Convert Facebook Profile to a Facebook Business Page

The need to leverage social media for a real estate agency is really a no-brainer these days. In 2011 Facebook is one of the easiest ways to connect with clients, potential clients and the community.

facebook business pages

Unfortunately many agencies have failed to setup their business correctly. Businesses really need to be setup as a Business Page, not a personal profile and your choice can hamper its effectiveness.

There are many reasons why your agency should be represented by a Business Page not a personal profile but here are a few..

1/ Facebook Can Delete Your Business Account if its created as a Personal Profile

Facebook states that maintaining a profile for anything other than an individual person is a violation of Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities.

They also state that If you don’t convert your profile to a Page, you risk permanently losing access to the profile and all of your content.  You have been warned!

There has been one report of a Victorian agent having their substantial account deleted because they did  not follow this rule.  As that agency found out if your business’ profile gets shut down by Facebook for violating this rule, your friends list will vanish with it. All your hardwork is gone and there is no way back.

2/ Personal Profiles are limited to 5000 pages

Now there are not too many agencies out there with thousands of fans but in a few years time this will become more and more common.  Personal Profiles are hard limited to 5000 friends but Business Pages have have as many fans as you want.

3/ Business Pages get widgets, visitor stats and demographics and adverts.

Facebook Insights allows you to view alot of information about about the  user activity on your page. This is not just visitor analytics but also the demographic break-downs of your visitors, all of which is not available to individual profiles.

Facebook also offers a range of widgets for businesses to integrate into their websites driving more fans business page. The latest Opengraph widgets rolled our recently convert at much higher rates which means that those who use a Personal Profile for their business are missing out on a huge avenue to grow their audience on Facebook.

4/ Better Design and Feature Set for Businesses

Facebook pages have recently undertaken a number of overhauls and more are planned for the future.  You can now navigate and interact with other areas of Facebook as your Page such as like and comment on other Pages as your Page.

Till recently those who used a Personal Profile for their business were stuck  as the conversion process to a business pages was complex involving manually inviting all your friends to become fans.

Facebook has now created a conversion tool to allow you to convert a Personal Profile to a Business Page.

This is great news for people who incorrectly setup a personal page as a business page.  If you don’t convert your profile to a page you will run the risk of permanently losing access to the profile, all friends/fans and all other associated content.

To convert your personal profile first read everything on this help center page http://www.facebook.com/help/?page=18918.

This page also provides you the necessary link to start the migration process.

Facebook, facebook business page, facebook profile

SEO For Real Estate
Listing Leads
Agentpoint Real estate

About Glenn Batten

Glenn Batten is the General Manager at First National Real Estate Nerang and Principal at the First National Real Estate Upper Coomera office and has over 20 years real estate experience and a passion for technology. Glenn has been writing from an agents perspective on industry issues and covering a range of topics on Business2 since 2007.

Connect

Stay Connected with Business2.com.au by following us on one of our social networking websites.

21 Responses to Convert Facebook Profile to a Facebook Business Page

  1. Lara Scott April 8, 2011 at 10:59 am #

    Great advice Glenn. I have made a point of not ‘friending’ agencies that use personal profiles in a kind of one-woman stand against the practice and a vain hope that it might discourage people from doing it.
    If people don’t heed your advice here to convert their profile over to a page then the least they should do is to regularly back-up their Facebook information through Account Settings so that when Facebook do shut them down at least they will have your friend list and content.

  2. Glenn Batten April 8, 2011 at 11:16 am #

    Funnily enough Lara you are not alone. I also never accept an invitation from a business setup as a personal profile.. One advantage of a business running as a profile is that you can actually send requests rather than recommendations.

    Knowing that there is conversion path now, if I was setting up a page now I might be tempted to start it as a personal profile, send out friend requests to everyone I know….. then a week later convert to a business page.

    Since changing to the new Opengraph widgets on our website just a few weeks ago that are only available to Business Pages we have been getting an average of nearly 2 fans per day.

