Turn Facebook Into A Prospecting Machine

By
Real Estate Agent with PRC Access Realty

If you are one of the 10's of thousands of REALTORS to already create a Facebook profile, you may be enjoying networking with your old high school friends, family and industry colleagues.  Facebook can be addictingly fun, and can take up an enormous amount of time in your day if you let it, but is it working for you as a prospecting tool?  Are you making money from the time that you invest 'playing' on Facebook.

Since NAR studies show that 74% of an agent's business will on average come from there sphere-of-influence (SOI), we at the Professional Realty Council (PRC) teach our agents ways to increase their personal (SOI) and mine it for more profitable business opportunities.  One of our methods is to maximize Social Media as a prospecting tool.  There are many things that you can do with Social Media, but here is one of the easiest ways to turn Facebook into a zero cost yet highly profitable money machine:

First, ask all of your clients in your initial interview what social media they participate in and how often.  This should become as automatic as getting their cell phone number and email address - it's that important!  For this example, let's assume that they are on Facebook.  You need to sell the next line, but sound excited and let them know that you are big on Facebook and ask if it would be okay to send them a Friend Request.  They'll say sure and now you are on your way.

You might wonder what the big deal is since they are ALREADY your client, right?  Well, here's the magic.  Think of Facebook as a Rolodex on steroids.  If you use any kind of address book, either on paper, Outlook, or Top Producer, etc., the address book is a static file that you use to look up information.  You also need to update it with changes as they occur (Plaxo members excluded.)  Also, it's a linear relationship between you and your contact, and is only of value if you reach out and make a connection via phone, snail mail, email, or in person.  Facebook, on the other hand, is an ACTIVE address book.  It automatically updates contact info in real time, you get a constant stream of everything that is being shared as important to your contacts, AND you get exponential access to all of the people that are important in THEIR lives.  All at your fingertips.  All for FREE.

Your second step then becomes once your Friend Request is accepted, you can view their entire Friend list (Depending on individual privacy settings, you may have access to this without even Friending them.)  When you are actively working with a client, or just completed a transaction, your relationship will be at it's highest point with your client.  Now is the best time to send a Friend Request to all of their friends.  You can do this with or without permission from your client, and with or without a personal message attached to the Friend Request.  It's important here to NOT sound like a REALTOR or salesperson, but rather just a friend wanting to network.

For each request you send, one of three things will happen: 1) They will see that you have a mutual friend and just accept you, 2) They will ignore you, or 3) They will contact your client to see if you are a good person to Friend with.  Of course, your client LOVES you right about now so they'll only say good things about you.  Also, the more of their friends that accept your request, the more mutual friends will be displayed - creating a bigger bond of trust as mutual friends are regarded as personal endorsements.

You can see how this can quickly and exponentially build your SOI by leveraging the goodwill that you have with your current clients.  The larger your Friend List, the more opportunities that you will have to receive warm leads.  In another blog post, we'll talk about content to drip on them via your Status Updates/Live Feed that will build your reputation as the GO TO resource for real estate in your community.

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Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Laurel Stone 11/30/2009 09:12 PM
  2. Hector G. Diaz 12/01/2009 11:48 AM
Topic:
ActiveRain Community
Location:
Arizona Maricopa County
Tags:
facebook
friend requests
prc network
prc access realty
dennis rosvall
sphereofinfluence

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Rainmaker
108,331
Tonda & Steve Hoagland
Keller Williams Realty - Greenwood, IN
Real Estate - Greenwood Homes for Sale - Central Indiana

We've found facebook to be a great place to stay in touch with our SOI and clients.  We truly enjoy seeing what's going on in everyone's lives.  I struggle with the dilema about how much Real Estate stuff to post.  I don't want to be seen as someone who's exploiting the system and get "hidden" or "unfriended", yet I don't want to be a "secret" agent. 

Thanks for the post. It's interesting to see how others are using this tool.

Nov 30, 2009 01:10 PM #29
Rainmaker
311,218
Michelle Minch
Moving Mountains Design Home Staging, Pasadena, CA - Los Angeles, CA
Home Staging Los Angeles & Pasadena, CA

I think its a great idea to friend your client's friends. I hadn't thought of doing that, but I will now. And, I agree that timing is everything. Friend them at the close of your transaction with your client so that there is a lot of positive energy. Thanks for the tips.

Nov 30, 2009 01:25 PM #30
Rainer
197,779
Anthony Ebright - NMLSR ID #247647 Purchase and Refinance Mortgages
FHA, VA, Conforming, Jumbo - Wells Fargo Home Mortgage - Santa Rosa, CA

Dennis, I didn't even think about using facebook as a way to keep the addresses current! Great idea! Thanks!

Nov 30, 2009 02:10 PM #31
Rainmaker
199,835
John Alesi
Century 21 Award - Mission Viejo, CA
(Orange County California Real Estate)

Dennis...Thanks for the article.  I love the tip about the address book being dynamically updated.

To those who need a perspective on Facebook, think of it as an online cocktail party.  You show up, introduce yourself, jump into some conversations, add a little content to the mix, get to know others and let them get comfortable with you.  Then you can include some (but not too much) information about your real estate business.  You just don't want to be like the person who attends a party and immediately starts shoving business cards in everyone's face.  Those cards only end up in the trash and that person is immediately branded as a jerk!

