames, stalking your exes, keeping tabs on Aunt Sue or mulling over the successes of your frenemies. It's also an invaluable marketing tool that every realtor should keep in their marketing arsenal. We're going to show you a few handy tips on how you can use Facebook to market your real estate ventures. For free – any time of the day or night from the office, from your home or from your pajamas.
* Offer reliable advice and information
Nobody wants to feel like they're being sold to all the time. Even though selling may be your primary reason for being on Facebook, be prepared to give a little back. People are hungry for professional advice and you're in the position to give it. If you have an industry-relevant tip like how certain people may qualify for special financing or advice on what to look for when buying a home, share it. This not only adds to your credibility as a professional; it also makes people more likely to refer others to you, based on your knowledge and expertise.
* Keep the link wheel turning
If you have a blog, website or other web platform that you frequently update with information, share it on your Facebook page. First, you want to grab their attention with the headline you use to promote the link, but you also want to be sure what's at the end of the link you send them to is interesting enough to keep their attention as well. Use this sparingly, though. If you're promoting yourself all the time, you'll come across as arrogant and a bit big headed, which totally defeats your purpose of drawing people in by actually pushing them away.
* Go above and beyond
If you have a hot property you want to showcase on your Facebook page, go a step further by providing links to additional information related to the property. You may include links to the website for the town the property is listed in or a link to the local school district. Doing a little research for prospective buyers could pay off handsomely in the end. Plus, it gives you even more credit in your field by highlighting your attention to detail.
* Cross promote the competition
Now, this tip may raise a few eyebrows, but really – it's a good idea when you think about it. If you see that one of your competitors – or just some random realtor from some other state – is offering a fabulous deal on an amazing property, share that information with your followers. The benefits of this are twofold. One – it shows your followers that you have their best interests in mind by bringing them the best deals, even if there's nothing in it for you. Two – it shows your competition – and your followers – that you are secure enough in your abilities as a realtor that you are not intimidated by what others in your industry have to offer.
* Give the 'real you' a little bit of face time
Yeah, we realize you're on Facebook as a business professional, but we also know that, behind the polished facade, you're a real person with warts, moles, gray hair and bratty kids like the rest of us. Instead of always posting business-related things, share a little bit of yourself with your followers. You do not have to go into a lot of detail, but giving them a glimpse of the 'real you' from time to time helps to forge bonds and establish deeper connections (read = loyalty) amongst your followers.
Although having a Facebook page can work wonders for you business, it's not going to work unless you do. You have to constantly keep it updated with fresh content that not only grabs the attention of your followers, but also keeps them coming back for more. Engage them and validate them by responding to their comments and passing around "Likes." This encourages them to stick around and be a part of what you're doing. Bear in mind that you should not become overly-posty because nobody wants to feel like they're being spammed. Once you get comfortable with marketing via Facebook, you will discover your own happy medium between sharing and over-sharing.