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!

Advertisements

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.

What Do You Want From Social Media in 2017?

what-do-you-want-from

Back in 2008 I remember our 20-year-old administrative assistant telling me I needed to be on Facebook.  My answer was, “No, I don’t need Facebook,  I am already on Myspace against my will.”  My goal for MySpace was to watch my 17-year-old son.  At that time, I only wanted to make sure he wasn’t posting anything that would keep him from getting a job.  So, what did I want out of social media? in 2008, I wanted to protect my son.

Our office admin insisted that I try it.  Facebook provided the ability to post listings on a personal page.  It was the coolest way to advertise with out spending a dime. Back then, I didn’t know what I wanted out of social media. What I did know was my friends were on social media and it was a great way to connect.  I signed up for Facebook in 2008 and it was the best decision I ever made.  Even if you’re not sure what you want from social media, I can help you think about what you might want.

Let’s answer the question, what do you want out of social media today? Not sure? Let’s look at a few ways to determine what you want.

  1. Do you have social media accounts?
  2. Are you a producing real estate agent?
  3. Do you have time to post and engage on social media?
  4. How many connections do you have on social media?
  5. Are you actively using social media?
  6. What are your social media goals?
  7. Are you an influencer on any of your social media pages?

Depending on how you answered is how you will determine what you want out of social media.  If you don’t have social media accounts, your goal is to open Facebook, LinkedIn or both.  Facebook is the #1 social media platform where you can connect with friends, family, your network, clients and businesses. Once you’ve created your Facebook account build a Facebook Business Page. LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network and gives you the ability to build your online professional identity.

If you are a producing real estate agent your goal is to build your social media presence, use advertisement, create your own content and add live video to your marketing campaign.   If you are not social savvy start with posting content 4 to 6 times a week.  Building a presence is the 1st step. The 2nd step is to focus on creating video content.

When will you add social media management to your business plan?  No time to post?  Consider using Hootsuite to schedule your social media.  Or take 30 minutes each week and schedule your social media posts on your Facebook business page.  Business pages have a social scheduler.

Connections are the key to your social success.  If you are well connected on social media the likelihood that you’ll generate a lead is stronger.  If you aren’t well connected you have homework.  Consider adding your social media platforms to your business cards, direct mail and website.  Start by inviting your sphere of influence to follow you on social media.   Add social planning to your week.   New connections on Facebook is a great place to start.

Active users on social media will build a stronger digital footprint. The more active you are on social media the stronger your footprint. When you engage with your network and the more they engage with you pushes your posts to the top of the newsfeed.  The more you share and communicate the longer you’ll sit at the top of your networks newsfeeds on Facebook.   Those that comment, share, create videos and “Go Live” dominate Facebook.

Social media goals are easier to achieve than you think.  There are so many ways to build a social media presence in real estate.   Real Estate have always had the ability to have conversation in person and social media isn’t much different.  Think about what you really want from social media.  Is it to:

  1. Build an audience
  2. Generate leads
  3. Share your listings
  4. Re-direct potential clients and current clients to your website
  5. Create content that encourages someone to act?
  6. How about all the above?

Look at the first five and build them into a marketing action plan for social media.  As real estate professionals we must building an audience.  Download my free checklist for social media marketing today.

Social Media Checklist

Influencers on social media are those that are able influence others online.  Getting someone click, share or respond online.  Your goal is to become an influencer on social media.  Create short videos showing your expertise in real estate.  Are you an expert with 1st time buyers, luxury, market stats, etc?  Whatever your expertise start building that content today.  Be the go to person on real estate education for the consumer.

What you want from social media will be different from your competition.  Don’t try to do whatever one else does on social media.  Create a plan that works for you.  Get started today.

The Hardest Thing for a Real Estate Agent to do is…….

It’s not a secret.  The hardest thing for a real estate agent is running their business like a business.  Trust me when I say, “I get it”.   Running a business, generating leads and managing clients is a lot of work for one agent.  So why is it so hard?

