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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

Twitter to start charging users? Here’s what you need to know

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Social media is trending toward the subscription based model, especially as the pandemic pushes ad revenue down. What does this mean for Twitter users?

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Twitter and other social media apps open on a phone being held in a hand. Will they go to a paid option subscription model?

In an attempt to become less dependent on advertising, Twitter Inc. announced that it will be considering developing a subscription product, as well as other paid options. Here’s the scoop:

  • The ideas for paid Twitter that are being tossed around include tipping creators, the ability to pay users you follow for exclusive content, charging for use of the TweetDeck, features like “undo send”, and profile customization options and more.
  • While Twitter has thought about moving towards paid for years, the pandemic has pushed them to do it – plus activist investors want to see accelerated growth.
  • The majority of Twitter’s revenue comes from targeted ads, though Twitter’s ad market is significantly smaller than Facebook and other competitors.
  • The platform’s user base in the U.S. is its most valuable market, and that market is plateauing – essentially, Twitter can’t depend on new American users joining to make money anymore.
  • The company tried user “tips” in the past with its live video service Periscope (RIP), which has now become a popular business model for other companies – and which we will most likely see again with paid Twitter.
  • And yes, they will ALWAYS take a cut of any money being poured into the app, no matter who it’s intended for.

This announcement comes at a time where other social media platforms, such as TikTok and Clubhouse, are also moving towards paid options.

My hot take: Is it important – especially during a pandemic – to make sure that creators are receiving fair compensation for the content that we as users consume? Yes, 100%. Pay people for their work. And in the realm of social media, pictures, memes, and opinions are in fact work. Don’t get it twisted.

Does this shift also symbolize a deviation from the unpaid, egalitarian social media that we’ve all learned to use, consume, and love over the last decade? It sure does.

My irritation stems not from the fact that creators will probably see more return on their work in the future. Or on the principal of free social media for all. It stems from sheer greediness of the social media giants. Facebook, Twitter, and their counterparts are already filthy rich. Like, dumb rich. And guess what: Even though Twitter has been free so far, it’s creators and users alike that have been generating wealth for the company.

So why do they want even more now?

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Social Media

TikTok enters the e-commerce space, ready to compete with Zuckerberg?

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Setting up social media for e-commerce isn’t an uncommon practice, but for TikTok this means the next step competing with Facebook and Instagram.

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Couple taking video with mobile phone, prepared for e-commerce.

Adding e-commerce offerings to social media platforms isn’t anything new. However, TikTok, which is owned by the Chinese firm ByteDance, is rolling out some new e-commerce features that will place the social video app in direct competition with Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook and Instagram.

According to a Financial Times report, TikTok’s new features will allow the platform to create and expand its e-commerce service in the U.S. The new features will allow TikTok’s popular users to monetize their content. These users will be able to promote and sell products by sharing product links in their content. In return, TikTok will profit from the sales by earning a commission.

Among the features included is “live-streamed” shopping. In this mobile phone shopping channel, users can purchase products by tapping on products during a user’s live demo. Also, TikTok plans on releasing a feature that will allow brands to display their product catalogs.

Currently, Facebook has expanded into the e-commerce space through its Facebook Marketplace. In May 2020, it launched Facebook Shops that allows businesses to turn their Facebook and Instagram stories into online stores.

But, Facebook hasn’t had too much luck in keeping up with the video platform in other areas. In 2018, the social media giant launched Lasso, its short-form video app. But the company’s TikTok clone didn’t last too long. Last year, Facebook said bye-bye to Lasso and shut it down.

Instagram is trying to compete with TikTok by launching Instagram Reels. This feature allows users to share short videos just like TikTok, but the future of Reels isn’t set in stone yet. By the looks of it, videos on Reels are mainly reposts of video content posted on TikTok.

There is no word on when the features will roll out to influencers on TikTok, but according to the Financial Times report, the social media app’s new features have already been viewed by some people.

TikTok has a large audience that continues to grow. By providing monetization tools in its platform, TikTok believes its new tools will put it ahead of Facebook in the e-commerce game, and help maintain that audience.

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Social Media

Your favorite Clubhouse creators can now ask for your financial support

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Clubhouse just secured new funding – what it means for creators and users of the latest quarantine-based social media darling.

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Woman talking on Clubhouse on her iPhone with a big smile.

Clubhouse – the live-voice chat app that has been taking the quarantined world by storm – has recently announced that it has raised new funding in a Series B round, led by Andreessen Horowitz, the venture capital firm in Silicon Valley.

The app confirms that new funding means compensation for creators; much like the influencers on TikTok and YouTube, now Clubhouse creators will be able to utilize features such as subscriptions, tipping, and ticket sales to monetize their content.

To encourage emerging Clubhouse creators and invite new voices, funding round will also support a promising “Creator Grant Program”.

On the surface, Clubhouse is undoubtedly cool. The invite-only, celebrity-filled niche chatrooms feel utopic for any opinionated individual – or anyone that just likes to listen. At its best, Clubhouse brings to mind collaborative campfire chats, heated lecture-hall debates or informative PD sessions. I’ll be the first to admit, I’m actually obsessed.

And now with its new round, the video chatroom app will not only appear cool but also act as a helpful steppingstone to popular and emerging creators alike. “Creators are the lifeblood of Clubhouse,” said Paul & Rohan, the app’s creators, “and we want to make sure that all of the amazing people who host conversations for others are getting recognized for their contributions.”

Helping creators get paid for their labor in 2021 is a cause that we should 100% get behind, especially if we’re consuming their content.

Over the next few months, Clubhouse will be prototyping their tipping, tickets and subscriptions – think a system akin to Patreon, but built directly into the app.

A feature unique to the app – tickets – will offer individuals and organizations the chance to hold formal discussions and events while charging an admission. Elite Clubhouse rooms? I wonder if I can get a Clubhouse press pass.

Additionally, Clubhouse has announced plans for Android development (the app has only been available to Apple users so far). They are also working on moderation policies after a recent controversial chat sparked uproar. To date, the app has been relying heavily on community moderation, the power of which I’ve witnessed countless times whilst in rooms.

So: Is the golden age of Clubhouse – only possible for a short period while everyone was stuck at home and before the app gained real mainstream traction – now over? Or will this new round of funding and subsequent development give the app a new beginning?

For now, I think it’s safe to say that the culture of Clubhouse will certainly be changing – what we don’t know is if the changes will make this cream-of-the-crop app even better, or if it’ll join the ranks of Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook in being another big-time social media staple.

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