I found this great blog post on ActiveRain this morning written by R. Greg Osmond who’s up in Canada.
I think it’s got a lot of great information on why REALTORS® should be getting into and using Facebook, unfortunately it was an ActiveRain members only post. I contacted him through Facebook and let him know I wanted to share it on my blog. He was kind enough to give me permission to post it here since I couldn’t link out to it.
So please do give it a read and while you’re at it drop by his web site by clicking on his name above, or by clicking HERE and if you’re so inclined add him as a friend.
Honestly, about 6 months ago, I was among the sceptics about Facebook. I thought I was too busy to be engaged in people’s lives over the internet, that it was only for people who had little to do and I thought there were real privacy issues on Facebook that I didn’t have time to sort out. Then one day it dawned on me just how powerful Facebook was. I had an “a huh!” experience!
Facebook allows me to connect with so many more people than I would ever have time for in person. It enables me to engage in the lives of my friends who I have been feeling guilty about never calling. If there are things I want to keep private about my life, then I just don’t put them on Facebook or I take a few minutes to set up my privacy settings. It’s really easy.
For me, Facebook is just an extension of who I am in real life. I am normally “greg”arious (and a pun lover) so anything that helps me reach out and interact with more people is right up my ally. In my view, Facebook is almost a “Godsend” for Realtors who use it properly.
So what do I do on Facebook?
I spend a few minutes throughout the day making comments, adding links, reading what others are saying and generally interacting in people’s lives. In other contexts we call it networking. If I am too busy today, I will give it a few minutes tomorrow. But I try to say something on Facebook every day.
Here are seven “top of mind” things that I do that have a significant impact on generating business for me now.
1. I look for ways to say something positive, encouraging or engaging to my friends who post a status update. Let’s face it. People post to their status to be connect with others. When I notice them, they like it and that makes them connect with me.
One of the challenges for Realtors today is to be noticed by people who are looking for real estate services. Have you looked at the Real estate ads lately? There are far too many Realtors trying to get noticed in all the same places. Facebook is a real online space where few are competing with me so it’s easy to be noticed and easy to connect with them.
2. I post comments to my status too. These are about real estate, market statistics and my thoughts about what is happening in the market or anything I am doing in my business. This gives real estate information to my friends who without asking have learned a little bit about me and my profession. It also shows them I am active in the business.
Here is an example of my status update. R. Greg Osmond “Just appraised a home in St. John’s. The market is changing a little.” Someone may then comment, “How so?” I smile and answer for all to read. How easy it is to establish yourself as a Real Estate professional among friends!
3. I post a link to my blog whenever I write something new. Of course I exclude “members only” posts but these are very few; this one is an exception. My primary service is to my local market place so that is where I focus when writing new content. Posting my blog to Facebook draws outside readers into my blog and website and therefore improves my Google juice. It also shows my friends that they can count on me as one who is an active real estate professional in their lives; someone who they are getting to know and trust a little more every day.
Cartoon by Dave Walker. Find more cartoons you can freely re-use on your blog at We Blog Cartoons.
4. I try to add a few new people every week that I have something or someone in common with. The greater the number of people who I can communicate with in a meaningful way, the better it is for my business. I look for things that we have in common to add them as friends. These are friends of friends, people like me who are interested in golf, music, university, squash, hiking, fishing or anything else I am interested in. Some people won’t accept my request for friendship but many will. I don’t take that rejection personal. It’s the internet for crying out loud. They don’t know that I am not a pervert so they have a right to refuse. It never bothers me.
5. I give away things on Facebook. If I am trying to get rid of something that has some value to someone but not much value to me I post it to the Marketplace Application. It costs me nothing but it does bring attention to my profile. People can then see that I am a Realtor in the community and I begin to be that person in their sphere of acquaintances who is available to consult whenever they need real estate service.
6. I post links to real estate articles, other blog posts with interesting information and helpful hints that I find on the internet. They don’t all have to do with real estate but they are always of some value. Some might just be for a laugh. A small amount of comic relief for friends is not a bad thing. Most of my links are helpful information though. I try to help others be better educated about things. I rather being known as a serious Realtor who likes a good laugh than a joker who is hardly ever serious.
7. I post photos and links to my listings as soon as they are on the market. Who knows, one of my friends may be looking for a home and I may have the one they like. Even if they don’t want that one, we may begin the process of looking for the right one for them. If you are there on Facebook you can offer your assistance to anyone with a private message. When someone picks up on this, you will be growing your business.
I have met and conversed with many people about real estate in the last six months just by being active on Facebook. I see the impact of my presence there growing more every day. If you haven’t started yet, I recommend you begin today. If you are on Facebook but you are not using it then you are missing out on a great opportunity to connect with many people professionally and dynamically. I recommend that you be there and be engaged.
If anyone would like to join me and see how I interact with my friends I would invite you to add me as a friend and we can learn from each other. Facebook is one of the greatest tools for building relationships that modern day technology has brought us because it is dynamic, interactive and live.
If you have issues with Facebook, you should get over them now and act before your competition does. Social media is growing at a phenomenal rate and it will become one of the most powerful ways to connect with your clients in the years to come. Facebook will definitely build your business if you give it a little time and effort. Start and let’s be friends today!
R. Greg Osmond is a Platinum Award winning Realtor serving St. John’s and surrounding areas, Newfoundland and Labrador for over 20 years and can be reached at 709-895-2500. Visit http://www.rgregosmond.com/ for further information or add him as a friend on Facebook.