New Facebook Anti-Discrimination Rules

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A few months ago, Facebook was hit with a lawsuit by the department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) that claimed Facebook was engaging in housing discrimination. According to the suit, HUD accused Facebook of allowing landlords, home sellers and agents to set parameters on ads that limited which prospective buyers could view it based on race, religion, sex and disability, to name a few.

Some of these allowances included blocking ads to users based on their interests in certain topics such as “child care” or “mobility scooters.” Others gave the advertiser the ability to block ads by specific zip code.

In response to this accusation, Facebook has changed their rules for ads related to real estate. Now, advertisers can no longer set these kinds of parameters and discriminate against any person based on race, ethnicity, color, national origin, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, family status, disability, medical or genetic condition.

 

What does this mean for you?

As a Homesale Realty agent, these new rules just mean that the more general your audience, the better. When setting the target audience for your ads, choose both men and women and select as wide of a geographical range as possible. Counties tend to work very well for the geographical parameter.

If, for some reason, Facebook thinks you have set a parameter that violates these new rules, they will flag your ad and send you a notification that it has been denied. From here, you can adjust the parameters and resubmit or send the ad for a manual review if you believe it has been flagged in error.

 

For more information about these new rules, check out Facebook’s advertising policies here.

 

Facebook Live

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Facebook Live is a video streaming service provided by Facebook that was rolled out to the masses in April of 2016. This tool can be a great asset for increasing your social media presence. Here are a few ways that you can incorporate Facebook Live into your everyday marketing plans.

Open Houses

Before the in-person open house, whether it’s a few days or a few hours beforehand, take some time to create a virtual open house event on Facebook. During the event, do a video walk-through of the house and talk about the different features and important information. Start outside and work your way inside, just like a buyer would. Make sure you feature the entire house and point out the property’s best qualities. At the end of the video, tell the viewers the date and time of the physical open house and invite them to come talk to you or see it in person.

Sneak Peaks

Have you been contracted to sell a house that hasn’t been listed or marketed yet? This is a great chance to do a sneak peak live video. Choose one interesting detail of the house and create a live video about it, teasing viewers about the next amazing property that is about to come on the market. Consumers feel special when they believe they are the first ones to know new information so this entices them to share the insight with friends.

Q&A

As a REALTOR®, you probably get the same questions frequently in your dealings with clients. One thing you can do to address these common inquiries is to do a live Q&A session with Facebook Live. During a Facebook Live session, people can comment in real time with questions and then you can answer them. Start the video with a list of predetermined questions that you’ve been asked previously. Soon the questions should be rolling in and you can respond during the session as they are asked.

For instructions and tips on how to use Facebook Live, you can visit the following sites:

How to Use Facebook Live – HubSpot

Go Live on Facebook – live.fb

Tips for Using Facebook Live – Facebook

Here’s How to Go Live… – DigitalTrends

Using Facebook as a Realtor

Facebook is a great way to keep in touch with your sphere of influence and remind them that you’re still in the business.  Although facebook is a great tool for prospecting, there are a few things to remember:

1.  When posting real estate information, you need to be posting on a Business/Fan Page not on your Personal Page.  Facebook has the authority to shut down your account if you are using your Personal Profile Page for Business Purposes.  For those of you who are already using a Business Page, Facebook is upgrading all pages on March 30th to the new layout called Timeline.  You can create a page at http://facebook.com/pages/create.php

2.  Your Business Page needs to be compliant:
          – Make sure that your page name is not your broker’s name by itself such as “Prudential Homesale Services Group”.  Some examples of page names are “John Smith Realtor at Prudential Homesale Services Group”, “John Smith Berks County Realtor”, “John Smith, York County Real Estate”.
          – Be sure to have your broker’s name, office address, main office phone number, and where you are Licensed on
            your Info tab. 
          – Create your page photo so that it includes your logo.

3.  Post valuable information that appeals to your target market.  Your goal is to use your Business Page to show your sphere of influence that you are an expert in the real estate industry and in your local area.  Articles such as “How to Winterize Your Home”, “Improving Your Curb Appeal”, and “How to Calculate Your Monthly Mortgage Payment” provide valuable information for homeowners, sellers, and buyers.  Post local events and information that will pertain to those in your community and keep them updated.