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Not so stupid Facebook status tricks for real estate professionals

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.

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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.

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#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.

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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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Written By

Lesley offers 21 years experience in real estate, public speaking and training. Lesley has a degree in communications and was the recipient of an international award for coordinating media in real estate. In the course of her career Lesley has presented at international real estate conferences and state REALTOR associations, hosted a real estate television program, written articles for trade magazines and created marketing and PR plans for many individuals, companies and non-profits.

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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