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Top 10 Ways to Use Blogging in Real Estate [#6]

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Create Clients Not Leads

One of my favorite things about blogging is that it makes the phone ring. Personally, I am not big on talking on the phone:

  • I am easily distracted and loose focus in the middle of a conversation.
  • I often forget who I’m calling right as they answer.
  • I don’t understand why some people call, never introduce themselves and then pause as if I am supposed to know magically who they are and tell them why THEY called ME.
  • I often worry that the person on the other end is making the same goofy faces at me, as I am making at them.
  • I hate small talk -2/3 of an average phone conversation is taken up with useless words.
  • I am SO not a sales person, and the act of “converting leads” on the phone makes me … well, I would rather shave my head and travel across country on a Greyhound Bus with a pet rat in a shoebox (again).

So, I guess my first sentence doesn’t make much sense then, does it? I guess it should read:

One of my favorite things about blogging is that it makes the phone ring the right way.

When we get a phone call from a potential client that has been reading our blog, it usually goes something like this:

“Hi Mariana (or Derek). My name is … I found you online and have been reading what you write on your site. When can you come list my house?”

The act of blogging creates a person who wants to work specifically with YOU.

These folks have been interviewing me behind my back – without me even knowing. They have been reading my resume-in-the-form-of-a-blog for days/weeks/months. They have been finding out how much I know about the current market through my market reports, understanding all the little ins and outs of the business through my home buyer and seller posts and understanding how Derek and I work through our stories.

When a consumer reads your blog, they feel like they already KNOW you. Once they KNOW you, they grow to LIKE you. Once they LIKE  you, they become CONFIDENT in who you are and the services that you provide and DECIDE to WORK with you. And all this happens before they ever CONTACT you.

(Even if they do not contact you first, our experience has proven that these potential home buyer and seller clients are more than happy to talk with you when you call them.)

Your blog is like a “behind-the-scenes” look at the world of real estate.

… and that kind of “transparency” is a welcome change for consumers, and is what helps create CLIENTS, not leads.

The best way to help create CLIENTS, and not leads, is to:

  • Show your market knowledge through comprehensive market and neighborhood reports
  • Give insight to who you are as an agent by sharing the your real estate (and even some non-real estate) stories
  • Prove that you are the expert with examples of situations where you solved problems for your clients

*Note: When sharing stories about clients, do not mention names or specific details. In fact, it is probably better to share vague stories that happened awhile ago. Basically, don’t compromise agent-client confidentiality agreements. Der.*

So, blogging has really been a great opportunity to LIKE talking on the phone.

When people who have been reading my blog call, the conversations are relatively short ( I don’t lose focus), they care calling ME (I don’t have to remember who I’m calling), they tell me who they are and what they want right up front (whew), the only face being made is a smile, the conversation is short, sweet, and to the point (When can you list my house? Tomorrow? Great. Bye.)…

… and I don’t have to shave my head.

Mariana is a real estate agent and co-owner of the Wagner iTeam with her husband, Derek. She maintains the Colorado Springs Real Estate Connection Blog and is also a real estate technology trainer and coach. Mariana really enjoys helping real estate agents boost their businesses and increase their productivity through effective use of technology. Outside of real estate, blogging and training, she loves spending time with her husband and 2 sons, reading, re-watching Sci-Fi movies and ... long walks on the beach?

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17 Comments

17 Comments

  1. Dan Connolly

    August 22, 2008 at 4:58 pm

    Mariana,
    Great post! Really LOL funny, I especially like the part about the pet rat in the shoebox.

  2. Lisa Sanderson

    August 22, 2008 at 6:08 pm

    Yes! For me. it is the difference between clients who think they are doing YOU a favor by calling you vs. ones who think you are doing THEM a favor by working with them, that makes blogging so worth it. It is really nice to be appreciated for what you have to offer, rather than having to try to prove (on the phone, bleh) that you aren’t the ordinary salesperson looking for her next ‘deal’.

  3. Vance Shutes

    August 22, 2008 at 6:08 pm

    Mariana,

    >”The act of blogging creates a person who wants to work specifically with YOU.”

    That alone is all the reason I both want and need to keep on blogging. There is no such thing as a cold-call anymore. When they call, they are already pre-disposed to be interested in my work. As long as my “real life” presentation meets or exceeds their impression of me from my blog, I’ve earned a new client. And anything I write today will continue to serve my clients long into the future. Talk about power!

  4. Charles Richey

    August 22, 2008 at 7:50 pm

    I think you build a lot of trust that way as well. Lisa makes a great point about being appreciated for what you offer.

  5. Mariana Wagner

    August 22, 2008 at 9:20 pm

    Dan – After a couple decades-ish it does become funnier.

    Lisa – I SO prefer “proving my worth” BEFORE initial contact.

    Vance – What you blog about today CAN live for a very long time.

