Your Past Employment Prepared you for Real Estate

What was your first “Real Job”?  Did you hate it or love it?  Every job you’ve ever worked can help you transition into real estate.

I loved my first job at TJMaxx back in the late 80’s.  Who doesn’t want to work where they shop?  At TJMaxx learned how to customize clothing racks, clean the sales floor and check out TJmaxx customers at the cash register.  Let’s not discuss minimum wages in the 80’s.  😊.  My second job was at Sears Roebuck & Company.  I pretty much preformed the same job functions at Sears as TJMaxx.  However, at Sears, I eventually promoted to Supervisor in the children’s department then later to custom decorating.  Custom decorating was the department that managed draperies and shades for the real estate industry.

When I realized my income wasn’t going to change much, I began my job search again to one day be employed by Kissane Business System, the place where my technology career took off.  From there I went to NEC Technologies where I eventually managed all the demonstration equipment for the United States and Canada.    While at NEC, I decided to complete my BS in Business Management.  The great thing about working for corporate is that they will often assist with tuition reimbursement.

After NEC I worked for a non-profit where I managed the television department.   I learned how to work with television stations, edit video and build short commercials.  lAfter leaving one non-profit, I ended up working for another, a local church working as an administrative assistant.   Only part-time so I could be available for my kids.

While at the local Church I decided to go back the College of DuPage to earn my Real Estate Sales person license in 2001.  After passing the exam I began my part-time real estate career with a large Chicagoland brokerage.  So why all this history?  Every job I’ve held gave me different skills that would easily translate into real estate.  So, let’s break this down:

  1. As a retail sales person I learned how to take direction from authority. You’d think we’d learn this from our parents, right.   I also learned how to organize clothes, pick up after other people and handle someone else’s money.
  2. As a sales person and supervisor, I learned how to manage different personalities, work with customer service issues from frustrated clients and close a large retail store. Who knew I’d get the keys to Sears before the age of 21.  I gained their trust.
  3. As a customer service report for the Sears Custom Drapery department, I learned how to read measurements for draperies, pleated shades, shades, blinds and more. This is the job that made me re-think learning how to type.
  4. Kissane Business Systems is the company that hired me based on my twin sisters’ skills. Yes, I had to go to Triton College and take a typing class because I was hired to be the admin to the VP of Sales. Yeah, I learned how to type fast.  😊.   This where I learned the most about business.  They were a small business that sold computers, typewriters, and printers to companies like McDonald’s and Boston Chicken.  I learned how to create invoices, worked with accounts receivables, accounts payables, type letters, work with annual rental contracts while assisting an executive.  Oh, I made the coffee too.  I also was one of the first users on SAP accounting software in the early 90’s.
  5. When I made the leap to NEC technologies I started as a temp agent. After working in their A/V repairs department I was quickly promoted to assistant the department manager.  Then I took a new position in their sales department where I would manage the company’s demo equipment used by sales people.  I worked closely with the transportation department and off-site warehouse management teams.
  6. Then the big switch to a non-profit where I learned how to use professional television cameras, commercial editing equipment, and have connections local television stations.
  7. My last job, before starting my real estate career, was at a church. This is where I learned about 5013c’s, LLC’s and corporations.   I also created flyers, bulletins, balanced the bank account using QuickBooks monthly, entered payroll and deposited the church offerings at the bank.  I also cleaned the bathrooms in the office, cleaned the church bathrooms and cleaned the kitchen.  In addition to this,I was tasked with finding a “Free Mobile” classroom for kid’s church.
  8. Out of all these past careers, I also volunteered at Mothers and More where we raised over $50k twice a year.
  9. I worked as a legal assistant for McDonald’s Real Estate East Coast division where I learned about the commercial real estate industry and how to work with attorneys.

Many people get into real estate without a real estate background and have no a clue about the industry.  However, if you take about an hour, the time it took me to write this blog post, you’ll be able to look at your prior job history and incorporate into real estate.  And here is how:

