Tag Archives: real estate agents

The Difference Between FB Ads That Pop & Ads That Flop!

 

You can have all the knowledge of how Facebook Ads work and still find your ad campaigns struggling more than a toddler trying to bust out of a 5 point harness.

You can combine amazing imagery and video, with a sound marketing plan, a healthy budget and a well thought you target audience and when you launch the ad…….*crickets chirping*

So what is it that makes an ad really kick goals?

It’s your customer.

Well, your soon to be customer, when you get the ad campaign popping and locking!

Your customer is the single vital component of any marketing and of any business. You ignore them at your own peril and often to your own demise.

But that’s exactly what is happening in most real estate offices in the country on a daily basis.

Most real estate agents will create an ad that is all about the property or worse still, all about them – often shouting the features of the property or why they, the agent, is so great at selling houses – but all of this completely ignores the customer!

“But the features, they’re for the customer….” you say…..well yes and no. The features are what may in future be USED by the customer to achieve a BENEFIT. The customer isn’t attached or emotionally invested in the feature itself. They’re invested in the benefit they receive by using the feature…..

Yes, it comes down to features vs benefits. This is nothing new and no doubt you’re sick of hearing about it – but bare with me as I’m going to show you the process I go through in order write ad copy that connects with my future customer.

To truly understand the benefits of something, you need to put yourself in the shoes of the person most likely to be using it.

Think about who they are? How old are they? What are their concerns and worries? What are their joys and triumphs?

These are all vital questions to ask, as is “Why would they buy this” and “What benefit do they receive by buying this.”

By understanding who they are and what their life looks like, you begin to get an understanding of their motivations and what drives them. From there, it’s simply a matter of putting this into engaging ad creative.

Engaging ad creative…..that can be a mission in itself!

Often I see agents pumping out very “dry” ads – the text is boring (sorry guys, but it’s true), the headlines are rudimentary and the only saving grace is an awesome image.

When writing ad copy for Facebook, it’s important to remember the medium you’re working in – it’s a social platform, so your ad copy should be social, your content should be social.

What this means is that we should lean more and more towards a conversational tone as opposed to a traditional marketing or advertising tone.

“This house has 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms that have been renovated and look fantastic” becomes something more like “I’d love to show you this beautiful 4 bedroom home that has plenty of room for all the kids and space to spare so you can escape them when you need to¬†ūüėČ” (escaping the kids….that’s a benefit!)

Yes, complete with a smiling winky face – why? Because this is social, it’s a less formal, more conversational environment, but it’s also still largely text based and the emoticon was created in order to give tone and context to text based communication.

(Seriously, people couldn’t tell when others were being sarcastic on message boards, so a professor came up with ūüôā as the marker for “Hey I’m cracking wise here”).

If you can write ads in the conversational, social language of your customer, you’re going to be breaking through the advertising noise that drenches them day in day out. They’re going to be far more receptive to what you have to say and less likely to have their automatic ad filtering going at full blast.

It all translates to more eyeballs spending more time on your ads and that translates into more people buyers and sellers on your books.

 

$125,400 in commission and 2 rental properties burned!

Agents are burning cash by not valuing their leads!

“….the leads were poor quality.”

A former client posted this on an ad I was running on Facebook for my current webinar training series and it hit me right in the feels – I HATE not getting great results for my clients.

I’m also the first to preach “don’t listen to the trolls and the haters” – hell I even tell you to run your Facebook page like a totalitarian regime and control the flow of information – but it doesn’t mean that you don’t feel like you’ve been kicked in the ol’ jatz crackers every time someone takes a shot.

So what was this guy a troll or did he have a genuine complaint?

I’ve stewed on this for a fortnight and finally, I cracked it – there was only one way to know for sure and that was to go back and cross reference every lead produced with every property sold in his postcodes.

Now a bit of back story – this agent (who I won’t name and shame, as this isn’t really about them), was with Check My House Price (my lead generation company) for about a month in 2016, they spent $398 on two postcodes before cancelling stating the leads were poor quality.

In that time we generated 27 leads for them – not a bad effort in a tough market.

So was his complaint a genuine one, or like so many agents, had he simply not placed the correct value on the leads?

