Dear Realtors: Only Read This if You Want to Stop Sucking at Social Media

I see it all the time, real estate agents fumbling, bumbling and following lead generation advice that is so out of date that the 1980’s called. It wants it’s brick phone back. Agents get frustrated, frazzled and (most) ultimately quit, because real estate is one cruel mistress in the lead generation department – well, for most people. Not you though. Because you’re reading this.

But I’m also going to take a page out of the “Good Will Hunting” playbook and tell you that it’s not your fault that you suck at lead generation. Most of you have brokers who made their real estate fortunes carting clients around in a horse and buggy. Back in those days, it was perfectly normal to yank out a file a fax and dial until your fingers fell off. Then? Rinse and repeat. Over and over, tediously building a real estate empire using ridiculously pushy sales scripts and getting cauliflower ear in the process.

Now, however, that old school methodology isn’t just dumb, it’s flat out wrong and can even land you in a heap of trouble. In today’s world, the “Do Not Call List” has made cold calling philosopies and dial until you drop methodologies about as dead as the horse your broker road in on.

Then, of course, there are flyers. I could go on for days about how ineffective flyers are, but instead of simply telling you, I want to make you think about it for a minute.

When was the last time you actually kept a flyer…for anything?

Yep.

That’s right.

It’s starting to sink in, isn’t it?

Here’s what happens with flyers. People take them, write their grocery lists on them, use them as a napkin when their drive through burger has a little too much mustard and really never come back around to keeping an agent, a house, a product or a service top of mind. Basically, you just wasted two bucks a page on something that someone else used as a bib for their 3-year-old. And you did it because your broker told you that’s marketing.

To make matters worse, real estate agents rank in the perception of the general public about as high as used car salesmen.

Knowing this, It’s no wonder that 80 percent of agents fail in their first year of business. After all, the odds are stacked pretty high against you. Between outdated (and just plain bad) sales advice from brokers and “veterans” who are working on a 100 percent referral basis themselves and the perception of the general public that real estate agents are either dishonest or annoying (or both), getting down to the business of running a real estate business can feel like a dog and pony show.

But, now that we have that out of the way, and now that we know one another a little better, I’d like to show you how to change up your real estate game so that you turn yourself into a lead generating machine, using this handy new-fangled thing called social media.

Step 1: Reverse Engineer Your Perfect Client

As cliché as this might sound, you absolutely have to find your niche if you want to get rich. Let me give you some examples. I have trained over 8,000 agents internationally, and the ones who did best? Found a niche market to work. When I trained an Army veteran, it made sense for that agent to target the military. He had a unique understanding of the challenges that military families face when moving, and he could speak to that.

And he did. Like a lead generating Rockstar.

Using videos, helpful information and tips on social media geared toward veterans and families he sold a hell of a lot of real estate, without ever picking up the phone.

Another agent I worked with already had a network of lawyers built up on social media from a prior job. So? It made sense to leverage that agent to work with attorneys both in the sale and purchase of homes, but also to get a steady stream of referrals from divorce attorneys wherein the decree said that couple had to sell the house and split the proceeds.

See where I am going with this? There’s a million ways to do it, but until you reverse engineer your perfect client, you’ll never be able to craft a marketing strategy that speaks to them.

Truth bomb #1: Vanilla, catch-all marketing strategies don’t’ work in real estate. You’ve got to dig deeper. You have to reverse engineer your perfect customer.

Step 2: Build Your Social Media Presence Around Your Perfect Client

The internet is saturated with information. With over 4 billion users on social media daily, we as a society are putting out more content in 36 hours than we have collectively over 36 years. Unless your content is specific and unique, no one is going to care about it. At all. So it’s important that you craft a social media strategy that speaks to your perfect client.

With a little digging, you can find where your clients hide. For most agents, having a platform on Facebook is non-negotiable, but it’s also equally important to have a presence on Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Snap Chat.

Truth bomb #2: Social media is not a venue to do nothing but post pictures of houses. Your buyers and sellers can go (and often do) to Realtor.com, Zillow and Trulia when they want to do a home search. Social media is a big room, to start conversations, not take the lazy, house posting route.

You have to create things that engage your audience; give them useful information that is pertinent to them; information that speaks to them – things that inspire them to reach out to you. For instance, using my divorce specialization agent, we crafted a strategy to provide information to attorneys (and clients) on how to prepare a home for sale in a divorce, and also how to make the sale of a home during the divorce process quick and painless. This collateral was perfect to translate onto a funnel landing page to capture information from both attorneys and people who were going down divorce road…giving my agent a plethora of great (hot) leads in the process.

Step 3: Crafting Your Social Strategy

Generally speaking, when you create a social media strategy, you need to focus on the one-third rule. Content should be one-third yours (blogs, landing pages, free information, helpful tips and advice), one-third someone else’s (to build credibility and reaffirm your expertise) and one-third photos and video.

And here is a fun fact for those of you struggling to build your Facebook page organically. If you post video direct to Facebook, more people will see it as opposed to your just sharing a video from YouTube. In fact, Facebook hates YouTube video and you will see your page views penalized for using it. Live video on your Facebook page? Even better that pre-recorded video! So? Use that phone for videos of you taking your message to your clients. Do this every day. That two-minute video of you reaches thousands of people, which is a hell of a lot better than making thousands of cold calls.

Next, using IFTTT, you can set up a recipe to share photos from Instagram automatically to your Facebook page. Since acquiring Instagram, Facebook holds photos from Instagram in higher regard than photos posted to Facebook alone. In fact, we tested this theory just last week, and found that photos posted to Facebook from Instagram had twice as much organic reach compared to photos posted direct to Facebook.

Kind of mind-blowing, huh?

As we progress in this series, I want to go deep on each platform and give you strategies that work, but also some things that help differentiate you from every other agent out there. For now, though, you’ve got some work to do. Dress up that Facebook business page, start posting content (at least three times a day using the one-third/one-third/one-third strategy) and begin engaging your customers by commenting on their conversations on social media – without talking about real estate all the time.

With a little work and a lot of consistency, you will start seeing people messaging your Facebook inbox, visiting your website and wanting to know more about you, and how you can work with them as their trusted real estate resource.

At the end of the day, what you need to remember about lead generation on social media is this: Every single item you post should be optimized for lead capture. One tool we leverage allows us to insert a pop up on just about any article, to collect email leads. It can be done. It’s being done every day. Aside from that, building a funnel that is specific to your niche customer, where they pay for your free information with an email address is another fantastic way to foster leads, build relationships and sell more real estate.

Until next time, go forth and lead generate.

Need some help? Get in touch with us. Send an email direct to me, shauna@valkeryie.com and let me know when a good time to do a Skype chat is — no, we don’t do coffee. We live in the 21st century.

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