Nov 30, 2009 03:25 PM #32
Rainmaker
911,024
Bill Gassett
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Hopkinton, MA
Metrowest Massachusetts Real Estate

Agreed Facebook is a great place to tap into your network as well as others. I would add that having a business page is very important as well.

Nov 30, 2009 04:01 PM #33
Rainmaker
97,801
Kristen Wahl
Re/Max Plus - Rochester, NY
CBR

Dennis, great post! I'm a HUGE fan of the power of facebook. It takes time, but it's an amazing way to build relationships with people you may never otherwise "meet"!

Nov 30, 2009 04:55 PM #34
Rainmaker
198,719
R.E. Renée Hoover, Salesperson
Century 21 Geba Realty, Milford, PA - Milford, PA
Poconos, Pike, Wayne, Monroe Counties, PA

I'm thinking about setting up a second facebook account to use in the manner you have so convincingly described, and leave my current facebook account just for my close family and close friends.

Nov 30, 2009 06:54 PM #35
Anonymous
Anonymous
Anonymous

Facebook is a great way to keep on top of your clients' email and phone number changes, birthdays, major life events, etc.  I think it's best used as means of staying "in touch", not as a constant commercial.

Nov 30, 2009 07:21 PM #36
Rainmaker
128,113
Mike Henderson
Your complete source for buying HUD homes - Littleton, CO
HUD Home Hub - 303-949-5848

I'm ready to start rocking with this.  A very interesting post.  I thought facebook had a cap on the number of friends that you can have.

Nov 30, 2009 08:25 PM #37
Rainmaker
292,360
Monique Hailer & Todd Combs, PA
Schooner Bay Realty - Cape Coral, FL
Waterfront Specialists!

Dennis~ I have a Facebook and don't utilize all the benefits. I planned on this being my winter project, but happily I am busy.  New Years resolution now. I did bookmark,. Thanks

Nov 30, 2009 09:28 PM #38
Rainmaker
235,283
Jenny Durling
L.A. Property Solutions - Los Angeles, CA
For Los Angeles real estate help 213-215-4758

I friend my clients but had not thought about friending my clients' friends- I'll have to start doing that and see what sort of response I get!

Dec 01, 2009 11:49 AM #39
Rainmaker
192,173
Joy Carter & Jeff Booker Brother and Sister Team
Keller Williams Partners Realty-GreatFloridaHomes Team - Plantation, FL
Trust Your Family's Move To Our Expertise!

Loved the insight!  Speaking to you was even better! 

I got some great thoughts to use in my presentation tomorrow.  Really appreciated your thoughts!

Thanks!

PS  Also added you to my SOI for referrals in Scottsdale!   Joy

Dec 01, 2009 01:01 PM #40
Anonymous
Anonymous
Susan Paplaczyk

Great stuff Dennis!!

Dec 01, 2009 02:26 PM #41
Rainmaker
820,694
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg IL Real Estate - Northwest Suburbs of Chicago - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg Homes

Warm leads, that's a good goal.

Dec 02, 2009 12:14 PM #42
Rainmaker
44,772
Joanne Crum
Rhodes & Co Real Estate - Southern Pines, NC

Great blog Dennis. I am really concentrating on how to maximize with Social Media. I look forward to reading more! Great info.

Dec 02, 2009 08:06 PM #43
Anonymous
Anonymous
Chuck Keller

Great article. I have several transactions directly from FB.  I think it's great to use and think of it as if you were entering a cocktail party and networking. It's the 2010 rotary meeting or chamber or commerce that I remember going to with my father.  You can stay on as little as you want, but like everything else, you have to work it. It's free, but it does cost time.  I think most realtors would agree their business really comes from their SOI.  Social networking is a way of keeping up with your SOI.  I find it interesting when I run into someone "in person" and they mention about some of my fb status updates or pictures, etc.  The subconscious here is they are talking and visiting with you.  You're making an impression and when they think of real estate, they will think of you.......if you stand out in their minds enough times.

Dec 02, 2009 11:33 PM #44
Rainer
117,198
Beverly of Bev & Bob Meaux
Keller Williams Suburban Realty - West Orange, NJ
Where Buying & Selling Works

The thing is, as agents, when we play we are at work. That's the nature of the beast. I can be working in my front yard and someone might stop me and start talking real estate. It's just like facebook, someone may one day stop and say, she's in real estate, let me ask her or contact her. It all goes around.

Dec 10, 2009 05:53 PM #45
Rainmaker
107,496
Dana Devine
Charles Rutenberg Realty - Apollo Beach, FL

i have  program Xobni  that when u send me an email it shows id you are on FB or not and from here I can be your friend

Dec 18, 2009 11:18 AM #46
Anonymous
Anonymous
Anonymous

I'm with Taylor on this one. I've had a Facebook account since 2004, and have accumulated almost 700 friends - almost all of which are actually friends, few professional. I've been trying to figure out how to turn this into something useful to gain transactions without "spamming" my friends. Thank you for your help on that front!

Dec 29, 2009 09:37 PM #47
Anonymous
Anonymous
Suzanne Asher

This is a wonderful post.  I have to seriously consider spending a little more time on Facebook.  I can't believe that I could potentially get business from this but I can't wait to be more proactive and just let it happen!!!  Thanks for the confidence!!!

May 11, 2010 06:56 AM #48
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Rainer
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Dennis Rosvall

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