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Closed real estate transactions via social media = 80%!

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Yes, you read that right.

80% of my closed transactions over the last six months can be directly attributed to my use of social media marketing. I might even make an argument that much of the other 20% was indirectly linked to social media, too.

“Bull”, you say? “Hogwash”, you think? “How is that even possible?”, you wonder?

Well, I speak the truth. It didn’t happen overnight, though. Social media takes work and the all important and much discussed “ROI” (I hate that term, btw) doesn’t show itself for a long time.

I made a few missteps, as I confessed in my post “Who Should Real Estate Agents Follow On Twitter?” and learned as I went along from the very early pioneers in the real estate technology/social media crowd.

Once I had a cohesive plan and a goal it was a leap of faith and an exercise in dedication to this marketing experiment. Everyone at my office, especially my manager, eschewed my new form of “prospecting”. Try as I might to explain my new concepts behind lead generation, I was met with responses like, “Try a farm mailing” or “Have you done a postcard to your sphere, lately?”.

Zzzzzzzzzzz

Now don’t get me wrong, I know traditional marketing has its place, and still works for some people. I just HATED it. It was tedious and I never could hit a groove that worked for me. My new strategy was different: it was exciting and vibrant and felt like FUN.

At the time, this was all so new that there weren’t many good examples of people having tremendous financial success with social media marketing in real estate, so I couldn’t even provide my manager with their success as an example.

USE ME….

You, however, have me to share with your naysayers. Use my story, or others like mine, to hush your negative Nellys and stay positive and driven.

Back to the statistics. I really am serious about the 80% and I do think it is a conservative estimate. Additionally, I went from being the 9th ranked agent in my company to being the current top producer.

It wasn’t easy to lay the groundwork to get here and it is even harder to keep my social media plan moving ahead while so busy doing actual business, but it is still lots of fun and I make the time to see that my marketing plan is followed.

So, I leave you with this teaser and promise to share with you some of that “magical marketing plan” I just mentioned in posts to follow. This post is meant to whet your social media appetite. I want you agents that are still on the social media fence to hop on over and dip your toes in the water. Imagine yourself moving up to new heights of real estate production and the inbound leads that come to you are already sold on your skills because they found you through your social media plan.

It is time to punch up your traditional prospecting!

Lesley offers 21 years experience in real estate, public speaking and training. Lesley has a degree in communications and was the recipient of an international award for coordinating media in real estate. In the course of her career Lesley has presented at international real estate conferences and state REALTOR associations, hosted a real estate television program, written articles for trade magazines and created marketing and PR plans for many individuals, companies and non-profits.

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39 Comments

39 Comments

  1. Missy Caulk

    May 27, 2010 at 11:27 pm

    Awesome Lesley, are you including your blog in that 80% number?

  2. Michael Bertoldi

    May 28, 2010 at 1:43 am

    Nice post Lesley. If agents are still on the fence about social media, they’ve been there way too long. I remember when a business was “innovative” just by being on twitter. Now you can’t watch TV without seeing facebook and twitter logos on what seems like tons of commercials. It’s here to stay and agents better learn how to use it. The trick to things like twitter is finding a topic of conversation and engaging your community. It sounds so cliche but people don’t know how to do it. If you do it right, which takes basic people skills and applies them online, it can lead to top of mind awareness and face to face interaction. That’s when it’s working!

    Glad to hear you’re social media plan is successful Lesley! Keep rockin!

    • Lesley Lambert

      May 28, 2010 at 9:04 am

      Michael,
      I think that those of us who are already here think everyone else is, too. I can only speak from my experience in my market and while traveling to hold training sessions for real estate agents: the masses are not using social media marketing tools.

      Many people know they could or should use this medium, but are intimidated and feel ignorant and that keeps them on that fence.

  3. Christina Ethridge

    May 28, 2010 at 10:50 am

    Ok, not to be the party pooper here – but – citing a percentage is MEANINGLESS. 80% of what? Name some numbers. 80% of how many transactions? That’s the real meat – how many actual transactions did you have from this?

