It’s Time to Take Learning Seriously

In order to have the lifestyle of an entrepreneur, I had to take real estate seriously.  I had to learn the business and take ownership of learning it.  So I did, I became not just a REALTOR, I became a student of real estate.  If I needed information I made sure I was in the office to ask questions, I showed up to training and I took in person classes.  If I didn’t know something I took ownership of my learning and found the information.

Once when I was in the office, someone called to see a HUD home.   In the early 2000’s, agents or the office had to have a HUD key.  When I would talk to agents about borrowing the key, the agents would not share how to get a key or how working HUD homes worked.  After being frustrated I google how to work with HUD homes.  I read every detail about HUD homes.  Not only did I become an expert, I figured out how to obtain my own HUD key. That’s right! I took ownership of learning.  I got tired of everyone else having the information that I needed.

When a market market is stable, we have a large number of new agents coming to the business.  When business is good starting a new business appears easy.  We have agents entering the business from those that think it’s a get quick rich opportunity, part timers, some of the timers, investors and some full time agents.  Sometimes, I think we made real estate look easy on Instagram.

As a broker owner, real estate speaker and digital marketing instructor, I am amazed that folks still want to just make a phone call to ask a question, but they refuse to show up to class.  I like to say, “I’m not the help desk”.  I think if I started an 800 number line, my phone would never stop ringing with agents that don’t come to class or they can’t, because their full-time job gets in the way.

 “Learn how to Learn or figure out how to figure it out” Carrie J. Little

I love it when agents come to class and then asks for clarity.  If you don’t come to class it’s hard to teach a concept in 5 minutes.  The truth, it’s hard to answer a question on the phone when it really takes a few hours to teach the concept. So, when an agent does call and asks a question, I have to provide the watered down version and then say, “there is so much more to your question, please come to class or watch the online class in our workplace social media site.  If the agent is from another office, I have to refer them back to their managing broker.  On the flip side, I do offer training in my Facebook group Smart Girl Media Live, on YouTube and IGTV.  Join me today.

When I don’t have time to answer the question, I must tell the agent what to do and the agent doesn’t know why they are taking the action I suggested.  The need to just do and then here was no learning involved. When learning isn’t involved you will always be servant to those that have the knowledge.  Learning happens after you’ve taken the class, gotten the experience and then when you asks questions for clarity.  Wouldn’t you rather know the information for yourself?

“Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.” 

“If I teach you how to learn or you learn how to learn, you’ll have a real estate business for a lifetime.”  Carrie J. Little

Running a real estate business without learning is like trying to put together a piece of IKEA furniture without instructions.  Taking the real estate course and working in the real estate business is like putting together the IKEA furniture with the instructions.  You may not have all the pieces and all the holes may not line up well, but you have the information to get the job done.  You may have to call for help and get more pieces but you were better prepared because you already had the instructions.  If you don’t have the instructions or the knowledge, you’re likely to make mistakes.  Agents that wing it and agents that don’t learn this business are more likely to quit, obtain a code of ethics fine, lose their license or never quit their real jobs because they never became proficient.

  • Decide today to take learning seriously
  • Sign up for class, pay attention in class and take notes
  • Share what you’ve learned with others
  • Those that teach remember what they’ve learned
  • Ad education to your annual plan
  • Learn so you Earn

The truth, if you don’t want to be told what do for the rest of your life, learn the business.  If you want to run the business like a business become an agent that learns and agent that seeks to understand.  Learn how to figure out how to figure it out! Wouldn’t you rather be the go to person for the knowledge?  Or would you rather someone else be your boss forever?  Entrepreneurs have to be willing to learn!  With that I implore you, please take learning seriously, learn how to figure things out, come to class and put into practice what you’ve learned.

