Today’s real estate market brings challenges like no agent has ever seen before. Buyers and sellers are putting their plans to move on hold amidst the Coronavirus pandemic. In today’s post, I share with you how to be a successful real estate agent in spite of what we are dealing with.
These are the exact strategies that I’m employing right now to grow my real estate business today and for the future.
Don’t Overdo It!
I’ve got five topics that I’m going to cover. But that doesn’t mean you got to go out there and do every single thing that I talked about. I would advise you not to do that. Whatever speaks to you in your business, what you need to work on or whatever you think is the right path for you is what you should focus on. But here are some of the things that I think are good ideas to get back to. Make sure that if you’ve already got some of these things covered, then go on and move on to the next thing. So that way, you got something to work on, even while you’re not actively working with buyers or sellers, right now. So there are all sorts of things that we can be doing as real estate agents.
1. Get Your Mind Right
We’re going to talk about how to get your mind right. Every morning now, since the last few weeks, I’ve changed up my daily routine. Typically what I would do is when I’m on my way to showings or a listing appointment, and I’m in my car, I’m listening to a podcast or an audiobook. Now, because I’m not driving as much, I’ve had to figure out a different way to get my podcasts and my audiobooks in. So what I do now is, I wake up in the morning, I get on the treadmill, I pop my headphones in, and I listen to at least one Podcast just depending on how I’m feeling that morning as far as running.
Listen to POSITIVE podcasts and audiobooks; that is how I’m consuming my content now, but it’s also putting me in a positive state of mind to keep doing to stay motivated and not to just wake up and then lounge around, waste a couple of hours and then eventually get to work and still be demotivated. This is what a lot of people are probably dealing with right now. It’s hard to stay motivated, but it starts right from the minute you wake up. You got to make sure that you have a good breakfast, you’re having your coffee or whatever it is that puts you in a good state of mind. You read something, or you listen to something that’s motivating or encouraging. I advise you not to pop on the news and listen because everyone is talking about the same things right now. I don’t go there right off. If you want to watch the news, watch it at night or watch it late afternoon after you’ve knocked out all your work. But in the morning, try and put on something positive that gets you in a good state of mind to get some work done. So here are some of the real estate podcasts and audiobooks that I tend to listen to.
- I love Pat Hiban – Real Estate Rockstars, and he does a great job. Do check out his podcast.
- Tim and Julie Harris also have a great podcast. They’ve talked a lot about the pandemic that we’re in right now and the virus. They have even talked about how we, as real estate agents need to handle it and work through it.
- GSD Mode, Joshua Smith, has a great podcast, I definitely would recommend checking that out.
- Then if you haven’t read these three books, the three pillars of real estate books out there. I’m sure a lot of people probably read them.
- MREA is the Millionaire Real Estate Agent by Gary Keller, who is a great book, and every agent should have read that book by now.
- The One Thing is another excellent book to focus on and get one thing right. Where he even talks about focus, and that’s what we’re talking about here today.
- Shift is another great book; it talks about shifting economy and shifting times. We are in a shift right now, whether we like to admit it or not.
Some of our businesses are moving forward better than others, depending on what part of the country you’re in. But regardless, I think we can all agree that we have seen some shift in the way people are thinking and the way people are acting. So we got to change up what we’re doing a little bit.
Then I also like to watch a lot of YouTube content. Some of the best real estate channels are:
- I love to watch Tom Ferry; I think he has a very positive mindset.
- Kevin Ward, same thing there, great positive mindset and a Real Estate Trainer.
- Brent Gove, a fellow friend of mine here at my brokerage at eXp, amazing guy always puts out useful, positive information.
- Ricky Carruth, he’s got some excellent training, and I’ll talk about that a little bit later on with regards to like Expireds and For Sale by Owners.
- Last but not least, of course, Kyle Handy right here.
You can also watch some real estate movies to get some more inspiration and put you in the right mindset.
- There are a few Blogs that I like to read. I use an app on my phone called Feedly, which is a great app. You can subscribe to whatever your favorite blogs are, and you can put them in categories.
