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Facebook For Real Estate: How To Lose Friends and NOT Influence People

facebook real estateAs of this post, there are over 1 BILLION people on facebook.  With all these people in one place there is bound to be someone that just really annoys you to the point that you “un-friend” or “hide” them from your timeline.

Sometimes, when I log into my facebook account and head to the newsfeed I feel like I am a boxer, only instead of dodging punches, I’m dodging those tying to SELL me something. 90% of them are real estate related.

Facebook for real estate  has clear benefits for real estate, for branding, for reach, for leverage but overtly selling is not necessarily one of them, in fact to do so, can cause those you are hoping will LOVE you to HATE you instead. So in this post let’s talk about sure fire ways for real estate agents to Lose Friends and Not Influence People on Facebook.  

Facebook For Real Estate

  • BUSINESS, BUSINESS and more BUSINESS. If every time your friends log into their facebook account, your “friends” see you talking about your real estate business, you run the risk of being “un-friended”- quickly. This may be hard to believe but not everyone eats, sleeps and breathes real estate like us. They accepted you as a friend because they wanted to hear what you are up to, your recommendations, your suggestions, your day; some wanted to see how big and fat you got since high school, what they really don’t want to be bombarded with is your business.  If you must talk about your real estate business, and every once in awhile is not just suggested it is recommended, tie it to a benefit another consumer received – social proof.
  • SUGGEST, SUGGEST and then SUGGEST again. Suggestions are good, “hey you should check out Despicable Me 2″, even thoughtful. But “Stephen suggested you like MyTitleGuy”  over and over and over again is ANNOYING. Here is a hint….If they didn’t become a fan the first time you asked them to, they are even less likely to become a fan the second or the third or the fourth. Keep it up and you will get unfriended or hidden.
  • WHAT IS IT? People like to endorse products, services, even people – IF they know them or have used a product or service. Another quick way to be ignored is to suggest they become a fan of a product or service they  have never used. Look, I understand, you are excited about your new fanpage, but you can’t expect someone to become a fan of your real estate services, if they have never used your services. This goes back to the quantity vs quality argument. Me personally, I would rather have 3 people “like” my fan page that are likely to read my content, comment on it, even share it – than 3,000 people who are only there because I asked them to be. So, if you are going to ask someone to become a fan of you or your services it might go further if they have worked with you or your services. And if they don’t become a fan the first time,…see #2.
  • TALK AT THEM.  I remember what it was like to be in boot camp, NAVY baby yeah!  I had plenty of company commanders that talked AT me.  “GARNER! Hey YANKEE, YOU’RE A LONG WAY FROIM NEW YORK NOW BOY!” I hated it. They accepted you as a friend so you could both talk, not just you.  Consumers want to be engaged on facebook, engagement is a 2 way street..   Think Tennis.  They hit the “ball”, (a question or statement) and now the ball is in your court. Hit it back – with VALUE.
  • EVENTS.  I get invited to all kinds of events through Facebook, I bet your clients or potential clients do too.  What’s annoying about that you ask?  If you are doing an open house in Chandler, Arizona…don’t invite everyone on your friends list, especially the ones that live out of state.  I can’t tell you how many real estate events I have been invited to in New York.  Yes, I am from New York, but I live in Arizona. Inviting your out of state “friends” is an easy way for consumers to see you are clearly inviting anyone and everyone….people like to feel special, not like sheep.
  • LISTINGS. Do yourself a favor, Don’t post all of your listings on your wall. Why?  Well for starters, if all you are doing is posting your listings, you will get tuned out very fast.  We talked about this one in a previous post with the guy selling “tires”.   I would reserve your wall for those “special” listings, you know the ones that are AMAZING deals or are very interesting.  This way your “friends” will take notice of a listing when you post it as it’s not something you usually do. Remember…..the fact that you listed a home is not interesting, the fact that you listed John McCain’s house – Is. When it comes to listings as a general rule I would post them on a group or fan page; this allows the very people that want this information to easily opt-in for it.
  • FARMVILL’E, MAFIA WARS, WHO WANTS TO BE A MILLIONAIRE.  I hate these kind of invites. They are SPAM. And if there is one place I really don’t care for SPAM it’s facebook. I have even gone as far as joining a group called “I don’t care about your farm, or your fish or your mafia!!” and guess what?  As of today, there are  over 7 million members and growing!  I don’t care if you play those games, that’s your business; but posting it on your wall for your clients to see in their news feed could easily tell them that you have too much time on your hands.  I don’t think I would be too happy if my house was listed with you, if you are always playing Farmville.  ‘Farmville’ and ‘Mafia Wars’ might be fun for some people, but if you don’t want to play them, and I don’t, the constant invites are aggravating.
  • TWITTER to FACEBOOK.  Twitter is a micro-blogging site, it is acceptable to post 10,20 even 30 times per day in some instances.  But linking your Twitter to your facebook account will overwhelm, alienate and aggravate your “friends”.  If you are going to link facebook and twitter, you may be better served having your status updates on facebook going to twitter, not the other way around.Oh and those updates should be of value. No one really cares what you ate for dinner last night.
  • BELIEFS.  My dad once told me there are 3 things that have no place in business; Religion, Politics, Abortion or anything else decisive.  Regardless of what YOU believe in, there are plenty of others that disagree with you.  Your little remark about President Obama even though you meant it in fun, could easily infuriate someone that doesn’t share your sense of humor.  People buy from people they LIKE and TRUST.  When you post something, think Switzerland.  Is it neutral, far left or far right.  Unless of course you aim to stir up a beehive, which isn’t always a bad thing. But Religion, Politics, Abortion have no place in business, in my opinion.
  • TAGGING.  As cool as I am right now, I was not always this way.  Believe it or not, there was a time in my life that I was insecure, chubby and awkward (no I’m not talking about today).  Ok, so I’m still chubby.  The last thing I would want my “friends” or clients to see is a picture of me “tagged” from the 80′s doing a keg-stand with a reverse mohawk.  I mean come-on I have a professional reputation to uphold! :-)

Facebook is not just a website, it is a community. You will get out of it what you put into it. In this day and age we consumers HATE to be SOLD to, we hate to me MARKETED to. We want what we want when WE want it. There are quite a few strategies out there as it relates to Facebook. Facebook ads, sponsored posts, etc. Facebook is a valuable resource if you use it correctly. Not to SELL but to engage, to ask questions, to ultimately add value. Most consumers that follow businesses on facebook do so for deals, to save money, to be privy to inside information. Regardless of what I do on facebook I always try to make it more about you than me. The other way around – I run the risk of losing friends and not influencing people.

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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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