Real Estate Content Marketing 101
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The journey to marketing your real estate business begins here - with content.

A well-developed content strategy tells the story you and your business in a way that convinces your customer that you’re the real estate agent they should work with. And it forms the foundation upon which every other piece of marketing collateral is built.

In the digital world, content is essentially the carbon element from which everything is made.

In definitive form, content is, “the collection of words and images that make up your presence.” It’s the information and experiences directed towards an end-user or audience and is expressed through some medium, such as speech, writing, or any various form of art.

In plain speak, content is what you’re trying to communicate to your audience.

Now, three things are required in order to make content: 

  • Something to say

  • A medium in which to say it

  • A strategy

This makes content complex because it allows content to take on various forms. A blog article is a piece of content, a web page is content, a speech is content, images and video are content, Podcasts are content - just about anything expressed regardless of how it is being expressed is content. This is your something to say and how you’re saying it is your medium.

Now, we can spurt out all the content we want all day. We can create articles about home buying or styling but none of it will ever stick unless it’s expressed within a strategy.

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Why do we need a content strategy? 

Because every day, more than 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are uploaded to the Internet. 

Quintillion. That’s 18 zeros in case you were wondering.

Each minute alone:

  • Snapchat users share 527,760 photos

  • Users watch 4,146,600 YouTube videos

  • 456,000 tweets are sent on Twitter

  • 46,740 photos are posted to Instagram

With numbers like this, it’s no surprise why much of what we say doesn’t seem to hit the ears of our customers. This is why it’s so important to have a strategy - our content strategy.

So what makes a content strategy different from just say putting content out there? 

A content strategy differs because it delivers an objective.

It is the high-level vision that guides future content development to deliver a specific business objective. It’s a high-level vision, your core, from which every bit of content you make comes from.

Content marketing and strategy is a calculated marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”

Did you pick up on all the keywords there? Let’s break it down.

Content marketing is:

  • Valuable - people gain value from content

  • Relevant - your message speaks to the user

  • Consistent - you deliver not only a consistent message but schedule content consistently

  • Attracts - content marketing attracts your audience

  • Retains - content marketing retains your audience, keeping them coming back for more

  • Defined - you don’t speak to everyone, you speak to your defined audience 

Every leading brand in existence uses content strategy as part of their larger marketing strategy.

Why? Because it works. 

I could list a series of benefits as longer than my arm. Some of the benefits of using a content strategy include:

  • Increased sales - I can say with 100% confidence that you will increase your leads and sales

  • Cost savings - content is free to create. All it takes is a little bit of brain power and some time. Short on time? It’s affordable to outsource content at any budget.

  • Quality customers - content weeds out the wrong customers and leaves you with the right ones while building rapport with said customers

  • It’s organic - Organic marketing is always the best kind of marketing because it’s natural, unforced and like the word organic implies, it grows.

Let’s run through an example using two very different agents. One agent does not have a content strategy in place and one does.

Over here we have agent Joe. He’s your sort of agent who just sort of does the bare minimum to scrape by. He takes the listing he’s given and posts it up with nothing else in terms of support. He has no content strategy and simply adds a generic listing description:

 
 

NEW LISTING: 2bd/2ba in desirable neighborhood $200,000. This house won’t last long!

 
 

Click the listing and it takes you to your run-of-the-mill MLS listing on his broker’s website or on a software he’s paying for. 

How do you think this listing comes across to the customer? 

First of all, this 2bd/2ba caption says nothing to me as the buyer. It doesn’t speak to me, it doesn’t make me want to click. Then when I do, I see pictures that are low-lit, and off-center. I, a potential buyer, get no sense of value from this listing and when I do click for more details, it takes me to a location that I could just use Zillow to find more detail on. I, as a customer, am not enticed to work with Joe. I don’t feel like he provides me with any added value and feel as if I can do this on my own.

Bring on the #FSBOlife.

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Now meet Mac.

Mac is advertising a nearly identical listing. Except his post is a lot different. It reads:

 
 

2bd/2ba dream home in Charolette’s hip new SoHo neighborhood. Just three blocks from the Saturday Morning farmer’s market in Pioneer Square. A fully remodeled kitchen includes granite counter tops, stainless steel appliances and stunning iron, gas stove. Exterior updates include a new roof and security lighting. Move in ready with new, wood floors. Large, shaded backyard features a 50 sq.ft. deck and trellis. Only a five-minute walk to Charolette Elementary School bus stop. Click here for complete house photos and set up a walk-through today.

 
 

The listing features beautiful photos that entice me to see more. Photos are bright and clear and I the buyer begin imagining how my couch will fit perfectly in that corner. Or how I’ll place my favorite painting there above the fireplace.

I can picture myself living here.

Upon clicking the link, I’m sent to a self-owned website that tells the whole story of not only the listing but the agent as well. There’s information on how to set up an appointment as well as similar listings in the neighborhood. A featured article gives me a step-by-step checklist of the home buying process and I think to myself, “Wow. Mac sure knows a lot about this process. Plus he’s personable. This is someone I can get behind.”

So I submit my inquiry and immediately receive a text message or phone call that sets up an appointment to chat with the agent.

Bam. Mind blown. Talk about service.

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Which post do you want to engage with more? Better yet, which agent do you want to engage with more? I don’t know about you, but I’m really leaning toward Mac. He seems engaged in this work whereas Joe feels completely removed.

Both listings say basically the same thing, but Mac’s listing is the one that says, “I will jump over the moon for you!” without ever having to say it. Why is that? It’s because he was a content strategy in place that aligns with his business process.

Mac provides added value in the form of quality, attentive service but it was his quality content that first grabs your attention and makes him stand out.

This is a classic case of a proactive vs. a reactive agent.

I use this example because this is what I see everyday. A reactive agent vs. a proactive agent. And if you’re reading this article, I’m filled with so much confidence that you’re the proactive agent which is why we’re going to get your content strategy, digital strategy and process down pat.

Everything you do from here on out needs to revolve around a sound content strategy.

It is the framework around which everything you do will be built. It will be the structure of your entire marketing story.

Now, let’s begin to get a little technical here.

While there’s a framework to developing your content strategy, it is not a concrete step-by-step template. Every agent’s strategy is going to be different. That means that unlike math, there’s no equation that results in a right answer.

While some agents are empowered by this, others may not be. I encourage you to see this as a good thing because it means that if there’s no right answer then there’s no wrong one either. Meaning you can take this in just about any direction your creative mind can come up with.

Now while there’s no exact equation for marketing, there are certain elements of creating a strategy to serve as your guide in the process. You’ll find these elements will make your life a whole lot easier in developing a strategy and all quality pieces of content have them.

Which is why you’re here because we’re here to cut through the fluff and get right into building your content strategy.

There are five key elements to the content marketing equation. We’re going to focus on these components and getting them in place before we diving into developing out the arms and legs of your content strategy. Because everything we’re about to discuss is the elemental core of it. 

Content element number 1:

A business plan.

I’m not trying to be captain obvious over here. It seems like this is something I shouldn’t need to note but many a time I’ve run into clients who don’t have concrete business plans for how they want to conduct their company. Or even there’s no set direction for where they want to go with their business.

Then they try to use marketing as a bandaid to patch the iceberg size hole in their business.

Remember Mac from our example? Remember how he had a business process in place that allowed him to immediately reach out to inquiries as those leads came in? It’s these business processes that enable him to build rich content based around the process to engage and entice his audience.

The simple fact of the matter is that you have to have a business plan prior to developing a content strategy or any type of marketing strategy for that matter.

