Social media is just a passing fad, a flavor-of-the-month phase that will probably disappear in a year or two.
That's what many people said back when Friendster, the very first social media outlet, was launched in 2002.
MySpace came later that year and soon usurped Google as the most visited site in the US. Next came Linkedin in 2003, believe it or not, and “The Facebook" was soon launched from a Harvard University dorm room in 2004.
By the time Twitter got its relatively late start in 2006, social media had already made an indelible impression on our world.
Today, Facebook alone has almost 2.5 billion users, which equates to about 1/3 of the entire world population! And Instagram (1.2 billion users), Tik Tok (800 million with an increase of +600 million since 2019), and Snapchat (382 million) are all coming on strong to collectively surpass Facebook soon.
Some passing fad!
Of course, if you're in business and haven't been living in a cave the last decade, then you’re probably using social media to grow your professional presence already. The “best practices” blogs and “social media tips” have been covered so extensively that there’s hardly anything new to add to the conversation, right?
Not so fast, as these unprecedented times have already shifted the landscape of how we use social media - and why.
In fact, Facebook, Instagram, and What's App have seen a 40 percent spike in use just since mid-March!
If you’re a mortgage lender or in real estate, the rules of the industry are literally changing day by day (or faster!), so it’s crucial that you keep your social media messaging relevant and on-target.
Today, I want to share a guest post by my friend and mentor, Kelly Resendez of the Foundation to Sustainable Success. In this article, Kelly offers some quick notes on how you can use social media to create more business opportunities during the time of Covid-19 and social distancing, which most of us are still observing.
By no means is this list exhaustive. There are thousands of courses on social media marketing in existence, but you may find these notes serve as a great launching point.
Thanks for reading and please contact me if you have any suggestions or questions!
1. The five purposes for social media posts.
What kind of content should you post for your business on social media?
It may seem overwhelming, but realize there are five major purposes for content:
• To inspire
• To motivate
• To connect and engage
• To educate
• To entertain
2. Before taking another selfie, turn that camera around!
Too often, Realtors or LOs post a non-stop stream of selfies and call it a marketing campaign. Instead, try to take as many photos and videos of others as you can, including family, friends, clients, referral partners, associates, and even the family dog!
Not only will people love this social connectivity while we’re all feeling isolated, but this establishes social proof, a pivotal aspect of building trust between consumers and professionals or brands (and dogs are really cute!).
3. Celebrate the new heroes.
One thing we can't get enough of on social media these days is a tribute to our new heroes, including doctors, nurses, healthcare workers, first responders, grocery store clerks, delivery drivers, mail carriers, and so many more. Highlight those folks on your social media platforms to show appreciation and gratitude!
(By the way, we also have a new appreciation for teachers since many of us are homeschooling our kids these days!)
4. Share information, resources, and updates.
The only constant these days is change, so a great way to serve your social audience is by offering useful information. But instead of just posting endless articles, try to offer local news and resources that are credible, relevant to your community, and offer tangible benefits. Info about property taxes, places to volunteer (or get help), closures, events, safety warnings, and other civic resources are especially appreciated.
Likewise, showing support for Mom-and-Pop or local businesses is a great way to impact change, so don’t be afraid to promote your favorite restaurant.
5. Zoom someone!
We talk about the importance of video as a marketing tool, and there’s no better way to do that these days than hopping on Zoom. This is the perfect time to start your podcast or YouTube channel, and you’ll be amazed at how open people are to doing interviews, having a conversation with you online, or even submitting a video testimonial.
6. Make sure it’s not all about you.
What’s the biggest mistake that lenders and Realtors make with social media marketing? Like I documented earlier, they tend to make most of their posts and content about themselves instead of their clients, their community, and their field of expertise! The best lenders and Realtors focus on solving problems and helping others a lot more than selling themselves!
7. Spread the good news.
It seems like every time you turn on the news or scroll through social media these days, we see nonstop negativity or depressing headlines. To help balance that, position yourself as the person who always uplifts and inspires others online (even if you don't always feel that way).
After a short time, your followers will appreciate your positive messages so much that they’ll actually seek you out and share your uplifting content!
A perfect example of that is actor John Krasinski’s Some Good News video project, which went viral after just one episode with tens of millions of views and shares!
8. Stop relying on other people’s content – make your own!
You may post a few links every week or even use generic content from a paid service, but that’s a far cry from an effective social media marketing campaign.
