I’ve say this often: Real estate investing is a people business. You’re ultimately the “middleman” (and “middlewoman”, of course) between a motivated seller and a cash buyer (or private lender or tenant or whatever). That means, if you want to do more deals, you have to connect with more people.
And where do you find more people? Well, you have to go where the people are!
For that reason, I love recommending Facebook to my real estate investing clients as an essential tool in their investing toolbox.
In this blog post, you’ll read about 23 different ways to connect with people and build relationships with them on Facebook. (There are other ways to use Facebook, and many more will be developed as Facebook continues to innovate, but if you start with these 23 different ways and just run through them like a checklist regularly, you’ll start implementing a very powerful Facebook strategy in your investing business).
One more point before you read on… Effective use of Facebook requires careful consideration of what you write. Posting on Facebook isn’t just about jamming out half-assed content and hoping people read it. Using Facebook effectively means carefully using copywriting to your real estate investor marketing on Facebook… from the words you write to the links you post to the replies you make… it’s ALL copywriting!
Facebook Real Estate Investing Strategy #1. Build A Facebook Profile And Make Friends With Other Investors
I’m talking about your own personal profile (not a business page… see Facebook Real Estate Investing Strategy #2 about that). This is the place to start. You’ll need a profile to be able to do a lot of the other things below, anyway, so start here. Chances are, you already have a Facebook profile. Now you’ll want to build it out and optimize it as an investor.
- In the About section of your profile, add your main buyer website and your contact information
- Clean up your pictures — it’s okay to have some personal images there but think about getting rid of those drunk college pics (or at least untagging yourself from them)
- Make your profile public so people can find you
- Enable the ability to have people follow you
- Review your Interests, Movies, Books, etc. to make sure that they present you in the best light
I’m not suggesting that you create a false persona. Rather, I’m advising that you look very carefully at your profile and make sure it presents your best side. Prospective buyers will come to your Facebook profile as part of the due diligence process. They’ll check you out and see what you’re like. It’s GREAT to have some personal stuff on there to show your human side but just make sure that it doesn’t show only your worst side!
Continue to use your Facebook profile as you always have (to connect with family and friends) but be diligent about the statuses you post and about the comments and replies that your friends post. Since you do want to put your best foot forward, it’s okay to edit some of the less appropriate stuff.
Most important: build a Facebook profile that describes you accurately and authentically while also highlighting your assets and downplaying your liabilities. (It’s not really any different than what you do when you rehab a property, right?!?
Facebook Real Estate Investing Strategy #2. Build A Facebook Page To Find Buyers
Next, build a Facebook page (to clarify: these are like Business profile pages — they’re different than your personal Facebook profile).
The advantage of using a profile page is: to build up followers who might not want to connect with you personally; to use Facebook’s post-boosting and advertising tools that are not available on your personal page; to access analytical insights that you might not get on your Facebook profile, and to capture more search engine traffic through strategic search engine optimization.
You can go in a couple of different directions here, depending on your brand. However, I like using a slightly more corporate brand for a Facebook Page. I tend to prefer adding more personal content on a personal page and more formal content on a business page, although this is not a hard-and-fast rule that I follow all the time for my clients. Whatever I post on a Facebook business page ends up on my Facebook personal profile… but not always the other ways around: I might post an investing blog post on both my Facebook business page and my Facebook profile, but if I was going to the movies with my wife, I might only post that on my Facebook profile. (In my mind: Your Facebook profile is “stream” of your personal and business life; your Facebook business page is the running a “stream” of the business-only aspect of your life).
Facebook Real Estate Investing Strategy #3. Build A Facebook Page To Find Sellers
You’ll often hear me say that the best way to get motivated sellers is through direct mail, and I still believe that. But maintaining a Facebook page for sellers can help you capture some search engine traffic and drive people to your seller website; with the right ads, you may also capture some motivated seller traffic that you wouldn’t get through direct mail.
Your seller page should be set up strategically to drive traffic to your seller website. Link out to your seller website and use that link as a call to action for sellers.
When you create a Facebook page for sellers, you won’t necessarily have as much connection between your personal profile and your seller page (certainly not in the same way that you connected your personal profile and your buyer page).
Frankly, I don’t think this is done very much — or very well — on Facebook right now… but that’s not to say it’s impossible. You should do it and spend 5-10 minutes a week on it to keep it updated and relevant. Even if you get one or two deals a year out of it, it pays off.
Facebook Real Estate Investing Strategy #4. Boost Your Posts
There are two ways that I love using Facebook ads. The first way is to use Facebook’s “Boost Post” ad tool to promote readership of your posts. Write a great post on Facebook and then spend some money to boost it. You don’t have to spend a lot to get a lot of readership. It’s an effective way to get more likes to your page, more readership of a post… and if you choose your post carefully, you can drive more readership to your website.
Start by writing an AMAZING post on your Facebook page. You might consider linking out to a blog post or video that you’ve created and published elsewhere. Then click the “Boost Post” button below the post to start advertising it. Carefully select your audience and spend a bit of money to have the post read widely.
