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.

 

What’s in a Name?

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Sometimes one of the best parts of being active on social media is creating your online profile. You get to choose a great photo, come up with a catchy username and write an interesting bio about yourself. But, as a professional looking to engage with clients, there are a few things you should consider.

In a recent blog, we discussed the importance of using multiple social media outlets to market to your audience. In order to do that effectively, you need to keep your profile consistent and recognizable. Keep the same username, profile photo and bio for each platform. That way, clients will recognize you and be more likely to follow.

Username: Try to keep your username simple. It will be hard for clients to find you if they are searching for John Doe, but your username is ILovePizza72. It’s best to stick to basics and have your username be your first and last name. This includes refraining from using your middle name. It’s a popular trend to use your first and middle name for your profile, but your clients don’t know your middle name – they know your first and last. You can even go as far as adding a career designation to your profile. For example, instead of just @JohnDoe, you could make it @JohnDoe_REALTOR® or @JDoe_Homesale. Clients won’t want to spend a lot of time searching for you so the simpler you can make it for them to find you the better.

Photo: As a professional looking to engage with clients, the best photo you could use is an up-to-date photo of just you. It could be a professionally taken photo, a selfie or one that someone else took of you. As long as it is recent and clearly you, it doesn’t matter who took it. If you really want your profile photo to be you and your spouse or you and your kids, that’s fine. The bottom line is that you should be in the photo and clearly visible. You want to make sure that your clients can tell it’s your profile at a glance.

Bio: Online profile bios can be as short or as long as the character limit allows. The two most important things you should include in your bio is your occupation and your area of service. For example, the bio for John Doe could be something like this:

REALTOR® – Hanover, PA – Pizza Lover – Dad – Go EAGLES!

Final Tips: Make sure whenever you update one profile, you update them all. Another thing you can consider if you want more freedom to personalize your online profile, is to set up two different accounts; one personal and one professional. You can make your personal one any username, photo and bio you want while still keeping the professional one to interact with clients. The choice is yours!

September 2016 Marketing & Tech Stat

This month’s Marketing & Tech Stat focuses on key characteristics of homes purchased over the past year.  This is great content to share with your current buyers and anyone who is thinking about purchasing a home in the future.

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Click the links below to access the corresponding items:

PDF Version: If you have issues viewing the flyer, save it to your computer first.  This can be printed and then mailed with your business card.

JPG Version – You could use this graphic by saving it to your phone and uploading directly to instagram and other social media sites.

Click here to easily share this as a blog article on your social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, etc.). You’ll be redirected to AskHomesale.com where you can simply scroll to the bottom of the article and select the social network you want to share it to.

You can also access the ecard template on the Market REsource by selecting ecards and searching for “Market and Tech Stat – September 2016.”

How to Write a Social Media Bio: 5 Tips for Real Estate Professionals

No one likes writing social media bios. Summing up the wonderful, complex individual that you are in just a few strategically selected words, is challenging.

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However, in today’s socially savvy real estate marketplace, it can’t be avoided. You’re going to need at least one social media bio (but more likely two or three) if you plan on connecting with colleagues, influencers and prospects online.

In an effort to make this intimidating task just a little bit easier, here are five social media bio tips:

 

1. Make sure your full name (or full business name) is written somewhere.
This seems obvious, but if your handle is @BestAgentEver, be sure to put your full name somewhere so people know who they’re talking to. If you’re using your personal account to post real estate information and listings, put the name of your brokerage somewhere in your bio so people know why.

 

2. Say something special about what you do.
Why do you like being a real estate agent? Who do you help? Do you have a niche? Show everyone that you’re an expert at what you do by mentioning something specific to your business in your bio.

 

3. Share something personal.
Users want to connect with other real people online, so write something that humanizes you. Do you like a certain animal, food or sports team? Add a quick note about something you’re passionate about. It might help you strike up a conversation.

 

4. Add something funny.
Approach this with caution. We can’t all be funny, and we don’t all share the same sense of humor. But if you’re genuinely a crack up, adding something harmless (like a pun) can’t hurt.

 

5. Don’t forget your URL.
This is the most important tip of all. If people are interested in you and your business, they’ll want to learn more. Include your real estate website address so they can click through—and hopefully convert.

 

And, since every platform is a little different, here are a few pointers for some of the biggies:

Twitter
You only have 140 characters to fit everything in, so make them count. Fortunately, your URL doesn’t factor into the character count, but you can add a second URL into your bio if you really want to.

 

Facebook
On Facebook, you can have a short description and a long description. The short description is the one people see when they visit your page. You have just 155 characters for this, so focus on what’s special about what you do.