 

Digital Marketing Assessment for Real Estate Agents

Whether your building a personal brand, reinventing yourself, generate quality leads or trying to be relevant in this social world we must first answer simple questions before developing a digital marketing strategy for your business.  With all the technology available real estate professionals must step back and define what they want out of digital marketing.  We have many digital opportunities to build our strategy for the online world with social media, email marketing, lead pages, video, blogs and podcasts.
However, many agents and real estate firms don’t know where they are in this digital landscape.  If you don’t know where you are in the social media world, how will you know what to build for your strategy?  Let’s build better brands by answering a few simple questions below.
  1. Do you have a digital marketing strategy?
  2. What is your company’s mission statement?
  3. Who is your ideal client?
  4. Create a SWOT analysis.  What are your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and Threats
  5. Does your company or agent have SMART Goals?  If not, write them down.
  6. If I google you or your company, can I find out more information about you or your company?
  7. What social media platforms are you registered on?
  8. Of those social media platforms, which social media platforms are  you actively using?
  9. How many followers, connections or friends do you have on each platform?
  10. Are you or your company tracking insights and analytics?
  11. Are you using email marketing?
  12. Are you using a CRM to manage your clients?
  13. Does your company pay for any online ads? If so, which platforms?
  14. Does your company use lead capture tools or landing page to capture leads?
  15. Are you generating business from social media, email or online ads?
  16. What do you want to portray to your followers on social media?  consider; you’re an expert in your market, first time home buyer agent, luxury agent, you know the neighborhood, your a professional, real estate is a real business for you, not a side hustle, etc…..
  17. What are you expecting out of a digital marketing plan?
  18. Is your company using video to market the company or create brand awareness?
  19. Does the company have a blog?
  20. Does the company have a podcast?
  21. What is your budget?
  22. Is there anything else we need to know about your business or current marketing plan?
  23. What is your goal for a digital marketing strategy?  Brand awareness, lead generating, engagement, etc.
  24. Are you willing to do what it takes to leverage a digital marketing plan?
If you are currently using social media, have you completed a social media assessment.  Of the social media platforms you access, do you know how many people follow you and how many you are following?  Do you know how many likes you have on Facebook?  Take the quick assessment to help with your digital marketing strategy.
The Social Media Assessment
1. Facebook Insights – who is likely to buy from you?
2. Instagram – what content gets the most views, hearts and comments?
3. Does your current content generate leads?
Once you know where you are in the digital landscape, creating a digital marketing strategy is simple.  If you are low on followers, it’s time to start targeting your network to gain more followers.  If you have followers but no engagement, it’s time to start engaging with your network.  Relationships still matter on social media.  Not just in face to face arenas.  If you have followers, engagement on your platforms, this means that you comment and others comment on your posts, then it’s time to consider ad placement and building a better online persona, and lead generating content.
In addition to becoming more intentional on social media with a digital marketing strategy, I highly recommend creating video content.  Per Pew Research “73% of adults report using the video sharing site” (Pew Research).  If this is true, by creating video you provide your brand a chance to be found online.
What are your next steps?    After answering the above questions and completing the social media assessment
  1. Create an annual content plan
  2. Break the plan down into 12 months, then weekly and maybe daily.
  3. No social media presence?  It’s time to start engaging on your networks posts.  Each agent or company will create a different strategy, but if you don’t have a presence online consider posting on Facebook business and Instagram at lease once a week.  Use appropriate hashtags for your business and location options in Instagram.  Start using the story features daily so you appear to consumers daily.
  4. So you have a social media presence, but no engagement.  It’s time to start commenting on your networks posts.  Not just a LIKE or an Emoji.  Actually have a conversation on social media.
  5. A simple social media strategy might be to
    1. post weekly
    2. create a 60 second video weekly
    3. create a story daily
    4. Create original content – the content will depend on your answers to the digital marketing assessment
  6. Use  a call to action when you post about real estate.  Or make sure your profile has a way to connect with you.
  7. Stay consistent with your posts.  If you create video stay consistent with date and time.  Or pre-post when you will create video or live video content.  Set the expectation with the date and time of your live event.
  8. Stay on task with your CRM or consider a tool like Trello.  Trello helps  you can organize your digital marketing plan so your team can collaborate and stay on track.
What are you waiting for?  Get started on your digital marketing plan today.
Follow me on Instagram  CarrieJoLittle and SmartGirl.Media

Is Having a Paycheck Hindering Your business?

Real estate agents don’t earn a paycheck.  We get paid based on our efforts and when our transactions close.  We work, in many cases, five to seven days a week to produce leads that generate buyer and seller transactions that turn into a commission check, not a paycheck.  A paycheck is what some gets after completing a job for their employer.  And usually after working a 40-hour work week.  Full-time agents work 60+ hours a week and many of those hours happen when our client’s workdays end.  Therefore, we are often out until 8’clock at night.