Facebook Real Estate Investing Strategy #5. Advertise On Facebook To Drive Traffic To Your Website
Along with Facebook’s post-boosting ads, you can also use advertising to drive traffic to your website. There are three components to success here:
- You need a great offer on your website. Set up a specific landing page with a unique report and an opt-in form.
- Write a great ad for Facebook (and be sure to use a compelling picture!).
- CAREFULLY choose your audience — don’t just blast it out to anyone but choose a group that closely matches your avatar. Facebook’s audience-selection tools are very powerful.
Facebook Real Estate Investing Strategy #6. Share Your Ideas, Thoughts, Insights, Questions
There are many things you can share on Facebook but first and foremost, I believe you should be sharing YOUR OWN ideas.
When you share your own thinking, you help to position yourself. Even if you share personal experiences of what’s going on in your life right now, it’s still positioning. More importantly, when you share things you learn, successes you’ve had, and struggles you’re overcoming, you help to position yourself as a real estate investing expert… and that’s how you want to position yourself to prospective buyers. They’re looking for a “relatable” human being who is trustworthy and who is likely to take the right actions with their money. Keep this in mind as you post, and be sure to post frequently.
Facebook Real Estate Investing Strategy #7. Share Your Links
You likely create content in other locations — Twitter (including Medium and Periscope), Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, BiggerPockets, your own personal blog, and elsewhere. Share it all here. Let people know that you’re not just on Facebook but that they can find you and follow you at these other places as well.
This not only helps to position you as an expert, it also gets your name and brand in front of them in other places too.
Facebook Real Estate Investing Strategy #8. Share Your Images
Of course you may upload images and share them via a site like Instagram, but you should upload and host your pictures on Facebook, too, and talk about them on your Facebook profile and Facebook page.
Share images of:
- Your real estate successes (like a great rehab)
- Your investing success (like a big check you got from the sale of a property)
- Your personal life (you and your spouse on a date night)
- Your inspirations — like images of quotes that you find inspiring
Bonus tip: Don’t just share quotes that other people have said; create your own insightful quotes and get someone on Fiverr to turn them into inspiring quotes. Upload them to your Facebook profile and page and encourage people to share them.
Facebook Real Estate Investing Strategy #9. Share Your Videos
Of course you can link to videos in other places (like YouTube and Vimeo) but Facebook is trying to gain a larger footprint in the video hosting space. They want to host videos so people don’t go offsite to view them. So record videos and upload them to Facebook.
I see this as being a HUGE area of growth for Facebook in the coming years, and I suspect that they’ll favor Facebook-hosted videos over offsite-hosted videos in their search.
Here’s another idea…
Facebook Real Estate Investing Strategy #10. Create A Podcast Or Video Show And Host It On Facebook
Podcasting and video-casting are hot right now and I think this is a huge opportunity for investors to leverage this trend, plus Facebook, plus Facebook’s video trend, plus Facebook’s audience…
Instead of creating an audio podcast show and hosting it at a site like iTunes, create a VIDEO podcast and host it regularly on Facebook.
Right now, investors are creating occasional videos and posting them, or linking out to podcasts. But I think we’re at the perfect storm of trends and technology to make this happen on Facebook right now.
Facebook Real Estate Investing Strategy #11. Share Your Discoveries
Facebook is a very “share-friendly” environment where people freely share stuff they’ve seen elsewhere. I do this all the time and perhaps you do too — you share posts and videos and images and whatnot. I’ve included it here because I think you should do it frequently; however, I’m including it as its own strategy because I think it should be only PART of a much larger content-creation effort… and I think you should create more of your own content than reposting other people’s stuff.
Facebook Real Estate Investing Strategy #12. Write Facebook Notes To Provide Another Way For People To View Your Content
Facebook notes were total crap for a long time. They had just the most basic functionality and no one used them. But lately Facebook seems to be pouring more effort into them and allowing a broader range of functionality and design… making them a lot more like Twitter’s long-form content site, Medium.
You should continue to blog elsewhere (at offsite locations like your own business blog or a site like BiggerPockets) but consider incorporating some long-form posts on Facebook through its note function.
Facebook Real Estate Investing Strategy #13. Join Facebook Groups
There are many Facebook groups out there and they are a great way to connect with like-minded people. I confess that this is an area I have not paid a lot of attention to until recently. I did belong to Facebook groups before but just never really participated all that much. But now I’ve started recently and I wish I had done it sooner.
What I like about Facebook groups is that they are self-selecting affiliations. Which means, if you join a group of investors, most of the people in that group consider themselves investors. It’s huge to get in front of an audience like that.
So join groups that are associated with the type of investing you want to do. But don’t stop there: think about how your cash buyers would most likely identify themselves and then join THOSE groups. For example, do your cash buyers identify themselves as disgruntled stock investors looking for better returns? Then join stock investing groups.
Of course you shouldn’t just join these groups and start jamming out links to your investing business. But join, learn, participate, communicate, connect, and share from time to time about what you do.
Facebook Real Estate Investing Strategy #14. Start A Facebook Group For Investors
Joining a Facebook group is good… but starting a Facebook group is better. Think of a real estate investing Facebook group like your local real estate investors’ association (REIA). Who do you see as the expert of your local REIA? Probably the person who started it.
