A Real Estate Discussion Blog


Reason 1483 Why I Love Facebook - No More Cold Calls

We spend a lot of time here on Active Rain, and in social media seminars, talking about how to use Facebook as professionals to be found by new clients.  This week, the shoe was on the other foot for me! 

On Monday I hired a Realtor to sell one of my investment properties in Waukee, IA.  My husband3 bedroom condo in waukee, iaand I reached out to this particular Realtor (I can't remember if it was thru voice mail or email), and the first time I spoke to him, he said "yeah, I saw on Facebook it looks like your husband and I have a mutual friend and what do you do at Zillow". 

Here is what the Realtor knew about me before even placing the first call:

  • I am an actual person.
  • I have a job and knew where I worked.
  • I am married and he knows where my husband works.
  • We are out of town sellers. 
  • We are into the Internet and use Facebook a lot, based on our Friend count.
  • What I look like, so he can guess my approximate age.
  • He knows a little about my interests because you can see which Fan pages I follow. 
  • He knew who, if any, mutual friends we had.  How good of conversation starter is that?

As you can imagine, the first call we had together was no cold call.  We were instantly able to have a more personal conversation and he was hired minutes later.  I really appreciated the fact that he took a few minutes to do a little research about me before picking up the phone and it made for a much warmer first conversation. 

So yes, Facebook is a great prospecting tool and can potentially get your deals.  But it is also a great tool to help work with the leads you get through other sources! 

(Oh, and I bet you all are wondering where I found him?  He was the only Realtor in Waukee, IA to have a completely filled out profile here on Active Rain and Zillow.  Did I really have a choice who to use?  Haha!)




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Comment balloon 67 commentsSara Bonert • September 04 2009 12:35PM


Hello Sara, that's a pretty telling story on the evolution of Facebook and how it complements our AR activity.  Thanks!  John

Posted by Alexander- Slocum, Realty Team- Vancouver WA Real Estate (Premiere Property Group, LLC - Vancouver Washington) about 11 years ago

Hi Sara~ I use facebook and activerain for just about  all of my referrals!  It makes life so much easier and you actually get to know these people!  I guess I better go and check and make sure my zillow account is complete ;)

Posted by Vickie McCartney, Broker, Real Estate Agent Owensboro KY (Maverick Realty) about 11 years ago

Hi Sara.  I am a huge fan of Facebook.

More importantly, my friends love Facebook.

Good luck with the home sale.


Posted by Ken Tracy, Helping clients buy and sell since 2005 (Coldwell Banker Residential) about 11 years ago

Sara .. Facebook is becoming the next best thig to Active Rain.  It is a great way to stay in contact with old friends, family and meet new people as well.

Posted by Roland Woodworth, eXp Realty (eXp Realty) about 11 years ago

What a small world. A very down to earth example of the benefits of social networking. All the best!

Posted by Steve, Joel & Steve A. Chain (Chain Real Estate Investments & Mortgage, Steve & Joel Chain) about 11 years ago

Hi Sara ~ Facebook is a great tool to promote your business on line and  it is a terrific resume to show to others who you are and what you do!

Good luck with sale of your investment property in Waukee, IA!

Posted by Terrie Leighton, Reno Real Estate Agent ~ Selling Homes in Reno (Ferrari-Lund Real Estate ) about 11 years ago

I think there's a lot of information to be found depending on how public that person is.  Not all profiles on Zillow are public.

Posted by Christine Donovan, Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M (Donovan Blatt Realty) about 11 years ago

What a great story.  We really have no privacy in this age of computers, but it is comforting to know that some people use the web for a healthy way to learn something about people before they contact them.

Posted by Sybil Campbell, REALTOR® ABR, SFR, SRES Williamsburg, Virginia (Long and Foster REALTORS® 5234 Monticello Ave Williamsburg, Virginia) about 11 years ago

Sara- That is a great reason to network on social media platforms, I love how clients get to know you before they know you:) I always think this is so cool. Katerina

Posted by Katerina Gasset, Get It Done For Me Virtual Services (Get It Done For Me Virtual Services ) about 11 years ago

Hi Sara - Profiles and Fan pages are a great way to break the online and real-world ice. Are you going to share reasons 1-1482 with us, too?

Posted by John Novak, Henderson, Las Vegas and Summerlin Real Estate (Keller Williams Realty The Marketplace) about 11 years ago

Hi Sara: I have had some of my past clients to read my blogs and testimonials on AR and call to tell me how much they liked it.

