Do I Really Need To Use Social Media to Grow my Real Estate Business?
Two years ago a friend of mine started dating an “Instagram influencer” and for the first time in my life I was exposed daily to somebody that was legitimately making money on social media. I had heard that you could sell products on the sites and that ultimately you could get paid to market products, but I had no idea just how lucrative it could be.
Through conversations with her I learned that she was making over $8000 on every single one of her posts and at least once per month she was being paid $40,000 to do a 30 minute Instagram live video. My mind was blown! I knew that if major brands and companies were paying this kind of money to advertise on these sites then it’s for one reason, this is where the eyeballs are.
The average person ages 16-40 is looking at their phone in some aspect for over 5 hours per day! How many times in the past few hours alone have you checked your Instagram or Twitter feed to see what is going on? In 2018 my real estate team sold exactly 200 homes and over 40% of the conversations with the leads started on Instagram and Facebook. Just this week I toured a home with an out of state client and on my Instagram story I shared some amazing details of the home mixed in with a few funny jokes. Two hours later 47 people had responded to my story. 47 people that thought of me and thought of real estate together. This has become my full marketing strategy and it is all for one reason, I know this is where all the eyeballs are.
From 2005-2015 if I wanted to contact 1000 people I could either spam them with emails (which I did and I had a 17% open rate), I could mass text all of them (which I did and I’d get about a 20% response rate), or I could call 1000 people and talk about real estate. I could mail out a postcard at .57 per card so to reach those 1000 people would cost me $570. All for the purpose of branding myself as an agent to these people. This week I made a few 12 second videos, while out with my clients, and I had over 40 responses and 8 new leads. It cost me $0.
This is the reality of social media and the power it has. I built my entire career from 2005-2010 calling FSBO’s and Expireds. I was amazing at it. I could get an appointment for every 20 people I talked to. In 2008 alone I listed 187 For Sale By Owners. But I was spending 3-4 hours each morning prospecting and another 3-4 hours each night on appointments with cold sellers that had no attachment to me other than I was the best of the agents that had called them that day. I burned out.
In 2010 I sat down with my real estate coach Bill Pipes and we decided to build a life I wanted and then we added in real estate. I set up a business that evolved 100% around referrals and taking care of the people I already knew while working to meet as many new people as possible. My life got exponentially better and my business took off! I started working with lots of networking groups and charities. I started to host a monthly client appreciation party and threw lots of open houses. I went from calling 30-40 FSBO’s each morning to contacting 25 of my friends each day. From 2013-2017 I averaged over 150 homes sold per year all while taking plenty of time for myself to truly have a life worth living. That system is still the one I use today only it has been augmented and put on steroids with what I have been doing the past 18 months on my Instagram.
The first quarter of 2019 I spent 47 days out of the state of Utah. I visited Israel, Egypt, Turkey, Jordan, Germany, Jamaica, Miami, New Orleans, Amsterdam, and Belgium. My real estate team closed 55 transactions and we currently have over 70 deals under contract that will close in the next 45 days. My team is just 4 agents. I don’t say this to impress you but rather to let you know that real estate done right is the ultimate dream job. I did it the other way, working 80 hours per week, calling 1000 cold call leads per month, spending $10k per month on Zillow leads, etc… Instagram changed everything for me.
We get into real estate for freedom and to help as many people as we possibly can. Then we get a year or 2 into the business and before we know it we can’t even enjoy a meal with our families without taking 2-3 phone calls from clients or about our deals. Here are just 1-2 of the many hacks I now use with Instagram that has allowed me the freedom and savings in my budget to build what I believe is the ultimate real estate agent business.
1. Last year I sold over a dozen luxury listings. Instagram was the #1 tool I used in those listing appointments to help me secure the deal. The reason why, all my sellers wanted to take advantage of the fact that I understood and used social media to sell houses.
Imagine going head to head against me for the listing. You do all of the traditional things to sell a house. I then come in and talk about those things, but I augment my presentation with the following:
- We will make a Youtube video of the listing and we can do a geographic fence around all the neighborhoods near here that would be move up buyers into this area. We will use ads on Instagram and facebook where all they have to do is click on a link or swipe up to a video that takes them directly to your listing.
- I then show them testimonial videos of clients where I did this very thing. Last year alone I sold a $5,000,000 home in 48 hours using this and I sold a $1,700,000 house in under 24 hours when a friend of mine swiped up to my YouTube video and sent it to his friend who bought the place.
2. I once bought a billboard on our local freeway and it cost me $4700/mo. I don’t know how many people saw it but I got zero deals from it that I could directly tie back to the billboard. I justified it cause my clients would see it each day they drove past and it would help brand me as an agent. Now Instagram does this for me. It is better than a billboard because it is encrypted with specific messages that I can change whenever I want for all of my past clients and friends to see.
- Back in September a builder hired me to sell 16 lots for him in a town about 4 hours away called St. George. Because the builder had gotten such a good deal on the land he priced the first 5 well below market value. I was able to tell this story though my IG stories and by the end of that day I had sold 14 of the 16 lots. That was more than a $200,000 commission day for me and every single buyer had reached out to me through my Instagram.
- I have since used this example and a testimonial from this builder to help me secure more than 20 more lots with another builder and countless other listings.
Social media isn’t going to replace calling your friends and family to get deals. It will never be the only thing you have to do in order to be successful in real estate. But if you learn the tools and use the several dozen ways that social media can be used to help you gain leads and sell homes, then your competition will look stupid in comparison. I love coaching agents on how to use social media as a tool to build their business and brand. I have had 100’s of agents benefit from the mentorship I’ve given them through my Social Media Course for Real Estate Agents. I invite any realtor to add me on Instagram to see how I use this tool. Give yourself permission to do this a more efficient and easier way.