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How to Use Instagram for Real Estate

Instagram for Real Estate

Instagram is the fastest growing social media platform on the Internet right now, and that means you should be taking advantage of the many people flocking to join every day.

So…how can you do that?

We talked a little bit about why you might want to use Instagram for Real Estate, but now let’s take a look at how to use the platform efficiently.

Use Instagram to Showcase Your Community

We’ll get more into what to post on Instagram in another post, but for starters, it’s a good idea to post a variety of different images.

For example, only posting photos of your listings is going to get old fast and also might feel a bit too salesy to your audience. Instead, spice things up a little by posting pictures of your community and the surrounding areas where you sell Real Estate.

This is a great opportunity to not only draw in a local audience but also showcase the highlights of your community to people looking to move. After all, location is incredibly important for selling a home – why not make your location sound as fabulous as possible?

Connect with Your Audience “Behind the Scenes”

Along the same lines, you can use your Instagram account to showcase behind the scenes photos of your business. Showing your audience what happens when they’re not around is a great way to build trust and also connect on a deeper level.

Plus, this could be a fun way to educate your audience and potential clients on the Real Estate business and what has to happen to make things run smoothly.

Instagram for Real Estate Won’t Work if You’re Not Active

If you’re going to have an Instagram account, you NEED to be active. That means posting images with relevant text, hashtags, links, etc. on a consistent basis.

Your audience will lose interest very quickly if you’re not consistent, and so any momentum you might have gained through your posts will all be lost if you stop posting.

However, posting every day – or multiple times a day – can be a little overwhelming. To help make sure everything is done in a timely manner, think about your posts ahead of time and even schedule them out using a site like OnlyPult to help create a smoother posting process.

Share, Like and Connect with Others Regularly

Going along with posting regularly, you also need to be making an effort to connect with other people in your industry on Instagram, and also share and like photos that are relevant.

This might seem tedious and maybe a little unnecessary (how does it benefit you?), but in the long run, forging connecting with others and making an effort to share content regularly will only help you as you further your Real Estate business.

You never know who you might run into and what sort of business relationships could move forward into the future.

Utilize the Ever-Important Call to Action

Make the most of everything you post on Instagram by utilizing a relevant call to action (CTA) on each and every post. Seriously.

But that doesn’t mean you should always be selling. A call to action is simply something that lets the reader know what you want them to do next whether that be to call you, click on a link, share the post or maybe tag someone they think might be interested in what you’re offering.

Switch things up and avoid using the same call to action over and over again. Try to use this feature as a way to further engage your audience while gently pushing them to a specific action.

Don’t Forget About the Instagram Direct Message Feature

Notice that someone, in particular, is liking and sharing a lot of your images and posts? Don’t be shy – send them a direct message and see if there’s anything you can do to help them further.

This is a great feature because it allows you to chat one on one with audience members and really dive into their specific questions and/or issues. So use this tool to your advantage.

When used correctly, Instagram can be a great tool for your Real Estate business. Be diligent with your postings and pay attention to your audience and you’ll start seeing results in no time!

How to Use Hashtags In Social Media

Using Hashtags in Social Media

The hashtag can either take you where you want to go, or where you don’t belong, depending on how you use it.

The hashtag has perplexed many seasoned marketers for years. So if you’re not sure how to use one correctly, don’t feel bad.

To make sure you’re #not #over #doing #it, here’s a few tips.

How Do I Know Which Hashtags to Use?

Let’s keep things simple. Essentially, every post you send should do one of 3 things: to entertain, to educate, or to promote. If your post can’t do any of these 3 things, there’s no point in sending it.

Here’s how to find the right hashtags for each:

Entertain:
These posts show off your personality, and help you grow your reach. More people will add you when they see you offer more than house listings. You have jokes or insights. So for this, you’ll want to use any of the web’s many tools to find a trending hashtag, and join the conversation. Ben Sailer does an amazing job of explaining how to find the best hashtags in this article.

See what’s trending. Some trends are somewhat related to real estate, jump on those. But many of the trends will not be related to real estate, and that’s OK. You’re not trying to sell right now.

BUT. Don’t poke your nose in where it doesn’t belong, just because something is popular. If you don’t know anything about sports, don’t jump on the #FinalFour bandwagon. You will come off desperate.

