Tuesday, December 11, 2012

How to Create Engagement on Facebook

Facebook users are becoming savvy to marketers. You thought they would, didn't you? Instead they are looking for a social experience and engagement from their friends. This short video explains easy ways to increase your LIKES and engagement. Take a look!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Excuse Me! Five Social Media Faux Pas

Social media continues to be a great way, though not the only way, to create relationships and business opportunities. Like face to face contact, we have to make sure our message comes across sincerely. Nobody likes it when our friend invites us out for coffee or lunch to just pitch a product. The same insincerity comes across on social sites as well.

Watch out for social media faux pas in your online marketing plan:

  • Outsourcing your social media The first word of social media is social. Keep it that way. Use your source sites to interact with your friends and customers. Have fun and show your personality. It isn't easy to do that when you give someone else the responsibility of posting for you. A compromise would be to let others research, gathering data and articles, and then posting yourself. Use a site like www.hootsuite.com to maximize your posting instead of delegating posting to others.
  • Automating responses "Hi. Thanks for following me. I look forward to sharing with you valuable information." Yikes!! Thanks< Mr. Automatron.
  • Syncing social media sites Different sites have different nuances so let them stay unique. It may save time to post once and sync so the same message populates to all other sites but the rules change from site to site. Facebook users can spot a Twitter post a mile away so why not #keepitonTwitter.
  • Promoting listings only As far as I can tell, very few people use social sites to look for real estate. So perhaps bombarding your friends, followers, and connections with just listings isn't the best way to go. Instead, brainstorm a list of topics and key ideas that your friends would like to learn and hear from a real estate agent about. Using "How to's" and other informative posts will endear while just advertising may drive friends away.
  • Being a broken record I haven't forgotten that interest rates are low. Yes, I know NOW IS A GREAT TIME TO BUY. I get it. Do you have anything else you want to tell me? If not, I might quit paying attention to you. Consider this instead. What group of people do you want to attract? What information do they need from you? Look at you from their perspective. With a variety of information, you'll stay relevant.
Yes, we sell real estate. But isn't our job really to represent the best interest of our clients? Are there other faux pas that I'm missing? Let me know.

Friday, December 7, 2012

An Easy to Use Posting Tool

Hootsuite is really cool!!

This is the big time saver and organizer. Hootsuite organizes Twitter and Facebook into usable columns for easy targeted viewing. Scheduling tweets and posts to reach followers and friends at predetermined times allows for less time online and more focused posting. Hootsuite has great analytics, too!

Hootsuite has a free side that allows for pretty decent usability. Sign up and add your accounts. It's easy to do and quick. Scheduling posts to trickle out is just a click away.

Two Simple Truths for Success with Facebook

Success on Facebook starts with two simple ideas:

Be consistent. I've seen it over and over. Pages with daily activity are the ones that see BIG results.

I often get asked, "How many times should I post a day?" The sweet spot, based on many studies I've read, tends to be about 2-5 times a day.

If you don't yet have a lot of fans or massive engagement, posting more than 5 times a day can lead to unlikes. In fact the #1 reason people unlike Facebook Pages is because people post too much. Posting 2 - 5 times a day is the sweet spot.

Call to Action 
Include calls to action such as, "Click Like," "Please Share," "Click This," "Watch Now," "Enroll Here," or "Check this out." Check out the image I created with a strong call to action - this post spread like wildfire!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Characteristics of Successful Agents Show Bent Toward Social Media

With 2012 coming quickly to a close, agents are looking toward next year and its promises. These certainly include financial success with growth in brand recognition. Interestingly, the same old prospecting methods of 2012's highly successful agents will hold true to start out 2013. Of course, we'll see social media cloud based newcomers in 2013, but we can count on the strength of now the familiar avenues to get us moving in the right direction.