    For someone to come along and tout the power of SM in their real estate business w/o sharing hard number data … well, like I said before, useless info.

    Now, if you typically do 50 transactions a year, and you’ve done 25 in the past 6 months and 20 of those came from SM, THAT is meat. THAT is power in SM. However, if you did 5 transactions in the past 6 months and 4 came from SM, well frankly, that’s not saying much. 10 transactions a year can be had essentially accidentally. Doesn’t compare solid offline marketing efforts with online efforts.

    Yeah, I’m always a skeptic when RE bloggers tout percentages… especially when every single time I’ve found that said blogger (NOT YOU, don’t know you), has a small RE business and their only real source of marketing is their blog or SM. Doesn’t prove whatsoever that online efforts outweigh offline efforts.

    • Lesley Lambert

      May 28, 2010 at 12:01 pm

      Skepticism is normal and that was my total point!

      Christina, I hear your point, but I don’t actually share my transactions online because I feel that it isn’t pertinent to these discussions. Every area is different and some agent’s five transactions may be a higher sales volume than another agent’s twenty.

      This was meant to encourage those that haven’t ventured in and felt it wouldn’t be worthwhile. It totally is and while I won’t be getting into a contest of “my production is bigger than yours” I think it IS valuable to know, regardless of sales volume that 80% of the leads generated are inbound due to social media.

      Thanks for stopping by!

      • Fred Romano

        May 28, 2010 at 8:23 pm

        I agree your 80% means nothing if you can’t back it with numbers. Hey, you want to “share” the success of “80%” by writing a post on here, but not be transparent about the numbers? That’s total BS – sorry!

    • Barry Cunningham

      May 30, 2010 at 12:13 pm

      I really…really tried to resist saying anything as I don’t want to insult…but I have to agree wholeheartedly with both Fred and Christina.

      You don’t feel that actual numbers are “pertinent to these discussions”…c’mon..that’s what the discussion was about? You wrote an article heralding your social media presence then said it’s not “pertinent to these discussions”. Really?

      I tmakes people very suspect of what you write. I mean you don’t have that many twitter followers, your blog doesn’t rank well, you don’t show up in the serps for your main keyword…so you just want people to accept what you say as the gospel without actually having to show anything?

      One important aspect of a good social media campaign is being able to provide “social proof”. Absent any real social proof your post is just words on a page.

      Question…is this what you want people (i.e. prospective customers) to see when they look online?

      AG is a pretty strong site. I’m sure this post will show up eventually when people search Lesley Lambert and what will you say when customers ask you why you could not or rather would not provide any substantive data to back up your claim?

      • Fred Romano

        June 1, 2010 at 6:15 pm

        Lesley still has not answered us on her numbers… All this means nothing! 80% of WHAT??? Seriously, if she’s talking about 5 or 6 deals, then clearly this article is bogus. We need transparency from Lesley or she shouldn’t bother writing a post like this!

  4. Chris Morgan

    May 28, 2010 at 11:49 am

    The use of social media as a marketing tool has been a topic of conversation now for a couple of years and the question remains not “if it works” but “how are you using it successfully”. I will be interested to read your promised additional posts that address your so called magic marketing plan. Thank you for sharing this much, looking forward to more details.

  5. BawldGuy

    May 28, 2010 at 11:53 am

    I noticed that too, Christina — though I don’t doubt the percentages a bit.

    Great post material too. And congrats, Lesley, for rising to #1 in your office!

  6. Lani Rosales

    May 28, 2010 at 12:44 pm

    From Facebook in response to this article:

    Ross Therrien said, “We get it. How do we reach those that don’t?”

    Matt Thomson said, “Why do we reach those that don’t. Another agent can say that they get 80% of their business from door knocking, but I’m not going to run out and follow suit. Social media, when used properly, is one of many forms of lead generating in real estate. It is not essential. It is not the new wave. Not every agent needs–or should have–a social media profile. It’s just one of many ways to build a business.”

    Tony Fantis said, “Real estate hasn’t changed much…we still get most of our business through social interaction and social networking. But now, it’s easier to stay in touch/visible with more people, more often, and 24/7. I still use the old tools, but BOY do I love the new tools!”

