Thursday, September 21, 2017

Tapping Top Tweeters & Facebook Friends for Expert Advice:  Part One

By Julie Escobar

With a nod for some social media love this month, I tapped some real movers and shakers in cyberspace to learn some best practices and cool strategies for real estate professionals to put into play to help build their online reach, referral base and even have a little fun along the way!

First up…social media powerhouse Shanna Lafontaine (aka @slafontaine) from RE/MAX Affiliates in Dublin, Ohio!

Shanna’s been on Facebook since it was a college campus platform!  It was a way to stay connected when she went back to school so she’s definitely learned it from the ground floor up!  She can attribute more than 50% of her new real estate business from a social media source, connecting through Facebook, Twitter or her blog.

That’s powerful –  to help you find the same kind of results – here are a few of Shanna’s secrets for success:

Why it works:

  • People have the chance to “get to know you” through your posts on Facebook, Twitter and blogs. It paves the way for them to get comfortable with their choice of agent.  Just last week I had someone call me and say they looked up all the REALTORS that were recommended to them.  They told me they put my name in to Google and said “You’re everywhere!  That’s what we want in an agent!”  I had the listing before I even walked in the door…
  • Helps to create trusting relationships – but you have to take it beyond the written words online.  Make it a point to get out and socialize with your audience in person to help create a deeper relationship.  Here we attend Ohio State Football, the local music scene, etc.

Best advice for new bloggers?

  • Have a clear plan and idea before starting the blog
  • Write out outlines and notes on ideas – that will help when you get “writer’s block.” I’ll keep them in drafts of my blog so that I can just use those when I need them.
  • Know who you are aiming to reach, speak to that “person” when writing
  • Plan out the time you are going to spend each week – it’s a commitment – whether on your blog or posting on the social media platforms – you’ve got to treat it like the prospecting appointment time that it is.
  • If you’re on a roll – keep writing.  Some afternoons or mornings (or whenever your time to write is) you can come up with four or five posts and then coast for a couple of days!
  • Be consistent – this is a big one!  You’ve got to keep showing up!  On Facebook and Twitter you’ve got to post at least 4 or 5 days a week – blogging a few times a week.  It’s like building that foundation for your business – brick by brick.  If you’re going to tweet for a couple days and then leave for two months – it’s NOT going to work for you.

Good tools to use? (social media platforms, etc.)

An Interview with Top Agent Stacy Stateham

Stacy Stateham

By Julie Escobar

Every now and then while circling cyberspace you run into someone who makes you stop and think, “Wow!  I like that person’s style.”  You can see they’re bringing substance and certainty to the conversation and it makes you want to get to know them better.  For me this month – I found JUST such an agent following me on Twitter — @StacyStateham. (If I were you I’d go ahead and follow her.  Trust me on this one.)

Funny, fierce and smart I did what I do – asked her for an interview.  She had lots of wisdom to share — so FAIR WARNING – it’s a long post – so bookmark it if you’d like and come back for snippets!

Here are some of the lessons I learned along the way…I hope you enjoy!

Q:  Hey Stacy – as I said, I’ve enjoyed following you on Twitter & Facebook and I think you’ve got some interesting spins on real estate and the modern agent.  Can we start by telling me a little about you & your business?

A:  Sure!  I’m a middle aged broad who loves her job.   I have an awesome guy, Skip, a daughter, Alisha, who just graduated from college who is starting her professional life, and a step-son Josh and his sweetheart Jessica who gave us our first grandson.  I’m originally from Denver but I’ve been in Rockford since the 1980’s, after growing up in Singapore thanks to my dad’s job.

*I’m an escapee from corporate life. I spent over 20 years in sales, marketing, and management.  When I wasn’t flying somewhere I was driving somewhere.  I was making money, getting things done, checking things off the list, and unhappy.  I hit a point where I wanted to quit and couldn’t because of finances and I realized that I was trapped.  I needed separate sources of income to be able to cut the chain.  I built my savings and investments (source #1) to allow me to quit corporate life and do independent consulting (source #2) which allowed me time to build my real estate business (#3).  Leaving Century 21 and joining Nextage has allowed me to replace the consulting work with sales bonuses and to do more of what I love in helping our agents and brokers be more successful.

An old boss of mine told me that sometime I think so far out of the box that he wondered where the box went.  I love finding creative ways to solve problems, I’m a geeky addict of cool tools, and I’m all for making the most of what we have available to us.

Q:  *Loved that line so much I decided it HAD to be the title for the interview!  Stacy, you’re quite the  rock star social media marketer – and I know you help train new agents on Social Media Marketing 101 and how they can integrate social media tools into their business plans.  Can you share some of your top strategies for success with our readers?

A:  I’d like to say to start with Facebook, but don’t.  Start by spending a few hours figuring out who you are likely to be most successful with.  What kind of people do you want to connect with?   Forget your real estate business for a minute and think about them.  What do they like?  What are they interested in?  What will keep them coming back?  Now, bring your real estate business back into the equation.  How can you match their interests with your business?  Laser focus on that core audience and build all of your marketing around them, both online and off.

Say you want to attract successful 50-60 something’s.  The might be interested in food and wine, they might like to travel, they’re concerned about their nest egg, they may have adult children and possibly grandchildren.  Oh yeah, and they buy real estate.

Next –