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On Marketing

How Sarah went from 12 to 24 closings in her second year of real estate

Sarah Allen, Real Estate Agent – Mankato, southern Minnesota

Sarah Allen has been an agent for two years. Things didn’t click right away. “It was a lot of trial and error, which was frustrating the first year. Trust me, there were plenty of nights where I was like, ‘Why am I doing this? Real estate’s not for me. This deal, this client, I don’t know if I can handle this and the stress.’ That’s what you don’t see in those TV shows, is the stress behind real estate.”

Markus Willard conferenced called Sarah to learn why she got into real estate, how things are going, and how she doubled her business in her second year of real estate.

“I’ve always had a really strong passion for connecting with people.”

“I’m probably like millions of other people who watch HGTV and I’m like, ‘Oh, that looks fun.’ I remodelled two of my bathrooms. I increased the value of my home just through equity and made a great profit on it.”

“At this time I was a college professor in Mankato, Minnessota. I’ve been a professor going on for 11 years teaching Communication Studies.  If you know where Minneapolis Minnesota is, I’m about an hour and 20 minutes south of Minneapolis.”

“In the summers I only teach one or two classes. So, real estate would naturally work with my schedule. I thought about if for 3 months and finally I said, ‘Okay. I’ll take the classes and see what this is all about.’ It’s another one of those instances where the first moment I got into it, I was like, ‘Yeah. This is what I want to do.’ It’s nice that it’s a career where I can balance both my passions.”

“My first year was just a lot of trial and error and messing up, and realizing, ‘Okay, never doing that again. This is what works, and that worked really well,’ but the whole time has just been focusing on the relationship aspect and making sure they feel comfortable and confident with me as an agent.”

In her first year of real estate Sarah did 12 transactions. “That was my goal and I hit it.” This year Sarah’s goal was to double that. “I want to do 24 transactions, and I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to do it. I’m on pace to do it. This month was huge. I had six closings this month.

So what strategies is Sarah using to hit her goals? And what strategies work best?

“First writing goals is important and then coming up with strategies for reaching the goals. I’ve increased my marketing a bit this last year… and trying to build my personal brand. I know I’m being recognized a little bit more within the community because of that marketing.”

“I also got a few referrals this year from my clients that I worked with last year and I had a couple repeat clients. But really with StreetText I can’t stress it enough because I’m having good success.”

“I joined StreetText right after the NAR convention, that was December of last year.”

I went to a panel, and there was a guy on there that actually was using StreetText, and then he said that … StreetText and BombBomb, use them together. He said he’s been able to get so many clients just because of the video interaction.”

“I heard a lot of different ideas at NAR and different generation programs that you could use but this one just kind of stuck out and then having the free trial was a huge bonus. And then it just worked so well that I was like, okay yeah I don’t need to try any other ones ’cause this one is clearly going to work.”

“Just the overwhelming amount of leads that were coming in from StreetText was crazy, especially because a lot of agents that I was working with on my team… a lot of them use Zillow. But hearing how much they were paying for those leads and hearing how many of those leads were just bad, bad leads. Then, seeing through StreetText that I was getting real people who really wanted their home evaluations.

“I’ve gone to 15 or 16 walk throughs and then 3 listings as a result of those and I’ve got my next listing next week. And there’s a percentage of those walkthroughs that are just not ready yet.” But Sarah left a lasting impression, so she’s creating a relationship there.

A lot of my colleagues are like, ‘How are you getting all these leads? What are you using?’ And I really don’t want to tell them, but at the same time, I like healthy competition.”

“That’s a pretty strong ROI. Most people would say, it’s about converting leads at a high percentage but I was like, in real estate that’s actually really good.” Homes in her area are on the market for around $200,000. In one year she’ll have closed 5 deals from StreetText. She is spending about $9/day on Facebook and $200 per month on StreetText or around $2400 for the year. That’s a good ROI, “I would say.” 

Sarah says, that if she were starting out again she’d give herself this advice, “Patience is key and just that perseverance that it will pay off. And not saying the stress is gonna go away but it just gets a little bit easier knowing that you can get through those difficult times and be able to have a lot.”

Also, “It’s about always being willing to go the extra mile for a client. My family has always had a very hard work ethic and always wanting to help people and never expecting something in return if you are going to help somebody. And so I’ve had that really instilled in me. I’ve helped several clients move. Just two days ago I was over at a clients house filling in nail holes with putty and then I went back the next day and painted them because they’re out of the country. People obviously really appreciate that.”

Prospecting and following up with leads can be scary at first. Sarah has been practicing and teaching others on how to overcome fears.

“The biggest understanding you need to know about yourself is where is that fear coming from? Inside, you have to rationally ask yourself why am I so fearful? So, on the first day of class I ask, ‘What’s the worst that could happen when you’re up here talking?‘ Some people say, ‘Oh, I’m going to forget what I’m going to say,’ and I respond, ‘You’re going to see me forget what I’m going to say several times this semester, and I’ve been doing this for how many years? So, it’s not a big deal. You move on.”

“Or they say, ‘Oh, these people don’t care what I’m saying and now they’re judging me.’ And getting over that fear just comes from personal growth.

Sarah has applied her can-do attitude to real estate, she’s invested in learning, attended conferences, she’s been willing to try new things, proactively overcome her fears and implemented the strategies that she’s seeing working. In all that, she’s given back to her clients – willing to go that extra mile. This year she’s doubled her business, can’t wait to see where she takes her business next.

Start a 7 day trial

Get your own leads, today

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On Marketing

Facebook releases new image format, finally!

Facebook’s new new square image format finally launches and it’s a great way to stand out from the pack right now before the rest of the digital marketing world catches on.

Facebook has began rolling out their new square ad format and it’s seriously awesome.

Newsfeed Ads are finally getting the impact they deserve on mobile. Mobile traffic accounts for a significant portion of all Facebook’s ad impressions. And while the landscape ads continue to look good on desktop, they’ve been a bit lackluster on mobile.