  7. Cheryl Carroll

    May 28, 2010 at 2:21 pm

    No fair Lesley – we’re in a “now” society but you’re going to make us wait to find out how you do it. Perhaps that is in of itself how you attract your clients on social media (??) I plan on listening closely; I’m not on the fence with social media but feel like I’m all over the place and would like to figure out where to focus my energy to get results. I could spend an eternity on social media, easily. Great info. and I eagerly look forward to more!

  8. Erica Ramus

    May 28, 2010 at 9:00 pm

    I am in a region where $90k is the average sale.

    In 2008 I closed (yes closed) over $1 million in sales due directly to (1) my blog and (2) my online presence in trulia, realtor.com and other sites.

    I do track all of my sales and in 2008 I sat up and said “Wow. This works.”

    2009 the number was $1.4 million. Not bad for a small country town.

    • Fred Romano

      May 28, 2010 at 9:09 pm

      Those numbers are awesome! But you can’t count Realtor.com as Social Media 🙂

      • Erica Ramus

        May 28, 2010 at 9:15 pm

        No but I do count it as part of my online mix. I have multiple blogs, a facebook fan page, several different websites, twitter, etc. It all works together to create your marketing mix and make people TRUST you. They see you everywhere, read you online, see your message and then call.

      • Erica Ramus

        May 28, 2010 at 9:19 pm

        On more example. You still have to use belly-to-belly in person to complete the picture!

        I was at the grocery store last weekend and checkout girl says “Hey you’re the lady all over the internet on the web pages.”
        She is shopping for a house and has not contacted a realtor yet. She is just window shopping while she gets her act together.
        But she has been reading my blog and even fanned my facebook page. And she picked me out of the line to let me know she recognized me.
        I gave her my business card, and told her to call when she’s ready to look in person. It all works together.

  9. Benn Rosales

    May 29, 2010 at 9:33 am

    There’s a larger picture here that I think is fascinating. If you removed the words social media and inserted ‘online’ you begin to see the value proposition emerging. If you can continue your legacy approach to marketing and add an online mix, you could see modest gains when venturing online if done correctly. What will be even more interesting will be to see what brokerages are seeing quarter to quarter as they begin maneuvering online.

  10. Chris

    June 1, 2010 at 2:28 pm

    I don’t doubt you can pick up a lot of residential customers using social media (and to Fred’s comment – aggregator/listing sites like Trulia, Realtor.com etc… are not what I call social media…) but I’m still waiting for the commercial real estate success story. Maybe 20% of the 100 plus agents in the company I work for are involved in social media – and of that 20%, I’ve heard 2 stories about obtaining listings from SM. Plus, we keep stats for deal sources and, to date, not one has come from SM (online sources like our website and listing aggregators account for about 1%). The bulk of the deals come from previous relationships and broker referrals.

    Not to say commercial agents shouldn’t be in the SM space – it’s all part of the picture a potential client may look at when assessing your viability. But for commercial at least, I’ve yet to see the money.

  11. Diane Guercio

    June 1, 2010 at 4:23 pm

    I just searched “short sales western MA” – Lesley holds 4 of the top 6 spots on page 1. A search of “first time home buyer western MA” shows Lesley’s sites for two of the top 7 spots.

    My guess is a lot of people would give one body part or another to show up like that in organic search.

    • Barry Cunningham

      June 1, 2010 at 5:51 pm

      Hi Diane…simply showing up in the SERPS is not enough. You need to show up in those SERPS wherein people are actually searching. That’s the trick a lot of so called SEO experts lay on people. (I am not at all even infering that Lesley is that kind of person so don’t get me wrong whatsoever.)

      You see the keywords you just searched and mentioned have little if ANY value. Most Realtors don’t know how to determine search value and they are misled into thinking that a ranking for a term actually means something.

      I could rank for those terms in about 24 hours and so could you or anybody else if they knew what they were doing. The trick is actually finding those keywords that matter and bring traffic…which in turn equals $$$

  12. LesleyLambert

    June 1, 2010 at 11:15 pm

    This post is about helping others to gain courage.

