You Have All This Stuff and No Engagement!

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?

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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!

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The Top 7 Reasons We Don’t Act on Social Media!

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.

Let’s Talk About the DM

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

26D49B26-E6F3-4ACF-9B45-11632B8DC7FDreceive 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:

  1. 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.
  2. IMG_8551Are 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.
  3. 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.IMG_8549 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.

Generate Leads with Snapchats New Feature

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!

  1. Pinch your screen while in snapchat. The first time you pinch you’ll see these steps:

See the World with Snapchat

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.

IMG_82123. 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

  1. Open Houses – tell your network to find your next open house via Snapchat.
  2. Networking events – let others know where you are so they can connect
  3. Turn on the feature when showing houses so your family can find you.  This is a great safety tip.
  4. 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.
  5. 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

Drip Campaigns Saved My Life!

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:

  1. Drip Campaigns help you follow up with your clients automatically.
  2. Agents can build their own campaigns that send auto emails based on the information you want them to have.
  3. These campaigns keep you in front of the buyer or seller so they don’t forget who you are.
  4. 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.
  5. Using a drip campaign let’s your clients know that you are still in the business of selling real estate.
  6. Allows you to re-direct your database to your social media or website.
  7. 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.

Choose 4-8 collegesthat match youracademic profile.

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.

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.

 

 

Snapchat, Instagram or Messenger Stories – And the Winner is?…….

A few years ago, my kids started using an app called Snapchat.   Of course, I had no idea about the app until over hearing on the news that Facebook wanted to buy it.  And yes, if Facebook wants to buy an app, I needed to download it and try it.  My daughter, Lauren, said, “mom, there is an age limit”.  She almost had me.   I’ve been using Snapchat for a few years.  The only reason I used the tool was to keep up with technology and to keep up with what my IMG_5490kids use for social media.  And yes, my teenagers are using Snapchat more than any other social media.   Snapchat launched in September 2011 and any millennial or i-generation user has a 6-year jumpstart on many of us.

Snapchat, Instagram or Messenger?  Each of these apps give the user the ability to build a story board. But with three options, where should we build our stories?  If you’re not familiar with either of these apps, anyone using these apps can build a story where the message self-destructs in 24 hours.  Each of these apps have history.  Instagram is known for images and 60 second videos.  Messenger is Facebook’s private message tool.  And Snapchat is the first app that create the self-destruction message, then in 2013 they added the 24-hour story board.

Snapchat has dominated stories in their App since October of 2013.  Instagram launched their version of stories in October of 2016.  And on March 9th, 2017, Facebook released their version of Stories.  Anyone using Facebook Messenger can build stories similarly to what Snapchat and Instagram are already doing.

Instagram stores

  1. Build a story
  2. Create private messages for people you select in your Instagram contacts
  3. Features a live streaming option
  4. Upload recent photos to your stories
  5. Add current photos
  6. 15 second videos
  7. Add a filter
  8. Build a story with the hands-free option
  9. The boomerang app integration
  10. Add text, emoji’s, write with a highlighter or color
  11. Re-purpose your videos and images on other social sites

Messenger stories+

  1. Build stories
  2. Create private messages for people you select in Facebook
  3. Upload photos from your mobile device
  4. Filter categories
  5. Add text, emoji’s, draw and write with color
  6. Integrated their “Write Something” feature
  7. Take photos for your story
  8. Add 15 second videos
  9. Make phone calls with messenger
  10. During the call use filters
  11. Re-purpose your videos and images on other social sites
  12. Chat in groups

Snapchat Stories

  1. Build stories
  2. Create private messages for your Snapchat followers
  3. Use filters
  4. Snapchat also has fun filters – a few change your voice
  5. Discover – learn, read or listen to news and shop.
  6. Build your own geo-filters
  7. Add emoji’s, write, draw and add text with color
  8. Add your bitmoji character
  9. Call feature
  10. Build snapchat groups
  11. Build reusable stories
  12. Re-purpose your videos and images on other social sites

And the winner is………

The winner is where your network is!  If you weren’t an early adopter of Snapchat, start building stories for your network.  If your network is on Facebook, start there.  If you’re a real estate agent here are a few ways to begin building your story:

  1. Talk about the communities you serve
  2. Home ownership tips
  3. Steps to purchasing a home
  4. The fastest way to get your home sold!
  5. How to reinvest your tax refund.
  6. Do you work in the luxury market? Share hidden secrets
  7. Remember when sharing not show another agent’s listing without permission. If the home was yours you wouldn’t want an agent walking through showing your valued possessions.  Think before you add content to a story.
  8. We want to know interesting tips but we don’t need to know the details of your last inspection.
  9. Show us your park district or your favorite restaurants.