Well, no longer.

The new 1:1 image format will maximize the impact on mobile screens.

How can I implement this ad format?

The process of creating this ad is the same as before, just be sure to upload a 1:1 image format. And you’re all set!

What’s the ideal size?

For a new square image it’s 1080 x 1080px

For the original rectangle image it’s 1200 x 628px

Utilizing the StreetText platform to test!

As with any Facebook change, it’s best to test. And this is brand new.

Instead, create two ads with the same words (copy) each with a different image size. One with a 1:1 aspect ratio and the other with a 1.91:1 ratio. 

  1. Login to your account and navigate to your Facebook funnels https://streettext.com/boost/funnels
  2. Then deploy the funnel of your choosing. Keep the copy and the area you are targeting the same for both.
  3. Adjust the image on one ad to the new format.
  4. You’re all done :)

StreetText will automatically show you the stats in your funnels page. Within 500 impressions you will know the winner!

Have fun launching your next Facebook ad as a square!

Get leads from Facebook, today!

Use Facebook and Instagram ads to generate leads for your business to grow your bottom line.

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On Marketing

How to generate leads on Facebook?

Today, we’re going to go over how to generate leads on Facebook. You will learn what lead generation is, how Facebook lead generation works, an overview of demand generation, what a funnel is, and what you can do to generate your own leads on Facebook.

Why do you need leads to grow your business?

Facebook advertising for lead generation

Many people dream of having a fast growing business. Whether it’s being at the top of your market, being part of the 3%, getting on Forbes Top 50 under 50, or simply having more freedom. Having a working plan in place for customer acquisition is essential to rapid growth. And lead generation is where it all begins.

Short-term hacks vs. long-term strategy

Most new businesses fall into the “short-term” trap. We’ve all heard of the saying, “The grass is greener on the other side.” Well there’s another equally problematic mindset, “There’s got to be an easier/faster way.” I can empathize. We all need to eat. And there are times when chasing the next meal becomes the only thing that matters just to get to the next month. But… the trap is staying there too long that it becomes business-as-normal.

If you’ve been there too long you may recognize some of the symptoms. Have you ever felt that you’re in a rollercoaster business? It’s busy one month and dead quiet the next. Have you ever switched to a new strategy, before giving the first one time to grow? You’ve invested in systems, technology, or coaching and then switched to chase what looks like a shinier object, before reaping the rewards from your earlier efforts.

A short-term plan is one that you won’t continue doing in the future. For example:

  • Personally following up with every new inquiry
  • Relying soley on your personal and professional network to get customers

A long-term plan is one that scales with your business. Such as:

  • Creating a drip email campaign
  • Using technology to follow up with inquiries, automatically
  • Building a scalable lead generation process

As your business grows, keep these numbers in mind:

0-10 transactions: 90% short-term tactics | 10% long-term tactics

10-50 transactions: 50% short-term tactics | 50% long-term tactics

50-100+ transactions: 20% short-term tactics | 80% long-term tactics

Let’s jump into it.

What is lead generation?

First, let’s begin with lead generation. It’s important to have a firm grasp of the topic as lead generation a fundamental part of growing a business.

In marketing, lead generation is the initiation of inquiries into a businesses products or services. Leads can be created for the purposes such as list building, e-newsletter lists acquisition or for sales leads. Leads can come from different sources.

Once captured, a salespersion reviews and qualifies the lead. If deemed to have potential, the lead gets converted to an opportunity for business. The opportunity then has to undergo multiple sales stages before the deal is won.

Lead generation therefore is at the top of the sales funnel. There is much debate in the sales profession as to what constitutes an actual “qualified” prospect. It’s generally agreed that a BANT is a good formula. A qualified prospect has the budget, authority, need and the timing is right. While it’s possible to get some of this information ahead of time, this step requires sales prospecting. The process of reaching out to a lead and only after this step does the lead qualification start. I’ve seen many people fall into the mistaken belief that lead generation should bring them pre-qualified leads. The best a well designed campaign can do is help identify people most likely to have better quality scores. No matter how you do slice it, it still takes a human to qualify a lead.

The flow is as follows: (Wikipedia)

  1. Leads are generated
  2. Sales prospecting begins to identify good potential fits
  3. A lead is qualified
  4. Follow-up begins until the timing is right
  5. Sales activities start

How does lead generation work on Facebook?

Facebook lead generation is the process of collecting leads for your business through call-to-actions on paid Facebook ads. Usually seen as sponsored posts in the newsfeed.

Facebook Ad – “Call to action” examples

Unlike other digital advertisement networks like Google Adwords, Retargeting Ads, or display ads – Facebook enables you to reach audiences with behaviors similar to the leads you’re capturing. Because of the power of audience targeting, you won’t have to wait until potential prospects are ready to search for their solution. What that means is you have the opportunity to find and reach people interested in your services before they have made the decision of who they plan on using. This gives you the chance to establish your business as the leads first choice as they go through the education process.

This is one of the primary reasons Facebook is so effective at building a list for email newsletters and prospecting.

Facebook lead ads versus Facebook conversion objective

Facebook gives you many options to create an ad that works best for your needs. However, this creates the question, which ad type is most effective?

Facebook leads ads allow you to have a lead provide information without leaving Facebook. Whereas conversion objectives rely on capturing information in a hosted landing page.

Facebook lead ads

When a person clicks on your ad they are taken to an on-Facebook instant form. They can then confirm prepopulated info or enter new info before clicking the “submit” button.

The advantage of using a Facebook lead ad is that you can collect contact details without requiring a person to leave Facebook. The disavantage of lead ads is that the leads do not automatically connect to your CRM. This makes automating follow up challenging. You can either use StreetText. a 3rd-party tool, or download the list of leads manually. The other disadvantage is that fewer people click the link to visit your website.

Facebook conversion ads

Facebook ads that rely on a conversion pixel works a by taking a user to a website and firing a pixel at the moment the lead fills in their information.