- For my real estate category, I’ve got Inman on there, which is great general Real Estate Industry News.
- The Close is more geared towards real estate agents. So if you just go to theclose.com, you’ll be able to read that blog there, which is excellent.
- KeepingCurrentMatters, more like industry news. It covers things like what’s going on in the real estate market. It is more geared towards sharing it with your audience, with your buyers or sellers, but it’s good for you to know a lot of that information as well, and you can read that there.
- Bigger Pockets is something that I’m going to talk about here a little bit more. It is gearing towards the investor side of the business.
Investors as a Lead Source
That is the market we’re getting into as we’re talking about the shift. One of your lead sources, if you don’t already take advantage of this, is you may want to start plugging into more investor meetups, investor Facebook Groups and those types of things. Because that is where a lot of the leads and a lot of the business is still going to take place over the next 60 to 90 days. Because I’ve seen a lot of pullback of our typical traditional buyer, sellers, past clients. It does not mean that they’re not going to be ready to buy in 90 to 120 days.
Whereas investors are moving forward and in fact, I’ve seen them pick up a little bit. So definitely, I put Bigger Pockets here because it’s a fantastic blog, and they got so much content on there. So even if you’re not like a savvy real estate investor and you’ve not worked with a lot of real estate investors, that is where you can go for some free knowledge, free education to read up, they’ve got excellent blog posts. It’s also a forum so you can get lost in all of the posts in the forum. But if you’re following along on their blog, you’ll get a lot of great content there.
Redo your 2020 Business Plan
The next one to get your mind right is to re-create your real estate business plan. This is probably the first time I’ve ever said that mid-year going back and redoing your business plan. But this entire change that we’re dealing with right now warranted in my opinion. If you didn’t already do your 2020 business plan in November or December, now is a good time for you to get caught up and to do that. Because we’re going to be experiencing this for probably at least another 30 days. We are going to be on more of a social distancing plan for another 30 days. This also means that we’re going to see the effects of this for at least 60 to 90 days, and then even probably a year after that, there’ll be some lingering effects.
So realistically, now is the time to go back and relook;
- What is going to be your two primary lead sources that you’re going to focus on for the next 30 to 60 days?
- What are you going to do specifically?
See the “Sound of Music”
My business coach has always told me that when you create your business plan, you want it to feel like the “sound of music,” and I was like, what does that mean? Then he told me that it’s like you go up on the hilltop, and they’ve got a camera scene where they pan around the people, and you can see all the mountain tops around. So you want your business plan to be so clear that you paint that picture around you all the time. So whenever I think of my business plan, I go one step deeper, and then once I’ve done one step deeper, I go another step deeper than that to where you almost don’t even know what else is left to talk about.
For instance, we want to sell 40 homes this year. So how many leads is that going to take? How are many phone calls going to take? How much money is it going to take? What’s going to be your conversion ratio? What’s going to be your average commission price? And all these different questions that you can be going through making sure that you’re that clear, especially over the next 60 to 90 days.
Then, of course, no business plan is perfect, and we don’t know how long it’s going to last and how much this is going to impact our business. But by having something written down on paper that you can start striving towards day in and day out, you’ll be in a much better spot than if you’re just kind of going from the seat of your pants.
Stick to a Daily Routine
The reason why I talked about a business plan is that the next one is to create and stick to a daily routine, which is super important as well. As I have talked about it earlier where I’d go in to start my day off in the gym, I go run, and that is what kicks it off. Then after that point, what I’m going to do is I’m going to start prospecting. I typically do late mornings for prospecting. Then I usually create my content early afternoons. I do a little bit more prospecting late afternoon, and then I wrap up my day right after that point. I’m usually done by four or five o’clock unless I’ve got a video going on at night, or a webinar or something like that. But for the most part, that is my daily routine, and it has changed quite a bit.
