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 just go with the profile they already have as a friend. In any case, setting up a Facebook profile to promote your real estate business is easy, but it does require some thought.
Unfortunately, Facebook hasn’t gotten to the point yet 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 you post is customer friendly. This may mean censoring your and your friends’ contributions on your Facebook profile.
Setting privacy controls on your Facebook account will help make this a dual account for customers and friends. Depending on the nature of your contacts, you may want to designate certain areas as “only for certain friends” and similarly restrict who can communicate with you in certain ways.
Deciding whether or not you want to open your entire profile to the world depends on how accessible you want to be. You can always request a customer as a friend or give them their Facebook contact information 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 up 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 customers don’t need preconceived notions about you based on what they can read about your sexual preferences, your religion, or your political views. Unless your goal is to sell real estate only to people of a certain religion, noticing that you’re a passionate follower of the Flying Spaghetti Monster may cause people to walk past you, even if you’re 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 feel a sense 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 some, put them at the bottom of your Facebook page, where only certain ones go. And, whatever you do, don’t use them to contact customers. Attacking someone with your zombie is usually not a good way to convey a professional impression. The apps can also work for you if you install some good ones related to real estate, so take some time to check them out.
It’s better if your Wall is hidden. Many spammers will use the Wall to place ads or phishing scams. Also, if your friends are using your wall, it doesn’t come off as professional if they post things like “UR, that’s cool! I want to see you soon, sweetie!” Use your own discretion. Remember that customers can always use the Message feature to send you private messages to your inbox.
Keep an eye on your photo albums and keep your own personal ones on curated friends lists. The real estate albums that, of course, you’ll want to keep open to the public. Make sure all photos are properly tagged and have some type of information. A link to your actual website listing is nice, but including as much information as possible can make a photo a better tool for driving people to your website.
The search function can be modified to display as much or as little information as you like. Since you are using this profile as a business tool, you probably want people to be able to contact you. Set Search Visibility to Everyone, create a public search list, and let people find information about you and send you messages.
Your News Feed and Mini-Feed must be kept 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 combination. 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 what groups you belong to or events you have been invited to.
See your Facebook profile from a customer’s view. Block out anything that might leave them with a negative impression, but leave enough to give them a definite idea of your approach to your business. Facebook is an incredibly fast growing social networking site that is enhanced by its professional-looking and user-friendly design. It can definitely be a valuable tool when used to enhance a professional image.