People are used to clicking on Facebook posts to visit websites in their newsfeed. So it feels natural to users. The disadvantage is that users need to enter all their contact information.

The advantage is that if you’re using StreetText or a form you can connect your submission directly to your CRM. Also, since the person is on your website you have to oportunity to provide them secondary offers.

Which is best?

We’ve tested many interations of both, and can conclusively say that while both are effective, the conversion objective gives you consistent results and more ability to make the most of your leads journey.

You may now be wondering, what should I make my ad

Do you have a strategy for Demand Generation?

Demand generation is the focus of targeting marketing programs to drive awareness and interest in your company’s products and services.

Facebook is a cost-effective way to simultaneously generate demand and leads.

What is a funnel?

I’m sure you’ve heard the word funnel when it comes to digital marketing. Wikipedia describes a conversion funnel like this, “the journey a consumer takes through an internet advertising or search system and finally to a sale.”

Using this metaphor, advertising efforts can be aimed a top of the funnel, middle of the funnel or bottom of the funnel potential customers. (Also known as ToFu, MoFu, and BoFu).

ToFu (Top of the funnel)

This will be your biggest audience. It’s the top of the funnel. Think of it as content that attracts the broadest segment of people that may be interested in your company. For example, a baker may share a free download of delicious recipes. 

MoFu (Middle of the funnel)

Once a lead converts to a ToFu offer, they’ll progress to the MoFu stage. Think of this as the decision making phase. If a person clicked on a list of homes for sale in ToFu, they will now be browsing list of homes.

This is viewed as the most complicated stage because of the diversity of needs combined with they fact that they’re not fully qualified.

In this stage of the funnel your content should both continue to educate this person on what they need to make a decision and why your company is the natural choice, when they are ready.

BoFu (Bottom of the funnel)

This is the most crucial stage since you’re going for the sale. At this point a person has learned about your business, has educated themselves on their options and is ready to make a decision.

BoFu content consists of a pricing page, free trial, free evaluation, free demo, etc.

You will want to have sparked a helpful conversation with your lead by the time they have reached BoFu. You’ve prospected, cultivated and nurtured your lead, now it’s time to harvest.

Building your own Facebook lead generation funnel

Building an evergreen funnel 

Creating a lead generation funnel that gets you leads takes time. Setting up the email drips to nurture them and the text message bots to ask qualifying questions all takes time. But there’s good news at the end of the road.

Evergreen funnels!

When you setup a good ToFu funnel, your lead generation campaign begins to take on a life of its own. In fact we’ve seen some users run funnels on StreetText that have continued to perform well for years. Bringing them a steady stream of the right prospects, week after week.

It’s an investment worth making.

An evergreen funnel is a lead generation campaign that continues to work for a long time. When you have an evergreen funnel running, you save time, enabling you to focus on the other things that matter. Such as prospecting and serving your clients.

Conclusion:

Generating leads on Facebook can grow your business. You can capture leads on Facebook using Facebook lead ads or a Facebook conversion objective ads. Obviously, I’d love for you to try a tool like StreetText to get a proven and ready-made lead generation funnel. However you choose to generate leads, it’s worth it.

Lead generation on Facebook is a long-term strategy. If you’re serious about investing in the growth of your business and getting a system that scales with you, then Facebook lead generation is for you.

See you on Facebook!

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Interviews On Marketing On Real Estate

How Marly Walters shifted real estate from a job to a business

“If you leave your business and you’re not making any money, you have a job. The last thing I wanted to do was go back to an industry where I had a job. I want a business.”

avatar

Marly Walters, 

Real Estate Agent. 

In 1939 Harvard began following the lives of 724 men. It’s the only study of its kind because they’ve never stopped. Every year they interview the participants measure their vitals and even record them having conversations with their spouses.

Today about 90 of the participants still survive.

Here’s the remarkable thing. Guess what the most accurate predictor of long life was?

Robert Waldinger, the current director of the study, said it wasn’t cholesterol or some other symptom. It turns out it was how happy they were with their current relationships.

People in satisfied relationships not only lived longer, but they had less cases of schitzophrenia, dementia and alzheimers.

What does this all have to do with real estate?

The mind is a beautiful thing. And one’s mindset has a powerful role to play on the outcomes of our lives.

Marly Walters, Real Estate Agent

Real estate agent Marly Walters had a marketing background but didn’t really apply it to real estate. She was getting sphere of influence leads and did okay doing a few transactions, but “by no means was doing as well as she was when she was in corporate.”

In her second year she switched brokers, but still was having a hard time getting her business to grow. She did a short stint in commercial real estate, but decided she preferred residential as it was more about the people.

Finally she said, “When I was leaving commercial I said, ‘Okay, there are people out there making money in real estate. And I’m not it. So I’ve got to figure out how what people are doing.”

She did some research into coaching programs. She came across Proctor and that really changed her mindset about the real estate industry.

“What I really need is to get systems and leads.”

So began her mindset shift.

Before her results shifted her mindset shifted in 3 ways.

  • Okay, there are leads out there. There are people doing this.
  • You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Getting somebody who would really coach you to build your business and just do what they are doing.

“Just do A, B and C because all these other million dollar agents are doing A, B and C. And just follow the program.”

Marly Walters
  • Being able to automate and systematize your business. “If you leave your business and you’re not making any money, you have a job. The last thing I wanted to do was go back to an industry where I had a job. I want a business.”

Marly real estate business is growing. She is set on investing herself to grow a team. And it’s working.

Watch a 2 minute clip of Marly Walters’ interview. “What was the shift that went from half a dozen deals to this mindset of I can do whatever I possibly want and grow my business.”

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On Marketing

Know, Like, Trust: The Time-Honoured Process for Building Great Client Relationships

When it comes to Internet marketing, there are a lot of strategies and tactics that only work online. But there are also several basic principles of winning over clients that originated offline and are still effective today. The Know, Like, Trust formula is one of the latter.