  3. Jen Pearce April 8, 2011 at 11:30 am #

    Hi Glenn,

    Just a warning – be aware that when you convert your profile to a page, you will lose all pictures (except your profile picture), and all comments, and messages will disappear. The plus is all of your friends will be automatically added as people who like your page. What I would suggest would be creating a page and changing your business profile to a personal profile and directing your friends to your new business page. That way you keep all your precious content. Facebook has now released a form to reverse the migration, but there is no guarantee http://ow.ly/4vF4I For more info about migrating to a page check out the cautionary tale on Mashable: http://ow.ly/4vF1E

  4. Glenn Batten April 8, 2011 at 12:43 pm #

    Thanks Jen…

    You have always been able to create a Business Page and direct your friends to it but that has never really worked and why Facebook was bombarded with requests to make the conversion tool. Not everybody would join your page just cause you asked and then your business was split across both. It was a manual and tedious process to get everyone across.

    You also have the case where most business operators with a “Business” Personal Profile already have a personal profile for themselves anyway so they don’t need two.

    If somebody had only one personal profile that they combined for business and personal use you could do as you suggest but that was really always their option. This is probably more relevant to individual salespeople. My experience is that the main offenders that this tool will be most usefull is the personal profiles setup up for “XYZ Real Estate”.

    Facebook took the conversion tool offline after only a day or two because of issues that were raised in articles like your cautionary tale link but to their credit they took it offline to fix the problems. The tool is now back up.

    Everybody should read the full guide on the conversion before proceeding which is why I linked to that page, rather than the actual conversion tool itself.

  5. Daniel April 9, 2011 at 3:04 pm #

    Sorry to be a bother, however being new to the whole social media thing-what does “They also state that If you don

  6. Glenn Batten April 11, 2011 at 6:11 pm #

    Daniel,

    No bother at all. In short there is only one way to do it properly and that is have your agency listed on a Business Page. To create a Business Page you must first have a personal profile. An salesperson might get away with running a personal profile but for a business there is only one choice.

    Some agencies have setup their business on a personal profile. This is against the terms and conditions of the site and they risk having the site deleted. That’s not me saying it could be deleted.. thats Facebook themselves on the page I provided.

    If you want to create a Business Page for your agency but dont want to have a personal profile for yourself you can create a Business Account (they all start to sound like the same thing but they very very different).

    A business account does not let you do anything other than administer your business page. To learn how to create a Business Page you can start on Facebook’s help centre http://www.facebook.com/help/?page=904

    but there are plenty of tutorials online.. just google “Tutorial Facebook Business Page” and you will have plenty of examples to work through. If you a visual person and like to watch somebody else do the same search on youtube.

    I would also recommend you listen to todays episode at http://www.reuncut.com.au which covers the issue of deciding on a Business Page or a Personal Profile and throughout the week there will be other Facebook issues discussed.

  7. Sal Espro April 11, 2011 at 9:24 pm #

    Gee Glenn, that REUncut audio was as useless as! Why did you recommend it?!!
    Ps Do you know if you can have a separate business fb page from a personal one as distinct from being joined together somehow? (And still sue the same email log-in – with a different password?)
    Thx,
    Sal (Old, but gettin’ younger 🙂

  8. Glenn Batten April 12, 2011 at 11:11 am #

    Sal,

    The reuncut podcast can never give you as much detail as written articles but they are still an excellent resource covering subjects in broad strokes. In the end its just another reliable source for Daniel (and others) to understand that agencies need to be on Facebook with a business page.

    You can have your own Personal Profile on Facebook and with that you can setup and administer a Business Page.

    If you want your agency to be on Facebook but you have no desire to have your own Personal Profile then facebook has created a Business Profile… which is essentially just a login so you can administer the Business Page.

    Now a Business Page can be for any type of business. A salesperson can setup a Business Page if they want their Personal Profile to remain private. Many clients may be hesitant to “friend” their real estate salesperson because they dont want him/her to read their private posts and view their private photos. But they might “like” thier business page.

