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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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”.

How Did I Gain Access To Your Facebook Friends?

Recently, I was in a two-day managing broker course.  During the session one agent mentioned that other real estate agents were marketing to her friends and family.  She asked, “Why does Facebook allow other agents to market to her network?”  Well, why wouldn’t they allow it? Facebook might be free, however, if you want to reach more than your network you have to Pay to Play.   Facebook’s goal is to help companies leverage their business pages with paid advertisement in our news feeds. The social media site gathers real time information on everything we say, click on and share.  If I talk about an awesome pair of shoes, you can best believe I’ll see ads on the right-hand side of my feed.   Paid advertising on Facebook is a must if you want your content to be viewed, reach a new audience and market your listings. Facebook’s algorithm is constantly changing.  When you post on your personal page or a business page it’s no longer guaranteed that your post will sit at the top of your networks News Feeds.

Here’s the scoop, Facebook provides options for advertising.  The ADS Manager provides more options for advertising on Facebook.  The Boost option allows the agent to push their post or posts to a specific audience.  Agents should consider both options when advertising.  This is a great way to build your brand share market research, reach potential buyers, sellers and provide specific information about the areas we serve.  However, most agents have no idea what happens when we LIKE real estate agent’booting-a-posts business pages.

If an agent decides to boost one of their posts, that agent has choices when building a target audience.

  • Edit your current audience
  • Target People who like your page
  • People who like your page and their friends
  • Create your own audience
  • Run the AD on Instagram – if you connect Facebook page to your Instagram account to a business account.

Yes, you guessed it.  You gave me access to your Facebook friends.  If you like my real estate business page I can target you and your friends.  I’m not saying you shouldn’t like my page, other real estate agent’s pages or your company pages.  But if you do, your conversation must change.  As a part of your initial client meeting have the “Social Media Talk” with your clients.  When I started in real estate my managing broker told me to explain for sale by owner properties to your buyers.  If you see a FSBO, call me first,  I will exclusively represent you and your interests.  That conversation must change to the online arena.  If your clients see an AD on social media, tell your clients to call you first.  Explain designated agency.  If you aren’t explaining it then expect your buyer to call the listing agent.   It’s up to you to protect your client and your business .  Not the agent that is marketing their listings to your buyers.

Do I really have access to your friends? No, but if you like my real estate page I have the option to market to your network.  Not sure what to say?  Let me help you have “The Social Media Talk” with your network.  I’ve created two sample scripts to help when speaking with your clients at the initial meeting.   Click here for a sample script on the “The Social Media Talk”. And don’t worry, If you liked my  real estate page, I never choose the Friends of Friends option  when advertising on Facebook.

Guaranteed Ways To Increase Lead Generation on Social Media

March 2001, I decided to enroll in the real estate pre-license course. I guess you could say I was tired of the Monday – Friday work week.  My class met every Monday and Wednesday evening.  To this day, I think the real estate course was one of the hardest courses I’d ever taken.  I studied every day and signed up to take the exam within a week of the class ending. Yep, I passed the first time taking the exam.  Passing the exam may have been difficult, but what’s hard is learning how to sell real estate.  Securing leads and turning those leads into clients isn’t as easy as I’d hoped.  The one thing I figured out before finishing the course was to ask my friends to wait until I finished the class to sell their homes.   It’s a good thing I asked for the sale.

July 1, 2001, I listed my first home and sold it in 30 days.  After my first 3 transactions, I did whatever was necessary to generate a lead.  I walked my subdivision, put flyers in laundry-mats, took flyers to apartment complexes and held home buyer seminars.  Anything to keep marketing costs down.   My favorite call to action was, “Warning, Renting is Hazardous to Your Wealth”.  Yes, that Call to action still works.

Today, my model has changed.  My primary source of business is Facebook and my 2nd is by referral.  If you already know where your business comes from, it will be easy to add online marketing to your business plan.

