Our clients at Z57 realize Facebook's potential

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The questions regarding Facebook marketing and its profitability have raged on for years. As the debate swirled, many in the real estate community have begun talking less and doing more - and in turn, selling more. While opponents of Facebook marketing have claimed that the process is a waste of time with little payoff, evidence suggests that the popular social networking site has become an "indispensable distribution channel" for realtors. For instance, studies have shown that most home-buying prospects spend a minimum of 20 minutes each day browsing Facebook. When you combine that with the fact that 40% of social media users find their realtors through referral (according to the 2011 National Association of REALTORS Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers), it's clear that social media sites have the potential to become an integral part of the real estate buying process . Even the agents themselves are starting to realize the significance of Facebook, as 56% of real estate pros feel social media sites are "important or very important" in generating leads.

At the forefront of this movement is San Diego-based Z57, Inc., an internet and social media marketing company who has been our partner since 2006. Taking advantage of our Listings Search Engine's flexibility on social platforms, the company offers all the tools needed to create and manage your Facebook presence. This includes a built-in IDX search (approved by CMLS), home value tools, school and community reports and more. These tools allow you to interact more intelligently and effectively with your potential customers (and make your profile look prettier, of course).

However, integrating your business with Facebook is a task often easier said than done. Even the most seasoned of marketing professionals will tell you how difficult it is to plan and manage a successful social media campaign. Luckily for realtors,  Z57 recently launched its PropertyPulse platform to go along with its web services, making everything from Facebook site design to analyzing strategy performance as easy as riding a bike (or tricycle for the balance-impaired). Still having trouble? Z57's Academy Campus offers real estate specific Facebook marketing training for its clients. With so many tools and services at their disposal, real estate agents can spend less time behind a computer and more time selling houses.

Even though there are so many possibilities, it's important to remember that Facebook integration is a long-term strategy that's better evaluated next year rather than next week. Don't expect a flood of new customers in the first month. Instead, focus on creating quality interactions with your customers by providing a constant stream of information and developing your company brand and personality. That way, you will be the first name on their minds when it's time to make a home-buying decision. Social media integration is a long and complicated investment; those that execute their campaigns properly will leave their skeptical competitors in the dust.