I begrudgingly signed up for a Facebook account years ago at my wife’s suggestion. Being the type of person who doesn’t like to do what everyone else is doing, I fought the trend. But as I look at my production for 2015, one-third of my real estate transactions have come as a direct or indirect result of my presence on Facebook.
It hasn’t been easy, however. It’s also not about being on Facebook all day and doing nothing else — although I do spend a decent amount of time on the platform because it’s my favorite of all the social media channels.
There are lots of ways to annoy your friends by alerting them to the fact that you’re in real estate: posting listings constantly, bragging about all the home sales you did this month, frequently asking “who’s ready to buy or sell a home?” in your updates. For tips on how to do it right, watch this video.
But to brand yourself as a real estate expert, you need to have more tact and realize that people don’t scroll their feed to look for opportunities to be sold. Let’s face it, neither do you.
Here are five ways to position yourself as the go-to person for your Facebook friends’ next real estate transaction.
1. Use humor
People remember funny stories. Did you trip and fall flat on your face while showing a home today? Walk in on a seller who forgot you were coming and they were inappropriately dressed? Tell Facebook! I guarantee not only will you give people a much-needed chuckle, but you’ll brand into their subconscious what it is you do.
Although I must say that my personality isn’t that of the class clown, throwing in a little light-heartedness once in a while will keep you in good standing.
2. Show real life
People appreciate it when they know you aren’t perfect. Who is? These updates of people who can do no wrong and everything is rosy all the time just don’t seem to be reality. If you’re in real estate, you’ve had bad things happen. Now I’m not saying that it’s an excuse to complain constantly — no one wants to hear about that, and it’s one of the quickest ways to be hidden or unfriended.
But I do recommend you let people know when maybe there’s something that ticks you off a little bit, or talk about some of the things in real estate that are less than fun. “Got stood up today by a buyer. Grrrr — feeling annoyed” or “Home inspector thinks the house might have foundation issues — yikes!” are examples that are appropriate.
3. Share pictures of buyers at their new home
Everyone loves a good story, and to visualize that is even better. Snap a pic of your client holding the keys in front of their new house and share it on your Facebook (learn how to size photos for social posts here). Even better is if you friend the client and get permission to “tag” them. That way, all of their friends see what they’ve done and who was responsible for helping them: you!
Give a little detail about why they decided to purchase — having a baby, downsizing, wanting a better location, job relocation — it humanizes the real estate process and makes you look like you know what you’re doing. If you’re able to do this on a consistent basis, people can’t help but to think of you when they are thinking of making a move.
4. Be a resource
Let people know to reach out to you if they need a good contractor, plumber, handyman or landscaper (assuming you actually have one). People don’t buy homes very often, but they do need home maintenance professionals, so why not be the one who refers them?
If you don’t have good vendors, join your local Chamber of Commerce or a networking group — those people are usually very conscientious about providing good service, as they are more active in trying to promote their business.
5. Send chat messages
It’s one thing to update your entire friend list about what you do, but something else entirely to reach out to people on an individual basis. If you are finding you get good engagement from certain people on your real estate posts (even if it’s “likes”), pop a chat message out to them. Make it simple.
I do something like “Hi (name), just thought I’d take a moment to reach out and remind you that I work in real estate. If you ever have a question or have a friend who does, I hope you’ll think of me.”
If you get a response, you might ask for permission to stay in touch from time to time and ask for the best contact phone number and their email address. Follow up with them occasionally and ask if you can be of any service or if they know someone looking for a real estate agent.
So don’t be that annoying real estate agent who is constantly asking for business and talking about how awesome you are. Change it up and see what happens — be personal, let people into your life as an individual, show them the real you and have fun!
Want more pointers? Download our 10 Commandments of social media.