Jen Lysak, associate with the Lakeland (Fla.) market center, wasn’t always on the social media bandwagon. But when her lead generation Websites weren’t drawing as many leads as she’d hoped, she turned to her operating principal, Chris McLaughlin, for advice. “He suggested I dive into Facebook marketing,” she says.
At first, Lysak’s skepticism got the best of her. “It seemed like a waste of time.” But she decided to follow the wisdom of her leader – and she’s glad she did. In 2011, the consistent $1 million to $2 million producer singlehandedly doubled her business, selling $5 million worth of homes. She largely credits that success to her Facebook strategy. “I get an average of 10 Facebook leads every week,” says Lysak. “People do business with people they know and like. So I make friends and share things about my personal life so they can get to know me.”
Here are Lysak’s 6 Steps to Effective Facebook Marketing
1. Build Your Facebook Database
“Friend” every client and then subscribe to their SMS feed. Visit your Mobile Settings to turn the notifications on. Every time a client posts a status update, you’ll receive a text message. When appropriate, respond.
2. Communicate Like a Real Person
When responding, “talk” to people as if they were a close friend you care about. Be yourself and be genuine. “People are so touched when they post about having a cold and I ask them if they are feeling better or if they need anything,” Lysak says. Real estate, after all, is still a relationship business, and maintaining relationships with hundreds of people doesn’t take her more than 15 minutes a day via Facebook.
3. Drop Casual Reminders (Don't Overdo It)
Lysak uses the Facebook "Check-In" feature to let friends know she was at a new listing. In the comment area, she writes, “Coming soon …” and offers a few details about the house. She also adds a photo of the home. Lysak calls the strategy a low-key way to remind people of what she does and alert other real estate agents that she has a new listing their clients may want to tour.
4. Use Life Events as Opportunities to Connect
Reach out to people who are in a transitional place in their life, offer appropriate condolences or congratulations, and ask if they need your help moving to the next stage of their life. “If someone is getting divorced, I message them and tell them how sorry I am. Then I offer to help them with any questions they have about their home,” Lysak says. “If they just got married, I congratulate them and offer to help them find a new home. If the relationship is there, asking for the business is easy.”
5. Share Your Clients' Excitement
Congratulate friends for buying their first home at a really great price and offer details of the transaction. “When I sell the house, I post a picture of the buyers with house keys in their hand and write a comment about how happy I am for them. Then I tag them in the photo so all their friends see it,” Lysak says. “Usually, they write me back and thank me for all my help, which turns into a testimonial. You can’t pay for that kind of marketing.”
6. Integrate Other Online Lead Gen Channels
Route everything to your eEdge Website where consumers can sign up for specific search results and your myMarketing campaigns. “Any time I post about my business on Facebook, I send people to my eEdge Website to sign up for my IDX search.” In fact, her eEdge Website URL is on every marketing piece including her voicemail. “eEdge is the No.1 advantage Keller Williams offers. Tying it to my Facebook strategy allows me to further promote my brand AND capture all the leads that come in.”
Like all lead generation activities, just because Lysak asks for the business doesn’t mean it’s an automatic win. Some married couples are in an apartment lease for the next 12 months. Some new parents don’t have the budget to move into a larger house yet. But Lysak is planting a seed, and because she is connected with future buyers and sellers on Facebook, she’s just an instant message away.
“Just be real. Ask questions and don’t forget this is a relationship business,” Lysak says. “Get on Facebook and reach out to people so they feel like you care. It pays dividends.”