So you’ve finally decided its time to up your game on Facebook by giving your real estate business a dedicated place to call home, its very own Facebook Page.
Congratulations, you’ve made the decision to invest your valuable time and energy into your business, which is always a great move. But although you would like to build a Facebook Page that represents your business and help your customers find you more easily online, you’re not really sure where to start. Whether you’ve attempted to build your page in the past and got lost along the way or you’re just getting started, this post is for you!
With today’s post we will be walking you through the steps of setting up a Facebook Page dedicated solely to the activities of your real estate business. Keep in mind as your read this how-to tutorial that it is actually pretty easy to create a Facebook Page, however what we’ve tried to do with this article is add some tidbits of information that will hopefully help your page stand out amongst the rest and at the same time build fit the needs of your intended audience, home buyers and sellers!
Before you get started, make sure you have a Facebook personal profile. Just to clarify, your personal profile is your own personal Facebook account where you post your photos, status updates, and connect with your friends. Pages are Facebook’s way for businesses, brands and organizations to share their stories and connect with people separate from a personal profile. Pages are created directly from your personal profile so you will need one to get started.
Now that you’ve got your personal profile setup we can move on to getting that Facebook Page up and running.
Step #1 – Sign in to Your Personal Facebook Account
Sign in to your personal Facebook Account if you haven’t already done so. Tip: Open a new browser Tab to create your page so that you can follow along as you read this tutorial.
Step #2 – Click the Link to Get Started
Click Here (Create a Page Link) to begin the setup process. Alternatively, you can also click on the upside down triangle in the upper right hand corner of your Facebook personal profile and scroll down until you see Create a Page. Clicking here will take you to the exact same page as clicking the link above.
As you can see, there are a lot of options to choose from when creating a Facebook Page. Choosing Local Business or Place works best for real estate agents as it gives you a few additional options not available with some of the other choices.
This category gives you the ability to receive and display reviews from your past clients which is a great way for prospective clients to see how satisfied other customers have been with your service. Your customers also have the ability to ‘check in’ using Facebook Places when they visit you in person. A count of people who have checked in at your business will appear on your page next to your ‘Like’ count. You’ll also be able to add detailed category information, a description of your business, a website and even a custom web address for your page by choosing Local Business or Place.
Note: You will be required to enter a physical address under this category.
Step #3 – Enter Your Business Name and Contact Information
Next, if you chose the Local Business or Place page type, you will be taken through a series of steps designed to make the most out of your Page. First you will be prompted to choose a category for your business. We suggest choosing Real Estate. After choosing your category, the next few boxes below the category allow for you to enter the name of your business, its physical address location and contact information all of which are required.
Business or Place Name
Enter either your company name or your actual name in this field. In most cases if you are a real estate agent, you are employed as an Independent Contractor and your actual name is the name of your business. If you own your own brokerage then of course you would want to enter your brokerage name here. If you are setting this page up for your company then of course you would enter your company’s name. The name you enter appears on the face of your Page in much the same way it does on your personal profile.
Street Address/City/State/Zip Code
With this category you are required to enter a physical address. If you conduct a lot of business at your brokerage’s office then putting in their address in this field would be a plausible option. However, if you have a virtual office or work mostly from home, like some real estate agents do, you can simply input a mailing address.
This field is probably self-explanatory but it bears making mention that you want to enter a phone number that reaches you directly, not necessarily your brokerage’s number. A good option if you don’t want to use a personal cell number is to use a service like grasshopper. Grasshopper provides an internet based phone service that lets you get a either a local or toll-free number that can the be forwarded to your personal cell number. You can have additional extensions that can also be forwarded to members of a team if you have one.
When you’re finished entering this information, click Get Started to begin the Page building process.
Step #4 – The About Tab
Here is where you will be able to enter some further information about your business like a sub-category to further define its focus, a business description, your company website, and even choose a unique Facebook web address to share with your customers.
In the first box, you are asked to enter any categories that apply to your particular business. For example if your business is a shopping/retail establishment, you can choose the type of shopping/retail business your company most identifies with. So for the category of Real Estate you chose earlier, here is where you can specify what you do within the field of real estate. If you start typing in the words Real Estate, you will see a short list of predetermined real estate related options to choose from. If you are a real estate salesperson, broker, broker-salesperson, etc. the best fitting option would be to choose Real Estate Agent.