  1. If you’ve worked in retail, you already understand how to work with buyers and sellers. You’ve figured how to deal with every personality type, provide excellent customer service, sell products and add new inventory.
  2. Working in Custom Decorating helps me understand what to look for in window treatments for any home. Yes, I know what’s out dated and what’s in style today.  What you can keep in the home and what “must” go.
  3. My administrative skills translate into transaction management, letter writing, organization and follow through. I created manuals to train others on the same systems I was using.  Today, I had to create manuals for new agents and for our admin staff.
  4. I learned how to use creative software by designing bulletins and flyers for the church, designing covers for audio sales at the non-profit, creating Newsletters for the church, invitations for parties and weddings.
  5. After working in technology, I can pick up new software tools quickly. I understand how they function and if the tool will work for my business.
  6. In 2006 I started training adults for free on how to use computers. I love watching adults learn something new and integrate it into their daily lives.
  7. Were you a stay at home parent? Did you take care of everyone else’s needs?  If so, you’re perfect for real estate.  This is exactly what we do everyday, create a process that’s seamless for every client.  We are the keep it together group.
  8. When I volunteered, I learned how to work with people I didn’t know, I learned how to raise lots of money for a worthy cause, and get the skills needed to speak like I do today.
  9. Have you worked in the financial industry, If so, learn how to read real estate data and explain it to your new buyers and sellers. This is huge for real estate agents.  Once you understand the data, the rest of what we do is easy.

Every job I’ve had prepared me to open a real estate company.  We all have different job histories.  Now take time to figure out how this translates into real estate for you.

Next steps:

Write a list of your job history and figure out how it translates to real estate today.  You’ve got this.  If you’re not tech savvy, start by taking classes at the library, the community college and watch my Carrie’s YouTube Channelvideos.  Join me in one of my Facebook Groups.  www.SmartGirlMediaLive.com or www.TheRealStreamingEstate.com

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Guaranteed ways to generate leads from Social Media

As a practicing agent and now broker owner, I’ve used social media with intention for the last five years.  In 2008 when I was introduced to Facebook, I had no idea that I would be able to build a successful lead generation platform online.   There is truth in the fact, “everything works, if you work”.  When you actively use social media to build a business, you too can generate leads that convert and close.

 

How do we do  it?  In the beginning of my social media journey, I used it to connect with old friends from elementary and high school.   Planning the high school reunion was easy.  Easy to find old friends with a few clicks.  Since 2008 Facebook has gone through many changes.  We have personal pages, groups, business pages, the ability to sell our stuff, watch the latest Facebook shows and pay to advertise.   And Wait, Facebook isn’t the only platform to build an online business.   My go to tools include, Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn.  Yep, in that order.   I get more business and engagement from Facebook and Snapchat.

Steps to guaranteed leads on social media:

1. Increase your connections on Social Media. If you are using Facebook and you don’t have a network, friends, how can you convert your network into leads?  Facebook allows 5000 friends.  Your goal is to get there.  Maybe not overnight.  Patience and starting is the key to your social success.  Start with connecting with people from the past.  High school, college, friends, family and people from your past jobs.  These are people that may already know you.

2. Be human on social media. Are you posting everyone else’s content?  If you are, you’re not authentic you.  Be yourself on social media.

  1. Tell your story – example, your home buying experience
  2. Why you are in the real estate business.
  3. Who are you outside of real estate?
  4. What are your hobbies?

3. Engage and build relationships with your network on social media. If you only watch what people do on social media, you won’t generate leads.  People, friends and family want to work with the person that they know or the person the feel like they know.  The watcher on social media is like the person that sits on the porch all day and watches the neighborhood.  Be the person on the porch that knows everything happening in the neighborhood, says hello to everyone that walks by and invites their neighbors over for coffee.  Engage with your friends posts on social media.  If you like what was shared, make a comment!  The more you engage on social media the more likely someone will reach out to you when the time comes to buy or sell a house.

4. Meet with your network outside of social media. Yes, I mean it!  Go to dinner, have coffee go to networking events, a sporting event or invite your friends over for dinner.  The more personable you are outside of social media the more relate-able you are.  Then connect on social media.  Follow Sheena Baker on Instagram to see how it’s done!

5. Create relevant and consumable content. Video and the written word.  Remind your followers that you are a real estate agent.  Create a call to action.

6. Next Steps!  Start building on Social Media today.   Don’t think to hard about this stuff.   You’ll be glad you started today a year from now.  follow me on Instagram, IGTV and Snapchat today.  @CarrieJoLittle

10 Ways to Generate Content for Facebook Live & Periscope

Be your own broadcaster.  Take over your market place with your smartphone.  Don’t think you can do it?  Neither did I.  Before I open my own real estate firm, one video produced 1.9 million in volume.  I love proving that social media works, if you work it!  Start today and create content that people want to view.

10 Ways to Generate Content

Talk about the home buying process and the selling process.  This is the one that lead to 10+ transactions.  1,900,000 million in volume.  