If you’ve been in business for any length of time, you’re likely already using this formula. But are you leveraging it in the most effective way to generate the best results? And are you doing it in a way that marries your online and offline marketing efforts?

Here are just a few tactics and strategies you can use to maximize your Know-Like-Trust efforts and get the KLT formula to work for you.

Know: Who Are You, Again?

The “know” part of this process is fairly simple. Clients can’t do business with you if they don’t know you exist. That means getting the word out about your real estate business any way you can – whether through flyers, billboards, Facebook ads, in-person networking, writing a column in the local newspaper, carrier pigeon, or megaphone. (We don’t recommend the last two.)

In the online world, getting known means lead generation – it means ensuring the top of your funnel is reaching as many people as possible. This usually involves social media ads, although social media is just the beginning. For an in-depth look at how to get started with social media advertising, check out StreetText’s article The complete guide to Facebook advertising – for beginners.

Other ways to get known online include influencer marketing, content marketing, guest blogging, starting conversations & providing advice in online forums, or appearing on podcasts that your audience most likely listens to. These tactics are all effective strategies for making your audience aware that you exist, which fulfills the first stage of the AIDA (Awareness, Interest, Desire, Action) process.

But “getting the word out” is just the first step in the Know process. Prospects don’t just want to know about you. They want to know you.

They want to know who you are and what you value. They want to know what your sense of humour is like. They want to know why you got into the real estate industry in the first place.

They don’t just want a collection of facts about you. They want to know your story, your why. Somewhere in your marketing, be sure to include the story of why you chose this industry – you’ll come across as more authentic, and your potential new clients will recognize you as a human and not just another real estate agent.

Like: We’re on the Same Wavelength!

It isn’t enough for potential new clients to just know who you are. Your new buyers and sellers most likely already know who all the big real estate players are. Buyers & sellers don’t just want to know who they’re dealing with…they want to like who they’re dealing with.

So how do you get them to like you?

Simple: Be yourself. Yes, mom was right – being yourself truly is the best approach.

Your potential new buyers and sellers want to know that they’re interacting with an actual human person, someone who will understand them – especiallywhen it comes to social media marketing. They would much rather engage with a person than a company.

Research shows that consumers overwhelmingly dislike faceless corporations. This shouldn’t come as a surprise – liking comes from similarity, from being able to determine that someone has the same values, priorities, and worldview as us.

One study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that when pursuing platonic and romantic relationships, people tend to prefer spending time with people who are already similar to themselves.

But this finding doesn’t just apply to the domains of friendship and romance. It also applies to business. And while the “marketing is like dating” trope has been played out in endless articles already, there’s a reason why the metaphor endures.

It’s a basic fact of human psychology that we tend to give human attributes to inhuman objects. Phenomena like pareidolia are evidence of this. Evolutionary psychology teaches us that humans are hard-wired for socialization. We have an innate drive and need to seek out others like us.

That’s why some of the world’s top marketing experts are now saying ‘Business To Human’ is the future of marketing. It’s why Millennial consumers are increasingly choosing to take control of the buying process. It’s why Forbes contributors are recommending that corporate brands become personal brands.

When we put all of these findings together, that’s when the personal brand approach makes sense: A personal brand gives your potential new buyers and sellers a face and a persona they can empathize with. Someone they can welcome into their “ingroup”. Someone they can like.

You can start building a personal brand by fully embracing your own unique personality and showing off more of your authentic self in your marketing. Don’t be afraid to talk about your hobbies or show off your quirks. Don’t be afraid to give potential new clients a small glimpse into your personal life.

(Just make sure you aren’t over-sharing. There is such a thing as TMI. Your potential new clients don’t need to know who you voted for in the last election, or which religion you follow, or why you had to ground your kids, or what the doctor said you should be doing about that weird thing on your arm.)

Trust: Wow, an Expert AND a Great Person!

Building trust is even more critical in online marketing than in off. The Internet has made it easy for just about anyone to claim they have expertise in a given subject. Horror stories abound, and they come in many different flavours, especially in real estate. From shadow flipping to dual agency to misrepresentations about a property, even a cursory Googling turns up nightmare stories from devastated buyers and sellers who trusted the wrong real estate agent.

This is not to say that every real estate agent is unethical, but rather, consumer perceptionsabout the real estate industry mean that building trust is more important in real estate than in other industries.

A 2015 Gallup poll found that just 18 percent of Americans believe real estate agents maintain a high degree of honesty and ethics, while 25 percent say real estate agents rank low or very low in honesty and ethics.

But there is a silver lining: The 2016 NAR Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers found that 88% of buyers would use their agent again or recommend their agent to others.

So while there is a fair amount of distrust of the real estate industry in general, consumers do tend to trust specific real estate agents, especially ones they’ve dealt with before.

So how can you get your potential new buyers and sellers to trust you?

Social proof is a great way to start. Pepper all of your marketing materials with testimonials, and you’ll come across as more trustworthy and credible.

A good testimonial will do a few different things. A good testimonial starts with the happy client expressing the fears or doubts they had before doing business with you, because doubt and fear are relatable emotions. They’re the exact emotions your audience is feeling.

A good testimonial will also show why those fears were completely unfounded – and then talk about all the things that went right.

Finally, a good testimonial will include the client’s headshot and first & last name – because your potential new clients will want to see that you received a testimonial from a real human who actually exists, not just an invented persona based off a stock headshot.

Want to get the most mileage out of your testimonials? Get your clients to videotape themselves giving you a testimonial for an added boost. Adding video to a landing page can increase conversions by up to 80%, and the presence of a video causes leads to spend 2.6x more time on a web page.

Conclusion

The Know, Like, Trust formula has been around for a while, and for good reason – it works. With the right KLT strategy, you can boost your sales, build better relationships with clients, shorten the amount of time it takes to convert a lead, and raise your public profile. Try using some of these advanced tactics to kick your KLT efforts up a notch and see how it impacts your sales funnel.


