Has Facebook killed the real estate blog?
I got caught up in a conversation with Jay Thompson, the Phoenix Real Estate Guy, about the role of Facebook in real estate marketing. Two things we debated were if it was advisable to add listings to your Facebook Page and whether new agents would start using Facebook as their primary website instead of a blog.
On the subject of adding listings to your Facebook Page (and by Page I mean your Fan Page and not your Personal Profile) I’m 100% certain that you must add listings. Jay is not so sure.
I like the idea that you can show listings (even of no one looks at them). It demonstrates your commitment to marketing real estate and your search box acts as an indirect contact capture form where you can convert your visitors into contacts. I also think that your clients will expect you to market on Facebook and we all know that perception is just as important as reality when it comes to closing a listing contract.
Jay doesn’t think Facebook is meant for listing real estate. It’s a social medium where people want to connect and communicate with each other and not look at listings. Besides, there are already so many better real estate search and listing sites.
What we both agree on is that we have no idea if adding listings to your Facebook Page will actually sell real estate.
This conversation gave rise to a larger conversation.
Is it possible that many new agents will forego the “traditional” real estate blog in favor of a real estate Page on Facebook?
Will Facebook kill the real estate blog?
It’s an idea that I’ve been playing around with for the last year.
The reason it interests me is because it is my experience that 90% of the real estate industry bump into a huge technology hurdles when it comes to online marketing. The primary hurdle is the lack of a credible and effective online presence. Most real estate professionals have some kind of online presence but this is normally limited to a page or sub-directory on their company website.
Few agents have their own blog, IDX search site or website.
It’s not that they don’t want all the online tools but they just can’t afford to hire a developer or subscribe to a service and they don’t have the technical skills to build them.
So they settle for a page or a branded sub-directory on their company website.
If that’s the case then why not settle for a Page on Facebook?
Facebook has more traffic than you can shake a stick at (600 million users), it’s free, it’s easy to set up, it’s easy to manage and it supports applications that allow you to brand and customize your Page, add blog posts, contact forms and real estate search to your Page.
But more importantly you don’t need any technical skills and you don’t need to hire a developer.
And did I mention that it is an incredibly sophisticated viral communication platform designed to help you connect and engage with friends and fans?
This is where Jay gets very serious about his convictions.
“There’s no way that a Facebook Page can even begin to compare with hosting your own real estate blog and packing it with search friendly hyper local content.
With your own blog you control the look, feel and architecture of the blog. You own it. You own the content. You own the SEO and Google Juice, you own the conversation”.
All valid points! All really good reasons to host your own real estate blog!
Now you need to put some of this is context.
Jay Thompson is The Real Estate Guy, not just the Phoenix Real Estate Guy. He travels the nation talking about blogging and how it propelled his business from a small husband and wife team to a vibrant and successful real estate office with around 30 agents (and growing). Jay dominates local real estate search for the Phoenix area and can track dozens of closed real estate transactions (and closing checks) straight back to his blog.
Jay knows that hyper local blogging works so he spends a great deal of time and money making sure that he turns out a top quality product.
But I think that’s really the point about this article.
Jay and I don’t disagree about whether or not having your own real estate blog works and, if done correctly, will greatly improve your real estate business. If you have the budget or technical skills it is absolutely a no-brainer for you to create a local real estate blog.
However, if you don’t have the budget or technical skills what do you do? If you’re an agent who hasn’t yet invested in your own website and blog can you just use a Facebook Page?
Here’s what you need to do:
- Open an account on Facebook at www.Facebook.com
- Create a Page for your business from your Personal Profile or by going to www.facebook.com/pages
- Name the Page the same as the name of your business and get a unique username (you first need to beg, borrow and steal to get 25 people to like your Page)
- Pimp your Page with your branding, contact details and personal information
- Add the Notes application to your Page. You can add blog posts to the Notes application.
- Add the MailChimp application to your Page. You can add an online email capture form using Mailchimp which is free up to 2,000 subscribers or 12,000 emails
- If you’re a Realtor add the Realtor.com See My Listings application to your Page, or
- Add the Roost Listings application to your Page, or
- Add the Static HTML application to your Page and insert an image of your company real estate search box or IDX search box into the Page. Make sure the image links back to your company or IDX search box.
- Send out 20 friend invitations a day through your Personal Profile and then invite your new friends to become fans of your Page.
It’s a simple formula and I think it will work. Not as well as your own real estate blog but better than just a silly page on your Company website.
About Ross Hair
Ross Hair is completely bald, a full time real estate investor and broker and founder of Social Media Marketing Camp.
About Jay Thompson
Jay Thompson is a nationally recognized awesome guy and real estate blogger aka the Phoenix Real Estate Guy.