  1. It’s hard because we don’t plan or create a business plan.
  2. Being your own boss means you have to choose what to do every single day.  Should I work, play, shop or clean house.
  3. Getting up and getting out the door can be hard when you don’t have structure.
  4. Managing people is just plain old HARD.
  5. Staying organized and keeping up with the mundane tasks can become overwhelming.

So how do we overcome these obstacles?    Some of us might need a coach, an accountability partner, or an actual assistant.  A few ways to overcome a few obstacles include:

  1. We hear it every year, but do you actually create a business plan? A business plan will change the way you do business.  If For Sale By Owners are not a part of your business plan then you won’t go after For Sale By Owner opportunities.  When you build a business plan and stick to it, you’ll find out that your business will run like a business.
  2. Start with a budget. How much money will you spend on marketing, advertisement, bookkeeping, office supplies, lead generation,  etc?  When you know how much you want to spend then you know how much business you’ll need to pay for those expenses.
  3. Why are you in the real estate business? If you know why it’s much easier to “START” each day.  Your “WHY” will motivate you.  Not sure what your “WHY” might be?  Start simple.  I am selling real estate because………….  Now complete the statement.

Yes, I have a why!  I am in Real Estate so I am available for my kids.   Watch below to learn more.

This year I am running my training business and real estate business like a business.  So what’s new:

  • We hired an accountant.
  • We are working with Quickbooks and using Microsoft Excel to manage commission statements until we find an awesome program.
  • We are using a new program that has a true CRM integration with transaction management and a drip campaign.  The tools also has video marketing included for only $25/month.
  • I have an awesome new website with my own IDX feed.  It’s not live yet, so watch for updates!
  • We are also working with a true budget and business plan
  • Wait for it!  I should have a buyer’s agent soon.

Now tell me how you run your business like a business.

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.

The Next Best Real Estate Product

The Next Best Real Estate Product might be the one your Multiple Listing Service or Brokerage is already offering.  Before you invest in a new product, STOP, WAIT and talk to your managing broker.  You may already have the best software at your fingertips.

1. Are you looking for a new CRM product?  Check out your MLS tools and your brokerage tools.   Your company is most likely providing an awesome product that you haven’t taken advantage of.

2. Did you say, “I want to go paperless?”  If so, your MLS might have a paperless product.   Today, the trend to go paperless is effecting ever brokerage.   Many  real estate offices have already already invested in a paperless product.  The office manager or assistant is scanning your documents and using a paperless tool to free up space.  If you don’t believe me check out the new office trends.  Many offices have reconfigured the space.  Smaller spaces mean less storage space.  Therefore, you’re probably storing your documents in your basement or the trunk of your car.

3.  Training – Every real estate company is required to offer training for their agents.  Show up and learn.  If your office has training attend the session.  Learn something new and incorporate it into your business. Get your files out of the car and use a paperless product today!

Customer Lifecycle Analysis in Real Estate-What Companies Are Doing This Right?

 Customer Lifecycle Analysis in Real Estate-What Companies Are Doing This Right?

Author:  Carrie Bey-Little  January 27, 2015

The Customer lifecycle in Real Estate is much different than the retail industry.  When working with Buyers and Sellers an agent will have a similar lifecycle with the potential of a new lifecycle after the home is purchased or sold.  When working with a new buyer the lifecycle is as follows:

  1. Works with a Real Estate agent to
    1. Purchase a home
    2. The agent negotiates the deal for the buyer
    3. Once a deal is agreed upon the buyer’s agent maintains a relationship with the buyer
    4. Assists with the inspector, appraiser and attorney depending on the market. (all markets don’t always work with attorneys)
  2. The Real Estate agent follows up on contingency dates and buyer updates
  3. Follows up until the home is closed (in many cases the Buyer Lifecycle Analysis ends)
  4. Good agents stay in contact with the buyer to retain that customer and ask for new client leads from that buyer.