    So to those of you who are looking forward to more information on how I am using social media, I can’t wait to get to know you better and hope to be able to share something useful with you.

    I am not the end-all, be-all on this topic, nor do I claim to be. I am a real estate agent that enjoys writing who has had a good deal of success by using social media and wants to help others get the confidence to try it, too.

    For those of you interested in my production levels: what I will tell you is I am now the #1 agent in a company of 60+ agents and our firm is the #1 agency in our marketplace in the suburbs of Western Massachusetts.

    Stay tuned for more of my unique experiences that may or may not be worthy of such colorful responses…..glad you are all here (at least most of you). ;-p

  13. Lisa Ludlow Archer

    June 4, 2010 at 11:31 pm

    Lesly:

    I am very impressed and so happy for your success. It is people such as yourself who have convinced me to jump into SM with both feet over the last 3 years. Our team started blogging about 3 months ago and we are already seeing REAL results. Twitter has been another avenue I started being diligent about over the last year and now we are getting leads and referrals from both. Our facebook fanpage is also getting a lot of followers. Facebook has never been an issue because I have been over 4000 plus friends for close to a year, but the fanpage is only a couple months old.
    Thanks again for the positive encouragement and congrat son the continues success. #twitterqueens rock.
    Lisa, aka Allstarmom3

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Social Media

Instagram flaunts new features, including a decked out desktop experience  

(SOCIAL MEDIA) It’s been a time of exciting product and feature announcements for Instagram with additions of Collabs, fundraisers, and desktop posts on deck

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Instagram displayed on a desktop

It’s been a time of exciting product and feature announcements for Instagram on both mobile and desktop.

Collabs Feature

“Collabs” allows up to 2 accounts to co-author a post or Reel, both sharing joint ownership of what is ultimately published. The post or Reel will show up equally on both users’ feeds with the same amount of engagement numbers, but combined, including comments, view numbers, and like counts. This is initiated through the tagging screen and the invited account will have to accept the offer before the collab can be complete.

Examples of adding a co-author in Instagram Collabs feature

Fundraiser & Reel Features

Instagram was quick to jump on the short-form content trends taking the social media world by storm. With the rise of TikTok, the Insta platform that was originally focused on static photos added Reels, along the same wavelength of short 15, 30, or 60-second videos, though the competitor has now expanded with the option of 3 minutes. Even so, Instagram is taking the time to improve music-related features within the Reels section of the app, adding “Superbeat” and “Dynamic.” The first adds effects to the video matching the beat of the chosen song, while the latter offers unique and interesting ways to display the song’s lyrics on screen. In addition, they are beginning to test the option to run fundraisers on a post by clicking the + button in the top right corner of the interface.

Examples of Dynamic for Reels feature

 Desktop Feature

FINALLY! Instagram is now realizing just how many users truly enjoy the desktop experience. If one were to compare the platform on the mobile app vs. desktop, they would see the slew of differences between the two with the desktop interface looking like the 1st year Instagram was even introduced. Functionality is no comparison; they only just added the ability to DM on desktop last year. As one can see, there is an extremely limited experience on desktop, but Instagram is now rolling out the ability for users to post from their browsers. Catch us enjoying posts on the big screen!

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Social Media

Truth Social: Trump’s long-standing battle against Big Tech backfires

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Truth Social is an example of how a new platform, though necessary to keep competition alive, can prove to be fallible before it succeeds.

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Man holding iPhone with Truth Social app download page up, as well as the stock market and Trump in the background on computer screens.

Former President Donald J. Trump announced a new social media platform, dubbed “Truth Social” last week. The platform has since been the recipient of cyber attacks by hacker collective Anonymous and the Software Freedom Conservancy has accused the Trump Media and Technology Group of violating the terms of their software agreement.

The circumstances plaguing Truth Social provide a small (if nuanced) look into the rigors of creating and sustaining new social media platforms in the modern-day. While expanding the number of social media platforms available creates more competition, this platform, in particular, raises some questions about the wisdom of investing in a service that creates an ideological echo chamber, as well as demonstrating that not just anyone can run a social media site.

