At this point, it’s clear Facebook is still dominating the world of social media. Even despite their recent privacy controversies, more than 68% of U.S. adults are on the platform (for context, no other platform surpasses 40%) with approximately 3/4ths of those people being daily users. What does this mean for you? It means Facebook still remains one of the best and most cost-effective platforms to help market yourself and your real estate brand.
Yes, Facebook ads are awesome and can kickstart your real estate career in a jiffy (assuming you setup the correct targeting, messaging, and have the proper web presence to actually capture those leads – which, by the way, we can do all for you, contact us for more details!), but this article is not about that! This article is about the ways you can use Facebook FOR FREE to generate real estate leads.
Use Facebook Groups
We have said this numerous times in the past, but as a real estate agent, you are in the PEOPLE BUSINESS. You could have more real estate knowledge and insight than any other expert in the area, but if you don’t have a strong network or actively put yourself out there, your career won’t go far. As a Realtor, you must go where the people are, so allow us to introduce you to Facebook Groups.
What are Facebook Groups? Groups are a feature offered by Facebook that allows you to connect to other people with other specific, shared interests. These groups come in all shapes and sizes and cover just about any genre, cause, or interest out there (and if it doesn’t exist, you can create a new one for free and invite friends to join!) Your goal is to find, join, and engage in as many active, local groups as you can. But here’s the thing: it’s important that you only join groups that you have a genuine interest in or claim towards. For instance, it’s a bit disingenuous to join a Local Parents of Deerfield group if A) You don’t have a child or B) Don’t live or have never lived in Deerfield. The more specific and the more local you can make it, the better. Joining nationwide/global groups has less value since its members will likely be from outside your area.
- Sports/Activities (Golfing, Fishing, Hunting, Tennis, Hiking)
- Interests (Cars, Baking, Comics, Woodworking)
- Events (Yearly Conventions, Gatherings)
- Demographics (ex: Young Parents of Glenview, Women Professionals of Chicago, etc)
- Community (Subdivisions/HOAs, Church groups, local marketplace groups, PTA’s,
I’ve joined some groups, now what? Engage with the group! If you see people asking for advice or recommendations, try and offer your opinion and guidance (this will presumably not always be real estate related). Befriend the people you engage with – expand your sphere! Try and attend any meetings the group may schedule – or if there aren’t any, host one yourself! Groups afford you a way to network with a lot of people in a very time-effective matter. The goal here is to try to connect to people with shared interests and convey to them how awesome of a person you are! Over time, you’ll use your Facebook presence to establish yourself as their de-facto real estate agent for when their time comes to buy or sell. So how do you do that?
Create and share compelling content
When it comes to marketing, you have to understand that you must invest your time and/or your money in order to achieve results. There truly are no other alternatives and anyone promising otherwise is very likely full of ?. The beauty of Facebook is that it allows you to market your real estate brand to an audience (your sphere) for FREE! There’s no limit to how creative you can get with regards to the content you create yourself, and if you are truly seriously about creating your own content, you may want to consider obtaining your own real estate website – but here are a few pointers that will help get you on your way:
Insert YOURSELF into (almost) every story regarding your listings.
We’re totally okay with you posting a link to your official listing for your new properties when they first come on the market – but what about when there’s an open house? Or when it closes? Or there’s a price change? Do you simply post that link again with a caption “JUST SOLD!” and provide some basic details? The answer is NO! After a while, your audience simply won’t care and will begin to tune you out. The reality is that your online sphere doesn’t care about the house that you have on the market or that it has an open house this week, they care that YOU have a house on the market and that YOU have an open house. Post selfies in front of the house inviting people to come visit you! Try and sell yourself, not the house (even though you’re trying to do both!). Here’s an example of agents inserting themselves into a JUST SOLD story:
Don’t be afraid to do videos!
Weekly market recaps, live Q&As, or simple videos at open houses can go a long way in helping remind the people in your life that you are a credible real estate expert. If you feel a bit cheesy doing videos on your phone, don’t feel ashamed to practice in front of the mirror! Your sphere, generally speaking, WANT to see you succeed as a person and real estate agent. Few people will look at your videos as critically as you do, so HAVE FUN with them!
Local community news and information
By posting local community news and relevant information on your personal page, you invite discussion amongst your audience and further cement yourself as a resource that is connected to the neighborhood.
Not EVERYTHING has to be real estate related
The articles and posts that we share on Facebook over time help mold peoples’ image of ourselves. If you post nothing but real estate information, you’ll be perceived as a bit shill-y and stiff. That’s why it’s also important to post fun and engaging personal content to remind people that you’re accessible, relatable, active, and generally someone you would want to spend time with. Don’t hesitate to share that cute dog video every now and then!
Engage with your audience
Aside from posting your own content, you must also focus a bit of time on engaging with the content that your audience posts. Little things such as liking a new photo that someone shares or wishing an old colleague a happy birthday can go a long way with maintaining relationship and keeping your name front of mind. The “trick” here is to be genuine – we can’t teach you to be a good person and nor or we advocating the idea that you only interact with people simply because they may lead to a potential listing, you have to truly CARE about your sphere. Facebook allows you do that in a very time-effective matter. Open up and be genuine – you’ll be surprised where that can lead you!