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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Let’s Talk About the DM

No, DM is not a dirty word!  It’s how we message each other on social media.  My generation is more likely to message via Facebook Messenger.  The next generation is more likely to use Snapchat and Instagram messaging.  I am more likely to

26D49B26-E6F3-4ACF-9B45-11632B8DC7FDreceive a message via Facebook than on my mobile device.  Therefore, who needs text messages on a mobile device when you have Facebook messenger, Snapchat direct message, LinkedIn messaging, Twitter messaging, and Instagram Direct Messages.   I will receive a faster response from my kids on Snapchat then any other tools.

I’ve negotiated a contract via Direct Message, followed up with clients, generated leads from a Facebook Live video and created group chats to follow up with my grade school friends.  My friends are more likely to respond to a Facebook Direct Message than from a text message.  Snapchat has changed the way I communicate with my techy friends, my real estate friends and my national connections.

Direct messaging isn’t new and today it appears that Direct messaging is the new “Cold Call”.   We are spammed with automated DM’s to follow a business page or to check out a new thingy that someone is selling.   If you’re a real estate agent only going for the hard sale in a DM you’re missing an opportunity to connect and generate a lead.  A great way to master the DM on your platform of choice are:

  1. Know your audience, friends, family and sphere of influence. Are you connecting better on Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram or Snapchat?  I’m more likely to a response from Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.  Why? These are my preferred platforms.
  2. IMG_8551Are you using the DM like an “Old School Cold Call”? Guess What? If you are, we are blocking you.  If you call me to sell something without being a part of my network or a personal relationship you’re as good as blocked.  I am more likely to connect with you when we’ve connected in person, I already know you personally or you’re offering to help me.   Give before the ask.
  3. If you’re going to automate your Direct Message Marketing with tools like IFTTT, then consider the “thank you” response. How can you help the person you’ve just connected with?  Are you an affiliate for the real estate industry?  Provide a coupon for an agent’s client.  Come to a networking event and meet an agent in person.  Make the relationship personal and intentional.  Get to know your network.  YPN or Women’s Council is a great way to engage face to face.  We want to see you as well as engage on social media.

4. Lead Generation – Direct messaging is a great way to generate leads.IMG_8549 However, you’re more likely to generate those leads from people you already know or those that reach out to you.  In the last 30 days, I receive two direct messages that have resulted into leads.  One of those leads was a direct message from Snapchat.  The other message was from Facebook Messenger.  That lead should generate a new listing in the next 30 days.

5. How to generate leads with direct messaging! Make sure people know you’re in business. Use LIVE social media to tell people your story.  Who is your audience?  Tell your audience what they get from contacting you. If you’re a real estate agent remind your social network.  Don’t let them forget that you’re in the business of buying, selling and creating lifestyle home ownership opportunities.

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.

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!

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.

Snapchat for Business

It’s been a few years since I started using Snapchat.  I downloaded the app during a news broadcast when I heard that Mark Zuckerberg wanted to buy the social media app.  Evan Speigel, Robert Murphy and Reggie brown are   the co-founders and owners of Snapchat that never sold their trending app.  The app is mostly used by millennials and the igeneration.   I vaguely remember my 14 year old at the time telling me the app had an age limit.  She almost had me convinced.
Now that’s it’s been a few years using Snapchat, this is what I know:
  1. Millennials are clearly using this tool to communicate with their friends. All 5 of my kids use the tool daily.  The 26 and and 25 year olds use it differently than the high schoolers.  My youngest doesn’t snap as much but clearly uses the chat tool to communicate.
  2. Millennials and the generation are getting their news from this app in the Discover section.
  3. It’s a great way to build a story for business and build followers that might not follow you on Facebook or Twittersmartgirlgeofilter
  4. Snapchat uses geofilters.  Not sure what that is?  Small businesses can build their own filters to build awareness about their new products and services or to promote an event.  I recently created a geofilter for a tradeshow and a geofilter for my kids homecoming dance.  One of the filters from the homecoming dance generated 87,000 views. That’s 87,000 more opportunities for your business.
  5. We can create 10 second snaps and re-purpose those snaps on other social media platforms.  Re-direct your current followers to Snapchat and share new or different content.  A great place to build a short series of snaps about your business.
  6. Not quite ready for Snapchat?  Create an account and let someone else in your company manage it for you.  You social media team can create a behind the scenes experience.  Bring your fans into your office.
If you haven’t considered Snapchat, download it today and check it out.  I am sure your kids can teach you how to use it.  If not,  register for my online course at www.SmartGirlUniversity.com or click here.
snapchat-basics-pdf

Don’t Miss the 2016 #NARAnnual Convention

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2015 was an amazing year for the National Association of REALTORS® and the Women’s Council of REALTORS® Conferences.  As a blogger for the 2015 Conference LIVE site I was able to engage with speakers, leadership, and exhibitors.  I’ve been a licensed real estate agent since 2001 and I’ve attended the NAR convention 3 times.  I regret not getting involved sooner.  These events provide REALTORS® with the ability to network, learn, attend national meeting and, check out new products and services.  Below are highlights from both conferences.

