Chances are you've already been dabbling in the world of Facebook. If you're currently using your Facebook business page and want information on how to connect your listings by using a Facebook app, skip to "How do I add listings to my Facebook page?".
For the rest of us, let's start at the beginning with a very basic question:
Why do I need a Facebook business page?
For most of your clients (especially 25-34 year olds- the age group with the largest number of first-time home buyers) searching for a person or business on Facebook is second nature. In fact, because of the ability to connect with someone directly on Facebook, many people are accustomed to looking for the Facebook page for a person or business before searching for them on Google. Due to the widespread use of Facebook, clients expect you to have a presence on this platform and you should not disappoint- even if social media isn't the way you prefer to interact with your clients.
But why should you use a business page instead of a personal profile (timeline)? Simply put, Facebook affords different privileges to businesses on Facebook that individual users do not have, such as an unlimited number of followers (personal pages are limited to 5,000 "friends") and in-depth page analytics.
How do I create one?
You must first have a personal Facebook account in order to create a page for your business. Log in to your personal account and follow these steps for creating a page:
1. Go to www.facebook.com/pages and click +Create Page
2. Click Local Business or Place and select the category Real Estate, then fill out the information fields.
3. Agree to the terms of service and click Get Started
4. Follow the steps to upload a profile photo, add a few "About me" sentences, and select your Facebook URL. (Note: This can either be your name or a combination of your name and business. Examples include Facebook.com/BobJones, Facebook.com/BobJonesRealEstate, Facebook.com/EverytownRealEstate)
5. Facebook will now take you through a series of steps to finalize the page setup and become familiar with your page.
6. The next thing you should do is add a cover photo. Click +Add a Cover and then Upload Photo. Images for this space should be at least 851 pixels wide by 315 pixels tall and should comply with Facebook's rules for cover images.
7. Check your email for further instructions from Facebook on how to learn more about your page and grow your fan base.
Watch our tutorial video to see these steps in action.
How to I add listings to my Facebook page?
The easiest way to display your listings on your new business page is by creating a tab on your page using a third-party app. ePropertySites provides a free Facebook app for anyone who has a property uploaded to ePropertySites. To install the app, go to apps.facebook.com/epropertysites-com (or search Facebook for ePropertySites Facebook App) and follow the installation instructions.
Once the installation is complete you will have a new Homes for Sale tab just under your cover photo that stays updated with all of your current listings, photos, and information.
Watch our tutorial video to see how the app works once it's intsalled.
NAR's 2011 REALTOR® Technology Survey Report states that 91% of real estate agents and 90% of brokers use social media. Even if you prefer to use the good, old-fashioned telephone or postal service to keep in touch with your clients, don't place yourself in the unfortunate situation of being one of the 9% of agents who don't have a Facebook page. Maintaining a presence on Facebook- even if you focus on other methods as your main forms of communication- will help make sure clients who search online are able to find you and connect with you.