The best damn marketing you can do…if you only have 5 minutes per day!
I received a great question from a new client the other day.
Based in breathtakingly-gorgeous Lake Tahoe in Northern California, my client is even busier than the average realtor (or mortgage lender). One minute, she’s showing luxury homes and negotiating better deals for investors. The next, serving 'Tahoe locals who are trying to buy their first home, in between managing vacation properties and dealing with the peaks and valleys of the off-season versus the ski season.
So, she's thrilled to have me on-board to help, freeing her up to focus on meeting new clients and selling homes ($200/hour-and-up tasks) instead of grinding away with mundane marketing (the $20/hour tasks that I handle).
However, this soon-to-be-superstar Lake Tahoe agent was still worried about the time it would take to commit to our new marketing campaign.
“So, if I only have an extra hour each day,” she asked me. “What’s the most important thing I should be doing to market my business?”
Fantastic question – and many of you are in the same boat, with so many obligations and important matters (like putting out fires and closing deals!) pulling you in every direction that it’s really hard to find an hour – yet alone a few minutes – to sit down and dedicate to marketing.
“I’ll do you one better,” I told her. “And tell you what you can do in just five minutes every day to grow your business.”
“What is it?” she asked, eagerly.
“Just turn on your camera and start videoing!” I said.
I genuinely believe that is the #1 most beneficial marketing activity for any real estate agent, mortgage lender, or any small business owner or entrepreneur.
If you only could do ONE thing for marketing…
And only had an extra 5 MINUTES every day…
The best use of that time is to shoot a few short videos.
Like marketing icon, Gary Vaynerchuk says, “No matter what you do, your job is to tell your story.”
I can give you a ton of data to back up that assertion, like that 83% of brands, companies, and entrepreneurs using video marketing think it gives them a good ROI.
But that's kinda boring, so I’d rather get you excited about how easy, fun, and effective this is.
You're already paying too much for your smartphone every month, and it's with you at all times, so why not put it to work? These videos don’t need to be fancy, formal, or use any special equipment – just point and hit record.
The opportunities are boundless. In the car driving to an appointment? Turn on the camera and talk about the house, the clients, the market, or the crazy things the home inspector just found.
Take that time to wish a client happy birthday, send them a happy home-buying anniversary vid, congratulate them on getting married, or thank them personally for that last referral they sent you.
You can shoot quick videos to update buyers and sellers, or answer a common question or concern you hear often. Lenders should be doing this EVERY DAY with valuable content that helps Realtors as well as educates and informs their clients. And a personalized video update is a great way to invite people to events you’re promoting.
The best part is that you can film short vids anywhere and anytime as you go about your typical day. Do you love it when the leaves start to change color in autumn? See a stunning sunset from your new listing’s back yard? Your first-time homebuyers just got their keys and are practically (or literally) jumping with joy?
Turn on the camera and share those moments!
Here are examples from three of my clients who do a great job shooting quick videos all the time.
You can also give tangible, concrete advice and information with these quick videos. Discuss a statistic or market trend in a video, walk through an example of a good (or bad) investment property, or talk about property taxes and why it’s better to buy than rent, etc.
Oh, you’re having a bad hair day (or, a bad hair decade like me!) and look like you just rolled out of bed? Simply turn the camera around the other way so it’s pointing out into the world. Narrate the video as you drive through certain neighborhoods, visit local landmarks, and walk through homes you’re buying or selling.
At your escrow office for a signing? Introduce your favorite title and escrow team - or appraiser, home inspector, and home improvement contractor.
Lunchtime at your favorite local restaurant? Why not scan the room, video the menu, say hi to the owner, and give them a great video recommendation?
If nothing else, just share a few of your thoughts on gratitude, why you love your job, or THANK someone.
You’ll be surprised how fun this is once you get rolling and make it a habit, and how much fantastic marketing content you can produce in just five minutes a day.
If the video comes out too dark, your voice is drowned out by an 18-wheeler, or you just come out sounding like a rambling crazy person (me again!), then you simply discard that video, or edit out the parts you don’t like.
With video marketing, short and sweet is better, and you can share them on Instagram (feed, story, or TV), Facebook, YouTube, etc.
I realize that I’m getting fired up and talking a lot about WHAT to video, but you get the point – stop thinking and just turn on the damn smartphone and get started. It will offer the highest ROI by far on your time and marketing dollars.
In just five minutes a day, you’ll be FAR ahead of the competition and, most importantly, far ahead of where you were this time last year.
Now, I gotta run – I’m going to fix my hair and try to take my own advice by shooting a few helpful marketing videos!
P.S. Need help with those $20/hour marketing tasks so you can focus on making $200 an hour or more? Hit me up!
Last week, Equifax was slammed with a court-ordered settlement for their 2017 data breach that could seriously impact consumers – and this time, in a good way. One of the Big Three credit bureaus, Equifax was ordered to shell out about $700 million to those affected by the breach that saw sensitive financial information hacked, stolen, or compromised. In total, that adds up to about 147 million Americans!
While you may be tempted to run and file your own claim right now, you can also seize this opportunity to grow your business, using the Equifax payout news as a valuable marketing tool.
I suggest that you offer sound information and guidance regarding the Equifax settlement, positioning yourself as the go-to resource to help others access their settlement funds.
Basically, you’ll be marketing by helping people get “found” money. How cool is that?
First, I’ll talk about the settlement itself in this blog. Then, how you can use that as a marketing tool in the second half of this post (so scroll down if you’re already well-versed on the Equifax settlement news).