Marketing online is extremely inexpensive.  Maximizing online tools is a great way to build a real estate business if you are using social media, email marketing, drip campaigns and lead capture tools.  The key to these inexpensive marketing tools is your “Call to Action”.  Are you able to create a click-thru on what you’re offering?  Do your followers want what you’re offering?  How about your paid advertisement?  If what you’re offering doesn’t apply to me I am less likely to click.  Think about what makes you click when you shop online.

Per the National Association of REALTORS 95% Millennials used the internet to shop for a home and only 60% of the Silent Generation.   The way we shop has changed.  I watch my kids shop on Amazon for clothes, technology and food.  There is a shift in how we consume information, make decisions and buy what we need.  Consumers are doing online research before they decide to purchase a home.  Millennials are searching for 11 weeks and Baby Boomers about 8 weeks before contacting YOU!

If our clients or potential clients are shopping online weeks before deciding to work with an agent how can we get their attention online? How do we break through the noise?  What is the guaranteed way to make someone click on your link?  The guaranteed ways to get someone to click is your “Call to Action”.  If your “Call to Action” or lack of “Call to Action” isn’t great, the potential client will not click.  Are you great at lead generation?  If so, you can be great at lead generation online. If you’re not great a lead generation we need to talk J.  If you are new to online lead generation below are a few ways to build great “Calls to Action”.

  1. What does the online shopper want to know? Think about your buyer and seller client.  Are you a 1st time buyer agent? 1st generational buyer agent?  Luxury agent? Global buyer agent?  Do you sell horse property, Farm Land, Condos or townhomes? Do you work with investors? Think about your market and your client base.  Create Calls to Action that reach your client.
  1. What can you offer that makes someone want to click? If your primary focus is investors, write titles that reach investors.  Example:  Are you looking for a list of fix and flip homes?  Click now for a list foreclosures in your area.
  1. Have you ever offered a “FREE” download? Example:  Thinking of selling your home?  Now might be the best time.  Click now to find out when the best time to sell.  Your free download might include tips on determining the best time to sell.  However, your potential client can’t receive the download until they provide an email and/or a phone number.  Once received you can send accurate information for their home and their city.
  1. What about a “How to Video”? How to videos can provide steps to home ownership.  Saving for your first home.  Tell your story.  Tell your followers about your 1st home purchase and your experience.  This video on Facebook generated over 2900 views, 10 leads, and  6 closed deals from June 2016 to October 2016. Let me negotiate your down payment.
  1. Have you ever considered sharing information on the “best restaurants” in your city? How about the best gyms or even showcases the park district?  I live in a city that has a swimming pool with a bucket.  Yes, this pool is exactly like the water parks in Wisconsin Dells.

My husband’s good friend always says, “Give people what they want, not what you want them to have”.  We want the consumer to see our listings, top producers, the best of the best, and that we sell X number homes per year, or that we’ve sold over a million in sales.  Guess what? The next generation buyer is a consumer of content and they want information.  It’s important to produce, so keep producing.  While you sell homes reinvent your marketing and provide awesome content.  Own your market place by creating great content and “Calls to Action”. Make us click and contact you!

The Social Media Lead Generation Code™

How many connections do you need to generation a new lead on Social Media?

Before jumping into how to generate a new business, let’s define “LEAD”.  A lead is anyone that has an interest in what you are selling or offering.  Real estate agents sell real property and we also sell who we are as experts in the industry.  Any real estate agent can generate a lead on Social Media if the right steps to are applied.

Where do leads come from?

lead-sources

These potential funnels can all come from Social Media. With that in mind, how many connections will you need to generate a lead on Social Media. The truth?  It’s up to you and how you actively use your social platforms. There is no secret formula but there is a formula for each real estate agent that actively engages on Social Media. The conversation formula on Social Media will be different for everyone. Let’s look at it like this. If you have only 100 friends on Facebook the likelihood of generating 100 leads is unlikely.  Why? Because you aren’t actively using the tool to build connections and networks. If you have 4000 friends on Facebook your reach is much stronger. The more “friends/connections” you have on Facebook the larger your network.  If you have 100 or 4000 friends on Facebook and you don’t engage with those friends, you won’t generate a lead. If you engage with a small or large number of “friends” you’re more likely to generate a lead.  Of course having a larger network provides more opportunity to generate a lead.

