Each week I try to write a blog post to focus on your business success. This year I am going to start adding video blogs. My goal is to keep up with a weekly blog. Writing takes time and videos are easier for me.
Social Media is a great platform to increase your bottom line. However, if you are just a poster, sharer or liker, it’s time to get back to building relationships and great content. If you build it they will come! Just because you have a Facebook page or an Instagram account doesn’t mean you’ll generate leads. We all must be intentional in our marketing and with relationships. So how do we create engagement? What do our followers or future followers want from us on social media?
- They want relevant content – are you the thought leader in your market place? Tell me something I don’t know. Provide content that encourages a click, engagement or a lead.
- Followers want authenticity – be yourself and tell your story. We all have something to share. I like telling my story of home ownership. I purchased my first home in 1997 with little money down. However, I had to pay $900 per month for five months, to the builder, until I closed.
- Information that makes them engage – What can you tell your audience that creates engagement? Are you running a marathon? If so, tell your audience and encourage them to join you as you run or prepare for the race. Do you volunteer? Show us how you help the community.
- Information that makes us think – Have you ever wondered why someone would buy a house on a busy street? Me too! Now go research why and share it.
- Video that makes your audience watch, listen or read. – Are you renovating your home? Show me the before, during and after. One day I’ll show you my closet! Create short video clips then piece them together in iMovie or VivaVideo. Become a brand ambassador for your business.
- The power of the Hashtag on Facebook and Instagram. Hashtags are a group of words the bring a conversation together. Test Hashtags by following your favorite businesses or television shows on social media by searching for their Hashtag. I follow the #GoodDoctor on Twitter to join the conversation.
Take the necessary steps to build your social media, engage with your followers today!
Selling real estate today is much different from the 80’s, 90’s and early 2000’s. I started selling real estate in 2001. Then we walked, cold called and asked our sphere of influence for referrals. Creating postcards, emails and newsletters was simple. We used tools like publisher and adobe illustrator to design marketing. Today any agent can take over a market simply by building a social personality that shares relevant content, important community information with an authentic persona. In the world of real estate, agents are in charge of managing their brands. The current trend for many companies is to allow agents to co-brand.
Building a brand in real estate is essential for online marketing. Who we are in direct marketing and in person must translate to the digital space. If you are a direct marketer in real estate making the transition in brand awareness on social media, email, blogs and your website is not a difficult task. Today, there are tools like Canva that make it easy for any agent to build creative work that can be redesigned in seconds for any social platform. There is no excuse, every agent can compete in the online arena.
- Do you want to be relevant in a few years? If so, it’s important to become an online personality.
- Do you have a personal brand? If not, get started NOW, not tomorrow.
- Does the consumer know who you are before they schedule an appointment with you? Not sure, google yourself and check your following on your social media accounts. If we can’t learn about you, neither can the consumer.
- Are you posting and receiving engagement from your network? Not sure, Go Check!
- No Engagement? Don’t worry, start responding to posts. Not just your posts, your networks posts.
A personal brand is, “the practice of people marketing themselves and their careers as brands. … Personal branding is essentially the ongoing process of establishing a prescribed image or impression in the mind of others about an individual, group, or organization.” (Wikipedia)
The next generation agent is good at this. They’ve been using technology for as long as they can remember. I remember when my oldest son was three years old. His childcare center offered computer classes. 24 years later he a computer whiz. My most recent college student has her own online brand. The youngest of the group is building his own YouTube channel. They are just good at tech, not because they took classes, it’s because they always had an opportunity to use the technology. If you’re not good at the technology, start playing with it. Trial and error can be the best way to learn.
Building your own personal brand will put you in front of the consumer before they have an opportunity to meet you. I always find it fascinating when I’m approached and someone says, “Carrie, I feel like I already know you.” Our sphere of influence is an important part of helping our businesses thrive. We count on our friends, family and past clients to be our Brand Ambassadors. We want them to tell people how “fabulous” we are as agents. The same applies to online, we need our social pages, email marketing, YouTube channels and traditional marketing to showcase our personal brands and our expertise. Generating new business and repeat business has never been so easy. The internet doesn’t turn off. The idea that the consumer can find us 24 hours a day should excite all of you.
Showcase your brand on all platforms. Are you and your business recognizable on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Snapchat and Instagram. Are you a brand or are you all over the place? Take inventory of your social media today.