  1. Share information about your market place. What types of homes are in your city?  Do you live or work in an area with a specialty home?  I happen to live in a city where we have Sears homes.  These homes were available for purchase via the Sears catalog.  How about the history of your city?
  2. Come up with information that the person moving to your city may not know.  Example: Do you know why highways have exits in the middle of the highway verses the outer sides? 
  3. What can you share that will create a “Click Thru, Call To Action, Share, ……..”?
  4. What’s happening in the cities you work in? Upcoming events, Farmers Markets, Things to know about the city, and the park district.
  5. Grab content from RPR – Neighborhood statistics, economic data, and city information.
  6. Do you have a real estate niche? Share that information in your live broadcast.  Luxury Real estate, 1st time buyers, commercial, how to prepare to own a home, home maintenance, the fastest way to pay down your mortgage or how to become an investor.
  7. Share information from your multiple listing service. Example: Breaking news – There are 125 pre-foreclosures in the city of _______________.  Go to a specific lead capture form to request a list from area.  Always share accurate information and reference the source.
  8. Explain the impact on your market place. Has it improved or declined.  How long does it take to sell a home?  When is the best time to list a home?  When is the best time to purchase a home?
  9. Check out Cloud CMA’s “What’s My Home Worth”? lead capture form. Talk about home value.  Then offer What’s My Home Worth link.
  10. How about a “Live” Session where your followers can ask you about Real Estate”?  Ask me your real estate questions live every Thursday at 7pm.

CONTENT FOR LIVE cj

Becoming a live broadcaster might be intimidating for many.  However, if you plan your live broadcast you’ll find live streaming to be easy.   Don’t expect your 1st videos to be perfect.  There are many that go live and are great off the cuff, However, if that’s not you, here are a few tips.

  • Consider pre-marketing your broadcast via email or social media. Announce when you’ll go live.
  • Make sure you have a strong connection – nothing like going live and you drop the broadcast.
  • Remind your viewers to subscribe to your broadcasts and share with their friends.
  • Write down talking points so you have something to bring your ideas back to memory.
  • Thank your followers and acknowledge them by name. You can do this before the broadcast starts, during the broadcast or at the end.  Do what make sense for your business.
  • Always thank people for watching and ask them to come back.
  • The more you go live the more followers you’ll get. So, “Go Live Often”.
  • The longer you broadcast you’ll reach more people. Look at your analytics and go live when your followers are online.

There is no magic formula for live streaming.   The results will be different for everyone.  Be your authentic you. Tell a great story and just do it!  Subscribe to my YouTube Channel.

From Chaos to Lead Gen

2003 was the year I was exposed to one of the best lead generating conferences available to real estate agents.  The event was two days with hundreds of agents from all over the United States.  One of the breakout sessions included focusing on where you are in your business.  The speaker said, “Are you living in Success, Stability or Survival?”  I was shocked to discover that I was operating my business and my family life in Survival mode.  Chaos was it!  I was moving without purpose.  I had to change my thinking, what I was speaking, what I was reading and learning.  Are you living in Chaos, #Survival?  If you said, “yes”.  I have a plan for you.

 

Going from Chaos to lead generation will look different for each of you.  In order to change my life and business I begin to see myself in my new position and life.  Positive confessions do work.  I am not here to change your beliefs, this is what worked for me.  I started reading the bible, books on success and determining to learn something new every month.   When I determined to get back on track my revelations included:

  1. Know your purpose – If you have a purpose for your life it’s easy to get up in the morning and get to work. Purpose is the one thing that makes you get up in the morning.  The one thing you have to live for.
  2. Start speaking what you want in your life. In 1995, I watch a speaker, Bob Harrison, speak and motivate others to reach their dreams.  After hearing him speak, I begin to say that what he was doing is what I will be doing one day.  Today is that day.  I have the opportunity to motivate and educate real estate agents and other industry professionals.  Write a list of things you will accomplish and state them daily.stop-3089945_1920
  3. Write down your goals. If you can’t see it, you won’t achieve it.  Write your vision and make it plain.  There is truth in writing your goals on paper, a vision board or in a place where you can ready your goals daily or as often as possible.
  4. Have a plan for your business. If you are a real estate agent plan your day, week, month and quarter.  What will you do to generate leads, follow up with clients, and track your business?
  5. Build a success list. When you reach a new goal tell someone and check it off the list.  Build your success list so it’s achievable.  When you reach your weekly, monthly and annual goals moving forward becomes easier.
  6. Track where your business comes from. Know where your business comes from so you can perfect it or make changes to make the lead generation process easier.
  7. Review your goals and adjust when necessary.  Change is inevitable.  Reinvent your business and stay ahead of the trend.

