The Hello Bar is a simple notification bar that engages users and communicates a call to action.

Facebook For Real Estate Agents. What’s a “toss” and why should I care?

Facebook For Real Estate Agents“What’s a toss?” A real estate agent asked me today. “Toss, like to throw something you mean” I asked? “No”, she said, “I don’t think so anyway”. Flashing back to my childhood, asking my father the meaning of a word, I said what he would say to me: “use it in a sentence.”. “A real estate agent got kicked off of facebook for violating something called toss” she said. “Oh, TOS as in Terms Of Service!”

“Yes”. she said, “what is that?” I asked for more information. “What did the real estate agent do to violate facebook’s TOS?” [she took a big breath in and said] “Well, I was reading in a private facebook group today that a real estate agent violated facebook’s TOS by posting real estate listings to her personal page” I kept a straight face on the outside but on the inside I was rejoicing. “Hallelujah” I was thinking, “It is about time!” I quickly asked for more details, where could I find more information about such a momentous occasion?

There it was, a real estate attorney in Massachusetts talking about a story he had heard involving a few real estate agents from a national real estate brokerage being kicked off of facebook for violating facebooks terms of service. He was seeking to validate a statement he had heard, was it true? Real estate agent after real estate agent chimed in “good!” one said “why would anyone want to put their listings on a personal Facebook page?” another said, comment after comment after comment.

I have been on Facebook for 4 years (I think) in those 4 years I don’t think I have had a bigger complaint about anyone and I do mean ANYONE as I do real estate agents that post their listings to their personal Facebook pages. I started UN-friending real estate agents that only want to talk about real estate a long time ago. Look at this listing! DELETE. Beat the bank! DELETE. Honey Stop The Car! DELETE DELETE DELETE.

I didn’t sign up for that, and neither did their “friends”. If I become friends with someone on facebook I do so to hear about their lives, their recommendations, suggestions etc. NOT their business. It annoys me to no end to feel like someone is trying to sell me something. You have heard of the 80/20 rule right? Well in the real estate space that number is more like 95/5. In my opinion 95% of the real estate agents have little clue how to market themselves, their listings and most importantly – their value. In the absence of a plan, they throw things – listings – everywhere in hopes of getting a lead. Facebook, craigslist, twitter, google+ etc. It’s the electronic form of direct mail.

There are many problems with doing this, in addition to it being worthless, it is also a violation of most websites terms of service. Terms Of Service or TOS are the rules that we agree to abide by in order to use a service. Most companies you engage with on the Internet have a binding TOS policy. Paypal, Amazon, Ebay, your bank, and yes facebook.  Terms of service usually cover a range of things including acceptable behavior online, what you can do and what you cannot. Under facebook’s Registration and Account Security it clearly says “You will not use your personal profile for your own commercial gain (such as selling your status update to an advertiser).”

TOS are very important for any organization but especially important for social networks like facebook. Facebook has thrived [in part] because it is comfortable, it is also where our friends are. If every time we log into facebook someone is trying to sell something or making others uncomfortable, users are less likely to log in as often, or stay as long which costs facebook big bucks. All because some real estate agent that has no clue how to market themselves the right way decided it was a good idea to SPAM their friends. There is a right way and a wrong way to use facebook, see the video below Facebook For Real Estate Agents

 

I am happy that Facebook started enforcing their terms of service, for awhile there I wondered if they even had any. Try using WordPress.com for business and watch what happens. As I mentioned above, there is an unwritten social contract when it comes to facebook, personal pages are for personal things and business pages or fan pages are for business. Do yourself, your business  and your “friends” a favor and  conduct your business on your fan page with those that have signed up or opted in to hear all about it. For more information about how NOT to use facebook for business check out Facebook For REALTORS, 8 Ways To Lose Friends And NOT Influence People

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Stephen

Hi I'm Stephen Garner, I'm just a guy in the title industry {in Phoenix} trying to change how real estate agents market themselves and their services. To that end, I teach my clients HOW TO leverage sales technologies like WordPress, Content, Video, Camtasia, Final Cut X, iMovie and indexable IDX solutions to convey value and help your ideal client find you online when they are most interested in learning about you and your services. I work for escrows. Hire me!

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