Educate:
You’re establishing yourself as an expert with an insightful post, or link to a blog. You’re going to want to cast a more specific net, so try using any of the great hashtags that Nancy Robbers has listed here. This is the best way to find an audience with people who are looking to read about what you’re writing.

Promote:
Hopefully, this isn’t the only thing you do. If it is, we have many more blogs for you to read.

When you’re promoting an open house or new listing, be sure to make sure you hashtag your city’s name first. Or neighborhood or area if it’s big enough.

Real Estate “Ninja,” Sepy Bazzazi reminds us that, “Hashtags are important to real estate agents because they give you a direct line into your community. A place where you can build your brand through a series of pleasant interactions with other community members and leaders.”

But you will also want to add some applicable gems like the ones found on this list. Hashtags like these help you tap into the buyers/sellers and their experiences: #dreamhome #houseportrait #houseportrait_sunday #milliondollarlisting #oldhousecharm  #firsthometogether #homeownerfun #savingforahouse.

How Do I Use Hashtags in Social Media?

It’s a tightrope. You want to take full advantage of them, but you certainly don’t want to overdo it and annoy people.

Here’s how many you will want to use on each social media site:

  • Facebook: 1
  • Twitter: 2-4
  • Instagram: 11

The important thing is to do your research for current hashtags, and choose specific hashtags for specific purposes. Using #realestate is too broad to sell a house, but it may get your blog about how to win a bidding war more exposure.

Now that your social marketing is on point, how are your print materials? Customize postcards to support your social media campaign by clicking here today!

6 Time-Saving Tips for Real Estate Social Media

Time saving real estate social media tips

As a Realtor®, you know the importance of keeping the lead generation funnel constantly moving.

And you also have probably heard something about the power of social media, and how utilizing various platforms can really make an impact on the success of your business.

But…how are you supposed to find the time to invest in real estate social media?

It’s definitely important, but there has to be a better way to manage your social media platforms so they don’t suck away all of your time.

Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to leverage the power of social media without spending copious amounts of time that you don’t really have.

So, today, we’ve put together a list of our top time-saving tips for real estate social media – see if any of these might work for you!

1. Find Your Real Estate Social Media ‘Best Fit’

There are about a million (slight exaggeration…but only slight) social media platforms out there available for you to connect with potential leads and existing clients. But that doesn’t mean you should try to be on all of them. It’s important that you really do your research and figure out where your ideal clients are hanging out, whether that be Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest or something else entirely. Then, build a social presence on those platforms and focus on maintaining them on a regular basis. Note: it may take a bit of trial and error to find the right platform for your business, but don’t give up! You’ll find it.

2. Harness the Power of Stencil

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but when it comes to social media, pictures are worth more than just words. Since our brains can process images 60,000 times faster than text, images become critical in grabbing your readers’ attention immediately and keeping them engaged with the content you post on your social platforms. And that’s where Stencil comes in. Stencil allows you to easily create beautiful images to accompany your text posts, and even allows you to post to your social accounts instantly – no hassle. Big time saver!

3. Use Time-Saving Resources like Socially Posted

Maybe you’re really just not interested in posting/managing/maintaining your own social media accounts. That’s okay! There are a lot of great companies out there to whom you can outsource your social media posting for a low monthly fee. Socially Posted is one of those companies, and they’ll post new content to your chosen social media platforms every day so you don’t even have to worry about it. One thing about social media is that the posts need to stay consistent if you want to see success, so if you’re really busy, outsourcing is a great option for you.

4. Automate Your Real Estate Social Media with Buffer

If you’re not interested in outsourcing, you can still manage your social media platforms and save a lot of time in the process by using an automation tool such as Buffer. With a ‘set it and forget it’ functionality, Buffer’s software allows you to go into your account (or multiple accounts if you’re using the paid version) and physically schedule out your company’s social media posts for days, weeks and even months at a time. This way you can get everything scheduled at once and then just let it do its thing. One thing to keep in mind, though – you need to keep an eye on your posts to make sure that they’re still appropriate/relevant when they are scheduled to post, especially if you schedule far in advance.

