Can I eat it? Is it trying to eat me? Can I have sex with it?
Those are the impulses that were hardwired into the caveman brain, and for good reason; our early ancestors were running around all day trying to find enough food while dodging dinosaurs who wanted to make them into a quick snack, all the while tasked with procreating to ensure the survival of the species.
About 50,000 years have gone by since the end of the paleolithic era, but we haven’t changed as much as you may think. In fact, the modern man or woman’s brain has only evolved 10% in the last fifty millennia!
We’re still wired to fight-or-flight, avoid danger, seek out security, and follow our more base instincts.
So, what does all of this have to do with marketing?
A whole lot, as we also make the majority of our decisions as consumers based on those same primitive brain impulses. In fact, you’ll be shocked to learn how little logic, reason, and information play into any sales process or decision to buy.
By understanding and tapping into these neurologically hardwired impulses, you'll be amazed at how your marketing, sales, and even income flourish. Seriously, the "caveman brain" hacks are so effective, you'll be shocked.
In this on-going series, I’ll explore how you can construct your marketing and sales to tailor to the “caveman brain,” starting with these 10 notes, today:
1. We all have one: our "primitive brain," also called the "reptilian brain" or, to be more scientific, the amygdala. No matter what we'd like to call it, this center controls most of our emotions, including our impulses and gut reactions.
2. It also works so lightning fast (faster!) that we often don’t realize we’re taking in information or processing it at all, our thoughts, feelings, and impulses coming to us on a subconscious level.
Before we ever have a chance to consciously process something we see or hear, we already form a gut reaction within 3 seconds (or far less).
3. More and more, marketing has to do with appealing to this primitive brain, as the modern human is barraged by messages and stimuli all day and night. In fact, the average person is subject to over 34 GB (gigabytes) of new information every single day! No wonder why our filtering systems have to be so sharply acute.
4. Our emotions – not our brains – are actually the first to receive and interpret stimuli from the outside world. It’s not that we don’t reason and factor in information, but our first – and strongest – filter is emotion.
5. Those emotional filters process stimuli and information five times faster than our rational minds! Not only are our emotional receptors super-charged compared to our conscious thoughts, but they make a profoundly stronger and longer-lasting impression.
6. That’s why so many “business” decisions and sales really come down to likability, first impressions, a sense of connection, and even appearances.
7. Studies show that gut reaction will make up 79% of the consumer's behavior, no matter what information, benefits, or experiences you present them afterward.
8. Incredibly, 90% of the stimuli our brains take in and process is visual. (Stop putting endless fields of text in your ads, images, and website!)
9. Even certain colors act as subconscious triggers for the brain. For instance, blue expresses credibility and authority while yellow incites anxiety. Green encourages action while red signals danger or makes us freeze.
Notice how every fast food brand as orange in their logo? Orange makes us hungry!
10. We still aim to maximize comfort and security while running away from risk. In fact, avoiding risk is even more powerful than the hope for comfort and pleasure.
So, any marketing or sales should feature plenty of benefits but don’t forget about stressing the risk of what could happen if they don’t buy/act now/click, etc.
The fear of loss is a much stronger pull than the possibility of gain!
Stay tuned for more strategies about marketing to the caveman brain, and don't forget to subscribe for my weekly marketing tips.
Email marketing is a must-have for any serious Realtor, loan officer, or business owner these days. In fact, emailing offers, updates, reports, and newsletters is a critical way to reach your audience.
Research shows that it has one of the highest ROIs, is mobile-friendly, easy to personalize, and fosters high levels of interaction and engagement.
However, if you’re currently running email marketing campaigns then you also realize just getting your messages through to your audience’s inbox is a significant challenge.
In fact, studies show that only 79% of commercial emails actually hit the receiver’s inbox, and that number is continuing to shrink year by year.
Faced with an unprecedented barrage of email messages (many of them illegitimate), email servers are filtering and flagging messages as spam like never before.
Here are the 10 most common reasons why email marketing from Realtors and loan officers goes to spam:
1. You didn’t get permission
The single biggest reason why email marketing gets sent to spam is that the sender doesn't have permission! In fact, unless your email recipients have subscribed or opted-in (even if you met them in real life and got their email address from the business card they handed you!), you could be in violation of the CAN-SPAM Act. That comes with stiff fines as well as virtually ensuring that you'll end up in their Spam folder.
