Designers Quella Hendley, Mercedes Hendley, and Gabriel Blair-Castro create and remodel hundreds of Facebook pages for real estate agents each year as key members of the Page Create design team. In this episode, they share their methods for creating a successful Facebook page. Along the way, they give their top tools for cover imagery and more. The team also identifies common mistakes that agents make when setting up a Facebook and how to avoid them.
Quella is the manager for the Page Create design team. In her role, she oversees the creation and optimization of thousands of Facebook pages for real estate businesses throughout North America. She holds a degree from the Art Institute of Jacksonville. While working she enjoys listening to lo-fi hip-hop.
Mercedes is a senior designer for Page Create. With over 5 years of experience, she has personally created or remodeled several thousand Facebook pages for real estate agents. She is a Savannah College of Art and Design. Her favorite television show is Scrubs.
Gabriel has been a member of the Page Create team for over 2 years. In addition to his expertise in Photoshop, he has some experience in motion graphics and WordPress. When he’s not at work, Gabriel enjoys creating art.
- Page Create – Facebook page creation and remodeling service.
- Free Facebook Effectiveness Assessment
- Pixlr – Free photo editing software
- Photoshop – Professional photo editing software.
Jon Walker, Digital Assets Manager — Jonathan earned his Masters in Mass Communications from the University of Florida. He specializes in online communications and web design. As Digital Assets Manager, he oversees the production and distribution of educational content produced by Home ASAP. For more content, check out the Home ASAP Learning Center at https://about.homeasap.com/learn
Jon Walker 0:02
Hi, Welcome to the Real Estate roundtable presented by home ASAP. On the show, we have conversations with voices from around the real estate world on the issues that affect agents. My name is Jon Walker, I’m the digital asset manager for home ASAP. And today, we’re gonna be continuing our series, where we share some of the real estate marketing secrets from experts within the home ASAP team. So last week, we talked to Kate Mrozinski, and Angela Stebbins, from our turnkey sweet team, about getting started with Facebook as a real estate agent. This week, we’re going to dig deeper into that theme, with some members from our page create design team. And they have so much great stuff to say that we’re actually going to split this episode up into two separate episodes more specifically, this week, we’re going to be looking at what it takes to set up a thriving Facebook page as a real estate agent. And we’re gonna look at a few examples of what to do and what not to do when you’re setting up your Facebook page. So let’s get started with their interview. Today we are joined by the manager of our page create team Quella Hendley. Hello. Well, I think if I remember right, you are you are a graduate of University of North Florida. Is that right?
Quella Hendley 1:20
Um, no, I actually graduated from the Art Institute of Jacksonville. Which doesn’t exist anymore. I used to work in UNF. Yes, that’s…
Jon Walker 1:31
That’s right. Okay. I knew you had some sort of you enough connection. Alright. And then we’re also joined by another senior member of our design team, Mercedes, Hendley. And Mercedes, if I remember right, you went to Savannah College of Art and Design. Is that right?
Mercedes Hendley 1:48
I did. I did.
Jon Walker 1:51
Boy, so jealous. I love it there. Yes, a great school. Yep. And then we are also joined by another senior member of our page creative team, Gabriel Blair, Castro. And Gabe, I want t o say that you were also at art institute is…am I wrong? Or…
Gabriel Blair Castro 2:10
Wish you were wrong. But no, you’re not wrong.
Jon Walker 2:14
All right, so. So welcome to the Real Estate Roundtable. As I said, all three of you work on our Page Create team, and for any of our listeners who aren’t familiar with that, Page Create is a design service where real estate agents and other professionals can have a custom Facebook page created or pre modeled for them. So I guess in a typical week, how about how many hours do you guys spend working on Facebook pages specifically?
Quella Hendley 2:45
Honestly, it varies. Sometimes the page load is four to five pages per week. And that can take about 45 minutes. And that’s not just with Facebook remodels. But it’s also the Google My Business Page, the YouTube optimization service that we have, so it ranges. We just learned how to handle it.
Jon Walker 3:10
I know we throw a lot at you guys on the page create team. So any guests on the number of pages? Do you guys have each worked on your time here?
Quella Hendley 3:23
That’s a good one.
Gabriel Blair Castro 3:24
I mean, if we’re going off like say we did like, three, let’s say we did like four a day, cuz I feel like that’s average, like 20 a week. So I know, I’ve been here for about I’m approaching no I’ve been here for two years now. So I would say what’s 20 times 104 weeks. That’s that that that many pages?
Jon Walker 3:53
Like page 2000 this year? That’s crazy to think about and I don’t even want to guess on Quella and Mercedes because
Gabriel Blair Castro 3:56
They’ve run into 1000s.
