Using Facebook to Connect and Grow Your Sphere

Real Estate Agent with Fathom Realty West Sound WA State 52404


A lot is being said nowadays about the use of Facebook to grow and promote your business. Many people enter the social media fray with little or no experience/understanding on what constitutes acceptable or effective behavior/practices as it relates to social networking platforms like Facebook.

For most of us real estate professionals, it's been ingrained into our marketing minds very early on to blatantly self-promote ourselves at every opportunity, shamelessly plastering our glamor shots and website addresses on bus benches, shopping carts, refrigerator magnets, and every conceivable vertical surface known to man, ad-nauseam.

Thus, when we first attempt to ride the popular wave of social media marketing, our initial feeble efforts tend to be rather 'spammy' (see definition of SPAM) and somewhat annoying to those who encounter our 'interruption marketing' (See Seth Godin's books 'Unleashing the Idea Virus' and 'Permission Marketing').

Here's just a few practical tips I've learned along the way that may help you better navigate the social media waters and avoid making any painful or unsightly belly flops:

Jump In - The Waters' Fine!

1.   Jump In, the Water's Fine!

It continues to amaze me how many people I encounter who are reluctant to use sites like Facebook for business purposes or refuse to engage in any social media platforms in general. One of the most basic fundamental elements of a successful real estate practice is to develop and expand an active SOI (Sphere of Influence), and make meaningful 'touches' with the people within your sphere. Social media simply offers you one more way to make those 'touches,' through digital means, faster and more efficiently than traditional methods. Social media should never supplant your tried and true traditional marketing methods, but serve to augment/compliment what you've used successfully in the past.

Separation of Church and State

2.   The Separation of Church and State

There are some purists out there who believe you should keep all of your business dealings completely separate from your personal life when it comes to your social network involvements like Facebook. While using a personal profile to promote a business is against the Facebook Terms of Service (The powers that be on Facebook have been known to boot members who do so), I find it difficult and unrealistic to completely remove my Realtor® hat just because I happen to be engaging people socially in a virtual setting. Now that doesn't mean that I post my website URL into every comment that I make or that I publish endless listings to my wall. On the contrary, any real estate related content is the exception, rather than the norm on my personal page. But the point being is that real estate is a huge part of my life and a natural extension of who I am. There is always going to be a certain amount of business bleed-over onto my Facebook personal profile page.

A Page By Any Other Name...

3.   Create a Facebook Business Page

For the purists and non-purists alike, the Facebook Page allows you to publish and promote your business to your heart's content without fear of any TOS repercussions. The real key to achieving solid readership/traffic (Likes) is consistently posting good consumer-valued content to your page. Most of the time, people create a Facebook Page that is agent/broker specific, like 'Bill Smith - Harper County Real Estate.' Consider instead of making a Facebook Page that highlights your specific market area. A perfect example of this would be Dale Chumbley's '365 Things to Do in Vancouver WA.' One of the tools you can use to help efficiently syndicate content to your Facebook Page is Roost.

Go To Where the Conversations Are!

4.   Connections and Communication

At the turn of the century, everyone congregated down at the General Store, sitting around the pot belly stove, sharing their lives. Later, it became the office and gossip around the water cooler. These days, people connect and communicate through the use of social media and mobile technology. Some clients like to text, others tweet or poke.

In one of my former employments, I was responsible for export sales to customers in Japan and made several trips there. I made the point of learning some basics of the Japanese language which made a huge difference in the degree of my success in forging relationships with my foreign clients. The importance of communication never changes, but the way in which we communicate does. We must learn the language that newer generations are speaking.

The power of social media is something we cannot afford to ignore, but need to effectively leverage in order to grow our sphere and expand our digital footprint.

~   o   ~   o   ~   o   ~   o   ~   o   ~


Rich Jacobson is a licensed real estate professional with Windermere Real Estate, providing knowledgeable empowerment and relentless representation for his clients of residential properties and vacant land throughout all of Kitsap County WA and portions of Pierce, Mason, and Jefferson Counties. You can also find him at KitsapLifeSoundBiteBlog, and Crabbing in the Hood, or e-mail:

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Rich Jacobson is a District Director for Fathom Realty and a licensed REALTOR®; an avid Crab Hunter, Clam Digger, and Oyster Shucker, He is the Social Media Evangelist for Life on the Kitsap Peninsula & The Western Puget Sound in scenic WA State.


Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Connie Harvey 09/02/2011 08:25 AM
  2. Ted J. Macy 09/04/2011 04:55 PM
Real Estate Sales and Marketing
The Art Of Marketing You
The Lounge at Active Rain
Social Media Marketing
Web 2.0
Social Networks
sphere of influence
social media marketing
facebook for business
traditional marketing methods

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Mike Yeo
3:16 team REALTY - Frisco, TX
Rich -great post. Time has changed, if you don't, you will be left behind.
Sep 02, 2011 01:40 AM #34
Michael Setunsky
Woodbridge, VA
Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA

Rich, I'm not a big Facebook fan. I do have a business page, but it hasn't proved to be very effective.

Sep 02, 2011 01:59 AM #35
Mark Welsh
Kirkland, WA

Great post.  social media has come a long way and like everything, you have to adapt.  Without change, nothing happens.  That won't be good in the end

Sep 02, 2011 02:07 AM #36
Kim Dean - McKinney, TX
d + b real estate, McKinney, TX REALTOR Broker/Own

Rich - I'll be sharing this post with a brand new agent today as well as the other agents in my office. so many think that Facebook is just posting pictures of what you did last night or spilling out the unimportant details of your day. But I love that Facebook is such a powerful FREE tool for a real estate agent's business. Great content!!!

Sep 02, 2011 02:59 AM #37
Deb McNeill
Flying M Team Small World Realty Fort Worth, Tx - Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth Real Estate

Good post!