The long description has almost endless space for characters and links, so you can go on and on and on, but people will only see it if they click on your “About” tab. Use keywords in both your short description and long description for Search Engine Optimization.

 

Pinterest
On Pinterest, you have 160 characters to tell other pinners who you are in the “About You” section of your profile. Don’t skip it!

 

What does your go-to social media bio say about you?

For more information, visit www.Point2Agent.com.

Marketing Do’s and Don’ts

Would you rather focus on marketing and technology or working Happy Attractive Hispanic Woman Holding Sold Sign and In Front of House.one-on-one with your clients to close the deal? Most real estate agents are very customer service oriented and prefer working face to face with their clients but the marketing and technology aspect is as equally important. Here are some Do’s and Don’ts that will keep you going in the right direction:

 

 

 

Make your addo'svertisements unique: Being able to reach out and grab your prospect’s attention is important. Analogies and statistics are great aspects to place on your advertisements, but keep in mind that information you share should be relevant to the industry.

Encourage Referrals: When you get a referral from a past client, send them a thank you note with a gift card. By rewarding your client for taking the time to help you out, they’ll continue to send family and friends your way. Plus, a $25/$50 gift card is a small investment if you’re able to gain a new client and close their deal.

Promote what you’re willing to do for your customers: Making yourself the obvious choice will put you above everyone else. Here’s an idea: Run free community workshops (complete with complimentary appetizers) on the process of selling a home and/or a first-time home buyer class. This not only showcases your expertise, but it gives you an advantage over other agents who aren’t making efforts to educate the community.

 

 

dont's

Forget to market to your already existing customer database: While helping someone buy or sell a home, it’s likely that you’ve built a relationship with that person. It’s important to continue building that relationship so your past clients don’t feel like they were just the next commission check. Send them homeowner tips via email or in a newsletter, drop by or send them a card on their anniversary of becoming a homeowner, and use social media so stay connected and updated on their future milestones. By staying a part of their life, they’ll continue using you as their Realtor when they need to buy a larger home or even downsize in the future.

Neglect social media: Social media is a powerful avenue for communication and branding. Staying connected to your clients through social media makes it easy to stay updated; did they get married, did they have a baby, are they thinking about moving? These are all things that they’ll typically be posting about, making it easy and less invasive for you to comment and stay in touch. Become a local resource for your clients; post area events, homeowner advice, and tips on buying or selling your home. It is important to be consistent, post a variety of content (articles, videos, photos) about three times a week and encourage your followers to interact.

Slander your competition as a way to get ahead: Aiming to be competitive in a gracious manner respects not only the business but yourself. It looks desperate and malicious when you slander your competition. Well organized determination will help ensure your success.

Dismiss negative reviews: If someone gives you a negative review whether it’s online or through an email to your manager, your reaction is everything. By deleting the negative review, you’ll further anger the frustrated client and anyone who saw the post will know you simply removed it. Responding positively is the best action to take and will show other prospective clients that you’re able to handle obstacles and react appropriately.

 

 

Use SocialBios to Keep Your Recommendations in One Place

As Realtors you’ve learned that referrals and recommendations are a sure way to build a successful real estate career.  Providing great customer service leads to a satisfied client recommending and referring you to their friends; helping you build a positive reputation.  Social Media has become the new “Word of Mouth” and because of that it is so important to build a positive online reputation by leveraging your social media connections and recommendations.

You may be wondering; once I’ve created profiles and acquired recommendations on Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, and other social sites, how do I get them in front of potential clients?  SocialBios allows you to create “the ultimate ‘about me’ page that brings all of your social networking profile information together in one place (socialbios.com).”  Potential clients can see how they’re connected to you (by seeing friends in common) and what their peers (your past clients) have said when recommending you.

Full Service Agent Website Users

Your SocialBios page can be linked to appear as your About Me or Bio page when someone clicks to learn more about you.  Without ever leaving your website, visitors can see common interests, friends in common, etc.  This is a great way to convert website visitors into business referrals.

New Realtor.com Agent Showcasing Benefit

Agent Showcasing subscribers can use SocialBios to enhance their Business Card which appears in the search results when consumers use the Realtor.com Find A Realtor feature.  Consumers are enticed to click through to your profile once they realize they can now view common friends and recommendations.  A consumer that may have known nothing about you before, upon seeing that one of their close friends is connected with you and has given you a great recommendation will now use you for their future real estate endeavors.  Visitors can access your profile from Realtor.com’s Mobile App and recommend you directly from your profile without having to access your other social media sites individually.

Start Using SocialBios Today!

Instructions on Creating Your FREE Account

Contact Jen Brown Wilson for information regarding Full Service Agent Websites and Realtor.com Agent Showcasing at Jennifer@PruHsg.com or (717) 286-9906.