2. Your IP Address is flagged for Spam use
Have you ever heard of “guilt by association?” Well, if your email was sent through a server that has previously been flagged for sending spam, your legitimate email may automatically fall under that label, too. Therefore, it’s recommended that you use reputable email platforms like MailChimp, Infusionsoft, CoverKit, and others.
3. Your Open Rates are subpar
Webmail providers track the rate of email opens, as well as how many are deleted, in their spam filtering formulas. In fact, 26% of email campaigns that are mistakenly flagged as spam can be attributed to low open rates.
4. You’re not familiar to your subscribers
Even if someone did opt-in or subscribe to your email newsletter, they may not remember you – leading them to not open your email or even report it as spam. Spam complaints affect about 21% of all emails that never make it to a recipient’s inbox, whether that’s legitimate or not.
5. Low Mailbox Usage rates are holding your emails back
About 19% of emails that don't hit your audience's inbox are being held back because of low mailbox usage. Mailbox providers have carefully tuned spam filter algorithms, and one of the major factors is the ratio of the active versus inactive email accounts you’re sending to. So, if you’re sending to a large number of email addresses that aren’t being used or have been dormant for a long period, it raises a red flag with the spam filters.
6. A subject line that misrepresents the email
Your subject lines should accurately characterize the content in your email, as well as who it is coming from. But, too often, companies and marketers try to get too crafty with their email subjects just to attract attention. Furthermore, there are a whole lot of scams out there who blatantly lie in their subject lines. According to a Litmus and Fluent survey, 50% of email users have felt “cheated, tricked, or deceived” by at least one email subject line that’s hit their inbox. Furthermore, according to the CAN-SPAM act, a subject line that’s intended to mislead the audience is actually illegal.
7. Misleading sender information
We just covered subject lines that misrepresent the ensuing email and trigger spam filters, but the sender information can do the same thing. Shifty scammers or overzealous advertisers may pretend to be someone they’re not in the “from,” “reply-to,” or “to” fields. So, if you list your name or set up your address to look like you’re the president of a company that doesn’t exist, affiliated with a public agency, or display other authority you don’t have, you’re in violation of the CAN-SPAM act AND ensuring that your emails are marked as spam.
8. There’s no “Unsubscribe” link
There’s nothing that screams “SPAM!” louder than an email without a clear (and usable) unsubscribe button. According to internet protocol and CAN-SPAM law, you must have a link to unsubscribe or opt-out of any email list, which usually is presented clearly at the bottom of the email. Once they click, the process of unsubscribing also has to be simple and easy, so you can’t make them fill out extraneous information, pay any money, or visit more than a single page on your website. When someone does unsubscribe, you also must process that request and remove them from any subsequent mailings within ten days.
9. Your email is missing a physical address
One of the other requirements for a legal, legit email is a valid mailing or physical address. To ensure transparency for any company or sender, the email must contain a current street address, although a valid P.O. Box will work.
10. Your email contains words that trigger Spam filters
To stem the tide of spam, many email providers filter for certain trigger words that reek of unsolicited messages. Common words that trigger spam filters include:
• cancel at any time
• check or money order
• click here
• dear friend
• e-mail marketing
• for only (dollar amount)
• great offer
• increase sales
• order now
• promise you
• special promotion
• this is not spam
• to be removed
Want more help with effective email marketing that won't end up in spam folders?
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!
There’s little doubt that you’re using Facebook as a platform to tell people about your business and attract new clients. But, if you’re like most Realtors, mortgage lenders, and even small business owners, you’re probably using your personal Facebook profile to do so, at least to some extent.
Sure, you created a Facebook business page a long time ago (about half of all real estate professionals and business owners do), but I’m guessing it’s now an afterthought. Instead, you prefer to interact, post content, and share your day-to-day business on your personal page.
That’s a mistake.
You’re wasting invaluable opportunities to market, promote, and grow your business. In a field where even one or two more home sales, closed loans, or new clients makes a huge financial difference, it’s critical that you not only set up a Facebook business page but utilize it correctly.
I know what you’re thinking – but the people I know interact with me more on my personal page, and I don’t want to abandon that and start over with a business page. I have a quick and nearly-effortless solution that’s a win-win, so scroll down to the end if you want to see it.
So, what are the benefits to a Facebook business page instead of just your personal profile?
I’ll cover 10 important reasons why they are better than personal pages here and 10 more reasons in part two of this blog.