It’s just like attending a networking event. If you bring your business cards to a networking event, sit at a table, and do nothing, you will not generate a new lead.  The same is true on Social Media. If you only hire a company to post content to your Social Media pages on your behalf you aren’t building a strong network of potential leads and referrals.  In addition, if you’re never involved in engaging with your network, it’s like having your own library.  People will check you out and never spend a dime with your firm. You’re basically giving information away for FREE. Engagement on Social Media is more important than LIKES and content. It’s okay to have someone post on your behalf so you stay relevant.  But it’s also just as important to be involved with your social networks.  Own your social media platforms.  If you’re not talking to your friends another real estate agent will.

To generate more leads on Facebook or any social platform you must engage with your friends, networks, business followers and those that follow you.  If you simply watch Social Media, post content, and LIKE posts, you are missing out on an opportunity to generate a lead or new connection.  Sharing your own content is important but it’s just as important to be engaged with those that post on Social Media. The more you engage the more likely others with engage with you.  Then when you comment and build a feed with information people want to read those followers will engage with your posts.

Don’t just post information.  Go back to your pages and engage with those that engage with your posts.  Go LIVE on Facebook and share great content to encourage engagement.  When your network engages with you the more likely you will sit at the top of their newsfeeds.  And yes, you will generate a lead.  In April of 2016 I went LIVE on Facebook and my topic was, “Let Me Negotiate Your Down Payment”.  That post was only 2 minutes and generated 10 leads that resulted in 6 closed deals in 4 months.  If I can do it, so can you.

Lead generation is achievable.  Once you generate a lead the next challenge is acquiring that client.   The best agents are those that believe in home ownership.  When you authentically believe in what you are selling you are more likely to convert that lead into a client.   When you believe in home ownership it will be communicated to your clients authentically.

So, what is the Social Media Connection Code™?  The Connection Code™ is up to you.  Use Social Media on purpose.  Connect, engage, communicate, post videos, content that people want to read and “GO LIVE”!  The more connections you have on social media the more likely you are to generate a lead.

 

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.

Screen Shot 2016-04-17 at 6.57.33 PM

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 Discard Facebook for Real Estate – Analyze Your Data!

So my kids say, “Facebook is for Old People”.  That may be true, based on my kids idea of OLD.  However, per Facebook there are 1.59 billion users as of December 31, 2015.  New users are joining Facebook by the second.  Pew Research also shares stats on who is actually using Facebook.    Ages 18 to 65+ are using Facebook. I may need to share these stats with my kids. If all ages groups are using Facebook than I say real estate agents may want to consider using Facebook for business.

Per Realtor.org the average age of a REALTOR® is 57.  I am not 57 years old, however, I do understand what my age group uses.  My age group, 35 to 45  is using Facebook more than any other social network.  As much as I use other social tools I’ve found that I receive actual leads that result in a real estate transaction from engagement and marketing on Facebook.

Based on research my followers LIKE what I share, comment on my posts and Share what I publish.   Do you know your insights on your Facebook business pages?  Do you generate leads from Facebook? Do you have a Facebook business page?

  1. Check your insights on Facebook.  Click your page then select insights.

Carrie Little Facebook Statistics

Carrie Little - Facebook Insights

View your data daily, weekly and monthly.  Should you make adjustments? Are you engaging with your followers?

Carrie Little Facebook Overview

2. What’s your conversion rate for Facebook? Are you generating leads? Are you even Tracking your Leads? If not, start asking your clients how they found you.  Check social media analytics to better understand what’s working and not working on Facebook.

3. If you need a Facebook business page.  Create one today.  Log into Facebook and click Create page. Click here to watch the Facebook Business page setup.