Your audience will only see links to other people's articles, blogs graphics, or videos. But if you're serious about growing your presence online and attracting a far bigger audience (and more clients), you need to create your own custom content in all its forms: blog, email, graphics, video, visuals, and more.
9. What should you post? Mix it up!
Ok, so that’s a lot of social media advice, but what forms of content should we share?
That’s simple, as the answer is: mix it up.
Of course, make sure you post plenty of (short) videos, as those are the most effective for views (video will make up about 80% of all online traffic within a couple of years!) and lend themselves to the newer platforms like Instagram and others.
Live, stories, TV-like platforms, and webinars all do exceptionally well these days.
Visuals like photos or graphics are great, as people instantly see them when they scroll down their timelines. (You can choose not to read something but you can’t choose to un-see an image once you’ve scanned it!)
Links to articles, blogs, and news stories play an important role in your marketing mix, but make sure they are credible and come with a good anchor image. I also recommend writing your own blog/article periodically and sharing online.
Finally, the last thing you should do is write a huge body of text in a post and expect people to read it. If you have to write something substantial, break it up with bullet points and even emojis/emoticons.
10. Build your tribe.
We're all craving more interaction and socialization these days, so the best online marketing fosters conversation between as many people as possible who have the same values, challenges, and needs. Focus on building communities for the people you wish to serve – your target market.
From Facebook groups to Instagram Live, webinars to Stories, and plenty of video calling tools like Facetime or Zoom, find ways to connect with and host a larger audience!
What SHOULDN’T you post on social media?
What you don’t say is just as important as what you say. The wrong thing can alienate your audience or even get your accounts flagged for inappropriate content.
Steer clear of hot-button political issues, double-check sources and the validity of anything you post, and never disclose sensitive financial information or personal details that may compromise the safety of you or others.
Other than that, keep your messages authentic and constructive, and you'll see great results!
If you have any questions or need help, please contact me or Kelly and stay safe, everyone!
March is International Women’s Month, so I wanted to highlight a few remarkable women who are working tirelessly to empower their peers.
Today, I want to train the spotlight on Kelly Resendez.
Full disclosure; Over the last few months, I’ve had the privilege of working closely with Kelly Resendez on her various campaigns. That being said, I have no incentive to promote her other the fact that I truly believe in who she is and what she’s doing to help others.
Kelly is the Executive Vice President of Loanpal, a prominent national consumer finance and mortgage lender. She’s worked in the mortgage business for over two decades, earning her way into the elite $100-millon top-producer club at Wells Fargo and Washington Mutual before landing with Paramount (which is now Loanpal).
As the EVP of Loanpal, Kelly is in charge with recruitment, training and customer experience. A progressive leader, she employs the concepts of mindfulness, self-discovery and goal setting to help her team reach Loanpal’s objectives, as well as running their Women’s Mentoring Program.
That's a praise-worthy accomplishment on its own, but it’s not the principal reason why I respect and admire Kelly.
While many people would look to enjoy their personal success, (fill their coiffures), and look upwards strategically, Kelly is passionate about emboldening others, particularly women in business. She “loves helping people actualize their potential and create success they hadn’t believed they could.”
She does this through several platforms, including frequent notable speaking engagements, podcast interviews, best-selling books, and mentoring programs.
In fact, her legacy will probably be defined by two of her endeavors:
Big Voices Rise and The Foundation to Sustainable Success.
I’ll tell you a little bit about each, and how they can benefit you or someone you know who works in mortgage or real estate.
Big Voices Rise!
To positively impact the lives of women by providing the tools and knowledge to think and respond differently, reduce suffering and increase joy, and become their true authentic self.
Reducing suffering, thinking differently, and living with less anxiety and more joy.
Kelly's Amazon.com best-selling book, Big Voices: An Invitation to Women to Awaken, Increase Joy, Reduce Suffering and Think Differently
You can also download a free chapter and sign up for Kelly’s Weekly Wisdom at BigVoicesRise.com
Foundation to Sustainable Success
The Foundation to Sustainable Success will help take your mortgage business to the next level. It provides the mindset and tools you need to succeed!
Kelly launched FTSS to help struggling sales people and leaders that wanted not only to increase their success but also have balance and fun doing it. She shares her strategies that took her to the top 1% of the mortgage industry. Her coaching system and book are changing lives.
FTSS teaches you to generate more referrals and create an abundance of opportunity so your business can thrive in any market or economy.
Kelly provides the mindset (Who you are Being), with the plan (What you are doing) and shows you how to execute at the highest level (How you are doing it).