How the Equifax settlement payout works for consumers:
The first step is finding out if you’re eligible for a payout. To do that, you just need to go to the Equifax website: https://eligibility.equifaxbreachsettlement.com/en/eligibility
Enter your name and the last six digits of your social security, and you'll find out instantly if you're part of the class-action suit against Equifax.
If they confirm that you were affected by the data breach and included in the settlement, go here: https://www.equifaxbreachsettlement.com
They’ll ask you a few questions about what compensation you’re claiming, where you want it sent, etc.
I just went through the process there and within five minutes, found out that I was a victim of the Experian data breach (which I already knew), filed my claim, and confirmed that I’ll receive a check for $125 within 90 days.
There are options for how much you’ll recover. The standard is about $125 just for being included in the data breach, although you can file a custom claim to recoup time, money, or other financial detriment (like if your identity was stolen, cards used fraudulently, etc.)
But those claims can go as high as $400. Equifax is also offering compensation aside from cash, like ten years of free credit monitoring for all three credit bureaus.
It's pretty simple, but there are a few finer points to understand, especially if you want to apply for a payout larger than $125. Those include what documentation you need to provide, the evidence you need to show to demonstrate a greater financial loss, and more.
Who wants and needs info about the settlement:
Who wouldn’t want to know if they were eligible for “free” money? (I put free in quotes because it’s not really free if you were a victim of the data breach, but it’s money due to you.)
You'd be crazy NOT to go through the process at some point to see if you're due $125 or more! So, we're talking about countless millions of people – no small opportunity.
Remember that even if people weren’t affected by the Experian breach or aren’t due any settlement money, they could still use your help/this guide just to find out if that’s the case or not.
You should reach out to your entire database of past clients, contacts, social media followers, and the general public in the city, region, or state where you do business.
Using the Experian settlement as a marketing tool:
There are plenty of ways you can create and share content around the Equifax breach, getting your name (and company name) out there at the same time.
Some marketing ideas include:
• Write up a blog with the high points and facts of the Experian data breach and the big payout news.
• This can be as basic as “Claim your Equifax settlement in these three easy steps,” or “10 Tips for getting every dollar you deserve from the Equifax settlement,” or something similar.
• In it, instruct your clients how to check to see if they are due settlement money and how to make a claim.
• Share this blog on your social media pages.
• Also, send out an email newsletter (or just an email to your database) alerting them of the Equifax news and giving a link back to your blog.
• Create a visual graphic on social media giving basic information. You could create a whole series of graphics, each offering a single fact or tip.
• Film a short video talking about the Equifax settlement and offering more help.
• No matter what form of content you create and how you get this information out there, offer to help anyone who needs it and list your email, phone number, and social media accounts, of course.
The best part is that you’re basically just using the same information in different forms (email, graphics, video) and sharing it across multiple channels.
If you really want to use this Equifax news to 2X your database, do this:
Set up a simple landing page on your website that offers a free guide they could download if they input their email address and name.
Run a Facebook and Instagram ad that offers this helpful free guide to people in your local area (or wherever you want clients to come from) once they enter their email and name and watch your email and phone start jumping like popcorn on a hot stove.
The benefits to you and your business:
Use the Equifax news as a great talking point or item of value. This will be warmly received ($125!) and a great excuse to reconnect with your database, gain an exponential number of new followers, and stir up conversations with past clients.
• Grow your database
• Establish authority
• Create significant public interest in you and your brand
• Generate local press or media interest
• Add value to your clients and audience
• Show that you really care and are looking out for them!
• A chance to get people calling, emailing, and messaging YOU instead of the other way around.
Engage in a natural conversation that touches on their credit, their home, the market, and if it’s a good time to buy or sell – or just refinance (because it is!).
Remember that as a Realtor or mortgage lender, credit scores and reporting are part of the range of topics you should be well-versed in (no credit = no loan = no house!), so this news is a perfect opportunity.
You don’t have time to set this all up?
Of course, I know you’re busy selling houses and helping people refinance their mortgages, so I’m not assuming you have time for all this.
Don’t worry about doing this all yourself – I can do it for you. Need help writing that quick guide, writing the blog, email newsletter, graphics for social media, and running an ad?
Just contact me and I'd be happy to help. We could get it up and running this week because people are looking for this information!
-Norm Schriever :-)
A question I'm getting from Realtors, mortgage lenders, and other small business owners a lot lately is, "Should I run ads on Facebook, Instagram, or both?"
So, today I enlisted someone a lot smarter than me - Jordan Glickman of ImpremisMarketing.com to chat briefly about the pros and cons of Facebook ads to generate leads versus ads on Instagram, and how they're sort of the same thing (but not entirely).
Give it a watch and I'll summarize a few bullet points below.
Great info from Jordan, who is world-class when it comes to running ads that get businesses new leads and clients.
Here are a few key takeaways:
So, the answer is probably that you should be doing both - if you take your business seriously and want to not only generate leads this year, but ride the wave of future homebuyers, sellers, and home loan prospects.
Hit me up any time if you have more questions for me or want some help with your marketing!
Go get 'em!
Everyone’s talking about Facebook ads these days, especially in the field of real estate and mortgage lending where a simple ad on a shoestring budget could generate a ridiculously high ROI.
I’m getting more and more emails and messages asking me to break down best practices for setting up Facebook (and Instagram) ads. That content is coming soon, and we’ll have a whole lot to cover from geo-targeting to landing pages, remarketing to A/B split-tests.
