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.

 

Digital Marketing Assessment for Real Estate Agents

Whether your building a personal brand, reinventing yourself, generate quality leads or trying to be relevant in this social world we must first answer simple questions before developing a digital marketing strategy for your business.  With all the technology available real estate professionals must step back and define what they want out of digital marketing.  We have many digital opportunities to build our strategy for the online world with social media, email marketing, lead pages, video, blogs and podcasts.
However, many agents and real estate firms don’t know where they are in this digital landscape.  If you don’t know where you are in the social media world, how will you know what to build for your strategy?  Let’s build better brands by answering a few simple questions below.
  1. Do you have a digital marketing strategy?
  2. What is your company’s mission statement?
  3. Who is your ideal client?
  4. Create a SWOT analysis.  What are your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and Threats
  5. Does your company or agent have SMART Goals?  If not, write them down.
  6. If I google you or your company, can I find out more information about you or your company?
  7. What social media platforms are you registered on?
  8. Of those social media platforms, which social media platforms are  you actively using?
  9. How many followers, connections or friends do you have on each platform?
  10. Are you or your company tracking insights and analytics?
  11. Are you using email marketing?
  12. Are you using a CRM to manage your clients?
  13. Does your company pay for any online ads? If so, which platforms?
  14. Does your company use lead capture tools or landing page to capture leads?
  15. Are you generating business from social media, email or online ads?
  16. What do you want to portray to your followers on social media?  consider; you’re an expert in your market, first time home buyer agent, luxury agent, you know the neighborhood, your a professional, real estate is a real business for you, not a side hustle, etc…..
  17. What are you expecting out of a digital marketing plan?
  18. Is your company using video to market the company or create brand awareness?
  19. Does the company have a blog?
  20. Does the company have a podcast?
  21. What is your budget?
  22. Is there anything else we need to know about your business or current marketing plan?
  23. What is your goal for a digital marketing strategy?  Brand awareness, lead generating, engagement, etc.
  24. Are you willing to do what it takes to leverage a digital marketing plan?
If you are currently using social media, have you completed a social media assessment.  Of the social media platforms you access, do you know how many people follow you and how many you are following?  Do you know how many likes you have on Facebook?  Take the quick assessment to help with your digital marketing strategy.
The Social Media Assessment
1. Facebook Insights – who is likely to buy from you?
2. Instagram – what content gets the most views, hearts and comments?
3. Does your current content generate leads?
Once you know where you are in the digital landscape, creating a digital marketing strategy is simple.  If you are low on followers, it’s time to start targeting your network to gain more followers.  If you have followers but no engagement, it’s time to start engaging with your network.  Relationships still matter on social media.  Not just in face to face arenas.  If you have followers, engagement on your platforms, this means that you comment and others comment on your posts, then it’s time to consider ad placement and building a better online persona, and lead generating content.
In addition to becoming more intentional on social media with a digital marketing strategy, I highly recommend creating video content.  Per Pew Research “73% of adults report using the video sharing site” (Pew Research).  If this is true, by creating video you provide your brand a chance to be found online.
What are your next steps?    After answering the above questions and completing the social media assessment
  1. Create an annual content plan
  2. Break the plan down into 12 months, then weekly and maybe daily.
  3. No social media presence?  It’s time to start engaging on your networks posts.  Each agent or company will create a different strategy, but if you don’t have a presence online consider posting on Facebook business and Instagram at lease once a week.  Use appropriate hashtags for your business and location options in Instagram.  Start using the story features daily so you appear to consumers daily.
  4. So you have a social media presence, but no engagement.  It’s time to start commenting on your networks posts.  Not just a LIKE or an Emoji.  Actually have a conversation on social media.
  5. A simple social media strategy might be to
    1. post weekly
    2. create a 60 second video weekly
    3. create a story daily
    4. Create original content – the content will depend on your answers to the digital marketing assessment
  6. Use  a call to action when you post about real estate.  Or make sure your profile has a way to connect with you.
  7. Stay consistent with your posts.  If you create video stay consistent with date and time.  Or pre-post when you will create video or live video content.  Set the expectation with the date and time of your live event.
  8. Stay on task with your CRM or consider a tool like Trello.  Trello helps  you can organize your digital marketing plan so your team can collaborate and stay on track.
What are you waiting for?  Get started on your digital marketing plan today.
Follow me on Instagram  CarrieJoLittle and SmartGirl.Media

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

 

 

The Instagram Story Take Over Event

Join me July 14th, 2018 at 8:30am to learn how to master Instagram Stories for your business.  Class is held in West Chicago IL and starts on time at 9am. Click Here to Register.  I’ll hold the class even if one person registers.