Acting is often the easiest step to take when starting something new. So, why won’t we ACT? There are many reason we don’t act or simply start. When I educate agents on social media and digital marketing, the comments I hear include:
Carrie, “I’m just too old.”
“I don’t want everyone to see my personal information”
“What if I make a mistake?”
“I don’t have time to learn something new.”
“Who has time for this?”
“I’m not sure where to begin”
The list goes on and on. Many have excuses, however, if the truth be told, the way we engage with consumers is changing. If we don’t ACT on Social Media, we might be replaced by the agent that is willing to ACT.
Maybe I can help. If you are challenged with the Top 7 Reasons We Don’t Act on Social Media, I have solutions for you. Don’t let the 7 Reasons keep you from acting.
1. Not sure where to begin? Pick one of your social media accounts and schedule time to learn it. Have conversation with the people on your personal page. If you have a business page, share content about your communities, your listings, upcoming events and things to do in the areas you farm.
2. I don’t have time for social media. No time for social media? Really? You have time to build a brand, generate leads, and build relationships. We do this everyday. If you adjust your week and schedule your social media marketing, you can take time to be social. There are many ways to plan your social media marketing. You may choose to take 15 minute a day to market on social media. Another option might be to take two hours, one day, a week to pre-schedule your marketing. What works for you? How much time do you spend talking in the office? Take this time to plan your social media.
3. I don’t know the rules for advertising on social media – The rules are simple. Read the terms of agreement for social media. Facebook wants you to have a business page if you are selling something. Adhere to real estate license law and the Code of Ethics. If your goal is to generate a lead when you post on social media, make sure the average consumer knows who the sponsoring brokerage is, don’t share other agents listings without permission and don’t share anything that’s a violation of Fair Housing. Think before you post. If it doesn’t seem right, it might not be ok to post.
4. I don’t have any followers! You didn’t have buyers and sellers when you became a real estate agent. THINK! How can you gain followers on social media? Add your social media links to your direct mail marketing, to your email signature, and invite your sphere to like your pages with an email blast.
5. Video – No way, I do not want to be seen on camera. I am with you on this one! I don’t like to be seen on camera. I don’t even like to watch my own videos. If the truth be told, I create video and avoid watching them. When I was a teenager I would break out in a sweat if I had to speak in front of the class. Couldn’t figure out why. Now I know. When you know your subject speaking in front of people or video is easy. So, If I can do it, you can do it.
6. I don’t know what to say on video or Facebook Live, Instagram Live or Periscope. Just like talking to your clients you can talk on video. When you became a new agent, you were scripted. We used notes to speak intelligently to our clients. That’s exactly what you’ll do when creating video. Script yourself. Use bullet points to begin. If you’re extremely uncomfortable have someone interview you. Try the prompter app from your Google Play Store or your Apple App store to get started.
7. Procrastination – most struggle with not starting because of anxiety and stress. We often procrastinate because learning something new might be difficult. Don’t let putting off something new. Start using social media on purpose today.
Social Media has been around for years. Many of the early, non-college students, began using Facebook in 2008 or 2009. If you were lucky enough to start using social media in the early adoption years, understanding the functionality is easier to understand. If not, don’t waste another day. Integrate social media marketing into your business plan. Visit my YouTube channel on Facebook and get started today.
Creating video is easy. Even if you don’t want to be on camera, you can build awesome videos. Using today’s smartphone, anyone can be a videographer.
The starting point:
- Create videos with your smartphone
- Keep the phone horizontal (unless you are on snapchat, messenger or Instagram live!)
- Pick a subject
- Write 5 to 10 bullet points on a sheet of paper (REALLY BIG so you can read it)
- Then create your video – if you don’t want to be seen, make sure what you are sharing is relevant.
- Post the video
Sample video – Cory Little- Basketball
Next steps – Creating a 60 spot! Think of 30 to 60 seconds as a commercial. When you watch TV most commercial are 60 seconds or less.
- Create a few video clips with your phone
- If you have an iPhone add those videos to iMovie.
- If you have a droid phone consider ViviVideo to build your commercial (60 second spot)
- With these apps, you can shorten your clips and add the best parts of the video.