But before we go behind the scenes and “learn how the sausage is made” (my new favorite saying), I wanted to remind my Realtor, loan officer, and small business peeps that it’s not just enough to upload any stock photo, write a quick line of text, and start throwing money at your Facebook ad, expecting to see great results.
Just like any other form of marketing, you need a high-quality ad with a specific purpose, laser-targeted demographic, clear call to action, and enticing offer waiting on the other side of their click. Many of these will also work best with a separate web landing page (where they receive their free download in exchange for their email address and contact info) or the landing-page-like platform that Facebook offers.
So, today I wanted to share my 25 Facebook (and IG, since they are interconnected) ads that have proven to be ridiculously effective for real estate agents, mortgage lenders, or any small business.
This isn't HOW to run ads, but WHAT KINDS of ads to run that will maximize your results.
Of course, a lot of these pertain to finding customers who need to buy or sell a house, but I’ll cover a few tactics for mortgage lenders looking to attract new clients for a refinance and widen their network of Realtors for referrals, too.
(By the way, so few mortgage lenders are advertising on Facebook – only about 3% compared to the number of Realtors running ads, so opportunities are wide open!)
Let’s get started!
1. Open house and listing ads
An easy place to start is advertising your open house through Facebook. Research shows that you’ll get the greatest result if you run the ad for at least 5-7 days before the actual open house and include both people who live in that radius as well as those who have been there recently (checked in at local businesses, etc.). Of course, you'll ask them to register to see the open house and receive a free listing report, getting their email.
2. Home value report
Other than advertising listings, this is probably the most popular form of ad-into-a-lead magnet you’ll find, and it does work well since everyone loves to hear how much money their home is worth.
3. Value change alert!
Did I just get your attention? This is an AWESOME ad that I get great results from. Notice how it doesn't say that the value in their neighborhood (or their home) has gone up or down, just that it's changed significantly. That will get them clicking to find out!
We're always asking people to buy, sign up, and do business with us, so it's a relief when we just want a consumer's opinion in the form of a quick survey. Add in the incentive that they'll be in the drawing for some sort of prize or giveaway and this will be one of your most effective ads for building your email list – and getting to know your core target demographic.
5. Attention Investors
Click for a list of houses under $200,000, multi-family houses, etc.
This can be for home buying mistakes/listing mistakes/home loan mistakes, etc. Negative-slant blogs, articles, and ads really get people responding to your Call to Action, as psychological research shows that people are more afraid of making mistakes and losing money than they are motivated to earn money!
Are you helping with a charity event, client appreciation night, or educational seminar? Advertise it on Facebook!
8. Market report
A good old-fashioned report with real estate marketing conditions can be a great lead magnet from a Facebook ad. This one is very consistent and easy to set up.
9. Seller Checklist that will save you $30,000!
This one works ridiculously well, as you breakdown a list of everything the average seller can do to save up to $30,000 on their listing (or some amount you deemreasonable). Of course, it's based on existing data and national averages, but you'll basically make a case study for curb appeal, listing and marketing correctly, etc.
10. Buyer checklist
You can do the same thing for homebuyers, giving them a few tips, tactics, negotiation strategies, etc. to save money (and avoid pitfalls).
11. Welcome to the neighborhood!
Download your neighborhood report with the best restaurants, shops, and amenities in the area, as well as a list of schools (not rankings!), parks, and other helpful info!
12. A luxury living ad that speaks to their sophistication
A Harvard study found that ads that were more subtle or discreet and complimented the viewer's sophistication worked exceptionally well, especially for luxury markets. You can also substitute hard-working, intelligent, discerning, having good taste, etc. for sophistication
13. Human interest/profile piece
We’re always so focused on the nuts and bolts, but an ad that highlights you as a professional but even more so, family man/woman, community member, etc. is highly effective in garnering interest. Again, this works best with a short, professional video, but you’ll get a lot more clicks and leads off of it than you might anticipate. Personal and humanizing content is good!
14. Lifestyle-targeted ads
Golf? Cycling on the nearby bike trails? Walking distance to everything? Downtown/midtown living? Make an ad that speaks to that!
15. Ad aimed at out-of-town buyers and investors
As an example, run an ad in the San Francisco/Bay Area about the affordable prices and golden opportunities if they buy in Sacramento. I'm not sure why more Realtors don't do this!
Ok, mortgage lenders;
Most of these can be adapted to lending, like how to avoid common mortgage mistakes instead of home buying mistakes, etc. But I have some great ads for you, too.
16. 3 Homes with 3 Payments ad
Run an ad with three houses, ranging from smaller to bigger and nicer and write in that all three of them have the same monthly payment. (Based on three different lending scenarios/home loan programs/pricing, etc.) People will click just to see how you plan to pull that off!
17. Refinance savings report
Did you know that Fannie Mae estimates that 10 million US homeowners would benefit from a refinance, potentially saving them a collective $500 billion in mortgage payments? (Or something like that). Are you one of them? Click here to find out.
18. Can I save you $32,467 on your home loan?
Any variation of that savings-with-a-refi ad above will work but put in a very specific number for the dollar savings based on projections for the average refinance.
19. Rent versus buy
If you’re going after the first-time homebuyer market (Millennia homebuyers will be coming in drove soon!), you can run an ad demonstrating the benefit of buying versus renting in several ways, from being funny and visual to offering reports with actual hard data.
20. Ad for a first-time buyer checklist
A checklist or guide for first-time buyers is easy to put together and will get you a lot of activity.