Posted by Sandy Childs, Realtor - Spartanburg, SC (Keller Williams Realty) about 11 years ago

Hi Sara ~ Facebook is great for making us more accessible and anyone who goes there can see we have friends and family just the same as the rest of the world. You can find out a lot about a person from their FB page, as you found out when you contacted this Realtor.

Posted by Denise Hamlin, Broker/Owner, Helping Happy Clients Make Smart Choices (Cardinal Realty ~ 319-400-0268) about 11 years ago

Hi Sara,


I am new to facebook and active rain and I am just feeling my way around.  Your blog has been helpful.

Posted by David Zimmerman (Russ Lyon Sotheby's International Realty) about 11 years ago

My sisters dragged me into FB and I've found it a great way to get in touch with old friends and family.

Posted by Will Nesbitt, Nesbitt Realty is a family-run brokerage. (Nesbitt Realty at Condo Alexandria) about 11 years ago

That is a very interesting story. I have a Facebook account but have not used it a lot. I never thought about the fact that fellow Realtors or clients can use this to learn about you as well. That is a great use for the tool.

Posted by Renee Thompson (Premier Sotheby's International Realty) about 11 years ago

I also enjoy Facebook. I can keep up with friends family and colleges collectively in one place. It is a great tool.

Posted by Chip Jefferson (Gibbs Realty and Auction Company) about 11 years ago

Beginning with knowing you are an actual person...there are sooo many people who "hide" behind the internet...the only other caution is that there are also a lot of fairy tales on AR and other media making you believe that the people who participate are as successful as they blog to be...careful !

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Real Estate Agents - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) about 11 years ago


I think there is some similarity between the current use of social media with the old print advertising.  When people keep you over and over again on the various sites you become more familiar to them and they begin to develop a trust.  These are great tools.


Posted by Claudette Millette, Buyer, Broker - Metrowest Mass (The Buyers' Counsel) about 11 years ago

Sara, your story highlights the importance of not just registering on Facebook, but following and contributing to it.

Posted by Brian Schulman, Lancaster County PA RealEstate Expert 717-951-5552 (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Lancaster PA) about 11 years ago

Sara - Great story !  Shows the imporatance of having those profiles completed !  I think it is also great he did a little due diligence ahead of time.  And in reality, how long did that really take ?  FB rocks : )  .  And of course so does Zillow !!  And AR !!! LOL

Posted by The Somers Team, Delivering Real Estate Happiness (The Somers Team at KW Philadelphia) about 11 years ago

I love AR......facebook seems more for kids, young adults playing "catch up"   I think AR is more of a professinal media.


Posted by Patricia Aulson, Realtor - Portsmouth NH Homes-Hampton NH Homes (BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY HOME SERVICES Verani Realty NH Real Estate ) about 11 years ago

This is why Facebook is in a war with Googlr. They believe their platform should be the dominate one on the web, so they are incorporating both Google and Twitter into their model. The information you talked about is typically not on Google.

Posted by Joe Pryor, REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties (The Virtual Real Estate Team) about 11 years ago

When I get a referral or have contact with a cross sale agent I look up and see if they are on face book and if they are I add them. It helps me learn more about them and I know we will stay in touch that way.  I am going through my data base now and looking for the people I have in there on Facebook.  I love it and I don't think it's just for young adults ( I still FEEL young however)  I am connecting with all the folks I went to school with over 20 years ago, which will be helpful when and if we make the move back to our home town.  (plus it's fun)  have to say the same for AR.

Posted by Anna Matsunaga, Seller specialist, Certified Negotiation Expert (Team Momentum Keller Williams Realty Tacoma) about 11 years ago

Sara -

As much as I love AR, Facebook adds another dimension and lets me interact with folks who interact with other folks who don't even know AR exists.  The more the merrier.


"Rangers Lead the Way"

Posted by Michael Bergin, Northern Virginia Real Estate (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - ABR - SRES ) about 11 years ago

Sara, I always google people who I am about to talk to or meet the first time. You find out lots of good stuff prior to meeting. Facebook would be an excellent platform to do it.

Posted by Missy Caulk, Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate (Missy Caulk TEAM) about 11 years ago

Great post, Sara!  Facebook and other online social sites are definitely a useful tool.  Glad to know it's working out for you!

Posted by Eric Boyd, FL Licensed Real Estate Broker / Property Manager (Step One Realty, LLC, 904-469-6335) about 11 years ago

I also love facebook its my favorite social media site,i make many friedns here.i speand 4-5 hrs daily on it.i shear my all happy and unhappy with my friedns on this site.