Master the Mortgage Business!
Foundation to Sustainable Success explores the critical changes you need to make to succeed in the mortgage origination business on your own terms. Using wisdom from her career as a top producer and business coach, Kelly provides concrete frameworks and practical strategies that will take your business to the next level and keep it there.
Find out more
This is not your typical mortgage origination manual. The emphasis is on you – creating a success mindset, managing triggers, eliminating limiting beliefs and self-sabotage, and making a commitment to doing what needs to be done even when you don’t feel like doing it. Through a mind, body, spirit approach Kelly will help you reinvent yourself and find joy in an industry that is full of stress and burn-out.
Commit to practicing the invaluable tools and lessons within these pages and a sustainable career in this ever-changing, ever-challenging mortgage industry can be yours.
Getting in touch with Kelly and getting help
If you’re a woman working in the mortgage or even real estate business, I encourage you to:
Follow Big Voices and FTSS on Facebook
Explore her coaching and mentoring programs if you want to create a better professional path – that you can actually enjoy.
Drop Kelly an email and say hello!
PS Listen to my podcast interview with Kelly Resendez below.
Since March is International Women’s Month, I wanted to highlight a few remarkable women in the field of real estate, mortgage, and investing...
I recently had the privilege of working with one such woman, Vanessa Peters, MD. A physician by trade, Dr. Vanessa, or Dr. V as she is known by clients, patients, and friends, had a problem early in her career that’s common to many of us. She was making good money but on the familiar hamster wheel of working tirelessly, amassing debt, and keeping up with the Jones’, all for the theoretical goal of retiring decades down the road when she could finally enjoy it.
But when the housing market crashed and the last recession hit, much of her equity and retirement plan was wiped out, just like most Americans. She knew there must be a better way.
So, after several pet financial projects that found her taking out every book in the library and driving her family crazy, Dr. V eventually settled on commercial real estate investment, particularly through syndication. She found that it was an ideal investment to break the “golden handcuffs,” finally getting ahead and building significant wealth.
I actually had no idea what syndication in real estate was until I read Dr. V’s book, The Busy Professional’s Guide to Passive Real Estate Investments. (It was released just a few weeks ago and catapulted to the Amazon.com best-seller list, including an impressive #23 overall for real estate investing books.)
So, what’s the skinny on syndication?
Instead of purchasing a property as a single individual, like if you picked out a rental property and put money down, obtained a mortgage, found a renter, and hoped they paid on time and didn’t trash the place, syndication offers some inherent benefits and safeguards.
The individual investor still offers their deposit (typically, $50,000 or $100,000), but is essentially buying a share in a commercial property like an apartment building, as resources from all the investors are pooled.
From that point, on there is nothing for the individual investor (called Limited Partners) to do, as all aspects of finding, vetting, and closing the deal are handled by the General Partner, who has vast experience and a huge vested financial interest in the investment performing well. They’re also regulated by the SEC, so everything is disclosed, regulated, and transparent.
Likewise, all duties of property management, improvements, and financial considerations are handled by the General Partner according to the business plan they’ve set out – the Limited Partner just needs to cash checks.
The best strategy, according to Dr. V in her book, is to find a B property in an A neighborhood – an apartment complex with good “bones” that was built maybe a decade or two ago and just needs some upgrading. Those upgrades are part of the strategy, as new paint, carpets, appliances, countertops and tile, and more will allow you to raise the rents for happy tenants (while still staying competitive or even under market value).
Even a small bump in rents magnifies over the course of 20, 50, or 100 units, and you’re also vastly increasing the value of the property, according to standard commercial valuation methods.
They can also add other income streams like parking spaces for rent, laundry facilities, or storage, etc.
The way that these syndication investments work is that within a target period – usually five years – the Limited Partner will see their initial investment back PLUS profit AND substantial income from monthly rents.
At that point, the General Partner can sell the property or, if the market is in decline, just hold it for a few more years (still while making a profit on rents) and sell when conditions are more favorable.
There are also huge tax benefits to selling, similar to capital gains exclusions and 1031 exchange proceedings, but on a grander scale.
It’s no wonder why Dr. Vanessa is a big advocate of syndication, and she’s invested in over 2,500 units over 11 properties and 4 funds between commercial retail, apartment communities, self-storage and manufactured home parks over the last 11 years.
Of course, that’s just the 10,000-foot view, and there’s one HUGE caveat: you have to be an accredited investor to even have access to real estate syndication investments.