It’s going to be very difficult to build a content strategy for a business if there’s no business plan to begin with. You will be a reactive agent without one.

This includes having an intimate understanding of your goals, the unique value proposition you bring to the table and the details of your process. Be aware of obstacles and opportunities that may arise in the process and think a little ahead.

I don’t want you to freak out and think of documenting your business plan as this huge undertaking. This doesn’t need to be fancy. At the very least, the MVP that needs to be in place are your business goals, knowing who your target customer is and a documented flow of how you’re running your business. Again, this doesn’t need to be anything fancy. A simple word document will do. Having a written account of your process will help center you on those hectic days when decision making is difficult and will make it much easier to add new aspects to your business - such as marketing.

The second content element is...

A general marketing plan.

Once you know your business plan and your goals under a unified mission, it’s much easier to make strategic decisions in terms of your marketing. Such as which goals to prioritize and what message you want to deliver in each piece of content, as well as what techniques you want to use in pursuit of those goals.

For this we ask ourselves three questions:

First question: what are our marketing campaign goals?

A campaign is a new push in our marketing. In essence we’re asking what do we want to see happen as a result of this effort.

Examples could be: as I result of this campaign, we want to seem more credible. Or our goal is to share a listing. Perhaps we want to collect the contact info of ready buyers.

Question two: what are our financial goals?

In other words, what is the ROI we expect to see from this campaign. In what ways will we be saving time and money?


Not sure how to get started with your content strategy?

Download the 30-day Content Calendar & Planning Guide


For example, we collected rich data about families ready to buy via a call-to-action placed on a blog post. We know that these leads are most likely buyer ready. Therefore we will be putting a little more time into crafting a more personalized message for them since we’ve already shifted through the chafe. Or we can use this hot email list for creating look alike audiences on our Facebook ads, thus saving us on time and money spent on an ad campaign.

Question three: what are our business growth goals in relation to this piece of content?

The goal is for each piece of content we create to further supports our business goals. So with question three we’re asking where in our business do we see this strategy supporting the goals of our business plan.

Is this strengthening one of our weaknesses? Extinguishing a threat? Capitalizing on a new opportunity? Essentially, we’re addressing how the goals in our business plan and our marketing campaign relate.

Content element number three is…

Know your ideal audience.

We can’t develop content unless we know who it is we’re talking to.

Many real estate professionals - and marketers for that matter - freeze up when creating content. It’s easy to get in our own way wondering, “I don’t know what to say! I don’t know what to write!” Of course you don’t know what to say because you probably don’t know exactly who it is you’re talking to.

You wouldn’t talk to a kindergartener the same way you would an adult. Same goes for your customer.

Very different language will be used and different conversations will be had dependent on who you’re talking to and where in the buying process they are at.

So the question is: do you know who you’re talking to?

That’s because when developing content we need to be thinking about their needs, fears and desires as a whole as well as their needs, fears and desires in the current moment. We want to map out content strategically that will support them through their home buying or selling journey.

Our fourth content strategy element:

You must establish your brand.

Your brand is more than just your logo.

A brand is the expression of who your business is and sets the expectation for your customers of what they can expect from working with you.

It’s the cohesive ideas and messages you want to communicate about your business defined by a number of different design & content elements such as your name, tagline, key message, color scheme, photography and much more.

It’s the feeling and emotion behind the narrative of your company.

Think of a big brand, any brand. Chances are you know exactly what they’re about and who they cater to solely based on the essence or aura they throw out there into the world. That’s because every message they create echoes their brand.

Brand is vital in developing your content because the tone of voice is a big part of both content and branding.

For example, we’ll compare content from two agents that are killing it with their content but in completely different ways.

First we have Alyssa Morgan Jansheski, a luxury agent in Miami.

Alyssa leans heavily into an influencer-vibe with her content to appeal to an international audience. Her tone of voice throughout her website, social media and marketing channels is luxe, authoritative and perfectly coifed.

Compare this to Colin J.J. Cameron of Small Town Agents.

Not only is Colin’s tone completely different than Alyssa’s but he utilizes a completely different medium as well - video. Every video on STA’s YouTube and Facebook channels uses humor even when showcasing listings. But even though he uses humor every video is still incredibly informative.

As you can see, these are two completely different brands and ways to do content. Neither of these approaches is better than the other, but both these agents know exactly who their brand is. And each creates content perfect for the audience they aim to reach.

Moving into our fifth and final content element…

A channel plan.

A channel plan is defining which platforms you will use to tell your brand story.

Let’s quickly touch back on our previous example using Alyssa and Colin. Alyssa relies more heavily on using Instagram and professional photos while Colin uses phone-shot videos via Facebook & YouTube.

And both create amazing content with their chosen channel plans.

Picking content channels and mediums depends heavily on what we discussed above: knowing your goals, marketing expectations, brand and target audience. Different audiences are more active on different channels.

Alyssa more likely uses Instagram to capture her audience because Insta has become a big platform for all things luxury and she can hone in on her target audience and building influence using hashtags. Meanwhile Facebook is more local friendly, which is where Colin creates much of his content. He’s able to reach those local audiences more effectively and post long-form videos.

Okay, you took in a lot today. We’re going to cut it off here and give you a moment to digest. It’s common for people to overthink this process when developing it out, but really it’s more of a brainstorming activity or what I like to call a brain dump where you just let everything stuck up in your head flow to paper so you can see it and start making sense of it.

Look for consistencies to align your criteria, process and objectives with each content element to create a cohesive and consistent brand conversation. Then go back and refine for documentation purposes. Try not to overthink it.

Start simple and then refine. The key to developing good content is just to begin.

If you’re not sure how to get started with developing a content strategy, DOWNLOAD THE 30-DAY SOCIAL CONTENT CALENDAR to start your brainstorm.


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Ashley Taylor

Ashley is the co-founder and marketing + tech brain behind Shore to Summit - an education & marketing service platform for real estate professionals.


Your Personal Brand Identity is More Than Just Your Brokerage’s Logo
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A logo alone does not a brand identity make.

A brand - your personal brand - is much more than that.

When designing a website or creating marketing collateral for real estate agents I always ask for the details behind their branding. Nine times out of ten, what I get in return is the logo and brand guide to their brokerage.

This is a great start, but not exactly what I’m looking for.

What I really want to see is the brand identity - their personal brand identity.

You see, the brand you sit behind under your brokerage is just one piece of the puzzle. Your personal brand is the part that will make you unique.

Think of Josie and the Pussycats (yes, the beloved 60’s comic/tv/movie series). Josie, Melody & Valerie are all members of the same smash hit band dawning the same leopard print costume, but each of them has a completely different personality that appeals to a completely different audience.

So while you may think your brand identity is to be just another agent of RE/MAX, Coldwell Banker, eXp, or Sotheby’s, it’s not. That is who you represent but the unique flare in how you represent them is all you.

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That’s your unique, vibrant brand identity.

And that brand identity is ultimately what your customer will connect with.

In today’s blog post we’re going to dig into exactly what a brand identity is and how to apply it to your real estate business.

Not only will be define what a brand identity is but what each of the elements are that construct a brand. And in doing so you’ll be able to reach your customer in a way that’s deeper than simply going through the process of a transaction, but one that leads to relationships and referrals.

Defining Brand Identity

Let’s start with the obvious shall we: what is branding?

Branding is the name, tagline, message, terms, design, colors, symbols and other features one identifies with a company, goods or service.

Whenever I’ve learned about branding, I kid you not, there is one example that’s always mentioned because the brand is so strong. And that is Coca-Cola. From the color red, to the iconic logo to the bottle shape, their messaging is distinct.