- You can also turn off sound, add music and add still pictures. I use wordswag, Over, grid apps, legend and quik to enhance my 60 second videos. Want to learn how? Click now and invest in your business.
Sample video – Parks in West Chicago
- It’s not required to plan your live video – but you can plan your live video using the “The Starting point”
- When you go live start talking even if no one joins you. Why? When you end your followers can watch the video later.
- Shorter live videos on Facebook allow the user to add captions after the video ends.
- Short videos are great for repurposing on YouTube and other social media sites.
- Let your live video or video rest for 24 to 48 hours before paying for advertising
- Share your live video to your personal page to gain traction on your business page
- Add a photo to your video using canva or picmonkey. Any tool that allows you to build graphics.
- Boost your video and target a specific audience. You can also target your email database using the Facebook Ads Manager.
Snapchat, Messenger or Instagram Stories
- Build a story around your business
- Share tips on what you provide and how the consumer can benefit
- How to connect with you
- Behind the scenes information.
- Tell your audience when you will go live.
- Send an eblast to your database
- Welcome people into your live event
- Tell people when you will start the actual learning.
- How will you answer live questions? As they appear or at the end of the event.
- Horizontal video is important if you intend on reusing the video.
Use your video with a lead pages product to sell your information, products or videos. I use Leadpages to build my landing pages. A lead page allows me to capture information from the consumer and provide information, count down pages and so much more. This is the one tool I feel is a must have for any business.
- Share relevant content about your product or service
- Don’t give everything away in the video. Provide a link where the consumer or follower can purchase the full version or the item. Yes, your landing page built with tools like leadpages.
- Provide the steps for something! 5 steps to selling your home fast.
- 10 ways to leverage your LinkedIn account
- If you’re a real estate agent showcase the cities you work in or the best restaurants
- How to videos
- The steps to home ownership
These are only a few ideas for video. Take a few minutes and write down 12 topics, then break down each topic into 4 segments. Now you’ll have 52 videos you can create for an entire year. Yes, it’s that simple.
Want to learn how to create short videos on your iPhone? Join me on my Facebook Group. Smart Girl Media Live to get access.
No, DM is not a dirty word! It’s how we message each other on social media. My generation is more likely to message via Facebook Messenger. The next generation is more likely to use Snapchat and Instagram messaging. I am more likely to
receive a message via Facebook than on my mobile device. Therefore, who needs text messages on a mobile device when you have Facebook messenger, Snapchat direct message, LinkedIn messaging, Twitter messaging, and Instagram Direct Messages. I will receive a faster response from my kids on Snapchat then any other tools.
I’ve negotiated a contract via Direct Message, followed up with clients, generated leads from a Facebook Live video and created group chats to follow up with my grade school friends. My friends are more likely to respond to a Facebook Direct Message than from a text message. Snapchat has changed the way I communicate with my techy friends, my real estate friends and my national connections.
Direct messaging isn’t new and today it appears that Direct messaging is the new “Cold Call”. We are spammed with automated DM’s to follow a business page or to check out a new thingy that someone is selling. If you’re a real estate agent only going for the hard sale in a DM you’re missing an opportunity to connect and generate a lead. A great way to master the DM on your platform of choice are:
- Know your audience, friends, family and sphere of influence. Are you connecting better on Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram or Snapchat? I’m more likely to a response from Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. Why? These are my preferred platforms.
- Are you using the DM like an “Old School Cold Call”? Guess What? If you are, we are blocking you. If you call me to sell something without being a part of my network or a personal relationship you’re as good as blocked. I am more likely to connect with you when we’ve connected in person, I already know you personally or you’re offering to help me. Give before the ask.
- If you’re going to automate your Direct Message Marketing with tools like IFTTT, then consider the “thank you” response. How can you help the person you’ve just connected with? Are you an affiliate for the real estate industry? Provide a coupon for an agent’s client. Come to a networking event and meet an agent in person. Make the relationship personal and intentional. Get to know your network. YPN or Women’s Council is a great way to engage face to face. We want to see you as well as engage on social media.
4. Lead Generation – Direct messaging is a great way to generate leads. However, you’re more likely to generate those leads from people you already know or those that reach out to you. In the last 30 days, I receive two direct messages that have resulted into leads. One of those leads was a direct message from Snapchat. The other message was from Facebook Messenger. That lead should generate a new listing in the next 30 days.
