REinventing MLS

What Facebook’s New Graph Search Means for Real Estate

Ever since Facebook announced their new Graph Search on January 15, we’ve seen a lot of advice on how to optimize your real estate business page. And with good reason–Graph Search is a different kind of search that requires a different kind of strategy. Instead of searching the web and returning links, Graph Search searches the tags and likes of its users and returns photos, liked pages, statuses and beyond.

This means that Facebook members can search for (for example) “Italian restaurants my friends like” and see a list of Facebook pages for Italian restaurants that those in their network have liked. It’s instant social proof of what restaurants are best, according to the searcher’s unique social circle.

Think of what this means for real estate. If someone wanting to buy or sell a home is looking for a real estate agent, they can use Graph Search to search “real estate agents my friends like.” Those agents who turn up in the results may very well be considered more trustworthy and worth contacting than those found in a simple web search. Why? Because the searcher’s friends are providing a recommendation, of sorts, for those agents by having liked those agents’ pages.

Because Graph Search is a whole new ball game, meta tags and keywords won’t help you here. Here are a few tips to “optimize” your Facebook page:

  • Make sure your page is categorized correctly. Be sure your page is tagged as a “real estate agent” so you can be found in searches for agents.
  • Update your location. Graph Search lets users narrow searches geographically, e.g., “real estate agents in Miami that my friends like.” Be sure the area you serve is noted on your profile.
  • Build an engaged fan base. Keep putting out great content that your fans will like, share, and interact with. Every action they take is another chance for your page, statuses, photos, videos, etc. to appear in search results.

Identify Leads With Precision

Graph Search not only gives potential clients a way to find you, it can also help agents pinpoint leads.

Let’s say you have a townhouse for sale in an upscale urban area. You can identify potential leads by searching the Graph for pages they like. What attractions are near the property? If you’re looking for young families who may be interested in the area, try searching for “people who like the Ann Arbor Hands On Children’s Museum,” for example.

Have a rural listing you’d like to find buyers for? Search interests like hunting, snow mobiling, or other outdoor interests. Leads for waterfront property can be found with similar searches for boating, water skiing, fishing, etc.

Looking Ahead

The possibilities of Graph Search are endless. You can search any combination you can dream up, including pages liked, photos liked, photos shot in a certain location, videos and statuses that individuals are tagged in, and much, much more. You’ll be able to see results from friends, friends of friends, and the public, depending on each individual’s privacy settings.

Facebook plans to roll out Graph Search very gradually. While it’s only available to a limited number of users at the moment, you can prepare now for the Search’s debut by using the tips above.

 Article by Kelly Phelan, RET Content Team Member

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