Much like stocks are regulated by the SEC, syndication comes with myriad regulations, and participants need to make north of $200,000 per year (or $300,000 for joint income) or have a $1,000,000 net worth (excluding their primary mortgage), as well as have an existing relationship with the syndication General Partner. (For that reason, this investment is popular with doctors - the circle Dr. V moves in.)
According to Dr. V, only about 6% of all Americans meet the criteria to be accredited investors, and that’s just a start of the exclusionism. If it seems like syndication is a rigged game where only wealthy people can even play (as a simple springboard to more wealth), you’re not wrong!
The best part of the syndication to me is that the downside is protected, so all decisions are made through an extremely conservative lens. The feasibility of the investment isn’t tied to the whims of the housing market or the overall health of the economy.
For that exact reason, Dr. V promotes not only investing in apartment syndication, but two niches that are fascinating to me: self storage units and mobile home parks.
These two segments of commercial real estate perform significantly better than most when the market is down or the economy is contracting, as people always need someplace cheaper to live and someplace to store their stuff. (The other segment I’d add to that list going forward is senior housing in different forms.)
In fact, take a look at the performance of these segments from 2007-2009, during the height of the last Great Recession:
Residential real estate -40% or so
S&P 500 -22.03%
Industrial real estate -18.31%
Office space -8.16%
Self Storage -3.8%
Manufactured Homes -0.47%
And those numbers just show how they perform when the bottom falls out of the market. But the upside will make you look twice.
In fact, from 1984 to 2018, the self storage sector produced annual average returns of 16.85%!
Here’s another illustration just to education purposes (I’m not financial planner nor syndication expert):
If you had $200,000 to invest in 1994 and put half in self storage units and the other in the S&P 500, by 2017, what would those two investments look like?
Your stocks in the S&P 500 would be up to $532,243.
The self storage REIT would be up to $4,026,413,
I can go on, but the point is that you should read the book, as Dr. V dispenses some life-changing insight even if you’re not an accredited investor or positioned to buy commercial real estate (yet).
(I’ll be first in line if they ever open a syndication fund where people can invest $17, an expired Starbucks gift card, and a pocket full of lint!)
But, seriously, I plan on having Dr. V as a guest on my humble podcast soon and ask her if she has any investment strategies or opportunities for the rest of us typical, non-accredited lay people.
Stay tuned and let me know what you think about Dr. Vanessa’s book!
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.
Are you taking advantage of every marketing strategy available to grow your business? Of course not, as your time (and money) are only finite, and your To Do list is long enough every day.
But there are some simple yet incredibly effective tactics that you don't want to miss out on.
In fact, according to a survey of my clients and network:
As a Realtor, loan officer, financial planner, CPA, or any business owner, missing out on these tactics and platforms could stunt your business' growth, even without you realizing it!
So, today, I'll give you three quick tips for marketing tactics that you should be fully on board with so you don't miss out.
1. Film a LOT of short videos
Here’s why: https://youtu.be/-V1bpCzYYJk
I LOVE written content, and it’s still necessary. BUT..you need a whole lot of video, too.
Don’t worry, these don’t need to be all formal with a professional camera crew and you looking like you’re in a hostage video!
Even better, turn on your smartphone and turn the camera the other way, filming a ton of short snippets of your life/job/things you see every day as a Realtor or lender.
Here’s a list of video ideas: http://www.remnorm.com/marketing-tips/shoot-these-50-videos-and-youll-be-a-real-estate-or-mortgage-celebrity
Eventually, as you get more comfortable, you’ll want to ask top questions on-camera, explain the buying and selling process, profile vendors and referral partners, and have a bunch of short discussions.
Can you commit to film 10 videos over the next month? How about 30 videos over the next 30 days?
I'm happy to help you with it, and let’s see together how it grows your business!
Tip: Share them on YouTube (not just Facebook and Instagram)
Here’s why: https://www.remnorm.com/marketing-tips/the-youtube-search-engine-revolution
YouTube is actually the 2nd largest search engine in the world (behind Google) but Realtors and lenders are grossly underutilizing it.
So, when you post a YouTube video, not only will you reach a much larger, targeted audience than on Instagram, for instance, but your title, description, and links are present – all paths that will lead buyers and sellers to you.