I would say that it’s been easier to create my daily routine in this type of environment that we’re in than what it was when I was actively going out there, working with buyers and sellers daily. Because as a real estate agent, it’s so hard to get your daily schedule going. Right now is the time that you should have a regular schedule. It’s possible as a lot of us are sitting at home. Make sure that you’ve written it down that what your daily schedule looks like. You should not have to have it down to every minute or 15-minute time blocks, but at least an hour to two-hour time blocks in written so that you know that what you are going to be doing throughout the day.
2. Get Your Expenses Right
Minimize Recurring Charges
I advise you at the bare minimum, go back and get your last 60 to 90 days of credit card statements or your bank statements.
- Make sure there are no recurring charges on there that are not essential. Make sure that if there’s something that you might get some use out of it, but it is not entirely crucial, get rid of it. We don’t know how long this could last, so there’s probably no point in having a lot of new systems and tools going on right now.
- Focus on the bare bone, the bare essentials, as to what is going to move the needle for your business that’s going to give you that return on investment and keep that going and nothing else.
I went through all my stuff, and I turned off about seven or eight items that I had in just recurring monthly charges. It saved me almost $400 or $500 only by doing that little exercise. I did that probably a little bit over a week ago, haven’t missed the systems, and haven’t missed the tools. It has focused me on the tool that I still use in the prospecting efforts that I still do even more. I’m not distracted by all these extra things that I was trying out, back before all of this started to take place. As far as getting your finances right, in addition to cutting back your expenses, it is essential to make sure that you even have your finances set up. I talked to agents all the time. They don’t have QuickBooks, or they’re not using Xero. They don’t have any kind of bookkeeping software, or they’re not even doing it manually on a spreadsheet.
- So, how do you know what you’re doing?
- How do you know what your return on investment is?
- How do you know what your expenses are?
- How do you know what your income is?
That it’s vital as we are running a business here as real estate agents. We got to know these ins and outs of our business. Otherwise, you’re just hoping and praying and guessing.
Set Up A Separate Business Bank Account
I recommend having a completely separate account for your business expenses and income. I even have a separate business credit card, and I use my credit card for all my expenses for my business. I pay it off every month with my business bank account, and all of my income comes into my business bank account. I pay myself a salary which goes to my personal account, all my own expenses stay on my own credit card, and they remain on my own bank account. I never mingle both, and they always are separate, which makes bookkeeping so much easier.
Banks are still open right now, and they are an essential business. You should be able to set up new accounts while things may be slower, go out there, set you up a business bank account, set you up a business credit card. I would recommend you use this time to at least go back to the beginning of the year, January 2020, and upload all of your transactions to QuickBooks or to Xero whichever you choose to use. Xero is a little less expensive than QuickBooks. If you can get the statements quickly from back in 2019, and you have not done it already, I’d recommend you do that it’s going to make again, and you got to still file your taxes. So if you have a CPA, you can give them your books, it’s going to be a lot easier for him to determine if you have separate books for your business. When you get that insight into your business;
- You can see where you’re spending your money,
- You can see where your deals are coming from and
- Where your income is coming from.
3. Get Your Database Right
We all complain, and we don’t stay up to speed with our CRM or our database, which is a big problem. Typically why I see people get sidetracked or they get off on their databases, they’re just usually behind, and then it gets demotivating. Because they’re behind, they end up not logging in again the next day, and it goes by a week in a month. Now it is your time to start fresh, get caught up, get everything into that CRM that you’ve meant to get into there, get organized and clean out some stuff if you got to clean it out, add things you need to add it, but it’s going to make other things a little bit easier as well.
Organizing your CRM
Go through your Facebook friends, your phone contacts, past clients, and make sure they’re all in there. I used kvCORE; it’s a great CRM. It’s what comes with my brokerage, and it’s phenomenal. I went through my kvCORE, I’ve got about 9000 leads in there. I had about 10,000 leads before, and I got rid of a lot of leads just because they’re not responding to my emails. If they’re not responding to my messaging, I think that can hurt you. Because for deliverability, if you’re not getting good email opens, typically, you can get flagged, or they may not show your messaging in some of those inboxes.