But even more than the physical representations of a company, a brand is the perceptions and experience people have with said company.

Take Disney for example. When you go to Walt Disney World or have any sort of interaction with their company, whether it’s visiting the parks or buying online, you know you’re in store for a magical, delightful experience with friendly customer service.

Compare that to Spirit Airlines, in which case you know you’re headed for a massive headache from start to finish.

The Three C’s

Now, there are three c’s when it comes to branding that signify the hallmark of a good brand strategy.

  • Cohesive: A brand is cohesive

  • Consistent: A brand is consistent in its messaging

  • Clarity: A brand clearly communicates what a company stands for

Together, the three C’s create powerful psychological connections in your customers. 

Why Do I Need Branding?

The main reason you need branding is pure and simple and it’s this:

If you don't actively define your brand, your market will do it for you.

This should be reason enough for us to want to take control of our own branding, but I have a couple more reasons for you.

Branding helps you stand out from the crowd

Your customers and clients have a lot of options.

Circle any neighborhood and you’ll see yard signs from a number of listing agents. I don’t have to tell you guys, you see it every day.

There are over 2 million real estate agents in the U.S. - that’s a lot of competition. A strong brand is a surefire way to stand out.

Branding increases your value

There’s a reason people pay more for name brand products.


Not sure how to get started with your brand identity?

We’re more than happy to help you tell your story.


Because that name is a guarantee. There’s an age old saying that you’re only as good as your name which is true in business; you’re only as good as the name you’re willing to stand behind.

You probably choose your brokerage because of something they stand for. It could be for access to an exclusive package of tools or the support they provide you as an agent. But I would place money on the fact it had something to do with the way they interact with their customers.

It may not be anything ground breaking but I guarantee your brokerage at least has the basics in customer service down. Otherwise they probably wouldn’t be in business.

Branding makes you human & creates a connection

Which leads us into my next point: branding makes you human.

Developing a brand and learning how to deliver your brans story allows you to engage with customers emotionally.

Right now, your brand is sending sends signals about who you are; whether those signals are intentional or not is up to you and deciding to declare your brand.

Your brand sends signals to customers letting them know if you cater to the luxe or the lax, the rural or the urban. It builds and drives home the marketing goals of your real estate business resonating with your customer on a subconscious scale to decide whether or not you’re the agent for them.

Branding builds loyalty

When people are able to connect with you emotionally, they grow loyal to you.

They think, “Wow. Dylan sure is a nice guy and a hell of a real estate agent. He knew exactly what I needed.”

Which leave customers much more inclined to voluntarily refer your business to friends & family.

We see this phenomenon occur all the time with brands, especially personal brands. Because people ultimately connect best with other humans.

If you can find that sweet spot of human connection plus make the life of your customer easier with stellar service, you’re golden.

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The Branding Process

Just like the 3 C’s there are 3 parts to the branding process. They are:

The Discovery Phase

This is where you audit your industry and marketing efforts to date.

It’s an arduous process but a necessary one that involves hunkering down in an isolated spot somewhere with a big pot of coffee and just getting it done. The goal of the discovery phase is to take an objective look at your industry, brand and customers.

This includes taking the necessary steps to:

  • Audit your personal business identity

  • Analyze the current market & your competition

  • Define the personas of your key customers

  • Face the music on how your brand is currently perceived

It takes some time to complete and is dull as all hell to execute if research isn’t your thing, but trust me, it’s a step you don’t want to skip as it accelerates every preceding decision in your business.

The Identity Phase

In the identity phase you take everything learned from the discovery phase and begin to apply it.

You will articulate who you are, what you do and how you do & talk about it.

The steps in this phase involve creating the core elements of everything that goes into the brand. You will:

  • Define and refine your core identity

  • Create a message tree that articulates that core identity

  • Identify and present your value proposition - or that special thing that sets you apart

  • Establish a mission, vision, and values

  • A brief tagline that communicates it all in just a few words

Like the discovery phase, the identity phase can be like watching paint dry. But skip it and risk having a brand to stand behind.

Cementing the discovery phase keeps everything you do from here on out consistent and in-line with your mission. It also helps to speed future decision making processes because if an opportunity presents itself but doesn’t align with the mission or vision of your brand, then it’s an obvious sign to throw it out.

The Execution Phase

The execution phase is the tip of the iceburg - the part we typically see and what we’ve come to associate as a “brand.”

The execution phase is setting the course for the tools we need to tell our brand story. These are things like:

  • A logo

  • Color scheme

  • Design elements (ie. fonts, icons, shapes)

  • Photography, videography, illustration

In the execution phase we decide how we want our business to be perceived and choose elements of design that communicate these things and align with our identify.

I know this all seems like a lot - and it is - but once your brand identity is done it’s done.

You shouldn’t have to revisit again for a few years and even then it will most likely just be a series of tweaks.

Remember, the strongest brands - the ones you remember emotionally & connect with - have stuck true to their brand for decades.

These are the brands who can truly call themselves timeless.

And they create an army of loyal followers who not only know, like and trust them, but fans who see their identity and the brand’s identity as one and the same.


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Ashley Taylor

Ashley is the co-founder and marketing + tech brain behind Shore to Summit - an education & marketing service platform for real estate professionals.


BTS: What's New at Shore to Summit | Q3 2019
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Last quarter, we started a behind-the-scenes series covering what’s new at Shore to Summit, what projects we’re focusing on now and what we have in the works. This is the second installment in that series and we’re thrilled to share nothing but good news with you today.

This past quarter proved to be an insane one behind the veil with loads of restructuring taking place to fine tune the the cogs in the machine that make this business run. We were fortunate in April to be accepted into a local accelerator program working alongside other entrepreneurs and business owners to hone our mission, vision and processes.

And it has kicked our butt. 

We’ve been forced to sit down and analyze each piece of the business. We spent hours talking to industry leaders, customers, and pitching to rooms of investors. We paired up with some genius mentors who have us seeing things a little differently and that’s caused us to pivot the initial focus of our offerings. 

We’re proud to say it has put us in a concrete spot.

A lot has changed over the past quarter for Shore to Summit, but that’s the nature of a business in its fledgling years - a truth that I know resonates with many of you.

The primary years of any business are a roller coaster of pivots, changes, peaks & valleys. For those of you experiencing the same thing right now, our biggest word of advice is to get a mentor or two. Don’t take this journey alone.

Being an ally for real estate agents was our whole goal in starting Shore to Summit and the changes we’ve made for the coming quarter are a reflection of that.

We have a lot to share with you today so let’s get right into it.

New Real Estate Marketing Service Offerings

This is the biggest change coming to Shore to Summit.

Starting today, we’re offering a whole slew of revamped, affordable marketing service packages.

It will be another month or two before everything is fully ready but the process of building new real estate marketing packages based on our six pillar philosophy is almost complete.

The new line of real estate service packages is designed to plug the holes in your digital marketing and build a cohesive online web presence that works on your behalf.

New real estate service packages include:

  • Search engine optimization

  • Ad management

  • Email newsletter & campaign creation

  • Custom & templated web design

  • Content creation & copywriting services

  • Social media growth

  • Brand development

We’re still working out the details for some of these packages but will release each package to the website as they wrap.

If you can’t wait that long and need a service now, inquire about our services here and we’ll get you rolling.

A New Real Estate-Centric Facebook Group: Real Estate Techies

Starting a Facebook Group has been on the top of our list for many months now, but became one of those things we just kept pushing off.

