Meet Dale Chumbley, REALTOR® extraordinaire in Vancouver, WA. Dale grew up in Vancouver and he comes from a generation of selling real estate. Needless to say he’s passionate about what he does for a living (selling real estate) and he’s passionate about the area he lives in (he knows it very well).
Now the reason I’m introducing you to Dale is because he’s one of the few agents (in my humble opinion) who is using a Facebook Page to market himself extraordinarily well.
The technique is simple:
- He writes a post on his blog: Clark County Real Estate Guide (he’s currently on Day 51 of 365 Things to Do)
- He publishes/links that post as a Status Update on his Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/WhyVancouverWA
- 8,825 Fans to date (all local residents)
- Referrals (a buyer lead on ~Day 23)
- Significant recognition as the local expert from businesses and individuals
Let’s look at how Dale developed his idea, marketed his page, and his advice for other REALTOR®’s looking to market their business using Facebook Pages.
@Ribeezie: So Dale, how long have you been a resident of Vancouver, WA? And how long have you been a real estate agent?
@DaleChumbley: I was born and lived 100% of my life here (40 years). I grew up as a teen with a mom in the business and I’ve been a licensed agent for 16 years.
@Ribeezie: What motivated you to create your 365 Things to Do Facebook Page? Obviously you love Vancouver or you’d have a little bit of trouble managing the daily content, right?
@DaleChumbley: Several reasons. Yes, I love my community and I want to help encourage others to get out and experience it. I want to support local businesses, events and open spaces. I also wanted to create a resource for those living here, relocating here or considering relocating here and this is a way for me to accomplish all those things.
@Ribeezie: So did you invite anyone to become a Fan of the Page or did your Fans emerge organically?
@DaleChumbley: To this day I have not sent out one single invitation. I didn’t tell anyone I was creating it. All the growth has been natural and most of the fans are in the Vancouver (and surrounding) areas.
@Ribeezie: How has the community you’ve developed impacted your site traffic? More importantly, how has in impacted the way that you generate leads and create discussions with local residents?
@DaleChumbley: The fan page is averaging around 3,000 views per week at this time. That number seems to stay pretty consistent now. As for traffic to my blog (where the full posts live) my traffic has gone up significantly! Since the middle of February Facebook has sent over 6,100 visitors to Clark County Real Estate Guide. I’m getting people coming to me as the community expert and finding that I’m actually getting recognized when I go into local businesses. It’s been a surreal experience. People are more and more coming up to me thanking me for creating this great resource. Just yesterday a total stranger asked out of the blue if I was the “365 guy”. I smiled and said yes. They thanked me for the site. They moved to the Vancouver area in December and had been having trouble finding things to do. I’ve just created an encouragement for people to get out and explore.
@Ribeezie: You average 30 – 40 (sometimes more) comments per post on your Facebook Page. Do you actively police the comments and respond (in other words, do you have a particular system in place for managing the community you’ve created)?
@DaleChumbley: Yes. This is the most time consuming (and valuable) part. Actual blog post/video/photo creation takes about an hour each day. I try and read every single thing posted on the site. On rare occasion I’ve had to delete something. I don’t like that part. I’m cool with people disagreeing and not liking a particular thing. After all, this is simply things I like and do. I won’t tolerate outright vulgarity and destructive commenting. I’m also interacting and creating conversation on the site outside of the actual “Thing To Do” for the day. I’ll randomly post a photo I take while out and about and post them on site. Some of those things get more interaction and conversation than the daily post.
@Ribeezie: What advice do you have for today’s Real Estate Agent who wants to use their Facebook Page as a marketing tool?
@DaleChumbley: MAKE IT YOUR OWN! Do not try and copy me and what I’m doing. What I mean by that is really search yourself and figure out what makes you tick. What is your passion? What gets you excited? Really stop and think about what you’re going to do before doing it. Ask yourself if you can commit to it (if you’re thinking of something similar to what I’m doing). This is not a light, small project. I’ve committed to a post per day for 365 days. I still am not 100% positive what that will look like. I’m 51 days in so far and batting 1000. I still have a long way to go. I’m taking it one day at a time. Look at who your audience (or potential audience) is and how do you want to interact with them. What is your purpose for doing it? Do you actually care about it or are you just looking to “get business”. If it’s the latter, move on and do something else…
Do you have a Facebook Page? How are you using it to marketing yourself and/or your business creatively?