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My friend CJ says that until the recent political season, the only people she ever “unfriended” on Facebook were real estate people. And she’s in real estate!

“They’re so boring, with nothing on their page but their latest listing or open house,” she says. “It looks like they have no life other than listing and selling—or else they don’t want real ‘friends;’ they only want clients to read their page.”

Anyone can find listings online. Your value as a real estate agent is based on who you are as a person and the sum total of all you know and have experienced. What do you like about the city or town where you live? What’s special about the neighborhoods where you sell homes? Do your children attend a great school? Are there any good restaurants nearby?

It’s called social media for a reason!

A great example of an agent who shares her “real” self is Cyndee Haydon of Clearwater, Fla. Her Facebook page has pictures of beachfront areas and local restaurants, festivals she’s attending, information about shooting video on her iPhone and iPad, laments about cleaning house and, yes, the occasional open house and testimonial posts. Who wouldn’t call her to buy a Tampa-area beach home? Not only would she be a real friend, she would make the process enjoyable.

Or cruise through Krisstina Wise’s Facebook page and you’ll see that she’s a runner who loves her town, technology, Mexican food and modern architecture. Her Austin brokerage has nearly as many “likes” as she does because their Facebook page is full of information about technology in real estate, modern architecture, Austin neighborhoods, energy efficiency and DIY projects.

Definitely not boring!

A better way

If you post or email a listing, put it in the context of the conversation you’ve already been having with friends and readers. For example, if you’ve previously communicated about the high school sports teams, talk about a listing where a family’s pool was once a gathering place for their teens’ friends. Tell how they hope to sell their home to a family who would appreciate that.

Stories sell when they appeal to our heads and our hearts.

In my free-subscription Housing Trends enewsletter, there’s a “Messages” section that provides agents with the opportunity to exhibit their local neighborhood expertise with a 350-character post plus a customizable link. Many agents use this area to provide updated local market conditions, but supplying information about a local event or charity might give a better glimpse into an agent’s life outside the “For Sale” sign.

Are you keeping it real?

Susie Hale is the Founder & CEO of FrogPond.

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