Dave Panozzo is the co-founding owner of The Panozzo Team-HomeSmart, a real estate team in Phoenix, Arizona.
Winter is upon us, and real estate agents across the U.S. are preparing for a sales hibernation during the slow season. In real estate, I believe there is no time or excuse to have an offseason when all the tools needed to succeed are available to you. Mindset is everything and the proof is in the sales. Those who believe that they will be affected by a slow season typically will be – and lack of enthusiasm is often a contributing factor.
Find your tools.
When I was a boy, I remember excitedly coming home from school to hit play on the recorder to see if I had any voicemails and using a rotary phone to call my friends. Later on, I used public computers and phonebooks to build contacts for cold calls placed on my cordless mobile Nokia phone. Now at 52 years old, I use a smartphone to FaceTime my son-in-law deployed in the middle of the desert in Iraq, with the power of the entire internet at my fingertips. Only 20 years ago, it was vital for business professionals to have polished resumes and spend thousands to produce marketing products. Fast forward to today, social media can be your resume and marketing can be produced from your phone for free. You can create your own opportunities by focusing on three aspects of your online presence.
Tip One: Standardize
There are four core social media platforms that real estate agents can see the biggest ROI. They include Linkedin, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. The most important aspect of social media across all channels is consistency: creating content that is on brand and posted on a routine basis – often daily.
It’s important to standardize before you optimize on social media because you will learn as you go, but one thing is for sure, the numbers won’t lie. Create content that you can post across the core four social media platforms in one hour by following a simple content creation system. Record one video that ranges from 1-10 minutes long and takes a photo. Use the photo as a cover for your long-form video on YouTube or IGTV. Next, use the same photo to post to your LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram feed along with direct links to the full video on YouTube. Track the number of likes and comments per post across all platforms to understand what your consumers like the most and improve your content as you go.
Across Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn create a professional, curated, and consistent feed of photos and videos that are engaging, original and attract your ideal follower. Post your Facebook and Instagram stories daily by using them as a behind-the-scenes look into your life, tell short interesting stories about your day and – most importantly – document your experiences. Once you have a system in place for posting across all social media platforms, it’s time to focus on optimizing.
Tip Two: Optimize
Now you may be starting to warm up on social media or you already had your system in place – but aren’t seeing optimal results. Let’s face it, part of being on social media is to BE social! If you spend at least 30 minutes a day looking up relevant hashtags, finding prospects, engaging with their content, reaching out to spark a conversation, the more the algorithm will favor your account.
According to Hootsuite, the Instagram algorithm awards users who build relationships, create content that sparks interest – whether it be entertainment or education – and post frequently. Use direct calls to action on each post to encourage engagement, find new people to talk to each day and spend more time doing it, and last but not least, create a process to turn a virtual relationship into a business opportunity. Create a Google Sheet to keep track of your growing database of contacts and relationships. Follow up with them on a routine basis. Just like in real life, forming online relationships will take time and effort. The only difference is that one you can do at home in the comfort of your fuzzy slippers and the other you can’t.
Tip Three: Audit
Nowadays with the way that social media is, attention is the new currency, so if you are looking to turn up the sales heat during the cold season, it’s vital to be current, updated and omnipresent not only on social media but on your Zillow and Google reviews. Today, reviews are crucial to confirm the company you’re dealing with is legit. Start by googling your name and business. Ask yourself if a prospect could know you, like you, and feel some sense of trust after one minute of looking at your online footprint. If the verdict is no – or somewhere in the middle – you might need a marketing makeover. Create a plan with haste and begin with even an imperfect action. Ask that happy client for the online review, revamp that website, network with that influencer online, post that video even if you think your voice sounds weird and fail forward. If a 52-year-old can crush it on social media as a real estate agent and still exceed sales goals during the offseason, you can too.
It is time for you to challenge yourself and make the most out of opportunities during the slow season by focusing on your digital resume. Exercise out-of-the-box thinking and deploy marketing techniques that highlight you as a trustworthy agent. There are so many different ways to use social media mediums to draw attention to your business. With that in mind, start remembering what made you so excited at the beginning of your real estate career and gear up to create more opportunities.
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