The Quickest Way to Capture a Lead

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:

  1. The steps to purchasing a home
  2. If you’re a college graduate you can purchase after graduation – yes, there are rules.  Talk to a lender!
  3. How I can negotiate your down payment.
  4. 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.

 

 

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Snapchat for Business

It’s been a few years since I started using Snapchat.  I downloaded the app during a news broadcast when I heard that Mark Zuckerberg wanted to buy the social media app.  Evan Speigel, Robert Murphy and Reggie brown are   the co-founders and owners of Snapchat that never sold their trending app.  The app is mostly used by millennials and the igeneration.   I vaguely remember my 14 year old at the time telling me the app had an age limit.  She almost had me convinced.
Now that’s it’s been a few years using Snapchat, this is what I know:
  1. Millennials are clearly using this tool to communicate with their friends. All 5 of my kids use the tool daily.  The 26 and and 25 year olds use it differently than the high schoolers.  My youngest doesn’t snap as much but clearly uses the chat tool to communicate.
  2. Millennials and the generation are getting their news from this app in the Discover section.
  3. It’s a great way to build a story for business and build followers that might not follow you on Facebook or Twittersmartgirlgeofilter
  4. Snapchat uses geofilters.  Not sure what that is?  Small businesses can build their own filters to build awareness about their new products and services or to promote an event.  I recently created a geofilter for a tradeshow and a geofilter for my kids homecoming dance.  One of the filters from the homecoming dance generated 87,000 views. That’s 87,000 more opportunities for your business.
  5. We can create 10 second snaps and re-purpose those snaps on other social media platforms.  Re-direct your current followers to Snapchat and share new or different content.  A great place to build a short series of snaps about your business.
  6. Not quite ready for Snapchat?  Create an account and let someone else in your company manage it for you.  You social media team can create a behind the scenes experience.  Bring your fans into your office.
If you haven’t considered Snapchat, download it today and check it out.  I am sure your kids can teach you how to use it.  If not,  register for my online course at www.SmartGirlUniversity.com or click here.
snapchat-basics-pdf

Hashtags, A Pound Sign and Why I Need them?

Hashtags were created for Twitter by Chris Messina.  When he proposed the idea to Twitter the response was, “These things are for nerds. They’re never going to catch on.”  Since the adoption of #hashtags, Words with a Pound sign in front of them, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, Google+ and other social media platforms have started using hashtags to group conversations or subjects.

So what is a Hashtag? First, a hashtag is the Pound (#) sign on your phone or laptop keyboard. A hashtag is also a word or a phrase to group a conversation or your content.  When using a #Hashtag in a social media post it becomes a hyperlink that takes you to the results of that tag.  A hashtag, when searched, allows people to search for specific content on a specific topic, brand or conversation.  It filters online content for those that share the same information as you.  My branded #hashtag is #CoffeeWithCarrie.  Marki Lemons-Ryhal also an instructor uses #ReMarkitable.  If you search for either of these phrases with the pound sign in front of the phrase, you’ll find every post made that is grouped in this conversation.    Check out my Instagram account and add the #CoffeeWithCarrie hashtag.  You’ll see all of my grouped posts on Instagram.

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Hashtags can be used to brand your business and create engagement among your customers and followers.  A great way to build the conversation online.  When you tag your content with a hashtag you’re adding it to a specific conversation.  That hashtag is now a search link that puts your post in a specific category.   By using hashtags it immediately spreads your reach beyond those that actually follow you.

There aren’t really “Rules” to how many hashtags you should use.  However, let’s think about your network and people using a specific hashtag.  If you use too many hashtags it might take away from your key message.  If you use a hashtag that isn’t searched often you won’t be found.  Should you tag a business with their hashtag in your post?  Yes, if it’s relevant to their brand.  But don’t take a hashtag to steal followers.  It’s just bad business.  Let’s look at the top social media platforms and apply #hashtags:

Start Implementing #Hashtags in your Business Today!

  1. Create a simple hashtag
  2. Start using the hashtag each time you post on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Instagram.
  3. Research your industry to determine the top used hashtags. Add these hashtags to your posts.
  4. If you are using a newly created hashtag to brand your business, add that hashtag to your YouTube channels, live streaming platforms and direct mail. Tell your network to use your hashtag find your posts and engage in the conversation.
  5. The number one way to lose followers is to not engage with those followers. Make sure you are checking social media daily.  Yep, I am sure most of you went, “really Carrie, daily”.  Yep, daily.  It’s easy when you turn on notifications and maximize your smartphone apps.  Ok, If not daily, then schedule time to check your updates.   Make a point to engage with your followers just as you would your actual clients.
  6. Check out the top used hashtags for any industry at top-hashtags.com or click now for the top real estate hashtags.

