250,000 new registrations daily. 246,000 users in Chicago. 273,000 users in New York City. 120,000 users in Dallas. And over 100 Million users worldwide. With thousands of users in even the smallest cities, many of whom will need to buy or sell a home in the next 12-24 months, there are few places that offer more promising potential to find real estate related leads. We are, of course, talking about Facebook. Whether you’ve never heard of it or are looking to squeeze a little more power out of the site, this series will provide a fresh insight into the world of Facebook. In the first of this three-part series we’ll be looking into how Facebook can help real estate professionals generate more business and increase their marketing effectiveness.
Facebook is a social networking website that allows users to interact with friends and take part in discussions and groups created by other users. Setting up an account is fairly self explanatory from the site’s homepage at Facebook.com.
There are several misconceptions about Facebook that need to be addressed before we get started:
Facebook is just a big waste of time – It sure can be. There’s plenty of fun applications and features in Facebook that are absolutely worthless when it comes to business. And there are some that are priceless. It, like everything else, is what you make of it. These articles aim to keep real estate professionals on the right track and away from the clutter. We’ll be looking at what makes Facebook effective for business, especially real estate. All the other fun and exciting (time wasting) features can easily be ignored.
It’s only for college kids – This is how it began. In the early days, it was a place for college students to meet others at their school. Now, however, it’s becoming one of the most effective business tools for people of any age. In fact, today, users age 26-44 make up over 45% of the total Facebook userbase.
It’s just for “socializing,” not for business – There are features built into Facebook, as we will see, that are primarily meant to be business tools. From their brilliant advertising system, to fan pages, to the news feed, there’s no other system in the world that’s able to create buzz as quickly or effectively as Facebook.
Facebook builds relationships on a whole new level. As a real estate professional, the goal of your business is to build relationships and generate leads that will turn into sales. Traditionally this is done through local advertising, door-knocking, cold-calls, etc. – anything that will get your name and image to the public. What Facebook does best is allow you to meet these potential clients, just as you would offline, but on a much larger scale. As I mentioned, there’s over 245,000 users in Chicago alone, if you’re a real estate professional in the Chicago area, that’s tens of thousands of people who may be looking to buy or sell a home that you can reach out to, for free.
Leverage is what makes Facebook different from offline marketing. Door knocking can work, I’ve heard of many agents making a great income from just door knocking; however, their success is limited by the number of doors they can physically knock on. Facebook turns this model upside down. By putting a profile online and interacting with other users (as we’ll see tomorrow) on a large scale, clients will being to knock on YOUR door. You’ll have hundreds of potential clients seeing your name, viewing your information and building a relationship with you.
Part 2 is Coming Tomorrow. Now that we’ve seen what Facebook is capable of, Part 2 will go into more details on how to use Facebook to actually find leads and generate real estate business. And I want to stress the importance of having an account, understanding how to navigate the site and “wrapping your head around” the concept of Facebook before we start the second part. Take some time to look over the site and understand the basic concepts. As always, leave a comment or email me if you need any help.