Categories
On Marketing

6 Real Estate Pro’s on how to stay successful in a changing landscape

How do you stay motivated as the seasons start to change, and keep your success high when traction is low? Industry experts are predicting that the market is going to shift, which in real estate isn’t new. Change is the one constant, as they say.

We asked 6 leading Real Estate Professionals, one of whom has been in the market 34 years, how they have stayed nimble and competitive. Here’s what they had to say. (Watch the video below).

In the video we interviewed 6 leaders. These are individuals who have faced all sorts of personal obstacles, have chosen to continue, and are succeeding in real estate. They were interviewed separately and their answers were entirely unscripted. It was almost unnerving how similar some of their answers were.

What is leadership?

It’s simply choosing to be first to move in a direction that others later choose to follow. Leadership may look like starting a business that your family chooses to join. Or starting a career or trend that others choose to adopt. Every person who has a business is a leader. But being a leader isn’t always easy. That’s where listening to other’s share their stories of success, can refuel the mind and provide energy to continue.

Here’s what we learned

What’s interesting is that they all attributed their success to a few basic practices. A shared mindset of positivity, the willingness to try new things, and maintaining systems.

  1. “It starts with a Mentality of Success,” says Markus Willard. Julia Hurley shares, “You have to tell yourself everyday. You’re enough, you’re the best, you’re going to accomplish this.”
  2. When a person shifts their mind to a positive outlook, they are open to good outcomes. Nicole Hacault said when she chose an attitude of success, “It was boom boom boom. I’ve got a referral for you, this property just sold…” 
  3. Matthew Nicolas states, “I just get back to my systems. You know that as long as you’re making the calls, as long as you’re following up, it will convert.”

Taking it further

Earlier this week Tom Ferry shared, “The market is clearly adjusting, things are clearly going to be different. The market is always changing.” This is when you step up by doing the right stuff while no one else is. He added one more item to the above list.

He said, “Set a goal to get 100 appointments. What’s the worst that can happen?” You may say, “But, I’ve only done 20 appointments this year.” But Tom counters, “The world isn’t going to end, but you may do more business than ever before.” But most importantly, Tom says, the daily habit and push to hit 100 appointments will cause you to believe in yourself. That’s the most important change that will happen.

I attended a Leadership Summit where a world class speaker asked the crowd to, “Stretch your arms out as high as you can. Okay, is everyone reaching? Great, now stretch further…. How many people just found another inch?” Laughter erupted among the audience as everyone discovered they had more to give. One of the key takeaways from this video, is that when you think you’ve done it all, you can always go further.

Starting with a positive mindset is a sure fire way to ensure you increase your drive to go that little bit further. When you’re on a winning streak one looks forward to the next game. Choosing an attitude of success tells the mind it’s not only a good idea to push further, it’s fun.

Real Estate Professionals are using StreetText to create opportunities, but really it’s down to their good habits and attitude that is enabling them to bat them out of the park.

“I’m looking to take my business to the next level, can StreetText generate opportunities for me?”

Yes, we can! Lead generation today is being won by people who are building relationships and establishing trust. Contact StreetText today to learn how our funnel system works, or start a trial to test-drive our lead magnet system for yourself.

Categories
On Marketing

The Personal Brand Era: How to Build a Personal Brand for Your Real Estate Company in 4 Easy Steps

Be yourself, because everyone else is already taken.

Oscar Wilde

Marketing is constantly evolving. And the businesses that experience the most growth? Are the ones that stay ahead of the curve. Here at StreetText, we believe that marketing has now entered the era of the personal brand, where your potential new clients are looking to build relationships with people, and where the best way to create a profitable business is to market not your services, but rather, your unique expertise.

Simon Sinek - We should all be the leader we wish we had

So how can you build a personal brand that attracts your ideal clients and facilitates your selling process? Here are 4 steps you can take right now that will start you on the personal branding road and make you stand out in all the right ways.

But Why? Establish Your Philosophy and Driving Purpose

Step 1: Establishing your “WHY”

The first step toward building a strong personal brand is determining why you got into this industry in the first place.

In his New York Times bestselling book Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action, organizational consultant Simon Sinek argues that there are two primary ways of influencing any kind of human behaviour: Manipulation and inspiration. And inspiration, he says, is ultimately the more persuasive and enduring method.

Sinek writes:

“People don’t buy WHAT you do, they buy WHY you do it. We are drawn to leaders and organizations that are good at communicating what they believe. Their ability to make us feel like we belong, to make us feel special, safe and not alone is part of what gives them the ability to inspire us.”

Sinek’s words are equally true of both internal sales (ie. motivating employees to perform) and external sales (ie. persuading clients to buy). From the Wright Brothers to Apple to TiVo to legendary adventurer Ernest Shackleton to Dr. Seuss’ Star-Belly Sneetches, Sinek’s book is filled with case study after case study proving that forgettable brands start with WHAT and HOW, whereas persuasive, beloved, and memorable brands start with WHY.

When your audience can plainly see what drives you, it allows them to opt in as fellow followers of your “why” and make a value statement about who they are as people. And that’s how you use your brand to plant the seeds of a movement – one that persuades and inspires others to follow.

Who Do You Serve? Narrow Your Ideal Audience to Boost Your Appeal

Step 2: Narrowing your focus by aligning with your “Why”

In marketing, there’s a saying that’s been bandied about so much it verges on cliche:

“If you try to talk to everyone, you’ll be heard by no one.”

The reason why marketers keep repeating this phrase over and over (…and over, and over, and over, and over…) is because it’s true.

When you try to appeal to too many different kinds of potential new clients, you dilute your brand and your value proposition. It’s like every episode of Kitchen Nightmares where celebrity chef and browbeater-in-chief Gordon Ramsay tells struggling restaurant owners that no, you really DON’T need 183 different menu items spanning 6 styles of cuisine.

When you try to be all things to all men, you muddle your brand promise and turn yourself into a commodity, into just another real estate agent.

But when you can definitively tell people who you serve & why? That’s when your value proposition becomes clear.

