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How real estate agents are getting around the Do Not Call list

(MARKETING) Getting in touch with potential clients is the difference between sinking or swimming, so how does one go about getting around the Do Not Call list!?

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One of the major challenges for cold calling as a real estate agent is that pesky Do Not Call list. There is a list of expired listings daily that you intend on calling – it’s a part of your strategy to earn new business, and good for you for never resting on your laurels.

But there are so many laws regarding who you can call and when. And of course laws that restrict your calling anyone on the Do Not Call registry.

Now, these laws are not new, in fact, it has been illegal to call anyone on the DNC list for a decade and a half.

So what is one to do?

Some agents are getting around the DNC list and it is so very clever.

Here is the playbook:

  • Agent: rings a phone number on the DNC list.
  • Consumer: answers phone, “Hello?”
  • Agent: hangs up on the Consumer.
  • Consumer: curious, calls the Agent back. “Did you just call me?”
  • Agent: “Oh yes, I just sold a home in your neighborhood at 12% over asking price, I would love to talk to you about an opportunity to sell your home in this tight market where home sellers are coming out on top and-“
  • Consumer: “I am on the Do Not Call list, it is illegal for you to call me, please remove me from your list.”
  • Agent: “Well, actually, you called me.”
  • Consumer: hangs up, starts to Google how to make a complaint with the FTC.

Sound legit?

It absolutely is not, and the Federal Trade Commission would agree.

The truth is that there is no way around the Do Not Call list, and there are so many nuanced laws on the topic, that brokerages today pour more resources into digital marketing efforts that are less likely to be flagged for illegalities.

If you practice real estate, and you’re making cold calls, the best option is to register as a telemarketer (which you are acting as when making cold calls) with the FTC, paying subscription dues, and only calling numbers NOT on the DNC list.

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Lani is the Chief Operating Officer at The American Genius and has been named in the Inman 100 Most Influential Real Estate Leaders several times, co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH and Austin Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.

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Real Estate Marketing

Dark data may be the key to unlocking your brokerage’s potential

(MARKETING NEWS) The key to a solid marketing campaign could be dark data if anyone can figure out how to actually use it.

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One trend that marketers and entrepreneurs alike are trying to utilize is the mining of dark data from social media. It may sound like something a supervillain in a made-for-TV movie may use to “hack the mainframe,” but it may be the crux of your next marketing strategy.

Research firm Gartner defines dark data as “information assets organizations collect, process and store during regular business activities, but generally fail to use for other purposes.”

This data is frequently unstructured, making it difficult to utilize effectively. Structured data is easy to analyze, it populates spreadsheets after a customer enters their information on your website and other clear roads of analysis.

Unstructured data, in contrast, is information that may be collected but its not utilized effectively. Almost 90 percent of unstructured dark data falls through the cracks and is never put to use. One big source of unstructured data is social media posts.

Customers will share insights into your business and brand through their posts about their purchasing habits. This is frequently done through not just through the selfie, but the captions associated with the photo as well.

A picture can tell a lot of information to people (what times of items you sell, their quality, and their overall experience) but the caption can help you understand more what their attitude towards those events are.

A picture may show an attractively plated meal, but the caption may talk about how there was a long wait for the food as well as poor customer service. These captions, and subsequent comments, can offer a keen insight into what people like and dislike about your brand called sentiment analysis.

Sentiment analysis can be utilized to understand attitudes toward your brand, and there’s multiple ways you can go about this. One method of analysis is through the building of word clouds which examine the most used words in a few days of dark data. Pro-marketers can easily pull dark data from those who like or follow a business’ social pages into software which can do the legwork for you.

Brokers have some options that are less sophisticated but can still do sentiment analysis of dark data effectively.

The IProspect blog suggests to use “a blend of monitoring tools,” many of them free, to complete a sentiment analysis.

A better understanding of dark data means you aren’t limited to just basic social media analysis tools. With these concepts, you too can illuminate your dark data and shine some light on future prospects.

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Real Estate Marketing

Ramp up your Twitter by letting Narrow take the reigns

(MARKETING NEWS) Let Narrow manage and moderate your Twitter. Using analytics and algorithms your only job will be telling Narrow what you like and the app will do the rest.