Here’s what my research found

Of the 27 leads we generated in that month, 4 have now sold for a cumulative total of $4,770,000 – that’s $95,400 in comm at 2%.

Another is currently on the market at $1,500,000 (another $30,000 comm at 2%) and two others have now been rented out.

None of which were sold or rented by the agent who was with us at the time and who was given, through CMHP, first bite of the cherry LONG before any other agent knew these properties even existed.

Now this may seem like a big whinge, but it’s definitely not intended to be that way – the intent here is to illustrate the short term thinking that is prevalent in our industry as a whole and the value of a lead.

On average (nationwide), about 1 in 3 leads generated through Facebook and Check My House Price, sell within 12 months of making an inquiry. Most agents drop off the contact trail after 3 contacts or a couple of months…….

Most of the remaining leads sell within the 12 months to 7 year window.

This is why having follow up systems and valuing every lead, every contact is so vital. Ask yourself, would you spend $1 today knowing it could make you $315 in the next 12 months? Of course you would – yet so many agents will generate a lead, then give up on it when it doesn’t immediately produce a listing.

But lets put this in perspective of this story, would you spend $398 today if you knew it would generate you $125,400 over the next 18 months? Again the answer would be a resounding and ecstatic “YES!”

$125,400 in commission is nothing to sneeze at – in fact if we’re to believe the surveys that go around from time to time, it’s nearly 3 times the average annual wage of a real estate agent.

So why then, do agents throw away leads if they don’t list and sell with relative immediacy?

It’s not a question I can answer for you, but I can tell you stories like the one above aren’t uncommon.

This agent spent $398 and was given the opportunity at $125,400 in commission before any other agent even knew these people were considering selling – but they walked away stating that the leads were “poor quality.”

Within 12 months, 3 other agents had shared in over $90,000 of that commission, while 6 months later a fourth was sitting pretty with a listing due to bring them $30,000.

What that means is that each of the 27 leads generated in that month were worth $4,644.44 over the next 18 months. So every one of those leads coming into your office, what does that make them worth?

So what does all this have to do with Facebook, aside from the fact the leads were generated on Facebook?

There is no better way to stay top of mind, to provide consistent touch points and provide maximum value to your future sellers than Facebook.

If you’d like to learn how to maximize your reach, your return on investment and actually get Facebook working for you in your real estate career, join me on my latest webinar by registering at www.fbmacademy.com.au/webinar

SCAM ALERT: Agent & Agency pages are being targeted

It seems that in recent times, scammers have become more and more prolific and there’s no question that the digital age has allowed them to cast wider nets to ensnare unsuspecting individuals and companies.

One of the more recent scams to rear its ugly head on Facebook seems to be targeting real estate agent’s and agency’s pages more than any other.

It’s essentially a phishing scam, designed to send you to a page that looks like a legit Facebook page, get you to login/provide vital information and then take over your account for their own nefarious purposes.

As an admin on dozens of real estate agent and agency Facebook pages, I see this scam popping up on a regular basis – on further investigation, I’ve found these pages are specifically targeting real estate agent’s and agency pages.

The initial contact is made from a page that to the unsuspecting, looks relatively legit – after all it’s complete with Facebook logos and us usually named “Ads Support” “Advertising department” “Page Security” etc. Added to the Facebook logo, it could, at a glance be convincing that it’s in fact a legitimate Facebook page.

This page will then share your page in a post claiming that it’s breached some vital terms and conditions or is about to be disabled. In order to prevent this from happening or fix the situation, you must visit a web address – this address is of course a site designed to collect your login and personal details.

The biggest tell tale sign that this is a scam is that they have to “share” your page in order to get your attention. Facebook send you specialised notifications to alert you to problems and will never share your page or content in order to try and notify you of an issue. See the example images below:

 

 

You can see in the left hand image, that while the Facebook logo is used to make it look legit, “Ads Support Notification” had to share your page in order to get a notification to pop up on your Facebook. Where as in the right hand image Facebook simply sent a notification directly to you and that notification carries the entire message.

Even if Facebook need to send you to another location on Facebook due to an issue, the notification will take you directly to that location, it won’t take you to a page and then require you to click on another link.

If you do get a notification that looks suspicious, don’t click any links in it – instead click the “quick help” icon at the top right of your screen when on Facebook (desktop) or the help center icon from the menu on mobile device and ask Facebook direct if it’s a legitimate notification.