2. Consider running Linkedin ads (instead of Facebook ads!)
Here’s why: https://www.remnorm.com/marketing-tips/10-reasons-why-linkedin-is-the-place-you-should-be-running-ads-over-facebook
While I’m not discouraging you from running ad campaigns on Facebook, the world’s biggest social media network and its sister platform, Instagram, the efficacy of those ads have taken a hit recently with the change in targeting rules for those operating in housing, credit, or employment industries (that’s you).
But remember that it’s usually best to stay ahead of the curve – not jump on the bandwagon because everyone else is doing it – and that’s why I urge you to seriously consider LinkedIn ads.
One of the profound benefits of LinkedIn ads is their targeting options. Considering the Facebook ad rules changes in the housing/credit sphere, you’ll find LinkedIn ad targeting to be much more precise.
Let’s get to the bottom line – your advertising ROI, expressed as Cost Per 1,000 Impressions. In fact, the cost for 1,000 impressions is only $6.05 on LinkedIn, while it’s $9.06 on Facebook and $6.70 on Instagram.
3. Register and use your Google My Business page
Here’s why: http://www.remnorm.com/marketing-tips/realtors-and-loan-officers-have-you-set-up-your-google-my-business-listing-yet
Google gives you a FREE platform to list and market your services, post your content, media, and events, and show up when people search for your services in your area.
And as a Realtor or lender, getting listed and reaching people locally is super important. Remember that if you’re a real estate agent in San Diego, for instance, an agent in New York, Kansas, or even San Francisco isn’t your competition.
So, it’s ALL about promoting yourself locally. And Google My Business does just that.
Did I mention that it’s free? And on Google?
And we’re still not taking advantage of it!
Hit me firstname.lastname@example.org if you want more info or help with any of these! Let’s make it happen!
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?
Raise your hand if you’re a Realtor or mortgage lender who’s running Facebook ads (or, at least thinking about it).
Ok, you can all put them down again.
While I’m not discouraging you from running ad campaigns on the world’s biggest social media network and its sister platform, Instagram, the efficacy of those ads have taken a hit recently with the change in targeting rules for those operating in housing, credit, or employment industries (that’s you).
But remember that it’s usually best to stay ahead of the curve – not jump on the bandwagon because everyone else is doing it – and that’s why I urge you to seriously consider LinkedIn ads.
Yup, Linked, that often-forgotten social media that you only used to check when you desperately needed a job.
Launched in 2003, LinkedIn now has 660 million users – 154 million of them in the United States – and some robust benefits for anyone who takes the time (and coin) to focus their ads there.
Of course, contact me if you have any questions or would like some help with your LinkedIn ads or any marketing campaigns!
10 Reasons why LinkedIn is the place you should be running your ad campaigns:
1. Of the 660 million users, just shy of 50% are active on the platform every month. And LinkedIn is still growing fast, more than tripling its membership since its IPO in 2011 and seeing 172,800 new users sign up every day. That’s about two new users per second!
2. Not only does LinkedIn have some serious professionals ready to network, entertain opportunities, and do business, but more than 30 million companies (not individuals) have a profile on LinkedIn. Needless to say, LinkedIn is still the crème de la crème for B2B networking as well as a boon to your B2C campaigns.
3. If you want to reach decision makers, executives, and the top of any organizational hierarchy, LinkedIn is bar far your best platform (those kinds of folks aren’t spending a lot of time browsing Facebook every day. In fact, every Fortune 500 company is represented on LinkedIn by at least one upper-level manager or CEO.
4. Here’s a seminal stat when considering LinkedIn for advertising: 52 percent of consumers who recently bought a product or service listed LinkedIn as the most influential channel during their research process. The next most influential online platform was blogs, and Facebook ads were much further down the list.
5. And when it comes to purchasing power of its users, LinkedIn has no rival, with the average LinkedIn user enjoying 2X more buying power than the average Facebook user.
6. LinkedIn also boasts a better-educated and more upwardly mobile demographic, with 50% of Americans with a college degree using LinkedIn (that’s incredible!) and the average user between 25-49 (prime home buying, selling, and refinancing years) and earning about $75,000 per household.
7. Ok, so how about those actual LinkedIn ads I was trumpeting?
Let’s get to the bottom line – your advertising ROI, expressed as Cost Per 1,000 Impressions. In fact, the cost for 1,000 impressions is only $6.05 on LinkedIn, while it’s $9.06 on Facebook and $6.70 on Instagram.
Even more important, the value of a LinkedIn lead or prospect is much higher than those on Facebook, as they are more serious, qualified, and financially stable consumers.