Quella Hendley 4:04
I think I can actually get the actual number. But I really well it’s pretty high up there. Yeah,
Mercedes Hendley 4:11
Jon Walker 4:11
Right. And what it really amazes me too is that you guys deal with clients from all over the US with so many different needs. And so you guys have really got a lot of great experience and and what works, what doesn’t work and, and everything. So I’m just constantly amazed by you guys. With all that said, I guess it’s safe to say that you guys really know this process of setting up a Facebook page just inside outside and you’re asleep by now. So let’s just get started with getting people who are familiar acquainted with the Facebook business pages. What are the main parts of a Facebook business page?
Quella Hendley 4:56
Well, first and foremost, obviously the best This page represents you as a business on a social media space, I guess. It provides your reviews, if you have any customer reviews, business information, ours background about your business, it also represents, like you have a cover photo. So that’s like where you can add like a little digital virtual business card type of ordeal. It also has where you interact with your visitors and your viewers of your page, answer any questions
Jon Walker 5:34
The timeline, I think they call it or the feed.
Quella Hendley 5:38
Okay. But with Facebook, it changes literally every day. So we just spend, you know, learning new stuff about what it entailed what the business page entails every every time. So, yeah, no,
Jon Walker 5:51
That’s right. Because they just love throwing things in and out and kind of testing some things. Even sometimes I’ve seen it where one person will view a page one way, but everybody else has it. Totally different, like if they’re beta testing or something. Yeah, yeah. Really, after a moving target there. So I know from experience that a lot of agents get mixed up about a Facebook business page versus a personal Facebook profile. So how can you tell the difference between a business page and a personal profile.
Gabriel Blair Castro 6:25
So a personal profile is just basically your standard Facebook page that everybody gets when they sign up for the platform, it’s the thing that you think what Facebook is mainly about, which is you add friends, you know, you have your personal information on there, your birthday, your music, you like all that stuff, you don’t really have like a follow function necessarily. Whereas with the business page, first of all business, personal profiles, you can just sign up to them, like just raw without having anything on Facebook, with a business page, you need a personal profile to manage it. And that one also lists things like you know, your hours of operation services, basically details about your business that you don’t get on a personal profile. So even if you set up a personal profile with the intention of it being for your business, it’s still going to involve a lot of irrelevant information. Like, if if someone is coming to you as a realtor, chances are unless they ask you or bring it up, chances are most people are not going to care what your favorite music is, you know what I mean? So that’s generally some big differences between the personal profile and the business page.
Jon Walker 7:50
And I know, the both have the profile picture, but I want to say that, that the profile picture is in a different spot, or a business page versus a personal page. Right. Okay.
Quella Hendley 8:02
Yeah. That was right in the middle. And now with the new page experience, they’re moving the business page profile picture in the middle.
Jon Walker 8:15
Okay, yeah, that’s it’s always tough keeping up with what they’re doing at one minute to the other. So, like you said, earlier, one of the big parts of the Facebook page, and probably the one that’s most visible, right, as soon as it loads is the custom cover image for the agent. And so what typically goes into creating a cover photo that’s conveying the agent’s brand.
Mercedes Hendley 8:40
For me, um, what I like to do is kind of research the agent before I start anything, and that’s going through what they provide on the page form as well as looking at the website or any kind of advertising or photos or anything they have on their business page, I’m kind of searching the area. So I like to do a lot of research to get as much as I can about the agent to provide them with a cover photo or a design that really goes along with it professional branding as a as a real estate agent. And a lot of times, sometimes it’s trial and error, you may you may not have a lot of information where you can necessarily make it spectacular, but you have enough information where you can provide something to the customer that they really like and represents them well. But for me personally, I really like to go in and kind of do research beforehand and get as much clued as I can about the agent to to make them a good cover photo just to make sure it goes with everything or and I like it to be consistent all the way through. So if they have a certain kind of design style on their website, I try to also make the cover photo look that way to kind of keep it consistent throughout their branding and everything. So
Jon Walker 9:53
Yeah, I really I really admire that too because, you know as a marketer myself, one of the The big thing for me is just trying to create an overall brand identity. And like you said that that’s every place that you touch from business cards, to websites to, to the Facebook page should kind of sync together and in all tell that same story about the agent. So anything to add, Gabe? Quella?
Gabriel Blair Castro 10:20
I think Mercedes covered most of it, I will say that another thing that we look for is any type of special information that an agent would want us to include, or, you know, sometimes will ask for certain colors or types of purposes. And it definitely helps to know, hey, like, I know you live in California, but do you necessarily even sell like these big Spanish style mansions right? Like a standard middle class home with like wooden siding? You know what I mean? Right? So know that information, it also helps to know, you know, if they want us to have one lady who she was, she really emphasized the fact that she wanted to come across as like very casual, and with a sense of humor and all that stuff. And she sent a completely separate graphic at any, I don’t think it even had anything to do with real estate, but she liked the style of it. And so I was able to do something for her that was based off of that graphic. So things like that also helped. Yeah.