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Reaching your target demographic on social media can be difficult even when you know exactly who you’re looking for, to say nothing of when you can only approximate.

While this still isn’t an exact science, one app—Narrow, by a company of the same name—may be the solution to your Twitter campaign’s shortcomings.

At first glance, Narrow looks like another Twitter analytics tool; however, what sets Narrow apart from its competitors is its automation. In addition to finding and tracking your target demographic through a combination of location, keywords, and hashtags, Narrow will like and retweet posts from users that fit into your established demographic in order to redirect them to your profile.

If that isn’t enough to pique your interest, you can also use keywords to find relevant users’ bios and follow their profiles, which is a proven growth technique.

Naturally, Narrow keeps you up to date with built-in analytics that show which hashtags and keywords net the highest success, all while continuing to interact with users based on your informed input. The ostensible result is a higher level of engagement with your target audience, more followers for your brand, and a better understanding of your brand’s target audience.

After choosing a monthly payment plan—which come in flavors of $19/month for one Twitter account, $49/month for three accounts, and $99/month for 10 accounts—all you have to do is link your Twitter account(s), plug in the keywords and hashtags you want the app to interact with, and—no, wait, that’s all you have to do.

As one might reasonably expect, you can look into your progress on Narrow’s dashboard at any time, allowing you to drop unsuccessful keywords, prioritize the more successful ones, and view your overall conversion rates for each Twitter profile you manage.

It’s worth noting Narrow’s to-date involvement: according to the developers’ website, Narrow is used by companies like Forbes, MSNBC, and Entrepreneur. Given the bevy of useful resources this app boasts, you might want to consider adding your site to that list.

Narrow starts out at 19.99/month for one Twitter account. Even if you aren’t looking for a growth resource right now, do yourself a favor and head over to the site to check it out.

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Real Estate Marketing

How to avoid the trainwreck of hiring social media influencers

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Watching The Profit’s season six episode nine, Feat Socks, is almost like watching a real live train wreck. Two millennial entrepreneurs and social media influencers, Taylor and Parker, are picked up by angel investor Marcus Lemonis for help with their struggling small business, Feat Socks.

They are also included in a business group called Community, created by known faces in the Lemonis empire. In almost no time at all, Taylor and Parker manage to completely alienate all the other business owners.

After having experienced a little (but short) taste of success with Feat Socks, Taylor and Parker suddenly think they are invincible and can do anything after selling some overpriced socks. Not only does their attitude make them annoying, but it makes me want to see them knocked down to their knees and forced to swallow a humble sandwich. Whole.

There are some real lessons to be learned here when hiring social media influencers.

1. A positive, encouraging attitude is everything.

If your attitude is bad, you will fail in business. Period. Parker and Taylor prove that with their struggles when dealing with others. Their arrogance isn’t doing them any favors either. Keeping a positive and encouraging attitude will attract far more opportunities and the right people.

2. They need to know your product.

You need to know your product inside and out, but so do your social media influencers. They should be able to explain it to others in a way that makes sense and makes them excited. This is more rare than you’ll ever know.

3. Don’t be awful to others.

It doesn’t matter what your role is or how successful you are or think you are, being a douchebag to others will burn you every time and cost you opportunities. It may even cost you friends and potential partners. Being a know-it-all is sure to hurt your prospects as well.

4. Be humble.

Being humble is something that will always serve you well in business. It doesn’t matter if you’ve made $10 or $10 million, if you’re an arrogant jerk, no one will want to be around you, making it very lonely at the top. Or at the perceived top.

5. Be a team player.

If you’re a business owner, then you’re part of a team, even if it’s a small one. If you’re a social media influencer, you’re also an important part of a team. Act like it and show courtesy to your team members.

6. A business is more than just numbers.

A profit and loss statement only tell one part of the story. A business is run by people, supported by people, and successful because of people. Without people to direct it, a product doesn’t sell itself. So be good to people in your business, whether it’s staff, customers, vendors, or anyone else you meet.

Watch the full trainwreck here:

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