Last week I taught a class that I recently wrote called “The Facebook Money Machine…your next client is on Facebook” at a local Association of REALTORS®.
We had about 20 agents and brokers show up and for the next 90 minutes they learned about my vision for using the social media giant to locate and connect with highly targeted and motivated buyers and/or sellers.
During the class, one question came up that I was thrilled to hear as it may mean that YOU are thinking about your web presence and how it is working (or NOT working) for you.
One of the premises of the class was that agents are missing out by not having Facebook business/fan pages. I maintain that an agent should have three different types of fan pages, one that is a stand in for your real estate website, one that is a single property listing page for your listing (a separate one for each listing) and one that is a lead generator (as many of these as you have target markets). It was during this portion of the presentation that the question came up. I then went on to demonstrate what each type of page looks like, and how to either build them or get them built.
What was the question you ask? It was this: “So if I set up a Facebook fan page as my real estate website, do I really need to keep my existing site?”
Now you may think that you know the answer that I gave, but the reality may surprise you. My answer was YES, you need to maintain a separate from Facebook website. And the reason behind the answer was that I don’t fully trust Facebook to NOT change the rules somewhere down the road…I mean their track record for stability in the interface is not good…have you converted to Timeline on your profile yet? Their Privacy changes are legendary and the list goes on.
So, for something as critical to my business as my web presence, I want to have control. I want to put my information and content on a web property that I control. And THEN bring it into Facebook. That way if Facebook changes the rules at sometime in the future in such a way that I can no longer use them as my web presence, I am still online and still able to compete.
But, and this is the big but, most agent real estate websites don’t generate enough motivated leads, much less enough closed transactions to cover the expense of maintaining them. So what should you do? Keep throwing money at this situation, or gamble on Facebook?
Here are a couple of thoughts that I have on this. First, if the brokerage that you work for offers a website to you, take them up on it. You can transfer your domain name so that any one typing it in goes to the site that your broker provided to you.
Second, you can hire any number of people to build you a WordPress website (Or you could learn it yourself). This may be the best solution, because if you have this level of control, your website can have whatever features you want on it, and it can even be imported into your Facebook Page. (See http://www.SFCondosForMe.com for an example of an agent WordPress website, and then look at https://www.facebook.com/LivingTheSanFranciscoDream and click on the “life in The City) app to see how the site looks when imported in a Facebook Page)
Here is an example of an agents’s use of Facebook as a website: https://www.facebook.com/BlackHawkFineHomes
Here is an example of a single property website on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/64StarviewDrive
And here is an example of a lead capture Facebook page that I use: https://www.facebook.com/JerryKiddTrainingAndConsulting Click on the “Free Report” app to see the lead capture at work.
These are relatively inexpensive ways to maintain a web presence and also to maintain a web presence on the world’s largest social media network. So, the question is are you going to do something about your web presence? And if so, when?
On another note, for the first time ever, I will be attending Agent Reboot on Tuesday, July 31, 2012, and then for the first time in years I will be at Inman Connect from Wednesday through Friday. If you are there, and if you see me, please come up and introduce yourself…I’d love to meet you. Information on both events can be found here: http://www.realestateconnect.com/sf12