A few statistics that Chris Smith of Inman shared at Agent Reboot have stuck in my head. I keep working on how to make these create a return for my business:

  • 51% of the people who follow you on Facebook and 64% of those who follow you on Twitter tend to buy from you.
  • 65% of bandwidth is used on videos.
  • 50% of real estate agents who have more than 500 friends on Facebook make more than $100,000 while only 33% of the agents who make $34,000 have more than 500 friends.
  • 75% of real estate agents who make more than $100,000 use an iPad whereas only 50% of agents making less than $100,000 do.
  • There are more cell phones in the world than toothbrushes.
If Facebook is Good then Twitter is Great!
  • Make sure your Twitter Bio is up to speed - 160 characters that describes you. Jay Thompson, The Phoenix Real Estate Guy @PhxREguy has a great Bio
  • Follow local people. Twitter isn't about having a lot of followers. It's about having local followers. Use Twitter.com/search to find what is trending in your area
  • Create lists - Local News sources create great local content
  • Use Hootsuite.com to manage Twitter and Facebook
Video, Video, Video
  • Positioning in a room should be driven by what you want to show
  • Go wide for size
  • Get in close for detail
  • Use a slow pan
  • Camera against the window
  • Face the light to minimize shadows
  • Camera = Blackhole
  • Turn up the energy consciously
  • Smile BEFORE pressing record and through the stop record button
  • Introduce
  • End with a call to action
  • Economy of Language - 10 seconds per sentence
  • One feature per shot
  • Don't mimic the shot "Here's the kitchen"
  • Use your own voice
In today's market, video drives sales. Consider the following when creating a real estate video:

What to Shoot: If you were looking for a home, what would you look for? When the sellers bought their home, they saw certain features in this home.That's the same thing other buyers are looking for too. Video these features. Watch you lighting. It's tough to shoot towards windows.

What to Say:  Have you ever walked into the kitchen and wondered what room you were in? I'm going out on the limb to say, neither has anyone else! So, focus on the features of the room instead. You've got about 15 seconds in a room to talk about its awesome features.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Looking for success? Come out of the gate FAST!

New agents hit the real estate scene full of enthusiasm and dreams, dollar bills dancing in the head and ideas of making it big in their new career. Somewhere in their first month they get a dose of reality when business opportunities don’t actual knock their door down. Quickly, they can become frustrated and disillusioned.
Thankfully, there are remedies for this. It sounds overly simplistic and it really is, DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!  Here’s how to be successful in your first 30 days:

Get rid of the Stinkin’ Thinkin’ Whether you believe you’ll reach your goals your first 30 days or you won’t, you’ll be right either way. Don’t let people fill your head with slow starting ideas. Set a goal to have a listing your first month and then BELIEVE and WORK to make it happen.

Prospect to survive and succeed When I was an elementary school teacher I didn't have to go find students to fill my classroom. Whether I was eady or not, the first day of school they just showed up. Real estate doesn't work that way. Maybe you have a friend or two who is thinking about buying or selling. But, what then? It is the multitude of activities that make agents successful. You have to make contact with people. 
  • Make a goal to hand out 20 business cards a day, every day for the first 30 days you’re in business.
  •  Knock on a few doors. 
  • Research for sale by owners and expired listings in your neighborhood and call on them. 
  • Find a new listing in your neighborhood. Make an appointment to go see it and take a friend with you. Then call other people in the neighborhood you know to find someone else who wants to see it. Chances are you’ll find someone thinking of selling who doesn’t have their home on the market. Do this until you make an appointment. You want an appointment, don’t you?

Be accountable to your manager Talk to your manager every morning. Show her your plan. Review the activities you did the day before. Tell her how many appointments you set; how many phone calls you made; how many business cards you handed out. Talk about difficulties (all veteran agents have difficult situations too). How did you handle rejection and objections.

Focus on Listings Listings generate more business. Keep making calls and sending emails asking a simple question: “Are you thinking about selling?” If the answer is no, then follow up with “Who do you know who may be thinking of selling?”
See Black and White There is only “yes or no” in real estate. There is no “maybe” and there is no “but.” If you get a “maybe” then work on overcoming objections. If you get a no then move on!

Work with a partner Find an experienced agent who will let you assist on a few appointments. Wouldn’t it be great to watch a pro? After gaining rapport or with the recommendation of your manager, ask an experienced agent if you may shadow them as she does a listing presentation from initial interview, through the research, all the way to the presentation itself. Do the same with a buyer, from consultation to contract.

Your first 30 days as a real estate agent are essential to your success. Aggressively follow a plan that has clearly defined goals and a plan of action. Set activity goals along with production goals. With clear direction and a positive attitude, your success is imminent!