The Ab Rocket Reviews

Posted by krineenhussain about 11 years ago

Sara, what a great story.  What you say is so true.  When you're on Facebook, interacting with people, the door is already open.  People know what they do because they know you!  Great post!

Posted by Bob Haywood, BobHaywood.com (McGraw Realtors) about 11 years ago

The whole mix is important, and FB is a great tool for all the reasons you mentioned. I've gotten SEVERAL leads form FB and one from Twitter. I found the home stager I use on AR, because she was the only one in my area with a complete profile. Amazing how we are able to interact & engage these days.

I helped someone on Twitter last night locate a spa, hotel and a few night clubs for her visit to Tulsa. I'm guessing if she ever needs a Tulsa Realtor, she'll remember me!

Posted by Lori Cain, Midtown Tulsa Real Estate Top Producer (eXp Realty) about 11 years ago

HI! Sara,

Are you using a Facebook business page, or was that from your personal page?  I need to get my business page up and going.  I see so many people in my area doing a lot of real estate "talking" on their personal page, but I have read that can lead to problems....

Posted by Dana Wilkinson, Broker-Your TX agent for The Woodlands-Spring-Conr (Connect Realty, The Woodlands, TX) about 11 years ago

Sara,  Thanks for sharing, I have just started using facebook, my grandkids and kids wanted me try it out.I am still new at it but trying to figure out what to write each day. The nice thing,I get to see pictures and activities of my grandkids world on facebook. Time will tell how it works for me. Maybe spend more time on Activrain also..

Posted by Tom Thomason about 11 years ago

I would also like to know if it is a Facebook business page or a personal page. THanks,


Posted by Kristi DeFazio, Colorado Springs Rea lEstate 719-459-5468 (RE/MAX Advantage) about 11 years ago

Hi Sara-

Warm calls are always better than cold calls! I love facebook and have had quite a few referrals from friends I have not spoke with in a while! I have a personal profile with my business as a page. I am still learning all of the tools available!

I too like to find out information about the people I am working with and this is a great platform to start on!

Thanks for sharing!

Posted by Stephanie Reynolds, East County San Diego Homes 619-838-4408 (Integrity First Financial Group, Inc. ) about 11 years ago

This is an interesting use of Facebook, to say the least. Being that you are in the RE world, so to speak, that made it easy and not so awkward for him to speak with you using what he had found on the internet. Are you saying that using that technique would be acceptable for reaching out to prospects, whether they be FSBO's or expired? Curious to know your thoughts on this...

Posted by William James Walton Sr., Greater Waterbury Real Estate (WEICHERT, REALTORS® - Briotti Group) about 11 years ago

You are right - cold calls are a thing of the past. When you want investment property in Cocoa Beach, call me - I am on Facebook!

Posted by Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty, Fifteen Years Experience in Brevard County (Bucci Realty, Inc.) about 11 years ago

Don't you love facebook? It's like a ad about yourself so that people can see who you are before you talk. It takes a cold call into a warm call.

Posted by Sandy McAlpine, Search Lake Norman Homes For Sale - Lake Norman NC (RE/MAX EXECUTIVE) about 11 years ago

Hi Sara, Love facebook and AR!  great social  networks, and AR is terrific for learning also!  thanks for sharing

Posted by Ginger Moore (Wilkinson & Associates Realty) about 11 years ago

Thanks for sharing a real story about how Facebook has actually impacted your business.

Where are the 1482 other reasons you love Facebook posted?

Posted by Rich Cederberg, eXp Realty Agent Albuquerque (eXp Realty) about 11 years ago

I think you need to be careful not to recite a peron's whole facebook page and all the info you found on Google back to them the first time you talk, but having that background helps you take the conversation in the right direction in a natural way.  Also, I think it is a huge first step jut to know the lead is an ACTUAL PERSON.  It can help you prioritize your time. 

Dana- With regards to Fan Pages - My point was that the person could see what type of things I personally was a fan of.  For example, I had a meeting the other day and I was able to find the person on Twiiter and see that they were following a number of high profile Republican.  Well, that is a big clue on a couple of things not to bring up... 

With regards to Fan Pages as an individual Realtor (and this is just my opinion) - I think you so set one up, just to have and and for SEO purposes.  But don't spam your database and ask everyone to be a fan, espicially if you don't plan on actually using the page.  I think a personal page is a much more effective tool for accomplishing your personal and professional goals.  If you are a large office, then Fan Pages are more appropiate- IMO. 