Well, your Facebook group is like a new local REIA started by you… and the fact that you started it will help to position you as an expert to other investors.
Facebook Real Estate Investing Strategy #15. Start A Private Facebook Group For Your Team
Facebook groups have privacy settings and you can set a Facebook group to private, turning it into a hub for you to direct your team. As your team grows, add people to your private Facebook group. Give direction, invite discussion, and share links and documents with others.
Facebook groups might not always be the best choice for team management but they are a good free choice for many investing businesses. Once you get bigger, you can always switch to a site like Basecamp but for most investors, a private Facebook group is very useful.
Facebook Real Estate Investing Strategy #16. Create Events
Events are another tool on Facebook and I think they are under-utilized right now but I suspect that Facebook will figure out a way to really rock out their event functionality.
You’ll likely be putting on events, whether webinars, seminars, launches, REIA events, open houses, etc. Start using events to help position you as an expert. You probably do a lot more events than you think (and, if you put your mind to it, you can probably create more events based on what you already do).
Facebook Real Estate Investing Strategy #17. Locate (And Attend AND CONTRIBUTE!) To Events
There are already many events in Facebook. Find some that are relevant to you and start participating in them.
I searched “real estate investing” in events and the search results returned a lot… although many of them had already expired. So this is an area that I think Facebook can really improve upon but if you do a bit of searching, you’ll still find events that you can participate in.
Like groups, events are powerful because people are self-identifying as investors in events about investing… so if you want to meet investors then start going where investors are spending their time.
Facebook Real Estate Investing Strategy #18. Integrate Facebook Comments Into Your Blog Post Comments
Okay, so here’s the deal: I’m not a big fan of blog comments. I think they’re spam-heavy, and there are many other ways that people can connect with you (Twitter, Facebook, etc.). There was a time when blog comments were great but I just doing see the ROI on it right now… even with tools like Akismet or Disqus to help you better manage comments.
However, if you are thinking about adding comments to your blog, I’m intrigued by the possibility of adding Facebook comments. I don’t think it erases all the problems you have with blog comments but I think it does help to promote the conversation in a channel that people are already using, plus it helps to cut down on spam (although it doesn’t eliminate it entirely).
So I’m including this as a Facebook strategy for you to consider although, in the interest of full disclosure, it’s not something I’m using. I’m helping one of my clients make the switch over to Facebook comments.
Facebook Real Estate Investing Strategy #19. Actively Search Out Other Investors And Friend/Follow Them
So far I’ve been describing Facebook as a positioning tool (with profiles can content) and a connection tool (with friends and followers) but it’s also a search tool. Don’t just passively sit there and wait for people to find you… go out and start actively hunting down other investors and connect with them. Friend them, follow them, like their pages, etc. Get active on other investors’ pages. This will help to position you as an active investor and it will attract investors to you in reciprocation.
Facebook Real Estate Investing Strategy #20. Build Relationships With People
Creating profiles and content on Facebook is not just about writing words. It’s ultimately to connect with people. I’ve listed a whole bunch of strategies so far but all of them are useless if you skip this one. Use Facebook to connect and communicate and build relationships with other people.
Post statuses that engage other people.
Write comments on other people’s statuses.
Write replies to the comments people make.
Like things that people write.
Ask questions (as statuses and as comments).
Wish people happy birthday.
… in other words, ENGAGE with people. Build relationships. Facebook is a great big party and the only way you’ll meet other people is by sauntering over to another person at the party and striking up a conversation. Period.
Social rules apply here. Don’t always make it about yourself and how awesome you are and how much of a return you can help people earn if they invest with you. Keep it real. Be authentic. Ask other people for their ideas. Share yourself and invite others to share themselves.
And just to be clear, I’m not just saying that you should only engage people that come to your profile or your page. There’s something else you should be doing actively…
Facebook Real Estate Investing Strategy #21. Comment On Other Investors’ Posts
As you connect with other investors — whether through groups or through those who friend your profile or follow your business page — be sure to comment on things THEY post. Go to their profiles and pages and comment on things that they’re talking about.
Facebook Real Estate Investing Strategy #22. Invite People To Message You To Learn More Info
As people engage with you, they’ll eventually become interested in doing business with you. One of the easiest ways to take the conversation further is to invite them to Private Message (PM) you to discuss further. Don’t share all your details or their details in public conversation; take the discussion private.
Think of Facebook as a key part of your real estate investing sales funnel: You capture their attention through your earliest introductions, then you build a relationship with them as you connect with them, and when they’re ready to take your business relationship to the next level, then you invite them to PM you.
Facebook Real Estate Investing Strategy #23. Carefully Choose Your Facebook URLs To Help Own Your Google Top 10
People search Google when looking for help in their investing. Will they find you? One way to help increase the likelihood that they will find you is to change the URL in your Facebook profile and business pages to be relevant to the search terms that people will be using. If you want to be found when someone searches for “Invest In Columbus Real Estate”, for example, then change your Facebook profile and page domains to include those keywords.