Whether you are a new agent or an agent looking to grow your business, a steady flow of leads is foundational for business development and growth. Jay Johnson with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Beach Properties of Florida found a way to identify, connect and convert new leads almost immediately after starting his real estate sales career.
His free Facebook strategy led to $6 million in closed sales volume within four months of starting his real estate career. This simple, repeatable strategy has provided him a consistent flow of quality leads and the opportunity to grow his business quickly.
Where he found the opportunities
One of the most important components of lead generation is identifying where your ideal clients spend their time. Facebook is the third most visited website in the world. With that in mind, Johnson knew that when his ideal clients are online, they are more than likely on Facebook.
But Facebook is huge, so how can you identify your ideal clients? This is where Facebook groups come in. Most cities have Facebook groups for discussing living in their area. A few examples of these local Facebook groups might include:
- Let’s talk (your city)
- (Your City Name)
- Living in (your city)
- The (Your City) Life
Johnson found these local Facebook Groups to be a place where many future residents began the research of their soon-to-be cities of residence.
How he found local Facebook groups
There are local Facebook Groups for nearly every area or community. Locating the ones for his area was a simple process. The first step he took was to go to the Facebook search bar and enter the name of the city and communities he serves.
The second step was to scroll down on the left side of his screen and click on “Groups.” This gave him a list of the groups in his area, and you can duplicate this in your area, as well.
As you scroll through the list of groups, notice a few key components, like the number of members for the group. The main reason is to make sure that the group is large enough to create enough impact for the time you will spend. The larger the group, the bigger the opportunity, in most cases.
The second component to notice is the Group description. This gives you the opportunity to quickly determine whether this is a group where your ideal clients might be. If the first two components show promise, then click on the hyperlink to the Group page.
Once you land on the Group page, click the about button. This will give you an idea of the rules and any standards the page owner and moderators are looking to uphold. Most encourage kindness, discourage bullying and some prohibit selling.
The next component to check is the moderators. Hover over the photo of each moderator, and it will tell you where they work, as long as they have a company included in their description.
The reason to check this is to make sure the moderators are not other real estate agents. If they are moderators, odds are they invested time in building the group, and you should honor their effort by not trying to invade the space they created.
If all of these boxes are positive, then this is a group worth joining. By clicking the “Join Group” button, you will be asked a quick series of questions and will either be approved for the group immediately or sent to the moderators for approval to join.
Don’t be afraid to join multiple groups if they are available for the communities you serve. Again, the more people you help and serve, the more your business will grow.
How to initiate the conversation
The best way to gain respect and opportunities in a group is to be helpful and serve as a resource for as many questions about your area as possible, not just real estate related questions.
Operate by giving before having an expectation to receive. As you add value to others, you will see opportunities to have conversations about real estate.
Johnson found opportunities in conversations about local schools, the best neighborhood for families and even a few people asking for agent recommendations. These questions created an opportunity for him to show his knowledge, be a resource and utilize Facebook Messenger to start personalized conversations.
Instead of just answering the questions in the comments section, he sent direct messages with an answer and a question through Facebook Messenger. For example, when someone asked about schools in the area, he sent a private message with a link to the school system’s website with details about the schools.
He also asked a question after providing them the information. Here is an example of a private message:
I noticed your question about the schools in our area on the “Let’s Talk (your city)” Facebook Group. Here are a few links to the school’s websites and information about each school. Please let me know if I can answer any additional questions. Are you considering a move to our area?
These conversations led to opportunities to add more value and convert them to clients.
How he builds the relationship
Not everyone is ready to make a buying decision immediately. This is why he sends a friend request to them once he has a conversation with them via Messenger.
Being friends with them on Facebook allows him to build rapport over time. As he sees posts they make, he likes the posts and comments. This keeps him on their radar for when the time comes for them to move.
He also sends them property updates via Messenger as he sees properties that might interest them. These property updates give him the ability to continue the conversation over time.
Time and consistency breed trust, so even though he closed more than $6 million in his first four months, he is even more optimistic about his future as the relationships he is nurturing mature.
A great example of how it works for him
One of the posts that caught his attention early on was someone asking for an agent recommendation. While a number of agents posted comments about how they were the best and to call them at their number, Johnson sent them a private message via Messenger.
Here is an example of what that message looked like:
I saw your post on the “Living in (your city) Group asking for an agent recommendation.” Can you provide me with a few details on the area and type of home you are looking for? If it is not an area I serve, then I will be glad to make a recommendation on the best of the best servicing that area. If it is an area I serve then I will be glad to provide you information about the market, the area, and available properties with no-obligation whatsoever. Is there a particular area, size of home, or a list of amenities you are looking for?
A message like this led to his first sale and a subsequent referral almost immediately after he started.
Consistency is key, and spending time on multiple group pages will yield results. If you are looking for a source for free leads, don’t miss out on the opportunity that local Facebook Groups offer. Add value, be the resource, and business will follow.