How Did I Gain Access To Your Facebook Friends?

Recently, I was in a two-day managing broker course.  During the session one agent mentioned that other real estate agents were marketing to her friends and family.  She asked, “Why does Facebook allow other agents to market to her network?”  Well, why wouldn’t they allow it? Facebook might be free, however, if you want to reach more than your network you have to Pay to Play.   Facebook’s goal is to help companies leverage their business pages with paid advertisement in our news feeds. The social media site gathers real time information on everything we say, click on and share.  If I talk about an awesome pair of shoes, you can best believe I’ll see ads on the right-hand side of my feed.   Paid advertising on Facebook is a must if you want your content to be viewed, reach a new audience and market your listings. Facebook’s algorithm is constantly changing.  When you post on your personal page or a business page it’s no longer guaranteed that your post will sit at the top of your networks News Feeds.

Here’s the scoop, Facebook provides options for advertising.  The ADS Manager provides more options for advertising on Facebook.  The Boost option allows the agent to push their post or posts to a specific audience.  Agents should consider both options when advertising.  This is a great way to build your brand share market research, reach potential buyers, sellers and provide specific information about the areas we serve.  However, most agents have no idea what happens when we LIKE real estate agent’booting-a-posts business pages.

If an agent decides to boost one of their posts, that agent has choices when building a target audience.

  • Edit your current audience
  • Target People who like your page
  • People who like your page and their friends
  • Create your own audience
  • Run the AD on Instagram – if you connect Facebook page to your Instagram account to a business account.

Yes, you guessed it.  You gave me access to your Facebook friends.  If you like my real estate business page I can target you and your friends.  I’m not saying you shouldn’t like my page, other real estate agent’s pages or your company pages.  But if you do, your conversation must change.  As a part of your initial client meeting have the “Social Media Talk” with your clients.  When I started in real estate my managing broker told me to explain for sale by owner properties to your buyers.  If you see a FSBO, call me first,  I will exclusively represent you and your interests.  That conversation must change to the online arena.  If your clients see an AD on social media, tell your clients to call you first.  Explain designated agency.  If you aren’t explaining it then expect your buyer to call the listing agent.   It’s up to you to protect your client and your business .  Not the agent that is marketing their listings to your buyers.

Do I really have access to your friends? No, but if you like my real estate page I have the option to market to your network.  Not sure what to say?  Let me help you have “The Social Media Talk” with your network.  I’ve created two sample scripts to help when speaking with your clients at the initial meeting.   Click here for a sample script on the “The Social Media Talk”. And don’t worry, If you liked my  real estate page, I never choose the Friends of Friends option  when advertising on Facebook.

Advertisements

Banners, InfoGraphics & Real Estate

OK, Carrie! You make digital marketing and social media sound easy.  Digital marketing and social media is easy.  The challenge for most agents is time, maybe a new learning curve and doing the work. I’m a real estate agent just like you, so I understand that we don’t get paid if we aren’t generating leads and closing sales.  With this in mind I believe you have to “take the time” to build a Facebook banner and other creative infographics for your business.

Pick a day, and an hour, and get to work.  If you don’t take the time or plan to get your marketing done, you will not do it.   Consider using these products add awesome images to your marketing portfolio.  In order to compete in the next 5+ years we need to rethink how we market to consumers.  The next generation is tech savvy and they love images.  If you don’t believe me, watch your kids!  They are accessing social media sites that allow them the option to upload images, view images, click on those images and view video.

So, how DO I build a social media business page banner?  Well, it’s simple.  There are many free products an agent may choose from to build banners, infographics and more.  Below are four online tools that will help you build your graphics.

Canva

Do you need a Facebook banner?  How about a graphic that shows stats for your market place?  Canva is a great way to build Facebook Banners, canvaInfographics, White Page graphics, YouTube Thumbnails and more.  Upload your images and overlay text in minutes.  This is a free and a paid graphic builder.  When you select your graphic make sure to read.  If you goal is to build free graphics, read and select the free options.