    Charles – Definitely … Blogs help build trust and confidence between the consumer and you, the RE blogger.

  6. Elaine Reese

    August 22, 2008 at 11:20 pm

    I do so agree with you! When I got into the business 10 yrs ago, the big thing was sweat hogs where people had to make 25 calls/day. I said, ‘no way – can’t do it’.

    I listed a home last month where they called me from my blog, Had another such call yesterday. The conversations were exactly as you said.

    On the funny side, I was in a NAPA store a few days ago standing in line. Another customer walked by and said, “Hey, you’re that blogging Realtor”. You just never know who is reading our blogs!

  7. Matthew Rathbun

    August 23, 2008 at 10:12 am

    I hate the phone, despise the phone, can’t stand the phone… I’ll call you sometime and tell ya about it!

  8. Russell Shaw

    August 23, 2008 at 1:12 pm

    Mariana, I love this post and I love the graphic. So naturally, I had to learn how to do it – which I’ve now done. Along the way, another skill break-through in the graphics department. So, thanks!

  9. Paula Henry

    August 24, 2008 at 4:36 am

    Mariana –

    This is my favorite post in this series. I, too, despise small talk and DO get distracted when on the phone; actually all those bullet points describe me. People ask why I blog – this is why! When my phone rings, they already want to work with me.

  10. Glenn fm Naples

    August 24, 2008 at 8:38 am

    Mariana – enjoyed your post and your point of being interviewed without knowing it is happening. When you can bring yourself to the forefront as you have done, you have achieved a pinnacle which other bloggers are striving for – drawing in loyal followers. Just don’t serve any kool-aid. 🙂

  11. Melissa | Talk San Francisco Real Estate

    August 25, 2008 at 6:36 pm

    That was hilarious about the rat in the shoebox. I actually started blogging because I love to write, am an education junkie, and don’t like to ask people for business. I completely agree that people get to know me by reading my blog, and they are, in essence, interviewing me before contacting me. That’s the beauty of it. I love doing real estate, the negotiating, the transactions, etc., but we all know that we cannot do all of that unless we have clients. I don’t do cold calling or any of that. I do however, love to write, so I blog, and I deal a lot with my past clients and people I know. I just love the blogging, and also think it is a great way for me to be a better Realtor, by constantly keeping up to date on all of this great information that’s out there like your blog, for instance, among others.

  12. Missy Caulk

    August 27, 2008 at 7:50 am

    Ha Ha, I hate talking on the phone too. Thank God for caller ID. Of course if it a call from my blog I love it and will gladly talk. When they say, they read my blog, I have to ask which one? Then they are really stumped, so I have to say, “do you remember the color?”

  13. Ken Tracy

    August 31, 2008 at 9:50 am

    Hi Mariana. Thanks for writing.
    I too look for clients that understand they are not doing me a favor. I have never understood that!
    Great post.
    Ken

  14. Mariana

    August 31, 2008 at 8:56 pm

    Elaine – HA! I get that “you’re that blogging Realtor” too!

    Matthew – I would actually rather do a video-call than a phone call.

    Russell – You’re welcome lol!

    Paula – I love those phone calls…

  15. Mariana

    August 31, 2008 at 8:59 pm

    Glenn – lol. No kool-aid here!

    Melissa – Awesome: ” it is a great way for me to be a better Realtor, by constantly keeping up to date on all of this great information that’s out there.”

    Missy- Color coding my blogs. Brilliant!

    Ken – No favors in real estate…

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Business Marketing

How Nestle’s emotional branding converted a nation into coffee drinkers

(BUSINESS MARKETING) Nestle hired a psychoanalyst to convert a nation to coffee with long term, science backed strategies connected to why we like what we like.

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nestle japan coffee

When Nestle first attempted to market coffee in Japan in the 1970s, it did not go well. Though their products tested well with audiences and was priced affordably, sales never took off. Nestle was committed to break into the profitable Japanese market and embarked on research that would inform an innovative new strategy going forward.

Nestle hired French social psychologist, Dr. Clotaire Rapaille, who specialized in the emotional bonds people form with objects. Dr. Rapaille conducted various experiments with participant groups to better understand why people were not buying coffee in the Japanese market. In one such experiment, Dr. Rapaille played calming music while participants lay on the ground. He asked them to talk through early childhood memories. He then asked participants to share experiences and emotions they associated with various products from their childhoods.

Participants did so, except when it came to coffee. Most had no memories of coffee and therefore no emotional bond to it. Japan had long been a tea drinking society, very few sections of society included coffee drinkers. Sales reflected the lack of cultural familiarity with coffee; it was not part of Japanese life. This understanding from Dr. Rapaille’s research sparked a bold marketing move with a long-term strategy in mind.

