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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!

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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

*New* TikTok Insights launch: Content creators finally get audience analytics

(SOCIAL MEDIA) The popular short-form app, TikTok, finally launches the anticipated Insights feature, where content creators can view target audience data.

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Two girls filming on TikTok.

Marketers searching for the zeitgeist which means TikTok scrollers pause to watch their content and then click through to buy a product have a new tool to help make that happen.

  • TikTok Insights offers marketers bite-size bits of user demographic information that will help build content that leads to sales.
  • With TikTok Insights you can learn more about your audience’s behavior, their interests, and their general sentiment toward brands.
  • TikTok Insights is free to use. Marketers can find TikTok user demographics by using filters to determine what they’re looking for.

The demographic info can be age-focused, focused on specific types of marketing, or even as specific as holiday or event marketing.

This is a step in the direction marketers have been asking for as they create content for the TikTok platform; however, creators looking for detailed analytics like they get from meta need to wait. Insights doesn’t offer that for now.

Like TikTok says in its own analytic information,

“While analytics are helpful in understanding the performance of your videos, you don’t need to create future videos based primarily around them. It’s best to consider the bigger picture, lean lightly on analytics, and use them as a source for insight rather than strategy.”

Marketers trying to key into reaching TikTok’s billion users worldwide are left, right now, searching for the magic that leads to consumers making the jump from the platform to using their purchasing power.

For marketers that means keeping things creative and collaborative, two key factors in TikTok’s success. And that success is huge. Users spend an average of 52 minutes on the platform when they log in and a staggering 90% of users say they log on every day.

TikTok Insights will help marketers find ways to connect, but the content TikTok is looking for is authentic.

And while entrepreneurs can bid for advertising like other social media platforms, they need to remember when planning that spend, that most TikTok marketing success stories are more accidental than planned. Have fun with that knowledge. Instead of pressure to create the perfect plan, TikTok Insights allows marketers to keep it creative and to find a way to tie it into what they enjoy about the platform.

Like all other social media marketing, focus on creating content that stops the consumer from their continual scroll. Make it a challenge and keep it real.

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Social Media

Grindr got busted for selling users’ data locations to advertisers

(SOCIAL MEDIA) User data has been a hot topic in the tech world. It’s often shared haphazardly or not protected, and the app Grindr, follows suit.

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Grindr on phone in man's hands

If you’re like me, you probably get spam calls a lot. Information is no longer private in this day and age; companies will buy and sell whatever information they can get their hands on for a quick buck. Which is annoying, but not necessarily outright dangerous, right?

Wrong.

Grindr has admitted to selling their user’s data, however, they are specifically selling the location of their users without regard for liability concerns. Grindr, a gay hook-up app, is an app where a marginalized community is revealing their location to find a person to connect to. Sure, Grindr claims they have been doing this less and less since 2020, but the issue still remains: they have been selling the location of people who are in a marginalized community – a community that has faced a huge amount of oppression in the past and is still facing it to this day.

Who in their right mind thought this was okay? Grindr initially did so to create “real-time ad exchanges” for their users, to find places super close to their location. Which makes sense, sort of. The root of the issue is that the LGBTQAI+ community is a community at risk. How does Grindr know if all of their users are out? Do they know exactly who they’re selling this information to? How do they know that those who bought the information are going to use it properly?

They don’t have any way of knowing this and they put all of their users at risk by selling their location data. And the data is still commercially available! Historical data could still be obtained and the information was able to be purchased in 2017. Even if somebody stopped using Grindr in, say, 2019, the fact they used Grindr is still out there. And yeah, the data that’s been released has anonymized, Grindr claims, but it’s really easy to reverse that and pin a specific person to a specific location and time.

This is such a huge violation of privacy and it puts people in real, actual danger. It would be so easy for bigots to get that information and use it for something other than ads. It would be so easy for people to out others who aren’t ready to come out. It’s ridiculous and, yeah, Grindr claims they’re doing it less, but the knowledge of what they have done is still out there. There’s still that question of “what if they do it again” and, with how the world is right now, it’s really messed up and problematic.

If somebody is attacked because of the data that Grindr sold, is Grindr complicit in that hate crime, legally or otherwise?

So, moral of the story?

Yeah, selling data can get you a quick buck, but don’t do it.

You have no idea who you’re putting at risk by selling that data and, if people find out you’ve done it, chances are your customers (and employees) will lose trust in you and could potentially leave you to find something else. Don’t risk it!

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Social Media

BeReal: Youngsters are flocking in droves to this Instagram competitor app

(SOCIAL MEDIA) As Instagram loses steam due to its standards of “perfection posting,” users are drawn to a similar app with a different approach, BeReal.

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social media - bereal app

BeReal is one of several “Real” apps exploding in growth with young users who crave real connections with people they know in real life.

According to data.ai, BeReal ranks 4th by downloads in the US, the UK, and France for Q1 2022 to date, behind only Instagram, Snapchat, and Pinterest.

BeReal flies in the face of what social media has become. Instead of curated looks that focus on the beautiful parts of life, BeReal users showcase what they’re doing at the moment and share those real photos with their friends. Their real friends.

It’s real. And real is different for a generation of social media users who have been raised on influencers and filters.

As the app says when you go to its page:

Be Real.

Your Friends

for Real.

Every day at a different time, BeReal users are notified simultaneously to capture and share a Photo in 2 Minutes.

A new and unique way to discover who your friends really are in their daily life.

BeReal app

The app has seen monthly users increase by more than 315% according to Apptopia, which tracks and analyzes app performance.

“Push notifications are sent around the world simultaneously at different times each day,” the company said in a statement. “It’s a secret on how the time is chosen every day, it’s not random.”

The app allows no edits and no filters. They want users to show a “slice of their lives.”

Today’s social media users have seen their lives online inundated with ultra-curated social media. The pandemic led to more time spent online than ever. Social media became a way to escape. Reality was ugly. Social media was funny, pretty, and exciting.

And fake.

Enter BeReal where users are asked to share two moments of real life on a surprise schedule. New apps are fun often because they’re new. However, the huge growth in the use of BeReal by college-aged users points to something more than the new factor.

For the past several years, experts have warned that social media was dangerous to our mental health. The dopamine hits of likes and shares are based on photos and videos filled with second and third takes, lens changes, lighting improvements, and filters. Constant comparisons are the norm. And even though we know the world we present on our social pages isn’t exactly an honest portrayal of life, we can’t help but experience FOMO when we see our friends and followers and those we follow having the times of their lives, buying their new it thing, trying the new perfect product, playing in their Pinterest-worthy decorated spaces we wish we could have.

None of what we see is actually real on our apps. We delete our media that isn’t what we want to portray and try again from a different angle and shoot second and third and forth takes that make us look just a little better.

We spend hours flipping through videos on our For You walls and Instagram stories picked by algorithms that know us better than we know ourselves.

BeReal is the opposite of that. It’s simple, fast, and real. It’s community and fun, but it’s a moment instead of turning into the time-sink of our usual social media that, while fun, is also meant to ultimately sell stuff, including all our data.

It will be interesting to watch BeReal and see if it continues down its promised path and whether the growth continues. People are looking for something. Maybe reality is that answer.

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