Different audiences have different wants and needs. A luxury buyer who’s looking for a $3.8 million mansion isn’t going to be drawn to the same real estate brand as a 20-something couple who are entering the market for the first time.

Now, this doesn’t mean you have to only work with one type of client.

But it does mean that when you’re building your real estate brand, you need to figure out how your ideal clients talk about their pain points – and then match their language & concerns.

If you can do that? You can position yourself as the only real estate agent in the world who truly understands them.

What’s Your Style? Figure Out Your Brand’s Personality & Mannerisms

Step 3: Finding your authentic voice

In the personal brand era, it’s becoming more and more important for brands to act like people. Your potential new clients are looking to engage on a human level, and that’s why brands that show off some personality are quickly gaining popularity. The more you can make your brand sound like an actual human person, the more effectively you’ll be able to attract potential new buyers & sellers.

Quite simply, strong brand personalities make it easier to attract and convert your ideal clients. One Millward Brown study notes that “the strongest brands are those with the most well-defined personalities” and that in North America, the most popular personality traits that consumers want to see in brands are confidence, creativity, wisdom, and generosity.

While these are the personality traits that play best with consumers, how your particular business manifests those traits is entirely up to you – and the more unique and authentic you can be, the more attractive you’ll be to your ideal clients.

What Makes You Great? Prove Your Expertise and Provide Consistent Value

Step 4: Becoming known

Velocity Partners Creative Director and former Ogilvy & Mather marketer Doug Kessler says that the winners in the post-content era of marketing will be those who build Great Content Brands.

That is to say, the winners will be people who become known for producing excellent content – and for doing it consistently.

One of the very best ways to become known in the industry and build brand value is to contribute authoritative content assets that establish you as an expert and help your potential new clients to improve their lives, solve their problems, or learn new things.

This means publishing high-value authority content that is branded with your unique philosophy, personality, and promise. Content that serves your people – your ideal audience.

This kind of content should clearly demonstrate why you’re different and unique. It should show off who you are, what you value, and what expertise you have to offer. And it should engage with your audience on a human level.

If you can do that? You’re well on your way to building a strong personal brand.

Personal brand building is more than just a tactic – it’s an adventure. It’s a long-term approach to business that will pay dividends well into the future, and it’s quickly becoming the norm in not just real estate, but all professional services industries. And the sooner you can start building your personal brand, the better prepared you’ll be when online marketing undergoes its next major tectonic shift.


“I already have a brand, but I need a funnel! Can you help?”


Yes, we can! Lead generation today is being won by people who are building relationships and establishing trust. Contact StreetText today to learn how our funnel system works, or start a trial to test-drive our lead magnet system for yourself.

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Message and Medium: Here’s What Kind of Content You Should be Pushing to Your Social Channels

Managing multiple social media channels can be tough. While it’s easy to use each channel as a virtual billboard, the more effective social media strategy involves data-driven campaigns that tailor your content to each individual platform’s user demographic and trends.

But how can you tell which type of content performs best on which platform? What do you do with that great new campaign you’ve developed – do you Tweet it? Pin it? Post it to Facebook? Blog it on Tumblr? All of the above?

Here at StreetText, we’ve dug into the raw data on social sharing, so you don’t have to. The good news is that certain types of content most definitely perform better on certain platforms than on others, which means deploying your content through your various social channels will be straightforward once you have a solid strategy in place.

So what content should go where, and why? Here’s what you need to know.

Blog Articles: Send Your In-Depth Content to LinkedIn and Google+

Statistically, lengthy blog articles that dive deep into a particular subject are best deployed on LinkedIn and Google+.

LinkedIn is ideal for in-depth content because the platform’s users are primarily smart, ambitious professionals who are looking for engaging educational content that will teach them something new.

Case in point: in 2016, Johannesburg, Africa-based luxury real estate agent Xavier De Buck published an in-depth blog article, 8 Reasons You Still Need a Real Estate Agent, and shared it to a LinkedIn group for high-income professionals interested in buying, selling, or investing in real estate.

Statistically, lengthy blog articles that dive deep into a particular subject are best deployed on LinkedIn and Google+.

De Buck’s article received 750 shares on social media, over 250 from LinkedIn alone. The attention this one article generated on social media also drove more traffic to De Buck’s older content, and now, De Buck has over 65,000 followers across 6 social media platforms, including 3,000 on LinkedIn and over 25,000 on Google+.

Livestreams and Webinars: Videos Perform Best on Facebook

Facebook may have started as a photo-sharing platform (and before that, a Harvard-exclusive version of Hot Or Not), but now, it appears that the site is more a video hosting service than an online photo album.

One Moz experiment found that videos hosted natively on Facebook received 4.3x more impressions and 2.6x more views than videos hosted on YouTube. Facebook videos also had higher overall watch times and a lower cost per 1,000 impressions than YouTube.

Moz concluded that publishing videos natively through Facebook is the best strategy for maximizing reach, especially if you’re publishing shorter videos with the primary goal of putting your video in front of as many eyeballs as possible. Another study by Quintly also had the same finding – native Facebook video had significantly more engagement than video uploaded to YouTube and then shared on Facebook, including 8x more comments and 3x more interactions.

Video also performs better on Facebook compared to other kinds of content. A July 2017 study by BuzzSumo found that despite being the least common type of content published on Facebook, videos received far more engagement than other content. Even after the January 2017 algorithm change, video content outperformed links by a factor of more than 3 to 1, and video bested images by 40 to 60 percent.

The bottom line? If you’re publishing video content, skip YouTube & go straight to Facebook.

How-To’s with Vertical Graphics: Very “Pinteresting”

Pinterest is a rather unique visual platform. Much like Instagram, Pinterest is ideally suited for visual content like photos and illustrations. But unlike Instagram, Pinterest is geared specifically toward vertically-oriented content.

Pinterest says to aim for a 2:3 aspect ratio, which means posting images that are 600 pixels wide and 900 pixels high.

But what content themes and strategies work best on Pinterest?