Whether you’re a Realtor, lender, or offering any product or service, don’t forget that you can supercharge your ad results by offering a prize/raffle/giveaway. In fact, that can be the whole ad and you’ll get tremendous results for click-throughs (to expand your email list and social media audience, if not outright leads)!
22. Get pre-approved in seconds
A quick prequalification ad that leads to your website and the auto-prequal matrix.
23. “How to save $______ on your next home loan”
Run an ad and show them the benefits of a 15-year versus 30-year mortgage, rate buy-down with points, etc.
24. Target realtors working in your area – you have buyers?
Interest rates are so low now that most lenders are busy with refinances, but I notice that a lot of my clients are playing it smart and keeping 50% of their focus on Realtor relationships and referrals. One way to cast a wider net is to run an ad proclaiming that you have buyers who may need a Realtor to help them. Of course, you’ll want to actually deliver on this promise.
25. Free weekly marketing tip offered to lenders
You can target by occupation with Facebook ads so run an ad offering a free weekly marketing tip or mortgage update for Realtors.
Want some help with your Facebook ads to bring in new leads and maximize your ROI? Drop me a line at info@REMnorm.com.
A quick note on liability:
There are things you can and can’t say in your ads based on national Fair Housing laws, state regulations, as well as independent broker and company rules. I’m going to assume that you know these and follow them, but be careful when talking about interest rates, pricing, neighborhood specifics like school systems, crime, demographics, and more. If in doubt, it’s a good idea to run your ad by your broker first!
I just published an industry white paper on Apple Books and Kindle with Amazon.com.
But instead of paying for it, I wanted to offer it to you here for FREE.
This is a great eye-opener for mortgage brokers, lenders, and Realtors alike (yes, the same benefits apply to real estate agents!).
You can download it here:
A sample from inside the special report:
Instagram is also a terrific resource for mortgage brokers and loan officers who are looking to gain a larger client base, connect with Realtors for more referral business, and close far more deals this year (and who among us isn't looking for that?!)
What will you get out of marketing (correctly) on Instagram?
Leads, referrals, and more leads!
In fact, 73% of consumers report that their purchase decisions are impacted by a brand's Instagram presence – including when it comes to getting their next home loan.
Here are ten reasons why smart mortgage brokers and loan officers NEED to have a business profile on Instagram and actively market:
(Want to read the rest? Just download the special report for free above ^^^)
Need a little help with Instagram marketing for your business?
Just contact me!
We live in a digital age, but when it comes down to it, personal one-on-one communication is still paramount for any sales person or business owner. In order to get new clients, you first need to attract and engage the people you interact with everyday, proving yourself likable and trustworthy in the process.
We meet hundreds if not thousands of people every month, so strategically using interpersonal tactics and techniques can equate to a huge bump in leads, clients, and closed deals.
So, today I’ll share five communication “cheat codes” that will help you do just that. Try these the next time you’re sitting with a sales prospect, at a business mixer, or even at a cocktail party!
5 Communication cheat codes:
1. DON’T smile right away
When you first meet someone, don't flash an immediate smile, and don’t enter a room or encounter already with a full smile. If you do so, it appears to the other person that you already have that smile, and so they are not special.
Instead, pause and look at the person’s face for a brief moment, and THEN flash your big, warm smile. By smiling AFTER you see them and register their face, your smile will always appear sincere, and people will know that you’re lighting up specifically for them, not just because you happen to be in a good mood, leaving them with a strong positive impression and emotions.
2. Make eye contact for 60% of a conversation
Maintaining eye contact with the person you're speaking with is key to engaging them and forming a connection, but how much is too much? After all, you don't want to blankly stare at their eyes, which is a surefire way to weird them out and make yourself highly avoidable! Instead, maintain a balance by making straightforward eye contact about 60% of the time, and you'll be perceived as interested, friendly, and trustworthy.
Another interesting note: focus not on both of their eyes at once (that will leave you a little cross-eyed!) but on one eye or the other, which will feel (and appear) more natural.
3. Everyone loves to hear their name – the Cocktail Party Effect
No matter who you are or where you’re from, chances are you respond positively to hearing your own name, a trait that’s hard-wired in humans. So, whether you’re meeting someone for the first time or just trying to woo them, repeat their name a few times organically in conversation.
In fact, scientists have established that hearing your name activates a different part of the brain - the medial prefrontal cortex, and you respond in “self-representational” ways that are linked to identity and other self-image processes.
So, that’s why you can hear your own name over the din at a noisy cocktail party, when you wouldn’t be able to hear anything else in a normal conversational tone. And it’s also why using a client’s name is so damn effective!
4. Follow their feet to gauge interest
Is someone genuinely interested in you and what you have to say, or just going through the motions and being polite until they can get away? There's a great trick to be able to tell, and it has nothing to do with reading facial expressions, voice, or other body language. Instead, look at their feet.
If they're pointed in your direction, the person is interested and really listening to you. However, if their feet are pointed away, they're not engaged at all and can't wait to get out the door.
5. People remember unfinished…
Interestingly, people remember communication messages that are cut off early or aren’t finished at higher rates than those that are completed. Called the Zeigarnik Effect, advertisers, marketers, and behavioral psychologists are using this trick everywhere - but you probably don’t even notice.
You can use this tip to get someone’s attention and ensure that they remember you, possibly by telling them that you have a great story for them later on, a joke without a punchline yet, or letting them know that you want to tell them something important, like…
...see how well that works?