This field offers a great opportunity to let your prospective clients know what sets you apart from the rest. Your description can be very short and concise or as detailed as you would like. Just remember that your users are very busy and probably not going to want to spend a lot of time reading. They are most likely hoping that something jumps out at them as to why they should call you to help them sell or find a home so whatever you right, make it JUMP! The information you put in this section will appear on your Page under the About Tab.
Enter your personal website here. If you don’t have a personal website, you could choose to use your brokerage’s website. Better yet, why not use your new profile.com website. If you need help completing your realtor.com profile check out our step-by-step tutorial on this subject. The key is to let people know how to find you outside of Facebook!
Unique Facebook Web Address:
Facebook gives you the opportunity to choose a unique Facebook web address to make it easier for people to find your Page. Most people will choose something very similar to their name but its entirely up to you. Just keep in mind that once this is set, it can only be changed once so choose wisely!
Lastly, Facebook asks you if your business is a real establishment, business or venue? Go ahead and check Yes.
Once you select Yes, Facebook will ask you if you will be the authorized and official representation of this establishment, business or venue on Facebook? Again say Yes. This question is simply asking if you are the person authorized to create a Page for this business.
Choose Save Info to proceed to the next section. Note: You do not have to complete any of these steps in order to create your page. They can all be completed at a later time. If you would like to finish your page at a later time, simply select Skip instead of Save Info
Step #5 – Choose a Profile Picture
Next you will be asked to upload a profile picture. Again, you can do this now or at a later time. You can upload a picture from your computer or from a website. You can also choose to use a company logo. Whichever you choose, the dimensions of your image should be approximately 180 pixels x 180 pixels.
Step #6 – Adding Your Page to Your Favorites
This step offers you the ability to add your newly created Page to the Favorites section on your personal profile. This allows you easy access to your page. There are other ways to access your Page from your personal profile so this is not required, however it is probably the easiest way to access your Page so it won’t hurt to agree to add it to your Favorites. Simply click the green button that says Add to Favorites or select Skip if you do not want to add it to your Favorites.
Once you select Add to Favorites, you can either Remove from Favorites if you changed your mind or you can select Next to move to the next step.
Step #7 – Preferred Page Audience
Admittedly, this is our favorite section! Demographic and geographic goodness wrapped up in one easy step. Unfortunately, most people setting up their Facebook business Page tend to breeze right by this really important section and miss out on a great opportunity to hone in on their ideal target audience for their business. Facebook uses the following criteria for pushing out your updates, posts, offers, contests, and promotions to the audience you think will find your information most relevant, so don’t forget to complete this step!!
The location field allows you to identify the geographical area that you think your real estate business would most appeal to. You may choose to think of this as the way real estate agents would farm a specific neighborhood. While there is no option to only reach out to a certain neighborhood (you wouldn’t actually want to do this with Facebook as it would be too limiting), there is the option to narrow your focus to a specific Zip Code(s). You also may not want to limit yourself at all and decide to list every zip code in your city. Just keep in mind that the more narrow or specific you get, the more Facebook likes to push out your information to that demographic or geographical area. On the contrary, the more general and broad your criteria is, the less chance you have of getting your information in front of your target audience. You can choose your location by State, City, or Zip codes.
Right below this box, you will see some options available asking you to determine, of the locations you chose, which specific types of Facebook users you would like to see your content; Everyone in your chosen location, people who live in your chosen location, people recently in your location, or people traveling in your location. Which option you choose is entirely up to you. We only ask that you take a look at each option and make a determination. Everyone in this location, would appear to encompass all of the options. Please choose the option that best fits your marketing plans.
Next, you get to choose the relevant age range. Hovering over the information (i) pop out shows the following text: Select the minimum and maximum age of the people who will find your Page relevant. This may be an important criterion based on the area you are planning to market too. Let’s say your focus is on an age restricted 55+ communities. You may want to exclude the 18-54 age bracket. Not saying that you should but you could if you so choose. Or if you happen to know that the average age of home buyers in your area are between the ages of 18 to 34, you may want concentrate on this age demographic and limit the people who Facebook pushes out your content to only those in this age range. Reading up on your local market buying and selling trends may give you insights into this powerful option.
We don’t really think that excluding one gender over the other has any real marketing benefits for real estate agents, unless you consider that ultimately the final home buying decision comes down to the woman. All kidding aside, you can see how this may be beneficial for a business that sells women’s handbags for example. This business may prefer to market to females over males. Hovering over this information (i) pop out shows the following text: Choose the gender of the people you most want to connect with, or choose All. We recommend choosing “All”.