5. How to generate leads with direct messaging! Make sure people know you’re in business. Use LIVE social media to tell people your story. Who is your audience? Tell your audience what they get from contacting you. If you’re a real estate agent remind your social network. Don’t let them forget that you’re in the business of buying, selling and creating lifestyle home ownership opportunities.
So, what is this new feature? The new Snapchat feature allows your friends and others to see your exact location, literally. My daughter, Lauren, figured out that the new feature let’s everyone know when she is at home in the house. That might be concerning for many. The great part is you can turn it off and switch to Ghost mode. Setup Ghost mode or leave your location mode on. The choice is yours. Steps to allowing the world to see you or not!
- Pinch your screen while in snapchat. The first time you pinch you’ll see these steps:
2. Find your friends and select who can see your location. Do you want to become a ghost or allow your family and friends to see you? Real Estate and networking Tips below.
3. Ghost mode prevents the world from finding you. When in ghost mode you’ll have the ability to find those that turned off Ghost mode. Turn it back on when you want people to see you. Just don’t forget to turn it off. Otherwise, anyone has the potential to find you.
4. If you add specific friends they have the ability to view your story. A story built around a specific group of people. Maybe your family, high school friends, real estate friends, your company, college friends, etc.
5.When Ghost mode is turned off others will see your bitmoji. That’s me below. My husband, kids and immediate family can always see me on the map.
6. When in Ghost mode only you can view your location. This image doesn’t appear on anyone else’s map. You’ll have the ability to view others on the map but they can’t see you.
This new feature might have you worried. I would definitely turn it off when at home or when I’m out and about. With social media we should be concerned that it’s so easy for someone to find us. However, if you are take advantage of the location feature, in our out of Ghost mode, it might help with your real estate business. Think, when would you want people to know where you are?
- Open Houses – tell your network to find your next open house via Snapchat.
- Networking events – let others know where you are so they can connect
- Turn on the feature when showing houses so your family can find you. This is a great safety tip.
- Are you member of an organization that has events? As a Women’s Council Member, I can turn on my location so you can find me at the next events.
- Tell others when you’re in the office.
What other ways can you use the location finder? Think out of the box and start building a business based on location. If you aren’t 100% ready to turn on your location, create a new Snapchat account just for business and log out when your done with your event. Or just don’t forget to switch to Ghost mode! Let’s get snapping! Follow me on snapchat with user ID: CarrieJoLittle
As an agent, I am overloaded with inquires, potential clients, future clients and the ones that need my attention right now. Chaos was my best friend. My daily routine was working in chaos. I had to do something. So I did, I started using a drip campaign system that freed up at least 2 hours a day of my time. More time to work with clients, writing and lead generation. I was already using Mailchimp as an email marketing tool for my clients, however, I needed more.
I love using Mailchimp for email marketing. It works great when sending e-blasts to clients, agents, and strategic partners. This awesome tool to keeps me in front of my past clients, current clients, agents that request my schedule, and updates on the market place. Although I really love Mailchimp, I’ve come to realize that in order to be successful you need a drip campaign system. What is a drip campaign?
A drip campaign is an automated process that provides relevant information to your buyers and sellers based on their current stage in the buying and selling process. The campaign sends automated emails or text messages to your clients based on the emails or text messages you choose. Many systems have pre-created campaigns. Click and go! Takes seconds. I use Liondesk, a great tool for only about $25/month. I stay in front of the client while I work with active clients. No excuse, my buyers will always know I am in the business of selling real estate.
Things to know about Drip Campaigns:
- Drip Campaigns help you follow up with your clients automatically.
- Agents can build their own campaigns that send auto emails based on the information you want them to have.
- These campaigns keep you in front of the buyer or seller so they don’t forget who you are.
- Gives you the freedom to work with your “HOT clients” while the client in the incubation phase, receives timely updates on the market and the areas they’re interested in. Keeps you “Top of Mind” with the future client.
- Using a drip campaign let’s your clients know that you are still in the business of selling real estate.
- Allows you to re-direct your database to your social media or website.
- Drip campaigns can be used for past clients, current clients and future clients.
Example of a drip campaign:
Lead signs up for your offer on Facebook –>3 days later you send a new email with market information –> 3 days later you provide a link to “What’s Your Home worth” –> and so on. Great content keeps the consumer clicking –> you follow up via phone, email or text and schedule the appointment.
