Should you be using Facebook Messenger for prospecting? There is a short answer and a long answer to this.
The short answer is… YES.
The long answer is… YES, and here’s why:
REASON #1 TO USE FACEBOOK MESSENGER FOR PROSPECTING: Be Where The People Are
One of the most important reasons to use Messenger is: Everyone is on Facebook.
As of this writing, Facebook has almost 2 billion users. Your prospects are on Facebook. If they’re not (unlikely), than at least everyone your prospect knows is on Facebook. If your grandma and aunt Gertrude are on Facebook, chances are good that your prospect is too.
Now, let’s take this point one step further:
The old model of “making calls” for real estate agents is largely… Dead. People now prefer text and email — the written word — over talking on the phone.
Making and receiving phone calls is not even in the top 5 things people do with their mobile phones.
Read that again if you must.
Your prospect — in most cases — does not want to talk to you on the phone.
She wants to be contacted via text and social media.
And that’s where Facebook Messenger comes in. Messenger is a powerful platform that allows you to text, chat, and — if you absolutely must — call (or video chat) people without needing a cell phone number.
That last point is huge. It’s much, much easier to find someone on Facebook and click “add friend” than it is to track down their mobile number.
This is becoming more common every day. A prospect may accept a friend request without thinking twice, but will hesitate to hand over their phone number to a real estate agent.
The first reason to use Facebook Messenger is this:
It puts people at your fingertips that would have, once upon a time, taken weeks of networking and schmoozing to reach.
If you don’t go where the people are, you’re putting yourself at a disadvantage before you even get started.
I’d like you to stop reading for a moment and go download Messenger now if you haven’t already. Then come back here and continue reading. (You’ll want to come back. The end of this article has powerful hacks to start prospecting on Messenger now).
Have you done it?
REASON #2 TO USE FACEBOOK MESSENGER FOR PROSPECTING: People Buy From People They Know, Like, and Trust
Yes, that’s an ancient sales axiom. Just because we’re talking about new technology doesn’t mean we have to throw the baby out with the bath water.
Technology changes, human psychology does not.
That statement is as true as it ever was. But how people decide whether they know, like, and trust you has changed.
Instead of shaking your hand at the Country Club, they take a stroll on your Facebook wall.
Messenger gives you the power to “shake hands” with a huge audience.
These social media handshakes allow you to explode your network, and therefore increase your chances of meeting someone who is a good prospect for your real estate business.
If you’re doing some basic marketing techniques like blogging (Easy Agent Pro) and posting interesting content to your Facebook account, people will begin to recognize you as a real estate authority.
But Messenger allows you to go beyond people seeing your content and knowing who you are to making contact in a meaningful way (More about “HOW TO” do this correctly below).
Being active and present on the social media platform that people are using most immediately gives you a head start over other agents who are stubbornly holding onto “the old ways.”
REASON #3 TO USE FACEBOOK MESSENGER FOR PROSPECTING: Robots Are The Way of The Future
Robots are here to replace us.
Not in an “end-of-the-world” sort of way. But they are here to do the jobs you don’t want to do so you can focus on the closing more sales.
Advanced “chatbots” can handle a lot of the mundane regular questions you might receive. They can also answer questions 24 hours a day, at all of the weird hours that your prospects are surfing the web.
Now, at this point, chatbots require some technical/coding know-how, or at least the money to hire someone with the know-how.
But most people agree that chatbots are the future of online customer service.
Just imagine: A prospect visits your website or Facebook page, is immediately greeted and guided toward the home of their dreams… Without you having to lift a finger.
Let’s say you’re selling real estate in the San Diego area. It might go something like this:
BOT: Hey there! Where are you thinking of moving to?
Clickable Options: Del Mar | La Jolla | Carlsbad | etc.
PROSPECT: *Clicks La Jolla*
BOT: That’s a beautiful area! What’s your price range?
PROSPECT: $600,000 – $1,000,000
BOT: Okay! What do you think of these?
Displays listings that meet that criteria
PROSPECT: *Clicks on a home*
BOT: Would you like to receive more information about this home?