4. Once you have your new Facebook Business Page start adding relevant real estate content.  Remember to always give credit to your sponsoring broker when your intention is to generate a lead.  Consider using the Hashtag when adding  your sponsoring broker. This is an example of how my post actually appears when I share a listing on Facebook.

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5.  After new relevant content let’s get your friends and followers to LIKE your page.  Watch this short video on how to use Facebook to generate a NEW LIKE on your business page.

Building a Facebook is easy.  However, building a business Facebook business page will take time, work and consistency.  The page won’t grow over night but with consistency, relevant content and asking for the NEW LIKE you’re Facebook page will grow.

Revolutionary Tips on Generational Marketing for Real Estate

Understanding how different generations are shaped will help you understand how to reach potential buyers and sellers when building your sales funnel.  How do these groups think? How were they shaped?  And How do they like to communicate?

  • The Silent Generation – (Born 1925 – 1942)
  • Some fought in World War II
  • Korean War or
  • Vietnam War

Consider the “Lucky Few” and a smaller group due to financial insecurity. Therefore, it caused families to have less children.   Why the “Lucky Few”?  This group is the wealthiest, healthiest and educated of generation elders than any other eldest group.  They have a net worth on average of $228,400 and have set up trust funds for their grandkids.

Baby Boomers – (Born 1946 – 1964)

  • Born after World War II
  • Grew up during the depression
  • More children born – The average number of children born per women as 3.09 post World War II.
  • The age of the rejection and redefinition of traditional values. This is arguable.
  • Also considered the “ME” Generation –
  • “As a group, they were the wealthiest, most active, and most physically fit generation up to that time, and amongst the first to grow up genuinely expecting the world to improve with time.[4]They were also the generation that received peak levels of income; therefore, they could reap the benefits of abundant levels of food, apparel, retirement programs, and sometimes even “midlife crisis” products. The increased consumerism for this generation has been regularly criticized as excessive.[5](Wikipedia)

Generation X – (Born 1965 – 1979)

The accelerated generation.  Considered to be highly educated, active, balanced, happy and family oriented.

Their worldview is based on change – “Mapping a Youth Culture in Motion, a collection of global essays, Professor Christine Henseler summarizes it as “a generation whose worldview is based on change, on the need to combat corruption, dictatorships, abuse, AIDS, a generation in search of human dignity and individual freedom, the need for stability, love, tolerance, and human rights for all. “ (Wikipedia).

Generation Y/ Millennials – (Born 1980 – 1994)  

  • Also known as the Millennials, Echo Boomers which refers to their size.
  • Generation Me shows signs of confidence, tolerance, a sense of entitlement and some narcissism. This is based on the Strauss – Howe Generational Theory.
  • 49% say the best years are ahead – Pew Research
  • High student loan debt and employment – Pew Research
  • Possible that the suburban Millennial will have helicopter parents

Generation Z – (Born 1995 – Present)

  • AKA: Post Millennial, iGeneration, Generation Tech
  • Growing up with technology
  • Very comfortable navigating social media sites and the internet
  • “innovative, entrepreneurial, and highly conscious of their futures and the challenges they face” Patrick Cooper
  • Considered to be digitarians because they’ve always been connected to the internet. The first generation to have always been connected to the internet.

Ok, now that we have history and some understanding of different generations, how do we market to each of these groups to capture leads?  How do they consume content? Each group is unique in how they consume content, when these groups view content, the type of content consumed and the times content is consumed.

Time Spent Consuming Content

  • 23% Millennials are consuming content 5 to 10 hours a week and 21% over 20 hours a week
  • 27% of Baby Boomers are consuming content 20 hours per week
  • The same is true for Generation X 23% are consuming content 5 to 10 hours per week

When is content consumed?

Generation X and Millennials are consuming content late evening between 8:00pm and 11:59pm at 35%. Where baby boomers are spending time consuming content early morning between 5am up to 11:59am at 18% to 22%.

What device is content being consumed on?

Overwhelmingly Generation X and Baby Boomers prefer to consume content on a desktop computer or a laptop.  Where Millennials consume contact on a laptop, desktop or mobile phone.
Types of Consumed Content

generational marketing

Of all the content available on line Blog articles and images are among the top two preferred methods to consume content among all three generations.