PicMonkey

picmonkeyUse picmonkey to touch up a photo, design something new, build photo collages and edit your existing photos.  Nothing to do but create your
online account.  Great for the tech savvy agent.  If you’re not as tech savvy, ask your kids for help.  If your kids won’t help, ask the neighbors kids.  The next generation is the “Click” generation and they will help you figure it out.

 

Word Swag for iPhone or iPad

wordswagCreate awesome graphics with your smartphone in minutes.  Overlay text, change the font, custom layouts.  “It’s like having a graphic designer in
your pocket” (wordswag).  Consider photogrid if you have an android phone.

 

Fiverr

I don’t have time to build the banner, graphics or edit pictures but I understand that I need video, graphics and a brand on the internet. fiverrIf this is you, consider Fiverr.  Fiverr is an online marketplace where you can hire someone to help with your business for as little as $5.00.   Check it out.  Fiverr has businesses that will transcribe, build infographics, video, Facebook banners and more.

Social media and Digital Marketing has changed the way we market our listings, information to the public, websites and direct mail marketing.  The next step is to just do it.   Get started building images for your marketing, social media and blog posts.  Take the same image for your blog and add it to social media and your direct mail.  When your new followers search for you your pages will have infographics, images that show your professional brand and that you are open for business.  Take advantage of the above tools to build a strong personal brand.   Check out my Pinterest board for examples.

How To Get A Real Estate Agent To Hire You As a Coach!

I’ve been a real estate instructor for 8 years and as I get more involved in the Real Estate Training industry I find that other businesses outside of our arena want to help agents build their businesses.   The top areas are coaching, digital marketing, prospecting and the opportunity to build their following on social media.

The question I hear is, “How can I get a real estate agent to hire me as a Coach, Internet Marketer, Social Media Expert, Etc”?  I believe if you’re good at what you do then, Absolutely, go after REALTOR® business.  When you do seek out a REALTOR® here are a few tips to help get you hired..

1. Have an understanding of the real estate industry. There are license law rules a REALTOR® must follow.  We adhere to the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice. So do your research.

2. Generating Leads is important to an agent. How can you help an agent generate a quality lead?  Real Estate Agents don’t necessarily need to buy leads.  Agents may want to work

  • with their sphere of influence using social media.
  • Engage in the conversation and answer questions about real estate on Social media
  • Many like to tell agents to share listings, pictures of their closings.  But that might not generate a lead.  Make sure agents understand the power of engagement and providing great content to their networks.

3. Provide tips on how to build the agents online brand and their Digital Footprint.

4. Real Estate Agents have access to a wealth of Data, Big DATA!   However, most agents have no idea how to use this information.  Explain the importance of content marketing and how an agent can leverage their Multiple Listing Service, Provide statistical information on the market place and Share what’s relevant for the cities they serve.  Get creative.  Many agents are listing agents, or I only share my listings, on the internet.  Agents must understand the need for relevant content.

5. Attend Real Estate Events. Network with agents. The average age of a REALTOR® is 57 per the National Association of REALTORS.  If you are a digital marketer and you want an agent to hire you understand that there might be a technology gap. Those gaps include the extremely tech savvy agents and agents that are learning the technology for first time.  These agents are deciding which social networks, if any, they should integrate into their businesses.  Remember to work at the agents pace and survey their needs.

If you are truly interested in getting hired by a real estate professional take time to listen, learn and ask the right questions. We are always seeking help from industries outside of real estate.

The Dynamic Duo Live on Blab Today

1st Blab Marki Lemons-Ryahal Carrie Little

Today, September 3rd at 5pm CST, Marki Lemons-Ryhal and I will discuss how to bridge your networking with Off-Line and On-Line Marketing using a new LIVE Streaming product Blab.im.

What is Blab.im?  A Blab is a live streaming social network that gives you the ability to have a live conversation and invite others into the conversation.
Sign up with your Twitter Account.  Not a twitter user?  You can listen in without joining the conversation

Join us today.  We want your feedback and expertise.

Click NOW to Subscribe

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!

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