By Drew Heasley
Everyone is on Facebook, and as a real estate agent, you go where the people are.
So you probably already have some type of Facebook presence, either through your personal page or a business page that you’ve invited all your friends to like. But you need more than just likes to generate business through Facebook. Here are some of my favorite free and low-cost marketing tools that Facebook offers.
Facebook Live: This live streaming video feature is one of Facebook’s most recent additions and it is free to use. No surprise here; it was only a matter of time before Facebook would dive into live streaming, especially after seeing the success that Periscope and other live streaming apps have had. Agents are using this live video feature to broadcast brokers opens, open houses, or give a quick sneak peek of a new listing to their friends. It’s also great for showing local places or local events. When it comes to Facebook marketing, think local. This leads me to me the next great source of business on Facebook…
Local Pages: This is something I wish I had discovered sooner, because it does take some time to develop. Like an existing community page that has large membership, and simply come from a place of contribution. If you search your area on Facebook, you may be surprised how many well-established and active pages or groups are already up and running. If someone asks for a good plumber, send them your best guy. If someone lost their dog, help them out and share the message to your followers. Do this long enough and you won’t have to beg the group for business, they will be happy to refer you to friends and family. Eventually, you will simply become known as the local real estate go-to person. It will take minimal time and effort, but don’t expect to get rewarded your first month – it’s about building relationships and staying consistent.
The other approach, which I prefer, would be to create your own new local page. You could name it “your town real estate,” or “your town homeowners/residents.” If you farm a large community or neighborhood, create a group or a page just for that. The easiest and obvious place to start would be the area you live. You might be shocked how many people are curious about their local real estate and want to see periodic listings and market updates. To build this type of group without spending any money would take a long time, but it is possible. Once your page is established, use Facebook’s ad manager to target people in that zip code or area your page is dedicated to. These are also great places to run ads for your new listings. You get eyes on your new property and people start following your page. The best ways to do this are to create a post that requires a comment and or a like. For example on a coming soon listing, ask, “How much will this be listed for?” Or on a pending listing, “How much did it sell for?” This creates tons of free organic views because once a person comments on the post, it will show up in his or her friends’ newsfeed. Hopefully others be inclined to like/comment and create a snowball effect. Other ways to build a page from scratch include: posting really interesting or exotic local homes, celebrity homes nearby, unique homes to the area, and bank owned/foreclosures seem to draw a lot of attention. Get creative.
Real Estate Groups: Like community groups, Facebook many real estate related groups established by agents that can help with everything business related. I would highly recommend you check out the group Lab Coat Agents. I have no affiliation with them, I’m just a member and huge fan. This is a group of 35,000 real estate agents from across the country all sharing ideas on how to use technology to increase business. It will change how you spend your time on Facebook. If you are really into cold calling, FSBOs, expireds, etc., then join groups that focus on lead generation, objection handling, or script practicing. Also seek out and join referral groups or consider creating your own. Network with other agents who are likely to refer business in your area: city to suburb, beach/lake homes, second homes, etc. Joining groups is free and it will be time well spent.
Facebook Ads: Facebook has managed to become a more user friendly marketing platform then Google Ads. Setting up a Facebook ad campaign could not be any more simple. If you need help, Facebook has endless resources. One of Facebook ads’ best features is the amount of targeting it allows you to do. My target-audience changes for each ad, depending on the property I’m listing. Facebook lets me target, “likely to move” and “first-time homebuyers” among tons of other real estate related topics. It lets me exclude, “recently moved” or “real estate agents,” as well as the obvious targeting like, geographic location, age, and other demographics. If you’re wondering why this is so important, it’s very simple: money. The fewer people I advertise to, the less I pay. And more targeted advertising provides higher returns. Some of my most successful campaigns include: rent vs. buy information, foreclosures, coming soon listings, and anything with video. If you are going to run these ads, think about creating a landing page or a well-designed website to help capture those leads. It can really increase you ROI. You can run these either from your business page or your local page. In my opinion, the latter has a much better return on investment.
The best Facebook marketing tool is the one that you will actually use. Pick one or a few that you think would work for you and your business and your market. If just being yourself on Facebook and engaging through your personal page is getting you tons of business, great, keep doing it. But if you aren’t getting the business you hope for or are looking to expand your business I hope these ideas will give you a boost in the right direction.
Drew Heasley is an agent with Keller Williams Exton/West Chester in Pennsylvania. Connect with him on Facebook: facebook.com/chestercountyrealtor, or through his website: searchchestercountyhomes.com.