Women’s Council of REALTORS® offers 2 PMN designation courses.  The Professional Management Network “Powerful professional training that builds business leadership, provides an elite referral network and gives you a competitive edge.”  One of the courses included the networking and referrals course taught by Marki Lemons-Ryhal.

“Secret Tech Weapons to Build Your Perfect REALTOR® Smartphone” with Beth Ziesenis.  Beth provided awesome apps and website tools to help REALTORS® build SMART businesses.  Check out a few suggestions from Beth to add to your SMART Toolkit.  Click NOW.

International buyers are searching online for homes, “Are You Ready for the International Buyer”?  International buyers are also looking for experience marketing.  They want to experience the home either in person, at an event or online with virtual reality imaging, stunning photography or with live chat.

Leigh Brown a REALTOR® and Speaker broke the ice at the Lounge Acts Mixer for the Women’s Council of REALTORS®.  This one you must  watch.  I can’t give it justice in my awesome blog.

Leigh Brown also gave a great talk on “Hiring an Assistant” for the Women’s Council of REALTORS®.

property brothersThe NAR expo showcased businesses to assist agents with their business.  One of my favorite vendors is IDX.  They always make their booth entertaining.  Another favorite is Wells Fargo.  If you stop at their booth, you’ll never leave. Wells Fargo also featured the “Property Brothers”.

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Many of these events you need to experience for yourself.  Like I said earlier, “I regret waiting to attend the annual convention.” Start planning for the 2016 convention today. Let’s go as a group. Save the Dates, November 4th -7th, 2016.  Come prepared to learn, network and attend the expo in 2016.  Join me in Orlando for the 2016 convention.

Real Estate Networking with a Purpose on Social Media

Are you using social media on purpose? Or are you just logging in and watching from the sideline?  Is your purpose to have as many followers, likes, groups, friends or connections as possible?  If this is your ultimate purpose for social media you’re going about the process all wrong.  Think about it, if you’re at a networking event is your goal to collect as many business cards as possible?  If you answered yes, then your new connections may not be great connections.   Just as with social events the goal is to find mutual benefits. Have a conversation and connect with that person and remember not everyone you meet will be a good connection.

peoplenetworkingWith this in mind, why are we trying to have as many connections on social media as possible? It’s not your job to keep up with everyone.  Your job as a professional is to keep up with a network that can help you with your business and you help with their business.  Just because Facebook allows 5000 friends doesn’t mean you need them.  If you receive a new follower on Twitter doesn’t mean you should follow them right back. Do you want to be a leader or a follower?  On linkedin are you connecting with Real Estate agents or are you searching for good connections?  Here are few tips on networking with a purpose on social media:

  1. Search for past co-workers, alumni, friends from the past, current friends, past clients, people you currently do business with, family, and professionals that help your industry. (inspectors, attorneys, landscapers, loan officers, etc.)
  1. Find Businesses and Organizations you’re interested in and connect.
  1. If you meet someone in person connect on social media. If we meet in person I’ll connect with you from a business card or during the event.  However, if you connect with me without a photo I am not as likely to connect right away.  A photo reminds me of who you are.
  1. Connect with Trend Setters and Industry Leaders. Not just your own industry.
  1. Become a thought leader and share your own content. Not sure what to write?  Write about your market place.  Share market statistics and trends.  Write about what’s happening in your communities and your expertise.  If you’re an expert on relocation write about the difficulties of relocation and how you help with the transition.
  1. Engage with your social media followers. Don’t just share your listings.  Do comment and chat with your followers about their posts and needs.  Ask a question to encourage engagement.
  1. When you connect with people on social media remind them of how you met.
  1. Be available to have a conversation or remember to respond to the private and public messages.
  1. Time is your friend with networking. Don’t expect to grow the network in a day.
  1. Engage with your followers before asking for the sale.  Don’t blindly ask.   Send requests privately and make those requests personal.     I see so many connections immediately hit me with the sales pitch after we connect.  That will make me disconnect!

Use these quick tips to build a network with a purpose.  Be intentional, think about what you are sharing and remember to put your best foot forward.  In the non-digital world, first impressions are important and just as important on Social media.   Social media networking on purpose!  The best way to build your network in the social world!