5. Try Hootsuite for Even More Automation

Similar to Buffer, Hootsuite is another automation option for your social media platforms. Again, you need to be careful that the things you schedule to post are still relevant and appropriate when they actually post to your accounts, but with a bit of attention, Hootsuite can be an extremely helpful, time-saving tool. Additionally, Hootsuite allows you to actually respond to and interact with your audience right from the platform, making managing your social community that much easier for you.

6. Focus on Curating from Around the Internet

You don’t have to write every single thing that you post on social media. In fact, you shouldn’t. There’s this little thing called the 80/20 rule when it comes to social media, meaning that 20% of the time you should be posting your own promotional content and 80% of the time you should be posting your own entertaining content or other people’s content. That might sound a little bit crazy, but in reality, you don’t want your social media account to be too promotional. Plus, posting other people’s content saves you time in the long run (and might even gain you a friend or two in the process), so it’s really a win-win.

Social media doesn’t have to be a giant time suck in order to be effective – give these tips a try today and watch as your business’ social media platforms start to take off!

Social Media for Real Estate Quick Facts

social media quick facts

Are you able to convert “likes” to leads? Do you share content on social media that actually gets shared by others?

Social media for real estate is complex and always changing. So to make sure even the most seasoned Realtors® know exactly how to use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube, we’ve compiled this quick fact sheet on everything you need to know.

The Basics of Social Media for Real Estate

Active users:

  • Facebook: 800 million
  • Twitter: 100 million
  • Instagram: 400 million
  • YouTube: 490 million

Should Realtors® use it?: 

  • Facebook: Most definitely
  • Twitter: Not your top priority
  • Instagram: It helps
  • YouTube: For sure

How to Use Social Media for Real Estate

Best time to post:

  • Facebook: 1pm to 4 pm
  • Twitter: 1 pm to 3 pm
  • Instagram: 7 p.m. and 10 p.m.
  • YouTube: Afternoon and weekend mornings

Worst time to post:

  • Facebook: 8 pm to 8 am
  • Twitter: 8 pm to 9 am
  • Instagram: 3:00PM to 4:00PM on weekdays
  • YouTube: Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays

Rule of thumb:

  • Facebook: 80-20 rule. Entertain with 80% of your posts and sell in 20%
  • Twitter: Respond to everything (good or bad) as quickly as possible
  • Instagram: Share more than houses, but keep your personal posts professional and rated G
  • YouTube: Make sure your virtual tours look as professional as possible

Avoid these faux pas:

  • Facebook: Being boring and only talking about real estate
  • Twitter: Using all 140 characters. Leave room for the RT!
  • Instagram: Posting someone else’s picture without permission
  • YouTube: Posting anything unprofessional

How Many Hashtags Should I Use?

  • Facebook: 1
  • Twitter: 2-4
  • Instagram: 11
  • YouTube: n/a

What’s the Shelf Life of the Average Post?

  • Facebook: 1.3 hours
  • Twitter: 15-20 minutes
  • Instagram: 13 hours
  • YouTube: Can vary greatly

How Often Should I Post?

  • Facebook: 2-3 times a day
  • Twitter: 3 times a day
  • Instagram: When relevant
  • YouTube: When you have a property to showcase, or a fun or informative video to share

Be sure to check this sheet whenever you’re wondering when and what to post.

Now that your social marketing is on point, how are your print materials? You can update your look and your brand by clicking here.

Why to Use Instagram for Real Estate

Instagram for Real Estate

Do Realtors® need to be on Instagram?

We like to tell people to pick and choose their social media carefully. A sparse or unprofessional social media account can do more harm than good to your brand. So if you’re going to create a social presence for your company, you need to commit to it.

So is Instagram for real estate worth the time commitment? Absolutely. And here are 4 reasons why.

It’s Where Your Customers are Hanging Out

The sheer volume of people on Instagram every day means it’s worth at least a serious look.

According to the Daily Real Estate News, “Instagram is about double in size compared to its closest rival, Snapchat, in daily active users (300 million daily active users versus Snapchat’s 150 million).”

They added, “Twitter, on the other hand, continues to lag with about 136 million daily active users, while Facebook continues to be the one to beat at nearly 2 billion daily active users. WhatsApp, the messaging app recently surpassed the 1 billion registered users mark.”

Now let’s not pretend for a second that Instagram will instantly give you access to all of those 2 billion users. But it will give you access to people in your area who are looking for homes.