    Think of a Personal Profile as two way communication. You see their stuff and they see yours. A Business Page is one way where they see what you post on your business page only.

    Those agencies who setup their business as personal profiles (ie.. first name = “first national real estate” surname = “nerang”) risk having their account deleted by Facebook sometime in the future and not getting people to follow them because they don’t want to give them access to their private posts. Thats why Lara and I and I am sure many others don’t accept friend requests from businesses operating under a Personal Profile.

    I don’t know if their is a limit on the number of Business Pages you can manage but I am an admin on about 6 or 7 pages.

  9. Bill April 12, 2011 at 12:20 pm #

    Facebook presents a great opportunity for agents to use ads to personally brand themselves.

    An ad on Facebook will allow agents to display a photo, a short text message

    “Joe Bloggs

    Providing the people of Sydney with professional real estate services”

    And link the ad to a personal website.

    Agents only pay when the ad is clicked but displays are free. It’s a pretty potent medium for low cost branding considering the ads can be targeted to a particular demographic..

  10. Sal Espro April 13, 2011 at 5:22 pm #

    Very good of you, Glenn. Thankyou for the effort you always put in.

    Wrt that ‘friending’ aspect of Fb ‘personal’ pages,despite it seeming a bit like Multilist, what would you think about a thought I have had for years where a function on an agent’s website would enable you to ‘friend’ another agency so your listings would appear on each other’s websites?That way it wouldn’t need a governing body with lots of rules etc etc You would just deal with agents you trusted and could work with for the benefit of you both/all.???

    Rgds,
    Sal (Still gettin’ younger 🙂

  11. Glenn Batten April 13, 2011 at 5:56 pm #

    Sal…

    You mean like how we do it on http://www.fnuppercoomera.com.au and http://www.nfn.com.au … 🙂

    We opened the Upper Coomera office recently. The Zoo Property backend gave us the flexibility to do what you are suggesting.. So each website shows the stock from both offices and it displays the contact details for the listing office/salesperson. If we were to open a third office or come to an arrangement with a third or more offices it could be added into the mix. When each office updates its stock it is updated on all the websites.

    The key to make it work so seamlessly is everyone working on the same data and website providers…

    I know other First National offices have one website with a different front end based upon the URL the visitor arrived on. the difference with our setup is that each website is fully standalone and have different pages and content.

    One of competitors complained to Fair Trading that it provided us an unfair advantage and when he got no response he complained to us directly two months later.. We made the listing agents details a little more clearer by inserting the logo of the office that holds the listing authority.. but thats it..

  12. Sal Espro April 13, 2011 at 7:11 pm #

    Sounds good, Glenn.
    Can you point me to one of the listings?
    Does it work just like Fb where someone can apply to you and when you tick a box they are ‘added’ and the ‘alliance’ begins? (the easier the better).

    Rgds,
    Sal

  13. Glenn Batten April 13, 2011 at 9:41 pm #

    It’s easy to do but the connection is only done once and so its just in the back end settings..

    Here is an Upper Coomera Listing on the Nerang website http://www.nfn.com.au/58216/

    and vice versa.. http://www.fnuppercoomera.com.au/66828/

    The linking does not have to be reciprocal.. It could be just one way… so for instance one way that could work is …. here in Nerang we could get a few leading local agents together to create their own local portal….

    On the Gold Coast all 20+ First National agents could create a Gold Coast Real Estate Portal…

    The issue is the flow of data. It’s easy to do when all the operators use the same service.. but when they don’t it gets difficult…

  14. Sal Espro April 13, 2011 at 9:51 pm #

    Thanx Glenn – You are certainly always thinking.

    My thinking was more along the lines of how you’re currrently using it and among unrelated agencies.
    Adios amigo.
    Sal 🙂

  15. Glenn Batten April 14, 2011 at 12:25 am #

    Yeah.. but thinking outside the box a little .. we all pay money to list on Realestate.com.au and domain..