Contact me if you need any help with your marketing or if there's a topic you'd like to see here. Now go get 'em!
Would you like to win a free Starbucks card? How about a gift certificate to your favorite restaurant? Or even have a chance to win an iPad?!
Of course, you would! After all, who doesn't like winning free stuff?
And that's the basis of an incredibly powerful – yet underutilized - marketing tool for mortgage lenders, Realtors, and any small business owner that I’ll talk about today:
Contests, giveaways, and raffles on social media.
Psychologists have found a nuance of human behavior that's nearly universal: we love to win just about anything, and we love free. In fact, studies prove that people vastly overvalue an item, good, or service if the word "free" is attached.
Such is the case with an advertising campaign conducted by Krispy Kreme years ago when they offered a free donut to each patron on one particular day. The lines were so long that people had to wait up to two hours just for one donut (how much is two hours of your time worth?). The promotion was so frenzied that the donut retailer ended up having their most profitable day ever!
You can use this same psychology to promote your business, albeit online and without the donut (eat that yourself).
To give you a broad definition, we’re talking about giveaways, raffles, and contests (I’ll refer to them as GR&C) as interchangeable since they’re basically the same thing despite subtle differences. Likewise, these all can be conducted online via your website, Facebook, Instagram, or any social media account, email blasts, or any combination.
Today, I'll mostly talk more about GR&C's for Facebook, but contact me if you want strategies for promotions on Instagram or email.
The basic premise is simple: we offer something of value for free for the winner(s) of these GR&C’s as a way to promote your brand and business.
The benefits to you will include:
What might a GR&C look like on Facebook?
Here are a few ideas to get started:
-A quiz or trivia contest
-Help us name (something) contest
-Fill in the blank contest
-Funniest GIF contest
-A random drawing for new people that like your page
-Random drawing for all of your followers
-Fan/Client/Follower of the Week
-Funniest/best selfie contest
-Choose your favorite _____ contest
-Raffle off something
-Vote for something
-Transformation (lose weight in 30 days, best before and after makeover, etc.)
-A social media scavenger hunt, where you give clues and people have to take a photo at those places around town or per your instructions
My favorite GR&C’s involve some form of a photo contest:
-Take a funny selfie
-Take a selfie or photo somewhere recognizable in the city/neighborhood you live in
-Take a photo of a DIY home improvement or decorating project you did
-Take a selfie or photo in front of one of your For Sale signs
-Take a photo of a home you’ve helped buy or sell
-Take a photo of the funniest/best/most creative ______ you can find
-Take a photo from a certain event or holiday (Christmas/back to school/baseball game, etc.)
The possibilities for great GR&C’s involving photos are endless, giving you important social proof, humanizing your brand, and also gaining far more interest than text alone.
You can also extend this to videos but realize that you'll get fewer participants.
What can you give away?
Prizes can range from free (you can bake cookies and deliver them!) to ridicuslouly fun and pricey. I once ran a promotion where a client gave away two tickets to a Justin Timberlake contenst! Here are some other ideas:
The key to a good GR&C is that you make it simple and document the rules clearly.
To promote your GR&C:
Create a nice graphic that clearly explains the contest, the prize, the terms, etc. You can also post about the GR&C on your blog, website, all over your social media, and via email blast.
When the deadline ends for submissions, there are several ways you can decide the winner. It can be a random drawing based on names-in-a-hat or random number selection (which you can video and post), or you can simply choose your favorite.
But my preferred method for picking a winner is by posting all of the photos from the participants (assuming you ran a giveaway with photos) and let your followers vote for their favorite. The photo with the most likes wins!
That also encourages participants to share their photo/your post to encourage their other friends to like your page, follow you, and vote.
Cross-promotion with a popular brand or local business
To step up the promotion for the sake of enhancing your business, partner with a local business in the city or neighborhood where you operate. Businesses will often gladly give away a restaurant coupon for a free meal, a free car wash, a free massage, a free coffee, etc. just because of the advertising it will yield them.
By bringing in a local business, you also encourage them to share it with their extensive customer database on Facebook and elsewhere, so you’re really gaining massive new exposure to a new audience.
Before you fly off and start setting up GR&C’s on Facebook, there are some rules and regulations you should be aware of:
From what I’ve read, you can only run these GR&C’s on your business page (not personal). You also have to clearly define the terms and rules, who is eligible, and share a standard Facebook disclaimer that states that Facebook isn’t involved in any way.
You also CAN’T ask contest participants to:
Here are Facebook’s specific rules for promotions like this:
1. If you use Facebook to communicate or administer a promotion (ex: a contest or sweepstakes), you are responsible for the lawful operation of that promotion, including:
a. The official rules;
b. Offer terms and eligibility requirements (ex: age and residency restrictions); and
c. Compliance with applicable rules and regulations governing the promotion and all prizes offered (ex: registration and obtaining necessary regulatory approvals)
2. Promotions on Facebook must include the following:
a. A complete release of Facebook by each entrant or participant.
b. Acknowledgment that the promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.
3. Promotions may be administered on Pages or within apps on Facebook. Personal Timelines and friend connections must not be used to administer promotions (ex: “share on your Timeline to enter” or “share on your friend's Timeline to get additional entries”, and "tag your friends in this post to enter" are not permitted).
4. We will not assist you in the administration of your promotion, and you agree that if you use our service to administer your promotion, you do so at your own risk.
My advice is to start small, with a simple Starbucks card giveaway or random drawing. But start to do it regularly – like a Free Giveaway Friday, as an example, or on the first day of every month.
