Aug 2, 2011

Facebook Marketing - Common Blunders Made By Real Estate Agents & Brokers

With 750 Million users worldwide spending billions of minutes monthly, real estate agents and brokers are understandably flocking to Facebook for both personal and business purposes. And why not? Facebook marketing is one of biggest & most effective strategies available today and it has reaped online & social media-savy realtors enormous benefits.


However, despite all tons of advice on proper Facebook marketing published on the net, many real estate practitioners still manage to commit one boo-boo after another. Yes, we all commit mistakes but  for the real estate service profession, the effects of these errors can affect one's ability to create more business opportunities.

Below are some of the common Facebook marketing blunders committed by real estate agents:

Spamming

Many agents think it's alright to post property listings in other Facebook pages, groups and even personal walls without the expressed permission of the page, group or profile owner. No, it's not alright. In fact, it's considered rude and very unprofessional. 

The best way to show your listings without annoying anyone is to create a Facebook page and invite everyone to like it. Facebook pages are free and you can do a lot cool stuff with it such as: upload photos, documents, notes, videos and many other kinds of content. 

Best of all, you can engage your prospects in meaningful conversations centered on a topic that gives you business: your listing. Plus you can also get other visitors who may not be your friends to like the page and add to your clientele base.

Tagging friends/clients with photos and videos without permission

Tagging someone on a video or photo without their permission and more so if they are actually NOT in the said content is just plain bad Facebook marketing or simply bad behavior.

We all know that once you tag someone on Facebook, those photos and vids will appear on their wall and are visible to that client's friends. Now, some agents may think this functionality will increase their audience base, which is true but again, without any authorization by the person, these agents end up advertising their lack of consideration & respect for that person's privacy. Instead of gaining clients, agents may end up losing them.


If you really want to send property listings to a client/prospect-friend a good technique would be to do it via private message. Facebook's private messaging system allows you to attach photos, videos and other links to anyone. If you'd like people to take notice, make sure the content is really professionally done and attractive. You may also insert a note in your message saying: "please feel free to share this with your Facebook friends".

Posting Off-topic Sales Messages

Do you like someone uninvited butting in any of your private or public conversations with a friend? Of course not. It's the exact same thing prospects feel when an agent out of the blue posts a comment that's directly & openly selling a property. 

The proper way to join a conversation is to:

a.) Help someone who publicly posts a problem or a question (i.e. someone asking about the property market in an area or government regulations like taxes, etc.)
b.) Ask a question that concerns your target market / audience 
c.) Make professional recommendations (only when asked, unless you have a strong personal connection with the prospect)

Other Facebook marketing mistakes include: 
  • Using the status update as a classified ads tool (your friends are interested in you but not necessarily your offers). The best way to avoid this is to create a Facebook page, Event or post on your wall a link pointing to a website, blog or other channel. Better yet, why not create a Facebook paid advertisement? It's easy to use and manage with excellent targeting tools.
  • Incomplete personal profiles (You need to create credibility and an incomplete profile doesn't help you accomplish that)
  • Failure to engage clients/prospects in your Facebook pages
The Bottom Line

Facebook offers vast opportunities for real estate agents and brokers to grow their business. However, it is important to remember that Facebook marketing means following accepted social rules. After all, Facebook is a social networking tool designed specifically to enhance communication and build relationships. 

Committing social media boo-boos defeats the entire Facebook marketing idea and will cost you time and money.  You want to gain more prospects and sales, not lose them.

How about you, any irritating Facebook practices committed by real estate you wish to add? Feel free to add some more in the comments section.















12 comments:

  1. I like your article! This tips are very useful! Facebook is part of our life today. My friend use to say: "you don't exist if you are not on Facebook". I also read some interesting Facebook Marketing tips in one of Michael Libow's books. Online marketing is essential nowadays for sure.

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  2. hi Theresa,

    Thanks for the kind comments. I am happy that you find this article very useful. Please do drop by frequently as I'll publish more tips and other tactics to help you increase your sales and commissions. Hope to see you again here!

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  3. I'll drop by again for sure. I really like your blog:)

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  8. it is a fact that Facebook is a work wide network of marketing but one thing which suspect in my mind that how the numbers of visitors are decreasing in day to day especially in the report of 2011 research.What you say about it?

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  9. I appreciated your kind way of knowledge.Great Stuff Here..hope more to come.

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  10. @buy my house now...

    Thanks for the insight. I am interested in the research you mentioned about declining facebook usage. Maybe you can post a link to that report? thanks!

    Based on my own readings, while some sites have reported that Facebook has experienced decline during some months of 2011 (May-June) reputable media companies who measure online & offline stats like say different.

    Comscore reported that while many users from the USA & Canada have stopped using the network, the largest social network has gained huge number users from other countries. Engagement, time spent on FB also increased from 4hours to more than 6 hours per user.
    I also tend to agree with the assessment that with the U.S. (with more than 73% share among all internet users) it is expected for growth to slow down.
    http://blog.comscore.com/2011/06/facebook_linkedin_twitter_tumblr.html
    http://blog.comscore.com/2011/12/state_of_the_us_social_network.html

    Nielsen gives a similar assessment here where they reported growth in May 2011 instead of a decline. http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/online_mobile/may-2011-top-u-s-web-brands/

    Personally, I believe a decline after periods of dizzying growth is only natural. Markets get saturated, early adopters probably find newer ways to go social, etc. We cannot expect FB to keep adding 20Million users every month. The USA market alone where 70%+ of internet users have facebook accounts means there are fewer new sign ups & the introduction of google plus provided some migration opportunities.

    I am also interested to see how users engage on Facebook outside its main site (but still connected to it) using likes,sharing, comment apps/gadgets in other sites.

    Increasing mobile use to access facebook likewise (my wife uses mobile more to access facebook rather than by pc) is something I am wondering if traditional measuring tools & systems can track & provide data to people like us.

    As far as real estate marketing and selling is concerned, Facebook will still remain as a very potent weapon but its not the only weapon in the arsenal. One has to consider his own area of operation & create a social media strategy that meets the market's needs.

    In the Philippines, people use Facebook extensively and it would be foolhardy not to use the social network.

    In other markets & countries, a different approach may be needed.

    Again, thanks for the comments!







    Media

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  11. When it comes to marketing there are a lot of ways to market like using social media sites. It is now the trend in internet marketing, twitter,facebook are just some.
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  12. I'd followed postings of some real estate agents, however after they spam my timeline and sending unsolicited emails, I unfollowed them. :)

    'You want to gain more prospects and sales, not lose them.' - These sentence are exactly what they need...

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