Then at the end of May we attended RAPB + GFLR’s inaugural TechCon event and knew it was something we couldn’t push off any longer.

The result: Real Estate Techies.

Real Estate Techies is a Facebook Group dedicated to the evolving tech trends in real estate. This is where we will be sharing important tech trend updates we think you should be aware of as well as online tools we think will make your life a little easier.

The Real Estate Marketing Blueprint Workshop

Last announcement on the list for this quarter is the Real Estate Marketing Blueprint Workshop.

In May we led a live Real Estate Marketing Blueprint Workshop via online webinar. Not all of you could make it so we decided to release the workshop again, this time for you to watch at a time that’s convenient for you.

>> REGISTER FOR THE MARKETING BLUEPRINT WORKSHOP <<<

There you go. That pretty much sums up what to look forward to for Q3.

We’re excited to begin implementing these updates starting today and getting back to working directly with our agents.

In the meantime stay up to date with what’s happening around Shore to Summit by subscribing to our weekly newsletter.


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My Favorite Real Estate CRM - Wise Agent
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Everyone has their own way of organizing contacts.

For some, it’s a detailed spreadsheet. For others, it’s a shoebox filled to the brim with business cards and phone numbers written on cocktail napkins.

But if there’s only one tool you invest in for your real estate business this year, let a CRM system be it.

A CRM system is an invaluable tool that keeps you on track and productive with all those leads on your call list.

What is a CRM?

CRM stands for ‘Customer Relationship Management’.

A powerful CRM will be an extra set of hands for just about anywhere in the business you interact with customers. It records and tracks leads, automates drip campaigns, books appointments, delivers email communications, files contracts and much, much more.

At its core, a CRM system is a tool for productivity.

Being a productive agent can spell the difference between working every day of the week and actually getting to take weekends with your family. It’s the difference between schlepping around less than stellar customers and functioning like a million dollar agent.

Why Should I Even Bother to Use a CRM?

For productivity’s sake is just a start.

A CRM system alleviates hours of headaches and wasted energy by keeping everything organized. How many times have you found yourself scraping through months of emails trying to find a single piece of information? Or you called up a customer and completely blank on where your conversation left off?

CRM’s aggregate everything you know about your customer into one spot for your convenience.

Other CRM benefits include:

  • Increased organization

  • Automated lead nurturing systems

  • Improved close rates

  • Improved lead management & customer satisfaction

  • Better team & internal communication

  • Optimized, targeted marketing

  • Detailed customer insights

  • Increase in revenue

CRM systems help real estate agents do everything from closing deals to improving structure among their teams. There’s no reason you shouldn’t be reaping its benefits.

Why I Recommend Wise Agent to my Real Estate Agents

There are many great CRM options out there to choose from. Some real estate specific and others geared toward small businesses and entrepreneurs in general. But the one I find myself recommending to my clients most is Wise Agent.



There’s a reason Wise Agent continues to be voted the top CRM system for real estate agents year after year. Its robust, easy-to-use and affordable system makes for a powerful platform that has everything you need and none of what you don’t.

Let’s cut to the chase shall we and jump right into my favorite features inside this one-stop, client-wooing toolbox.

It’s Real Estate Specific

The list of CRM systems in the space today is longer than my arm. What I like about Wise Agent is that it’s specific to the real estate industry.

There are fields within each contact for you to fill in that make it intuitive to nurture clients. For example, you can add the names and birthdays of not only the lead but of their children and their pets. It’s remembering simple bits of information like this that will set you apart from the rest of the competition.

Frustration when setting up a new CRM system is a leading reason behind why many agents fail to use a CRM in the first place. But because Wise Agent is primed for real estate use, the majority of set up is done for you. All you need to do is add in those contacts.

Drag & Drop Marketing

Drip campaigns, landing pages, newsletter, print & email flyers - it’s all there.

The amount of marketing included in Wise Agent is astonishing. Any one of these marketing tools alone is worth the price of Wise Agent’s platform, but they give you all of them and much more.

Task List

The task list is a simple but powerful feature.

With the task list, every step you need to take with a lead or customer can be itemized from start to finish - ideal for those of you who like to check your way through a daily to-do list.

A task list gets assigned to a contact and Wise Agent adds each item as a to-do for that contact. So you and your team will know exactly what task to perform with each contact and when.

Drip Campaigns

Tech tools, drip campaigns and automation. These are a few of my favorite things.

Drip campaigns are a dynamic way to nurture leads with minimal effort on your part. Once you set up your campaign, you simply let it run and work its magic.

Now, setting up drip campaigns is another story. They take forever to create and optimize, right? Not with Wise Agent.

Wise Agent comes with over 20 drip campaigns already built in. From short sales to expired listings, they already have campaigns set. All you need to do is customize them for your messaging and personal preferences.

SMS Texting

Wise Agent’s text messaging ability is a game changer.

They’ve added the ability to send automated text messages to leads automatically and immediately upon receiving one. Or you can use it to send a mass bulk text and even send videos in your text messages.

Affordable Pricing

At only $29 a month, there’s no reason you shouldn’t be able to invest in Wise Agent’s CRM system. Seriously, absolutely none.

This is one of those tools that is worth giving up your Starbucks habit for if that’s what it takes.

Not only do you get their entire toolset, but four members of your team do as well as you can have up to five team members on one account. Each with their own username and login.

Where Wise Agent really out does themselves is with their white-glove service. It is bar none. When you call them, you get a friendly customer-service representative on the line ready to walk you through your problem, no matter what the problem may be.

If you haven’t invested in a CRM system yet, or if you tried a different CRM in the past, I HIGHLY recommend giving Wise Agent a go. I barely scratched the surface of what their platform can accomplish in this article and encourage you to give them a look for yourself.

You can sign up for a risk-free, no contract trial over on their website.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Starting Your Real Estate Facebook Group
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Facebook Groups have quickly become THE social media marketing hack to connect with and foster relationships with your target audience.

And for good reason.

Facebook Groups are an engaging way to create genuine relationships with people in your community. And because groups are rarely ever about actual real estate know-how, the agents who maintain them find Groups to be a fun way to market their business.

Facebook Groups 101

// What are Facebook Groups?

According to Facebook:

Facebook Groups are the place for small group communication and for people to share their common interests and express their opinion. Groups allow people to come together around a common cause, issue or activity to organize, express objectives, discuss issues, post photos and share related content.”

In other words, a Facebook Group is a community group designed to bring people together around a particular topic or interest.

Groups can focus on anything. From online running groups to celebrity fandoms and movie critics, there are Groups for everything under the sun.

// What makes Facebook Groups different from Facebook Business Pages?

The main difference between Groups and Pages is the level of interaction and engagement.

Pages are meant to be a public, informational profile about a particular businesses, public figure or entity. Groups on the other hand focus on a topic and the interactions between the individual community members about that topic.

To put it plainly, Business Pages are the equivalent to your business card while Groups would be the natural conversation you might have with someone over a cup of coffee. The business card provides the customer with your professional information while discussion over a shared connection promotes feelings of know, like and trust.

For example, Nikki Klein is a Boca Raton realtor who has grown quite a local following using Groups.

Here you can see her Facebook Business Page alongside the Facebook Group she run called Boca Raton Moms Connect:

Facebook Business Page

Facebook Business Page

Facebook Group

Facebook Group

While her Business Page is all about her real estate business, Nikki’s Facebook Group is about the community she serves - moms in Boca Raton.

And that’s the key to Groups. Facebook Groups are about the community - not your business.

