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Not so stupid Facebook status tricks for real estate professionals

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facebook status update tricks out of scrabble letters

facebook status update tricks out of scrabble lettersYou have a Facebook profile, right? If the answer was yes, please keep reading. If the answer is no, after you give yourself a swift kick in the kiester from me, open a new browser tab and get a Facebook profile!

OK, all set with that now? Good.

As with all social media, there are some good taste guidelines that you should practice when using Facebook. One biggie is that your profile is NOT a business page.

I highly recommend creating a business page (fan page) for yourself to promote your business, but today we are going to discuss using some great tips and tricks to better utilize your personal page without being “spammy” or breaking any Facebook guidelines against promoting your business online.

The power of social media is the immense ability to network. Facebook may be the best place to communicate with a large number of people in your sphere and to re-connect with people that may not know you are in the real estate business.

That being said, I think most of us that utilize and teach social media can all agree that it is a REALLY super bad idea to use your profile to push an endless stream of houses for sale. Your profile is not the computerized version of the Real Estate Book….that would be Craigslist or the Facebook Marketplace.

HOWEVER…

There are some very low key ways to keep your name in front of your Facebook friends as the area real estate authority.

#1- the power of the subtle status update.
I like to post status updates that reference my career without being “salesy”. For example one of my status updates was: “Been out showing bank owned property all day and it is colder inside these places than out!”

This update speaks about the normal course of my day as it relates to real estate without saying, ” Hey you! Yes, YOU! Don’t you want to buy a house with me because I am the most super-de-duper agent you ever saw?”.

Be judicious with these types of updates…sprinkle them like a nice seasoning, enough to remind people what you do without becoming pushy.

#2- ask questions.
The point of Facebook (if you are using as a tool and you ARE, right?) is to enable more engagement and networking within your sphere. People love to be part of something or to be helpful. Ask questions of varied topics that may or may not have something to do with real estate. “What is your favorite Sushi restaurant in town?” may get a great conversation going and remind someone that you are around.

#3- check ins.
Don’t go nuts by checking in all day everywhere you go, but the occasional check-in at a real estate related destination or with a work related comment is a good low key reminder to your sphere. Check in to that sushi place that was recommended with a status like, “taking my client for sushi after showing houses”.

#4- selectively share your update.
There are a number of reasons, both good and nefarious that someone may like this cute little feature. I recently used it when I was looking for help on a gift for my boyfriend and didn’t want to ruin the surprise. You can post a status that is blocked or hidden from specific people. Here is how:
Type your update and you will see this arrow at the lower right hand corner of the box.
Facebook status box customize

after you click it you will choose “customize” and see this:

customize facebook status

At this point you can choose to let only a few people see the post or you could hide it from someone…very handy little trick once you know it is there!

#5- tagging.
Some of you may have noticed how people write a status and list other people’s names who are then highlighted in blue link text. If you don’t know how to do this, it is super simple. All you do is type the “@” symbol and wait for your friend list to show up below the status type. You start to type the person’s name and it will appear. Tagging people is powerful for a few reasons: first, it puts your update on on their wall; secondly it calls their attention to what you are writing about and thirdly it creates a desire to share because they are now connected.

You can also tag businesses that have pages you have “liked”. A great use of tagging might be an update such as (tags are in italics here) , “Thanks to Julie Smith who suggested Saki Sushi as her fave sushi spot in Wondertown . I went there with my client, Mr. Moneybags, yesterday and we loved it!” That status will now appear on Julie’s profile as well as the restaurant’s page, the town’s page and Mr. Moneybag’s profile.

#6- blog posts, videos, photos.
Like all things, these must be in moderation, but it can be very powerful engagement material. If you write a blog post that is real estate related, but may have a more personal or casual slant or is perhaps about the area you live in…share it. Took a great photo at the local park? Share it. These things get people to look at your profile and spend more time there. The more attention that a post gets, the more often it shows up in the newsfeed for other people to see and engage.

#7- share for others.
It is very good ju-ju to occasionally share someone else’s post or to tag someone with something they said that resonated for you. It creates a feeling of goodwill and I find these people will usually pay it forward by sharing something of mine along the way.

#8- be real, but be professional.
This is more advice than trick, but it can be tricky to stay real on Facebook without crossing the line. As a real estate professional we are constantly being watched for our level of professionalism. Be yourself, be honest, but watch what you say and try to keep your tone positive most of the time and your laundry private.

What tricks do you like to use?

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60 Comments

60 Comments

  1. Lisa Heindel

    January 14, 2011 at 1:08 pm

    I was just having this discussion on my FB wall last night with interesting responses from agents (mostly defensive) and consumers (split between liking it and unfriending agents who push listings). I was also reminded that none of us is the boss of anyone else and how they do things on their own wall is none of my business.