If you do come across a scam, report the page directly to Facebook and then block that page and then hide all content from that page.

The fastest way to build your brand and profile on Facebook

The one question I always get asked, regardless of whether it’s at live events or on training webinars in the FBM Academy, is this: “How can I go from a standing start to dominating my area on Facebook?”

The answer is a very simple one – video.

It stuns me that there are still so many agents holding out on the video revolution. Aside from the fact that there are entire social media networks designed purely to allow you to capitalize on video, it just simply doesn’t make economic sense to be holding out.

Recently at the Real Tech event in Queensland, Facebook themselves sent a representative to headline and speak about the changes they’re making to help agents dominate their area.

One of the key take-aways was this – video is king. In fact video is the king, queen, prince, princess, knights of the round table, black night, maid Marion and the Robin Hood of the digital space.

By using video you’ll get “3 times the organic reach” compared to static images – that’s a direct quote from Facebook by the way. What that means is that 3 times the number of people will see your ad for the same amount of money as compared with using static images.

From an economic stand point, that’s pure gold.

(Our testing in the FBM Academy shows that a good video campaign will gain 5x the reach of a static image ad.)

You can get 3 times the coverage, 3 times the exposure for the same budget as what you’re currently spending on boosting your photo based posts.

But wait there’s still more, using video builds your brand and profile like nothing else.

Video provides your audience with everything they need to feel like they know you and in turn, trust you.

By not using video, you’re literally costing yourself a small fortune in extra marketing spend and you’re missing out on massive brand recognition, profile building opportunities and allowing your market place to get to know you.

So where do you start?

Every listing should have a video – that’s the easiest and most cost effective way to start – property video’s are often paid by the vendor as VPA and it allows you to immediately start building your profile, while doing the right thing by your vendors – marketing their property in a manner that will get it in front of the most buyers possible.

Adding to video’s power is the ability to re-market, i.e build an audience of people who watch your video and then make a related offer to them. This could be anything from an invite to the open home or the old school “free appraisal.”

Essentially, with¬†re-marketing, you’re marketing directly to people who have expressed interest in your product, service or content – essentially, you’re preaching to the choir.

Excuses Excuses Excuses.

The biggest concern agents seem to have is that they can’t create professional quality video. When it comes to listings, you pay a professional to do it, which immediately solves that problem.

When it comes to producing general content videos, professionalism can take a backseat to just getting it done. The goal here is to provide value, the quality of your content is vital, while the quality of your production isn’t as important.

One huge tip I will give you – subtitle everything. That way, if your audience is watching your video without sound (as MOST will), the message still gets across!

GO LIVE!

Then we have Facebook Live – the ability to go live and broadcast to your audience on the spot, no scripts, no cuts, or fancy footwork – it’s pure live action and you’re in the hot seat. This alone sounds terrifying for many agents and I do understand that. But I’m also going to say, “It’s time to suck it up cupcake!”

If you can speak in front of half a dozen buyers at an open home or auction, then you can definitely do Facebook Live! Simply pretend you’re having a video call with your best friend or your kids, it’ll help remove the nerves.

The power of Facebook Live, is that when you go live, Facebook sends a notification to your friends/likes list that you’ve gone live and that they should join in – i.e preparing your audience for you.

It’s immensely powerful.

Leave the ego at home

Firstly, to those agents who are doing video – well done! You’ve taken a massive step to building your profile, growing your brand and really connecting with your market place.

Now, lets tweak what is happening before it becomes “the norm” and get better results from our videos.

Your face isn’t not what your market wants to see – yes you should be on camera for an intro and if you’re giving video tips live, your face is all you’ve got to show in most cases – that’s fine.

But if you’re doing a listing preview or a sales result video or even a listing walk through – no one wants to see your face any longer than they have to. Video is all about “show don’t tell” – if we’re looking at your face, then you’re telling us when you should be showing us.

Make sure the property/primary content gets the spotlight!

Remember you’re not getting on video to “look like an expert” – you’re getting on video to “demonstrate that you are an expert.”

 

 

 

How Facebook is redefining the traditional “Farm Area”

Facebook is redefining the traditional farm area with data

It’s been a monster week for announcements from tech giants when it comes to real estate.

