How to Disable Facebook Places

So first of all congratulations on enabling Facebook places to your facebook account. As you were able to enable it, it should be obvious then how to disable it. Well that would be true of course, if you had actively enabled it in the first place!

Actually, what happened was those crazy kids at facebook, thought this one up, then added in an enabled form to everyones account. With all the bad press facebook have been getting with privacy issues, it’s frankly beyond me why they would roll something out like this, which surely is going to add fuel to the fire. Kids huh…(I am sounding old these days).

What amazes me most though is that this will annoy more people than it had to. How many people, well lets suggest everyone who didn’t want to share this stuff in the first place. This could have annoyed precisely no one if, they had rolled this new app out, with great fanfare, which you could sign up to add to your account. That way the one’s that wanted it would be happy, and the one who didn’t would also be…happy. This isn’t rocket science is it?

As someone who’s life is entirely divided between my office and then chasing after progeny who’s combined ages are less than the fingers on one hand, (I have a full set…of fingers I mean), the last thing I want to remind everyone of is that my days are spent entirely at the office, somewhere between my computer & phone and coffee maker, period. My evenings are spent trying to encourage said progeny to eat something, before suggesting that sleep, at some point for them, would a good idea.

As a consequence the whole 4square app passed me by, it is mildly interesting to see where people are, which bar, what they had for lunch, but my days aren’t spent like that. Boo hoo.

So, with much fanfare, Facebook launched their places app, and for me the hype didn’t match the product. However, by automatically adding this feature to my facebook account, they basically added the 4square functionality to it, which I did’nt want.

So, here’s how to keep your boring life a private…

How to Disable Facebook Places

Sign into your account, oh that’s right you already are: choose Privacy Settings

How to disable facebook places step 1

This is what you find: Click on image. That’s right, you’re already added to Places I Check Into. Click Customize Settings

How to disable facebook places step 2

Find the Places I Check Into section, click Customize

How to disable facebook places step 3

Select Only Me, you could of course do the Hide This From but you’d have to keep adding new friends to it…

How to disable facebook places step 4

Not quite done yet, scroll down lower on the page and where it says Friends Can Check Me Into Places, and select Disabled (one can imagine how this could be abused!)

How to disable facebook places step 5

That should do it. In order for anyone to check you in anywhere you would have to approve the checking in before it was posted, but again, this whole thing should have been disabled unless you actually wanted it.

If you like this, found it helpful, hit retweet at the top right and share!

How To Add Your Blog’s RSS Feed To You Facebook Page

So you have a blog, your writing a little, often, (as we like to say) and it’s in a very sharable format. What else can you do?

Everything you create on a computer has a format:

  • your photos are saved as .jpg
  • Word files as .doc
  • Excel files as .xls
  • Your blog articles? RSS

The slides below show you how to add your rss feed to your facebook page.

Google Vs Microsoft: The Gloves Are Off

Hey you get off of my cloud (computing)

Microsoft is announcing that they too are going to be launching an online version of their Office product. This is being seen as a direct target of google’s cloud “Documents” product, which though only registering about 5% of the market, is growing.

The new product from Microsoft will be available through their Windows Live portal, that’s hotmail for those who still use it.

The word is that with google soon be lauching their operating system, Chrome OS, in direct competition to Microsoft’s strangle hold of Windows, Microsoft are going after google’s “Document” products!

On the face of it I wouldn’t be too worried if I was google…

However, the major coup is that they are going to be partnering with Facebook to offer this as an app there.

On second thoughts, google should worry!

Why Facebook, Why Now For Real Estate?

The simple answer is for their traffic driving power.

According to Web measurement firm Compete Inc.,
Facebook has passed search-engine giant Google to become the top source for traffic to major portals like Yahoo and MSN, and is among the leaders for other types of sites.
This trend is shifting the way Web site operators approach online marketing, even as Google takes steps to move into the social-media world.
Some experts say social media could become the Internet’s next search engine.

Astoundingly, Facebook not Google is the largest driver of traffic to major websites. This reminds us in a way of AOL, back in the early days of all this. AOL attempted to control the users online experience, from dialing up to the internet, (remember that?), to checking email, to surfing the web all within the AOL “experience”.


Another great achievement of Facebook is the time people spend there. It has been said that currently people spend more time at Facebook than all other sites combined. This too is astounding.

If you have been putting this off today’s the day!

Facebook/Real Estate Action Plan

  1. Get a facebook personal page.
  2. Get a facebook business page. (Read our How to create a Facebook Business Page here).
  3. Customize your Facebook business FBML. (Read See how a customized Facebook Business Page FBML looks here).
  4. Get Leads

Creating A Facebook Business Page

Facebook business pages are a great tool to use in offering real estate agents another avenue to generate leads. Here’s how to create a Facebook business page for your real estate business.

