Green Industry Articles

Greening Your RE Business: Friend Green Prospects on Facebook

Doug Devitre spends the bulk of his time educating real estate professionals about ways to leverage technology and social media to market themselves and save time, trees, and money. Devitre, CEO of Doug Devitre International in St. Louis, offers five tips for making your Facebook presence more effective.

1. Names matter: People searching for green housing information are more likely to search for a concept than a person's name, Devitre points out. So create a business page with a catchy name, such as Chicago Green Houses or Beaumont Low-impact Living.

Also, know what drives your audience and choose a name that will resonate with them. For example, are they taken with the prestige of owning a green house? Something like "EcoChic" might work. If they're worried about toxins, a name that includes "health" might be right.

2. Brag wisely: Rather than promoting your green business or the fact that you're a top seller, boast about green successes in a way that there's takeaway for fans and friends.

Brag, for instance, about slashing your electricity bill by 30 percent. And explain exactly how you did it. Answer key questions, such as what it cost, how long it took, and what equipment is needed. And provide informational links to help others do it.

3. Robust content: Offer creative links, videos, photos, PDFs, slideshows, and so forth, that will engage and educate people about green housing.

4. Check in frequently: It's not enough to have a Facebook presence, according to Devitre. You also have to be engaged, updating your page, purging dated photos, and being responsive. "If someone posts something on your wall, commenting back shows that you care," Devitre says.

5. Some don'ts:

a. Don't spend too much time on what others perceive as time-wasters. If sellers, whose house has been on the market for 120 days, see you spending time racking up points on Mafia Wars instead of marketing their property, what, asks Devitre,
will they think?

b. Don't be artificial and "salesy." Facebook isn't the place for a hard-sell and to hawk your sales numbers.

c. Don't turn your page into a giant billboard for listings. "No one wants to look at a Facebook page with nothing but listings," says Devitre.

d. Don't post confidential information. "You'd be surprised by what people post," comments Devitre, who recalls one incident in which an agent excitedly posted on Facebook that she'd gotten an offer for $100,000 over the asking price on a house.

It was before the deal closed. And the prospective buyers saw the post. Imagine.

Green REsource Council Newsletter, December 2010