Two of Australia’s most successful agents have said the industry has been misled about the value of Facebook as a marketing tool.
Betty Ockerlander from McGrath Estate Agents Epping, who placed 25th in this year’s Top 100 Agents ranking, said she doesn't believe she’s received a proper return on the time and money she’s invested in Facebook marketing.
“We were led to believe by someone at some seminar that it was going to be much bigger, so you had to do it,” she told an REB Leadership Series event.
“We were waiting for something to happen. We were told it was going to be the only way people communicated, so we did it. My kids are 34 and 31 and even they've gone off Facebook.”
Ms Ockerlander said that while she is dubious about the value of Facebook, she feels obliged to continue using it to avoid the risk of handing an advantage to one of her rivals.
John Paranchi from McGrath Estate Agents Hunters Hill, who placed 56th on the Top 100 Agents ranking, said Facebook is “right down the bottom of the list” of prospecting options.
“Have I got a listing because of Facebook? The answer would probably be no. Has it got me into a door? Possibly,” he said.
“It’s there, it’s something you’ve got to be on, but you don’t want to spend too much time and attention on it,” he said.
“The typical person I deal with is aged 40 to 50 years. I just can’t see that the guy who works in senior management at Macquarie Bank, who I’m going to sell a house to, is going to be on Facebook trying to work out if they’re going to use me or another agent.”
Peter Gilchrist from Real Training International said agents are deluding themselves if they think they can achieve meaningful results from Facebook posts.
“It’s like pissing in a wetsuit – you get a lovely, warm feeling, but no one else really gets it,” he told REB.
“Facebook is not any sort of saviour for this industry. It’s just another form of letterbox and it’s a social media,” he said.
“Pick up the damn phone and have quality conversations with your database.”