Successful Groups like Nikki’s make it a hard rule of thumb to only post about their business when necessary - which is rarely. Rather they rely on building organic relationships with Group members and just like relationships made apart from the Internet, members in turn learn to know, like and trust first.

Unlike with a Page where people think they’re going to continuously get pitched to, Groups are much more unassuming which leads to people more inclined to join.

Remember: Groups are all about the community behind your topic, not promoting your business.

// Why should I start a Facebook Group?

The benefits of adding a Facebook Group to your online real estate presence are well worth the effort. Let’s quickly list out a few:

  • Community - Groups put you in contact with your direct community, expanding your reach to people you might not have met otherwise

  • Credibility & authority - Groups are a great way to showcase your expertise without coming off as bragging

  • Learning - You get more than you receive. You’ll learn a wealth of information about your audience that in turn improves your content, communications and sales tactics

  • A fun way to market - You get to choose the topic of your group. Many agents find this gives them more incentive to interact and honestly enjoy fostering relationships because it doesn’t feel like a job

  • Endless leads - A well chosen group topic can spell endless leads for you to put your self in front of

  • Referrals & WOM - People in your Group community truly get to know you. This is a chance to build those relationships into your biggest fans

  • Network - Fortune has it that the people in your group are part of amazing businesses themselves and are open to networking

  • Website traffic - With a captive audience at your finger tips, groups can spell out tremendous traffic for your website

Facebook Groups open the door to interacting with your online local community. You get to meet amazing people centered around an interest you enjoy. But as the Group owner, you have center stage.

So while you’re busy working, sleeping, watching your kid’s soccer game or taking that overdue trip to Paris, your Facebook Group is networking on your behalf.

// Knowing when to get started with Groups

Before starting a Group of your own, I highly encourage you to join a few first. Seeing how a group runs will not only give you an idea of how they run but gift you with ideas on how you might want to format yours.

You’ll also see if this is even a good option for you.

While Groups are one of the more fun ways to market, they take time and effort to build. They also take a thick skin - as with anything on social media - Groups leaves you exposed to trolls and the nasty sides of the web.

Sit down with your calendar and schedule in a couple hours a week to posting content and interacting with members.

A good way to work in Facebook Groups is to replace one or two hours a week you would have otherwise spent prospecting and instead dedicate that time building your Group.

Remember Nikki with the mom Group in Boca? She has closed $14million in sales thanks to her Facebook Group.

With numbers like that I would say Groups are worth the time investment.

Getting Started with Facebook Groups

Getting started with Groups is free to do. All you need is a Facebook profile to begin the process.

// How to choose a Facebook Group topic

First things first, what will your Group be about?

What I like about Groups is the endless possibility of topics. From exercise groups to community events and local interests, your Group can be about anything.

Choosing a topic can be a bit difficult. While we want to choose something fun and interesting, we also need to make sure the audience numbers are there to support the Group towards growth. Otherwise you risk capping the group out at only a few dozen or hundred members. We want to ensure the topic is one that can grow.

We also don’t want to make our group too broad where we’re pulling in people from all over the world. While it’s great to have a group with thousands of followers are, it doesn’t do anything to help your real estate business.

Here’s the winning topic formula:

YOUR CITY/GEO-FARM + YOUR INTEREST/HOBBY/TOPIC

The possibilities are endless with this formula along. For example, I live in South Florida and I love to scuba dive. I could make the Facebook Group ‘South Florida scuba divers’.

I fully support and encourage using your favorite hobby or interest as a great place to start a topic brainstorm.

Why? Because you’re going to voluntarily show up to perform that hobby anyway. Being able to consistently show up for your audience is where quality marketing takes hold.

Your day is full as it is. The last thing you want to do is add one more work task to it. So don’t. Instead engage in that activity you love. Not only will you meet new people within your community to join you on these leisurely pursuits, but you’re doing something good for your business in the process.

Here are a few ideas to get your brain going:

  • [YOUR CITY] Garage Sales

  • [YOUR CITY] Mom Meetups

  • [YOUR CITY] Beer Lovers

  • [YOUR CITY] Runners

  • [YOUR CITY] Crime Watch

  • [YOUR CITY] Bookclub

  • [YOUR CITY] Green Thumb Gardeners

  • [YOUR CITY] Volunteers

  • [YOUR CITY] History Buffs

Your assignment right now is to make a list of at least five Facebook Group topic ideas.

// Think of a name

Don’t underestimate the power of a name. It can mean the difference between being found and disappearing into Internet limbo.

If you follow the formula above of [YOUR CITY] + [HOBBY] and can get the name to a T, stick with it. This will be a dead ringer for organic search results within Google and plainly spells out what your group is all about.

If it’s taken, you may want to either narrow your topic down even more, add a personal take or rethink the topic all-together.

For example, if ‘Boise Mom Meetups’ is taken maybe narrow in more by focusing on working moms. Group names such as ‘Boise Working Mom Meetups’ or ‘Boise Mompreneurs Unite’ not only capture the audience but also connect more powerfully with the target audience.

// Create the group

Alright, let’s get into the nitty-gritty of setting up a group.

Login to your Facebook dashboard. In the top navigation bar you’ll see ‘Create’. Click on ‘Create’ and then click on ‘Group’ in the dropdown bar.

step-by-step facebook group real estate setup_01.png

A pop-up will appear. You’ll need to add a little bit of information about your Group.

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Input the name of your Group and add a couple friends who will be interested in joining the Group. You can always add more people later but during setup you have to at least add one person.

Next you’ll be asked what type of Group you want to create.

  • Public: Anyone can find the group, see who's in it and what they post

  • Closed: Anyone can find the group and see who runs it. Only members can see who's in it and what they post

  • Secret: Only members can find the group, see who's in it and what they post

I recommend creating a Closed Group.

Your audience will still be able to find your Group but all posts will be kept private. This creates a level of exclusivity that entices people to join your Group because in order to see your content they have to. Otherwise they could absorb your content without actually joining the Group.

A Closed Group also gives you another level of control in monitoring the Group and keeping it safe & enjoyable for your members.

The last step on this page is to check the box for ‘Pin to shortcuts.’ Your Group will now be pinned to your Facebook dashboard for quick access.

Only thing left to do is click ‘Create’ and voila! Your new Facebook Group is born.

Optimize Your Facebook Group for Business Success

Congrats on your shiny new Facebook Group! Now it’s time to optimize it for business success.

Jumping into your Group for the first time, this is what you’re going to see:

step-by-step facebook group real estate setup_03.png

You can get pretty creative with customizing out your Facebook Group but there are a couple place you’ll want to put your focus on first.

// Group Description

On the righthand side, click on ‘Add a description.’

The description shows when people join your Group so we want to make sure this is filled out and entices people to join.

step-by-step facebook group real estate setup_04.png

Below the description is an area called ‘Location.’ You’ll 100% want to add the location to be included in local search results.

// Cover Photo

Now we need to add a ‘Cover Photo’

You’ll want to add a photo that relates to the topic and tone of your topic.

Scroll on over to one of many free photo stock shops. You can try Pexels, Freepik & WikiCommons just to name a few.

Download a high-resolution version of the photo you choose. The Facebook Group dimension size is 1640 x 856 pixels and your image will need to be able to fill that space, otherwise you risk it looking pixelated.

Once you’ve chosen & downloaded your photo, click on ‘Upload Photo’ and add your replace the default photo with your chosen image.

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I found a beautiful image of Harpers Ferry from Wikicommons and uploaded it to my new Group. You can drag the image around and resize it to fix it appropriately in the frame.

