Dual nature: using your Facebook profile to sell your real estate
Some people find it more convenient to create a new Facebook profile to sell their real estate. However, if you already have friends and family who are also contacts, you may want to use the profile they already have as friends. In any case, setting up a Facebook profile to promote your real estate business is easy, but requires a bit of thought.
Unfortunately, Facebook has not yet reached the point where it can automatically designate specific posts or apps as not for sharing. If you have your Wall open to the public or your News Feed, you may want to make sure that everything posted is customer-friendly. This may mean censoring your and your friends’ contributions to your Facebook profile.
Setting privacy controls on your Facebook account will help you make this a dual account for both clients and friends. Depending on the nature of your contacts, you may want to designate certain areas as “certain friends only” and similarly restrict who can contact you in certain ways.
Deciding whether or not you want to open your full profile to the world depends on how accessible you want to be. You can always request a customer as a friend or provide your Facebook contact information for them to request. However, if you want people to be able to access your real estate information on Facebook, it might be a good business move to judiciously open some key parts of your profile to the public.
Your basic information is probably something you should save for a select group of friends. Your clients don’t need preconceived notions about you based on what they can read about your sexual preferences, your religion, or your political opinions. Unless your goal is to sell real estate only to people of a certain religion, pointing out that you are a passionate follower of the Flying Spaghetti Monster can make people pass you by, even if you are not actively proselytizing them.
Your profile photos are good to leave open, but make sure they are professional and simple. Do not post photos of your family, your dog, or your tick farm. Your customers like to be able to see a clear photo of you, so they can recognize you. It’s okay to have a photo or two of your family in a different album (some people like to have a feeling of connection with their real estate agent), but don’t overdo it.
Applications are difficult. Consider not adding too many frivolous. If you absolutely must have them, post them at the bottom of your Facebook page, where only the determined go. And, whatever you do, don’t use them to contact customers. Attacking someone with your zombie is generally not a good way to convey a professional impression. The apps may also work for you if you install some good real estate-related ones, so take some time to check them out.
You better hide your wall. Many spammers will use the Wall to place ads or phishing scams. Also, if your friends are using your wall, it doesn’t make a professional impression if they’re posting things like “Wow, what a hawt! I want to see you soon, sweetcakez!” Use your own discretion. Remember that customers can always use the Message feature to send private messages to their Inbox.
Keep an eye on your photo albums and keep personal ones on selected friend lists. Real estate albums, of course, you want to keep open to the public. Make sure each photo is properly labeled and some information is provided to you. A link to your actual website listing is good, but including as much information as possible can make a photo a better tool for people to access your website.
The search function can be modified to display as much or little information as you like. Since you are using this profile as a business tool, you probably want people to be able to communicate with you. Set Search Visibility to Everyone, create a public search list, and let people find information about you and send you messages.
You must keep your News Feed and Mini-Feed open. Anytime you change something on your profile, it will get noticed and it’s a great way to let people know what you’re doing with your real estate without bothering them with direct messages. This can be modified to show people certain actions and hide certain actions. Play with Facebook’s privacy controls to find the best match. This is where you can hide updates to personal information that customers don’t need to see.
Use the Privacy Apps section to restrict views of anything else you don’t want people to see. It is up to you to consider whether they would benefit from knowing which groups you belong to or events you have been invited to.
Look at your Facebook profile from a customer’s view. Block out anything that might leave a negative impression on them, but leave enough for them to get a definite picture of your approach to your business. Facebook is an incredibly fast growing social media site that is enhanced by its easy-to-use, professional-looking design. It can definitely be a valuable tool when used to enhance a professional image.