In our last article, we discussed how Facebook Community Pages might be a great solution for any Realtor® that simply does not want to get out in their farm area and do any door knocking at all. Today we’re going to discuss some strategies you can employ to build homeowner engagement, thereby building your brand awareness in the area, making you the thought leader in your farm.
Before we get started though, I feel it’s very important to give you a quick reminder:
Community Pages are not about you or your Real Estate practice. They are about the community and the homeowners that live in the community.
This is very, very important to remember. If you slip into the trap of making the page all about you and your Real Estate services, people are going to run screaming from your page. Again, the key to a successful Facebook Community Page is to let homeowners drive the conversation and the direction they want the page about their community to grow.
Some of you may find you have a chicken and egg problem in trying to do this though. Specifically, homeowners may want to participate on your page, but people aren’t currently participating, which keeps them from jumping in and engaging with your Community Page. There are some tricks here that you can employ that will solve this problem. Today I want to share a couple of them with you.
Post About And Document Community Events On Your Page
This is a great way to get people involved with your Community Page. First off, you can use your page to make a post about an upcoming event in your farm area. For instance, let’s say there is a 4th of July Parade coming up in your farm. A great way to start getting people to take notice of what’s going on in your page is to make a great post about the event. Pick colorful, eye catching photos, and for sure remember to detail the date, time and location of the event, so people that are interested will know how to attend the event.
When you do this, don’t stop there though. The best way to keep people engaged with your page, and even get them to comment and/or share your event posts is to actually attend the event. Go to the event and take a bunch of photos of everyone having fun. Then, after the event, go to your Community Page and make a special photo album to share all your event photos. Homeowners will love seeing all the photos of themselves and all their neighbors, enjoying the event with one another, and relaxing.
Promote Successes… Just Not Real Estate Successes
Again, keeping in mind that your community page is not the place to post things like, “I just sold 1234 Main Street for $100k over asking price”, there is still room for you to post successes. They way you do this is by posting successes of others. Here are some great examples:
-When students achieve some sort of milestone, local newspapers always cover it in a human interest type story. Use this opportunity to make a post congratulating the student, giving a bit of detail and posting the photo from the article. This is a great way to tie yourself into the community.
-Suppose you have a listing that you are preparing for market, and one of your contractors did a fantastic job for you. The law of averages says that there are homeowners in your farm area that need the exact same services. Create a post about your contractor, with photos of the great work she did, and contact information for anyone that may want to inquire about her services. This is not only you being helpful, but also great ammunition to help establish you as the thought leader in your farm area.
-Allow homeowners the ability to advertise things they want to sell (virtual garage sale), or even services they may offer, on your Community Page. This one admittedly is a little bit trickier. After all, if someone owns a local business, you don’t want them to abuse your kindness, but if you can balance it out, allowing local businesses to post on your Community page, along with people that are offering services, such as babysitting, or even selling used furniture, etc., this will go a long way with homeowners in your farm area.
-Introduce new neighbors to the neighborhood. When there is a home sold and new neighbors move in, be sure to go to them, introduce yourself and get them signed up on your Facebook Community Page. Then, make a post welcoming them to the neighborhood. Homeowners in the neighborhood will for sure make a quick comment, welcoming them. This will make them feel at ease. It will also help you keep your member count up, as you are proactively going out and making sure people new to the community are informed of your page, right away.
Building a Facebook Community Page to help build your Real Estate business and establish you as the thought leader in your farm area does take hard work and perseverance. If you follow these steps though, and do it right, you will open up a stream of referral business that will pay you back handsomely for the rest of your Real Estate Career.