According to a first-of-its-kind study by researchers at the University of Minnesota and Georgia Tech, the three most popular image categories on Pinterest are, in order, food & drink, DIY & crafts, and home decor.

These researchers found that “food & drink” was the most popular category for both men and women, with the second most popular categories being “design” for men and “DIY/crafts” for women. “Home decor” was in the top 5 categories for both men and women.

For real estate marketing, then, Pinterest is most useful as a platform for posting about home decor and home DIY projects like renovations.

Pinterest is also an ideal platform for “how-to” content. The Pinterest platform is full of creative people who are looking for a new recipe, weekend home decor project, or DIY/craft to tackle. Pinterest’s internal research indicates that 52% of Pinterest users create home decor wishlists on the platform, while 83% of users plan and organize DIY projects on Pinterest. 73% of Pinteresters also say that branded content is useful to them, which makes Pinterest a great platform for building a content brand.

Finally, Pinterest is a fantastic platform for reaching a pre-qualified audience. Pinterest users generally tend to have high household incomes and score high on measures of purchasing intent. 35 percent of Pinterest users have a gross annual household income of $100,000 USD or more, while 93 percent of Pinterest users use the platform for the explicit purpose of planning future purchases.

Pinterest users are already preparing to buy. That means giving this audience mid-funnel how-to content is a great way to engage with them and position your brand as likeable and trustworthy.

Industry Developments & News Commentary: Twitter Loves News-y Content

According to the Pew Research Center, 74% of Twitter users are using Twitter as a news source – and 11% of all Americans get their news from Twitter, making Twitter a large and growing news outlet.

Twitter users are also highly engaged. The average Twitter user is 3x more likely to follow brands than the average Facebook user. Twitter users are seeking out the most timely information available about important developments in subjects they care about, and they’re looking for trustworthy brands who can provide that information. And with a Tweet size limit of just 280 characters, they’re looking for that analysis in bite-sized form.

Twitter, then, is a great platform for commenting on recent real estate news and industry developments in a concise way. Use Twitter to send out short, condensed analyses of important regulatory changes, buying and selling trends, or other newsworthy content that will educate, entertain, or solve a problem.

When you’re managing multiple social media channels, it’s important to make sure you tailor your social content to the platform, lest your audience filter you out as noise. The general rule of thumb is that long-form content performs well on LinkedIn and Google+, video works best on Facebook, Pinterest is for graphics and photos, and Twitter is ideal for news. Tailor your content and social strategies with this approach in mind, and you’ll likely see better reach and engagement on your platforms.

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How Brenda Beiser is landing more home sellers and paying for her daughter’s Ivy League education

Most of us have a goal of growing our marketing budget, but not Brenda. Brenda isn’t primarily concerned with her marketing budget, because it’s minuscule when compared to the college tuition she’s paying for her daughter to attend Columbia University.

What a concept right?

“This year I want to do 52 closings. Next year I want to do three times as much business as I do this year. I’m currently on track to hit my goals. I want to cover my kids Columbia University tuition, and right now I’m doing that. “

avatar

Brenda Beiser

Real Estate Agent

I bet you’re wondering how she’s doing it, because trust me, so was I. Let’s dive into her background so you can get a better idea of how Brenda is working her market to transform her investment into revenue – and an Ivy league education.

Brenda Beiser is a Realtor in the Philadelphia area but has only been working in the industry for 2 years. While she got her start late in the game, she has a passion for Real Estate.

Brenda Beiser

Brenda’s previous career was that of an Options Trader in Chicago, which meant she’d been used to high stress, intense jobs. When asked what options trading was like, Brenda responded by saying that “I don’t know if you’ve ever seen the movie ‘Trading Places’ where they’re in the trading pits. That’s the kind of job I had. Wasn’t quite like that… but it’s what I did!”

Fast forward a few years. Brenda has left the options trading world and is looking for new ventures to keep herself occupied. She landed into Real Estate. Since her previous career had taken her all over the world, she was lucky enough to own properties in London, New York, Chicago and Philadelphia. With the familiarity of homeownership and having had a driver seat view of the seller’s process, Brenda felt ready to take on this new adventure.

Brenda began working mostly with buyer leads… which for her, was an excellent start. She told us that, “It was really fun at first!” Over time, however, she began to realize that home buyers weren’t the clientele she wanted to pursue. “It takes a lot more time to write up buyer agency agreements in Philadelphia. It’s different in every state, but when you’re getting a listing, once you get it, once you figure out how to do it, it takes so much less time. I can be on my kayak and handle a seller lead.”

She realized she needed to get in front of more home sellers… but how? She had no idea where to start when looking for real estate sellers, which is when she discovered StreetText. Brenda turned to StreetText to capture home seller leads from Facebook and Instagram, grow her sphere, and build herself a database of potential home sellers.

“I found StreetText just online. I started looking around at options. I just about went crazy because I would sign up for every trial if it was free, and you can imagine my phone was ringing all the time with junk. Really… I then saw [StreetText’s] ad and I thought, ‘Okay, it looks kind of believable.’ You never know, but I thought it seems kind of legit. I felt when I did that trial, I felt like, ‘Wow, this is great because it’s door knocking at midnight.'”

Since signing up with StreetText, Brenda’s life has been transformed. It’s completely removed the uncertainty of where her next deal can come from. “The beauty of StreetText is that it gives you inventory. I am able to work with someone who I otherwise would never have met.”

After taking some time to see what worked, and what didn’t – Brenda landed on a system that was a little more clear for her. She attests a lot of her success to being able to “answer the phone faster than anyone else I know!” Brenda tries to be totally responsive for her clients. “I try to always be there… maybe a bit too much sometimes. I even joke and say that handholding is my speciality. I just take care of them.”

Brenda uses Email and Text messaging to turn her inquiries into conversations and appointments. She uses a drip email system integrated into her StreetText account that follows up with prospects for up to 9 months. She has also added a drip text-message feature that follows up with her leads for 7 days from within her StreetText account. She gets great responses from her text messages.