Once you get it to a place you like, click ‘Save Changes.’

step-by-step facebook group real estate setup_06.png

At this point, the basics of your Facebook Group are set up and it’s pretty much good to go!

// Advanced Facebook Group Optimization

We don’t want to stop optimizing just yet. There are a few more advanced ways you’ll want to optimize your Group.

Beneath the Cover Photo click on ‘…More’. A dropdown menu will appear. Then click ‘Edit Group Settings’.

step-by-step facebook group real estate setup_07.png

Let’s walk through a few key settings and put them to work for us.

Group Name

Under ‘Group Name’ you’ll be able to edit your group name if for some reason you ever decide to do so.

Now, next to the name you will notice a blue icon. This is the icon that will appear next to your Group. However, this is the default setting and most Group moderators never bother to edit it. Click on the arrow next to the icon and choose a new icon that matches the tone of your Group for an extra boost to stand out.

Group Type

There are a few different ‘Group Types’ to choose from that will affect the layout of your Group.

  • General: Grow and manage your group with the standard set of group features

  • Buy and Sell: Create and manage sale listings

  • Gaming: Link group to a game & host tournaments for members

  • Social Learning: Organize posts into a unit or series of units that members can see

  • Jobs: Get templates with job salary, location and hours. Show a list of all open jobs

For most Groups, I recommend staying with the ‘General’ settings until you build your Group out more. Once you have the hang of Groups, you may decide to organize your Group more specifically if it falls under one of the above categories.

Description

We’ve already filled out the ‘Description’ but it’s possible to optimize it further.

The description is a good opportunity to add more information about the Group including what members can expect, weekly posting events, promotion opportunities, rules and even a little introduction to you.

Tags

Tags help Facebook categorize your Group and help people find your group who may be looking for it.

Linked Pages

This is a BIG opportunity to promote your business.

You can link your Business Page to your Group as a moderator. You’ll then be able to post, comment and interact with Group members on behalf of your business. Also, your business will be displayed prominently across the Group’s main pages.

Another big benefit is ads. By connecting a Business Page you’re able to promote your Group with ads if you decide to do so.

Web Address

Right now your Group URL looks something like this:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/316036766003767/

This does nothing for you in organic search. Click on ‘Customize Address’ and create an SEO-friendly URL.

For example, once I filled in the Web address my URL is now

facebook.com/groups/harpers.ferry.garage.sale


And that’s it! You’re all set up.

Time to let the real fun begin of promoting and engaging with your Group. Once members begin to accumulate, you’ll start seeing engagement take off.

So tell me, do you have a Facebook Group you want to share with our community? Leave a link below in the comments.

The Real Estate Marketing Blueprint Workshop
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Back in May we led an online marketing workshop for our online community of agents.

But not all of you could make it in May and missed out. So we've decided to release the workshop again.

Now through July, you can watch the Marketing Blueprint Workshop on the Shore to Summit website HERE

In the workshop you'll learn where to go & what to do to capture free real estate leads online without having to rely on a third-party lead generator. Other things you’ll learn include:

  • Why you can't afford to ignore the power of the Internet anymore as a powerful tool to amplify your real world presence

  • What to do to find your own free, qualified real estate leads online without having to rely on your broker or a third-party lead generator

  • How to capture those leads even if you don't consider yourself "techie"

  • How to harness your personality to attract and build relationships with customers...even if you're an introvert

  • The critical steps you need to take to beat marketing overwhelm and create a marketing strategy that's profitable, manageable & sustainable

This is a FREE workshop and you can register starting now. Just click the link and follow the registration process.

Be sure to stick around through the entire workshop for a free gift from us to you!

>> REGISTER FOR THE MARKETING BLUEPRINT WORKSHOP <<<

If You've Ever Been Scammed By a Real Estate Marketing "Agency" Read This...
real estate agent frustrated with her marketing agency

The pitch always starts the same way.

“We’ll get you to the top page of Google for real estate!”

“We promise 2,000 new leads in one month!"

“Imagine thousands of new followers on your Instagram account!”

If a marketing agency ever feeds you a line like this - RUN!

I both hate and love when a real estate marketing “agency” makes these outrageous claims. I hate it because it honestly hurts my heart to know great agents are falling prey to their bullshit and pouring hundreds if not thousands of dollars directly into their pockets.

But I also love it because it reminds me every day why we started this business in the first place and damn does it feel good to fight for you guys.

We like to do things a little differently around here. We don’t make promises about the number of leads we’ll bring in at any given moment because it’s damn near impossible to predict. What we DO promise is the ability to build you a cohesive web presence that sustains & feeds your marketing strategy. We promise that the leads we attract are qualified leads you can pursue and convert. We promise that the companies, freelancers and businesses we work with have been tested, tried and found worthy.

Ethics not only belong but thrive in the world of business.

For Christina and I, our CEO hero is Yvon Chouinard, founder and leader of Patagonia. A man who built a billion dollar business based on a simple need and fortified his company with strong values, thus proving that ethics not only belong but thrive in the world of business. A man who has never gone public or taken a dollar from investors so that he could always fight for his customers, employees, company values and the global state of business. It’s a new world of conscious capitalism. A world where we as business owners make connections with the right businesses and the right consumers for voluntary exchange.

We believe businesses should exist for reasons beyond just making a profit.

I’ve spent years watching agencies hound me and my real estate clients trying to sell us empty promises. And I will admit even I have been duped a time of two. Rather than let you fall prey any longer to these misleading companies, I’m revealing some of the most telling red flags you need to look out for.

How to Tell if a Marketing Agency is Legitimate

// THEIR NAME + NUMBER CHANGES

Fraudulent companies change their company name and number frequently to avoid being shut down by governing agencies. Or if a company’s information changes they may have been shut down already and had to switch their info under a new company. It’s shocking how quickly someone can form a company and if you see this behavior happening without explanation it’s typically a sign that things are not all simpatico behind the scenes. Another sign to watch out for is high employee turnover. If your dedicated point of contact seems to be someone new every month, then they’re most likely burning and churning through employees.

// THEY ASK FOR MONEY OR SENSITIVE INFORMATION UPFRONT

A quality marketing agency will never ask for payment or sensitive information before first establishing some sort of rapport.

Remember, we’re vetting you as a client just as much as you’re vetting us.

I’ve had clients pay for $300 worth of monthly services without ever speaking to a representative. While this may be normal when purchasing products, it’s a whole other ballpark as far as services are concerned. Think about it. Marketing is never a one size fits all model. So how can a marketer properly market your business if they’ve never even spoken to you first? They can’t. A serious marketing company will dive into details about your desires, needs and business strategy via a questionnaire or strategy call before asking for payment, passwords or a contract signature first.

// A POOR WEB PRESENCE

Always do your due diligence and Google the company to evaluate their web presence. Common clues that a company is possibly a scam include:

  • A single web result with little to no social media presence

  • Inconsistent information

  • Numerous poor reviews

  • Frequent misspellings, poor grammar

  • Page links that lead to spammy sites or 404 pages

// HIGH-PRESSURE SALES TACTICS

Bare with me on this one. Almost every marketing agency out there uses high-pressure sales tactics at some point in their strategy. We all do it to encourage a reluctant customer to continue along the process and make a decision.

But if a marketing agency relies solely on high-pressure sales tactics it could be a red flag.

Proceed with caution on this one.

// LONG-TERM CONTRACTS + A LACK OF FINANCIAL TRANSPARENCY

While many marketing agencies may offer an annual contract option, a company who only offers long-term contracts is a sure sign to steer clear.