Jon Walker 11:29
And I know you guys also a lot of times and kind of going back and forth, with, with some drafts, trying to get it just right. So is that a fairly common thing for you guys?
Mercedes Hendley 11:40
Yes, definitely. There’s, there’s times when I have to, I’ll pick out maybe certain cover photos that I like for the agent. But going in and doing it I’m like, I don’t like this. It’s not coming together, I have to scrap it. And there’ll be times when I have to go through maybe about three or four to get it right. And I mean, that could be kind of perfectionist, of course. But yeah. I just always just really want to make sure I give the agent a good, good design good cover photo. So if I don’t feel good about it, I’m like, Okay, well, the agent, May, the agent may feel the same. So yeah, I it’s always trial and error. And I go when I started, I was like, I don’t like it, throw it out and try it again. So yeah, it’s that’s daily, something that I go through,
Quella Hendley 12:21
and it’s fine. When you’re creating the cover photos, you just want to you want to make sure it’s something that you would actually want to your page. If you were doing your own business page or your own branding. I’m just having that that visual representation that looks professional and looks well kept and looks like you’re serious about your business. So that’s one thing that I mainly think of as like, what I like this on my page, right? Right. I like this test. Right?
Jon Walker 12:50
Exactly. I mean, because you only get one chance to make that first impression. Right? Someone pops on your page. And so I you know, I just love how much pride you guys take in it. That’s just awesome to hear.
Gabriel Blair Castro 13:02
And we’re all in like hundreds of 1000s or 10s of 1000s of dollars in debt for this stuff. So
Jon Walker 13:10
I’m right there with you. So I guess that’s just the way that we’re all now. But yeah. So what tools do you guys usually use when you were actually building these photos?
Quella Hendley 13:21
In the cover photos? Yeah, right. Photoshop. Photoshop is the main one. And I stopped because we take our images from we download our images, we have a subscription with a history. Yeah, we don’t. Yes.
Mercedes Hendley 13:34
Yeah, we get it from there. And Photoshop is the main the main program software that we use.
Jon Walker 13:38
Yeah. Oh, I’m sorry. Go ahead. Yeah,
Gabriel Blair Castro 13:43
I was just gonna add on to that. Um, in addition, Photoshop, when we used to do cover videos before Facebook, next, all that stuff, we would also use After Effects. But since since you know, Facebook doesn’t do cover photos that cover videos anymore. We mainly just stick to video posts. As far as facebook, facebook pages go.
Jon Walker 14:05
Yeah. And just like you guys were saying earlier, it’s something that just constantly they throw something in and take something out so I can feel for you guys. So you know, that’s definitely a professional grade tool. Photoshop. And I know a lot of agents probably wouldn’t feel as comfortable using that. But they might have something like an app on their phone if they wanted to create their own own cover photo. So is there any advantage to to having a tool like Photoshop, versus, you know, just one of those, run the mill free kind of apps?
Quella Hendley 14:46
Um, honestly, because there are agents we do get them that use Canva for a lot of their branding and even as a designer, a real designer. I even like Canva it’s Like, you know, I can see why people will gravitate to that because their templates and their graphics and their design is, is pretty phenomenal. But as far is that like, using a software like Canva, it’s like, everybody has that. So with Photoshop, your opportunities to design are endless. Um, and I know with Photoshop, a lot of people are very intimidated by it. But it’s a very simple software to learn if you know the basics, and just know the basics around it
Mercedes Hendley 15:32
Be more original and creative in Photoshop, right Canva where it’s kind of based off a template, and this is where I can only pick certain elements,
Quella Hendley 15:40
and you’re limited to what they provide.
So you know, if you needed a specific image, like oh, well, I want to cut this out the background, or Oh, I want this mixed in with that I want to do like a, some type of, I don’t know, some weird, or cool gradient vector, anything like that. You can’t really you can’t do that in Canva. But Photoshop, you can do any in every type of effect, blending mode. You can do things with text.
Mercedes Hendley 16:08
I like to add a lot of texture to cover photo sometimes. And in Photoshop, you can pop in a background that’s like a geometric background in the back and make it blend in it’s like these little extra touches that Yeah, each cover photo unique. So it won’t be something you’ll see somebody you know, okay, they got that they did that on Canva versus somebody who got, you know, strictly designed for them, it just looks much more unique and stand out. And also
Gabriel Blair Castro 16:36
like, all those effects like doing all that stuff, you don’t, you don’t actually have to learn that much about Photoshop, if that makes sense. So like, you know, they just they just mentioned, like, you know, you can do blending and all this other stuff, it seems overwhelming. But yeah, that can be achieved using using the same few number of tools, like one of the features in Photoshop that you can do, you can actually animate in Photoshop. Not very many people need to know that you know what I mean? So it’s, it’s also one of those programs where you can literally pick and choose what you need to do to get whatever it is that you need. Done. You don’t have to know the whole thing by the back, like the back of your hand.