Facebook has entered into Australian real estate (and real estate the world over) in the most agent friendly manner we’ve seen in a while – handing the power back to agents when it comes to marketing properties digitally.

Meanwhile Amazon (in the USA at least), are doing their bit to help agents generate business and leads with a new referral system based (seemingly) on merit.

But the impact of these announcements actually runs a lot deeper than just another headline about an industry shake up.

In fact what Facebook’s offering brings to the table is a pairing of automation with laser-like targeting, something that LJ Hooker have picked up on and are now looking to capitalize on in a major way with their latest technology offering for their agents.

While I’m not going to get into the nitty gritty of their offering, what I will say is this – they’re saying all the right things and for all appearances demonstrating that they understand the value of data.

One core part of a recent article on the Real Estate Business website says it all:

Mr McTavish said that the built-in intelligence of the system allows it to ring-fence and retain its intellectual capital.

“With most digital outreach campaigns, you’re handing over data which is ultimately used by that digital service supplier or portal in other campaigns.

‚ÄúData is the lifeblood of any agent and introducing third parties dilutes the current and future potential of the data, and even worse, leakage of data…..”

“Data is the lifeblood of any agent…” That’s it right there, your future, your profit, your career is in your data. It would seem that LJ Hooker understand that intimately and are doubling down on it- and rightly so.

As we move forward in this new technological age, data is king and most importantly it will be data, not geography that is the primary factor in defining your “Farm area.”

That’s not to say geography won’t play a part, lets face it, few agents want to drive 3-4 hours to list and sell a property, but the once strict geographic boundaries will become very very blurred.

Already agents have the ability to capture and consistently re-market to anyone who comes into contact with their content, website, videos, Facebook page and or apps. Once they’ve been captured they become part of your “digital patch.”

The digital patch concept is one that employs a number of the tools within the Facebook marketing platform to turn your ads, content, website and videos into a beacon for interested buyers and sellers. Once they’ve engaged with your ads/content/website/videos, they’re part of your marketing patch for at bare minimum, the next 6 months. This will give the agent power to advertise not just via Facebook but essentially have their ads follow their potential client all over the internet and social space.

Set up correctly, it allows an agent to turn every listing, every piece of content, essentially everything they do in the digital space, into a lead magnet.

Damien Misso’s digital patch allows his brand and offer to appear whereever his audience are. In this case, an article on the McGregor Vs Mayweather fight scheduled for August 26th.

In this new digital world action equals interest.

Think about your own usage, the ads you click on, the posts and articles you engage with – you simply don’t click, don’t take action unless you have some level of interest in that content and learning more about it.

As a result, every single person being added to your digital patch, regardless of the content they’ve engaged with, has some level of interest in real estate. From there, you are able to re-market to them and further filter them through to buyer and seller calls to action.

It’s this digital patch that will become the dominant focus of successful agents moving forward for three core reasons:

 

  1. Once it’s set up, it will run almost automatically with minimal interference from anybody except when it’s time to update content.
  2. It will generate both buyer and seller leads consistently
  3. The massive reaching impact it will have on your personal and company brand

 

In this example, Damien’s brand and offer has found it’s way into a popular app based game. Where ever his audience goes, his brand and offer can be there.

 

 

But none of this is speculation – this concept is already being implemented by FBM Academy students with stunning results being produced regularly, in the form of consistent leads and massive lifts in personal and corporate brand recognition.

With 16 million Australians on Facebook each month and more capability to automate, target and market to these people, being put in the hands of agents every single day – Facebook is redefining the “Farm Area” at a rapid rate.

 

Facebook just stepped into Aussie Real Estate in a BIG WAY

It seems this is the week for big announcements with Amazon declaring it’s intentions to enter into the US Real Estate market and a number of the Aussie real estate groups have been a titter with the news.

But it wasn’t just Amazon stepping into the game, Facebook had a rather massive announcement of it’s own, however it hasn’t had the same hype around it as the Amazon one. Many agents have commented that the Facebook tech is in the USA only (ah….so is Amazon), so they won’t worry about it just now.

Time to set the cat among the pigeons….

The Facebook tech is here in Australia right now. My team and I are currently working with it and developing solutions to get it rolled out to our real estate clients ASAP.