I love Facebook, both personally and professionally. It helps that I was on FB for 2.5 years before going into real estate. My friends walked with me through my classes and (long) licensing process. They celebrated with me on my first fact, FB was responsible for my 2nd listing. My clients aren't on my page, so I'm in the process of developing a business page. Most of my interaction will still be on my personal page where I mix thoughts on gardening, homeschooling, writing, art, faith, family, and more in with a little RE. It's who I am.


Sep 02, 2011 03:44 AM #38
Delores Campbell
Keller Williams Realty - Chesterfield - Wildwood, MO
Your St. Louis Real Estate Resource

I agree with Deb.  I love Facebook and I use it for personal and professional purposes.  I do have a business page for clients and my SOI but never do my clients have access to my personal page.  I am not always posting professional information on my business page, I also post information on local events, gardning, decorating tips etc.  I like to mix it up and keep people interested.

Sep 02, 2011 04:06 AM #39
Sherri Wellborn
Reliant Realty, Murfreesboro - Murfreesboro, TN
Murfreesboro TN Homes & Real Estate

Very informative post.  I have been slow to jump in Facebook but got more dedicated this year.  I have a business page but it is my personal page that most people interact with.

Sep 02, 2011 04:50 AM #40
Bill Gillhespy
16 Sunview Blvd - Fort Myers Beach, FL
Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos

Hi Rich,  I'm one of those who have resisted the Facebook involvement and know all the excuses by heart.  After your preat post I'm one big step closer !  Have a terrific weekend !

Sep 02, 2011 05:25 AM #41
Ebrahim Suliman
Mississauga, ON

Hi Rich,

Great post, I have been an early facebook user and never really used it to promote my business.  But my Facebook friends know that i am a Realtor ands will ask or solicit information from me on a regular basis




Sep 02, 2011 05:38 AM #42
Judy Jennings
The Green Company - Ashland, MA
Broker - The Lanterns at Warren Woods - Ashland MA

Rich - Very difficult to separate church from state in this business. I have real estate business bleeding onto my FB page too. It's all good.

Sep 02, 2011 06:09 AM #43
Bob Zorechak - ABR, GRI, e-PRO
Keller Williams Realty Metropolitan - Morristown, NJ
Sells Homes in Morris/Somerset/Hunterdon Cos., NJ

Very well thought out post.  I have bookmarked for future reference.  There has always been a lot of unwritten rules surrounding the issue of how much to market oneself on FB and other social network sites and maintain the proper balance.

Sep 02, 2011 07:41 AM #44
Connie Harvey
Pilkerton Realtors - Brentwood, TN
Realtor - Nashville TN Real Estate

Rich, I really haven't used Facebook enough. I'm on the edge of jumping off this fence, but I get so busy...

Sep 02, 2011 07:43 AM #45
Erica Ramus
Erica Ramus - Ramus Realty Group - Pottsville, PA - Pottsville, PA
MRE, Schuylkill County PA Real Estate

FB works for me. I am not a hard hitter constantly reminding people I sell real estate, and I do have a business page too (and a 365 page...) so mixing it up and moving between those pages works for me.

Sep 02, 2011 07:54 AM #46
Gabrielle Jeans
WebTech Dezine, Gabrielle Jeans Real Estate Coach - Toronto, ON
Real Estate Web Solution, Real Estate Trainer and Coach

"At the turn of the century, everyone congregated down at the General Store, sitting around the pot belly stove, sharing their lives. Later, it became the office and gossip around the water cooler. These days, people connect and communicate through the use of social media and mobile technology. Some clients like to text, others tweet or poke." This transition is amazing. Who knows what it will be in the next few years

Sep 02, 2011 08:47 AM #47
Missy Caulk
Missy Caulk TEAM - Ann Arbor, MI
Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate

Thoughtful post, I am so torn on it. Even though most agents I know post their listings on their personal page, which is annoying...that is really the place for the business page. 

However, in saying that some promote you are one person and it should always on the the personal page. 

Right now I am doing business and personal but it is hard to keep of with both. 

Anyway food for thought. 


Sep 03, 2011 03:26 AM #48
Paul Franciskato
Asset Brokering Services - Junction City, KS

I enjoyed reading your tips on growing one's sphere of influence through facebook!  As you indicated, building a presence through facebook and other social media platforms must be done delicately to avoid giving the impression of being a spammer.  Your suggestions may be useful for those who are hesitant to give it a try because of unfamiliarity and/or fear of doing things incorrectly.

Sep 04, 2011 03:11 PM #49
Larry Brewer - Benchmark Realty llc
Benchmark Realty LLc - Nashville, TN

Rich - good advise for anyone who need a little more conversion in their business. Thanks.

Sep 04, 2011 03:55 PM #50
Nettie Carnett - Kennedy
Nettie Kennedy - Pastel Artist - Picayune, MS

This was a great and very clear way of explaining Facebook and our use as Realtors, or really any business person's use.  I had already done a business page but have some different ideas now of what to put on it.  I too, liked the General Store Analogy

Sep 08, 2011 10:15 AM #51
Robert and Lisa Hammerstein -201-315-8618
Keller Williams Valley Realty - Hillsdale, NJ
Bergen County NJ Real Estate

Hey Rich,

I love pot belly stoves! And Facebook too.  This is most definitely the new way to connect to people on every level.

Sep 21, 2011 09:01 AM #52
Dinah Lee Griffey
Windermere Peninsula Properties - Allyn, WA
Managing Broker Windermere Peninsula Properties

Great post. I used to try to keep everything in its own little compartment. I gave up when they started mixing together and I could not stop it. It turned out to be a very good thing.

Sep 25, 2011 08:33 AM #53
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