8. With LinkedIn ads, you can set up your campaign based on your business goals, like brand awareness, lead generation, or awareness. (To be fair, you can do the same n Facebook.) You can also set your budget for a certain cost per day or total cost and hit pause on the ad (and spending) at any time, adjusting the ad’s image, text, or other elements mid-campaign to ensure you maximize your ROI.
9. But LinkedIn does offer a great lineup of options for your ads, like:
• Sponsored Content
• Direct Sponsored Content
• Sponsored InMail
• Text Ads, and
• Dynamic Ads
They each have different appearances and features, which I’ll cover in-depth in part two.
10. One of the profound benefits of LinkedIn ads is their targeting options. Considering the Facebook ad rules changes in the housing/credit sphere, you’ll find LinkedIn ad targeting to be much more precise.
You can still target your LinkedIn ad based on:
• Education level
• Job experience
• Job title
• Groups they belong to,
• and more.
And you can still upload your email list, database, or point LinkedIn to your website and come up with a copy-cat audience with their Matched Audience feature.
Hit me up if you need help and stay tuned for part two of this series on LinkedIn Ads!
Are you looking to make 2020 your best year yet in business? Realtors, mortgage lenders, and just about any entrepreneur or business owner should understand and adopt these 20 social media marketing trends for 2020 – and beyond.
1. It’s all about video. No, really!
For three years now, I’ve been saying that you should start shooting and releasing a bunch of video content. And in 2020, I’m telling you to shoot and release a bunch of video content. According to one prominent study, 82% of all online content consumed will be video by 2022!
2. Social listening
If you sat down and actually tracked how much of your marketing consisted of one-way communication (you talking to them), you might be shocked that it’s near 100%. Instead, make an effort to listen to your audience online with questions, polls, surveys, focus groups, and more. They’ll love you for it!
3. Social communities are invaluable
Yes, Facebook groups are back. Think of this paradigm shift: instead of building a Facebook page that highlights YOU, as a Realtor, lender, or business owner, what if you started a Facebook group that focuses on a certain neighborhood, or a first-time buyer forum, a teachers/school group, etc. You’ll see that it’s far easier and faster to build a thriving community when the group is about something – not just about you.
4. Get personal
People will do business because they like and trust YOU. So, remember that when you’re creating marketing messages and content that’s bland, uninspired, vanilla, and not 100% authentic.
5.Segmentation is key
The internet is too big and too crowded for you to try to direct your marketing towards everybody and expect to see results. Instead, smart corporations and brands are going “micro” in 2020, breaking their overall audience into sub-groups based on demographics, needs, challenges, values, etc. and appealing to each of those individually.
6. Location, location, geo-targeting location
Location targeting is essential in 2020 with geo-targeting and check-in tools on social media, especially if you’re in real estate (local) or mortgage (regional or statewide).
7. Influencers go nano
Influencers will still be as sought-after and important for social media marketing in 2020, but brands will focus on smaller influencers who dominate a micro-niche. Think of it as depth over breadth of influence.
8. Here comes the social backlash
Until recently, social media was basically a free-for-all, with only causal reference to legality, disclosures, regulations, etc. However, there’s a huge backlash underway, as data collection, fake political ads, divisive and hate speech, and more threaten to poison our internet use. You’ll want to pay a lot closer attention to your disclosures, privacy policies, etc. as you market online this year.
9. Instagram no-like
Instagram is deemphasizing their “like” feature, and at some point in 2020, you’ll be able to see how many likes your post has, but others won’t be able to.
Not only is this a concerted effort for Instagram to clip the wings of fake followers and likes, promote their own ad platform, and take back power from influencers, but it believes that this superficial evaluation is actually hurting peoples’ mental health around the globe.
10. Drop the “vanity metrics”
Getting rid of like counters is part of a broader movement to reduce “vanity metrics” across social media platforms. In fact, in a recent TED Talk, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said that “follower counts are now meaningless, and, if he could go back, he wouldn’t emphasize the “like” button so much.”
But marketers and brands will have other powerful metrics to go by, like the quality and frequency of user engagement.
11. Ephemeral (like Stories) is in
Social media posts and content that shows up for a limited duration and then disappear will be more popular than ever in 2020, especially Instagram Stories, which is used by 64% of digital marketers.
12. Customer service via social media
In 2020, consumers want information, answers and help NOW. A surefire way to lose a lot of clients is by answering their messages and emails in a day or even waiting until the next morning, Therefore, automation like chatbots and autoresponders will play a big part in the customer experience via social media.
