facebook for real estate

MLS and Brokers need community managers

by Victor Lund on March 6, 2012

Facebook Timeline

Like many others in real estate, I’ve spent the last few days devouring the new brand timelines launched for Facebook pages. This new medium is the focus of this article, but consider other publishing requirements in business today as you read this: website publishing, youtube publishing, twitter, etc. My expectations were sky-high but after several hours I realized that Facebook timeline is going to be a lot harder to implement than most real estate professionals think. As it stands now, there is a clear divide between brands that have adopted the timeline feature set full on and those that have simply migrated their old strategy to the timeline format with a few old brand assets tossed in for backfill. Few, if any MLSs or real estate brokerages have adopted the new format with intent, planning, and execution plans. Big Brand timelines such as those of Captain Morgan USA, which eschewed old ads and brand assets in favor of recreated period scenes, and The New York Times, which, anachronistically, documents behind-the-scenes newsroom happenings, come off as inventive. In contrast, brands that displayed no clear adoption strategy were notable for the dual column, text-based timelines that felt visually reminiscent of a phone book. This begs the question of what Facebook timeline for real estate brands really means. How does it alter brand behavior vis-a-vis Facebook? And what are the resulting implications for brands looking to “adopt” vs. “migrate”? The obvious change is the forced evolution of a real estate company or agent to tell their story visually and chronologically. Taking full advantage of timeline will require increased time and attention from those who understand social narrative. Brokerages that heavily invest in this and use timeline as an opportunity to mature their approach to the platform will see Facebook start to produce real business results, in the form of conversion, change in preference and lead generation. Companies that resist investing will continue to see only minor business gains. For most real estate brokerages today, Facebook draws more consumers and higher conversion rates than listing syndication – so there is an opportunity for investing here that may well pay significant dividends.