Real estate agents are independent contractors not employees, this means we work for ourselves under the sponsorship of a brokerage.  We get paid by our sponsoring brokers after we close on a real estate transaction.  I was recently at a convention where I had the opportunity to network with Dr. Danette O’Neal, a REALTOR University professor.  We talked about the power of need vs. want.  When you need a paycheck it’s hard to focus.  When you don’t need a paycheck it’s easier to focus on the goals for your business. Dr. O’Neal Said, “There is a difference between people that want money and the people need money.  If you focus on the want, you’ll forget about the need.”  Even then it’s hard to focus on wanting income when you need an income to pay your bills.  This can often be hard to overcome, that’s why we have agents with part-time and full-time jobs.  The idea of working for hours or days without a paycheck is difficult to handle.  Therefore, the power of having a paycheck can hinder or hurt an agent looking to become a full-time in the business.  So how can someone go from need to want and become successful in real estate?

  1. If you are working a regular or part-time job, learn the business of real estate. Take as many classes as you can to master the real estate business.
  2. Practice the steps to home ownership with your friends and family.
  3. Show homes every weekend to a friend or family member. Tip: try to show vacant homes.  This way you don’t inconvenience someone living in the home.    Please make appointments.  Note: You can never show a home without permission.
  4. Learn the lending industry. No, I don’t mean take classes to become a loan officer, I mean meet a lender for coffee and have them explain a specific program to you.  Attend a lunch and learn with your local mortgage company. Learn the difference between, FHA, VA and conventional and why a buyer may need to use one loan over the other.  You are not replacing the loan officer but understanding the process so you can better serve your client.
  5. Practice listing a home. Do you know how long it takes to process a new listing or how long it takes to prepare for a market analysis?
  6. Go on broker tour. The benefit of touring a neighborhood helps you understand, how to use the lockbox, what the homes look like in the area and networking with other agents.
  7. Set goals, how many buyers will you work with this year? How many sellers will your work with this year? Write down your goals and put them in a place where you see them daily.
  8. How many people do you need to speak to daily to reach your goals? How much engagement do you need to generate leads from social media?
  9. When you start closing transactions, make sure you save money to eventually go from a part-time agent to a full-time agent. 

The power of a paycheck will either keep you from selling real estate or help you sell real estate.  If you currently receive a paycheck, live beneath your means, save money, and master real estate.  If you focus on what you want with your goals in front of you, you will be come a successful agent.  Nothing comes easy, remember you must get up, get dressed and work the real estate business.  Don’t wait for real estate to happen to you, make real estate happen for you.

Follow me on  instagram – Carrie Jo Little, BS,MS profile and download your first 6 weeks in real estate found in my profile.  Check out my IGTV videos as well.

 

No Leads on Facebook? I have the Solution!!

I was recently asked this question…… 📽 ⭐I’ve been creating videos for 30 days on Social Media and still no leads. Guess What? I have the solution. ⭐🎥

If you are creating videos consistently and still no leads, then you must make a few adjustments.

1. Create different content. Are you boring? Get rid of the same old content. Tell your network something new and relevant.

2. Engage with your network – like and engage on their posts consistently.

3. Invite people to your business page. They will come if you just ask.

4. Connect with more people on Facebook – you need a bigger network – your network determines your net-worth

5. Create content in your business page – then boost it two days later with a landing page

6. Create a YouTube channel with your videos – horizontal videos only

7. Consistency is key. Keep creating and building content with video. Houses aren’t built in a day and neither will your social media.

Guaranteed ways to generate leads from Social Media

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

 

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

Steps to guaranteed leads on social media:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

IGTV – What are you waiting for? Use it Today!

What are you waiting for?  Start using IGTV for Real Estate Today!

You are hearing it from me first.  Instagram TV launched as a separate platform in June.   The goal of IGTV is to give the user an experience with vertical video.  Most social media users watch video from their mobile devices in vertical view. You also have the option to upload video directly to your account from your laptop.  A feature that isn’t available for Instagram.   I’d be the first to say, it’s hard for me to watch in vertical since our television shows video in horizontal view.  It might just be my generation.  But maybe this is how Instagram and even Snapchat are changing the game of vertical video.