William- Interesting question.  I would say that you should definitely use social media to find out more about FSBOs or expired.  But when I spoke with the person, I don't know that I would articulate a lot of the personal info that I find out.  It may come across as a little stalkerish.  You would need to work your intel into the conversation in a way that says "i did my homework before picking up the phone" but I am not intruding on your personal life.  Again, doing this could help you better organize how you spend your time and resources- could help you prioritize. 

Posted by Sara Bonert, Real Estate Internet Marketing (Zillow) about 11 years ago

Alright listing out 1482 reasons would be a REALLY long post, but I could probably get there.  But I can easily give you the first 555.  One for each friend that I have! 

Happy Labor Day Weekend all!

Posted by Sara Bonert, Real Estate Internet Marketing (Zillow) about 11 years ago

That's great that he did his research before calling you back too - a good sign! Another example of how Social Media is changing how we do business.

Posted by Monica Bourgeau, Business Coaching about 11 years ago

Ditto, we met and we had talked on here before and then through Facebook, and other local Chicago events.  Faceabook is a great way to get and meet new clients, other agents and mortgage professionals. 


Have a great weekend



Posted by Dave Woodson, Not the Average Agent (Dave Woodson) about 11 years ago

This is great Sara !

I'm sure that type of intro is only going to become more common as time goes on !

...and good luck selling your investment property :o)

Cheers !


Posted by Sheldon Neal, That British Agent Bergen County NJ (Bergen County, NJ - RE/MAX Real Estate Limited) about 11 years ago

Facebook is great because most people you are networking with have "found you" as opposed to you needing to find them!

Posted by Clare Dove (EyeFiMedia Property Marketing Experts) about 11 years ago

This is the third time in just a few days that I'm reading about using social media tools to get info about people I'm going to be doing business with.  Guess I'd better get with the program!

Posted by Kate Wheeler, CCIM - Murphy NC Real Estate for Sale (Country Homes and Land Murphy NC Realtor ) about 11 years ago

Sara, what a great example of how the social media can impact your business AND how important it is to have your profile updated on different sites.  I know I have some work to do :). 

Posted by Maui Real Estate - Lisa B. Miller R(S) (Keller Williams Realty Maui) about 11 years ago
I absolutely love facebook- I have made more contacts with will-be clients, old friends who probably didn't know I was a Realtor, Realtors I previously didn't know that well and the list goes on. It is one of the best things that ever came around for real estate professionals!!
Posted by Lainie Ramsey, Lake Texoma Expert (Homes By Lainie Real Estate Group) about 11 years ago

Sara, I've been totally surprised in just the last few days at how few realtors (or ?) who post on their AR blogs have public profiles on Facebook.  I've researched more than a dozen AR bloggers on Facebook in just the last few days and betwee 1/4-1/3 of them are not findable at all on facebook.  Of the ones that were, I don't think any of them had any more information available on their public profiles than a picture (can't remember if even all of the ones who's names showed up in a search had even that) with their name.  No location.  No contact information.  Not even what business or industry (RE?) they were in!  Unless you sent them (blindly) a 'friend request' and they accepted it, you got no more info!  Personally, I think that's pretty dumb.  What's your take on it?  Can you posit an explanation for this?

Posted by John J. Woods, Going where no man has gone before - wouldn't you? (Big Dog Press, LLC) about 11 years ago

Facebook is quite a resource..... I use it every day..... I comment on real estate professionals posts and keep up with the market and what is going on..... I post my AR blogs to it and people take notice....


Posted by Alexander Harb, Dallas, Texas Real Estate Investing (Knights Investing) about 11 years ago

Cold calls have never seemed to be a good thing.  I was glad there are "no call" lists -- gave me an excuse NOT to cold call.

Posted by Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED (RETIRED / State License is Inactive) about 11 years ago

Wow Sara. These are amazing tools for people to connect. Now we are relying more on Social media than face to face meetings. I think that it is a great and a fascinating trend.

Posted by Mark Velasco, Top Producing COMMERCIAL Team 30+ years experience (Sharpstone Commercial) about 11 years ago


You are not headed back to Seattle are you?  You were a big help to me with Zillow.

Posted by Gene Riemenschneider, Turning Houses into Homes (Home Point Real Estate) about 11 years ago

Good reminder that we are being interviewed online and how our 'presence' counts. Also on how to learn and prepare for our potential new clients.

Posted by Beverly of Bev & Bob Meaux, Where Buying & Selling Works (Keller Williams Suburban Realty) about 11 years ago

perfect example of how social media works.  Our world is changing, it's a fun time to be alive.

