Find Your Platform

Videos, speaking, writing, what are the most comfortable doing? It doesn't matter what the platform is you feel the best about, use it to market yourself. If you love being in front of a camera start a YouTube channel. If you would rather be behind a mic, start a podcast. If you love to write, start a blog. Whatever you choose, make it the base of all of your content and create smaller content from it.

VIDEO

I get it, not everyone is meant to be in front of a camera. For some people, I know it is one of the most terrifying things they can do. But if you love the camera or are OK getting in front of one. Video is something you absolutely need to start utilizing if you are not already. Video is how we consume most of our media now a days. Think about it, how many videos are there on YouTube? Billions??? Look at the stats below, that should be all you need to know to start making videos if you don’t already.

  • The total number of people who use YouTube – 1,300,000,000.

  • 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute!

  • Almost 5 billion videos are watched on Youtube every single day.

  • YouTube gets over 30 million visitors per day

If you want more stats check out this LINK

I’ve had this conversation with other agents and the one excuse I get a lot is “I don’t have time.” If you have seen any of my videos I can tell you it is not as hard as you think. Your phone can do a lot of things, especially record amazing videos. So take out your phone and start recording! Document your journey as a realtor. Have fun with it. Be creative. Do something different. Come up with something that will get people talking. Then edit it to make it look professional (there are a ton of free programs you can use to edit, I like IMovie, it is very easy to use but it is also very basic and doesn’t have a ton of bells and whistles).

Keep in mind, your first videos are going to suck. It’s OK. The more you do them the better you will get. Plus you will start to perfect your editing and how to shoot the videos better. Look at my very first videos or anyone else that started doing them themselves. They are pretty awful.

NOTE: subtitles are incredibly important. A lot of people consume videos while commuting or in between commercials meaning they don’t watch the videos with the sound on. You need to add subtitles to your videos. Try using the app called CLIPS. It’s free and very easy to use. You can also edit the subtitles so you make sure your message is clear.

BLOGGING

Blogging is something I love doing. Writing is not dead even though I just told you above how much we consume video. As a society we still love to read. Books are still sold and magazines (no so much newspapers anymore) are still read. A lot of the reading we do now is digital so blogs are a perfect place to write. Blogs are also a great place to share your thoughts with the world if being in front of a camera is not your thing.

There are plenty of different ways to blog as well. Wordpress, Blogger, build a site of your own on a platform like SquareSpace and blog there. Find content you think people are going to want to hear about. Maybe you are the expert in a neighborhood (or want to be). Start writing about the neighborhood. Go to different stores or restaurants and talk to the people there. Interview people. Hell just stand on a corner and observe whats going on and write about it. Find something you want to be an expert in and just start typing!

NOTE: make sure you are passionate about your topic. It takes a while to get transaction on blogs so you really have to show people why they should be reading your content. Also, post it everywhere!!! You have to find ways to get it seen.

PODCASTING

So you don’t like being in front of a camera and you don’t feel like you’re a very good writer but I bet you can talk. if you are a realtor, you can talk. It’s what we do! And we do it a lot. So why don’t you start a podcast and start talking. It ls the same thing as writing a blog and honestly just as easy to start. If you are not sure what to do just Google how to start a podcast. There are tons of articles written on how to do it.

There are also free programs like ANCHOR that you can use to record and distribute your content. I use it myself. It’s very easy to use and doesn’t take much to set up. Plus, I love that just posting a podcast gets it sent out to the main sites it needs to go to. Then you can post it on all of your social media platforms.

Just like with a blog, you can start podcasting about whatever topic you want to be considered an expert in. You can also find people that relate to your topic and interview them on your podcasts. If you can find influencers you can interview, tag them and have them share your podcast. Maybe go viral with it and be known as the expert in for example, first time home buyers.

Look whatever you feel the most comfortable with, start doing it. You need to find a pillar content that you can use as the main platform for your content. Then you can make smaller content from it. You can take photos of you, or voice clips, or small 30 second video clips. The more content you can put out the better. Remember is it all about building your brand.

There is a platform for everyone, you just have to find yours!

If you're not marketing to your database, you will fail

“ACCORDING TO A SURVEY BY THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS, 70% OF BUYERS AND SELLERS SAID THEY WOULD USE THEIR AGENT AGAIN. OF THE PEOPLE SURVEYED ON 17% HEARD FROM THEIR AGENT AGAIN.”

If you ask any agent that has been in the industry for a long time (especially any top producer), they will all tell you that they were able to build a sustainable business by constantly marketing to their database. IF YOU DON’T DO ANY OTHER MARKETING AT THE VERY LEAST, MARKET TO YOUR DATABASE A FEW TIMES A MONTH. Please reread that last sentence a hundred times and get it engrained into your brain.

OK now that it is stuck on repeat like a bad pop song, let me tell you why this is so important to do. Becuase referrals are a lot easier too close than cold leads. Ask yourself, would you rather be introduced to a new client from someone who already did the job of selling you or have to try and sell yourself from scratch? It’s a no brainer. Statistically, a warm lead will close more of the time than a cold one.

So now that you understand how important marketing to your database is let me make this easy for you. You really only need to market to your database around 28-30 times a year. And you only need to spend an hour a month doing so. If you can’t spend an hour a month marketing to the people who are going to send you business you seriously need to revaluate your schedule and maybe your life.