“Part of the problem is that I got very busy in the spring. I just didn’t have the bandwidth with the number of submissions. I’m sure I could max them out, but it almost drove me crazy last summer.”

Brenda is now focusing on the long-term plan (which includes her email drip feature), building a database, and using her tools to grow her sphere over time – all while being able to cover her daughters tuition at Columbia University as well as her monthly marketing budget for the ads she has running.

Not only is Brenda driven – she’s also built for building and sustaining lasting relationships with her clients, which has made her an exceptional Realtor in her area.

“StreetText has helped me meet so many people that I otherwise wouldn’t have met. They might live half a mile away from my house, but without StreetText I wouldn’t have met them. For me, that’s the most important thing about StreetText.”

For Brenda, it all comes back to building relationships and meeting new people in her market. With that as a primary focus, there’s no wonder she’s making waves in her second year in the industry.

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“The value in building relationships speaks for itself” – How Emily Ching nurtures her leads, and inevitably gains more clients

How well do your follow up systems work? Are you finding yourself falling short, or unable to convert some of your leads? If you are, then you’re not alone. Converting leads isn’t a perfect science, because there are a lot of factors to ensuring a lead works with you. It depends on their needs, the urgency for your services and even their market. It’s hard, but there is one thing that stays consistent in the lead nurturing process. Value.

Providing value is easy for Emily Ching is a realtor in the Vancouver, BC area. We’ve had the pleasure of chatting with her on numerous occasions, and time after time are inspired by her mentality and persistence to succeed in the industry as well as the systems she’s using to grow her business.

Emily stands out as a realtor because of her unique follow up systems. She’s able to build lasting connections with her leads and focus more on value than the sale component that agents often too focused on. Let’s dive into her story.

Emily was born in Asia and moved to Canada with her family some years ago now… Making Canada a second home for her, and allowing her to spread her roots in a new area.

She never thought Real Estate would be the path that she took…but she’s pleased with what it has brought her in her life.  She mentioned to us that “I never thought I would be a realtor. It happened because I was a stay-at-home mom… and my husband and I needed a double income again.” Emily fell into real estate by accident, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t have the talent to back it up. Emily was previously running two of her own online shops where she sold baby apparel and merchandise for parents. With that as experience, Emily has a head start to the real estate game because she had a well-versed knowledge in online marketing.

“My husband is in architecture and we knew that we wanted careers that complimented one and other. Real Estate made sense.”

With having the experience she did from her online presence, Emily jumped in full force into Real Estate and hasn’t looked back since. The hours were adaptable, and she could work with her kids around and it be a non-issue. She continued by explaining that, “the first three years were a struggle!” Because Emily didn’t grow up in the Vancouver area, she didn’t have the same sense of community, or knowledge of the area as some realtors do. Since Vancouver is a large city, with plenty of small communities around the city centre, there was a lot to keep up with.

Emily was struggling with knowing her area, being an expert in her market and trying to gain new clients – It was getting frustrating for her. She had tried Facebook on her own to no real avail and worked with a lead generation company who provided little to no value for her.

This is when she decided to sign up with StreetText for some marketing and ad assistance. “I got tired of prospecting. I got tired of people who don’t need the service. I wanted to hire a lead generation company who would provide me with leads to find people actually raising their hands ready to sell or buy.”

To make the most of the seller and buyer leads Emily has coming into her account, she works with multiple follow up systems she’s personally created. She said that “I realized that in some cases, it’s a long-term game. I knew I had to develop good relationships before I could turn anything into a transaction.” To aid in this long-term plan, Emily has several drip systems, as well as campaigns for her leads.

Emily is unlike a lot of realtors in this sense. She continued to explain to us how valuable the relationship with her leads was because at the end of the day people need to trust who they’re going to be listing their home though, which is why she sends them information with plenty of value. Too many real estate agents focus on the sale or the commission and the end goal and forget about the client. Emily takes the time to understand, appreciate and value what her clients need, which means she’s building strong connections that will inevitably provide her with deals, and even referrals. Take the email below as an example:

Emily provides her clients with individualized emails for any occasion to keep the connection strong and the value high. She also provides her leads with a little video clip of herself (built with bombbomb), which provides them with a little security in who she is, and how she would operate as a realtor.

Lastly, she provides leads with reports and market activity so they have a better understanding of when they should sell their home. Emily is constantly providing value, which makes her a little more unique – especially in a highly competitive market.

As she began describing more of her follow up systems, it was clear to us that Emily provides her leads and clients with as much value as possible. She mentioned to us that, “Once I put my leads into my CRM, it doesn’t stop there. They’ll hear from me a few times a month, and it’s strict value. I’m not pitching them anything.”

Whether that providing her leads with design advice, market information or even the worlds best vacation spots. She focuses on providing them with information, rather than over saturating them with pushy sales tactics. Take the following as an example:

Again, providing value and information where it’s needed so her leads have all the information they need to make an educated decision on their next steps in their home buying journey.

When asked about how she keeps herself moving and pursuing her dreams, Emily said that “You should be able to fail forward. It’s about not being held back by your fears. Sometimes I would be afraid of talking to people because I would fear them saying no…I’ve learned that I don’t need to do everything on my own, and you can always reach out for help.”

Emily keeps pushing forward despite sometimes getting objections. She believes in learning from her mistakes but feels that she can also learn from mentors, and mistakes others have already made in the past.

“I think personal development is the basis and the foundation of everything. If you don’t know how to deal with leads, what to do with them, you’ll be wasting your money. You can go broke with Facebook ads because you might not know what to do with your leads. You have to learn these steps first or at least get someone to teach you… otherwise, you’re wasting your money.”

Emily is striving for greatness through the connections and relationships she’s building. She’s devoted to the long-term systems, which means she has the patience a lot of clients are looking for out of their real estate agents. After taking the time to get to know Emily, I can confidently say she is an anomaly amongst agents. She’s focused more on the relationship, than the final goal.

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