Pro tip: We know you want a big piece of this traffic, but don’t buy followers, like so many other companies have. It’s a waste of money and only gives the illusion of accomplishment.

It’s Arguably the Best Place to Showcase Your Listings

Instagram for real estate is a perfect fit. It gives you a chance to showcase your property, and list its main features, in one neat and tidy post. It’s more visually driven and less limiting than twitter, with no character limit for image descriptions. It’s also not as saturated by other Realtors® as Facebook (but by all means, link it to your Facebook).

Pro tip: Use the Hyperlapse feature on Instagram to stylishly speed up your videos and tell your stories even faster.

It Shows Off Your Good Work

Don’t forget to shoot high quality testimonial videos and pictures! If you can’t get a video, use a free picture editing tool like Canva.com to elegantly add the testimonial text to an image of their home.

These are assets that can also be used in your brochures and on your website.

Instagram for Real Estate Helps You Showcase Your Brand and Personality

Part of doing Instagram the right way means making sure your personality comes through. Nobody is interested in a feed full of nothing but pictures of houses for sale.

“Who would you rather hire as your real estate agent: Someone who speaks in monotone and barely/rarely smiles and shows off their personality, or someone who’s bubbly, knows how to relate to people, and is seemingly enjoyable to speak with,” wrote real estate blogger, Matthew Bushery.

“It’s okay to show off your fun side on occasion via your Instagram account — the trick is moderation and knowing when to post such content.”

Investing your time in Instagram for real estate will definitely help you build your brand, and boost your lead generation. You can’t ignore Instagram’s opportunity to reach that many people, while posting in the perfect media for showcasing homes, your success and your brand.

Once you have a fully optimized Instagram account, make sure you add the link to your brochures. If you need new brochures, click here to choose and customize a design!

10 Great Pinterest Board Ideas for Realtors

Pinterest for Realtors

Popular social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram can be great ways to both connect with clients and generate new leads.

But…what about Pinterest?

When you think about Pinterest, some of the first things that come to mind may be recipes and DIY craft projects, but did you know that Pinterest can also be a great resource for Realtors®?

It’s true.

Pinterest for Realtors® looks a lot like creating fun boards (something that, let’s be honest, you probably already do!) and centering them on specific areas, interests or styles that might appeal to potential clients.

The end game?

Potential clients will find and follow your Pinterest boards for inspiration, and, since they’re most likely in the market for a home in your general area, will likely turn to you for their real estate needs.

Pinterest for Realtors® : 10 Ideas to Get You Started

Are you ready to start creating your own Pinterest board? Take a look at some of these great ideas below to start getting ideas!

  1. Dream Homes in _____

Create a board focused on dream homes in your specific area. The key here is the specific area – you don’t want to just create a general “dream homes” board. Instead, be super area specific and target your real estate area to get more local potential clients interested.

  1. Home Renovation Ideas

People who are looking for Pinterest boards about home renovation ideas are likely looking to improve the resale value of their home, which in turn could mean that they are getting close to being ready to sell. Provide them with a great Pinterest board to follow and you’ve already got a lead!

  1. Dream Kitchen

Everyone wants a dream kitchen – it’s often one of the first rooms that people look at when home shopping. Create a Pinterest board centered on dream kitchens to spark inspiration and also leads by including images of actual kitchens in homes for sale in your area.

  1. Family-Friendly Home Ideas

Family-friendly homes are very important to many people. Make things easier for them during the home search process by creating a Pinterest board full of ideas. And if you have a listing that is particularly family-friendly, include photos on your board.

  1. Ideas for Staging Your Home

Again, if someone is looking for advice on staging a home, they are likely looking to sell the home they are currently in and buy a new one. By creating a board of staging ideas, you’re setting yourself up to get a lot of leads that are motivated and ready to sell/buy.

  1. Condos/Townhouses/Luxury Homes in _____

Pictures are worth a thousand words, literally. You can describe a home in great detail, but pictures are usually what cause a potential buyer to become interested. In order to capitalize on this, try creating a board that’s all about condos, townhouses, homes, etc. for sale in your specific area – and be sure to include pictures!

  1. Parks, Recreation, and Trails in _____

Sometimes it’s not so much the home that sells, but the area surrounding the home. If your region has great parks, recreation activities or trails, create a Pinterest board focused on those activities. You may just get someone interested in the area, which could turn into a real estate lead.