Eventually, people will flock to your Facebook page regularly as word gets out and they realize that you're consistently giving great prizes away.
And remember – you share these same giveaways, raffles, and contests on Instagram, through your email, and elsewhere.
Give it a try – and contact me if you want to game-plan and get some help!
Every business owner or entrepreneur is looking for an edge. We're all seeking that next big technique, platform, or strategy that will help us reach a wider audience, boost sales, and vastly improve our bottom line.
That's especially true if you work in the ultra-competitive arenas of real estate or mortgage lending, where any new technology could put you months or even years ahead of your competition. But, it's just as important to have a cutting edge marketing plan if you're a CPA, financial planner, insurance agent, or sell any product or service.
Chatbots in the burgeoning field of Artificial Intelligence do exactly that, offering a clear advantage and ultra-efficient way to engage new clients.
So, today, I'm super excited to give you a great introduction to chatbots, the marketing tech of today!
Is Artificial Intelligence real?
Yes, but we’re not talking about the Terminator kind of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Instead, AI is defined as any self-directed technological process, appearing to “think” for itself.
A closer look at chatbots
Chatbots are one kind of AI that’s growing increasingly common these days. In fact, more than 15,000 companies and brands in the U.S now utilize chatbots, with those numbers are growing every day.
They can be programmed for use on a website or app like Facebook Messenger and Instagram (by the end of 2019), effectively respond and react to a plethora of situations, inquiries, or cues.
“Having a chatbot means that your clients and prospects will always get immediate, personalized service and answers to their questions." says Jordan Glickman, founder of North Carolina-based Impremis Marketing. “In this on-demand economy, you can’t afford to let a prospect go elsewhere for information or wait around for you to get back to them. Therefore, chatbots are like the perfect employees who work 24-7, never call in sick, and never are late!”
How chatbots generate leads
As a Realtor, mortgage broker, or any small business owner, finding and converting leads is the lifeblood of your success. Chatbots are an incredibly efficient way to funnel traffic from a website, Facebook ad, or email campaign, turning visits into qualified leads – with none of your time or effort.
When someone comes to your Facebook page, for example, the chatbot will initiate a conversation with the viewer via a pop-up message. The ‘bot will then answer their questions with pre-determined scripts and proposing questions or encouraging classification that narrows down the visit by certain criteria.
Of course, you can program your chatbot to filter by certain criteria or focus on any specific Call-to-Action you wish, including post-sale follow-up and garnering testimonials and reviews.
It's important to note that they don't replace human contact, but start a basic conversation with your prospect, pre-qualifying them as to their needs, desires, timelines, and other valuable information. Then, the chatbot system hands all of that to you on a silver platter when it's time for "human takeover" as it's called in the business, whether that's a phone call, a meeting scheduled at your office, an invite to an event or seminar, or even an open house
How can chatbots prequalify your prospects?
For instance, a chatbot can ask a visitor if they are looking to buy a house or sell a house. If they answer affirmatively to one of these two, the bot can then ask how soon they are looking to make this purchase/list their home/ if they've been pre-approved by a lender/ if they've signed with a listing agent yet/etc. The bot can even schedule an appointment or phone consultation based on their responses.
So, by the time you receive an alert, all of this information has been gleaned and the visitor pre-qualified as a lead. Chatbots also provide value to visitors by answering FAQs, directing them to certain pages of your website or other resources, and more.
Visitors who are determined to not be qualified prospects at the time aren't abandoned or lost in the shuffle. Instead, they can be assigned to categories for follow-up marketing campaigns like re-targeting, education emails, guides or informational reports they can download, and scheduled for a check-in down the road.
Chatbots as part of your marketing funnel
The key to making a chatbot work effectively is funneling a large number of people to your webpage, Facebook, Instagram, or email marketing campaign. They work best when integrated into some sort of paid ad or promotion that garners a significant number of visitors who can then be narrowed down into qualified leads
“Chatbots are a far more efficient way to market compared to traditional methods like handing out flyers or expensive mailers," says Glickman. "With a bot, you can be laser focused in delivering the right message to the right prospect at the right time. We routinely see 85% open rates and 60% click-through rates with our messages and emails using chatbot systems, which blow industry averages out of the water.”
Chatbots actually personalize the process
On the user end, they realize that they're "speaking" with an automated process, not an actual human being. However, you'll find that chatbots aren't cold, soulless automatons, but actually add personalization and foster human interaction.
You’re encouraged to preset your chatbot’s responses based on your personality, how you speak, and even have some fun with it. Chatbots will also set you up for far more phone calls or face-to-face meetings than a plain website, email, or Facebook page, adding to the human connection.
Chatbots will help build and deepen relationships with your audience!
Benefits to using a chatbot:
1. Turn prospects and visitors into qualified LEADS, LEADS, LEADS! The huge, compelling benefit to using a chatbot is seeing qualified hot leads popping up in your email, smartphone, and on your schedule.
2. Attract and engage a younger audience. This includes Millennials, who are comfortable interacting with technology and apps, and constitute massive online spending power.
3. Gather data. Collect your visitor's name, phone number, email, age, birthdate, homeownership status, and a host of other demographic and lifestyle data through chatbots – all valuable information to qualify your audience.
4. Build a larger audience Gain subscribers, likes, followers, and add to your email list, etc.
5. Save time - and a whole lot of money. You can provide instant, personalized service 24/7, never leaving a potential client waiting for answers or help, all without hiring employees or answering services.