So sometimes it’s a good thing to clean. I’ve been generating real estate leads for the last 12 years, and a lot of them have been internet generated leads. So I was generating 400 or 500 leads a month from Facebook and Google. These leads were five to six years ago, but I’m not saying I delete all of them. Some of them are good, and I usually can determine that by analyzing;
- If they’re engaging with my content,
- If they are opening the emails,
- If they’re clicking the links.
So you do need to clean it out if you’ve not done that already. I’ll be the first to admit for the longest time I didn’t want to delete anybody from my CRM once I got a lead. It was in my head, and I didn’t want to get rid of that lead. But eventually what I did find over time that it is good to get rid of leads.
Use an Activity Tracker
Then get an activity tracker, I use the CORE Greatness Tracker to do my daily tracking, as far as my prospecting goes. So you can just google CORE Greatness Tracker, you can download that for free, print it out, obviously, in the times we’re in right now you got to modify it a little bit.
But typically, this is tracking your phone calls; you want to hit 60 great phone calls where you connect with them per week. That’s not like you just made the phone call, but you want to speak to 60 people throughout the week. Then this is also tracking your face to face meetings that you might have to change up a little bit right now just because we can’t be face to face with a lot of people. But that can be done virtually via zoom or something like that you’re meeting with somebody or through FaceTime. Next is seminars attended, right now that could be a virtual seminar, that’s you want to get one to two of those per week. Hours prospected, you want to make sure that you’re hitting that as well. Thank you cards, leads, and deals, etc. So that’s where you’re going to track your weekly activity with this greatness tracker.
Get an Accountability Partner
Then lastly, get an accountability partner, none of this stuff will matter, if you just start it, but then you don’t follow up, you don’t do it a couple of weeks later, a month later or even months later.
You need to have somebody that’s going to hold you accountable, or you need to join a group or coaching or something that’s going to hold you accountable. If I can credit my success as a real estate agent to anything, it’s the fact that I’ve always had somebody to push me to check on me to make sure that I’m doing what I was going to do. So with this, I can go back to my accountability partner and say, what did you do this week? What was your success? What were your wins? What were your losses? What did your greatness tracker look like? And that’s what we do, and that’s how we build each other up. So make sure you have somebody like that. There are enough Facebook groups out there for that where you can do whatever you want, and you can ask for somebody to be an accountability partner of yours. There is somebody out there that will hold you accountable, and you can hold them accountable.
The next part of getting your database right is where we’re going to incorporate video. For instance, what I’ve been doing, I’ve been still prospecting, trying to make at least my 60 connections per week. But whenever I don’t get somebody, instead of leaving a voicemail, what I’ve been doing now and it’s been very well received, is just record a quick video on my phone and I send that as a text message versus leaving a voicemail. It just means so much more for them.
People aren’t seeing as many faces these days, so whenever they get a video voicemail or video text message on their phone, and you say their name into it, it means a lot more to them. That’s what I’ve been doing there. I’ve been trying to FaceTime more frequently than a phone call because it’s going to get you to be remembered. When we pull through all this, these people will remember you, your clients are going to remember you, and your leads are going to remember you when you do something out of the ordinary.
Then also using video in your email. For instance, I use Loom. I used to use BombBomb; it’s an exceptional service. It’s more than what I need, and it has its CRM system, essentially. Since I already have kvCORE, I’m not needing another CRM system, so I just create Loom videos.
You got to have a Google Chrome browser to use Loom. But if you don’t have Google Chrome, then you can also lookup Screencast-o-Matic, and it’s a free program. I think they have a like $10 paid version, very inexpensive, but loom is also free. You can create videos on Loom, where you’re sharing your screen, you’ve got your webcam. You can do a CMA for somebody on there; you can talk about the news or pull up something like an article and then just talk about it and send that to somebody through a custom link. You put that link in an email, and the person’s got a video of you talking about something in their email inbox.