1. No limit to the number of fans
Facebook personal profiles are capped at 5,000 friends, which you can reach pretty quickly if you have a growing business or practice. But with pages, there is no limit on the number of fans and followers you can engage and interact with. (Samsung is the top brand with 159 million likes, followed by soccer star Cristiano Ronaldowith 122 million likes.)
While you may never reach Samsung/Ronaldo status on Facebook, don’t sell your business short by capping its potential growth at just 5,000 people.
2. Reach a Targeted Audience
This is so important. If you’re a real estate agent, growing a social media following with people who live 100 miles away won’t do you any good. But you do want to market hard to your city, the 10-mile radius around your office, or even a certain neighborhood. And if you’re a mortgage lender, most of your business may come locally, but you can close loans throughout your home state. Likewise, local business owners need to carefully zoom in or out on a geographic target market to optimize business.
Facebook business pages allow you to do just that, pinpointing your social media presence on the map. (I’ll talk more about targeting with ads and boosted content in part two of this blog.)
3. Facebook Insights
With a Facebook page, you don’t need Google Analytics, as Facebook Insights will do the job for you. With Insights, you can access a mountain of data about your viewers, audience, reach, etc., using it all to improve your reach. You can even download a custom Insight report for more detailed stats and data, but this is only available on pages – not personal profiles.
4. Facebook Tabs
You may notice on sophisticated and well-built Facebook pages that there’s a tabbed area under the cover photo, like a horizontal menu on a website. You can customize those tabs (sometimes with the help of third-party apps) to do just about anything, from Search Now and other call-to-action buttons to newsletter and blog opt-in forms, giveaways (we’ll talk about that next), video introduction, featured listings, and much more. Sorry – can’t do that with your personal profile.
5. Run contests, raffles, and giveaways
Facebook is pretty specific with their rules regarding contests and giveaways on personal profiles – you’re not allowed to do it. But Facebook pages are the perfect place to run these special offers and fun contests, energizing your audience, creating a buzz, and feeding your marketing funnel (gathering emails, etc.). If you’re not doing some of these on a regular basis, you’re missing out on a HUGE opportunity (just make sure to check DRE for any regulations).
6. Reviews and testimonials
Garnering 5-star reviews and glowing testimonials are so important in the real estate, mortgage, or small business game, where establishing social proof and building trust are paramount. You can do exactly that with a Facebook business page, but the only one leaving you a testimonial on your personal page is your disgruntled ex.
7. Connect to Facebook Places
When your Facebook business page is optimized correctly, that page will connect automatically to the appropriate Facebook Place. Not only will that display all of your professional contact info, but it allows your clients and friends to check in. Check-ins are huge for growing your business because they show their friends that they’ve using your services, even in a mobile business like real estate, as well as sharing photos, videos, comments, and reviews of your services. That’s a very valuable promotional opportunity – and free with Facebook Places.
8. Contact info and other nuts and bolts
I can’t tell you how many times consumers find a business website, page, or other social media account but can’t locate the most basic of info, like their phone number, email, address, website, and hours of operation. There is no good place to highlight these things on a personal profile, but with a business page, all of that will come across loud and clear – helping eager home buyers or sellers find you!
9. Enhanced privacy
Business pages offer many more ways to monitor, screen, and filter the content that others are sharing on your timeline and page. Likewise, since your business page deals with your vocation and not your personal life, you’re creating a safety buffer to protect your identity, data, and even your family. I can’t stress that need enough as these days, being cautious and safe is so important for all Realtors, but especially female agents and business owners who might be working alone.
10. You can convert your personal profile to a business page
Have you invested years of time and work into your profile, building it up to a few thousand friends? If that’s the case, then you definitely don’t want to lose that social media account, but the good news is that you can convert your personal page to a business page seamlessly, keeping your existing friends but opening up to all of the benefits of a business page.
(However, you will lose your past content, so download all of your Facebook photos in a zip file first.)
Here’s the easy solution I promised you:
Don’t want to split your attention between your personal profile and a business page?
Post content to your business page first, and then share it to your personal timeline. It will still reach your personal audience but also help make them aware of your business page and promote it, garnering likes, comments, and more interaction.
Boom! Look for part two of this blog soon with 10 more reasons you NEED to use your business Facebook page.
Wait, you're STILL not utilizing email marketing? Here are 10 reasons why that's costing you business.
Back in 2006, the options for online marketing for real estate agents, mortgage lenders, and just about any business owner were a lot more limited. Sure, there was Facebook, but few people were using it for business, Twitter was brand new, AOL Instant Messenger was fun but not really useful for marketing, and Myspace was booming. Myspace!