 

Facebook

Twitter Google+

Instagram

2 to 3 hashtags 1 to 3 hashtags 2 or less is better. This is the only social media site that will suggest #hashtags if you allow permission. No rule.  Consider adding 2-4 #hashtags then revive your post a few days later by adding new #hashtags to the comments.

 

Don’t Miss the 2016 #NARAnnual Convention

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2015 was an amazing year for the National Association of REALTORS® and the Women’s Council of REALTORS® Conferences.  As a blogger for the 2015 Conference LIVE site I was able to engage with speakers, leadership, and exhibitors.  I’ve been a licensed real estate agent since 2001 and I’ve attended the NAR convention 3 times.  I regret not getting involved sooner.  These events provide REALTORS® with the ability to network, learn, attend national meeting and, check out new products and services.  Below are highlights from both conferences.

Women’s Council of REALTORS® offers 2 PMN designation courses.  The Professional Management Network “Powerful professional training that builds business leadership, provides an elite referral network and gives you a competitive edge.”  One of the courses included the networking and referrals course taught by Marki Lemons-Ryhal.

“Secret Tech Weapons to Build Your Perfect REALTOR® Smartphone” with Beth Ziesenis.  Beth provided awesome apps and website tools to help REALTORS® build SMART businesses.  Check out a few suggestions from Beth to add to your SMART Toolkit.  Click NOW.

International buyers are searching online for homes, “Are You Ready for the International Buyer”?  International buyers are also looking for experience marketing.  They want to experience the home either in person, at an event or online with virtual reality imaging, stunning photography or with live chat.

Leigh Brown a REALTOR® and Speaker broke the ice at the Lounge Acts Mixer for the Women’s Council of REALTORS®.  This one you must  watch.  I can’t give it justice in my awesome blog.

Leigh Brown also gave a great talk on “Hiring an Assistant” for the Women’s Council of REALTORS®.

property brothersThe NAR expo showcased businesses to assist agents with their business.  One of my favorite vendors is IDX.  They always make their booth entertaining.  Another favorite is Wells Fargo.  If you stop at their booth, you’ll never leave. Wells Fargo also featured the “Property Brothers”.

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Many of these events you need to experience for yourself.  Like I said earlier, “I regret waiting to attend the annual convention.” Start planning for the 2016 convention today. Let’s go as a group. Save the Dates, November 4th -7th, 2016.  Come prepared to learn, network and attend the expo in 2016.  Join me in Orlando for the 2016 convention.

Help! I Need More LIKES on Facebook

So, you say you just built a Facebook Fan Page and you Need more LIKES.  Fan Pages are extremely important to a real estate agents business.  The Fan Page gives an agent the opportunity to showcase their expertise in the market places they serve.  Many would argue that agents should pay to obtain more LIKES on Facebook.  However, in Real Estate the best Lead or LIKE is someone that loves you, likes you and would also refer you. Therefore, let’s start with the people we already know.  In the digital arena this is called, “Organic Reach”.   Below are 7 easy ways to generate “Organic Likes” on Facebook.

1.  Take advantage of your list that is stored in your Multiple Listing Service.  Many MLS’s allow agents to email directly to their database by category or to the entire list as a BCC (Blind Carbon Copy).  If this isn’t available download your email list.  Send a an email to this list asking for new LIKES on your Facebook business page.  Keep it simple.  Consider asking your database to help you reach your goal.

The first time I tried this my email went something like this,  “Help me reach my goal of 100 LIKES by July 1st”.  From this email I had 100 LIKES in 24 hours.

2.  Send an email from your CRM (Client Relationship Manager).  Write a short update on your current Market Place and tell your database they can view these updates in real time when they “LIKE” your Fan Page.