    • Lesley Lambert

      January 14, 2011 at 9:47 pm

      Well, of course, we can’t dictate good taste for everyone, but I don’t mind advising it 🙂

  2. Dave Kinkade

    January 14, 2011 at 1:44 pm

    Some very practical advice, Lesley. Thanks. I’ve avoided a personal FB page but what you have said is pretty universal. I think there has to be a balance between business and showing your human-ness (if that’s even a word). I try to balance showing something appealing on our FB fan page (nice house or a photo album) and then add something off the wall and humorous just to keep it light. Nobody wants a continuous commercial or to feel like we are always marketing.

    Guess its time to throw in the towel and get a personal FB profile.

    • Lesley Lambert

      January 14, 2011 at 9:49 pm

      You were supposed to do that BEFORE reading the whole article Dave. So much for following directions. Speaking of directions, I need some to where you are so I can give the promised kick in the keister!

  3. Fred Romano

    January 14, 2011 at 1:57 pm

    Lesley, great tips on using Facebook! I need to do more of these for sure.

  4. dan schuman

    January 14, 2011 at 2:00 pm

    Very good information here, Lesley. I see way too many people who are like an “infomercial”, constantly pushing real estate on their personal page and I think they get tuned out. Your approach seems much better.

  5. Liz Benitez

    January 14, 2011 at 3:31 pm

    I used to be weary of mixing my personal friends and business friends on fb. I learned a lot of setting to help separate them but I didn’t know about the post setting. Thanks for the info.

    • Lesley Lambert

      January 14, 2011 at 10:00 pm

      In our business, the “business friends” and “RL” friends line is pretty blurry, at least that is my experience. Good luck with the lists…hope it helps!

  6. Vickie Wyman

    January 14, 2011 at 10:25 pm

    Excellent tips! Thank you Leslie

  7. Jonathan Dalton

    January 17, 2011 at 10:37 am

    I’ll post new escrows, listings, showing trips, etc. But I’ve also long since stop worried about what I’m posting for the most part. Maybe it’s because I’ve always been cognizant that there are some things I’d say with close friends I wouldn’t broadcast necessarily.

    At the same time, the folks who are on Facebook would hire me more because of familiarity than because of any in-depth analysis of my real estate prowess. It’s a question of being in the right place at the right time. So worrying too much about what you post and therefore not really giving an insight into your personality when it’s your personality that’s going to “sell” you doesn’t make too much sense to me.

    Anytime I see someone overtly pimp their business, I absolutely cringe.

  8. Ken Jansen

    January 17, 2011 at 11:38 am

    Thanks Leslie, great article. I agree you need to be careful not to spam everyone with what you are doing and how you are still in real estate every 2-3 hours. When I see constant posts like that, I tend to block the poster. Moderation and a dash of subtlety works well.

    All the best,

    Ken

  9. Denise Hamlin

    January 17, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    Sage advise Leslie. Keep it low key. It’s fine to talk about what kind of day we’re having, everyone does that. It’s when we start to “sell” ourselves or our listings or actually ask for business it becomes a problem. That’s a total turn off. I have a hairdresser who does all of the above on my FB profile. Fortunately there’s a “hide” button and I never see her updates… Don’t want anyone doing that to me!

  10. Agent for Movoto

    January 17, 2011 at 2:01 pm

    So THAT”S how you customize a status – I figured there had to be a way. Thanks!!

  11. Rebecca Williamson

    January 20, 2011 at 6:59 pm

    Great tips, especially choosing who sees your status updates. I know several people who have avoided joining FB because they feel like their privacy is going to be violated. But, FB has done a great job setting up various privacy settings so you don’t have to reveal everything to everyone. If you’re worried about privacy, take some time to learn FB’s settings so you won’t miss out on this great opportunity to keep in contact with people. Great tips Lesley!

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Social Media

BeReal: Youngsters are flocking in droves to this Instagram competitor app

(SOCIAL MEDIA) As Instagram loses steam due to its standards of “perfection posting,” users are drawn to a similar app with a different approach, BeReal.

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BeReal is one of several “Real” apps exploding in growth with young users who crave real connections with people they know in real life.

According to data.ai, BeReal ranks 4th by downloads in the US, the UK, and France for Q1 2022 to date, behind only Instagram, Snapchat, and Pinterest.

BeReal flies in the face of what social media has become. Instead of curated looks that focus on the beautiful parts of life, BeReal users showcase what they’re doing at the moment and share those real photos with their friends. Their real friends.

It’s real. And real is different for a generation of social media users who have been raised on influencers and filters.

As the app says when you go to its page:

Be Real.

Your Friends

for Real.

Every day at a different time, BeReal users are notified simultaneously to capture and share a Photo in 2 Minutes.

A new and unique way to discover who your friends really are in their daily life.