But every time you went to a broker training or any marketing Lunch-and-Learn, you were told that you should start building your email marketing campaign, including organizing and adding to your email database, creating great content, and sending it out consistently.
Thirteen years later, and so much has changed with social media and online marketing (R.I.P. Myspace!).
However, email marketing is STILL the tried and true method for reaching your audience directly where they live, work, and correspond.
And you probably STILL haven’t implemented a regular email marketing campaign.
Why the heck not?
(Or, maybe you’re paying a company to send out generic “canned” content like gardening ideas, holiday notices, and maintenance tips that they send out for everyone else! BORING! – and ineffective.)
Another (painful) way to think about it is this: imagine how big your email list would be now, how many extra deals you would have closed, and how much additional income you would have earned if you had started your email marketing campaign years ago? Ouch.
You’re STILL missing a HUGE opportunity to generate leads.
So, let's hammer this home again:
Email marketing – such as newsletters, market reports, special offers, educational pieces, local profiles, invites, surveys, and even videos – offers some unique and highly effective benefits, serving as a perfect complement to social media and other marketing venues.
We’ll cover some email marketing nuts and bolts and best practices in a future blog, but to open your eyes to how critical it is for any Realtor, loan officer, or any business, consider these 10 facts and stats (all based on credible research and studies):
1. Email marketing In fact, email marketing reportedly offers an average 3800% Return on Investment (ROI), which means it should bring in $38 for every $1 spent. In real estate, when a closed deal typically means thousands of dollars, that ROI is probably much higher.
2. Email is 40x more efficient at acquiring new clients than Facebook or Twitter. And a client on your email list is 6x more valuable over their lifetime than social media followers alone!
3. A message is 5x more likely to be seen when emailed compared to just posted on Facebook, or receive 6x more click-throughs than Tweets.
4. People who subscribe to your email list are 3x more likely to share your content on their social media accounts than people who come about your marketing messages other ways.
5. 72% of people prefer to receive promotional content by email compared to only 17% who want to see promotional messages on social media. (Although Instagram and Pinterest are higher than 17%.
6. Even better, 77% of consumers actually want to receive emails from brands and professionals they like and believe in – that’s you!
7. Email messages can be personalized to the receiver, and personal subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened. Additionally, personalized email messages see 14% higher click-through rates and 10% higher conversion rates.
8. All of the email marketing platforms allow you to track results like your Open Rate, Clicks, etc. and even see who signed up to your list or unsubscribed. You can also sync your email marketing campaign with your website, Facebook page, or simple landing or splash page that builds your list by giving away something for free.
9. Email marketing is still one of the best methods to deliver a singular message and drive traffic with a direct Call-to-Action. You can promote a new listing, announce an Open House, offer a CMA, talk about a special 0%-down loan program, talk about first-time homeownership, or just about anything else. Your email is just the "teaser," and with one click, the recipient is on your blog, website, watching your video, reading your report, or emailing you.
10. Email marketing is so powerful because of its exponential nature, picking up steam, scale, and results the more you do it. For instance, it takes about the same amount of money and time to send out a fantastic email to 10,000 as it does to 1,000 or just 100!
So, are you finally going to start your email campaign, or are we going to be talking about this again in 2025?
Probably not, if statistics hold, as only 17% of Realtors, lenders, and small businesses are utilizing email marketing campaigns.
Maybe you think it’s too expensive (it’s definitely not), hard to set up (we can have your campaign for the whole year mapped out in a single weekend), or, most likely, you don’t have the time or energy to create content and actually DO IT all (that’s what I’m here for).
Let’s solve that and get you on track to generate new leads, clients, and closed deals with great email marketing campaign – just email me to get started!
I don’t sell real estate or loans – I just make you guys a whole lot of money!
Why do we post what we do on social media?
For some of us trying to engage and attract consumers online, we post whatever content catches our eye or comes to our attention, including a constant stream of funny cat memes, before and after diet shots, and photos of our lunch. We might even mix in a testimonial, listing photo, or interest rate alert every once and a while.
However, when done correctly, a successful social media campaign is far from random or impulsive, but a well-planned and orchestrated strategy to grow our online brand.
So, instead of talking about the How, What, Where, or Who of your social media campaign today, I'd like to talk about the "Why."
In general, I think there are 12 purposes to social media posts, images, videos, and content we share. Each of them has a unique purpose, like to reach, inform, engage, or even dictate action from your audience.