3.  Create a custom URL for your Facebook Fan Page and add it to your direct mail marketing campaigns.  (The Fan Page URL option is location in the ABOUT section then under Page Info)FAcebook fan page url

Wait, you’re not sending snail mail marketing?  If you are focused and able to generate leads from social media then OK. Don’t send snail mail.  For the rest of us that sell real estate, direct mail is necessary for personal branding.  Add your Facebook URL to your direct mail marketing (post card) and ask people to join you on Facebook for market updates.

4. Create Video Content.   Provide market insights, tip of the day, contests, surveys and more with video.   Always ask for new LIKES on your Facebook Fan Page.

5. Add widgets/apps to Facebook.  What’s a widget?  A widget allows you to build tabs that are located below your Facebook banner.  These widgets can redirect your followers to search for homes, build a “FREE” market report or access statistics.  Click to Check out my page.

widgets

6.  Invite your Facebook Friends to your Fan Page. Share  relevant information from your Fan Page then re-share it to your personal page.  Ask your friends to LIKE your Fan Page.  I recommend that you do this, maybe, once a month depending on your friend count.  If you only have 100 friends, don’t share from business to personal very often.  Your friends will hide your posts.

7.  The “Task is to Ask”  if you’re not asking for LIKES then you won’t have many LIKES.  Marketing is marketing.   “When business is good it pays to advertise, when business is bad you’ve got to advertise” Henry Ford.  Ask for your followers to LIKE you page today.  What are you waiting for?

“Make

This infographic was made with the Infographic maker Venngage.

Social Media Marketing takes time, consistency and work. Growing your Fan page might not happen over night.  However, just like with any business you must START advertising to generate a following on social media.  If the social world is unaware of your Fan Page then you can’t generate a lead.   Take the next 7 days, 30 minutes a day, to work on these 7 tips.  Share your results with me.   If you need assistance send an email to RequestCarrie@gmail.com and we will have a #CoffeeWithCarrie session.

10 Reasons Why REALTORS® Should Consider E-Signatures

Carrie’s Top 10 Reasons to Consider E-Signatures

  1. If you don’t embrace the new technology you may lose out on opportunities to list and sell—the difference between multiple offers and the only offer!
  2. Electronic Signatures are Legal in all 50 States.
  3. Choose a platform that has certification.  Proof of e-signature.
  4. Don’t force the technology on a non-tech savvy client.  Yep,  go back to the PEN!
  5. Be willing to educate your clients on the benefits of e-signatures. Great for the out of area client.
  6. E-Signatures provide the ability to go paperless and receive legible documents quickly.
  7. Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac will accept e-Signatures.  However, if you start with e-Signatures you must use the same technology for the duration of the deal.  You cannot go back to a pen.  Choose wisely!
  8. Saves Time & Money. Think about the hours in the car and the amount of gas you purchase just to get signatures.
  9. As of today, HUD (HUD homes) doesn’t accept electronic signatures. Must use wet signatures.
  10. Yes, you can use electronic signatures on a short sale.  Work with the bank and ask if the bank will accept e-signatures.

Although I love being a paperless agent I recommend that agents also build quality relationships with clients.  You may need to have a face to face conversation, send an email, text and pick up the phone.  Using electronic signatures isn’t a reason to not maintain a relationship.

Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act

Illinois – Electronic Commerce Security Act

Washington – Electronic Authentication Act

New York – Electronic Signatures and Records Act

Periscope for Real Estate Agents

Live streaming is changing the way we communicate with our clients, followers, networks and how we reports news.  If you’re not shy, Periscope could be the tool you need to build your real estate brand.   So what is Periscope?periscope  Periscope is a Live Streaming  app available on a smart phone.  Live streaming is similar to LIVE news watched everyday on our regular news channels.  Now anyone can bring the

  • News & product reviews
  • Behind the scene events
  • Share tips on marketing
  • Social media
  • How to tips – How to stage a home
  • Preparing for the “Spring Market” tips
  • Home ownership
  • Market Stats &
  • More.

If you can think of it you can LIVE Stream it.  So, how does Periscope work?

  • Agents can download the app on a droid phone or iPhone.
  • Sync periscope with your twitter account
  • Begin streaming.
  • Flip the camera to talk to your clients or followers or
  • Flip the camera to share or show something interesting.  A great example would be to walk into HomeGoods and provide tips on what to purchase to stage a home.  Live stream your shopping experience and show your followers what to add to give their homes “new life” before it hits the market.
  • Remind your followers to tweet the Live Periscope and to invite their followers
  • If your followers click their smartphone screens you will gain hearts which = Likes on periscope
  • Thank followers for joining you and occasionally respond to their questions.
  • Recap at the end and thank your followers for joining you and end the LIVE Stream by exiting the app.

