It’s Time to Take Learning Seriously

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Are you a new agent? Ask a lot of questions!

If you could go back in time, what would you do differently and what questions would you ask?

This year will be my nineteenth year in the real estate business.  When I started selling real estate in 2001, my goal was to just make enough money to supplement my family’s income.  I wanted the ability to take my kids to the swimming pool, on vacation, join sporting camps, volunteer at their schools and be home before 5pm every day.   My family was more important than becoming a top producing agent.  I didn’t need to make a killing in real estate, I wanted to make a living.  Just enough to supplement my Monday – Friday income from previous jobs.

When I started in the business, no one told me that real estate was a career where you typically work evenings and weekends.  No one told me to make learning a priority.  They also didn’t tell me that I was responsible for my own marketing, lead generation, money management and transaction management.  I also didn’t ask the right questions.  I asked for help, and probably bugged everyone in the office, but I could have started in this business so much better.

So, if I could do it all over again, what would I do differently?  I would:

  1. Always split my income to pay household expenses, income taxes, marketing, and savings.
  2. Take learning the business seriously my first year.
  3. Maybe starting as an agent admin for a seasoned agent my first two years.
  4. Definitely get involved early. I had no idea that I could have joined an association committee, Women’s Council of REALTORS®, and other groups, like YPN the young professionals network.
  5. I would go to networking events outside of real estate to build a larger sphere of influence.
  6. Stay consistent with my home buyer workshops.  I should have never stopped having these workshops.  Buyer workshops worked for my business.
  7. Use a CRM from day one!  My best tip for a new agent.  Get into the habit of adding everyone to your client relationship management tool.

If I could go back in time, I would also ask the following questions.

  1. How long does it take to close your first deal?
  2. How do I plan for the slow months?
  3. When should I start working on my goals for the next year?
  4. When is the best time to create and sending marketing for the next listing season?
  5. How hard should I work on a business plan?
  6. How do I get involved?
  7. How much money should I expect to make my first year?
  8. How many hours should I expect to work?
  9. Where will my business come from?
  10. Among so many other questions

Do you have some of these questions?  Or other questions?  Don’t hesitate to ask the agents and the broker in your office.

After years in the business, I wish I had asked more questions.  Therefore, I want to help the next generation REALTOR® coming into our industry.  If you were a new agent today, what do you wish you knew, what do you wish you asked?  Help me help others by completing this survey.  Should take less than 5 minutes.  Click now to help me.

Easy Ways to Build Better Social Media Graphics!

In the world of technology, we have so many options to build info-graphics for our industry. But many of us I have no clue on where to begin.  No matter what business you’re in, it’s important to understand that your brand matters when you post on social media.  Whether it’s Instagram, IGTV, Facebook, Snapchat, LinkedIn, or Twitter, your brand matters when you post on social media. I’ve created a few tips to make sure your graphics look awesome when you share graphics.  Let’s get started!

  1. Pick the correct size layout for the platform you are posting to!
  2. Always make sure you frame out your image. What does that mean, when you create images think about how it’s perceived when your viewers are on your social media accounts. Does your post look clean or just thrown together?  Make sure you consider A-frame or a border.
  3. Choose a theme. There are many themes on Pinterest to help generate ideas. Themes include a checkerboard layout, color schemes, and you might consider posting in threes. Post a quote, then post an image, and then post something about your business. You don’t have to be like every other business or real estate agent.
  4. Personalize your post with your own images. Make sure your Camera Lens is always clean. You can buy screen cleaners almost anywhere.
  5. Simple is always better. Keep your posts simple buy only uses 7 words or less.  Are there times when you’ll add more text, yes.  But think about the consumer and how long they are willing to read your information.
  6. Think clean graphics. And always keep your fonts the same.
  7. Not sure if you have an awesome social media layout? Ask your friends or colleagues to tell you what they think about your social media people.

Graphic building tools: 

  1. Canva – I use this tool the most. I can build flyers, social media graphics, story graphics and more on the website. Then I download the graphic from the app on my phone.
  2. WordSwag – Turns ordinary images into beautiful text graphics. App driven and there is an upgrade version
  3. PicMonkey – This is one of my favorite design tools. It took a while to figure it out, but once you do, it’s great for all your social media.  I use it to make square shapes into different shapes.  For Example, I always take a real estate agents’ photo and make a circle version of the image.
  4. StorySwag – This new version of wordswag brings life to your stories on Instagram, messenger and snapchat.
  5. Ripl – every agent should pay for this app. Especially if you aren’t great at building slide shows for your listings. Create simple slideshow videos and grids that come alive when you post.
  6. Relythat – I love this app.  There is a monthly fee.  However, there is a one time sale happening now.  Wow! RelayThat is only a one-time cost of $49 through AppSumo.  Upgrade your existing account at http://relaythat.com/appsumo and join the rush!

Want to learn how to use canva?  Join my Facebook group today!  Click HERE!

Is Having a Paycheck Hindering Your business?

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

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

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

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

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

 

No Leads on Facebook? I have the Solution!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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.

 

 

 

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!

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.