You’ve asked at every continuing education class to have a hands on Social Media Class, so I am delivering.

In this class you will learn:

Instagram Basics – 9am to 9:30a

The Story Feature – 9:30a to 9:45a

Canva Basics & The App – 9:45a to 10:30a

Build your stories with Canva – 10:45a to 11:15a

How to take over your market – 11:15a to 11:30a

Instagram Strategy – 11:30a to 11:45a

11:45 Instagram TV with Q&A

Doors open at 8:30 am and breakfast is provided by Tina Abbatacola with Caliber Home Loans.  No need to stop for breakfast.  Come early and make sure you’re on the office wifi.  Don’t forget to bring your laptop, tablet and mobile device.  Click Here to Register

 

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!

Are You Branded on Social Media?

Selling real estate today is much different from the 80’s, 90’s and early 2000’s.   I started selling real estate in 2001.  Then we walked, cold called and asked our sphere of influence for referrals.  Creating postcards, emails and newsletters was simple.  We used tools like publisher and adobe illustrator to design marketing.  Today any agent can take over a market simply by building a social personality that shares relevant content, important community information with an authentic persona.  In the world of real estate, agents are in charge of managing their brands.  The current trend for many companies is to allow agents to co-brand.

Building a brand in real estate is essential for online marketing.  Who we are in direct marketing and in person must translate to the digital space.  If you are a direct marketer in real estate making the transition in brand awareness on social media, email, blogs and your website is not a difficult task.  Today, there are tools like Canva that make it easy for any agent to build creative work that can be redesigned in seconds for any social platform.   There is no excuse, every agent can compete in the online arena.

  • Do you want to be relevant in a few years? If so, it’s important to become an online personality.
  • Do you have a personal brand? If not, get started NOW, not tomorrow.
  • Does the consumer know who you are before they schedule an appointment with you? Not sure, google yourself and check your following on your social media accounts. If we can’t learn about you, neither can the consumer.
  • Are you posting and receiving engagement from your network? Not sure, Go Check!
  • No Engagement? Don’t worry, start responding to posts. Not just your posts, your networks posts.

A personal brand is, “the practice of people marketing themselves and their careers as brands. … Personal branding is essentially the ongoing process of establishing a prescribed image or impression in the mind of others about an individual, group, or organization.” (Wikipedia)

The next generation agent is good at this.  They’ve been using technology for as long as they can remember.   I remember when my oldest son was three years old.  His childcare center offered computer classes.  24 years later he a computer whiz.  My most recent college student has her own online brand.  The youngest of the group is building his own YouTube channel.  They are just good at tech, not because they took classes, it’s because they always had an opportunity to use the technology.   If you’re not good at the technology, start playing with it.   Trial and error can be the best way to learn.

Building your own personal brand will put you in front of the consumer before they have an opportunity to meet you.   I always find it fascinating when I’m approached and someone says, “Carrie, I feel like I already know you.”  Our sphere of influence is an important part of helping our businesses thrive.  We count on our friends, family and past clients to be our Brand Ambassadors.  We want them to tell people how “fabulous” we are as agents.  The same applies to online, we need our social pages, email marketing, YouTube channels and traditional marketing to showcase our personal brands and our expertise.  Generating new business and repeat business has never been so easy.  The internet doesn’t turn off.  The idea that the consumer can find us 24 hours a day should excite all of you.

Showcase your brand on all platforms.  Are you and your business recognizable on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Snapchat and Instagram.   Are you a brand or are you all over the place?   Take inventory of your social media today.

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.