Again, I do like BombBomb, and it’s a very clean interface because when it sends out that email, you’re going to get a little preview video, which I think is fantastic, versus just getting a link. But if you’re sending this to your sphere of influence or your past clients, they’re going to click the link anyway if they know that it’s from you. The only benefit on BombBomb is that if you’re sending this out to a lot of your leads, or people that may not know you, at least if they see a little snippet of the video, they might be more inclined to click on it, versus if you’re just sending them a link.
Moving toward lead generation, if you are in the point where you don’t have leads to do any of this stuff and you literally just got in the business, or maybe you have been in the industry for a while, but still don’t have that many leads, so where do you go? These are the two sources where I’m looking at as far as the next 60 to 90 days, where I think business will be.
You can go to Facebook groups for that; you can go to the investor forums like bigger pockets. I’ve got a profile on bigger pockets, I get a message about once a week from an investor who’s looking to buy homes, or they’re looking to sell homes in the San Antonio area. I’ll be honest, some of them, especially in the past, I would just not even respond to, it’s terrible, I should have. But now, anytime I get those messages, I’m more serious about, and I’m responding, I’m going back through the old ones that I didn’t respond to, calling them and check-in and see what they’re up to or if they’ve got any opportunities. So investors are one I would say to look into.
Then Expired listings and For Sale by Owners, FSBO. I’ve never personally done expires or for sale by owners very often. I had a little spurt there where I got Mojo and RedX, but it wasn’t my cup of tea. I was focused more on Facebook leads, doing buyer leads, and in Google PPC leads, and that was my thing. I rarely did the Expireds or FSBOs, but that is where I would be right now. For a full post on RedX expired leads and dialer, check out the post I made here.
Also, here are a couple of agents that I would recommend you check out their YouTube channel.
- Ricky Carruth – I mentioned to him earlier has got a lot of excellent scripting. He shows some videos of him calling up some Expireds and FSBOs.
- AJ Mida – a good friend of mine, I just actually left Puerto Rico. We stayed at his house for two weeks. The first two weeks, when this was all ramping up and getting worse. But AJ Mida is a good friend of mine. Go check out his channel on YouTube, and he’s got a lot of great stuff on there for Expireds and For Sale By Owners as far as scripts and dialogues. He talks about Mojo, how to set up your accounts, all that good stuff.
4. Get Your Content Right
So we all know that we’ve got to create more real estate content. When I first got started creating content, I was nervous, I wasn’t extremely outspoken, and I’m an introvert. If you ever meet me, I’m not the one that’s going to be the life of the party or anything like that. So coming on video, was just not the first thing that I thought that I wanted to do. I had to work into it, and I had to get better and better at it. So, that’s where you got to be right now if you’re just starting, you just got to put some content out there. You can make it better over time, and you’ll get better over time. But right now, especially at a time when you got to be starting to get out there and create some content, video content is ideal. So creating video content is the top one, followed up by audio, like maybe you want to do a podcast or something like that, and then the next one would be text with images, like a blog post.
But this is the time where you need to establish your expertise; you got to create a few cornerstone pieces of content. I’m not saying this to overwhelm you; I’m not saying you got to go out there and make 60 videos on YouTube. Just focus on a few evergreen pieces of content and a couple of timely pieces of content, and that’s it. Then you can build on that over time.
But right now is a great time where you can go create these evergreen pieces of content, evergreen means that it’s going to be suitable for a very long time. It doesn’t have a short shelf life. Whereas timely means, discussing something practical right now so they’ll be short-lived. As far as evergreen content, buyer presentations, seller presentations, we all do them.
But maybe now, instead of doing a 40-minute buyer presentation in person, figure out how you can talk about the same thing, but in five to 10 minutes. Talk about your process, talk about what people can expect. How they can get in touch with you. Don’t make it with regards to what we’re going through right now; make it more generic. So that way, we will be able to use it when we pull through all of this.
Talk about the most common questions we get as agents when it comes to talking to a seller about selling their home.
About You Video
Have a video that talks about things like;
- What’s your background?
