If you’re in the real estate or mortgage industry, you’ve chosen a career that is dependent on how personable you are. Despite the many technological tools that help you in your business, one of the basics for successful sales in this industry has never changed.
People prefer to deal with someone they trust or know from their sphere, even if that is just being a Facebook friend.
That’s why a great source of potential leads is Facebook life events within your sphere. People who go onto their Facebook page to relay when something major occurs in their lives are prime candidates for you.
They are sharing and you have a chance to share your value right back, as long as you do so in a way that is not aimed as a direct sell.
The most focused type of Facebook life event is one that a person has taken the time to formally note on their page. Today, users have the option in Facebook of flagging life events in five different areas of life: work and education; family and relationships; home and living; health and wellness; and travel and experiences.
Under work & education, for example, Facebook suggests subcategories of “new job” and “retirement.” Under family & relationships, people note an engagement, an upcoming wedding or a new baby. These events are invaluable knowledge to anyone who might be able to fulfill a need for that Facebook user.
When a friend takes the time to add a life event to his or her page, it pops up automatically under your notifications or if you set your notification to email, it goes into your inbox. That should trigger you to congratulate them and offer your help if any is needed.
(Facebook) Community Outreach
While these formal notations are useful, it may be even more valuable just to keep up with the comments people make in their day-to-day life.
People are increasingly comfortable posting what’s happening in their everyday existence to the general audience of Facebook.
They may not take the time to make the formal life event notations listed above, but if something important is going on, they’re likely to talk about it in posts on their timeline or in comments.
Facebook has become a place where people chat, so it’s a place you need to be. If you step up to send a friendly comment, you show them your compassion.
If you can offer advice, along with the congratulations, you make a direct contact at the perfect time when they may need the advice.
Keep it Simple and Substantial
Perhaps the two most important concepts to remember with both formal life event notations and with newsfeed posts is that you need to take action while the iron is hot.
You need to be subtle in your approach and think in terms of value to the Facebook friend.
The milestones in a person’s life should never be viewed as direct marketing opportunities. Very few people react well if you interrupt a string of comments long enough to tout your own capabilities.
With all of the chatter that gets thrown at people today, including internet pop ups, email junk and telemarketing calls, the last thing you want to do is use a person’s life event to make a direct sales pitch.
That’s not how Facebook should be used, and it works against to your purpose of personalizing yourself. Instead, you should be offering to ease the complexities of these milestones.
If you’re a lender, for example, can you give a recent college graduate a place to go to figure out how much they might be able to afford once they’re ready to buy a home?
If you’re an agent, can you send a list of the top retirement communities in your area to the couple about to take that leap?
The last thing you want to do is be intrusive at a time when people are vulnerable.
On the other hand, one of the best ways to build your own sphere of influence is to offer help when help is needed or to be there at just the right time. In this regard, real estate and Facebook are a natural fit.
Even when you don’t make a sale or find a new borrower, you’re gaining something by making a connection at a critical time.
As with all things social media, you’re planting a seed that has the potential to grow and blossom into a stronger relationship.