Posts by Properties Online (page 87)

More Tips on Adjusting Facebook Business Pages to Timeline

Facebook’s move to its new timeline format requires a little getting used to, but Timeline’s visual emphasis actually works to the advantage of real estate professionals. Adding property listing photos to your Facebook updates and featuring Virtuet videos of new listings on your Facebook business page will enhance the attractiveness and professional appearance of your page in the new format. Unfortunately, reaping the greatest benefit from your Facebook business page will now require regular tweaking which means real estate agents should expect to spend more time on Facebook maintenance than they did before.

In our last post we noted the importance of creating a strong cover image for your Facebook real estate page. Today, we share more tips geared to help real estate agents make the most of Facebook’s new timeline format:

  • In the timeline format, cover photos are essentially banners that stretch horizontally across the top of the page. To prevent image distortion when converting a photo to a Facebook business page cover, choose a large (greater than 851 x 315 pixels), horizontally-oriented, high-resolution photo.
  • In Timeline, access to custom pages is hidden under the cover image where few Facebook users are apt to find it. To compensate, you may want to link Facebook updates back to similar information on your website.
  • You can break up Timeline’s 2-column layout and highlight new or important information by clicking the star at the top right of the update box which will stretch the entry horizontally across both columns (like the cover). (Mouse over the area if you don’t see the star.) The effect will only last 7 days before the post reverts to the standard 2-column layout. It’s a handy way to highlight new information without worrying about updating old posts as they move down the timeline.
  • Because of the conversion factor, any information that you want to remain highlighted or at the top of your timeline will need to be reposted or re-featured once a week.

Tips for Adjusting to Facebook’s New Timeline Format

Recently, we’ve been talking about how to maximize the effectiveness of your Facebook business page; however, a new priority has taken precedence over any other adjustments you are making to your Facebook business page. It is now critical that real estate agents create a cover for their Facebook business page as soon as possible.

To hear the squawking, you’d have thought the sky had fallen when Facebook migrated all business pages to its new timeline format on March 30. In timeline, Facebook business pages look dull and boring; completely unappealing. While it’s not as bad as it seems, it’s going to take a little time and effort to adjust your real estate Facebook page so you can reap the benefits of the platform’s new format. Given the power of Facebook to attract real estate clients and create first impressions, fixing your Facebook business page isn’t something you can put off. Bite the bullet and fix it now!

At the top of your Facebook “to do” list should be creating a cover for your business page. Timeline is a more visual format than Facebook’s previous layout. Adding a large cover image to your Facebook business page will give your page an attractive, professional appearance and attract user attention. To see the impact a cover makes, check out the newly-revamped Properties Online Facebook business page.

Adding a cover to your business page is quick and easy. When you log onto your Facebook business page, you’ll see an “add a cover” button in the top right corner. Click it and follow the instructions. The following tips will help you create a dynamic cover that will attract attention and create a positive first impression:

  • Don’t get into trouble with copyright infringement. Only upload images you have taken yourself or that you have purchased the rights to.
  • Keep your cover image clean and crisp. Don’t enlarge your logo to fill the space or litter your cover with ads or promotions. Use your cover to make an emotional connection with potential clients.

More tips next time

Google Search Changes Necessitate Real Estate Website Tweaks

High search engine placement is the key to driving client traffic to your real estate website, and search engine optimization (SEO) is the key to high search engine placement. It would be convenient if search engines would stop tinkering with their search algorithms so that real estate agents could maximize their sites for SEO once and be done, but that’s never going to happen. Like it or not, constant changes in search algorithms by the masters of Google and their ilk mean that real estate agents must stay current with new search parameters and periodically tweak their real estate sites to accommodate new search strategies and re-maximize SEO. Realtors and real estate agents that fail to keep up with the latest SEO strategies will see their search rankings plummet, site traffic fall off, and new clients move to more web-savvy real estate brokers. Such high stakes justify the effort and expense it takes to keep your real estate site search engine optimized.

At the end of February, Google began implementing a series of 40 changes and updates to its search engine, many of which boost support for Google+, Google’s Facebook competitor. For real estate agents the two most important changes were to Panda, Google’s year-old search ranker, and the self-explanatory Link Evaluation. If you want to keep your real estate website at the top of Google’s search rankings, the following tips will show you how to tweak your site to accommodate Google’s newest search engine modifications.

