Savvy real estate agents understand the value of cultivating multiple channels for finding customers. Networking, word of mouth, and repeat buyers are all tried-and-proven ways to increase business.

Facebook is a lucrative source, too.

Since the majority of home buyers start their journeys online, agents who craft powerful presences on the web can enjoy numerous sales they would otherwise not have had a chance to land.

But how can you do it?

If you’re committed to growing your business and want to find additional opportunities, mining Facebook for leads needs to be in your plan. Here are 10 points to follow for using Facebook to create business success.

Perfect Your Page

Create a Business Facebook page instead of using your personal page. Choose a professional headshot for your profile picture, and a real estate-related photo for your cover photo. Before you make it live, fill it with information about you, your business style, and what you can do for home buyers and sellers. Add photos of happy clients and current listings.

Once it’s ready, launch the page. Send your Facebook friends, previous clients, and colleagues invitations to like and share your page. Add a link to your page on your personal Facebook and your other personal social media profiles.

Write A Schedule

How to use Facebook for business requires some up-front planning. You’re going to need a schedule full of terrific content. Find, or write, blogs and interesting points about real estate that your buyers would find useful. Plan to share photos of houses that are for sale as well as pictures of happy buyers and sellers. The goal is to post a mix of different information and ideas on your page that isn’t boring or overly salesy. Once you finish the first month’s schedule, religiously stick to the timeline you have laid out for posting. Feel free to share your posts on your personal page to gain greater visibility, especially when you’re trying to grow followers.

Share Informative, Helpful Posts

You may be tempted to only post houses that are listed with you, but this isn’t the way to create a Facebook page that drives leads to you. Share helpful home buying hints, ways to save for a down payment, important information about certain neighborhoods and schools, and updates on the general real estate market. Make your Facebook page your followers’ go-to for information.

Use Pictures to Tell A Story

Text alone won’t capture a person’s attention for long. Add photos to your timeline. Either showcase homes you are currently selling, interesting curb appeal ideas, or fun seasonal decorations. Don’t forget to include pictures (seek approval first) of your happy home buyers and sellers.

Make certain all the photos you share are nicely focused and clear. Learn how to use your smart phone to create a page of slick, visually pleasing photos.

Learn How to Use Videos

Your instant reaction may be a big “No way,” but consider doing short videos of you speaking. Videos are exploding on social media and you could reap great benefits. Do a “Real estate minute” where you advise buyers and sellers of specific tips on finding a home in their budget, increasing their credit score, or even how to choose a realtor. Videos allow potential clients to get to know your personality and it strengthens the rapport better than either text or photo posts.

If you can’t bring yourself to get in front of the camera, dig up some informative videos from around the web and share them on your page.

Market Your Facebook Page

Once your page is up and running, make sure to market it at every networking function and every time you meet a potential client. Add it to your business cards and periodically post a reminder to like it on your personal Facebook page.

Tune in Often

Planning is essential, but information isn’t a one-way street. You may receive comments on your posts, and you need to answer them as quickly as possible. If you’re just posting and not engaging, you won’t be as successful in gaining leads with your Facebook page as you could be. Answering a commenter’s question can begin building a relationship with them that they’ll remember when they’re ready to buy or sell their home. And they’ll come to you for help.

Be Yourself!

Authenticity is key to attracting people on Facebook. You don’t have to be the most professional or the most successful, but you do need to be knowledgeable, informative, and engaging. Use your personality strengths to your advantage. If you’re funny, use humor to attract interest. If you’re quiet, rely on photos to tell the majority of your story. Avoid adopting a persona that isn’t the real you in hopes of gaining more leads. The average buyers will see through it and be turned off.

Focus on A Niche

It’s almost impossible to be everything to everyone, which is why it helps to streamline your efforts. Think about the type of client you like most. Is it a first-time homebuyer? The high-end buyer? The frequent seller? The fixer-upper enthusiast? Once you decide, gear most of your posts toward that niche. Pinpointing your ideal customer this way helps target them better and get more bang for your social media efforts.

Track Your Progress

Set aside time once a month to review your social media success. How many leads did you end up with? How many new followers? Are people commenting and liking your posts? Is your base growing? Answer all these questions and hone your strategy the next month to keep your page fresh and improving. If some of your posts didn’t get much attention, think about how you can improve those types of posts, or eliminate them altogether.

Marketing yourself is one of the most important aspects of being a successful real estate event. A well-run Facebook page will increase your visibility, expand your brand, and build your business with little effort.