Marketing to the generations

After reviewing how each generation is shaped we can build a pretty good picture of how each group can be reached with marketing.  The silent generation is stable and will most likely read their mail and answer the phone.  Baby boomers are online but were not shaped by technology.  Therefore, traditional marketing is important when targeting this audience.  Generation X is considered to be highly educated, sense of tolerance and likes stability.  Millennials on the other hand are shaped by technology along with the soon to be iGeneration that will enter our market place.  With this is mind millennials and the iGeneration generation are more likely to respond to online marketing.

What creative ways will you market to these groups?

  1. Know your audience – Who are your social media followers? What is their generational makeup? Are they engaging or just researching? Ages 18 to 49 are on social media at 82%+. Ages 50 to 64 65% are using social media. What does this mean for you?  If you don’t know how your audience thinks you might miss out on a client opportunity.
  2. Silent Generation—this group will read their mail, newspaper & most likely answer the phone. They do research on social media.  Or what I call research.  Consume content in the morning.  Target them with traditional marketing use one image that conveys emotion.  Keep the marketing simple.
  3. Baby Boomers—this generation consumes content using a desk top or laptop. The content read comes from blogs, e-books, and reviews.  Baby Boomers also search online during the AM hours.  8am to noon.  This group places a higher value on face-to-face communication ad want to know what your business stands for!
  4. Generation X likes to read blogs, view images, e-books and case studies. They are most likely consuming content from 8pm to midnight.  The same is true for Millennials.  Avoid hard core sales tactics, make sure you are familiar with your market place with statistical data and combine traditional marketing with digital marketing.
  5. Millennials— Millennials are looking for referrals, they do their own research and will come prepared with questions they might already have the answers to. Have a strong online presence using blogs and social media.  Be quick to adopt the latest technology trends.
  6. iGeneration—This group is born from 1995 to present. The oldest group is turning 21.  Not quite ready to purchase but when they do this group will be extremely tech savvy.  They are quick with technology.  Get ready for this group and learn how to use digital technology.  Content Marketing to the Generations
  7. Social Media & the Generation –  Baby Boomers, Gen X and Millennials share content on Facebook, YouTube and twitter in that order. Facebook is ranked the highest. If your network includes the Silent Generation ad or Baby Boomers integrate direct mail with social media and digital marketing. Do you own research.  Check your social media insights.  What does the data tell you about your followers?

 

I “Need” a Buyer Lead!

Your goals are set and you are ready to hit the ground running in 2016.  Buyer leads are extremely important to a real estate agents’ business.  I often hear agents and brokers say that “listings” are more important. Yes, without inventory buyers cannot buy a home.  However, without a buyer the listing cannot sell.  Let me help you reach your 2016 buyer goals.

I love basic tips for lead generation and using data to find a new lead.  I’m sales_funnel_four_stage_customers_400_clr_2825always “SHOCKED” when agents get stuck on where to find the new lead. Sales isn’t rocket science. It’s building the funnel, working the funnel and remaining consistent.  Here are my 8 suggestions to generate buyer lead generation.

Your Personal List 

This list might include family, friends, former classmates, former co-workers and parents from your kid’s sport groups.  Think out of the box.  Who are you spending most of your clients with?  These are people that might refer you if they knew you were a real estate agent.Can you think of more?

 

Family Friends Former Classmates
Former Co-workers The Kid’s Sport Groups Church
Businesses you patronize Your Spouses Network Can you think of more?

Recent College Graduates

Work with your local lender.  There are programs available for recent college graduates for those that qualify.

1st Generational Buyers

Do you know there are people that grow up in families that have always rented?  Might seem strange but there are many that don’t know they can own a home.  Yes, you’ll need to educate, hand-hold the buyer from start to finish, and possible create a plan to save enough money for a down payment.  You may even need to negotiate for assistance with closing costs.  But if you do you’ll have a client for life.