Scam agencies lock customers into the 6+ month contracts to keep you paying even when you aren’t seeing results.

Legitimate agencies offer trials, monthly payments and money back guarantees. We don’t want to lock ourselves into contracts with clients who aren’t the right fit just as much as you don’t want to partner with agencies who don’t meet your needs.

Monthly agreements allow us both an option to exit if something just isn’t working out.

Another bit to look out for is a lack of financial transparency. This is especially prevalent in pay per click campaigns and search engine marketing scenarios.

As a client, you have the right to know how an agency is using your ad dollars. A normal PCC campaign management fee is 10-20%. So if you’re spending $1000 a month on Facebook ads, $100-200 goes towards the agency’s management fee and the rest is spent directly on ads. Illegitimate companies are known to pocket over 50% on their agency fee leaving you with a much smaller return on investment.

// BUZZWORDS + MARKETING JARGON

Just like real estate, marketing has its own collection of marketing jargon. Like agents, we use it for organization, to refer to different situations and simplify communications.

With that said, if an agency peppers you with marketing jargon without explaining what it means, they could be trying to mislead you.

A marketer should be prepared to thoroughly explain what a term means and how it pertains to your strategy. Scam agencies hire silver tongued sales reps to sell you on unnecessary and duplicate services. For example, I had a client come to me who was currently paying for two packages to the same company: one for SEO (search engine optimization) and one for SEM (search engine marketing). SEM is simply a blanket term for SEO. They are the same thing and my client was essentially paying double for the same service.

// “WE’RE PARTNERS WITH GOOGLE”

Beware anyone who claims to have “partnered with Google.”

You can’t partner with Google, it’s simply not done. Google is one of the most exclusive companies in the world and unless the company is part of Alphabet, Inc., you can bet they haven’t partnered with Google.

Now, there is one point to distinguish here: Google does have a partner program.

Companies that have achieved the title of “Google Partner” have undergone Adwords training and meet a 90-day ad spend of $10,000. It’s not uncommon for a company that’s part of the Google Partner Program to tote themselves as having partnered with Google. In this case they probably have the best intent as a company but their phrasing is a bit misguided. If you come across such a situation, proceed with heightened awareness and ask for their certification.

// PROMISE OF IMMEDIATE RESULTS

Online marketing is a marathon, not a sprint. While quick results and smaller milestones are perfectly attainable, guaranteeing immediate results is a farce.

Getting websites and content to rank requires time, strategy, precision and slowly perfecting variables the that play into online algorithms. Due to the timely nature it takes for the algorithm to even register new content in relation to your current web presence, no agency can guarantee immediate web rankings. If you come across an agency that does, don’t be afraid to ask them how.


Not sure if a marketing agency or service is legitimate or not?

Shoot us an email at info@shoretosummit.co & we’ll look into it for you.


As a rule of thumb, if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Don’t buy into anything without first giving it its proper due diligence. If you’re still unsure if a marketing agency or service is legit or not, reach out to us at info@shoretosummit.co and we’ll look into it for you free of charge.

It’s our mission to hold scam marketing agencies accountable and guide real estate professionals through the Internet minefield.

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BTS: What's New at Shore to Summit | Q2 2019
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Am I going crazy here or is the fact that we’re already half way through spring a bit weird?

I don’t know where the time has gone but it has officially been a year since we launched Shore to Summit and this past year has been nothing short of a total transformational process. I guess that’s just the way it goes when launching a brand new business.

It’s because of the craziness of this past year we’ve decided to sit down at the start of each quarter to relay the quarter’s report. Here’s where we’ll give the complete lowdown on what’s going on in the Shore to Summit world. It’s our chance to pull back the sheet on our business and reveal evolutions in the company, what’s slated for the future, upcoming workshops, events and all other manner of announcements.

Sound good to you?

Great because we’re excited to bring you the goods.

Starting with…

OUR SIGNATURE MARKETING COURSE IS HERE!

It’s here! We’re stoking the fires and getting ready to launch our signature marketing course!

Conceptualizing, creating and now launching the Modern Agent Mastermind has been such a labor of love.

The idea for this course popped into our heads simultaneously with the formation of the business last year. We knew it would become a core piece of our mission but we had to get all the logistics of the business down first.

After a year of learning, engaging, testing and creating, we can confidently say we’re ready to flip the switch on our program and make it real.

We’re proud to announce the Modern Agent Mastermind!

On July 22, 2019, our signature real estate marketing course will be going live with its first group of students. The course will focus on six pillars of marketing and how they work together to promote your business and capture those online leads.

Even though the course doesn’t launch for another three months, you can get in on the action sooner rather than later. Over the coming weeks, we will be launching workshops, promotions, and live trainings in celebration of our course going live in July.

All you have to do is sign up HERE to be notified of all upcoming promotions.

JOIN US FOR OUR FIRST FREE WORKSHOP

Our first live webinar is coming up next week and we’ll be dropping the announcement “officially” within the week.

In The Marketing Blueprint Workshop I’ll be teaching:

  • Why you can't afford to ignore the power of the Internet anymore as a powerful tool to amplify your real world presence

  • What to do to find your own free, qualified real estate leads online without having to rely on your broker or a third-party lead generator

  • How to capture those leads even if you don't consider yourself "techie"

  • How to harness your personality to attract and build relationships with customers...even if you're an introvert

  • The critical steps you need to take to beat marketing overwhelm and create a marketing strategy that's profitable, manageable & sustainable

This is a FREE workshop and you can register starting now. Just click the link and follow the registration process.

>> REGISTER FOR THE MARKETING BLUEPRINT WORKSHOP <<<

LET US KNOW WHAT YOU WANT TO SEE

Everything we do is driven by you.

Seriously.

Email us at info@shoretosummit.co and let us know your biggest marketing struggles.

SERVICES ARE LIMITED THROUGH JULY

Due to the intensive nature of building this course, services will be limited from now through the end of July.

This is not to say we’re closing up shop on services. Oh contraire. We’re still taking on a select few service clients. If interested, inquire at info@shoretosummit.co and we’ll check on availability.

For those of you who’ve been here since day 1, we thank you for championing our cause when it was nothing more than an idea. You’ve been our cheerleaders and inspiration since the beginning and we truly can’t thank you enough for it. We’re looking forward to this season and can’t wait to bring you this course.

We’ll talk soon!


Register for the FREE Marketing Blueprint Workshop


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BTSAshley TaylorComment
Email is NOT Dead: 4 Simple Steps to Attract Qualified Real Estate Leads
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A few short years ago, I was like you: I thought email was dead. Fast-forward to today and I can’t stop, won’t stop singing its praises.

Email is a powerful tool that puts your message and advertising in one of your customer’s most intimate, fortified locations - their inbox.

And did I mention that it’s free?

The benefits to a well-collected email list span every stage of the buyer journey. It can be used to attract the right customers in the awareness phase, assist them through the consideration phase, guide them into making a decision and delights them to post-purchase advocacy.

Today we’ll be focusing on the awareness phase of attracting those qualified leads.

In the awareness phase of email marketing, our main goal is to simply capture those coveted email addresses. That way we can spam the hell out of them! Kidding. We want those email addresses so we can begin a positive rapport with potentials customers by adding value to their lives.

The tricky part: getting people to give up those email addresses.

People can be pretty protective of their inboxes. The quest for inbox zero is real and no one enjoys opening an email full of junk mail. Signup for your newsletter? No thanks, I get at least 50 of those a day.

Every person you’re attempting to gain the attention of has only 1,440 minutes in their day. With that attention being grappled for in a hundred different directions, people simply won’t invest those valuable minutes without seeing the value.