Here are the 12 purposes behind your social media posts:
1. Show ‘em whatcha got!
No, I’m not talking about your aspiring model photos or your lunch, but show your audience what you’re selling and why you’re in business. For Realtors, that means a steady stream of photos, videos, etc. featuring great houses, neighborhoods, home amenities, and designs, etc. If you’re a loan officer, financial planner, insurance agent, etc., show your audience the features of your service and the benefits to working with you.
Just like real life, make sure it’s not all serious! Lighthearted, humorous, relatable, and genuinely human posts often get more likes, followers, and engagement than our “business” content!
The goal is not to talk TO your followers on social media, but talk WITH them. Therefore, use plenty of questions, polls, surveys, true or false, caption contests, etc. to elicit feedback and promote interaction.
4. Get local
People don’t live in a vacuum, but on and among neighborhoods, communities, cities, and regions. Especially for real estate post plenty of content that speaks to the local geographic area you’re focusing on from many angles.
Want to become a neighborhood expert and DOMINATE your local market? Read this.
Most sales people/brands/and companies think of ME, ME, & ME when marketing. But you can create unique opportunities and incredibly lucrative relationships by highlighting other professionals, beloved brands, notable and famous people, etc. A great way to do this is through short interviews, profiles, testimonials, and infographics, but it’s also the perfect way to gain access to a whole new huge audience – theirs!
Breaking down what we do, how we do it, and the benefits to the end user on a super-simple level. Never stop sharing the “ABCs” of your profession through a series of tips, stats, hacks, simple definitions, and other resources.
7. Demonstrate social proof
Human beings are still pack animals who look to others for signs of social acceptance, and that’s also true online, where testimonials, reviews, success stories, case studies, sharing, etc. go a long way.
8. Clearly spell out benefits
I love the old sales mantra, “We’re selling holes, not drill bits.” What that means is that you should always focus on the benefit to the end user, not just the feature in fancy business speak. Make sure you post plenty of content that clearly spells out the benefits to working with you from a consumer perspective.
9. Solve problems
The famous Zig Zigler used to say, “Help enough people get what they want and you’ll get everything that you want.” So, instead of just posting social media content about your products and services, spend ample time exploring the problems, challenges, and frustrations of your audience – and help by offering solutions.
10. Find your tribe
If our target demographic is first-time homebuyers, for instance, we should create and share content that specifically speaks to their needs, goals, challenges, and lifestyles, etc. Your tribe may also be likeminded people who you really connect with who can help your audience, too, or become referral partners.
11. Establish credibility
You should be (subtly and humbly) sharing content that establishes you as an industry leader in your field, including articles you’re quoted or featured in, awards, certifications, top-rankings, etc.
12. Gain trust
When it comes down to it, trust is really the most valuable commodity we can offer our clients and audience, but it’s also hard to earn and hard to win back. So always be genuine, authentic, truthful, and transparent with your dealings, especially on social media.
I hope these 12 purposes to social media posts help you have a more well-thought out social media strategy that brings in a whole lot more clients!
Contact me if you’d like any more help or advice.
I know what you want.
We can dance around it, but the reality is that you want is more clients. I’m talking about a steady stream of cash-in-hand, ready-to-go, seriously-motivated home buyers, sellers, mortgage borrowers, and customers.
Don’t feel bad because if you didn’t want that, you wouldn’t be any good at what you do.
The simple fact is that new clients are the lifeblood of any business, whether you’re selling houses, refinances, alarm systems, tires, or ice cream.
But before you can sign up a new client, they need to first come in as a lead, or prospect that’s looking for information or representation before they sign on the dotted line.
But where do those leads come from?
In the real estate and mortgage game, the answer may seem a little nebulous, as we try everything from open houses to door knocking, newsletters to networking meetings, and plenty of marketing via the internet in an attempt to attract and convert a prospect into a happy client.
It certainly can become confusing as you try to allocate your focus, time, and budget to the marketing and lead generation methods that will yield the most leads.
Luckily, we have some fantastic information to help you do just that.
Here, I’ve assembled the findings from several credible studies and surveys of Realtors and mortgage lenders into one simple graph for you.
So, where do real estate professionals get their leads?
Top Listing Lead Sources
68% Contacts and referrals
7% Vendors and professional referrals (B2B)
7% Open Houses/For Sale signs
4% Internet leads and other paid ads
How about for home buyer clients?