13. Virtual Reality is real (sort of)
Virtual Reality has been on the horizon for years now, yet still not part of our everyday lives. That may take a shift in 2020, as Facebook rolls out their Horizon, a social virtual reality world.
14. Augmented Reality is already here
You may not know that you’re living in a world filled with Augmented Reality, but all of those filters, image manipulators, emoticon creators, and other interactive apps are part of the AR takeover.
15. User-generated and employee-generated content
One of the biggest marketing shifts of 2020 is the use of user-generated and employee-generated content. Testimonials, insights, stories, and other content from your clients, partners, and even employees are seen as far more authentic and demonstrates social proof.
16. Re-discovering privacy
The internet can be a scary place these days, as everyone has access to you and your “stuff” once you use social media or other platforms. However, “The future is private,” as Mark Zuckerberg revealed 2019, and part of that is the prevalence of social media for private messaging or content that is private or excludes. For that reason, Zuckerberg united Facebook Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp, and private messaging apps now have 5 billion monthly active users – far more than all social media platforms combined!
17. Trust is timeless
Nothing’s changed in regard to establishing trust with your marketing and work communication – it’s still the #1 most valuable commodity there is. Just like in romantic relationships, there will be no business relationship or sale if you clients don’t trust you. Trust will be even more important in 2020!
18. Go with video for your ads
Many of you are utilizing paid ad campaigns for Facebook and other platforms, with mixed results. (Read more info on Facebook’s big ad rule changes for realtors and others in 2019).
But if you really want to maximize the effectiveness of your ads in 2020, go with video – not just a post with an image or graphic. Speaking of which, give YouTube ads a try!
19. Consumers want meaningful content
There’s enough clutter and fluff on the Internet – your audience doesn’t need more of it. Instead, they need meaningful content that will impact their lives in some form, so always look to solve problems, provide solid information, help without overtly selling, and focus on providing value.
20. You don’t need fancy – just effective
I can’t tell you how many Realtors, loan officers, and professionals I talk to who have million-dollar CRMS but they still don’t send out email campaigns regularly, want to get into Facebook ads but they don’t even bother posting on their current Facebook page, or think they need an advanced social media strategy when they don’t even create any of their own content yet.
Instead of looking for the next big shortcut or get-rich-quick tool, utilize the 6 fundamental pillars of online marketing, first.
Integrate these into your overall marketing system, give it time to grown, and I promise you that you’ll see terrific results!
If I told you five years ago that in 2020, we’d see 30-year fixed interest rates at 3.7%, huge buyer demand amid an inventory shortage, and +2.5% to +5% home value appreciation, you probably would have gladly signed up for those market conditions!
Well, that’s the scenario we’re looking at heading into 2020, as industry analysts and economists forecast a slowing - but still positive - real estate market, bolstered by this prolonged low-rate environment and a surge of buyer demand from Millennials.
Of course, the economy is facing an inevitable slowdown as the roller coaster can’t go up forever, and we have some serious debt and housing affordability concerns.
But there’s mostly good news in the housing sector, and Realtors and mortgage lenders still play a vital part in education, leading, and serving consumers to smart home buying and selling decisions.
So, as we’re kicking off 2020, here are 10 talking points for you to share with your clients, followers, and friends.
1. Home price appreciation will be steady instead of spectacular, but still positive.
In 2019, we saw home prices appreciate 3.5% across the U.S. (according to CoreLogic). Despite affordability concerns and years of price gains, CoreLogic expects appreciation to climb to 5.6% by the end of 2020! Others are not so optimistic, but still predict modest (+2.8%) price gains in 2020. In California, the California Association of Realtors anticipates modest but stable +2.5% home appreciation gains.
2. Mortgage rates will stay low…and even drop again!
Among economists and experts, there's an "emerging consensus" that mortgage interest rates will stay low in 2020. Although we never know where rates may go, some respected organizations like Freddie Mac and the Mortgage Bankers Association predict that rates may even drop a tick next year to 3.7% for a 30-year fixed. Incredible!
3. Millennials are really ready to buy.
In 2019, Millennials accounted for 46% of all new mortgage originations and 45% of all home buyers, which led all generations by leaps and bounds. That trend will continue and grow in 2020.
4. But the Baby Boomers are staying put.
Instead of selling their homes to downsize, move and buy again, or change their lifestyle, Baby Boomers are opting to age and retire in their current homes. In fact, only 17% of home buyers last year were Baby Boomers, and it's estimated that they're "sitting on" 1.6 million homes across the country that normally would be up for sale if past trends continued.
