Social Networks: Facebook for Business

The world of real estate prospecting has morphed into Facebook friend requests, tweets, chirps and fan pages. Instead of asking for your phone number to talk about your services, clients might instead request you as a LinkedIn connection or message you on Facebook to get updates on a transaction. Facebook is one of the largest social networking sites out there – and real estate agents shouldn’t ignore that fact. But you have to make your impact on social network meaningful and relevant to your target audience; you can’t post a bunch of listings and expect business to rain down on you like manna from heaven. Here are some tips to stand apart from the crowd on Facebook:

After you sign up

* Target your audience (past/current clients, other agents, niche businesses)
* Pay attention to what people are posting about
* Attract friends, followers, connections and subscribers
* Interact and engage with your friends and/or fans

Maximize your exposure

There are three types of accounts on Facebook: personal profiles, groups and business/fan pages. Also, you can place ads to targeted audiences in certain geographic areas for little cost.

Personal pages – Messages are limited to 20 recipients at a time with a personal page. There are strict rules about posting business information on a personal page.

Groups – Groups are set up for more personal interaction and are more directly connected to the people who administer them. Groups can be public or prviate.

Business/Fan pages – This is the ideal way to attract a public following. Here are some business page options:

Geographic area page.Create a page for your county or a specific neighborhood that is solely about that area and has no mention of your business. You’ll get fans instantly and people won’t feel pressured by seeing your business information on the page. Get people to interact on the page by holding photo contests, asking questions that elicit participation (“What’s the best pizza place in town?” or “Where’s the best hiking trail in our county?”) and offering prizes, such as gift cards, dinner for two, etc. Get local businesses to participate; they’ll be more than happy with the free exposure. To spread the word about your business, download a tab called FBML, which allows HTML on the page, such as a framed-in IDX search.

Agent referral page. Add items of value, network with other agents at events posted on Facebook and share referrals.

REO business page. Market your distressed property business and expertise to asset-management companies.

Office or team page. Promote your office or team members, services and more with this page.

Builder/condo page. Reach out to builders, condo associations and other groups who have a vested interest in these niches. Promote your expertise in condos, new construction and niche services.

Read more: How to use social networks for business