BeReal app

The app has seen monthly users increase by more than 315% according to Apptopia, which tracks and analyzes app performance.

“Push notifications are sent around the world simultaneously at different times each day,” the company said in a statement. “It’s a secret on how the time is chosen every day, it’s not random.”

The app allows no edits and no filters. They want users to show a “slice of their lives.”

Today’s social media users have seen their lives online inundated with ultra-curated social media. The pandemic led to more time spent online than ever. Social media became a way to escape. Reality was ugly. Social media was funny, pretty, and exciting.

And fake.

Enter BeReal where users are asked to share two moments of real life on a surprise schedule. New apps are fun often because they’re new. However, the huge growth in the use of BeReal by college-aged users points to something more than the new factor.

For the past several years, experts have warned that social media was dangerous to our mental health. The dopamine hits of likes and shares are based on photos and videos filled with second and third takes, lens changes, lighting improvements, and filters. Constant comparisons are the norm. And even though we know the world we present on our social pages isn’t exactly an honest portrayal of life, we can’t help but experience FOMO when we see our friends and followers and those we follow having the times of their lives, buying their new it thing, trying the new perfect product, playing in their Pinterest-worthy decorated spaces we wish we could have.

None of what we see is actually real on our apps. We delete our media that isn’t what we want to portray and try again from a different angle and shoot second and third and forth takes that make us look just a little better.

We spend hours flipping through videos on our For You walls and Instagram stories picked by algorithms that know us better than we know ourselves.

BeReal is the opposite of that. It’s simple, fast, and real. It’s community and fun, but it’s a moment instead of turning into the time-sink of our usual social media that, while fun, is also meant to ultimately sell stuff, including all our data.

It will be interesting to watch BeReal and see if it continues down its promised path and whether the growth continues. People are looking for something. Maybe reality is that answer.

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Team of deaf engineers at Snap create feature to help users learn ASL

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Snapchat engineers known as the “Deafengers” have created an ASL Alphabet Lens to help users learn the basics of ASL.

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Snap ASL feature

A team of Deaf and hard-of-hearing Snapchat engineers known as the “Deafengers” at the company have created an ASL Alphabet Lens to help users learn the basics of American Sign Language.

Using AR Technology, the Lens teaches users to fingerspell their names, practice the ASL Alphabet and play games to “put their new skills to the test.”

The Lens, launched last month, is the first of its kind and encourages users to learn American Sign Language.

In a press release Snapchat said, “For native signers, in a world where linguistic inequity is prevalent, we believe AR can help evolve the way we communicate. We look forward to learning more from our community as we strive to continuously improve experiences for everyone on Snapchat.”

Austin Vaday, one of the deaf engineers who helped develop the Lens said helping the world understand sign language is important. He shared his story with NBC correspondent Erin McLaughlin on TODAY after the Lens was released.

Vaday didn’t learn American Sign Language until he was 12. Before then he relied mostly on lip-reading to communicate. ASL changed his life. That life-changing moment helped inspire the ASL Alphabet Lens.

The ASL Alphabet Lens was designed and developed over six months in partnership with SignAll.

There are approximately 48 million deaf and hard of hearing people in the United States, according to the National Association of the Deaf.

Vaday said the ASL Alphabet Lens came from the desire to find a way to appropriately and properly educate people so they can communicate with those who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Vaday said the team focused on the core values of intelligence, creativity, and empathy while working on the project and it’s a step to opening communication for all Snap users with the deaf and hard of hearing community.

The ASL Alphabet Lens is available to all Snapchat users.

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Social Media

Easily spot if your social media marketing service provider is a con artist

(BUSINESS) When hiring a professional marketing service, did you know there are actual questions you can ask to spot a con artist?

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con-artist

In this day and age the cult of positive thinking and “the law of attraction” are still very much alive and well in the business services industry. Here are a few simple questions that you can ask prospective business service providers to help you gauge if they are the real deal or just caught up in the fad of “say yes to everything,” or “outsource everything” being populated online by countless “thought leaders” and cult gurus. Classic con artist.

Lots of people will ask, “What’s the harm of people trying to make something of themselves?”

Well, I’m here to tell you there is huge harm in taking risks with a client’s money and manipulating people into trusting their “expertise” when they have none.

Business owners: Due diligence is more important than ever these days.

There are whole communities of people helping to prop each other up as experts in fields they know nothing about while outsourcing their tasks with little or no oversight into the actual work being done on your behalf.

It is nearly impossible for you to tell if this is even going on. Don’t worry. I am here to help you avoid a con artist.

How? By showing you how to weed out the bad actors by asking really simple questions.

This set of questions is perfect for people who need to distinguish if the expert they are talking to is really just an expert in bullshit with a likable personality.

Why do these questions work? Because people who are into this kind of stuff are rarely hesitant to talk about it when you ask them direct questions. They believe that what they are doing is a good thing and so they are more open to sharing this information with you because they think by you asking that you are also into similar things.