5. Low inventory and an entry-level housing shortage.
In most markets across the U.S., inventory remains low, meaning that buyers are facing fewer choices, more competition, and upward price pressure. That inventory problem will get some aid from new homes, but not much. In fact, building pace still falls shy of historical average production, and many developers have built higher-end homes – not affordable starter homes where inventory is sorely needed.
6. Nesting instead of moving up.
Another part of the inventory problem is that homeowners are staying longer before they sell and move. The average homeowner now stays in their residence for 13 years before putting it back on the market, up from an average of 8 years in 2010.
7. Home prices not likely to fall.
The economy may take a downward turn in 2020, but that doesn’t mean the housing market will take a hit like we saw during the last recession. According to data from ARCH MI, a leading real estate statistics analyst firm, the chance of home price declines throughout 2020 AND 2021 is just 11%. So, home price growth may slow, but it’s very unlikely we see them fall!
8. A shortage of affordable homes for first-time buyers.
Entry-level and affordable homes will see the most effects of short inventory and tight competition, creating a real crunch among first-time buyers and Millennial buyers.
9. But the luxury market will hum along.
The high-end real estate market should remain stable throughout 2020, with greater inventory levels (by percentage, not volume) than other price points. That abundance of inventory should nudge some sellers to cash out, while plenty of buyers look to take advantage. Prices may be flat or even drop a notch on the high end, but the market will remain dynamic and stable.
10. It’s all about the tech!
The process of searching for, buying, and selling a home continue to be more tech-oriented, with smart apps, mobile home searches, smart homes, and social media marketing for listings. That's especially true for Millennials, as 98% of buyers in this age bracket search for homes online, and 80% of them found the home online that they eventually bought last year.
I hope those ten talking points help you kick off 2020 with good news about the real estate and mortgage market!
And if you need any help with your marketing, lead generation, and client outreach in 2020, you know where to find me!
It’s hard to believe 2020 is already here, but New Year’s Eve officially lead us into a brand new decade.
Before the whole world officially gets back to work (and the New Year's hangovers fade), I encourage you to use this time to clarify your business goals for 2020. Take stock of what worked well in 2019, what aspects you need to improve upon, and also, the most inefficient and time-wasting elements that you can cut out (or outsource) in 2020.
I’m going to give you the gift of three pieces of advice as you recount, recalibrate, and reload your business plan for 2020. I hope you’ll keep these in mind, as I promise they will lead to an epically-successful 2020:
1. Follow your passion.
The real estate and mortgage business is too-often all about numbers and dollars, especially in our growingly-impersonal world of technology.
However, there is still room for passion. In fact, that’s exactly where you’ll find the most success, feel the most fulfilled, and find meaning in your work and your life.
Always think in terms of adding more value because that’s what drives you, but have a little fun and don’t be afraid to get personal - I promise you that your clients will love you for it!
2. Think long-term and big picture.
I get it. Your mortgage is due. The car just broke down. And the your kids need braces. The financial pressure to close the next deal is HUGE for anyone in sales or self-employed, but especially for Realtors and lenders. But instead of being reactionary and chasing every deal like a dog chasing its tail, try to think big-picture.
You have 365 days in 2020. Make them count by prioritizing the most fruitful activities to the best of your ability with sustained energy.
Take the time to put systems in place, get organized, build your brand, train staff, and schedule everything. Think in terms of the average of all of these efforts and measures paying off throughout those 365 days, not just the next closing check.
3. Work on yourself.
This may be the most important piece of advice I can ever give you, but it’s certainly nothing new or original.
My favorite quote is that go legendary motivational guru (before they were a dime a dozen) Jim Rohn, who said,
"Your level of success will seldom exceed your level of personal development, because success is something you attract by the person you become."
In fact, you should work on yourself MORE than you work on your business, although that could also mean working on education, communications skills, new ways to add value, giving back in the community, reinforcing relationships, and more.
Break down those old barriers, emotional constraints, bad narratives, and limiting mindsets that keep sabotaging your business.
Read books, exercise, practice your faith or spirituality, help others, and always strive to be a better person today than you were yesterday.
Once you commit to that, your success will come, I promise you - and not just incrementally but with massive shifts that will be around long after 2020 comes to pass, too.
Happy New Year and I’m rooting for you in 2020!