It is not really that difficult to do but it amazes me how many agents do not do this. If you really stop and think about the quote I started the blog with, a city of Chicago with 2.7 million people living here, how much business is being left on the table? I don’t know about you but I have no issue taking on that extra business.

HOW TO MARKET TO YOUR DATABASE?

The first thing you want to do is put together a game plan on how to market them. I suggest you market to them at least twice a month regularly, once quarterly, and a few times sporadically throughout the year. I use a simple Excel spreadsheet to keep track of every touch I do. I simply make the cell green if I do it that month or red if I forgot.

I said earlier that it is not difficult to market to your people and I meant it. I’ve been marketing to my database since I started and now most of my business is from referrals. I promise you I did not do anything too crazy either. Let me show you 1) I send a newsletter at the beginning of every month. I created a template in Mailchimp (free) and each month I go in and change the message and articles. It’s very simple and nothing over the top, but I get the most response from it compared to anything else I do. 2) Mid month I send a post card. Just listed, just sold, any awards I received or holidays. Just something tangible for people to hold. 3) Each quarter I send a quarterly update where I provide and update on the market with stats of what is going on. These three things total to 28 touches a year and it hardly takes me any time to do them.

***one suggestion I would like to make is to call your people. Calling is a lost art and nothing is more powerful than speaking to them.

Below are some suggestions you can use on top of the things I do:

  • Happy birthday card

  • Happy anniversary card (wedding or date they closed on the property if its your past client)

  • Handwritten note

  • Call you top referring clients

  • Sports calendar magnets

  • Card (or something) for kids birthday or just born

  • Stop by clients house randomly

  • Bring gifts to clients

  • Host a client appreciation event

SOCIAL MEDIA DOES NOT COUNT

I don’t count social media as a touch but I do believe it is an amazing way to keep in touch with your people. I always friend a client as soon as I close them and then add them to a Past Client Friends List I have set up. If you do not know what a friends list on Facebook is look it up! I like their posts and make comments. Being interactive with them. The more you interact with them the more they will see anything you post. Thats how Facebook works. If you are using social media to market yourself the last few lines are vital to getting your content seen by the people you want to see it.

Social media is also a great way to know when people’s important dates are. I.e birthday, anniversary, kids birthday. I use this often to find out when peoples milestones are and I add them to my CRM for future reference.

Side Note: I used Facebook in this blog but I also follow my clients on Instagram and LinkedIn. I just find it is easier to be more active with them on Facebook than any other platform. But go where your people are.

FIND A GOOD CRM

You don’t have to spend a ton of money on a fancy one. There are plenty out there that are reasonably priced and do a great job. I use Contactually and have for a long time. I like it becuase I set it up to get an email every morning with the 5 people I need to follow up with. It really helps keep me organized and consistent. But any CRM will work. Just make sure you have one you can rely on even if it’s an Excel spreadsheet.

To put a bow on all of this, I can not stress enough how important marketing to your database is. It is one thing that will set any realtor up for success from the very beginning if they market to their database consistently. If you do not market to your database, YOU WILL FAIL!

Mike Opyd


Why I Opened RE/MAX NEXT

Being a realtor in Chicago for a number of years I’ve seen a lot. I worked for a handful of different companies big and small as an independent agent and part of a team. Throughout my experience at these companies, I observed what each offered and how each treated their agents. I spoke to many agents across the city about their experiences at their brokerages and how they felt about them. I also spent a lot of time doing research on all of the companies in the city and compiled what I felt was enough information to come to one conclusion: brokerages have been taking and continue to take advantage of agents!

It is a conclusion that infuriated me. Hearing how agents are treated and how the company they work for is only concerned with their bottom line and not truly helping the agent made me want to do something about it. So I decided to open a company that is truly dedicated to helping realtors. Full disclosure, it has always been a goal of mine to open my own company, the research I did only further ignited my desire to do so.

It’s one thing to come to this conclusion, it’s another thing to actually do something about it. So I started the process of working towards opening up my own brokerage. I filed the necessary paperwork, I settled on a name and logo, and was about to start looking for office space before I was presented with an opportunity that I had not considered; a RE/MAX franchise.  

When I was doing my research on other companies, I had considered purchasing one as a franchise until I learned more about them, RE/MAX was not even on my radar. RE/MAX does not have a large city presence so I did not even really consider it. I spent the necessary time researching what this company has to offer and found that due to each office being independently owned and operated I would be able to run the company as I wanted without the restrictions placed upon franchise owners of other companies. RE/MAX NEXT was born.

RE/MAX NEXT is designed only with agents in mind. The company is not designed to restrict agents, rather its designed to allow an agent to run their business the way they want without the limitations of a traditional brokerage.

Anyone that knows me knows it’s my passion to help agents. It is what I love to do and what my focus is every day. Don’t get me wrong I still love selling real estate but I get more excited about helping one of my agent’s win a Top Producer award then me winning one myself. (RE/MAX NEXT had two agents win top producer awards this year!)

RE/MAX NEXT hasn’t even had the doors open for a full two years yet but I am so excited to see where the company is going and what we are building here. The opportunity to help agents become better realtors and more successful every day is one of the most gratifying things I could ever imagine.

Until NEXT time,

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