Most new real estate agents don’t start with a long list of hot leads and client referrals. Sure, we’re naturally charismatic and have a knack for talking to people, but being voted prom queen doesn’t mean you have a viable real estate business.
Three thousand Facebook friends was great for the invite list to your keg parties in college, but how do you transform that online network into potential clients?
Have you tried Facebook farming?
Please don’t just pick up the phone and start calling Facebook friends asking for business. That’s just as awkward and as weird as it sounds. Try these three steps to convert your Facebook friends to clients.
3 steps to a systematic approach of farming clients from your Facebook friends
Step 1: Log into Facebook, and engage
I’m not talking about mindless scrolling and liking.
Create a list of top influencers from your friend list. Top influencers are people who are well-connected or influential in their respective worlds.
For 20 minutes every morning, between peak hours of 7 a.m. and 9 a.m., log in, and engage with that Facebook farm.
Aim to leave 10 comments, ask five questions and set one coffee meet-up (for the following week) each day.
By Friday you’ll have scheduled five coffee meetings for the upcoming week; you should be getting 25 answers to your questions; and you’re getting at least 50 new notifications for people responding to or liking your comments on their posts.
Added bonus: After implementing this strategy for one week, you will observe much higher engagement on your personal page’s posts. So make sure to post daily. Post one real estate- or business-related post for every three personal photos or comments you make on your personal page.
Step 2: Grab coffee and catch-up
Your intentions are not to spend $5 on a latte and reminisce about your wild college days. The goal of this meeting is to reintroduce yourself as the real estate agent you present yourself to be on Facebook.
Structure your coffee meeting like a business meeting, be punctual, and stick to your allotted time frame.
At the end of the latte, solicit your re-established friend’s help in building your business: “James, what can I do to become your go-to real estate expert?”
“Tiffany, can I count on you to help me get my name out there as a real estate professional?”
“Brandon, can you think of anyone I should contact right now to help them with buying or selling real estate?”
This is the important part, so don’t skirt the issue. Be direct, and ask your friends for their support.
Pro tip: Because you’re meeting with the top influencer’s from your Facebook farm, check in or give the coffee house a shout-out on Facebook. Make a public affiliation with your top influencer, but keep it indirect by focusing on the quality of the coffee shop.
Step 3: Nurture your VIPs
Now that you’ve invested the time and energy into cultivating a new relationship out of your Facebook farm, make sure to nurture that connection after you’ve both gone your separate ways.
Input your friend’s information into your CRM (customer relationship management). On their birthday, send them a gift and a note.
On your birthday, invite the VIP to an event to celebrate. From something as simple as a VIP exclusive poker night at your pad, to a night on the town with a select few, choose your VIPs, and treat them as such.
VIP bonus: Combining off-line engagement with your continued online Facebook farming creates a true feeling of worth. At the end of the year, ask your VIPs what they think of you as a real estate professional, and ask for permission to publish their review.
Your friends’ word-of-mouth is worth gold! So use it to continue to strengthen your credibility in Facebook farm and in that influencer’s sphere.
It sounds simple enough — because it is. Real estate as a business is not complicated. Time, continued effort and superior service are the essentials to building a successful real estate business.
Pull the influencers out of your Facebook farm and systematically turn them into your best cheerleaders for a bountiful source of client leads.
Sharron St. John is a real estate agent with the No. 1 team in the world, the Lucido Agency at Keller Williams. Sharron covers real estate, investments, and wealth building for Millennials. Connect with her on LinkedIn or Twitter.