Link Evaluation shifts search impact from offsite links, the backbone of traditional SEO strategies, to social media engagement. Your blog entries, article submissions and directory submissions will still count toward your search engine ranking on Google, but their value has been marginalized in favor of social network mentions, social update shares and customer engagement (comments and reviews). Not surprisingly, Google places premium value on Google+ interactions. If you’re not on Google+ yet, the SEO advantages alone should make this a priority.

Continued next time

More Facebook Tips for Real Estate Agents

As we noted in our previous post, heavy user volume and the potential for viral sharing make Facebook an extremely useful marketing tool that can be an asset in growing your real estate business. But to keep from annoying Facebook followers and alienating potential future clients, it is important to follow Facebook best practices.

Today we continue our list of smart Facebook tips for real estate agents:

  • Follow your gut. Pay attention to what you do and don’t like about the Facebook pages you visit. Incorporate good ideas into your own site and avoid annoying practices like begging for “likes” or asking lame questions.
  • Limit your posts. Over-posting is at the top of the Facebook user complaint list. The greatest traction is achieved by posting every other day, but not more than 3 times a week.
  • Offer value. Give Facebook users a reason to come back. Use Facebook apps and real estate widgets to post listing domains to your profile, connect to your real estate website and publish new listings to your wall.
  • Be yourself. Your Facebook page should reflect your personality. Don’t forget that Facebook is a social network of friends, not a business forum. Facebook users expect chatty, personal conversations and will judge you by the character and content of your page and posts. Approach your Facebook page as if you were talking to a long-standing customer with whom you’ve developed a comfortable, friendly relationship. Just don’t lose sight of the fact that your Facebook persona will reflect upon your business. Aim for friendly, helpful and cheerful and steer clear of chummy, gossipy or complaining.
  • Be careful what you share. It’s desirable to share a little personal information on Facebook; but keep your comments positive and don’t share information or offer comments that could come back to bite you. For example, sharing a few scenic vacation photos with an observation or two is humanizing; but no good will come of posting photos of yourself drinking margaritas on the beach. Keep your postings friendly but never post anything that could impact your professional reputation.

Facebook Tips for Real Estate Agents

eferrals from satisfied clients have long been a major avenue for new business for those in the real estate business. But the number of personal referrals an agent could reasonably expect to receive from even the most satisfied client has always been limited. At most, the average home buyer or seller might be expected to share his experience and recommend his Realtor to a handful of friends and neighbors. Facebook has drastically changed the potential impact of personal referrals on real estate professionals.

Referrals from satisfied clients have long been a major avenue for new business for those in the real estate business. But the number of personal referrals an agent could reasonably expect to receive from even the most satisfied client has always been limited. At most, the average home buyer or seller might be expected to share his experience and recommend his Realtor to a handful of friends and neighbors. Facebook has drastically changed the potential impact of personal referrals on real estate professionals.

Facebook Business Page

The average Facebook user has 130 friends, participates in 80 community forums and spends 6 to 7 hours a month on Facebook. Someone who is buying or selling a house is likely to share details of their experience numerous times with their entire list of Facebook friends who may, in turn, share that information with their list of friends. On Facebook, a “like” or referral from a satisfied client has the potential to reach an incalculable number of potential home buyers and home sellers.

The scope of Facebook’s audience — 150 million Americans and counting — and its viral potential make Facebook a productive marketing tool for real estate agents. Agent widgets and Facebook apps make it easy to maintain a Facebook page that will draw Facebook users and make it easy for you to keep your name on the radar of potential clients. However, there is one small catch. Realtors who fail to follow best practices when using Facebook can quickly annoy and even alienate future clients.

Here’s how to stay on the good size of Facebook users and use your Facebook exposure to grow your real estate business:

  • Make an effort to stay fresh. Scenic images overlaid with motivational messages tend to be over-shared on friend networks. Display your creativity and personality by using your own photos and using the status bar or text to share your thoughts, whether motivational, informative or comedic. And be careful with humor. What you find funny could be offensive to someone else.

More tips next time