6. Exponentially increase the ROI of your ads Most businesses and entrepreneurs are using paid Facebook or Instagram ads these days or other pay-for-play web techniques (or, you should be!). But, it's awfully reactive to pay for an ad and just hope for the best. Instead, funneling these ads to a website or Facebook page with a chatbot will exponentially increase the effectiveness of those ads, boosting ROI.
So, what does it take to set up a chatbot (and how much does it cost)?
Just about any brand or business can see the benefits of a chatbot, which is really marketing technology of the future in its first phase of mainstream development today. To get started, consider having a bot set up on your website but definitely on your business Facebook page and soon, your Instagram account.
Of course, you’ve probably been wondering about the cost of chatbots since the opening line of this article! Designing, building, and implementing a fully-customized chatbot can range from hundreds on the low-end to thousands for most brands and entrepreneurs, and more for bigger and more complex business systems.
While that's significant, if you're in real estate, mortgage lending, financial services, or sell any big-ticket item, that's probably far less than what you'll earn when you attract your first client using that chatbot!
Can I see a chatbot in action?
For a demonstration of what a chatbot may look like for a real estate agency website or Facebook page, check it out here.
And if you have any questions or would like more information to get started, you can drop me a line or contact Jordan Glickman of Impremis Marketing.
I promise you that he’s a real live human being!
Do you remember the early 80s song, “Video called the radio star?”
Well, some people may think that video marketing has killed the blogging star these days, but that’s actually not true. In fact, posting a blog on your website and sharing it on social media and via email is still a valuable and essential marketing tool.
Studies show that people not only trust blogs more, but look to blogs for information and recommendations before making a purchase (like a home or a home loan!). These blogs can be short (and optimized for reading on mobile devices), but, basically, if they're not getting this information from you, they're reading it on your competitor's blog or website!
Since 2011, I estimate that I’ve written about 3,500+ blogs and articles for Realtors, mortgage lenders, and small business owners, along with countless social media posts sharing this content.
Part of my job is also keeping track of analytics, so I measure how many people are clicking, reading, and reacting to these blogs. Based on that experience, I put together this list of the TOP PERFORMING BLOG TOPICS for any real estate agent.
I’ve noticed what works best for Realtors and gets the most reaction from their audience, time and time again.
I’ve even formulated a scoring system based on total number of page views, clicks, likes, comments, sharing, and other engagement metrics. You’ll see that I rated each blog with this engagement score, just for purposes of comparison.
If you want likes, followers, inquiries, and a fast-growing database, go down the list and offer these blogs via your professional social media accounts, emails, newsletters, on your website, and other marketing.
Written and crafted correctly, these blogs will yield the results you want: more leads, clients, and, ultimately, closed deals!
And if you're not a Realtor but a mortgage lender, financial planner, CPA, or any other small business owner, contact me for the list of top-performing blog posts in your field!
The top-10 performing blog topics for Realtors:
1. Neighborhood profiles
Home buyers aren’t just interested in a brick and mortar structure, but the lifestyle that their new home affords them. Therefore, blogs and profiles on certain neighborhoods score remarkably well with real estate audiences, who are looking to compare locations as much as houses.
In these neighborhood-centric blogs, you can cover a brief history, what it’s best known for, restaurants, parks and recreation, festivals and events, typical architecture, nearby amenities, commute times, and staple mom-and-pop businesses. Yes, you should also cover real estate market data and recent home prices.
Tip: You can even document famous people from that area, local trivia, and other interesting facts, but there are a few things that you CAN’T mention in these blogs (see below).
Blog engagement score 96%
2. Pointing out common mistakes (negative-slant themes)
What are the 10 mistakes first-time homebuyers make? What 5 mistakes are costing sellers big bucks? Why should you definitely avoid these landlord mistakes with your new rental properties? Research shows that the human motivation to AVOID PAIN (in this case, usually wasting money but also time, energy, liability, etc.) is even stronger than our motivation to pursue GAIN. For that reason, blogs with a. negative spin, i.e. what NOT to do, or which mistakes NOT to make, perform surprisingly well with audiences.
Tip: Don’t be afraid to hit ‘em with the truth, because this is your one chance to scare your audience a little bit - for their own good and to be helpful.
Blog engagement score 92%
3. Local market update (including home values)
Do you specialize in a certain neighborhood, or have a marketing campaign “farming” a specific area?
You should exhibit to your audience that you’re the authority on the matter, offering up-to-date and accurate data on home values, buying and selling information, and other pertinent housing and economic data.
Tip: I recommend drafting a Special Report every quarter with local housing data and emailing it out. The key is to make it as predictable and consistent as clockwork so your audience grows to look for it!.
Blog engagement score 89%
4. How to make more money
Did I catch your attention already?
Home ownership is the most significant lifetime investment for most consumers, so a lot is riding on getting it right. In fact, just by knowing how to fix up your home before selling, whether to stage or not, or knowing if it’s the right time to sell could put tens of thousands of extra dollars in your sellers' pockets. And for buyers, their choices are just as critical, so any information that helps inform and guide them towards a great home that will appreciate exceedingly well is invaluable.
Tip: Be specific. While “How to make more money when selling your home,” is fine, a blog with the title “How to increase your net profit by 1.5% in 3 easy steps when selling your home” will practically jump off the page at the reader (or jump off the computer screen.)
Blog engagement score 87%
Consumers are always looking for sound, fundamental information about home buying, selling, and just about everything else when it comes to real estate and home loans. First-timers, in particular, find this extremely valuable. So, keep writing those stupid-simple guides to buying a home, house hunting, investing, the escrow process, and getting a mortgage.