- What’re your passions?
- What are you good at?
- What’s your niche?
- What’s your target audience?
- Who’re your clients?
Don’t be afraid to be niche and say I typically work with first-time homebuyers in this area. Most of the time, when you do that, you’ll get more customers than when you try and be too generalized and say I just help everybody in San Antonio, Texas. The people that want to work with you, even if they’re not in your exact target audience, will still work with you. But it’s suitable for the people that are in your audience to be able to hear you say that because then that just gives them more confidence when they want to reach out to you.
Area Expert Overview Video
This is where like I’m in San Antonio, Texas, I like creating of course very specific zip code and neighborhood videos, where I can talk about the days on market. Still, when you’re just getting started, you need to only have one overview video of your big area like San Antonio or Charlotte, North Carolina or Chicago, Illinois, wherever it is that you’re from, have a big picture and tell people what to expect, break it down into different areas. Like Northern San Antonio is this, Western San Antonio is this, and Southern, this is what you can expect. Discuss price points, some of the key neighborhoods, the school district. Just demonstrate your expertise in a five to ten-minute short video in your generalized area. Then as you’re creating content, you’re getting more familiar; you can start specializing in different areas, different zip codes, and different neighborhoods.
But those are four evergreen pieces of content that you got to create during this downtime. It can be on your cell phone or anywhere but just create it. I’m going to talk to you here in a little bit about where you need to put that content. So that way, it’s actually productive, and you’re not just creating it to create it, and then nobody ever sees it. I’m going to show you where you need to put that once you’ve created it.
How can homeowners get relief?
That’s a very timely piece right now. The president just passed a bill where he’s given a stimulus package $2.2 trillion, the biggest one in history, and mostly it’s going to provide a lot of relief to people who may be jobless, that are going to be behind on their mortgage payments or rent payments. So, talk about that, give some assistance and give some advice. That may mean you need to go and read and learn a little bit more so that we can dedicatedly speak about it. That would be a great video because it shows that you care, it shows that you’re the expert, shows that you’re still active and you’re working right now.
How buyers and sellers still participate in the current environment, we’re in?
People want to know that we’re still doing business. I’ve talked to buyers and sellers, even as of today, and they’re like, well, are you still selling or what’s going on? And I tell him, yeah, we are. So things are a little different, and we got to take some various precautions, but we’re still moving forward with business here. This is what we’re doing, and so you got to get that message out in front of your audience.
So let’s talk about where we’re going to get this in front of our audience. This is where we talk about create consistent branding. This is a good time right now, a lot of us pieced together our branding as we go. You make your listing package. You make your website, business cards, come up with some good options for real estate slogans, but they’re all done at different times So if you can ever put them together, they look different, and they’re not cohesive. So, now is the time where you can put all of that stuff together. If you take an overhead view of your business and you see that I’ve got blue over here and I got orange on my business cards, and I got black over here on my signs, so now is the time that you can step back, figure out all the marketing collateral that you use, you may even downsize. Because you might not need all the marketing collateral that you use today, but whatever you do genuinely need to figure out how can you make those cohesive.
Even if you need to enlist the help of somebody off of like Fiverr, it’s a great website where you can get very skilled workers to do jobs for you anywhere from $5 up to like $50. If you’re not graphically inclined, they’re going to be able to help you out and take what you have. So show them what you have and what you would like and need all to be cohesive and matching, and they’ll pop it right back out, usually within a few days, and you’ll have it all back.
Your Own Website
But now let’s talk again about your content, where you’re going to store it. This is something that I’m super passionate about, and I think this is very important. I’m going to create an entire course dedicated to this, and it’s your own owned website. So important right now more than ever to have the website that you own. Yes, I’ve got kvCORE, it’s an excellent website for buyers and sellers to go search real estate on. But that being said, that is not enough. I need to have a website that I can build throughout the years. I’ve been in the business for 11 years now, and I’ve probably used five or six CRMs. I started in my brokerage; I’m now at a different brokerage, so you never know where you’re going to wind up and what it’s going to look like down the road. But when you own your website, that’s something you’re going to be building over time versus if I was to put all of my content on my kvCORE site.
