For a modern real estate agent, Facebook marketing is highly important. It attracts plenty of business if utilised correctly. But are you maximising and using Facebook to the best of its ability? Real estate coach Josh Pyatt has seen many agents’ Facebook pages with an audience and followers who aren’t relevant to them and their market and examines the pro’s and con’s of business pages vs personal pages.
Types of pages
There are two main types of Facebook pages. A personal page, where you add and accept friend requests, and a business page where you like or follow pages, and vice versa.
Most agents have a Facebook business page. That’s OK, but if you did a search and identified how many ‘likes’ of that page were local property owners or current buyers, it may not actually be as many as you’d think or want because you can’t really control who likes a business page.
Therefore, any content you post on that page may not be reaching the audience you want it to. Some, if not the majority of people who like your page, could live out of your area, interstate or even overseas. Therefore it’s like advertising meat to a vegan – just completely pointless.
Who is your audience?
That’s the only downside I see with using a Facebook business page. And that applies to any person or business, in any industry. Personally, for example, I’ve previously ‘liked’ musicians and sports teams’ pages when I don’t even really like them. And it’s no different in our industry.
Let me give you this idea. Instead of having your Facebook set up as a business page, think about having it set up as a personal page.
With a personal page, the only downside is you get a maximum of 5,000 friends. However, you’ve got the power to make sure that every friend on that list is either a local owner or current buyer – unlike a business page – making you and your content much more relevant to the customer.
Your tactic should be to add as many local owners and current buyers as friends until you reach that 5,000 limit. Having said this, make sure you also post things about your personal life and content outside of real estate, because if Facebook picks up that you’re using a personal page purely for business use they may remove the account or convert it into a business page.
Both types of pages certainly have their pros and cons; it just depends whether you’d prefer quality or quantity. Who do you want to see your content? Local homeowners and current buyers. Maybe even mortgage brokers, solicitors and property developers.
How do you attract these people?
If you have a personal page, it’s very simple. You just type in a customer’s name in the search bar, locate their page, and send them a friend request. You can also search for people using their mobile and email address.
It’s a little trickier if you have a business page. You may have to boost posts by paying Facebook, encourage people to like, comment and share your posts with their friends and family, and host events and competitions that attract people to your page.
What content should you post?
Remember, any content you post has to be of value to the customer: New listings, sold properties, video testimonials from vendors and buyers, Saturday open homes and auctions wrap. Monthly market updates and any community news, plus any updates that affect the real estate market, e.g. the first-homebuyers’ stamp duty exemptions.
I would also strongly recommend you to post videos, photos and statuses about your personal life. If you’re out to dinner with family or friends, on holidays or simply at the park with your dog, take a photo or video and upload it.
People want to do business with someone they like, and if you can give an insight into who you are as a person outside of real estate, I think that goes a long way.
When should you post?
It’s important not to bombard your audience with information. If you do, they’ll get annoyed and be likely to unfollow your page or unfriend you.
In terms of how often you should post something, you’ll have to be the judge of that. Just remember that if the content is relevant, go for it!
I’d like to conclude by saying that I’m certainly no Facebook marketing guru. However, over the last 12 months I’ve spent a lot of time researching and educating myself when it comes to making Facebook productive for business use. I’ve learnt so much and it’s actually helped me generate a lot of my business. I’m just happy to pass on my knowledge if it helps other people.
We’ve had a fair bit of comment about this article and for an alternate viewpoint on Josh’s approach, we spoke with one of the comment writers for their take on this topic