Top Homebuyer Lead Sources
57% Contacts and referrals
12% Open Houses/For Sale signs
11% Internet leads and other paid ads
8% Vendors and professional referrals (B2B)
And mortgage lenders; I haven’t forgotten about you.
Top Home Loan Lead Sources
42% Past clients
2% Paid ads and services
1% Company or broker leads
Of course, this will vary depending on the market, how long you’ve been in business, your target demographic, “farm,” whether you have a team or are flying solo, and, frankly, what you like and are good at.
There is no one “right” answer when it comes to marketing or lead generation for real estate professionals, but I did want to point out one thing:
The top one or two categories for listings, buyers, and home loans include:
What can we learn from that?
The most efficient way to get new leads is to work your existing database, past clients, and contacts. There’s still no replacement for networking, building relationships, and the personal touch.
Of course, you can use social media, websites, email marketing systems, and other technology to network, expand your reach, provide value, and "touch" more people in an organized, systematic way (the exact reason I write and send out this blog you're reading right now!).
But please don’t fall for the fallacy that you can pay a few hundred (or, a few thousand) dollars to any company or service and they’ll do all the work for you, handing you a steady stream of new leads that are actually convertible and will end up as dollars back in your pocket. If it was that easy, anyone could be a successful Realtor or lender, and we both know that isn't true.
That’s a shortcut, and you’ll never find a seasoned, successful agent or lender who attributes their career growth to shortcuts.
However, we do know this:
Investing into your marketing efforts into your past clients, referral partners, and ever-growing database is the best way to survive and thrive long term – in any market or economy.
I hope you find this information helpful and, if nothing else, it will confirm what your broker or mentor keeps telling you.
Now the fun part: creative and cost-effective ways to reach those segments and generate new leads!
Contact me if you’d like to chat about your marketing or just exchange some fun ideas and strategies.
I don’t sell real estate - I just make you guys a whole lot of money!
Shoot these 50 videos and I’ll make you a real estate or mortgage celebrity!
Those are the words I wrote to a mortgage broker who recently hired me to work on his marketing (and I'm working overtime!).
I say that tongue-in-cheek, but shooting videos is the single best way to make yourself a marketing force to be reckoned with.
(If you wanted to know why or read some statistics on video marketing, check this out: Why I recommend video, video, & more video for your real estate and mortgage marketing.)
So, I've included list of some of the videos you can make. By no means does this list cover everything you can shoot a video about, and you’ll naturally start adding a whole lot of topics to this list.
You can shoot them in any order you want, but good to cover the basics about you and what you do, first.
Of course, distribution is just as important as content, so sharing these videos according to best practices on Instagram, Instagram TV, YouTube, and Facebook is pivotal.
You'll also notice that they were written for a mortgage lender, so Realtors can easily adapt these suggestions to their own field. (For instance, home inspector instead of appraiser; home buying tips instead of home loan tips, etc.)
Good luck and press RECORD!
Shoot these 50 videos and you'll be a real estate or mortgage celebrity:
1. Introduce yourself (Quick hello, how you are, what company you work for, what you do – provide home loans, where you operate, etc.).
2. Video of you driving up to the office, the outside, and walking inside.
3. Introduce your staff.
4. (Processors, underwriters, etc.)
5. Any video testimonials you can get from past clients or Realtors you’ve worked with is gold!
6. Quick intro of your favorite appraiser.
7. Title company/rep intro.
8. Any videos breaking down the basics of a mortgage:
9. Why rising rates are not a big deal (houses still affordable in your area, can lower the total cost by paying off interest faster, can refinance, still historically great rates, etc.)
10. Why it’s so important to get prequalified before you go looking for homes (and how easy that process is with you).
11. The documents a borrower needs to organize before they apply for a loan.
12. The benefits a borrower will get from working with you.
13. The benefits to Realtors when they send their home buyers to you.
14. Explaining the loan process.
15. Explaining the title and escrow process (or do a quick interview with a rep).
16. First time homebuyer loans and tips.
17. Getting a loan with a low credit score (FHA, etc.).
18. Will interest rates go up or down?
19. Credit score tips.
20. Why to stay away from big internet lending companies (delays, not delivering, appraisal issues, last minute rate hikes, etc.)