Posted by Kate Bourland, Onlilne Marketing Mobile Marketing (Marketing with Kate) about 11 years ago

I'm really enjoying the social media sites, reconnecting with far-flung family, old friends, clients and sphere. Had one referral from Facebook a few weeks back. LinkedIn is another one many of my clients and acquaintenances use.

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Helping make your real estate dreams a reality (Compass) about 11 years ago

Social media sure is shrinking the world. Facebook is growing everyday and is more about business then most of the others (ie.. MySpace and those type sites) so why not use it? It can only be win win if you ask me.

Posted by Christopher Kimball (Christopher Kimball Photography) about 11 years ago

Social media is a great thing. Great example on how its important to stay connected.

Posted by Bryan Fagan (Law Office of Bryan Fagan) about 11 years ago

Facebook can be a double edged sword. I've seen people put things about their personal life on facebook thet later comes up in their business life. It's important to be aware of this.

Posted by France and Mark Clausen (Realty Austin) about 11 years ago

FaceBook is a wonderful tool, among many. Certainly it allows us to reconnect with friends from long ago that we have lost touch with. But it is not the be all and end all of our business. I am afraid that those agents who dedicate all of their efforts to it will be sorely disappointed. It is one tool we can use in our tool chest. There are others. And keep in mind that when buyers, 80% of whom begin searching for homes on the net start looking, it is likely not going to be FaceBook where they begin. They will start at other sites like Realtor.com or do a Google Search. Yes, it is possible to make a business contact through FaceBook, but my guess is that it will play a more minor role in most of our businesses than a lot of  people think. Just as someone will win the lottery, there will be people who get leads via social sites. But the vast majority of us will get them via blogs, personal websites, and others that we set up and maintain to keep our presence highlited on the net. A poll was done here in Florida and 85% of agents said they had social site pages. My guess is that that is a very gross over estimation. I love the net, but know that of the people I know personally, few have sites and even fewer use the ones they have. For al intents and purposes, these are orphan sites and of little use professionally or socially.

Posted by John Elwell, You Deserve a Full-Time Agent, Not Reduced Results (CENTURY 21 Bill Nye Realty, Inc.) about 11 years ago

This is why our team has incorporated so many social network sites into our daily lives as well. You would not believe the referrals we have taken and sent this year alone. Blessings.

Posted by Lisa Ludlow Archer (Live Love Homes-Keller Williams, Charlotte, NC Ballantyne Area ) about 11 years ago

Sara another great example of how social media can be used to promote yourself for business. Thanks for the story

Posted by Kathie Burby, REALTOR, SFR, Tuolumne County Real Estate Guide (Coldwell Banker Mother Lode Real Estate) about 11 years ago

This is excellent insight on how REALTORs should be using the tools avaiable to them to make the process of prospecting much easier.  This is a great lesson to anyone who doesn't get it.

Posted by Jonathan Rivera (Real-TechGuy.com) about 11 years ago

The Agent certainly did his homework and was worthy of the listing - Good luck in the Sale!

Posted by Ed Vogt, Grandville, MI Midwest Properties (Midwest Properties of Michigan) about 11 years ago

Hi Sara,  not sure how I missed this great post (well yes I do last week was a tad hectic!!)  but congrats on your feature and shiny new .  I'm surprised that nobody mentioned using Xobni.  It's an indispensable tool if you're using Outlook - brings the info right into your inbox from Facebook or LinkedIn!

Posted by Lee & Pamela St. Peter, Making Connections to Success in Real Estate (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices YSU Realty: (919) 645-2522) about 11 years ago

Lee and Pamela- Yes, I LOVE Xobni, it is a great tool.  In case you haven't heard of it, when someone sends you an email, it will automatically pull that person's facebook pictures into your inbox, if they have their profile set to public.  However, I have to admit that I recently took it off my computer because it was slowing things down so much, it is a huge application.  When I get a computer and get more space, I'll reinstall, because I miss it.

Posted by Sara Bonert, Real Estate Internet Marketing (Zillow) about 11 years ago

I am surprised how few Realtors take the time Google their potential clients to get a jump start on building relationships.  Odds are, they found you online when doing their research before they called or emailed you.

Posted by Jim Paulson, Owner,Broker (Progressive Realty (Boise Idaho) www.Progressive-Realty.info) about 11 years ago

I have looked people up on Facebook to get an idea what they are like before giving them a call.  Social media can be used in so many ways!

Posted by Patricia Beck, Colorado Springs Realty (RE/MAX Properties, Inc., ABR, GRI, SRES) about 11 years ago