When you look at the 3 apps, Snapchat is the clear winner for building stories.  Their filters are higher quality, the functionality of the tool is much easier to use, and Snapchat is for the next generation.  This is where they are and it’s clear they want to watch short videos.

All 3 apps can serve you well.   When messenger launched their version of stories I used it immediately.  I have a much larger following on Facebook. Therefore, I could see immediate results.  People are engaging on Facebook messenger because I use Facebook.

Not sure where to begin?  Follow me on Snapchat, Messenger and request me as a friend on Facebook messenger.   Pick one and get started!

Thought Leadership! Why does It Matter in Real Estate?

In today’s online world the consumer has easy access to hundreds of real estate websites, agent websites and companies that are in the business of making money from the real estate exchange of data.  Why would I pick your website or company over the next person’s? Do you have relevant content that separates you from the competition. With so many options available to consumers, it’s imperative that agents redefine their content and dominate by becoming Real Estate Thought Leaders.

What exactly is a Thought Leader?  A Thought Leader is a person that is deemed to be an expert and go to person in their field.  A trusted authority in the industry. “It’s a truism that Thought Leaders tend to be the most successful individuals or firms in their respective fields. Furthermore, in the research literature, there’s a general consensus that being a thought leader… can make a very significant and positive difference.” (Forbes)thought-leadership-2

Many real estate agents have proven themselves to be experts in the industry.  However, with the shift in online marketing the traditional platforms are being overlooked by those that are creating relevant content that an average consumer can read or watch.   Being a Thought Leader is more than being an expert, it’s being on the cutting edge of your industry as a thinker.  Don’t discount Baby Boomers.  Boomers consume over 20 hours of content online per week during the early morning hours. Millennials and Gen Xers access online content after 8pm at 5 – 10 hours per week. (BuzzStream)

Real Estate Thought Leaders have the ability to dominate their market places.  Can we find you online? If we can find you online, what are you saying to the online community?  Are you only sharing listings and telling us you’re awesome.  As far as I am concerned, I am the best agent in the industry.  But does everyone else believe it?  It doesn’t matter what I believe.  What matters is what the consumer believes.  Make yourself relevant by building an online platform that provides industry information.

Have you ever wanted to be interviewed?  Start writing, build a YouTube channel and or a podcast. Editors will reach out to you as an industry expert.  If asked to be a guest blogger, don’t hesitate.  As a guest blogger for the National Association of REALTORS it’s forced me to write and build relevant content for their Mid-Year convention and the National Conference.  I’ve been called upon to answer industry questions on Big Data, Lead Generation and Real Estate Technology.  Let your expertise be known online.  Tell us on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and any social tool you are able to effectively manage.

My 2017 goal is to blog weekly. I created a 52-week blog schedule in December and so far, so good.  This is blog number 6.   Where do you begin?  Begin today, make a plan and get started.  If you are great at video start recording short videos on your expertise.  If you’re a great writer, start writing.  If you’re a great talker, consider recording your blog or using tools like Dragon or Google Docs and transcribe your blog post.

Get started today! 

  1. How often will you create content? Daily, weekly, monthly or quarterly.  Start someone where.
  2. What information can you share? Top 10 restaurants in your city, a review of the market, Steps to home ownership, Tips on how to become an investor, should I buy an REO, Short Sale or Traditional Home?
  3. What’s your expertise? Are you an expert on Horse Property, Commercial Real Estate….. Tell the online community.
  4. Tell us about your your city or the cities you work in. I love the city I live in, Why?  Because our swimming pool is a Water Park.
  5. Know when to share your content online.  Know your audience!

Building a presence and original content isn’t easy and It won’t happen over night. Remember to build original content. Persistence is the key to your future real estate success.  Those that shift their businesses to content creating can break through the online noise and earn the title, “Thought Leader”.