21. Why you should be careful rate shopping (bait and switch)
22. Common mistakes homebuyers/borrowers make (this is a very popular one).
23. Charities or causes you’re involved with.
24. WHY you love doing what you do.
25. Tour your old neighborhood, house you grew up in, introduce your parents, tell your STORY etc.
26. Introduce your family – why you work so hard.
27. Give info on school systems and rankings in your area (Note: lenders can do that but real estate agents can’t.)
28. Explain Good Faith Estimate, loan disclosure forms and timelines, etc.
29. Break down a closing statement/settlement sheet.
30. Why a 15-year loan saves you so much money (great to get a few refinance conversations going).
31. Explain amortization and total interest.
32. Attend a Realtor meeting and say hi.
33. Attend an open house and say hi and film.
34. Talk about pest inspection from a loan standpoint/interview an inspector.
35. VA loans.
36. Investment loans.
37. Loans for second homes or vacation homes.
38. Why parents should buy a house or condo in the area where their kid is going to college (rent out rooms, possibly make money on appreciation to defer cost of college, have a place the kid can live after graduation, teach responsibility). (Possibly several videos.)
39. A quick profile on your favorite sports teams in Sac.
40. A walk through downtown.
41. Go out on the street (downtown or a good area) at lunch hour and ask people some questions!
42. Highlight communities, happenings, openings, etc.
43. Any mortgage facts or basics that come to mind that you always find yourself explaining often.
44. Reservations and the emotions of first-time buyers.
45. FHA loans or financing options for investors who want to flip.
46. Buying a lot and building with construction financing.
47. How and where the mortgage “bad guys” rip off or deceive borrowers (protect them).
48. Tips for getting the best mortgage loan possible.
49. When you know it’s the right time to refinance (equity, rates rising, etc.)
50. The day in the life of a SUPERHERO mortgage broker.
Contact me if you'd like more info about video or marketing help!
Cracking the Facebook code: understanding the social network's algorithm will help your content be seen.
If you’re a Realtor or mortgage lender, you’re probably active on Facebook as a way to connect and engage with potential clients. It’s definitely a vital platform for marketing, with more than a billion Facebook users in the world and 128 million active users every day in the United States. But you also have some stiff competition, with 18 million business pages on Facebook – many of them belonging to other real estate agents and loan officers – not to mention people doing business via their personal profiles.
Just getting the attention of your Facebook friends and followers is half the battle, with the average user seeing about 1,500 stories and pieces of content showing up on their News Feed with every visit.
So, how can ensure that the content you post is reaching the greatest number of users?
It’s important to understand how (and why) Facebook content appears on a user’s timeline. In fact, each social media platform has its own algorithm for determining the placement and relevance (and, therefore, exposure) of your posts and content. And no algorithm is more complex than Facebook’s, with more than 100,000 factors that play into how each and every photo, post, or update ranks with other users.
While it would be impossible to evaluate them all, we do know that posts are given preference based on how other users react to them in certain ways.
Facebook’s algorithm has also undergone recent changes, moving on from a system called Edge Rank that followed a (slightly) simpler formula.
Edge Rank gave prevalence to content according to:
Posts in your Facebook News Feed will also rank based on:
Furthermore, posts are weighted according to these factors:
-Average time spent on content.
Websites rank much higher on Google when viewers spend more time on them, as the search engine algorithm deems them more useful and helpful to users. The same is true with Facebook, which rates a post by the average amount of time a user spends viewing or engaging with the post. (For instance, a video post will rank higher if the average user watches the whole thing instead of clicking away in the first few seconds.)
-When it’s posted.
Posts that go live at peak times (when more users are online and using Facebook) receive more weight. So, posting in the middle of the night may mean you have less competition for your viewers’ attention, but it will also rank worse with Facebook’s algorithm.
Type of content.
Facebook assigns a different value to various forms of content. For instance, we know that live video gets priority with their algorithm, followed by video, then posts with photos, posts with links, and, finally, all text. Furthermore, Facebook gives credence to those who post a variety of content, mixing it up and not posting the same form all the time.
The completeness of your page profile.
If we’re talking about a business page (not your personal account), the more fields you fill out and the more complete it is, the higher your content will rank. That makes sense as it signals to Facebook that your business is legitimate, and you’ve invested more effort and care into your page.
How informative the post is.
Facebook’s algorithm underwent some significant changes in 2016 and again in 2018, revamping how it perceives informational posts. But what still holds true is that useful, informative, and factual (hopefully!) posts show up higher on other users’ timelines.
Clicking on ads.
Facebook's algorithm for how ads show up in your timeline is totally different than how organic content appears, but the latter is somewhat influenced by the former. So, if you click on an ad for fishing rods and a friend posts a photo and story about their day at the lake fishing, it will more likely show up higher on your timeline.