This is where it really gets interesting. Hovering over this information (i) pop out shows the following text: Add the interests of the audience you most want to connect with. Facebook can help you connect with specific audiences by looking at their interests, activities, the Pages they have liked, and closely related topics.
With some types of businesses, the interests you would choose here may be completely obvious. For example, if you sell workout related gear you would probably choose to have your Facebook posts appear in the News Feed of those who have liked other posts having to do with exercising, protein smoothies, or sports related posts, for instance.
However with real estate, it’s not as clear cut since your client base is really anyone wanting to buy or sell a home. So here are a couple of ways you could maybe work this feature to your benefit.
The first route you could take is to focus on finding a way to connect with your potential clients on a personal level. Obviously as real estate agents, you could market to just about any potential buyer or seller, however, sometimes trying to connect with everyone turns out connecting you with no one. And because forming a personal relationship between agents and their potential clients can often be what turns a customer into an actual client, try choosing interests that are closely related to your own. This way when you get a phone call from a lead related to your Facebook marketing efforts, you just may have something in common with the voice on the other end.
Another avenue to try with this feature is to select interests that most fit a geographic or demographic you are interested in. For example, here in the City of Henderson, Nevada where we have our real estate business, we have a park system that is quite impressive with over 60 premier parks the last time we checked. These parks include everything from water pad areas for kids, biking trails, and bird watching to theme style parks. There are many beautiful subdivisions as well as new home developments going up around many of these parks. Many home buyers are attracted to the City of Henderson for our parks and bike trails alone. Therefore, if I choose this aspect of the city to focus my marketing efforts on, I might want to choose outdoor activities as an interest, or biking, running, family, community activities or even outdoor events like Shakespeare in the Park which happens to be one of the more popular outdoor events the city has to offer.
Hopefully this gives you a few ideas for how you can utilize this Facebook Page feature to assist you in your social media marketing strategy. This feature simply helps Facebook bring your reach a little closer to you so don’t stress about this. Play around with the settings, see what works for you. Remember, you can tweak these at any time. Also note that you can skip this step for now and work on it when you have more time. Just don’t forget to come back to it!
When you’re finished, click Save. You’re business page should look something like this. Obviously you would not want to leave it like this as it is very uninviting. Further down the post we will discuss dressing it up a bit.
Step #8 – Settings
Just in case you were not able to setup your Page in its entirety, you have the option of unpublishing your Page which by default is published at this point. To do this, first click on Settings located in the upper right of your Page (see image above).
While in the General section of Settings, under Page Visibility, simply check the box next to Unpublish page. Just don’t forget to go back in to this area and publish your page when you’ve actually completed setting up your Page!
Down the margin on the left is a section called Preferred Page Audience. Earlier we told you that if you did not have time to complete this section when you were first setting up your page, that you could come back to it later. We just wanted to point out that this is where you can finish up this section.
Also, you will want to click on the Page Info button which you can access from either the Settings menu or from the About Tab on the front of your page. Here is where you will want to make sure you have entered all applicable information for your business.
There are some additional options under Settings that when you have the time you may want to explore further. For now this should be enough to get you started on your way.
Step #9 – Add a Cover Photo
Facebook cover photos used to contain numerous restrictions such as how much of the image could contain text, no calls to action were allowed, and you could not have any contact information on your image, but those limitations have since been lifted which is great news for business owners, especially real estate agents. Your cover photo is an excellent opportunity to market you and your business so hopefully you will take full advantage of the free advertising this space has to offer. For instance, adding your phone number or website address directly into the image is a great way to put your contact information somewhere extremely visible to your users. You can also add a call to action in the image.
You can either use an image that exemplifies your brand or business or if you want to get a bit more creative, consider using a photo editor to make a stunning cover photo. We particularly love the online graphic editing tool Canva.
For a real estate inspired theme, below is an example of a real estate cover photo which was created using Canva.
Step #10 – Share Your Page with Your Family, Friends, and Customers!
Once you have completed building your page, its time to let everyone know of its existence. You can put out a post on your personal profile and also your other social networking sites letting your customers know about your new Facebook business Page. You can also ask people in your contact list to ‘Like‘ your new Facebook page so that they can begin receiving your updates in their News Feed.
We hope this tutorial was helpful. If you would like to further outfit your business Page with some great additional features, check out the links below to some of our other articles.
~Greg & Tracy