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

 

 

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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.

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.

Don’t Discard Facebook for Real Estate – Analyze Your Data!

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

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

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

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

Carrie Little Facebook Statistics

Carrie Little - Facebook Insights

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

Carrie Little Facebook Overview

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

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

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

Screen Shot 2016-02-17 at 6.04.43 PM

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

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

Revolutionary Tips on Generational Marketing for Real Estate

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

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

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

Baby Boomers – (Born 1946 – 1964)

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

Generation X – (Born 1965 – 1979)

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

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

Generation Y/ Millennials – (Born 1980 – 1994)  

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

Generation Z – (Born 1995 – Present)

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

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

Time Spent Consuming Content

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

When is content consumed?

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

What device is content being consumed on?

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

generational marketing

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

Marketing to the generations

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

What creative ways will you market to these groups?

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

 

I “Need” a Buyer Lead!

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

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

Your Personal List 

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

 

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

Recent College Graduates

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

1st Generational Buyers

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

Boomerang Buyers

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

Rental clients or Tenants

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

Millennials

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

Baby Boomers

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

Social Media Network

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

 

Canva and Your Real Estate Statistics

Need a new way to share statistics?  Canva is a simple way to build designs for just about anything.  If your goal is to differentiate the way you share information consider Canva. Photos and video are a great way to jump into social media to reach theis sight and sound generation.

As a licensed real estate professional with Baird & Warner I understand the importance of sharing statistics with my buyer and seller clients.  I also understand that it’s not a good idea to just share the data.  We must understand what we are sharing and the best way to share data is to “keep it simple”.  I’ve kept it simple for you:


Cook County Stats

Yes, I am the Tech Savvy agent.  However, this is so simple anyone can build an infographic that can be share on social media, your blog and email.  Take advantage of Canva.  Many of the designs are at no charge and other designs charge $1.00.  If you are going to try this graphic tool consider the following:

  1. Prepare your stats research first.  I use a tool from 10K Research to get statistics for my areas.  If you aren’t using a 3rd party go back to your multiple listing service.
  2. Consider a larger market place and your local neighborhoods.  Counties, the entire city and your subdivision.
  3. Remember to add your brokerage to your graphic, name or company logo.
  4. Add your email address, link to your website and maybe your phone number.  If someone is reading your statistics online the contact method might be email, social media, a website or text.
  5. Make this a part of your monthly online marketing.  Schedule time to build these graphics each month.
  6. If you’re not tech savvy and need help ask your kids, a local college student or the new agent that could use the extra cash.
  7. Now share it on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
  8. Take it one step further and use this infographic in a direct mail campaign.

Go for it and dominate your market place online.

Build Your Real Estate Business with Linkedin

What is LinkedIn? LinkedIn is the World’s largest professional network.  The social media network has over 300 million users. This social media site gives an individual the ability to build their brand, power their career, future careers, learn and share professional content.LinkedIn

Building your brand with LinkedIn gives a real estate agent the opportunity to showcase professional expertise so they are noticed. Build your brand by updating your profile with great stories that attract the right viewers.  Who are you trying to reach?  Know your audience and write your professional resume to reach that audience. Real estate agents can highlight customer service skills, marketing skills, research skills, follow up and the ability to gage the market.

Put a face to a name by adding a professional photo, not a photo of your vacation trip.  First impressions are everything.  Think about how you want people to perceive you.  If you want your potential clients to take you seriously then spend the money to have a professional photo taken.  Once you’ve updated your profile create a catchy headline to reach your target audience. Then tell your professional story.  Make sure the story uses keywords and phrases to highlight your best skills to increase your visibility on LinkedIn.

Are you an expert in your industry?  What have you done to set your business a part from others in the real estate industry?  LinkedIn provides space to showcase your work.  Add your blogs, articles you’ve been featured in to highlight expertise in real estate or in a past profession.

Linkedin also provides opportunities for real estate agents to grow their networks. A real estate agent will already have a core group of people they interact with on a daily basis. These core professionals also have a network providing new opportunities for real estate agents to expand their networks. After your core network is established reach out to alumni, colleagues from previous jobs and past clients.   Another way to connect is to ask to be introduced or recommended by your core network. Many are eager to help build relationships.  The task is to ask if you don’t ask you’ll miss out on the opportunity to build your LinkedIn network.