What happens when I switch CRM providers and what happens if I change brokerages? So, you don’t even know, and if that was going to be the case, you’ve lost all of that work that you’ve done. I mean, yes, you could probably copy-paste and put it onto your new thing. But everything, all the SEO, all the rankings that you’ve got on Google, it’s all going to get reset. So I always advise agents, even if you’re brand new and you’re just getting going figure out how to get your website up and running.
DIY vs. Hiring Out For Your Website
It is not as hard as you might think. There are resources for you; if you’re not skilled or you’re not technical, you don’t like messing with WordPress or anything like that. Then you can pay somebody or outsource. I’ve got this done through Upwork, where you can hire freelance virtual assistants. Usually, they’re overseas; they work for a lot less expensive. I remember for my first websites, I had a freelancer do it, and he did a fantastic job.
The only reason I changed it because I learned more and more, and I wanted something different. But at that time, for what I needed, he did a fantastic job. He was like $8 an hour, and he might have worked on it for probably 40 hours over perhaps two to three weeks. I paid him almost $350 for all said and done. It was a fantastic website.
In addition to that, I needed to have to host that I’m going to pay for, but it was not as complicated as you might think. So, I’m going to have a future course that talks about all of that and how to set that up. If you’re like the DIY person and you want to do it yourself, you can have all of that in there. So that way, you can see that, but that will be at a different time. But the reason to tell you that is to give you a little bit more insight into what my WordPress is. My website is built on WordPress; I use something called Thrive Themes. This is for the DIY’ers. If you want to go out and look it up how to do it, you can Google it all; you can get on YouTube, you can watch videos on how to get it all set up. But basically, I use siteground.com as my hosting provider. That’s what has my domain set up on, and that’s where all of my blog posts are stored, my videos, my pictures are all stored on hosting from Siteground.
Thrive Themes is a separate deal that you pay for about $200 to get it all squared away in the beginning; I think it’s a one-time charge; it may be annually. But you pay for your hosting; I believe my hosting on Siteground was like $150 for the year, you can get it a little cheaper than that. I’ve got the highest plan. But if you don’t need quite the highest plan, you can go a little bit less than that. So if you have to pay for a developer and you spend 350 bucks, you’re still at around five to $600. Now you’ve got a website, it’s going to look professional, it’s going to look good, and you can start adding content to it, add pieces of content over time, and add those Cornerstone pieces of content.
So, that being said, if I was to ever leave kvCORE, or if I was to ever leave my brokerage, I still own my website, and I just link in there whatever my next CRM is. I still have everything that I’ve put together on my blog and haven’t dropped the beat. So that is what I recommend, as far as getting things set up.
Now we’ve talked about a website, let’s talk about audio. So if you want to do a podcast, these are two things, and this is not a training about how to do a podcast, but I’m going to give you the quick rundown just in case you want to go out there and learn more about it yourself. The two things that I use, one is called Audacity, and the other one is called Libsyn.
Audacity is where it takes your audio, or you can even put a video in there, it’ll strip out all of the videos, and it takes just the sound. It makes it higher quality, it makes it easier to hear, since it’s just going to be a podcast.
Libsyn is where you take that completed file from audacity, you upload it to Libsyn, and that’s where you’re going to be on the Apple App Store, and you’re going to be on Spotify. It’ll put it everywhere for you through Libsyn. They have plans as low as $5 a month, $10 a month. So it doesn’t cost a whole lot to start up a podcast if that is what you want to do.
Then comes the video, if you’re going to be putting video content out, put it on YouTube. It’s the second most used search engine in the world. That’s where people are going to search. Make sure that you’re utilizing YouTube for your video. Then, of course, go ahead put it on Facebook, put it on Instagram, but make sure that you’ve put it on YouTube as well, because Facebook and Instagram, they have such a short shelf life that if you create something, especially if it’s an evergreen piece of content, it’s probably not going to get seen for very long, you’re only going to have it for maybe two days, three days on people’s feeds and then, for the most part, it dies away. And you got to keep continually creating new content.
