Your Past Employment Prepared you for Real Estate

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Next steps:

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

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Guaranteed ways to generate leads from Social Media

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

 

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

Steps to guaranteed leads on social media:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

10 Reasons to go Paperless

Have you ever needed a document while on vacation? How about when you are out of the office or showing a house and your buyer wants to write and offer? You call the office and the office admin is too busy to send you the necessary documents. Or better yet, you are in the office and you can’t find the necessary documents to write an offer. If any of this sounds like YOU, then maybe it’s time to consider going paperless.

As a licensed real estate professional, former project manager, television producer, stay at home CEO” mom”, former legal assistant and secretary, I really understand what it’s like to make sure I have access to documents. I can remember having to copy documents and put them in the front of my suitcase, so I could have access to them when traveling. Ugh, who really wants to do that? If you’re not a paperless agent, it’s time to go paperless.

Today, I am managing broker owner of CarMarc Realty Group in West Chicago Illinois.  My goal was to open an office that was innovative with the latest technologies.  The agents in our office are paperless and in a constant mode of learning.  Going paperless isn’t an option.  When you work for CarMarc you must become a paperless agent.  The next gen agent wants this technology.  How about you?

10 Reasons to go paperless

1. Access your files from any Tablet, Smart Phone or PC

2. Sign Documents using your Tablet, Laptop or PC

3. Documents are always legible.

4. Share files with your affiliates, clients and office staff in one logical place—Your Virtual Filing Cabinet.

5. Easier to follow up with your buyers and sellers.

6. Email and split documents from the cloud.

7. Provides the ability to share your documents with an agent that’s helping you while you’re out of the office.

8. Write an offer from your car, in a restaurant, at the airport, just about anywhere.

9. Never lose a file again. Stop carrying that ugly bin in the trunk of your car.

10. Your Staff Will Love You!

If you aren’t paperless today, consider signing up for a paperless class with Docusign. If you’re an MRED agent, MRED will send an instructor to your office if you have 8 agents.

Amazon Go! Will there be a Real Estate Go?

Amazon Go is changing the way we shop

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

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

Acting is often the easiest step to take when starting something new.  So, why won’t we ACT?  There are many reason we don’t act or simply start.   When I educate agents on social media and digital marketing, the comments I hear include:

Carrie, “I’m just too old.”

“I don’t want everyone to see my personal information”

“What if I make a mistake?”

“I don’t have time to learn something new.”

“Who has time for this?”

“I’m not sure where to begin”

The list goes on and on.  Many have excuses, however, if the truth be told, the way we engage with consumers is changing.  If we don’t ACT on Social Media, we might be replaced by the agent that is willing to ACT.

Maybe I can help.  If you are challenged with the Top 7 Reasons We Don’t Act on Social Media, I have solutions for you.  Don’t let the 7 Reasons keep you from acting.

1. Not sure where to begin? Pick one of your social media accounts and schedule time to learn it.  Have conversation with the people on your personal page.  If you have a business page, share content about your communities, your listings, upcoming events and things to do in the areas you farm.

2. I don’t have time for social media. No time for social media?  Really? You have time to build a brand, generate leads, and build relationships.  We do this everyday.  If you adjust your week and schedule your social media marketing, you can take time to be social.   There are many ways to plan your social media marketing.  You may choose to take 15 minute a day to market on social media.  Another option might be to take two hours, one day, a week to pre-schedule your marketing.   What works for you?  How much time do you spend talking in the office?  Take this time to plan your social media.

3. I don’t know the rules for advertising on social media – The rules are simple.  Read the terms of agreement for social media.  Facebook wants you to have a business page if you are selling something.  Adhere to real estate license law and the Code of Ethics.  If your goal is to generate a lead when you post on social media, make sure the average consumer knows who the sponsoring brokerage is, don’t share other agents listings without permission and don’t share anything that’s a violation of Fair Housing.   Think before you post.  If it doesn’t seem right, it might not be ok to post.

4. I don’t have any followers! You didn’t have buyers and sellers when you became a real estate agent.   THINK!  How can you gain followers on social media?  Add your social media links to your direct mail marketing, to your email signature, and invite your sphere to like your pages with an email blast.

5. Video – No way, I do not want to be seen on camera. I am with you on this one!  I don’t like to be seen on camera.  I don’t even like to watch my own videos.   If the truth be told, I create video and avoid watching them.   When I was a teenager I would break out in a sweat if I had to speak in front of the class.  Couldn’t figure out why.  Now I know.  When you know your subject speaking in front of people or video is easy.  So, If I can do it, you can do it.

6. I don’t know what to say on video or Facebook Live, Instagram Live or Periscope. Just like talking to your clients you can talk on video.   When you became a new agent, you were scripted.  We used notes to speak intelligently to our clients.   That’s exactly what you’ll do when creating video.   Script yourself.  Use bullet points to begin.  If you’re extremely uncomfortable have someone interview you.   Try the prompter app from your Google Play Store or your Apple App store to get started.

7. Procrastination – most struggle with not starting because of anxiety and stress. We often procrastinate because learning something new might be difficult.   Don’t let putting off something new.  Start using social media on purpose today.

Social Media has been around for years.  Many of the early, non-college students, began using Facebook in 2008 or 2009.   If you were lucky enough to start using social media in the early adoption years, understanding the functionality is easier to understand.  If not, don’t waste another day.  Integrate social media marketing into your business plan.  Visit my YouTube channel on Facebook and get started today.

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.

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.