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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

Can Twitter ever secure data privacy, like even once?

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Twitter releases private information affecting already hurting businesses, should this even be a surprise anymore? They have a history of privacy breaches.

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twitter privacy

Dear Twitter,

I don’t know if you’ve seen the news within the past two years, but Facebook’s been under continuous scrutiny for privacy malpractices that affected millions of its users, so unless your goal is to be the next social network to infringe upon our first amendment right to privacy, I suggest you GET IT TOGETHER!

Over the weekend, users, specifically businesses, realized their billing information was being stored in their browsers cache. This is devastating news for business owners who rely on Twitter to promote their product, or stay in touch with their customers, who over the recent months have already faced monumental challenges. It is hard as a business owner to not feel this is an intentional overreach of privacy.

In an age where we have actual robots to vacuum our floors, and 3D printing, I speak for the people when I say this is unacceptable.

This isn’t the first time Twitter has been caught privacy breaching. A little over a year ago, Twitter announced that they were fixing a bug, many weren’t even aware of, that released phone numbers, location, and other personal data. AND GET THIS, even those who selected the option to keep their information private were affected, so what the hell is the point of asking us our preference in the first place?!!!

What about the time that Twitter accounts could be highjacked by ISIS and used to spread propaganda? All because Twitter didn’t require an email confirmation for account access. Or what about when Twitter stored your passwords in plaintext instead of something easily more secure. Flaws like these show a distinct ability of Twitter to just half ass things; to make it work, but not think about how to keep the users safe.

Like I said in the beginning, get it together Twitter.

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Facebook’s Forecast wants ‘qualified’ predictions, but no one’s asking why

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Forecast app

These days, trolls don’t necessarily lurk beneath bridges in order to ensnare unsuspecting travelers. Instead, they hide out in the comment sections on social media posts, ready to incite wrath and stir up controversy with their incendiary remarks. Because Facebook knows how quickly reasonable discourse can quickly devolve thanks in part to these online trolls, they’ve made a move to establish intelligent discussions through their new “Forecast” app.

The premise of Forecast is fairly straightforward. Facebook has invited an assortment of so-called experts (whether they work in the medical field or academia, or some other field) to cast their vote on predictions about the future. Not only will they share their vote, though, they’ll also pitch in their own two cents about these predictions, sparking what is expected to be insightful and reasonable conversation about the topics.

However, while the premise is exciting (smart people! not basement dwellers! talking about serious stuff!), there’s more than a small amount of risk associated with Forecast. For starters, what exactly is Facebook planning on doing with all of this information that is being volunteered on their app? And secondly, are they going to take precautions to help prevent the spread of misinformation when these results are eventually published?

The fact is, Facebook is notorious for propagating and spreading misinformation. Now, I’m not blaming Facebook itself for this issue. Rather, the sheer volume of its user base inevitably leads to flame wars and dishonesty. You can’t spell “Fake News” with at least a couple of the same letters used in Facebook. Or something like that. The problem arises when people see the results of these polls, recognize that the information is being presented by these hand-picked experts, and then immediately takes them at face value.

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At the moment, many of these projections are silly bits of fluff. One question asks, “Will Tiger King on Netflix get a spinoff season?” Another one wonders, “Will Mulan debut on Disney+ at the same time as or instead of a theatrical release?” But other questions? Well, they’re a little more serious than that. And speculating on serious issues (such as COVID-19, or the presidential election) can lead to the spread of serious — and potentially dangerous — misinformation.

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But I’ll be honest with you: I don’t exactly trust Facebook’s ability to put this cultivated information to good use. Sometimes a troll doesn’t have to be overtly provocative in order to be effective, and it wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to see someone in a position of power exploit the results of these polls to influence the public. It’ll be interesting to see if Forecast is still around in the next few years, but alas, there’s no option for me to submit my vote on that to find out.

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Well established Pinterest has a new competitor, Google Keen

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Google Keen

It looks like Pinterest might finally have some competition: Google Keen. Notice the heavy emphasis on the word “might”.

It’s not hard to see why Google might feel a tad encroached upon by Pinterest, a photo-sharing and search-based platform; while Pinterest’s impact is relatively small in terms of taking traffic from the G-people themselves, any competition is unwelcome in Google’s eyes–perhaps justifying their move toward creating their own version of Pinterest.

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Subtlety never was Google’s strongest suit, and that seems to be a theme they’re reiterating here. Perhaps that’s why the Google Graveyard, a site we’ve addressed in the past, is full of tools that didn’t live up to their original inspiration (one of the latest additions being the half-baked Google Hangouts). Google Keen shows promise, but one can’t help but remember how Google’s Circles feature fared in Facebook’s shadow.

Keen is available for web and Android platforms, which answers one question while raising a few more. For example, while it makes sense that Google would brand Keen for their own smartphone audience, iPhone Google usage is notably high, and the Pinterest crowd loves a clean aesthetic (that’s another point in the Apple camp). As such, it might be in Google’s best Pinterests–I mean, interests–to implement an iPhone presence for the app as well.

It is worth noting that Google has taken deliberate inspiration from Pinterest in a lot of ways. So Keen may be a way for them to tout their adopted features and familiarize users with them so that, in the long run, they are able to begin migrating traffic back to their own platform from Pinterest. In a time in which any competition may open the door to disaster down the road, this is a move that, despite skepticism, makes sense.

After all, the Google Graveyard is operating at capacity, yet the tech behemoth continues to chug away. Who knows where their newest “innovation” may take them?

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