It is a fun little trick I picked up while learning to do consumer polling and political surveying.

The Questions:

    • Who influences you professionally?

 

    • Do you follow any “thought leaders” “gurus” or coaches? If so, who?

 

    • What “school” of thought do you ascribe to in your profession, and where do you learn what you know?

 

    • Are there any industry standards you do not agree with?

 

    • How do you apply the services you offer to your own company?

 

    • Can you please tell me the background of your support staff and can I see their CVs?

 

    • Do you outsource or white label any of the work your company does?

 

    • May we audit your process before buying your services?

 

    • May we discuss your proposed strategies with others in your industry to ensure quality?

 

    • Would you be open to speaking with an independent consultant that is knowledgeable about your industry about your proposals?

 

    • Can you show me examples of your past successful jobs?

 

    • Do you have any industry-accepted certifications and how many hours of study do you do in a year to keep your knowledge up-to-date and current?

 

    • How many clients have you had in the past?

 

    • How many clients do you have currently?

 

    • How many clients are you able to handle at one time?

 

    • How many other clients do you have that are in the same industry as my company?

 

    • How long is your onboarding process before we start getting down to actually making changes to help solve the issues my company is facing?

 

    • Can you explain to me the steps you will take to identify my company’s needs?

 

    • Have you ever taken a course in NLP or any other similar course of study?

 

    • Have you ever been a part of a Multi-Level Marketing company?

Fun. Right? Well, we aren’t done.

It is not just enough to ask these questions… you have to pay attention to the answers, as well as the WAY they are answering questions.

And you also have to RESEARCH the company after you get your answers to make sure they ring true.

You cannot keep accepting people at face value, not when the risk is to your business, employees, and clients. There is little to no risk for a person who is being dishonest about their capabilities and skillsets. They will walk away with your money, ready to go find another target for a chance meeting that seems amazingly perfect.

Do not leave your business decisions to chance encounters at networking events. Research before saying yes.

No matter how likable or appealing the person you are speaking with is.

How do you research? Easy. THE INTERNET. Look at the website of the company you are considering working with.

    • Does it look professional? (do not use your website as a standard for professionals unless you have had it done by a professional)

 

    • Can you see a list of their past clients?

 

    • Do they effectively tell their story as a company or are they just selling?

 

    • What do their social media profiles look like? Do they have many followers? Are they updated regularly?

 

    • Do they have any positive reviews on social sites? (Yelp, Facebook, Linkedin, etc)

 

You can also do some simple things like running SEO Website Checkers on their websites. There are tons of these online for free and they will give you a pretty good indicator of if they are using best practices on their websites – you can even do this research on their clients’ websites.

Also, if you know anything about SpyFu, you can run their website through that to see how they are doing their own online marketing (the same can be said for their clients if they are selling this service).

Facebook also has a cool section that shows you ads that a Page is running. You can find this info connected to their business Page as well as the Pages they manage for their clients as well. None of these things automatically disqualify a potential service provider, but their answers to the question of “why” things are the way there are might be very illuminating to you as a business owner.

This may seem like a lot of work, and it can be if you do not do these things regularly and have them down to a system, but the cost of not doing these things is way too high. A con artist is born every day, thanks to the internet.

You have a right as a business owner considering services from a vendor to ask these questions.

They also have the responsibility as a service provider to answer these questions in a professional manner. Sometimes the way in which they answer the questions is far more important than the actual answer.

If all of this seems too overwhelming for you to handle, that is okay.

    • You can ask one of your staff in your company to take on this role and responsibility.

 

    • You can hire someone to come in and help you with these decisions (and you can ask them all the same questions as above before taking their services).

 

    • You can reach out to other business owners in your network to see if they have recommendations for someone who could help you with things.

 

    • Heck, you can even call up companies that look like they are doing as well as you want to be doing online and ask them who they are using for their services. Try successful companies in other industries as your competitor won’t likely be interested in sharing their secrets with you…

 

What is important is that you are asking questions, researching, and ultimately making sure that you are doing as much as possible to ensure making the best decision for your company.

Final thoughts:

“But, Jay, what’s wrong with taking a risk on an up-and-comer?”

The answer to that is NOTHING. There is nothing wrong with taking a chance on someone. Someone being green doesn’t make them a con artist.

The issue I am raising is in the honest portrayal of businesses and their capabilities. It is about honesty.

I am a huge fan of working with people who are new and passionate about an industry. But I only work with people who are honest with me about who they are, what they can do, and how their processes work.

I have worked with tons of people who are still learning on the job. It can be quite educational for a business owner as well.

Just make sure they are being honest about everything upfront. You are not obligated to give anyone a chance when it comes to your business’s success, and it’s not right that someone might manipulate you into doing so.

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