Nestle created coffee-flavored chocolate and marketed them to children. Introducing the flavor of coffee to Japanese youth while at an early age would not only imprint the flavor profile on them, but they would associate the flavor with positive emotions. Nestle tested, manufactured, and sold their coffee-flavored chocolate in Japan. They were immediately popular with youth and eventually with their curious parents who wanted to give the flavor a try.

A reentry into the coffee market by Nestle years later was met with a different response than the first attempt. The kids that grew up with coffee-flavored candies were now a part of the workforce and ready to become coffee drinkers. Today, Nestle imports nearly 500 million tons of coffee per year.

What began with a failed attempt at entering the coffee market resulted in a long-term strategy that proved that strong emotional bonds with customers can build strong sales.

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Business Marketing

How many hours of the work week are actually efficient?

(BUSINESS MARKETING) Working more for that paycheck, more hours each week, on the weekends, on holidays can actually hurt productivity. So don’t do that, stay efficient.

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work week rush

Social media is always flooded with promises to get in shape, eat healthier and…hustle?

In hustle culture, it seems as though there’s no such thing as too much work. Nights, weekends and holidays are really just more time to be pushing towards your dreams and hobbies are just side hustles waiting to be monetized. Plus, with freelancing on the rise, there really is nothing stopping someone from making the most out of their 24 hours.

Hustle culture will have you believe that a full-time job isn’t enough. Is that true?

Although it’s a bit outdated, Gallup’s 2014 report on full-time US workers gives us an alarming glimpse into the effects of the hustle. For starters, 50% of full-time workers reported working over 40 hours a week – in fact, the average weekly hours for salaried employees was up to 49 hours.

So, what’s the deal with 40 hours anyway? The 40 hour work-week actually started with labor rights activists in the 1800s pushing for an 8 hour workday. In 1817, Robert Owen, a Welsh activist, reasoned this workday provided: “eight hours labor, eight hours recreation, eight hours rest.”

If you do the math, that’s a whopping 66% of the day devoted to personal needs, rather than labor!

Of course, it’s only natural to be skeptical of logic from two centuries ago coloring the way we do business in the 21st century. For starters, there’s plenty of labor to be done outside of the labor you’re paid to do. Meal prep, house cleaning, child care…that’s all work that needs to be done. It’s also all work that some of your favorite influencers are paying to get done while they pursue the “hustle.” For the average human, that would all be additional work to fall in the ‘recreation’ category.

But I digress. Is 40 hours a week really enough in the modern age? After all, average hours in the United States have increased.

Well…probably not. In fact, when hours are reduced (France, for instance, limited maximum hours to 35 hours a week, instead of 40), workers are not only more likely to be healthier and happier, but more efficient and less likely to miss work!

So, instead of following through with the goal to work more this year, maybe consider slowing the hustle. It might actually be more effective in the long run!

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Business Marketing

Snapchat’s study reveals our growing reliance on video

(BUSINESS MARKETING) Snapchat released a report that shows some useful insights for future video content creation.

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Snapchat's video

Snapchat is taking a break from restoring people’s streaks to publish a report on mobile video access; according to Social Media Today, the report holds potentially vital information about how customers use their mobile devices to view content.

And–surprise, surprise–it turns out we’re using our phones to consume a lot more media than we did six years ago.

The obvious takeaways from this study are listed all over the place, and not even necessarily courtesy of Snapchat. People are using their phones substantially more often than they have in the past five years, and with everyone staying home, it’s reasonable to expect more engagement and more overall screen time.

However, there are a couple of insights that stand out from Snapchat’s study.

Firstly, the “Stories” feature that you see just about everywhere now is considered one of the most popular–and, thus, most lucrative–forms of video content. 82 percent of Snapchat users in the study said that they watched at least one Snapchat Story every day, with the majority of stories being under ten minutes.

This is a stark contrast to the 52 percent of those polled who said they watched a TV show each day and the 49 percent who said they consumed some “premium” style of short-form video (e.g., YouTube). You’ll notice that this flies in the face of some schools of thought regarding content creation on larger platforms like YouTube or Instagram.

Equally as important is Snapchat’s “personal” factor, which is the intimate, one-on-one-ish atmosphere cultivated by Snapchat features. Per Snapchat’s report, this is the prime component in helping an engaging video achieve the other two pillars of success: making it relatable and worthy of sharing.

Those three pillars–being personal, relatable, and share-worthy–are the components of any successful “short-form” video, Snapchat says.

Snapchat also reported that of the users polled, the majority claimed Snapchat made them feel more connected to their fellow users than comparable social media sites (e.g., Instagram or Facebook). Perhaps unsurprisingly, the next-closest social media platform vis-a-vis interpersonal connection was TikTok–something for which you can probably see the nexus to Snapchat.

We know phone use is increasing, and we know that distanced forms of social expression were popular even before a pandemic floored the world; however, this report demonstrates a paradigm shift in content creation that you’d have to be nuts not to check out for yourself.

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