Consider every person you have ever handed your business card to. What do they all have in common? They use Facebook! In fact, 81% of all Americans are on Facebook, and 71% of Facebook users check it daily. Therefore, it is extremely important that your real estate business be active and well represented on the social media behemoth. If you haven’t yet created a page for your real estate business, stop what you are doing right now and click HERE.
Once you are set up, use our 25-point list to optimize your Facebook page so you can generate leads and grow your business.
1. Create a Vanity URL for your page
All business pages are randomly assigned a number and URL (ex. facebook.com/pages/yourbusiness/123456789). To make your page more shareable and easier to find, you’ll want to create a recognizable vanity URL (ex. http://www.facebook.com/myawesomerealestatebusiness)
To create a vanity URL, visit this page and follow the instructions.
2. Add an attractive cover photo (and change it often)
The cover photo is one of the first things people will see when they come to your page, so you want it to be an eye-catcher. Consider using a high-resolution interior or exterior shot of one of your listings. Failing that, you can try using a picture of the neighborhood or city you work in. Either way, you will want to update your cover photo often to keep viewers interested. Make sure the picture is formatted to the proper dimensions for a cover photo, which is 851 x 351 pixels.
For more information on your Facebook cover photo, CLICK HERE.
3. Optimize your “About” section
This is one of the most important aspects of your Facebook page, as it is where you’ll truly get to sell your business. Try to let your personality shine through when writing about yourself. You want to be able to differentiate yourself from all the other real estate agent pages out there. Also be explicit about what kind of market you work in. If you sell a particular type of home, it is crucial that you include this information in your bio.
4. Earn the “Very responsive to messages” badge
People who come to your page want to know that if they message you, they are not just sending their request into a black hole. So when people do message you on Facebook, you must respond in a timely fashion. If you have a response rate of 90% and a response time of 15 minutes or less over the last 7 days, Facebook will give you a “Very responsive to messages” badge below your page’s cover photo. That will certainly catch the attention of people who come to your page.
5. Add milestones
Impress prospective clients by showing off some of your business’ biggest accomplishments on your page. To add milestones, click on the "Timeline" section of your Page and click the "Offer, Event +" option in the page update composer near the top of your page. Recent milestones will be posted to your Timeline, and users will be able to find them later under your "About" tab.
6. Add a “Call-to-action” button
Call-to-action buttons link visitors to your page to any website that aligns with your business goals. The seven pre-made buttons ("Sign Up," "Shop Now," "Contact Us," "Book Now," "Use App," Watch Video," and "Play Game") could link to your business website, a contact sheet, or any other site you see fit. The button will appear in the upper right hand corner of your cover photo next to the “Like” button. CLICK HERE to learn how to add one.
7. Create custom page tabs
Page tabs are the buttons that appear directly under your cover photo and to the right of your profile picture. Facebook lets you create and leverage custom tabs which you can link to your website, case studies, marketing offers or any other place you see fit. You can create custom tabs by visiting your page, clicking the "More" tab and choosing "Manage Tabs" from the dropdown menu.
8. Take advantage of the “Similar Page Suggestions” feature
“Similar Page Suggestions” allows a real estate agent’s page to be displayed as a page that Facebook users might like. If a Facebook user is looking at the Facebook page of another real estate agent in your area, your page may come up on that person’s screen as a suggestion. To turn on “Similar Page Suggestions,” click “Settings” at the top of your page. From the “General” tab click “Similar Page Suggestions,” check the box next to “Include [Page name] when recommending similar Pages people might like on a Page timeline,” and click “Save changes.”
9. Join Facebook Groups or create your own
There is a robust eco-system of Facebook Groups for all sorts of interests. Chances are, there are several groups for home buyers and sellers as well as real estate agents in your area. Join as many as you can. These groups provide you with a great opportunity to directly target your audience as well as network with fellow agents in your area. Whatever content you are posting on your own page, be sure to also post in your groups. Interact with other people in the group and comment and “like” their posts. If you have a big enough reputation, try creating your own Facebook Group and adding in your clients and colleagues.
10. Post quality content
Once you’ve optimized the features of your page, you are going to want to use it to share quality content to attract people to your page. The higher the quality of your posts, the more likely they are to appear in people’s news feeds. Facebook uses algorithms to filter out the irrelevant and the poor quality posts so that the highest-quality stuff is what gets through and gets shown to users. So, what are some examples of quality content?
11. Post about your listings using photo and video
Data from online marketing company Wishpond shows Facebook posts with photos usually receive 120% more engagement than those without them. Posts that include photo albums receive 180% percent more engagement. Video posts get more engagement than photo posts. So before you go advertise a new listing on Facebook, be sure to perk up the post with some high-resolution photos. You can also film a virtual walk-through of the home using the video feature on your phone and upload it to Facebook.
