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.