  1. Curb Appeal for Homes

Looking to improve curb appeal is another sure sign that someone is looking to sell a home. Create a board with curb appeal ideas to help them in the process and you may just land yourself another hot lead that is ready to sell very soon.

  1. Easy Home Organizational Ideas

People are always looking for new ways to organize their homes. If you’ve come across some good ideas for doing so, be sure to pin them on a specific Pinterest board. With the high number of searches, potential leads are bound to stumble across your board.

  1. Summer/Winter Activities in _____

Similar to parks and recreation, if your area has specific summer or winter activities that are really amazing – great beaches, mountains for hiking of skiing, lakes for boating, etc. – be sure to promote them, as this could help draw in more potential home buyers.

So, now that you have some ideas, it’s your turn! Start creating your very own real estate Pinterest boards today!

Don’t forget about your print marketing as well – get postcards, thank you cards and more here today

How to Use Social Media to Boost Your Real Estate Marketing

Real Estate Marketing through Social Media

Many Realtors® have heard that they should be on social media. They’ve heard that it’s incredibly important and becoming more so by the day, as more and more people join various social media platforms.

So…why is it so important? And what does social media have to do with real estate marketing?

Well for one, there are over 1 billion people on Facebook alone, plus over 300 million on Twitter and 400 million on LinkedIn. And that number is growing daily. For no other reason than the opportunity to get your brand in front of a LOT of people, you should be considering social media.

But there are other reasons, too. We’ve compiled a list of benefits and tips to help you take your real estate business to the next level with social media – check them out below!

Real Estate Marketing 101: Understand Your Clients Through Social Media

As with any marketing strategy, you need to understand your clients in order to be successful. In the case of social media, you need to understand why people are on social media in the first place (hint: it’s not to be bombarded with advertisements and spam). They’re there to connect with others and be social, so it’s important that you incorporate this into your strategy. The worst thing you can do is come off as salesy of self-promotional – people will tire of you quickly, and stop following your business.

Listen and Be Authentic with Your Social Media Posts

So in order to come across in a way that’s not too self-promotional, you should focus on being authentic and also listening to your audience. You need to connect with your audience in order to make your social media efforts work, and in order to connect, you first need to be your real self. Share things that are interesting to you and focus on letting your personal brand shine. Also, listen to what others are saying. If people are asking questions about your business or real estate properties in your area, be sure to respond quickly and informatively. Your audience will appreciate your efforts immensely, and they will likely come back to check for updates on your social pages often.

Use Social Media to Connect with Clients and Ask for Referrals

All this to say, social media allows you to connect with clients (and potential clients) on a personal level that could not otherwise be achieved. By sharing helpful tips and really investing in your online community, you’re building trust and also increasing your chances for referral business. Past clients will appreciate what you are doing, and they will be more likely to spread the word to their friends and family looking to buy or sell their home.

Amp Up Your Real Estate Marketing Efforts with Better Lead Generation

Besides connecting with your clients, social media is also great for lead generation. Platforms such as Facebook and Twitter offer the opportunity to pay to promote certain posts or even advertise to specific, target audiences that you get to choose. It’s a great way to generate more leads in a way that’s both efficient and effective, and many people have reported seeing great results. Also, many social media platforms have a search function which allows you to look up people who have searched for terms such as “looking for a house” or “homes for sale within my community.” If you respond to them or share your page/contact info, this can also be a great lead generation strategy.

Include Your Social Media Accounts on Your Business Cards and Flyers

But how do you get people to come to your social media page in the first place? Besides word of mouth, you can also include your social information on your business cards and/or the flyers and mailers you send out within your community. If you’re looking to create new business cards or flyers with your social media information included, we offer a large variety of high-quality, affordable options!

So, if you’re looking to give your real estate marketing a little boost, start incorporating social media today – you’ll be happy you did!

6 Ways to Make Real Estate Sales on Social Media

Real Estate Sales on Social Media

Social media can have a polarizing effect on Realtors®. Some absolutely love it and use it to generate thousands of dollars in business. Those who don’t convince themselves it doesn’t work and focus on other types of advertising.

As in all business, dabbling in social media isn’t going to help you sell homes. You need to commit to the process, stay active, monitor your results and make changes as you go.