Open your personal facebook page, then go to the following url:

From there click the “Create a Page” green button:

On the Create New Facebook Page window, select Real Estate:

Then choose the name of the page you will ultimately want to use. This will become your facebook url, or domain name, eg: Ideally, this should match the keywords that are within your domain name or the ones that you website is designed around. Once you choose your page name, you can’t change it, (you can delete it, or create another, but you can edit one that you have created).

Then click, “Create Page”, which will bring you to your Facebook business page:

This page will come with an initial facebook business page url such as the one below. It’s somewhat conveluted at this point…

It is this address that you need to share with your personal/professional facebook friends. Send out an email to suggest that your friends ‘fan’ your facebook page. Once you get 25 ‘fan’s’ of your page, Facebook will trim that down to the shortened version.

How To Add a Photo To Your Facebook Business Page

From your business page, homepage, roll over the words Change Picture on the large ?, and choose, Upload a Picture…

Navigate to your photo:

Wait a moment….

Then see the results: Cute!

Below your photo, click where it says, Write Something, and, well, write something about your business…

And your done!

How to Get to Your Business Page from Your Personal Page

Sign into your facebook account.  Click Pages & Ads, from the left navigation window:

This will take you a summary window, where you can click on your page:

Facebook Ad’s For Real Estate

Yesterday’s snow day was a good day for many reasons. Online, where it wasnt snowing, was a hive of activity. We saw a great spike in the number of people clicking in our facebook ad.

Spot which day was the snow day?

One of the great things about a snow day is that you can be somewhere between working and not working, or at both places at one time. One screen on your work, the other at facebook. Sound familiar?

Having tried google ads also in the past we were pretty impressed with the ease with which we could create an ad. Facebook also makes it very easy to target specific groups. In our case we wanted to target:

  • Real estate agents
  • who work for Weichert Realtors
facebook ad for realtors

limeyboy's facebook ad

Facebook was able in  real time, to search their database and told us that this would yield around 2000 possible facebook accounts where our ad would be displayed.

Where facebook ads do really well is the conversion from ad to customer. They enable an on going relationship to form.

What do we mean by that? Well, if someone clicks on your google ad, you pay, then they get to your website. From your site they are either going a). email you or b). add you to their favorites, (does anyone still do that) or c). do nothing.

At facebook however all they have to do is become a fan of yours, which in a sense, is a favorite, or a bookmark. However, by fanning, they are also subscribing to your news feed or as facebook calls it, your wall from then on. You are in effect creating a broadcast network of subscribers to your news.

At google, you get a click a visit, and often nothing. At facebook, you get a click, a visit and a fan, indefinitely!

Shortened Facebook Url For Your Facebook Real Estate Business Page

How do you get one of those snappy, facebook urls for your facebook real estate business page, like (for example :)

Simply get 25 fans, then with your facebook account open, click this link,

Choose your the page you want to shorten, then type in the shortened version you want, if available and you are away!!!

For Tweets sake…where’s the business?

A recent article at Inman news recounted a scenario at the NAR annual conference, where there was an undercurrent of “frustration among the attendees”. The root of this frustration according to the author was summed up by this moment. An agent stands up to ask a panel of 5 ‘social media experts’ the following question:

I have a Facebook account and I am on Twitter and Linked in. Can you tell me how I am supposed to get business from them?

The crowd applauds… Every one of the 5 social media gurus answer, “We don’t have an answer for that question”.

While we certainly agree that social media is really being felt out in real estate to see if it has a role in real estate marketing, we also think that this is yet another example of the misguided belief that technology alone is the silver bullet that people are waiting for.

Here’s the news about real estate technology. There is no, individual silver bullet, and don’t believe anyone who tells you otherwise. There is always a tendency to overplay the role of technology, but this is a dangerous trap. Real estate is a people business, so don’t hide behind that computer instead of actually meeting people.

There are many things that we all do to grow our respective businesses by spreading the word to an ever wider circle. What is neighborhood mailing after all? However, if you stop mailing after the first month due to ‘lack of responses’ you may forever think that mailing is useless.

What twitter does is enable you to reach those who you haven’t already met with who are looking for the kind of information that you are tweeting about. In that respect its fabulously incisive. Think a scalpel rather than a sledge hammer. Also, once they are ‘following’ you, they’ll get everything you broadcast in the future. How often do home owners file through their junk mail to get to your flier? Exactly…

The other thing about social networking is that it costs nothing, vs $0.50/post card. Sure it costs time, but so does sticking stamps on cards.

A good rule of thumb is if you are not picking up ‘followers’ with every tweet you send out, you might want to look closely at your ‘tweet craft’.

Social networking has given a platform for everyone to potentially be followed. But lets get this in perspective. This is real estate information, not rock and roll. We have seen many agents sending out messages ‘to all their fans’.

Keep the real estate information to the fore, they’ll find you from then on.