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.

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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.

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!

Does the REAL ESTATE Industry design software for REALTORS® or Consumers?

Does the REAL ESTATE Industry design software for REALTORS® or Consumers?

I love Margaret Gould Stewart’s statement in her TED Talk, “Know who you are designing for”.  Many companies use statistical data to determine software solutions.  As a technology trainer for the real estate industry I’ve had the opportunity to watch our software programs evolve into cloud based systems over the past 14 years.   Real estate software changes at a rapid pace with new programs added and offered to real estate agents every year.  From cloud based systems to apps where buyers and sellers can view properties on smart phones, tablets, and laptops.   Midwest Real Estate Data, a Northern Illinois Company, offers multiple products to their REALTOR® members.

As an instructor for the real estate industry, I have the ability to experience the different skill levels for all agents.  Many agents come into the business with little or no computer skill.  Where others come into the business with a tech savvy background.   The median age of all REALTORS® IS 56.  With that in mind you might think, based on statistics, the MLS service would offer products to keep in line with REALTOR® Demographics.  This age group is among the Baby Boomers and Boomers are adapting to the rapidly changing technology.  However, the Millennials and Generation Y groups are among the extremely tech savvy software, social media and smart phone users.  And learning these products are simple for the younger generations since they’ve typically grown up with technology.  Whereas, working with the Boomer groups, in many situations not all, it might take longer to adapt to technology changes and new products.

Why is this important?  If the median age of an agent is 56 why aren’t we developing products to service this age group?  That’s easy, many people in the market to buy or sell a home are looking online before they decide to invest in home ownership or choose a REALTOR®.    Therefore, if the buyer or seller chooses an agent to represent them in their transaction, that new client might expect that agent to be tech savvy and have the ability to access real estate information just as quickly as they can.   

Therefore, although it might make sense to focus on the Boomer agents when developing technology, focusing on the consumer would be the better option when designing for the real estate industry. The Millennials are expected to spend $2 Trillion in housing in the next 5 years.  Most buyers are searching online before making a decision to purchase a home.  And Based on how quickly real estate programs are developed and updated it’s certain that developers are focusing on the tech savvy users.  Given that this is true, Millennials and the Generation Y groups should be considered when developing cloud systems, websites, apps and software.  This could be one of the reasons the less tech savvy agents show frustration with real estate software.  It’s just not being developed for the agent.  It’s being developed with the consumer in mind.

The Most Important Personas for Real Estate in 2015

The Most Important Personas for Real Estate in 2015

Buyers and Sellers are the most important Stakeholders for Real Estate Agents and Broker/Owners.  Without a buyer and a seller our businesses wouldn’t exist.  Who are buyers and sellers?  A buyer is someone that is willing and able to purchase a home.  A seller is someone that is selling a home.

Although we have buyers and sellers it’s important to watch the trends in real estate.  Who are the buyer’s for the 2015 market?  Who are the sellers for the 2015 market?  If you know this information as a real estate agent you will understand where to focus your marketing efforts.

Who are the customer personas for 2015?

  1. Millennials are expected to outpace the Gen X group in home ownership for 2015. As our rental rates rise Millennials will seek home ownership. This group is expected to spend 1.6 Trillion dollars on home ownership in the next 5 years.  Tip:   Take advantage of social media.  Millennials are heavy users of technology.
  1. The overseas investors are still finding U.S property more appealing. Most foreign buyers are paying in all cash and consider it safer to invest their dollar.
  1. Baby Boomers might be ready to downsize and relocate. Home values have been increasing for the past few years.  The bottom of the Northern Illinois Market was in April of 2013 and we’ve seen nothing but increase home values.  Therefore, the Baby Boomer’s are likely to take advantage of the improved real estate market.
  1. The Boomerang Buyer will make a comeback to home ownership. A Boomerang Buyer is someone that lost their home in foreclosure or ended up selling their home short of what was owed when home values plummeted.   Many of these original home owners understand the process and will purchase again.  If a real estate agent sold a home for a seller as a ShortSale, prior to 2012, now would be a great time to reconnect with that seller to start the home buying process for 2015.

Based on my research the top 4 customer personas for 2015 include: Millennials, Overseas Investors, Baby Boomers and the Boomerang Buyer.  As a real estate professional it’s important to understand the trends.   If you understand how to research your local market using tools that include Google Trends, Google Analytics, social media trends, REALTOR®.org Trends, Corelogica Smart Data company, your multiple listing service and your local tax records you will be better prepared on who your target market is for the year.

“If you wait until there is another case study in your industry, you will be too late!” – Seth Godin (Author Of Permission Marketing)

Run Your Business Like A Business in 2015

Join me for the first 12 weeks of 2015 where I will share my top 12 tips on how to “Run Your Business Like A Business”.  REALTORS® have the ability to have a steady income for their personal life and their businesses.  When we work on a commission basis it can be frustrating when we don’t have business in a future pipeline.  When this happens it is difficult to focus on lead generation and a producing business strategy.

Many REALTORS® have taken time off during the holiday season.  Of Course, we all need time off.  However, if your 2014 was not what you expected, planning your year today will help with the spring, summer, fall and Winter of 2015.

Follow my blog and get ready to plan your successful 2015.

The Women’s Council of REALTORS® will have their first Business Resource meeting with A Real Estate CEO Panel.  Join us on January 7th.  Click NOW to register

Increase Your Business by 42% in the NEXT 12 Months

Increase your business by 42% in the next 12 months.

The Women’s Council of REALTORS® opening session started with a high energy and engaging speaker who challenged us to change our perception of how we do business. Did you know that 10% of real estate agents dominate the real estate market? Maybe you’re one of the 10%. If you’re not, Travis Robertson (@TravisRO) shared simple strategies to change your business by 40% in the next 12 months.

Below are my top take-aways from his presentation:

  1. Don’t give up on online leads. Only 3% or less are actually responded to.
  2. Consider Facebook Ads. By integrating Facebook Ads in your business plan, you will reach more of your friends and your friends’ friends in their news feeds.
  3. Follow up, follow up, follow up. Agents don’t stay in touch with their clients. Stay in their mind; at least 27 touches per year. Use direct mail, email marketing, and client parties as one of your touches.
  4. Deadly Myth: Online leads are crap?! Truth: The leads are not the problem; it’s your lead nurturing system.
  5. Create a business that supports your life! Not a business that runs it!

Check out the 2014 NAR Conference Blog for more tips for your Real Estate Business