Marketing real estate and prospecting for new clients in 2016 had come a long way over the last 10-20 years. If your marketing is still stuck somewhere in the Flintstones era, then you may be finding it rather difficult to keep up with the new trends of selling real estate today.
Without any doubt, the transition into the new digital age had changed everything, including how buyers look for homes and how business is done in every industry. Unfortunately, those who are not willing to invest into their own education by adapting to the online world, are going to find themselves foot paddling at their own pace while others are beating them to the finish lines.
Home sellers, rightfully expect real estate agents to bring their “A” game to the table and turn every rock over to find a buyer for their property. If you are finding it a bit challenging to gain new clients and to be successful in real estate, then you need to bootstrap yourself and buckle your seat belt because what you are to learn about Facebook marketing is going to be the game changer that you may have been looking for. I am going to show you how to use Facebook to boost your real estate marketing! With these Facebook real estate tips you may start to actually see some actual business coming your way.
The Good Old Days of Marketing
In 2005 when I first got licensed and started selling real estate in Calgary, my broker told me that if I want to be successful in real estate, I need to connect with people every day. He suggested to lock myself into a room for 2-3 hours and prospect like there is no tomorrow. As much as this makes sense in theory, after the first 20 minutes I had decided that I rather go and wash dirty dishes, instead of being an annoyance to people. I am sure that there are many real estate agents still cold calling and being successful at it, but being on the phone with people who hung up on me just wasn’t my gig.
Cold calling may have worked in the 80’s and 90’s. When someone’s phone had ringed at dinner time, they were happy to answer it just for the sake of someone being interested in calling them. Then came the professional telemarketers who had ruined it for everyone. Fast forward 20-30 years to 2016, if you tried calling someone at 6:00p.m. today, almost nobody would answer their telephone. Also never mind the fact that fewer people have landlines, as there are more cell phones than people on the planet.
There is also the good old “farming” a neighborhood and sending out print advertisement to be top of mind when someone is planning on selling or buying. This has worked for many seasoned agents in the past and there may still be an opportunity again as less people are interested in printing flyers. There are however two problems that I see with print media. It costs a ton of money every month to print and mail your advertisement and a large percentage of your real estate flyers never get looked at and they go directly into the recycling bin. This is of course unless you are being very creative as mentioned in the article I have provided.
Facebook the Paradigm Shift
As you can tell, in the old days most marketers were just shooting from the hip and hoping that something is going to work. Unfortunately not too many people like to admit their failures, but I can tell you that you can quickly get into spending tens of thousands of dollars if you are not willing to keep up with technology and scientifically measure the return on your investment.
Suffering from Marketing ADD
The most popular advertising messages that real estate agents send out when they do direct mail marketing are Just Listed, Just Sold and Open Houses. While many of these ideas are quite original, they can be still used effectively, but the conversion time may take forever and often people need to see your mail 15-20 times before they see you as an authority in their community.
Unfortunately with old fashioned mail outs, all we are able to do is “carpet bomb” the entire neighborhood and rely on a small number of people to respond to us. This can be a very ineffective way of marketing if the target audience is not selected wisely. Unfortunately it is practically impossible to hand-pick a desired audience.
Using Science to Market with Facebook
96% of all home buyers utilize the power of the internet during their home search process. People still spend billions of dollars each year on newspaper advertising, but it’s really no different from going fishing in a pond where aren’t any fish. If people are on the internet, shouldn’t we try to connect with our clients where they hang out at?
80% of the time when marketing efforts fail, it is usually the result of missing a key element of basic marketing fundamentals. When it comes to marketing, the golden rule of being effective can be boiled down to three basic pillars.
- Need to speak to the right audience
- You must have the right message
- The timing has to make sense for the client
It appears that Facebook has hit a home run by delivering all three pillars to marketers at a fraction of a cost compared to what we have been paying in the past. Let’s use community mail-outs as an example and find out why it isn’t working for most REALTORS any longer and what Facebook is able offer in contrast to print media. You can take a look at some innovative Facebook marketing for real estate, as well as Re-targeting which I will explain.
Identifying Your Potential Clients
Facebook has done an incredible job with collecting reasonably credible information from its users. When someone gets engaged, changes jobs, moves to a new city or announces the arrival of a new baby is captured by Facebook because users voluntarily enter their information. Knowing that people typically relocate when lifestyle changes occur we can safely assume that shortly after someone gets married or celebrates a newborn, there is a good chance that they are going to be involved in a real estate transaction.
With Facebook Ads you can also chose to only display your ad to a segment who has an income that would be necessary to purchase the property that you are having up for sale. As an example, if you were to list a luxury home for sale over a million dollars, then the individual would need to earn so much to qualify for financing.
Next you can dig a little deeper when you are identifying your avatar and ask the question of where the buyers are moving from? In this case if you were to go after first time home buyers in the lower price category of the market, you could target them by not only income, but you can identify them by geographical location based on zip codes. Or you can only market to real estate investors who are looking for fixer-uppers.
The Facebook Audience Tool allows you to accurately pin-point your target audience. This is known as Facebook re-targeting. When your ad isn’t performing to your expectations, reviewing the selected audience should be the first place where you need to go to make adjustments. You can see a very good explanation of how to use re-targeting for your real estate business in the article above.
Are the They Ready for You?
When someone visits your website, most of the time they are not ready to engage with you just yet. Most online users love the fact that they can safely hide behind their computers screens while they are collecting data and preparing themselves for the big decision that they are about to make. It may be some time before they will pull the trigger. While time passes, your website can have a major influence in building trust with your future clients, but in order for that to happen, you need to lure them back to your website.
With Facebook “Re-targeting” you can also create ads to only show up on those Facebook user’s news feeds who have been to your website over a specified period of time. This is a great, effective way of remaining at top of mind to everyone who has been on your website in the past.
Measure Your Facebook Efforts to Improve Results
Once you have created your ad, you need to be able to test to see how the audience is responding. Back in the days, marketing firms needed to send out sample materials to a smaller segment and they engineered different types of methods to respond or call to actions by which they were able to gauge which marketing material received the highest amount of engagement. Sometimes this could have taken them weeks or months and great expense to analyze the data.
Facebook makes this so easy by providing analytical comparisons of details such as what age group, gender, location, devices were used. Once you have reviewed the results, you can narrow your audience and you can start running your actual ad. You’ll be surprised to lean that it will cost you pennies on the dollar if you were to compare it to the “old school” of doing marketing.
This is just one way you can use Facebook to improve your real estate business!
Other Helpful Real Estate Social Media Articles
- Using Pinterest For Real Estate via Massachusetts Real Estate News.
- Using Google Plus For Real Estate via Inman News.
- Using Linkedin For Real Estate via Your Professionals Network – National Association of Realtors.
- How to promote real estate content via RESAAS.
About the author: Using Facebook to Rocket Boost Real Estate Marketing was written by Joe Samson. Joe is a real estate agent in Calgary, AB and he has been in the business for 11 years and counting. Ever since the beginning of his career, Joe had focused on online marketing and building a successful real estate website in the Calgary market. Spending time learning new techniques of online marketing and collaborating with other marketing experts is at the forefront of Joe’s passion and it is the driver to help his clients to sell and buyer real estate.
Really good tips, thank you for sharing
I think that Facebook is the most powerful social media tools at the moment.
Joe – This is a super article with great advice on how to leverage facebook better. So glad this is working well for you. Hats off to Bill for hosting this article.
Wherever you may be, Facebook is proven to be the best way to reach your business’ prospects and customers. Maximizing its uses and features will make a big help in your business popularity.
Many thanks Joe very interesting ideas