Have a Successful 2018

Video

Each week I try to write a blog post to focus on your business success.  This year I am going to start adding video blogs.  My goal is to keep up with a weekly blog.  Writing takes time and videos are easier for me.

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

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

Carrie, “I’m just too old.”

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

“What if I make a mistake?”

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

“Who has time for this?”

“I’m not sure where to begin”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

The Quickest Way to Capture a Lead

The Quickest Way to Capture a Lead with the Least Amount of Money.

In 2001, I became a REALTOR and the only thing that mattered to me was whether or not I would make money.  I wanted to generate a lead, with little to no cost, the fastest way I possibly could.   I walked my subdivision, went to laundromats, and apartment complexes with doorknob bags   I put flyers that said, “Warning Renting is Hazardous to Your Wealth”. Whatever i could to generate a leads with the least amount of expense.  When I talk to new agents, agents that have been in the industry for many years, and those that are redefining their businesses all want the same thing.  They want to generate and convert leads into closed transactions.

On April 16th, 2016, in my Cubs T-shirt, I went “live” on Facebook and talked to my followers on the steps to home ownership.  The live event was only 2 minutes.   In that 2 minutes I talked shared on:

  1. The steps to purchasing a home
  2. If you’re a college graduate you can purchase after graduation – yes, there are rules.  Talk to a lender!
  3. How I can negotiate your down payment.
  4. If you’re paying rent you are paying a mortgage.  Just not your own mortgage.

I didn’t look my best.  However, the consumer often needs to see that we are real people.  Even if, we can’t see because of the sun, if we have chapped lips, and no makeup there is an opportunity to generate new business.

From this short live video I’ve closed 6+ deals.  In the first 24 hours one of my high school friends sent a private message on Facebook that he was already approved to purchase.  This buyer closed in June and the other 5 deals closed before the end of October.  The first days I build what are called organic leads.  Leads that come from people that are already on my Facebook Business Page.

Take advantage of Facebook ADS.  Below is a short video on using your email list to target your database.  I don’t finish the ad, however, I show how to build the custom list using your network.

 

 

What Do You Really Want?

Everyone wants something out of life.  It might be success, a new job, a vacation, more money, flexibility or maybe to reach a childhood dream.  In order to get what you really want we have to change our thinking.  To complete our journeys, we need to reassess where we are today.   It’s often hard to reach our dreams because life seems to get in the way.  We have jobs, family, kid’s sports, kid’s recitals, and every day chores.   One thing is for sure, it’s never too late to get back on the path to success and reach our dreams.

If you could have what you really want, what would it be?  Yes, pause, write down what you really want.  It might be to write a book, blog, increase your income or more free time.  Whatever it is you can have what you really want with commitment.  The journey is really simple, if you start with a purpose, getting what you really want is easier than you think.  When you have a purpose for what you do it’s easier to get up in the morning and focus on what you really want.  I absolutely love helping real estate agents reach their full potential using technology, social media and the tools they access every day.  The thrill of seeing others succeed actually gives me energy and excitement.

Get back on the path to success today.  The Journey really does start with you.  I challenge you to write down what you really want.   Here are a few ways to get started.

  1. Write down what you want – What is the one thing you want?
  2. What is your purpose? Why do you want what you really want?  Dream BIG!
  3. Block time to work on your one thing. Don’t let anyone distract you.  Not the phone, social media or email.  Shut the door and focus.  Let others know you have set an appointment to focus.
  4. Consider reading the book, “The One Thing”.

journey-starts-with-you

This year my one thing is to blog every week.  I created a blog calendar in December with specific themes each month.  If the conversation is changing online, I’ve given myself permission to change the blog post.  I block time to write, create video and schedule my blog.  My vision is to become the go to person for Digital Marketing and Analytics for Agents, Real Estate companies, associations and small businesses.

What’s do you really want?  Share it and tell us that your journey has begun.

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.

Did You Know Your “Friends” Are Hiding You on Facebook?

What you share on Facebook could hurt you!  Yes, it’s true.  Your network has the option to “HIDE and UNFOLLOW” your posts.  “Say it isn’t so”, you say.  Well, if you fall into one of these categories someone has already hidden you.  Are you sharing:

facebook unfriend.png

If this is you, rest assure, someone has hidden your posts, unfollowed you, or unfriended you.  I am never opposed to a great debate on politics, a heated topic in the news or asking for a bit of help to pick my next meal.   But many times, we go too far when we’re not in a face to face setting.  Social media is a great way to hide behind the screen. On social media, we are willing to say things that are inappropriate or harsh because people aren’t in the same room.  So how can we make Facebook a great place to build a business and connect with our networks?

Facebook still holds the rank of being the #1 Social Media platform.  It’s also a great way to connect with friends, family, businesses, people you might do business with and more. Although, there are many reasons our networks “HIDE and UNFOLLOW” us, let’s focus on business.  Before the idea of social media when a business wanted you to purchase their products they used traditional strategies to entice us to act and buy.

  1. Cold Calling
  2. Television Commercials
  3. Direct Mail
  4. Billboards
  5. Door-knocking +

Today, if you have a home phone you’re probably not answering it, if you don’t recognize the number.  Television commercials are skipped because we recorded our favorite program and can fast forward to the next scene.  Direct Mail, although still affective, hits the mailbox then finds the recycling bin before we get back in our homes.  Billboards are now digital and move to fast for most of us to view it before they switch to the next ad.  Don’t even think about Door knocking at my house.  I am not buying or donating unless you’re the local kid fundraising for sports or school.

Are you marketing on Facebook using one of these five traditional sales tactics?  If so, expect to be hidden.   This is what I am experiencing on Facebook.  Recently, those that want my business are doing these four things:

  1. Tagging me in their upcoming events – If you’re tagging your friends on Facebook for an upcoming event it’s like taking over their space.
  2. Sharing only business related content – Business as usual, you say. Sharing only business content is like being on a pitch to sell something 24 hours a day.  Really, I’ll let you know when I want what you’re selling.
  3. Using Messenger to ask me to LIKE their business pages – recently when I add someone as a new friend I receive an autoresponder that says, “Thank you for your friendship, please like my page.” Yep, I unfriend you!
  4. Sending a private message and, without a relationship, asking for the sale. I call this the “messenger – COLD CALL”.  I already have a relationship with loan officers, inspectors, and attorneys.  Please tell me why your private message will make me choose to work with you.

What does this mean?  It means people are door knocking on Facebook.   If you want someone’s business get to know them on Facebook.  Engage in their posts and don’t go in for the hard sell.  Consider attending a live networking event at an association, maybe a Women’s Council event, a chamber, or a real estate networking event.

Don’t lose your Social Media Connections. If you want to build a strong network on Facebook, engage, connect and share relevant content.  Use your Facebook business pages for business and occasionally, re-share your business content to your personal page.  Your personal page is meant for you to be personal.  You wouldn’t attend a Super Bowl Party and only talk business.  So why would you only talk business on your personal page.  Is there a perfect day and time to re-share or post on Facebook? The more friends you have on a personal page the more often you can re-share your business content.  I try to share from business to personal once a quarter.   This is my reminder to my network that I am in the real estate business.  Social media means just that, media where you can be social.  With that in mind, let’s be social and build a strong network on Facebook.

Generate new likes on Facebook – Facebook made a few updates.  Click MORE under the banner on your business page to invite your current friends.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.