Quella Hendley 17:20
Jon Walker 17:21
Yeah. So I mean, you can really, it’s a rabbit hole, really, because you could go as deep as you wanted to and do crazy effects. But yeah, the average agent probably wouldn’t really need me to go that deep unless you were wanting to. Yeah. And I know, it also probably would come in handy when doing things like you need to touch up a, like listing photo or something like that. watermark. So yeah, I think it’s actually a fairly affordable if I remember right, last time I looked, you can have a photo shop only subscription for something like $10 a month or something.
Quella Hendley 18:02
Yeah, they made a very affordable now back in my day. You, you had to order the CD, and that CD was like $100, it was so crazy to buy it by program, right. And like you mentioned, because we do have agents who will send in headshots and photos that they want touch up. So we can go in and remove some blemishes, you know, take some rolls off somebody’s neck. Remove extra
Mercedes Hendley 18:32
I play that was a real request.
Quella Hendley 18:34
Change eye color cleanup, eyebrows and lipstick, you can do so many editing techniques like that. Whereas Canva you can throw free programs free software like
Gabriel Blair Castro 18:45
Software that kind of comes closest called Krita. Although I don’t war for painting than it is for photo manipulation.
Jon Walker 18:53
I’ve heard of people using Krita for for, like you said more of a painting kind of thing. And I know there are a couple others that that I’ve looked at personally Pixlr is one that that comes to mind that is totally online, but it’s free. But like like with Canva You are a little bit limited on the feature set you can get. And then I know that in the past, some people have used GIMP as well. Yeah, yeah, totally free, but it’s open source. And I found you know, as someone who uses Photoshop myself, that there was a little bit of a learning curve switching between Photoshop and GIMP as well. So, but those would be some other options. See, I know that you guys have probably seen a lot of Facebook pages where the agent has tried to set up the page on their own and sometimes they do a good job with that. But there are some people who who really need a lot of help. And so do you have any common mistakes that you see agents making on their Facebook pages when they come to you?
Gabriel Blair Castro 19:59
I live probably say the biggest one is probably just if they do manage to set up the full page or they come to us to have them, you know, have a set it up, there’s There seems to be a common expectation that that’s all that needs to be done, you know what I mean? So that up the page, and you kind of expect it to do all the work for you, when that’s not really how it works, you know, it basically acts as a billboard, advertising your services, you’re the one that has to use, like, at the end of the day, it’s social media. So that means that you actually have to engage with it. So you have to make posts, you have to respond to comments, when you get them, you have to, like share the page out, you know, invite people to like page, all that stuff, there’s a bit of activity that you yourself have to do with the,
Quella Hendley 20:49
To piggyback what off of Gabe just mentioned, they, I think it also has to do with a lot of the people who want a business page, though, like they’re very new to social media, so they don’t really understand the concept of, Okay, I have to be active, like, I can’t just, you know, make a make a business page, and business is just gonna come falling through like, you know, you have to go out there and invite friends and followers share. When is that activity, I think they kind of forget that part or they’re just not experienced in that. So that may need to be something they do on the side, like just refresh or get their social media. But I would also say, when it comes to business pages, one thing that I do commonly see is the agent will lack professional branding, or they don’t see the importance of branding on their Facebook page. And even across all their social media spaces. And that goes for not having a logo or professional logo not having a slogan or not really having a direction with their business. As far as they don’t even have any colors. They don’t have a website. Like it’s just, you want to look as legit as possible, even if I mean fake it till you make it. So you can go out there, Hey, get your phone, take some photos of yourself, get a little light box and just feel do whatever like be creative. Just make yourself look official take your own headshots. You can hire a photographer, when it comes to any type of design. Get yourself a logo, it doesn’t take much to do. And that that’ll be the most important thing, but that’s something that we see often is they’ll have they’ll come to us and be like, Okay, well I want my business page remodeled, and we just do the cover photo for them and they don’t realize okay, the cover photo is just one part you need to look legit across right and
Jon Walker 22:47
That’s really just kind of your landing your, your launching spot really is just giving you that solid start kind of like you were saying. That wraps up part one of our interview with Paige create design team. Be sure to join us next week for part two, where we’ll dive into more mistakes agents often make with their pages and how to fix them. Plus, we’ll also share some practical tips for how to make your page easier to discover on Facebook. If you’d like more information about page create, please visit about dot home asap.com slash page dash create. This has been a production of home ASAP. The leaders in real estate marketing on Facebook
Transcribed by https://otter.ai
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