Unlike the Amazon offering of referrals though, this tech from Facebook will deal with helping you sell houses and in so doing, list more as well. In fact it has the power to change how you go about marketing property – wait, yes I know, every freaking “disruptor” says that and you’re sick of hearing it, so am I. So instead of blathering on with marketing hype and jargon, allow me to explain how this tech works.

Firstly, lets take your personal branded real estate site that displays your listings.

The Facebook tech will require a developer and Facebook expert to set up (we happy to know a couple of good ones *wink*), but once it’s set up correctly this is how it will work:

  1. a buyer visits a listing on your site, but does not enquire or book an appointment
  2. Facebook analyses it’s data on that buyer
  3. Facebook then finds every other property on your site that is relevant to the buyer, (i.e what they’re looking for)
  4. Facebook then advertises all of your listings that may be relevant to that buyer automatically

 

In short, Facebook will turn your potential buyer’s Facebook feed into their own listing portal where the listings being offered……are yours!

Now of course there will be other ads among yours, the usual run of the mill stuff from a clothing company and Telstra or Vodafone’s latest attempt at convincing us they’ve gotten better. But for the early adapters and honestly, even those who might normally be late to the party, this Facebook tech will give you such a massive edge over your competition.

But wait there’s more and it’s not steak knives.

After this tech has been in play for a little while on your site, Facebook will then go and start marketing these listings to people who are statistically most similar to your current buyers. In lay-mans terms, Facebook will start marketing your property to people it thinks are most likely to want to buy it! (Initially, this feature won’t be available automatically but will need be set up manually – but it’s only a matter of time)

Now of course in the setup phase, you need to “teach” phase book what makes the properties similar, whether it’s price, suburb, bedrooms and that’s why this tech isn’t point and shoot.

After setting the tech up, this all happens automatically and all you need to do is set aside a budget for how much you want to spend on the ads each month.

So about those $2,000 premier properties on¬†those portals you use, they suddenly look like a REALLY expensive way to blow a marketing budget don’t they? ¬†Especially considering right now you can get in front of up to 5,000 buyers for $100 with a standard boost on Facebook (depending on what area you’re in) and these ads aren’t going to have any special pricing attached to them (based on current reports).

Add this tech into the equation and let Facebook do it’s thing and your ad spend is getting your listings in front of people that the data says is most likely to be interested in buying them.

It doesn’t get much better than that.

Welcome to the game Facebook!

 

-JH

 

How Aussie agents are shooting themselves in the foot

It happens every single day in my Facebook feed, another agent posts a property listing with a link back to one of the portals.

There is no better way to shoot yourself in the foot in the real estate industry than to send traffic to one of the portals instead of your own website.

There are a number of reasons, you don’t want to be sending traffic to the portals instead of your own website, firstly the portals use their traffic statistics to justify an increase in what they charge you each year. So by sending traffic to the portals, you’re essentially helping them charge you more.

But that’s just the tip of the ice berg. The biggest reason you shouldn’t be sending people to the portals is because when you do, you lose control of the data.

Now I get for many, data may be something that you really don’t care much about, you may even see it as belonging to the realm of the geeks and nerds – after all, that’s how it has always been.

 

via GIPHY

But times, they are a changing.

Moving forward, your profit (and I mean your REAL profit), is no longer in your product or service, it’s in your data.

Take for example the situation spelled out in this recent blog post.

The example spells out how when you post a property listing or video on Facebook, you can then re-target any person who engaged with that listing/video and market to them with any other relevant property and in time, turning them into a seller or buyer. (Hell if they clicked on a property on your site, you could put EVERY single property that you have listed in that same suburb in front of them – it’s incredibly powerful).

Had you directed that person to one of the portals, you would have lost that data. Actually it’s worse than that, you would have willingly handed that data over to one of the portals and instead of you re-marketing to those people with your properties, the portals could instead re-market your competitions listings to the people who were initially YOUR potential buyers.

Now for the double whammy…..it’s not just buyers who check out property listings and videos on your website and Facebook, it’s sellers too.

So that data that you’re handing over to the portals could very easily contain your next potential seller, hell it could contain your next 10 potential sellers. But instead of you being able to re-market to them, establish your brand, stay top of mind and become the obvious choice for those sellers, you’ve handed them over to one of the portals to do with what they will.