So how do you break down a client’s barriers and get them to cough up the goods?

With a killer opt-in gift, that’s how.

An opt-in gift is some item of value you promise to your customer in exchange for their email address. You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours. You give me your email address and I’ll give you something you can’t find anywhere else.

What I really like about the opt-in technique is that these are qualified leads. Depending on what gift you create, you can attract buyers & sellers ready to go.

How amazing if that!?

Putting together an opt-in gift doesn’t need to be an intimidating thing. Let’s walk through the steps in creating and promoting your gift so you can start collecting qualified leads to nurture and grow.

HAMMER OUT THE LOGISTICS

Before you can start collecting emails, we need to figure out the whole tech part of email marketing.

Some brokers have great tools for collecting, storing, measuring and tracking leads. If you have something within your brokerage, get familiar with all the bells & whistles.

If you don’t have an email platform, not to worry. There are a handful of really great ones out there, but for the purpose of this tutorial we will focus on a tool called MailChimp.

MailChimp is a powerful automated marketing platform that let’s you collect emails, understand your customers and run campaigns. It’s one of the more intuitive email platforms to learn and it’s free for up to your first 2,000 subscribers. This is where you will collect and build your email list and put together your marketing campaign.

CHOOSE A VALUABLE GIFT FOR YOUR AUDIENCE

Next we need to decide on what sort of gift we want to create to entice our audience.

To break through our audience’s defenses, we need to offer something of value. We always want to be providing value. That’s what’s going to set us apart.

So think, what does my audience value?

Action Step: Write down the desires, frustrations & struggles your target customer faces. Create a gift focused on helping them solve that problem.

This can be anything from a first time home buying guide checklist to a city guide. We really want to get into the mind of our audience and get creative in developing content that solves their problems. The only limit is your imagination.

If you’re still left confused about what to create, it never hurts to ask. We don’t take advantage of our current audiences nearly as much as we should. Get on those social media channels or talk with trusted clients about what they enjoy hearing and what they want more of.

DECIDE ON YOUR GIFT’S FORMAT & DELIVER

Time to bring your gift to life. Now that we’ve decided on what we’re gifting, we need to think on how to deliver it.

Delivery can take many forms. If we’re creating a first time buyer’s checklist for example, then a one-page checklist delivered to their email is all it takes. But if we want to go into a little more detail on the steps of the purchasing process, then an email series where a new email is dripped each day may be more appropriate.

Other gift format ideas can be:

  • Video series

  • Exclusive listing walkthrough

  • A virtual open house

  • A private event invite

  • eBooks

  • Templates

  • Trusted vendor lists

CONTINUE TO PROVIDE VALUE

Congratulations! You’re customer bought in to your opt-in gift and gave you their email!

Now it’s time to treat that email like the gold it is. We don’t want to erase all the hard work we just did in creating an opt-in gift only to suffocate the customer into unsubscribing. The surest and quickest way for that to happen is by spamming them with daily listings. (Unless they asked for it, of course.)

No, our goal is to continue providing killer content on a regular basis. For some these means a weekly newsletter, others prefer bi-weekly. Whatever you choose to do is up to you, but focus on providing value and providing it consistently. If you decide to do a weekly newsletter on Tuesday mornings, make sure to stick to that schedule.

Email content topic ideas include:

  • Local events & concerts

  • Store & restaurant openings

  • Giveaways & coupons

  • Recipes

  • Local coupons

I find local content topics perform stronger for my clients than generic news articles and listicles.

Pro Tip: Place content of value at the top of the email and pepper in specificities about your business somewhere in the middle and throughout. Always tie it back to your business specifically at the end.

Now it’s your turn. Tell me what marketing opt-in gifts do you want to see from us?

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Save Time Marketing Your Real Estate Business with Social Media Scheduling Apps
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“There just aren’t enough hours in a day.”

“Marketing is a full time job in itself!”

I hear this from nearly every one of my new real estate agent clients during our first week of working together and I empathize with you completely. In my ideal world, days would be at least 36 hours long. Unfortunately, we’re stuck with cramming 36 hour days into only 24.

With such hectic days, it makes you wish you could clone yourself just to knock out those pesky tasks you only mildly enjoy so you can focus on your bread & butter. If you’re here, my guess is marketing may be one of those tasks you would rather delegate to your cloned self.

Today I’m tossing one of my favorite marketing hacks at you: social media scheduling apps.

Social media scheduling apps that let you bulk schedule your social content so you can set it and forget it.

Personally, while I love Instagram and social media, I’m more excited to interact and engage with my audience than I am to post. Posting stresses me out and makes me feel like I’m wasting valuable time I would rather use chatting with you guys. I get caught up wondering what to post, when to post, did I even post at all this week!

Bring in social media apps, which take away the guess work.

Using Apps to batch social media posting

Social media is an interactive, lead generating machine. It should be treated as more than just some box you check off and be on with your day. It’s important to be intentional with the content we’re posting, when and why. This means having a content calendar for what we’re posting and when.


Not sure how to get started with your social media strategy?

Download the 30-day Content calendar & Planning Guide


But we don’t want to stop everything we’re doing on a Tuesday at 3pm just because data dictates that’s an optimum time to post.

Instead, we’ll use the process of batching to post content consistently.

Batching is a productivity and time management tool where you group similar, reoccurring tasks together and knock them out all at once. It allows you to maximize your time and brainpower for concentration while decreasing distraction and the brain-drain that comes with shifting from one task to another.

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Social Media Batching Tools

Before we can begin batching out our social media, we’ll need to put together our toolkit.

There are a couple different social media schedulers out there to choose from but these are the ones I use and love.

Hootsuite

Hootsuite is one of the original players as far as social scheduling apps go. It’s also one of the most robust. Hootsuite lets you manage up to 10 social profiles all from one place.

Later

Later is another scheduling app just like Hootsuite, except that Later is optimized for Instagram. There are a couple features Later has that you won’t find in Hootsuite, such as the ability to preview and edit the visual look of your Instagram feed beforehand.

Both Hootsuite and Later have free and paid accounts to suite your needs and budget. I’m partial to using Later just for Instagram while keeping Hootsuite for everything else.

Again, these are my personal favorite schedulers. If there’s one you use and love that I didn’t mention, please share with us in the comments! We’re always open to new things.

Gather the content

Next it’s time to gather the content.

It’s smart to get in the mindset of thinking of everything around you as a potential piece of content. Have a place to collect pictures, quotes, information, reports, videos, news and all other manners of content. I suggest using Google Drive or DropBox.

The purpose for gathering all our content in one place is so we’re not scrambling to come up content at a moment’s notice. This is also the sort of task you can delegate out to an assistant or intern when the time comes.

Write your captions

Add context to your content.

An image, listing link or video title can only do so much. Captions are what will entice your audience to engage with your content. This is a great opportunity to show off your personality and enforce your brand story.

Add Hashtags

The last step in the puzzle is to add relevant hashtags.

Hashtags are the filling system of social media. When you add #DCrealestate to a caption, it signals to the social media platform that this piece of content has to do something with real estate in Washington DC and is more inclined to showcase your content to that appropriate audience.

The verdict is constantly influx with how many hashtags to add to any given piece of content but it’s best to use more local-specific hashtags than broad or national hashtags.

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Now you know how to quickly market your real estate business using social media scheduling apps.

But I know it can still be a little confusing figuring out exactly what sort of content to post and when. That’s why we’ve put together the 30-day Content Calendar & Planning Guide to spell it out for you exactly.

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