Build Your Core Group

Connect with Alumni Join a Group Make Connecting a Part of your Routine Search for Industry Connections

Ask to be Recommended or introduced

Now that your network is established it’s important to cultivate these relationships.  Show your network that you are the expert with videos, blog posts and quick tips to help them with the sale of their home or how you can help that buyer get into to a home.

Stay connected with the LinkedIn App. Download the app to your smartphone and tablet. This is a quick way to stay connected, interact, say happy birthday, watch job changes, and comment throughout the day. Take advantage of the auto-reminders. Keep in touch with potential leads when you set up reminders to connect.

Reminders can be set as daily, weekly, monthly or recurring. A great way to stay connected without logging into the social media tool daily.

These are just a few tips on how to integrate Linkedin into your real estate business today. Continue to check in or follow my blog for more tips on how to take advantage of one the best professional social media tools available.

Mac or PC for Real Estate?

As a PC user many would think I would say, “buy a PC”!  It’s difficult for me to recommend a Mac or a PC.   I love my laptop but I really want a Macbook Pro.  Either product works for real estate.  Don’t buy a PC or Mac just because someone said you should.  My recommendation is that you think about what’s best for you.  When considering either of the products answer these questions:

  1. What are you currently using? If you already understand how to work a PC then selecting a PC or laptop might be the best answer.  And the same goes for a Macbook.  If you are already working on a Mac then upgrading your Mac might be the best option.
  1. Are you willing to learn new technology? If the answer is “NO”. Stick with the technology you are currently using and maybe consider an upgrade.  If the answer is “YES” then you must be ready to learn the new technology.
  1. Are you motivated by price? If not, then get what you want.  If you are on a budget then do your homework.  There are many different price points when investing in a new PC/Laptop.  You can also consider refurbished or used if a new PC or Mac Book isn’t in your budget.
  1. Are you concerned about safety? If so, then make sure you update your virus software is current on your PC.  If you purchase a Mac Book safety is built into the product.   Apple’s OS X Yosemite is built to protect your laptop.

Whether you select a Mac or PC understand that technology is changing at a rapid pace and you will have to become a lifelong learner.  “The illiterate of the 21st Century will not be those who cannot read or write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn.” Alvin Toffler

Build Your Real Estate Brand with Social Media

With so many Social Media Platforms real estate agents want to know how to integrate social media into their businesses. The simple answer is, “You need to start” integrating social media today.  Whenever I speak at a real estate office about social media the top complaints are, how do I find the time? Which platform should I add first?  What should I share on social media?  Where do I begin?

  • Let’s start with social media platforms. There are hundreds of social media platforms available for personal and professional use.  Of these platforms the top 5 social media tools are:  Facebook, Twitter, Linked in, Pinterest and Google+.

When choosing a social media platform consider your sphere of influence.  Is your sphere of influence on social media? Would your sphere interact with you on social media?  If your sphere of influence is on social media, start with the platform they are using.   If your sphere isn’t on social media I recommend picking one of the top THREE sites and perfecting it.  Once you are proficient with that platform move on to the next.  If you are not sure which social platform to select first consider starting in this order:

  1. Facebook
  2. Twittersocial_media_icons
  3. Linked In
  4. Google+
  5. Pinterest

Once you’ve select the social platform begin using it today.  Take the next 30 days to learn it.  Take a class and watch how to videos.

What should you share?  The best form of sharing is writing your own content, sharing photos and short videos.  Your own content can be as simple as, “click now to buy or sell a home” then add the link to your website.

How do I find the time to share?  I’m already busy searching for new leads and managing my current inventory.

  • Consider sharing one article a day. If you’re organized with your time plan your social media for the week.  Facebook has a new feature that gives you the option to schedule your posts.   Add your social media marketing time to your calendar.  Then stick to it.  Add social media apps to your smart phone so you can be social whenever you have a few extra minutes.  If you’re tech savvy jump into HootSuite. A great way to manage your social media in one place.

When you take advantage of social media by sharing, engaging and posting great content your real estate brand improve.  So what are you waiting for?  Start today!