Coming back to the “data is for geeks” sentiment above, it’s important to note that is no longer the case. With a few clicks in your Facebook ads manager, you can actually create all the tools you need to manage and use this data ¬†rather than be handing it over.

One of the best things Facebook has done, is created a straightforward platform that enables everybody to take advantage of their own data without having to wear inch thick glasses and have a degree from MIT.

It’s this alone that puts the power back into the agent’s hands.

So please, for the love of all that is holy, don’t post links from the portals – use your own website links instead.

 

This disruption BS in the real estate industry

via GIPHY

Right now there is one word that can induce a Harley Quinn, baseball bat swinging, homicidal rage in me like no other……”Disruptor”

It’s not that real estate isn’t “ripe for disruption,” it is. In fact a blind, deaf, mute hedgehog can see that real estate is ripe for disruption.

It’s that every time we see the word “disruptor” or one of it’s variants in use in the media, it’s attached to a new portal or real estate brand launch that is supposedly going to do things “differently.”

Then comes the (now compulsory) mentions of Uber and AirBnB…….but EVERY. SINGLE. TIME both the media and the “new disruptor” completely ignores what Uber and AirBnB did…..they took the two sides of a transaction (supply and demand) and made it easy for the common individual with supply, to meet the demand of another common individual.

They essentially became a facilitator, a hands off middle man, who got paid for making the introductions (and paid well).

So it should go without saying that a new “cut price” real estate brand is NOT a disruptor and nor is a new portal.

 

via GIPHY

With this in mind, it’s only reasonable that the next question would be “what would a disruptor in real estate look like?”

Well it depends on which side of the real estate transaction you’re standing on.

If you’re a homeowner, then a disruptor will be something that will allow you to buy and sell your house, completely online with everything from offers through to legals through to settlement being handled in a completely digital manner and most likely from your mobile phone.

(Now if you’re an agent reading this, there’s a good chance you’re rolling your eyes and chuckling to yourself, maybe even muttering “like that will ever happen” – fair call, real estate is a messy transaction business – but checkout¬†https://www.marketbuy.com.au/ – they’ve got the online buying and selling part down pat, how long before they expand that to cover every aspect of the transaction?)

If you’re a real estate agent, then a disruptor takes on a very different look. In fact for sometime, there has been ground swell in the industry from agents, pushing for the type of disruption that would see the two big portals fade into oblivion. Consistent price hikes, oppressive contract clauses and a general lack of “win-win” offerings being the main drivers of such feeling.

It’s fair to say then, a disruptor for agents would be something that unseats the portals from their respective thrones – essentially cutting out the middle man. Currently, the portals are the main conduit to buyers in the market and therefore a service that would remove the need for agents to depend on the portals would certainly cause disruption.

Does such a service exist?

Actually it does and here’s the delicious irony of it. MOST AGENTS are using it every single day, they just don’t realise the power it has.

via GIPHY

It’s Facebook.

(Now before you light torches and gather up the internet trolls, hear me out, yes I’m a Facebook marketer, but that doesn’t change the fact that Facebook can get you directly in front of your buyers and sellers without the need for a portal).

Let me be clear from the outset though, I’m not talking about marketing to your “Friends list” and, “boosting” your listings only forms a VERY small part of the equation. In fact boosting without understanding what a boost is designed to do, is one of the biggest mistakes agents make on Facebook, but more on that another day.

Allow me to demonstrate just one small facet of this monolithic marketing behemoth.

Look at the URL (web address) of this post, up the top of your browser – you should see the word “hogswash” in the web address of this post. Based on that word alone, you’re now going to get re-marketed to by me. In fact, because you’ve visited this page and read this blog, I’ll be able to re-market to you for the next 6 months even if you don’t engage with any other content I produce in that time. ¬†Everytime you do engage with new content though, that 6 months restarts. So long as I keep putting out content you engage with, I’ll be able to continue marketing to you.

Now, that all sounds a little bit scary, so lets apply it to your business and a listing.

You put up a new listing, with a video and a link to the property listing on YOUR website (make sure it’s your website and not one of the portals). Any buyer or seller who watches that video or clicks through to the link, now becomes part of your digital farm area and you can re-market to that person again and again and again until they stop watching your videos or clicking your links.