Once you’ve selected the best CRM start a drip campaign right away. Always ask for the new lead. You have not because you ask NOT. Most buyers start the home buying process online months before they reach out to an agent. So make sure you’re the agent of choice. Top of mind all the time. And by the way, When you upgrade your mail chimp account, building drip campaigns is are easier to build for any business.
Build your Facebook presence with only 15 minutes a day. Whether your new or seasoned with social media, I’m sure you would agree scheduling time to create your social media marketing is essential for today’s agent. In 15 minutes or less, agents can create original content, re-purpose content or share content. Here’s how:
- Schedule time to post. If you schedule your Facebook marketing Monday – Friday at 9:30am, stick to it. Facebook Business pages have a scheduler. This way you can share content when you know your users are online. Say you have clients at 9:30am today. Reschedule your 15 time of social media scheduling. The next day spend 30 minutes instead of the 15 minutes to schedule your social media.
- Find relevant content for your market place. com/members has real estate created content built for NAR members.
- REALTOR Magazine is another great source for content.
- If you have listings Share those listings and write a short “Call to Action” to get your followers to click.
Active Facebook User
- Everything already listed
- Start creating LIVE events. Go Live on Facebook and share information about the city you work in. The top restaurants in the area. Market Trends. Steps to home ownership. Top 5 ways to make your home sell. (Create your own list of ideas for Live Streaming)
- Download your live videos to your mobile device and upload that video to YouTube. A great way to build a channel and reach a different audience.
Advanced Facebook User
- Build infographics on Canva.com.
- Schedule LIVE events with your email list. Tell them when you are going LIVE and create the, “I can’t miss it event”.
- Build a Facebook widget with Shortstack. Shortstack gives you the ability to create tabs on Facebook. Create your first tab with a link to your real estate website and never pay an additional fee for IDX.
- I use Mailchimp for email marketing. Most email marketing platforms provide opt in forms. Build an opt in form to build your email list.
- Take your 15 minutes a day and get your social media posts scheduled for the next 7 days using automation tools like Hootsuite or buffer. Schedule one day a week and work on your strategy for an hour and forty five minutes. Then go back to working with your clients.
Not sure how to begin? Take advantage of my free social media editorial calendar now when you click here to download. Don’t feel overwhelmed. You won’t grow if you don’t start. If you start and lose track, get back on schedule and start again. There are many days where I play catch up on social media marketing. Until you can hire a content marketing assistant, take ownership of your social media presence today. Don’t get left behind in the digital world. Keep up with the next generation agent today. The best way to complete is to have a plan.
The Quickest Way to Capture a Lead with the Least Amount of Money.
In 2001, I became a REALTOR and the only thing that mattered to me was whether or not I would make money. I wanted to generate a lead, with little to no cost, the fastest way I possibly could. I walked my subdivision, went to laundromats, and apartment complexes with doorknob bags I put flyers that said, “Warning Renting is Hazardous to Your Wealth”. Whatever i could to generate a leads with the least amount of expense. When I talk to new agents, agents that have been in the industry for many years, and those that are redefining their businesses all want the same thing. They want to generate and convert leads into closed transactions.
On April 16th, 2016, in my Cubs T-shirt, I went “live” on Facebook and talked to my followers on the steps to home ownership. The live event was only 2 minutes. In that 2 minutes I talked shared on:
- The steps to purchasing a home
- If you’re a college graduate you can purchase after graduation – yes, there are rules. Talk to a lender!
- How I can negotiate your down payment.
- If you’re paying rent you are paying a mortgage. Just not your own mortgage.
I didn’t look my best. However, the consumer often needs to see that we are real people. Even if, we can’t see because of the sun, if we have chapped lips, and no makeup there is an opportunity to generate new business.
From this short live video I’ve closed 6+ deals. In the first 24 hours one of my high school friends sent a private message on Facebook that he was already approved to purchase. This buyer closed in June and the other 5 deals closed before the end of October. The first days I build what are called organic leads. Leads that come from people that are already on my Facebook Business Page.
Take advantage of Facebook ADS. Below is a short video on using your email list to target your database. I don’t finish the ad, however, I show how to build the custom list using your network.