About Eric Blackwell

For the last 10 years, Eric Blackwell has been actively helping REALTORS® master online marketing. He has been the Director of Technology for a large brokerage in Louisville Kentucky. He has been teaching, coaching and helping REALTORS®, teams and brokerages to succeed in the emerging online real estate marketplace.

Holiday Facebook Ideas to Build Your Sphere

For many of us, Facebook and other social media can seem like a waste of time, and yet we know that many of our clients and their friends are on Facebook.

So it’s clearly not a waste of our time IF we can connect. We want to reach them, but don’t want to spend all day, every day on our social media efforts. So what’s an agent to do?

We want effective steps to attract people to us that will generate leads and referrals and help us expand our sphere, and yet be able to avoid the pitfalls of losing sales time productivity.  Here are some ideas to help you with that!

1. Reach Out to Your Entire Sphere. Build Your Database.
Step one is to “Friend” every client and then subscribe to their SMS feed. If you go to your Mobile Settings to turn on Notifications, when a client posts a status update you’ll receive a text message. When it’s appropriate, respond to their status. This creates conversations with your sphere that keep you top of mind. (Note: you may want to be selective about this option so your text messages are not going off all the time. It’s your call on who to do this with.)

2. Be Real. Be Authentic. Communicate That Way.
This is advice I’ve given for years. These people are your close friends, people you care about, or people to whom you WANT to become close. Be genuine, even if you’re just sending a wish that they feel better soon. Real estate is, has, and will remain a relationship business, and I watched many TREG agents connect authentically with their clients at the Toys & Trees for Kids event. The great part is that maintaining relationships doesn’t take more than 15 minutes a day via Facebook, and it reaches a lot of your sphere.

3. Keep Top of Mind, but Low Profile.
When you “check in” at new listings to let Facebook friends know about them, you can add a few details about the home, along with a photo. This is a more low-key approach than posting it as a status update, yet the effect is the same. The main thing is to subtly (that’s the key) remind people of what you do without annoying them. “Checking in” is a great way to accomplish this!

4. Meet Them Where There are Transitions in Life.
Just as is true of the offline world, the social web and Facebook in general offer us a chance to connect with people at the perfect time. When we’re in tune with their status updates, relationships changes, and comments, we can approach them at the right time in the right way. Asking for business is easier when we know that they are getting married, divorced, moving, downsizing, or any of the other phases of life. It also allows us to be an empathetic resource. This actually SAVES us time to be able to create these opportunities and makes us more efficient. How much easier is it to do this via the social web than ever before?

5. Share the Love! Extend Your Reach to Friends of Your Clients
Here’s an approach some are using successfully to get referrals 2012/2013 style: congratulate your clients on the purchase of their home. Include a few details about why this was a big success for them! Tell them that you are excited for them. Share the love.

Then comes step two. Share a photo of them in front of the home, with a Sold sign, keys, or just with big old smiles on their faces. Now it’s time to invite their friends to the game! Tag your clients in the photo. All of their Facebook friends will then see the photo on THEIR feeds. It’s a powerful form of marketing because you just (in effect) got referrals without even asking for them.

Think about that: how much would you pay to have your clients tell all their friends that they used you as their REALTOR®? And with a picture showing they’re super happy about it? This does that automagically.

6. Bring Them Home to Your TREG Website.
Once you’ve connected with people, invite them over to your place to search for homes. TREG websites are set up so you can keep them looking for homes and coming back to your site until they are ready. This is CRUCIAL. You need to transition a person from Facebook to your personal website; doing so takes them from being a friend of a friend that you bumped into on Facebook and gives you their email, consistent contact with them, and an excuse to keep in touch.

7. Focus on Creating Offline Opportunities.
The goal of everything you do in online marketing is to EVENTUALLY get them offline and meeting you face-to-face. (You would be surprised how many REALTORS® miss this one!) Keep in mind that while that does NOT mean being pushy, it does require you to look for opportunities to interact offline. Welcome to the holidays! This time of year is GREAT for efficiently using the social web to reconnect with people and create “pop-by” opportunities! While others are relaxing, now is the perfect time to start filling your pipeline for the first of the year. These sorts of casual meetings can really produce results. Much of the training we do at The Real Estate Group is designed to help you build your business “holistically” and successfully. With a little practice and effort, your conversion from replying on Facebook to a successful business opportunity will become smooth and effective.

One last thing. These strategies work…but just like fishing, you’re not going to catch fish with every cast or with every piece of bait you offer. It takes a little bit of practice, time, and skill to start doing this effectively, but it does work, and using these ideas will provide you with an efficient basis on which to start building your sphere with Facebook as a lead source!

Have you tried this? What has been your experience?

 

About Eric Blackwell

For the last 10 years, Eric Blackwell has been actively helping REALTORS® master online marketing. He has been the Director of Technology for a large brokerage in Louisville Kentucky. He has been teaching, coaching and helping REALTORS®, teams and brokerages to succeed in the emerging online real estate marketplace.