Whereas like on YouTube, I’ve got videos that are a year, year and a half old, that are still getting quite a lot of views per day that I created a long time ago. That’s the power of YouTube and having a YouTube channel. It’s the same idea when you have your blog and creating blog posts. So that’s why I’m a big advocate of having your website, having your own YouTube channel if you’re going to be getting going with video, and then podcasts.
5. Get Your Future Right
Hopefully, we are going to get out of this so what I’m going to preach right now is batching every part of every aspect of your business, everything that you’re doing for marketing can be batched right now for a good rest of the year potentially.
What I’ve been doing for the last two years. I set it up in like November, December timeframe, I’ve got my entire database in there. I set up at one time to pick out what cards I wanted to send, what gifts I wanted to send. Then on I upload the list of my database, I’ve already input their birthdays, the anniversaries of when I worked with them on buying or selling a property, and I’ve got different holiday times that they receive a card as well. So all of that takes place, I set it up one time and I don’t even have to touch it again for the entire rest of the year.
Now if I get a client in there that buys throughout the year, I will usually just go in there and do a little maintenance and add that person to it. But my 400 people that are in my sphere of influence and past clients, I do not have to touch that. I set it up one time, and then the following year, I just change the cards around and change the messaging, and that’s it. Then it goes again, and it’s very inexpensive for my database of 400 people. If your past clients and database are not 400 people, if it’s 200 people or less, your cost will be less than mine.
But I can attest that is where the majority of my referral and sphere of influence business comes from, and it is because I do things like that, and I’ve got that setup. You could be using this time right now to set up the entire rest of the year. So you don’t ever have to touch it again.
Facebook Creator Studio
So for social media, you can be using Facebook Creator Studio to do something very similar for your Facebook and your Instagram. If you’re not familiar with Facebook Creator Studio, it’s kind of a newer tool; you go on to the web browser for it, they do have an app now on your phone. But through the app, you can only schedule-out posts on your Facebook business page. You can’t do it on Instagram on the app, whereas on the browser if you google Facebook Creator Studio, you log in, you can schedule posts on Facebook and Instagram.
There are all sorts of other ones like that you need, especially in this market where you are trying to cut some costs. Schedule things through Creator Studio, you can set up all of your next months’ worth of posting on Creator Studio, you could set up the whole year if you want to. If you just have testimonial Tuesdays and you wanted to set up to a testimonial to go out for the rest of the year every Tuesday, and that’s something you could set up. So it’d be batched, it would be done, and you don’t have to think about it again. That’s the type of stuff you need to be thinking about right now.
Agent Legend for Text Messages
If you’re looking to automate text messaging your database, checkout Agent Legend. Agent legend is like setting up email drip campaigns but for text messaging!
Also, you can use it to send out birthday and anniversary text messages on the day of so you never forget to message a client on their birthday.
For more information on Agent Legend, checkout my full writeup here.
Also, if you’d like another option for automating your sending of birthday cards and gifts, check out my post on SendOutCards for Realtors.
BombBomb for Email
I talked about BombBomb earlier, that’s something if you wanted to do video emails and you wanted to do them in a drip sequence, you want to schedule them out and batch them, that’s an excellent way to do that.
Now last but not least is continuing education. It’s one of those things that always end up sucking some of our time up when we’re mostly busy. Now is the time to get it knocked out, so you don’t even have to think about it until your renewal comes up.
So this is all for now, and I hope this is going to be a helpful read for you during these times. I hope that you are well and you’re staying safe out there. I hope if you have anybody that’s being affected by this, that you are just putting as much love to them as possible, and you’re out there for your community, you’re out there for your past clients, your friends, your colleagues, and just being a good steward of what you can be during this time. So just taking advantage of whatever it is as far as being able to help in any way that you can. For more tips, check out this post on finding success for millennial real estate agents.