Like any marketing company in today’s digital age, it is necessary to maintain some social media presence, however with the increased exposure for our products and services that social media platforms might provide, there does also come some headaches and challenges. Some of these issues and challenges again came to life yesterday during an exchange on our facebook page recently.
To begin with, let me state that though we feel that we were in the right during that exchange, we always feel it necessary to discuss with our team , any complaints or feedback from clients or potential clients. We do so with an open mind with one sole intent which is to provide the best service in our industry, so that yes, as a “for profit” company, we will survive and thrive.
Specifically, this issue arose from our policy not to post prices on on Facebook advertising posts. One visitor to our page was upset with this , and from continuing conversations, both public and private, it appeared to us that this foreign man thought that we were Filipinos who were playing the “white tax” game , and would inflate our prices depending on who was inquiring on the property. Assuming this, he immediately passed judgement that we were unethical and unprofessional. Sadly, this type of behavior does exist in this country and foreigners should get deservedly pissed off. In our case however, if he had done some research before insulted, he would have found out that he was wrong. Regardless of whether he is right or wrong, we decided to rethink our decision on this policy and to do so effectively it is necessary to get feedback from our clients themselves.
Before providing “CONSTRUCTIVE” feedback, I would respectfully ask that you first read through below, so that you will be able to form an educated opinion about why we do what we do.
Social Media, and more specifically Facebook as it is the main platform used here in The Philippines, is a free for all. Any seller of goods and services, whether they are professional, ethical or capitally committed to their venture, can get in cheaply. There is little, if any, investment involved in such things as web-development, physical office, staff, permitting, and taxes and easy to disappear if things go wrong. Though there are many legitimate people who use social media to market their wares, there are many, many more that are simply what we use to call “fly by night”, with little knowledge and even less financial capacity to back up any issues that they may cause to their clients. In the real estate marketing business here in the Philippines, the scale is tipped dramatically to the latter.
Our challenge as a legitimate business who has made the investments necessary, not only financial , but also in terms of knowledge , is how to set ourselves apart from that whole big pool of others? This, we feel can only be done in one manner and that is for our knowledgeable staff to personally engage our potential clients in discussion. We need to get to know them so that we can best suit their needs, and they need to get to know us to determine whether they will be comfortable dealing with us. As Facebook and other similar social media platforms are designed for quick, superficial engagements, as opposed to in-depth, developed relationships, we have felt that Facebook, for our purposes is simply a door opener. Our admitted goal is, and one we are not ashamed of is to move the narrative off of the public Facebook page platform to a more “one on one” type engagement such as email, pm, phone or face to face meet. As did the user who made this recent complaint, some people do kick back, and claim this is somehow immoral or unethical. To those people, let me explain my own personal experiences from the other side. I myself do shop , window or for real, on the internet. Many sites that are spread over the internet have contact capture sheets. They sometimes list prices and sometimes don’t but either way, if I want more information, the process is for me, the potential client, to fill out a contact form which is then sent to a person who can knowledgeably respond to me. If I am truly interested, I will usually submit the contact form, (with the knowledge I will be placed into that endless client lead list), and if I am only window shopping, then I usually click back and go window shopping somewhere else.
With our Facebook ad posts, we are doing the same thing. If a user asks real questions, and is ready to give us a means to contact him in a less public manner, then we feel he or she is a credible buyer. If they do not , then they are probably just window shoppers. Though they have that right, and we wish them well, as a business we must focus our resources towards the clients that are serious.
Giving too much information in a Facebook post limits that possibility, and to be quite honest, from our own experience, people who use Facebook themselves tend to read very little of the details anyway. We have been continually amazed at how many people will ask for information that is clearly spelled out in the post, and if there is a link to click that will take the user to our website where there are full details, it is rarely used.
In short and put bluntly, our policy was put in place to separate the wheat from the chaff in relation to viable leads that we can focus our resources on.We feel that if a person is honestly in the market for a property, he will be willing to engage us on a more personal level than an open form, and if so, we will do our utmost to provide timely , knowledgeable and relevant information. If they are not serious, though we wish them well and will be polite and respectful. We do ask their understanding that our staff needs to prioritize those that are.
Owners and Staff of PhilX Support Services