Now that you’re ready to scope invite me to your first Live Event.  My periscope account is www.Periscope.tv/CarrieJoLittle follow me today.  Periscope  Carrie Jo Little

The Dynamic Duo Live on Blab Today

1st Blab Marki Lemons-Ryahal Carrie Little

Today, September 3rd at 5pm CST, Marki Lemons-Ryhal and I will discuss how to bridge your networking with Off-Line and On-Line Marketing using a new LIVE Streaming product Blab.im.

What is Blab.im?  A Blab is a live streaming social network that gives you the ability to have a live conversation and invite others into the conversation.
Sign up with your Twitter Account.  Not a twitter user?  You can listen in without joining the conversation

Join us today.  We want your feedback and expertise.

Click NOW to Subscribe

Hootsuite Adds Instagram

Manage Instagram from your Hootsuite Dashboard.   Hootsuite is one of the best ways to streamline your social media posts, 512px-owly-normal1schedule and watch the latest trends.  Now that Instagram is available as one of your profile options, Real Estate agents can share their Instagram posts to multiple social media sites and help increase their Digital Footprint.

If you already have Hootsuite for your business adding Instagram is quick and easy.  In order to take advantage of Instagram on Hootsuite you must have the app on your phone.

Get it now!

Add_Instagram

Three ways to use Instagram with Hootsuite

  1. Schedule your upcoming open houses with 15 second videos from your smartphone
  2. Coming soon posts in front of the home
  3. Schedule your weekend marketing so you can take a day off.

Real estate agents are always, “ON”.  Therefore, by taking advantage of scheduled marketing an agent can work with customers and know that they are marketing their business to generate potential buyer and seller leads.

Need help with setup? Want me do do it for you?  Email my Social Media Manager today.  Mr.MarcLittle@outlook.com

Does the REAL ESTATE Industry design software for REALTORS® or Consumers?

Does the REAL ESTATE Industry design software for REALTORS® or Consumers?

I love Margaret Gould Stewart’s statement in her TED Talk, “Know who you are designing for”.  Many companies use statistical data to determine software solutions.  As a technology trainer for the real estate industry I’ve had the opportunity to watch our software programs evolve into cloud based systems over the past 14 years.   Real estate software changes at a rapid pace with new programs added and offered to real estate agents every year.  From cloud based systems to apps where buyers and sellers can view properties on smart phones, tablets, and laptops.   Midwest Real Estate Data, a Northern Illinois Company, offers multiple products to their REALTOR® members.

As an instructor for the real estate industry, I have the ability to experience the different skill levels for all agents.  Many agents come into the business with little or no computer skill.  Where others come into the business with a tech savvy background.   The median age of all REALTORS® IS 56.  With that in mind you might think, based on statistics, the MLS service would offer products to keep in line with REALTOR® Demographics.  This age group is among the Baby Boomers and Boomers are adapting to the rapidly changing technology.  However, the Millennials and Generation Y groups are among the extremely tech savvy software, social media and smart phone users.  And learning these products are simple for the younger generations since they’ve typically grown up with technology.  Whereas, working with the Boomer groups, in many situations not all, it might take longer to adapt to technology changes and new products.

Why is this important?  If the median age of an agent is 56 why aren’t we developing products to service this age group?  That’s easy, many people in the market to buy or sell a home are looking online before they decide to invest in home ownership or choose a REALTOR®.    Therefore, if the buyer or seller chooses an agent to represent them in their transaction, that new client might expect that agent to be tech savvy and have the ability to access real estate information just as quickly as they can.   

Therefore, although it might make sense to focus on the Boomer agents when developing technology, focusing on the consumer would be the better option when designing for the real estate industry. The Millennials are expected to spend $2 Trillion in housing in the next 5 years.  Most buyers are searching online before making a decision to purchase a home.  And Based on how quickly real estate programs are developed and updated it’s certain that developers are focusing on the tech savvy users.  Given that this is true, Millennials and the Generation Y groups should be considered when developing cloud systems, websites, apps and software.  This could be one of the reasons the less tech savvy agents show frustration with real estate software.  It’s just not being developed for the agent.  It’s being developed with the consumer in mind.