Elite AgentFrom the Editor

Using Facebook to Generate Leads

The one thing most people agree on is that you need to use things like Facebook to generate leads, but not everyone agrees the way you should go about it. Coach Josh Pyatt’s article on the pros and cons of Facebook profiles versus pages raised some comments from others who believe things should be done differently.

Chris Bugden, host of the “What would we do?” podcast, is very definite on the topic of whether you should have a page or a personal profile. “Using a personal profile in an attempt to profit is against Facebook’s Terms of Service,” he says.

“Of course, with Facebook Pages, organic growth and organic reach are non-existent because Facebook does not make any money out of it.”

Instead of using your personal profile to profit, says Bugden, you should use a page, but be more strategic in terms of who you target your content to through custom web audiences.

“Pages have more business focused tools like Call-to-Action buttons. There are a lot of things you can do with a business page that you can’t do with a personal page.

“I also disagree with the strategy of sending friend requests to complete strangers,” says Bugden, pointing out that if someone were to receive a friend request and then see real estate content straight away they may not be a friend for very long. “What we see is a lot of agents taking a similar attitude to what they have done in the past with print or email, or posting a lot of ‘I just listed this’ or ‘I just sold this’. It’s pretty ineffective in a social media sense because people do not want to be sold to via social media.”

What should you do?
According to Bugden, if you are a new agent in town or just starting on Facebook then you need to look at a long-term strategy, not a quick fix. And, he says, a lot of what works is described by Gary Vaynerchuk in Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook. “If you constantly educate, inform or entertain or inspire your market they will engage with you much more freely.”

Bugden recommends posting from three ‘buckets’ to be successful.

  1. Real estate specific content – but make it interesting, like a video walk-through of the property. Talk to the camera as though you are physically taking someone through the property. Or, it could be a review of the weekend’s open for inspections or a recent auction.
  2. More ‘general’ real estate content for people who might just be taking an interest in the market in that suburb. That would be quarterly market reviews, it could be the difference between a two-bedroom and a three-bedroom house in the area and other local property nuances.
  3. Content that is not real estate-focused; but more about becoming an authority in your suburb. If you can become the person who delivers the most value and proves that you know you’ve got your finger on the pulse of what’s happening in your suburb, then when people who aren’t in that property mode, when they are thinking about real estate, they’ve already thought of you.

How long does it take to see a result using this approach?

“Because it’s marketing, you can never guarantee anything,” says Bugden. “But around month three and four is when we start to see genuine traction. Having said that, we have had clients where, in the first month, they’ve had half a dozen phone calls literally saying, ‘I’ve seen you on Facebook talking about my suburb. I’d like you to come and have a look at my house and give me an appraisal’.”

What do you think? What has worked for you? Leave us a comment.

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