Boomerang Buyers

Boomerang Buyers are coming back to the market place.  It’s expected that 7.3 Million boomerang buyers will help the market over the next 8 years.   These are people that lost their homes in foreclosure, short sales or deed in Lieu of foreclosure.  Many have already repaired their credit and understand the value of home ownership.

Rental clients or Tenants

Check your Multiple Listing Service for people that rented out a property in 2015 that have a lease that will expire.  I recommend looking at those that need to make a decision in the next 60 days.  Download the list and build a campaign around that data.  Your Multiple Listing Service might just be the hidden secret you’ve been looking for.

Millennials

  • Age 18 to 34
  • Most Diverse Group in the U.S.
  • Shaped by Technology
  • Value Community, Family & work
  • Invested in themselves – 47% have college degrees
  • Sticking with the same employer
  • Living with Parents longer

Baby Boomers

  • 52 +
  • 10,000 boomers retire everyday
  • Most are financially stable
  • Consider Downsizing and not necessarily moving out of state.  They are downsizing to the cities they already live in.

Social Media Network

The power of a social media community can change the way you do business. Whether you are using social media or not social networking is a great way to generate a lead with little to no cost.  Tell your network you’re an agent.  Provide educational material on the market place. If your network is unaware that you’re an agent how will they know to refer you.

 

Banners, InfoGraphics & Real Estate

OK, Carrie! You make digital marketing and social media sound easy.  Digital marketing and social media is easy.  The challenge for most agents is time, maybe a new learning curve and doing the work. I’m a real estate agent just like you, so I understand that we don’t get paid if we aren’t generating leads and closing sales.  With this in mind I believe you have to “take the time” to build a Facebook banner and other creative infographics for your business.

Pick a day, and an hour, and get to work.  If you don’t take the time or plan to get your marketing done, you will not do it.   Consider using these products add awesome images to your marketing portfolio.  In order to compete in the next 5+ years we need to rethink how we market to consumers.  The next generation is tech savvy and they love images.  If you don’t believe me, watch your kids!  They are accessing social media sites that allow them the option to upload images, view images, click on those images and view video.

So, how DO I build a social media business page banner?  Well, it’s simple.  There are many free products an agent may choose from to build banners, infographics and more.  Below are four online tools that will help you build your graphics.

Canva

Do you need a Facebook banner?  How about a graphic that shows stats for your market place?  Canva is a great way to build Facebook Banners, canvaInfographics, White Page graphics, YouTube Thumbnails and more.  Upload your images and overlay text in minutes.  This is a free and a paid graphic builder.  When you select your graphic make sure to read.  If you goal is to build free graphics, read and select the free options.

PicMonkey

picmonkeyUse picmonkey to touch up a photo, design something new, build photo collages and edit your existing photos.  Nothing to do but create your
online account.  Great for the tech savvy agent.  If you’re not as tech savvy, ask your kids for help.  If your kids won’t help, ask the neighbors kids.  The next generation is the “Click” generation and they will help you figure it out.

 

Word Swag for iPhone or iPad

wordswagCreate awesome graphics with your smartphone in minutes.  Overlay text, change the font, custom layouts.  “It’s like having a graphic designer in
your pocket” (wordswag).  Consider photogrid if you have an android phone.

 

Fiverr

I don’t have time to build the banner, graphics or edit pictures but I understand that I need video, graphics and a brand on the internet. fiverrIf this is you, consider Fiverr.  Fiverr is an online marketplace where you can hire someone to help with your business for as little as $5.00.   Check it out.  Fiverr has businesses that will transcribe, build infographics, video, Facebook banners and more.

Social media and Digital Marketing has changed the way we market our listings, information to the public, websites and direct mail marketing.  The next step is to just do it.   Get started building images for your marketing, social media and blog posts.  Take the same image for your blog and add it to social media and your direct mail.  When your new followers search for you your pages will have infographics, images that show your professional brand and that you are open for business.  Take advantage of the above tools to build a strong personal brand.   Check out my Pinterest board for examples.