    What would happen if the top 5 agencies in any given suburb/district cancelled their subscriptions and listed only on a co-operative portal. The real cost would be far less than $100 each per month. Every agent could save at least $11,000 per year and probably more.

    But it begs a few questions..

    Would it work?
    Would less property be sold overall in the suburb?
    Would less property be sold by the top 5 offices?
    Would smaller agencies outside the top 5 gain market share because they are on realestate.com.au?
    Would the buyers find the new portal?

    Wouldn’t we all love to know the answer to those questions 🙂

  16. Sal Espro April 14, 2011 at 11:14 am #

    *LOL* Yep! And the wheel keeps turning 🙂

    Seriously tho, I find it’s always valuable to look at ‘out-liers’/the extremes. We have agency colleagues in the country who don’t use the major portals (can’t afford them for the small/miniscule number of properties they list) and still sell what they list. They have their own websites and basic SEO with enquiry coming through Google et al.

    Despite using online in so many sophisticated ways, most agencies (except for our Mosman colleague) are all still caught-up in the traditional ‘Display’ type advertising paradigm.
    We all get so scared and forget about underlying buyer behaviour and value of online advertising.
    i.e. SERIOUS Buyers are SEARCHING for properties. They look at 1. Google 2. Realestate.com.au 3. Domain and they sign-up for ‘alerts’ (And that’s another discussion: Who is sick of getting 4 or 5 different alerts feeds all in different formats with duplications etc etc?!!)

    Which all means, I think your model would work. What has held everyone back is their lack of common sense, individual thought and gumption.

  17. Sal Espro April 14, 2011 at 7:22 pm #

    What I mean when I mention a ‘Display type paradigm’ is of course that agents are paying so much wasted money for highlighted and non-standard listings when buyers just trawl for what they want. (Of course, agents are always trying to get more prominence for their brands but at what cost:value?!)

  18. Ryan O'Grady April 19, 2011 at 10:32 am #

    When we built these facebook apps http://www.facebook.com/pages/Place-Estate-Agents-Double-Bay/158638104183306?v=app_122656474450436&ref=sgm in December last year (which allow agents to display their listings and profiles on fb) we could add them to facebook profile pages. This was great as it allowed an agent to showcase their current and sold listings in their profile. But in early January facebook changed the structure of the profile pages and removed the ability to use basically all 3rd party apps.

    Luckily they did not do this to facebook business pages and you can still use the apps there. But you must feel for those agents who have built up a following branding themselves through their facebook profile page, as they can never have the functionality which a business page can have.

  19. Glenn Batten April 19, 2011 at 10:44 am #

    They can Ryan.. they just have to follow the conversion. The simple fact is they should not be trying to conduct business on a Personal Profile. They should change now because if Facebook deletes them they will lose everything they have built

  20. Adrian Douglas April 21, 2011 at 1:35 pm #

    Glenn I have previously ( 6 months ago) started a Page from the Profile we use in a business name, knowing that the profile was ultimately not the best way to go, if I follow the new conversion steps,do you know if it will give me the option to roll the Profile into the existing Page?

    Also the idea of the district portal is interesting, in addition to your “what ifs” how do you think vendors would react to the idea of not using the big portals?

    As a buyer I would be interested in seeking out homes/ agents in a specific area only, I might not interested in ads for companies that are not directly related to or active in that area, or books on being a real estate millionaire for example ( though I understand the need for ad revenue, maybe local companies would pay a reasonable fee to expose themselves to a more targeted audience).

  21. Leanne Jaconelli August 14, 2011 at 1:04 pm #

    Hi Glenn,
    Why does Facebook allow free Business profiles,doesn’t it cut them out of alot of advertising fees,doesn’t annoy the people who do pay for the ads that appear on the side??? How do private profiles get away with advertising their business/products daily on their news feed/wall,don’t Facebook lose heaps of advertising fees with this as well??? How do I report someone who is doing this , doesn’t seem to be anyway to contact Facebook & actually get feedback/response!

    Thanks so much
    Leanne

Leave a Reply