The seller lifecycle is slightly different and is as follows:

  1. Works with a Real Estate Agent to:
    1. Determine Value of their home
    2. Prepare the home for the real estate market place
  2. The Real Estate Agent Markets the home using multiple platforms
  3. Once an offer is received the agent assists in negotiations to procure a contract
  4. The Real Estate Agent assists with inspections, meeting appraisers, scheduling village inspections, purchasing transfer stamps and other pre-closing items.
  5. The agent often attends the closing
  6. Post-closing the agent might follow up with the seller
  7. Good agents stay in contact with past clients

The KPI’s for a real estate agent include:

  • The number of actual listings and active buyers. These numbers should indicate how well your marketing campaigns or referrals are working for you.
  • Actual Cost per lead – When generating a lead what is it actually costing to gain a lead?
  • Customer Lifetime Value – What’s the value of retaining a real estate client?  Are you past clients helping you generate leads?
  • Appointment to conversation. How many appointments lead to new buyers and sellers?  Agents can track this information in a good Client Relationship Management tool.
  • Email Marketing– Are your email marketing campaigns effective? Is your Sphere of Influence opening the emails? What is your click thru rate (CTR)
  • Social Media Marketing – Are you actively using social media in your digital marketing? Facebook, Twitter, Linked in, Pinterest and Instagram to name a few.   Are you generating leads from this tools and do you have a social presence.  Check out Klout.com to learn if you have a social presence and track your social media leads in your CRM
  • Website – In addition to Social Media and Email Marketing your website is the top way potential buyers and sellers learn more about you and your market. Are you redirecting potential client to the site? Are your past clients visiting your site to check out the market and your listings?  Does your website enter new signup into your CRM.  Make sure you understand your top searched pages and use the site to redirect clients to your interactive social sites.

If your leads aren’t increasing then consider re-defining your audience.   Business that provide Client Relationship Management tools to assist their agents with the ability to track their customers have figured out that cultivating the buyer and seller relationship after the sale build a strong referral business.  If you need a CRM tool check with your Multiple Listing Service first.  You may already have the ability to sort, track and determine where your leads are coming from inside your MLS.

When it applies to lead generation companies like Keeping Current Matters and Brian Buffini have a good grasp on KPI’s, Lead Generation and the Customer Lifecycle.   Building a business on referrals is one of the best ways to build a business.  Every real estate agent has the opportunity to build a successful business by tracking what works and what doesn’t work.  If you know your KPI’s you’ll understand where to make adjustments.

Run Your Business Like A Business Series for REALTORS® Tip Two

Run Your Business Like A Business Series for REALTORS®  Tip Two

Whether you’re a new agent, seasoned agent or an agent that needs to jump start their business; generating leads is key for a real estate agents success.   If you read last week’s blog post you’ve already created a list of everyone you know in an excel spreadsheet.  If not, click to review.   After you’ve created a list of everyone you know, that could be a potential lead or referral source, you’ll have the ability to upload that data into your

  • Multiple listing service
    • Many MLS’ allow you to create mailing labels
    • Email clients
    • And sort your list based on client status
  • Email marketing tools like
  • Client relationship management tools (CRM)
  • MSWord
    • a great way to create mailing labels or
    • form letters
  • Upload that data into a marketing service tool to order postcards
    • You’ll need to convert the data into CSV format. Just save it in MSExcel as CSV.
    • If your company uses a post card company use it

Once you’ve chosen the tools that you would like to upload your database to, create a plan to email, mail, text, engage on social media and call your clients.

  • Contact your Top clients monthly
  • Mail something of value to your clients monthly
  • Share market updates, local events, Real estate news and more to your social media sites at least once a day. The best times to post are 9:00am, Noon, 3:30pm, after 7pm and weekends after 10am.
  • Don’t forget to ask your top clients for a referral
  • Track your leads and where the lead is generated. Next week we will discuss the importance of your database.