Your device and even Wi-Fi speed.
I didn't know this, but Facebook actually gauges what device you're using and takes into consideration the strength of your Wi-Fi signal! They do that because certain content (like high-res live video) requires a strong internet signal and also may not be playable on older smartphones or mobile devices.
Last Actor & Story Bumping.
Facebook recently rolled out two innovations. Last Actor measures your last 50 Facebook interactions and uses that as a guide for what to show on your feed next. Meanwhile, Story Bumping actually gives older posts a chance to reappear in News Feeds when they get new likes, comments, and other interaction.
Need more help with Facebook and the rest of your marketing? Hit me up! Info@REMnorm.com
Like no other professionals I can think of, Realtors and loan officers are responsible for not only performing their duties of representing clients, but also acting as their own full-time marketing and advertising agencies. In fact, about 60% of the average real estate agent or loan officers’s time is consumed with marketing, promotions, prospecting, and trying to land their next client.
These days, there is no better way to grow your audience and reach potential new home buyers & sellers, purchasers & refinancers than on social media. However, too often, Realtors and LOs fail to grasp and execute the fundamentals of social media marketing. It’s understandable, considering it seems like there are so many platforms, options, and advice when it comes to social media, and not all of it in agreement!
Today, I wanted to present you the basic guidelines, stats, best practices, and useful notes on the world’s top social media platforms, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, and Linkedin.
Start by implementing these basics, and you'll be on your way to the best year of your career!
Photo albums have 180% more engagement than other posts.
Profile photo dimensions:
Must be at least 80 x 180
Displays at 160 x 160
Thumbnail will appear on screen at 32 x 32
Display at 140 x 140 pixels on smartphones
Cover photo dimension:
Must be at least 399 pixels wide and 150 pixels tall.
Displays at 828 pixels wide by 315 pixels tall on your page on computers, and 640 pixels wide by 360 pixels on smartphones.
File under 100kb is optimal.
Best times to post:
1 pm most shares
3 pm most likes
The highest level of user activity between 9 AM and 7 PM
Best days to post:
Thursdays and Fridays
Tweets with images receive 18% more clicks than those without pictures.
Will be cropped square
Recommended size 400 x 400 pixels (px)
Displays at 20 c 200 px
1500 x 500 px recommended
Maximum file size 10 MB
Use png (best), jpg or gif photo file
Best time to post:
1 PM most retweets
12 PM and 6 PM highest activity and usage
Best days to post:
Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays
Instagram users engage 25% more with brands than on other social media platforms.
Appears as 292 x 292 on a desktop computer and 160 x 160 on mobile app
Thumbnails display as squares (but your original image doesn’t have to be square)
Photos are also 292 x 292
Best times to post:
Peak Instagram usage times are 3-4PM
Best days to post:
Instagram shows consistently good engagement all week long, with the exception of a slight dip on Sundays.
The highest day for engagement is Saturday by a small margin.
Linkedin posts with images get 98% more comments, and posts with links have a 200% higher engagement rate.
Thumbnail photos 160 x 160
Feed images 350 x 250
Best times to post:
Between 10 AM and 11 AM
Best days to post:
Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays
84% of consumers were convinced to make a purchase by a brand’s video, yet only 63% of businesses are recording videos to connect and inform their audience.
More than 50% of all YouTube views are on mobile devices like smartphones.
Channel Cover image:
Full-size displays at 2560 x 1440
Must maintain a 16:9 aspect ratio
Must be at least 1280 x 720 quality as HD resolution
For highest quality, upload videos at 1920 x 1080 resolution and 4k resolutions
Best time to post:
12 PM – 3 PM
Around 5 PM – 6 PM
Best days to post:
Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays
93% of Pinterest users use the platform to make purchases, and Pinterest users spend 15x more money than Facebook users. For that reason, Pinterest drives 25% of all retail website referral traffic!
DIsaplays at 165 x 165 on the homepage
Displays at 32 x 32 everywhere else
Maximum file size of 10mb
Pins display at 238 px wide, but their height automatically adjusts to the image.
Expanded pins have a minimum width of 600 px.
222 x 150 px (large thumbnail)
55 x 55 px (smaller thumbnail)
Best times to post:
Pin between 8 PM – 11 PM
Peak time 9 PM
Best day to post:
Need more help with your marketing and client acquisition? Contact me for a free ebook that will explain the essential pillars of marketing for every real estate and mortgage professional!