Here are 6 tips on how to help you find, nurture, and even close leads on social media.

1. Target Life Events

Facebook is still king of social media sales. This is mainly due to the sheer depth of the targeting you can do with Facebook ads. It’s almost scary.

You can reach people who may be looking for a new home, by targeting people who have recently experienced a new life event like a new job, new marital status, or a new baby.

“The Life Events parameter is unique in that you can choose to target people at specific intervals of time after the change,” wrote Wordstream blogger, Larry Kim.

“For example, a jewelry company would obviously be interested in getting in front of people celebrating their one-year anniversary, so they could target audience members who were newlyweds one year ago. The date ranges possible are 3 months, 6 months and one year.”

2. Create Facebook Events for Open Houses

You can also use Facebook to create an event for your open houses. There may not be a more low-effort/high-reach way to spread the word.

“Add photos of the home and set it as a public event, making it visible to anyone on or off Facebook. Anyone can also see the event description, photos, posts, and videos,” advises Marketing Writer Geneva Ives.

“Be sure to mention any food, activities or special guests that will be there.”

3. Share Video/ Virtual Tours

Posting videos on your social channels will help you in two ways:

  1. Videos garner great traction and play well in social media.
  2. This helps your SEO. In a big way!

Hubspot reported that “YouTube has become the 2nd Largest Search Engine – bigger than Bing, Yahoo, Ask & AOL combined.”

Virtual tours can be done quickly and affordably. But take it seriously and ensure both audio and video are good enough for the client to really get a feel for the value and quality of the home.

4. Earn Your Likes!

Advice anyone in any business needs to follow: Don’t ask people to Like you on Facebook. Give them a reason to.

Look at this from the customer’s perspective: You want me to Like you? Why? Because you asked? So you can light up my news feed with ads or spam my inbox? You haven’t given me any reason to let you into my world.

Like any business, a Realtor® needs to provide actual value to a customer to earn that Like. This could be an answer to a question, or listing they are actually interested in.

“Give your customers a reason to connect with you on social networks, answering the question ‘What’s in it for me?” and then make it incredibly easy to do so,” wrote Realtor.com’s Suzanne Roy.

“Note the difference between these two calls to action: ‘Like our page on Facebook” vs. ‘Get answers to your real estate questions on our Facebook page.’”

5. Stay Accessible and Human

Would-be social media leads are only a click or two away from your direct inbox. This is both a blessing and a responsibility.

Like any lead, you need to react and respond to these messages ASAP. You also need to be personable and make a direct connection with the sender. If you use email automation, make sure it’s highly personalized and focused, so it doesn’t feel like a template. In addition to email, consider sending physical mail, like notecards or seasonal mailers, to stay in touch and build relationships.

6. Give Things Away

Never underestimate the power of the word free.

We’re not suggesting you give away a house on Facebook, of course. But consider a raffle or contest for free tickets or a gift card to something local. Always stay local.

This helps you build your relations in the community, gives people a reason to Like/ follow you, and helps you earn those social media sales.

How has social media helped you? Let us know in the comments below!

Pro Tips to Take Your Facebook Presence to the Next Level

Realtor Facebook Pro Tips

In earlier posts, I’ve written about how to get more Facebook followers and what you can post on your Facebook page (Part 1, Part 2). While you can’t let Facebook – or any non-owned social media or website – be your primary home base, it can still be a powerful part of your real estate marketing strategy. Here are some pro tips that will help you take your Facebook presence to the next level as you build your real estate business.

Add a Like Box to Your Website

Did you know that you can add a Like Box to your website, and that website visitors can then like your Facebook page without leaving your site? There are simple, free plugins for WordPress sites that allow you implement this strategy.

The biggest benefit to a Like Box is that it links your website directly to your Facebook presence. Since you want to build audiences that visit you in both places, it’s a great tool for building your real estate audience.

Join and Participate in Facebook Groups

There are dozens and dozens of Facebook groups available that you can join for advice, tips, and inspiration. Here’s the pro tip, though – focus on the ones where your clients hang out, not the ones where your peers do. Find Facebook groups focused on your city, neighborhood, or a local organization. When you join the conversation, you build relationships with exactly the people you want to reach.