Tip: Set these up as a easy-to-skim list based on FAQs, add a few graphics, and save it as a PDF so it's a information report that you can easily send out to clients and potential clients.
Look for part two of this blog coming soon, where I'll cover the next 5 top-performing blog topics for Realtors. And you can always contact me for help or just to chat about your marketing!
Imagine if you had your name, company name, and even an authoritative quote featured in a news article.
What kind of (free) exposure would you enjoy if you were the go-to Realtor/Mortgage Lender/Business Owner for your local media outlets?
What would it be worth if you were routinely mentioned, quoted, or even invited live to television shows, radio programs, and in newspaper and magazine articles?
It's easier than you may think to get press coverage that reaches hundreds, thousands, or, potentially, tens of thousands of people – all without paying a cent in advertising.
In fact, writing and distributing a press release is one of the most underutilized promotional tools for real estate professionals or any business owner, yet so few do it.
Of course, I know why more people don’t send out press releases. If you don’t know how to properly write and send them out, it can be confusing, a little intimidating, or just a waste of time.
So, in this blog, I’ll walk you through the right way to write a press release that will look like a PR expert drafted it.
First off, I wanted to give you some examples of topics for a press release:
XYZ real estate office grand opening.
Home sales heating up in CITY NAME.
Free homebuying workshop offered in CITY NAME.
XYZ Mortgage gives back to community with day of service.
Buying a home may be more affordable than renting in CITY NAME.
Home values in CITY NAME now back to pre-recession levels.
How to pick the right neighborhood when buying a home.
Home fire safety tips.
NAME honored with award/promotion/inclusion on list, etc.
The options are abundant, as long as you remember that it has to be about something specific, tangible, and of value to the audience – not just self-promotion for its own sake.
But remember that it doesn’t need to be YOUR statistic, data, or happening for you to write and send in a press release. It can be about anything in your field of real estate, mortgage, or whatever field your business operates in, as long as it’s credible, fits that media’s editorial needs, and within their scope. (Don’t send in a press release only about Sacramento to a national magazine, etc.)
It’s also imperative that you structure it as a press release from the title all the way to the end, which I’ll break down for you now:
What is a press release?
A press release is an official announcement issued by a company, agency or organization that’s distributed to the news media. Press releases are sometimes also called a “press statement,” a “news release,” or “media release.” These releases disseminate the information necessary for one potential news story or important happening.
What ISN’T it?
A press release is not an advertisement. It’s not a commercial, a bio, an interview, a general informational piece, or a personal profile. Press releases are not subjective, opinion without factual basis, or written to sway or persuade the reader.
How long should it be?
Press releases are usually just one page long on a printed page, but they should never surpass two pages in length. These days, most press releases are sent via email, but you should still aim to be succinct. The goal is to provide enough information for the media outlet to write their own notice, announcement or news story, so 400-600 words is an ideal target range for an unsolicited release. To keep it short, provide links to your website, blog, or how they can contact you if they would like to learn more.
The press release starts with a header, including the always-present tag line in capital letters stating, "FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE." The header also contains the contact information for the person that can be reached for more information (name, email and phone number) as well as the date of the release.
The FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE and date are always left justified, while the
contact information is right justified.
Immediately after the header, you'll find the headline (don't get those two confused!), which serves as a bold announcement to get the reader's attention and succinctly tell them what the release is about – all in eight words or less. But headlines don't need to be full sentences, although they should be written in present tense (even though the rest of the press release is written in past tense) with clear, direct language and action verbs.
Dateline and lead
After the headline, you’ll find the dateline. The dateline is the city name in capital letters, followed by the state abbreviation in most cases, and then a dash.
Next up is the lead, which acts a subheader, expanding on the important points of the release for the reader – all within 32 words.
This is the meat and potatoes of the press release, so cover the Who, What, When, Where, How, and What’s Next of your statement in the body. Share this information directly and clearly, without elaborate or flowery language. If you start using words like “super,” “special,” “best,” “amazing,” or even “very,” the media contact reading it will know right away that you’re an amateur just looking to promote their business.
In the first paragraph of the body, always answer the question, “Why should they (the media contact and their readers) care?”
It’s a good idea to include a direct link to your company’s website in the first paragraph of the body, as well as cite data, statistics or other references with their corresponding links. Statistics, data, and facts about the real estate market, local sales, mortgage markets, buyers or sellers, etc. are great to share, so make sure they are clearly featured.
Good quotes humanize the information and also add credibility.So, round-out the information you're trying to convey with a quoted statement. Every press release should have at least one quote; two is ideal, but you should never have more than three quotes.
Quotes can come from a credible source like the company president, happy client, official or agency, or another third party that's involved. Of course, this is the ideal place to submit your own quote, offering some sage advice and key takeaways. THIS is the best way to get your name injected into the news story and shared widely in the media!
The last paragraph of the press release doesn’t focus on the story or the relevant announcement but adds some background and supporting information for the reader to put in context. This can be a little bit about the sender/company (the Realtor/Mortgage Broker/Business Owner and their service), and even the field. You can also cover how you are different and future trends or next steps the reader should be aware of.
Three pound signs are placed at the bottom of a press release, signaling to the reader that they've reached the end of the document (and that they aren't missing any pages.) Sometimes you'll also see "End" instead of these three pound signs to conclude the release.
Speaking of end, that's all for today! Oh, I almost forgot...