Just let that sink in for a moment: a buyer watches the video or goes to the site but that listing isn’t for them, instead of losing them to the ether, you can now make sure that every other similar property you have listed gets in front of that buyer and every other buyer who engages with the video or listing.

And there is not a portal in sight.

Here’s the kicker, that’s just one small part of the Facebook marketing engine.

I’m not going to claim it’s the Uber of real estate, but what I will tell you, is that it’s just the basics of Facebook FOR real estate and if you’re an agent, don’t you think it’s about time you learned how to use it?

 

The challenge of authenticity in a digital world

Hanging with my awesome EA @ Eau De Vie after 2 days training in Sydney

It’s not easy being cheesey, even less easy being yourself in a world full of perfectly posed photographs, video editing and status updates so manufactured that they could be American cheese slices.

The delicious irony is that in a world where we have more ways to connect with other human beings than at any other time in history, we are craving genuine, authentic connection and we’re not getting it.

It’s one of the first things I try to instill in my real estate clients when I’m training them in Facebook marketing – be authentic.

Invariably the question always comes up, “Should I do/say/be X?”

The answer, at least from me, is always “Be yourself, be true to you. You won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but you’re not here to work for everyone. You have limited time and limited energy, so work with the people who will genuinely connect with who you truly are.”

 

So it was a massive reality check for myself as I started my own “public figure” Facebook page back in May. It may seem a little odd that I didn’t have a “Public Figure” page before now and that’s a fair statement. The reason lies in my love of being the ninja behind the scenes and is no doubt, heavily influenced, by my two decade long battle with PTSD.

But sometimes in life, things happen that change the status quo. In my case, its a chronic illness (afflicting my sister) that requires a hell of a lot of money to treat. The best way for me to help, is to hold training workshops where all the funds are donated to help fund medical treatment.

This also line up perfectly with my intrinsic belief that Facebook marketing is the way of the future for Real Estate – in fact, agents who learn to master it will thrive without the need to rely on the portals.

So out from the shadows I stepped, taking off my ninja mask and changing it up for the professionally polished image of a “Facebook marketer.” This image, was based off what I had seen was the common image presented by every Facebook “guru” in my feed.

For a week, it sat like that – my about/story/profile description and images all an imitation of what was out in the market place and a poor imitation at that. Its just not who I am.

I am not polished or hardcore, cookie cutter professional in the old-school IBM Salesman kinda way. Nor am I polished and well rehearsed in the snake oil salesman pitching his wares kind of way.

I’m raw, authentic and rough around the edges. That has nothing to do with my ability to get results or the effectiveness of my marketing (Hell I’m one of only a handful of Facebook certified marketers in the country and the only one I know of specializing in real estate) – but it has everything to do with how I should be interacting with my target market.

I had fallen into the trap that most of my clients fall into. I had completely ignored my own training and my own wisdom on the subject and started out trying to “be a Facebook marketer” instead of being me.

This badge verifies certification and you can click through to verify the person and the skills it certifies.

For a week, my stomach churned and I felt anxious and out of sorts about my page. I couldn’t put my finger on it, not until I was doing school run late last week and it hit me like a bolt of lightening.¬† I suddenly knew why I felt so horrible about coming out from the shadows and removing my ninja mask. I wasn’t being me.

I’m the guy you’re most likely to catch wearing a LIVIN T-shirt instead of a suit. (LIVIN is an amazing non-profit dedicated to breaking down the social stigma about mental health issues and spreading the message “It ain’t weak to speak.”)

I immediately made changes to my page that weren’t inline with the image of how a FB Marketing professional should appear, but are far more in line with who I am. The last thing to update is the profile image. As much as I love the black and white professional photograph, its not who I am. It’s the American cheese slice version of who I am.

Besides, I’m not wearing a LIVIN T-shirt and that’s pretty much all I wear these days!

When it comes to your own marketing, don’t try to be someone you’re not, don’t try to fit a mold or an image. Just be you and know that anyone who doesn’t like that, was never destined to be one of your people anyway. I can say that now, with an even greater understanding of just how damned hard it is to stay true to you – but no matter how hard it is, do it anyway.

 

It’s like that internet meme says “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” – Oscar Wilde

 

-JH