I would point out that not all Facebook groups are relational, however – some are simply promotional and people post articles, links, and pitches without any conversation at all. Avoid those, because no one is actually listening. In addition, avoid political or controversial groups – your ideal clients come from all over the spectrum, and you don’t want to develop a reputation that affects that.

Create Non-Realtor® Facebook Pages

You can create Facebook pages that aren’t focused on your business at all, but simply encourage others to talk about related topics. Examples could be “Historical Homes in Atlanta” or “Great Architecture in Columbus”. These types of pages attract more interest because people are so wary of being sold things, and these pages aren’t pitching.

However, because these pages aren’t sales pages, you may need to take a few more steps before you can convert a visitor to this page to a lead. It’s not rocket science, though – it’s simple relationship building and trust that leads to new clients asking you to help them buy or sell a home.

Consider Paid Facebook Outreach

The bad news is that Facebook is increasingly becoming “pay to play”, in the sense that to get seen you often have to pay to place a Facebook ad or boost a post. The good news is that these ads can be very inexpensive, especially compared to other advertising options. You can also target very specific demographics, which helps maximize your return.

If you’re going to try Facebook paid outreach, I’d recommend a small test run before you commit much money. Fortunately, you can do a pretty good campaign for as little as $20 for a week. Try it out and see if you get the results you want. You may find it has a much better return than other paid outlets you use.

Facebook is a simple platform but there are a lot of pro-level tips to making the most of it as a Realtor®. By trying these four strategies, you’ll be able to gain more interest and build more relationships, which will help you make big strides in your business in the coming year.

What’s your favorite pro tip for Facebook? Share in the comments!

Your Facebook Page Doesn’t Count – The Case for Realtor® Websites

Realtor Website

Do you have a Realtor® website as the home base for your web presence? If not, you’ll want to read this article carefully. Unfortunately far too many Realtors® rely on a social media site – often Facebook – as their primary online platform. I’m here to give you some honest marketing feedback. Your Facebook page doesn’t count. Here are three reasons you really need a Realtor® website.

A Website Allows You to Make the Rules

You may not realize this, but when you use a social media platform, you are bound by their terms of service (TOS). The TOS is designed to be beneficial for the service owners, not necessarily you or your business. If you have a Realtor® website as the base of your business, you get to make the rules – you can do what you like, and not risk having your account restricted.

What does this mean, in practice? It means you can link or embed videos from YouTube without having your reach limited. (Facebook punishes any video that isn’t uploaded directly to the platform). You can run contests without fearing repercussions from the social media site. (Every social media TOS has rules and restrictions regarding contests). And you can create ads and promotions you want, rather than ones that abide by the strict advertising rules of Facebook or other platforms.

Your Reach Will Be FAR Better

Have you noticed that your posts aren’t going as far as they used to – especially on Facebook? You may be surprised to find out that only a very small percentage of your Facebook fans see any given post. Facebook claims this is because there’s “too much information” to share with people on their feeds, but the reality is that Facebook and other social media platforms are moving toward a paid-ad driven business model. If you want reach now, you have to pay for it.

On the other hand, when you have your own Realtor® website, you can keep all the fans and visitors you have – without anyone restricting the flow. The work you do to build visibility and reach won’t be throttled by someone else trying to make a buck off of you. The benefit of having your own platform when it comes to getting eyes on your message can’t be overstated.

You Can Control Graphics and Design on Your Website

Do you ever wish that you could show visitors a beautiful slideshow of your current listings, recently sold homes, and happy clients? With your own website, you can. In fact, you can create whatever you want to create. If web design is not your strong point, that’s not a problem – there are many freelance designers or web management companies that can help you set up a WordPress site and keep it up to date for you. I love Outstanding Setup personally – they are very affordable and very responsive when you need changes.

On the other hand, social media sites are designed by someone else, and not with your business in mind. On some platforms, it’s hard to display very many pictures. On others, there’s very little room for text. When you don’t have choices, you can find that your message gets garbled. When you have your own Realtor® website, you can choose a template that displays exactly what you want to show your prospects.

Having your own website doesn’t have to mean hours of coding and learning how to be a web designer. You can easily and affordably outsource the technical work. However, having your own platform allows you to make the rules, maintain your reach, and control your own layout. These three things make it very worthwhile to create a Realtor® website.

What’s your favorite thing about having a Realtor® website? Share in the comments!