12. Share articles that buyers and sellers will find helpful
Demonstrate your value by sharing articles that provide tips on how to buy or sell a home. If you are having trouble finding articles to share, set up Google alerts that inform you whenever articles that include terms like “real estate advice” are published. If you feel you have some wisdom to share, write your own blog post and share it on your Facebook page. Doing this will demonstrate your expertise in the field.
13. Inform people of what is going on around town
As a real estate agent, you should be plugged in to what is going on in your market. Demonstrate this knowledge on Facebook by sharing information about local events and news. Topics to talk about include new businesses opening, local athletics, fundraisers, school happenings, holiday parties, local sales and discounts and public service announcements. Posting about what is going on in town demonstrates to prospective clients that you are a local expert.
14. Post about DIY Projects
Homeowners love DIY projects. If you know a cool way to decorate a room or repurpose some old furniture, share it out. Pinterest is also a very good resource for finding DIY projects. Doing this is just another way you are demonstrating value.
15. Post about sweepstakes and giveaways
Organizing sweepstakes and giveaways is a great way to attract prospective clients and interact with your community on Facebook. Try offering items like keychains or cardholders to people who pass along leads on Facebook. Companies like Wishpond, Antavo and Offerpop help realtors set up contests and sweepstakes to generate leads.
16. Post about yourself and your family
People don’t buy homes from Facebook (at least not yet!), they buy them from other people. With that in mind, it is important that prospective clients view you not only as a hard working business person, but also a mother, father and friend. Sharing photos of your friends and family allows viewers to see another side of you and to view you as somebody they can trust to sell their home.
17. Let your personality shine through in your posts
Always try to be warm and friendly in your posts, but also allow your personality to shine through. You get to shape your public image with every Facebook post you make. If you sell a home, make a Facebook post thanking the family and welcoming them to the neighborhood. You can also share funny real estate stories or simply make a post asking people how they are doing. Sharing funny memes and videos is another great way to interact with people. Just be careful not to share anything that could be seen as insensitive or divisive. Posting about politics is a no-no.
18. Use the 80/20 Rule
It can be difficult to know when to post what type of content. The 80/20 Rule states that you should make 80 percent of your content customer-focused and 20 percent focused on you and your business. If you follow this formula, your page will get more engagement and interaction.
19. Post at the best times for your audience
When to post often depends on what your target audience uses Facebook for, the region(s) you're targeting, the content of your post (funny or serious), and your goals (clicks versus shares). However, there is some data out there on optimal times to post on Facebook:
The best time to post on Facebook is 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, 12:00–1:00 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays and 1:00–4:00 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays.
Engagement rates are 18% higher on Thursdays and Fridays, and weekdays from 1:00–4:00 p.m. tend to see the highest clickthrough rates. On Fridays, Facebook use spikes by 10%.
The worst times to post on Facebook are weekends before 8:00 a.m. and after 8:00 p.m.
Think of this data as a general guideline, and use it to help you find the optimal posting times for your business.
20. Don’t post too often
Chances are, if you posting dozens of articles each day, you are not posting quality content. Furthermore, you are overwhelming your followers, making it less likely they will continue visiting your page. Try to be selective about posting. Only post something if you believe it is of good quality. Some days that may be ten items, other days it may only be one or two. Regardless, too much of anything doesn’t work on Facebook.
21. Remove links from your post copy
When sharing an article from another website on Facebook, remove the long URL from the text in your post. Users can already click on the generated thumbnail for that URL to navigate to the the article. You want to make sure that any text you input is purely for the sake of sparking the reader’s attention.
22. Monitor your page’s impact with Facebook Insights
Facebook Insights is Facebook's internal analytics tool that helps you measure and analyze your Facebook presence. The tool provides Facebook page administrators with analytics data about Page visits and engagement, which can help you understand which content is and isn't engaging to your fans.
Access your page's Insights here, or by clicking into the 'Admin Panel' on your Page.
23. Schedule posts in advance.
You should post something on your page everyday, but sometimes life gets in the way. We have meetings. We run late. Things come up. But if you schedule Facebook posts, you can be assured that your page will stay active even if you don’t have time to update it. To schedule a post, create a post just like you usually would, but instead of hitting publish hit “Schedule.” Put in the day and time that you want the post to publish, and Facebook will take care of the rest. If you know you are going to be busy, you can take an hour or two to schedule all your content for the upcoming week.
24. Subscribe to Facebook's Official Blog for future announcements from Facebook.
Give yourself a competitive edge by staying on top of the latest announcements from Facebook such as new features and tools by subscribing to the official Facebook Blog.
25. Follow what other real estate agents are doing
While you should always strive for originality on Facebook, it doesn’t hurt to see what the competition is doing. Be sure to check out the Facebook page’s of other agents in your area. It will help you stay on top of trends in your market and give you ideas on how to use your own page. Check out the following links for good examples of agent Facebook pages (notice how they all have vanity URLs):