There’s no denying that this new entry into the world of social media is off to a rocky start. Cyberattacks just hours after Truth Social’s test run left the site in disarray, with fake user accounts for Mike Pence, Steve Bannon, and Donald Trump appearing at various stages of the launch. Truth Social’s hosts eventually took it offline, and the sign-up process is halted for the time being.

Woman holding iPhone showing Truth Social's feed.

Truth Social also has some interesting rules regarding user interactions on their platform, including a non-disparagement clause and the assertion that users can be sued for the content they post, Time reports.

“In addition to terminating or suspending your account, we reserve the right to take appropriate legal action, including without limitation pursuing civil, criminal, and injunctive redress,” says one section of the Truth Social terms of use.

This clause is in stark contrast to the ethos behind Truth Social – a platform that, according to the press release, was “founded with a mission to give a voice to all” and “stand up to the tyranny of Big Tech.”

The disparity in messaging versus reality is an understandable mistake, as much of Trump’s mindset was most likely impacted by criticism levied against him on mainstream social media when he had his accounts – and anyone in the same position might reasonably make the same call. However, restricting users to agree with one set political ideology is a perilous precedent to set. Echo chambers aren’t particularly conducive to longevity.

iPhone showing Trump's suspended Twitter account.

The Trump Media and Technology Group also violated the terms of their open-source software of choice when they uploaded the pilot version of Truth Social. According to the licensing agreement associated with Mastodon – the software company TMTG used – users must have access to the source code for the product in question (in this case, Truth Social).

Since the initial users of Truth Social did not receive that access, the social media platform is at risk of permanently losing its rights to the code.

While some of these pitfalls feel proprietary to Trump insofar as his high-profile battle against social media is concerned, the truth is that any development of new social media entries will be messy and fraught with obstacles. Truth Social is just one example of how a new platform – something that is absolutely necessary to keep competition alive – can prove to be publicly fallible far before it ever succeeds.

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Social Media

Instagram Collabs: New feature fosters the ability to co-author content

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Instagram is rolling out a few updates, including a new post format called Collabs, giving users a new way to co-author feed posts and reels.

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Instagram stock images of collab feature.

Instagram is rolling out a few updates, including a new post format that many can benefit from. Called Instagram Collabs, this latest feature gives users a new way to co-author feed posts and reels. This isn’t the first feature Instagram has rolled out to promote collaboration between users, but we think it will be a beneficial addition!

How to use Instagram Collabs

Using Collabs is very similar to how you tag someone on Instagram. You can start by choosing to create either a reels video or feed post. After recording your video or taking your photo like you normally would, you head over to the “Share” screen and select “Tag People”. On that screen, there is now an “Invite Collaborator” option!

By choosing to invite a collaborator, the account you add will be able to share your post to their profile grid and their followers. Additionally, the names of all the collaborators will appear in the feed post or reel header, but before their username shows up on your post, the collaborator will need to accept the collaborator invitation first.

Keep in mind, only public accounts can be tagged and there is a limit to how many tags you can use. You’re able to tag up to 20 accounts, including the number of tagged users and collaborators.

Instagram stock photo of how to use new feature, Collabs, with iPhones showing the sequence of how to add a co-author.

Benefits of Instagram Collabs

Collabs makes it quicker and easier for everyone to share content on the platform. From local artists working together on a project to businesses working with high-profile influencers to promote their brand, content is shared instantly. Gone are the days of screenshotting or using third-party apps to repost that same content on your profile.

Along with making sharing easier, the feature makes it clear and simple to give credit where it’s due – all authors are given credit. When it comes to branded sponsorships, instead of adding hashtags or brand tags that can become cluttered, along with the user, the names of brands are neatly displayed in the header. Before this feature, it was a little difficult to distinguish a regular tag from a business, but with Collabs, that is no more.

And last, but not least, collaborators will all share views, likes, and comments. By sharing engagement signals, content creators will be able to maximize their reach and businesses will have more transparency with their customers.

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