YES | NO
PROSPECT: Clicks “YES”
BOT: Great! Joe Agent will be in touch with you soon!
Securing highly qualified leads through automated chatbots is going to a reality in the near future. If you would like to explore using chat-bots in real estate business, check out platforms like ChatFuel, Botsify, and Sequel.
Now, I promised you a game plan for getting started prospecting with Facebook Messenger today, didn’t I?
Well before we do that, you might be asking:
That’s all good and fine… But does any of this actually WORK in getting more leads and closing more sales?
And the answer is… YES. Before moving on to the step-by-step game plan below, check out this video and hear from people who are actively using Messenger in their real estate business right now:
YOUR FACEBOOK MESSENGER GAME PLAN
STEP 1: Set Goals and Target Your Ideal Clients
Go through your list of Facebook friends and pick out 20 people that you would like to do business with, or who you believe could connect you to other great prospects.
For example: Let’s say you pick out Facebook friends who are local professionals and business owners. These people typically have money, own their homes, and have wide circles of influence.
Got your list of 20? Good.
STEP 2: Make Meaningful Contact
Do not — I repeat: Do NOT — contact these people with something like this:
“Hi, Bob Business Owner! I’m a real estate agent who would love to meet with you and discuss some of the great home listings we have available in the area…”
Any version of that message is ME, ME, ME talk and it’s the Messenger equivalent of junk mail.
Instead, you want to *GASP!* … Be their friend.
Start by making an honest effort at establishing a real connection.
Take an interest in the life of your prospect.
Before contacting them on Messenger, you’ll want to visit their Facebook page to see what THEY are interested in, and then talk to them about that. You could try something like this:
“Hey, Bob Business Owner. I came across your Facebook wall and it looks like you fly fish a lot. I’ve been wanting to try it. Do you know of any spots that are good for beginners?”
Starting from a place of personal interests — and not mentioning business at all — is a great way to start a real connection and let shop talk come about naturally later on.
By the time Bob finds out you’re a real estate agent, he’s much more likely to want to work with you or recommend you to others.
OR this approach:
“Hey, Bob! I’m working on a blog post about our local economy and I’m trying to interview a handful of successful local business owners. You and [COMPANY NAME] came to mind. Can I buy you coffee and pick your brain for a few minutes?”
Notice that both of these approaches talk to the prospect about what they are interested in (hobbies and business), not what you are interested in (selling real estate).
Just remember to keep the interactions light and fun.
The goal at this stage is NOT to sell anything or get referrals.
You’re just intentionally building relationships with people you’d like to do business with down the road.
STEP 3: Get Them To AGREE to Help You
This is step 3 — the last step — for a reason. Don’t try to change the order.
If you target your ideal clients, then begin building meaningful connections with them, it’s only a matter of time before they ask you one of those magic questions:
“What do you do?”
“So how’s the real estate biz?”
This is the moment you’ve been waiting for. The door is open and now you have the opportunity to say something like:
“If you know anyone who’s looking, send them my way…”
IMPORTANT: Don’t just tell them to do it. Make it a friendly exchange:
“…Send them my way. And if I find anyone who needs what you offer, I’ll do the same. How does that sound?”
At this point they’ll say something like “Sounds good!”
The beauty of this approach is that you’re not a pest asking for a favor. You’re two friends who agreed to help each other out.
There’s a spirit of equal exchange and mutual benefit when you do it this way.
And you know what?
You might just be surprised how often someone says: “Ya know, I actually was thinking about…” or “Ya know, I was just talking to so-and-so and they mentioned moving to…”
- Facebook Messenger gives you access to a lot of new people who are ripe with potential for being your new friends and clients.
- Messenger allows you to reach these people without tracking down their phone numbers or e-mail addresses. It allows you to build relationships with more of your ideal clients, faster.
- The fastest path to success is to develop relationships first, then wait for your opportunity to sell later.
Owner & Operator,
The Elite Group
Largest Home Inspection Company in North America
Best Selling Author “Secrets Of Top Producing Real Estate Agents: And How To Duplicate Their Success.”