REALTOR® Blogging, Social Media and Client Engagement

Real estate agents are usually running their own businesses and often don’t have time to blog or use Social Media in a daily business plan.   Unless you have staff or the funds to pay a writer it might be difficult to write a blog that potential buyers and sellers will want to read.   Many agents are already using social media and find that those platforms are easier to use than blogging

So, how can an agent compete in the world of blogging and integrate their Social Media Platforms?

  • First, I’d like to say, I was just as intimidated when it came to building and writing a blog. A few years ago I would have said, “This is way too much work”.   Now that I’ve been blogging for 3+ years I would encourage anyone that can write, to blog and anyone that is tech savvy to blog.   It’s easier than you think.blogger
  • Second, choose a platform that is easy for you to understand. Blogger by Google is pretty easy to understand.  Don’t waste too much time trying to make the blog/website perfect.  Just create the free account and start blogging.  Watch youtube videos on Blogging to learn as you go.  Trust me, a teenager has created, “How to videos” to help you learn how to build a blog.   If you try to make it perfect in the beginning you’ll never blog.    I happen to use WordPresswordpressHowever, by using Blogger, owned by Google, you will find that your blog will be pushed higher in SEO when others search using Google.
  • Third, download the app for your blogging platform to your smartphone, iPad or Tablet. Now you can blog from anywhere.   When you get an idea for blogging use the app, save the draft or publish the blog from your mobile device.
  • Lastly, if you are using social media add your social media links to your blogs so your readers can find you. Use your social media platforms to share your blogs and the content you’re writing.   Re-direct your Fans to your blogs.

Check out great blogs when you start with the National Association of REALTORS®.  You’ll find many blogs on the NAR Blogs Directory.  Not sure what to write about, NAR’s blog is a great place to start.  If you want to see what Successful Real Estate agents are doing on their blogs check out Jamey & Ognjen Prezzi.  These agents are blogging and using social media to attract leads.   Anyone that wants to follow them can subscribe to their RSS Feeds or join them on social media.   In addition to the social platforms they are using video as a way to engage the client.    These are agents that have taken advantage of Digital marketing.  What an easy way to dominate in CEM (Customer Engagement Marketing) and SEO (Search Engine Optimization).

Feeling overwhelmed?  You don’t have to use every platform when you are integrating these platforms into your business plan.   I encourage you to start somewhere.  Add one of the platforms to your business plan every month, quarter or annually.  By adding these digital marketing tools to your business competing with the best agents will be a breeze.  Don’t become listless because you didn’t integrate the new technology into your business plan.

I’m convinced I only need social media – Who needs email?

If you’re convinced you only need social media as a real estate agent you could be missing out on many other lead opportunities.  Don’t discount email and direct mail. Of course, I love social media.  It’s one of the best tools to keep in touch with friends, family, real time news, our favorite shops and so much more.   (I love DSW.com.)
Keep in mind your database is king.   If you don’t have one, shame on you.  If you aren’t updating and cleaning it up monthly, quarterly or at least annually you could be missing out on that one great real estate deal.  My database includes:
  • Name
  • Email address
  • Cell number
  • Address
  • Phone number – if they have one – I use Magic Jack at home believe it or not.
  • Which of the people on your list love you, like you and will most likely refer you?  This is key!!!  Track those people separately on your database.
With your database you can build your social media presence, mail to your sphere of influence, reach those that don’t use it or re-direct them to your real estate website to shop for their future home.   If you don’t have a database, start one.  You may have a list and not even know it.  If you’re a member of MRED, LLC and use Connect MLS you most likely have a list of past clients, friends, family and investors already in a list format.   It’s easy to print mailing address with this system and send an e-blast to your entire database in minutes.  Connect MLS also allows agents to import and export a list.
Remember email and direct mail help real estate professionals generate leads, create new referrals and direct a potential client to our social sites, blogs and websites.   So, if you’re convinced you only need social media to build your business, think again.  Manage your mailing lists and email list so you can build a successful real estate business using social media, websites and blogs.