Take your social game to the next level with IGTV:

  1. Download the app today. Apple and Droid and connect your Instagram account carrie igtv.pngwith IGTV
  2. Connect your business page to IGTV – Once you upload your video you’ll have the option to share your video to your business page.
  3. Give your video an awesome stand out title
  4. Write a description and include #hashtags
  5. Use your Instagram story to redirect people to your IGTV account. Tell your audience how to find you.
  6. If you are using direct mail add your IGTV account to your direct mail. Allow the consumer to watch your business online.
  7. As of today, IGTV is now integrated in Instagram.  Start watching and Creating today.  Just click in the top right hand corner after you’ve downloaded the new app.  Make sure you’ve updated your Instagram app.

What are you waiting for?  Be one of the first to add IGTV to your social media marketing campaign.   IGTV lets anyone that wants to create become the creator of their own brand. Leverage the technology today.  Follow us on Carrie on IGTV today.

Agents to follow on Instagram:

SheenaSells

MarcLittleREALTOR

CarrieJoLittle

 

 

The Social Sip – May 3rd

Join Marki Lemons-Rhyal and Carrie J. Little in West Chicago for the Social Sip.

May 3rd at 6pm to 8pm.  Social Media Live and done right.  Click to get your tickets today.

Tickets

the social sip (5)

The Social Sip

The Business of Social Media

6pm – 6:20 – Networking

– Facebook Ads That Work

– Instagram and Facebook – Integrating the two

– Build a Content Marketing plan

– Convert viewers into Closings

Wine & Beer and Heavy Appetizers

Sponsored by First American Title and Champagne Closings

smartgirlmedia.com

 

10 Ways to Generate Content for Facebook Live & Periscope

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

10 Ways to Generate Content

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

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

CONTENT FOR LIVE cj

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

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

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

Leverage Video on Social Media

Creating video is easy.  Even if you don’t want to be on camera, you can build awesome videos.  Using today’s smartphone, anyone can be a videographer.

The starting point:

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

Sample video – Cory Little- Basketball

Next steps – Creating a 60 spot!  Think of 30 to 60 seconds as a commercial.  When you watch TV most commercial are 60 seconds or less.

  1. Create a few video clips with your phone
  2. If you have an iPhone add those videos to iMovie.
  3. If you have a droid phone consider ViviVideo to build your commercial (60 second spot)
  4. With these apps, you can shorten your clips and add the best parts of the video.
  5. You can also turn off sound, add music and add still pictures. I use wordswag, Over, grid apps, legend and quik to enhance my 60 second videos.   Want to learn how?  Click now and invest in your business.

Sample video – Parks in West Chicago

Live Video

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

Leveraging Video

Facebook

  1. Let your live video or video rest for 24 to 48 hours before paying for advertising
  2. Share your live video to your personal page to gain traction on your business page
  3. Add a photo to your video using canva or picmonkey. Any tool that allows you to build graphics.
  4. Boost your video and target a specific audience. You can also target your email database using the Facebook Ads Manager.

Snapchat, Messenger or Instagram Stories

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

Periscope

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

Leadpages

Use your video with a lead pages product to sell your information, products or videos.  I use Leadpages to build my landing pages.  A lead page allows me to capture information from the consumer and provide information, count down pages and so much more.   This is the one tool I feel is a must have for any business.

Video Ideas

  • Share relevant content about your product or service
  • Don’t give everything away in the video. Provide a link where the consumer or follower can purchase the full version or the item.  Yes, your landing page built with tools like leadpages.
  • Provide the steps for something! 5 steps to selling your home fast.
  • 10 ways to leverage your LinkedIn account
  • If you’re a real estate agent showcase the cities you work in or the best restaurants
  • How to videos
  • The steps to home ownership

These are only a few ideas for video.  Take a few minutes and write down 12 topics, then break down each topic into 4 segments.  Now you’ll have 52 videos you can create for an entire year.  Yes, it’s that simple.

Want to learn how to create short videos on your iPhone?  Join me on my Facebook Group.  Smart Girl Media Live to get access.