Today, I am a successful speaker.  Businesses and Organizations reach out to me for services. I’ve been invited to speak nationally, state and local levels.  Years ago I wrote down my vision and began to see myself educating others.  Now it’s your turn.  If you believe it, you can achieve it.

Get on the road to lead generation for your business.  Start believing that you will be successful.  Get the negative talk out of your life and see yourself as a successful entrepreneur. Are you living the life you expected?  If not, start seeing yourself as a lead generator, see yourself with clients, and see yourself as a successful agent or entrepreneur.   Take negative talk out of your vocabulary.

Amazon Go! Will there be a Real Estate Go?

Amazon Go is changing the way we shop

It’s all about speed for the consumer.  What does this mean for the real estate.  I’ve been saying this since years, making technology a part of your routine and learning process is crucial for the real estate agent’s success. I have the opportunity to educate agents all over the United States and I am deeply concerned for the agents that won’t embrace technology.  The Consumer wants it now and if you think the “Go” world won’t affect our industry, just wait.  I am sure someone is already thinking about how we can make real estate, faster, easier and similar to Amazon Go.    So, what is Amazon Go?

Amazon Go is a new way of shopping in the Brick and Mortar Store.   The name says it all.  You just walk in, Shop, and Go.  Just leave the store and the Amazon app bills your account.   When you walk into the Amazon Go store you scan your app and put your phone away.  The Amazon app recognizes what you purchase as you grab them.

I can see it now, the future of real estate.  The consumer secures a loan, the agent shows the home and the consumer clicks an app to make an offer.  Many agents would panic! and I would say, “The agent that embraced technology won’t be replace” “Make sure you know your market place and technology”.  Then, when Real Estate GO, emerges you are ready for the change.   The professional, tech savvy agent can adjust with change.  What can you do to stay prepared for what might happen to our industry?

  1. Sign up for social media classes – it’s not going away, whether you embrace it or not, the next generation is using it! So, why won’t you?
  2. Stay current with real estate trends. If your only focus is making a living, eventually you’ll be applying for a “Real” job. Don’t get left behind because you refuse to learn.
  3. Sign up for technology classes. What’s new in technology?  Can you sign a document electronically?  If you had to write an offer right now, using DocuSign or dotloop, could you?
  4. Sign up for a google alert to watch technology trends – Yes, I want you to read.
  5. Do you understand Data Trends and how Data impacts our industry?
  6. Learn something new often!
  7. Join Marki Lemons and I on The Real Streaming Estate where we teach technology to real estate professionals.
  8. Take ownership of change.

 

 

 

Are You Branded on Social Media?

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.

Leverage Video on Social Media

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:

  1. Create videos with your smartphone
  2. Keep the phone horizontal (unless you are on snapchat, messenger or Instagram live!)
  3. Pick a subject
  4. Write 5 to 10 bullet points on a sheet of paper (REALLY BIG so you can read it)
  5. Then create your video – if you don’t want to be seen, make sure what you are sharing is relevant.
  6. 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.

  1. Create a few video clips with your phone
  2. If you have an iPhone add those videos to iMovie.
  3. If you have a droid phone consider ViviVideo to build your commercial (60 second spot)
  4. With these apps, you can shorten your clips and add the best parts of the video.
  5. 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

Live Video

  1. It’s not required to plan your live video – but you can plan your live video using the “The Starting point”
  2. When you go live start talking even if no one joins you.  Why? When you end your followers can watch the video later.
  3. Shorter live videos on Facebook allow the user to add captions after the video ends.
  4. Short videos are great for repurposing on YouTube and other social media sites.

Leveraging Video

Facebook

  1. Let your live video or video rest for 24 to 48 hours before paying for advertising
  2. Share your live video to your personal page to gain traction on your business page
  3. Add a photo to your video using canva or picmonkey. Any tool that allows you to build graphics.
  4. 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

  1. Build a story around your business
  2. Share tips on what you provide and how the consumer can benefit
  3. Instructions
  4. How to connect with you
  5. Behind the scenes information.

Periscope

  1. Tell your audience when you will go live.
  2. Send an eblast to your database
  3. Welcome people into your live event
  4. Tell people when you will start the actual learning.
  5. How will you answer live questions? As they appear or at the end of the event.
  6. Horizontal video is important if you intend on reusing the video.

Leadpages

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.

Video Ideas

  • 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.