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I recently asked my RE-Freshed! community what they were struggling with when it came to strategically using Facebook.
Imagine my surprise when the answers I got back (and I got hundreds of responses) were more focused on something called “content marketing” than on Facebook directly.
Considering agents in my community are there because I teach them how to capture, convert, & close Facebook leads… it was eye opening to see their struggles when it came to their blog sites.
I noticed a trend though… and I’m going to share that trend with you. There were 9 things that really stood out to me…. essentially, the 9 biggest mistakes real estate agents are making online…
Mistake #1: Not Knowing Your Avatar
This is the biggest mistake real estate agents are making but unfortunately, most agents don’t know this is a mistake!
As real estate agents we tend to focus on one (or two) “target” audiences. Sellers and/or buyers. That’s it. We lump everyone into one of those two categories and then we run ads expecting them to resonate with these two target groups.
Here’s the problem. No two sellers are the same. Some are selling their last home, some are selling their first home. Some are selling a vacation or second home, some are selling a rental home. So many different types of sellers just in these descriptions. Not to mention, how close are they to selling? Are they just starting to imagine the possibilities or are they ready to list today?
If you want prospects to call you ready to list, you have to show them you care
If you don’t have a clear understanding of exactly who your seller is and what their needs are, your ads on Facebook won’t resonate with very many people. You’ll be trying to appeal to all sellers in a single ad and as a result, you’ll have horrendous click-thru and conversion rate (well, our industry thinks an 8-10% conversion rate on an opt-in landing page is good… and unfortunately, that is a terrible conversion rate).
This is why you see so many “get your home value” ads from those who are running Facebook ads, and why so many agents who’ve “tried” Facebook ads decide they don’t work. Because… they didn’t work. Not because Facebook ads don’t work, but because they have no idea how to actually reach their ideal prospect, mostly because they have no idea who their ideal prospect is.
Mistake #2: Not Having A Blog
One of the biggest mistakes real estate agents make is not having a blog site! For whatever reason… whether it’s fear of making a mistake, not knowing how to get one, not having the money to pay for one, not knowing what to put on it, believing that over-saturation has occurred, thinking that being online is a losing game against the big bad portals, thinking it’s unnecessary, believing it’s a waste of time… anyone one or all of these reasons are common reasons why real estate agents don’t have a blogsite.
Of course, you’ll find those who will tell you that websites are dead, get a mobile app… the problem with this is that their brains are still swirling around the old school way of marketing. That’s a problem. It’s not all about the houses for sale, if it was, real estate agents would be extinct. Don’t fall for the line that websites are dead… it’s the same line that people have been saying about email and yard signs. They aren’t dead. They’re just not sexy. They’re not the shiny object of the day.
Mistake #3: Not Promoting Good Blog Content Enough
When it comes to blog posts, if real estate agents actually create their own post (as in, they wrote it), they spend 99% of their time writing & posting it and 1% of their time pushing it out, usually in the form of “New blog post! <LINK>.”
That’s it. I call that a one then done type of promotion. Is it any wonder that the content we create flops? And then we think well, that wasn’t worth the time I spent!
First of all, you have to appeal to your avatar (see mistake #1) and then you have to constantly promote your content. In other words, spend 20% of your time creating & posting and the other 80% of your time promoting it!
Stop sharing “new blog post” and start sharing elements and pieces from it… things that appeal to your avatar, that entice them to take a second look, that get them to think or ponder.
And then? Then do this every . single . month . WITHOUT fail! When you think “been there, done that” and don’t keep promoting your older content, you assume that everyone connected with you has seen everything you’ve given them… you are completely forgetting that new people come into your presence every single day and every one of them start at the beginning of the relationship process.
Don’t short change yourself and your avatar by not continuously sharing the content you’ve created. After all, you’ve given them the answers to their problems, share it with them!
Mistake #4: Not Using Your Blog Site To Develop Relationships
This one is a biggie and requires a mindset shift.
When we write to the search engine and not to the person, not only are we subject to the whim of the search engine algorithm (it changes constantly) but we aren’t making any connections with the very people we want to work with!!
When we use ghost writers, we are not writing to what our ideal client wants or needs, we are again, writing to a search engine. We are “checking off” a task, not building a relationship.
The point on this is, don’t make noise, don’t chase a ranking, do write/talk to your ideal client one-on-one. Find their problems and solve them. You’ll building relationships. You’ll rank in search engines. You’ll have a fabulous business.
Mistake #5: The excuse of “no time” shows itself in inconsistent lead generation
I’m busy! I’m crazy busy! I work weekends! I work nights! I don’t have time to… <insert whatever here>.
These are all of the phrases I constantly hear from my fellow real estate peeps. Let’s face it, we are busy. But. What are we busy doing? Have we actually taken the time to track what we do… and have we honestly faced ourselves and the reality of how we are spending our time?
Too much automation will kill your real estate lead generation
If you aren’t going to consistently do something, it’s not worth doing. Period. Lead generation must consistently be done… day in and day out. Without fail. Regardless of how busy you are. No matter how many transactions you are (or are not) closing in a given day. It’s just like exercising. A random workout session, no matter how long and arduous, will do nothing for you (just leave you hurting) if you aren’t consistently, day in and day out, doing a workout session.
If we have time to watch TV (at all)… if we have time to go out to coffee or meals with anyone… if we have time to chat at the office… if we have time to spend in industry groups on Facebook, we aren’t “crazy busy,” we’ve just deceived ourselves into believing we are.
I’m not talking about never spending time with friends or family. I’m not talking about working 10-14 hours every day, 7 days a week. I’m talking about being honest with ourselves about the use of our time and re-prioritizing our time to doing what needs to be done vs. what we often end up doing.
One of the best books I’ve ever read about prioritizing is The One Thing by Gary Keller. Grab a copy of it and read it and take it to heart. Practice it. It will change your life.
Mistake #6: Being A Know It All
Let’s face it. Most of us real estate agents are pretty self confident. We are focused and driven. We know a lot. But. We don’t know it all. When we head into trainings or classes, we often go in with the attitude that we already know this and we are wasting our time. Instead, we must go into all situations looking for something to learn.
When agents join my Leads and Leverage membership, they are there to learn. When an agent joins and proceeds to tell me they already “know this” or they’ve been doing lead capture funnels “for years” I always wonder, then why are you here? And then, when I start to dissect their funnel, looking for leaks… I find a lot of elements that I can help them improve on, but if they keep on going with their “I know it all” mentality, they’ll never reap the results they want to reap.
The lesson here is to not be a know it all. Always look for what you can learn, what you can tweak, what you can add to increase your knowledge and subsequently increase your business.
Mistake #7: Using Ghostwriters
I don’t even know where to begin with this one. Well, yes I do. As real estate agents, we are busy. And, unfortunately, so many of us just don’t see the true value in creating our own content. We think it’s a necessary evil and we act accordingly… by hiring out our content creation, both for our blog sites and our emails.
We’ve got to change our mindset and rather than be resigned to creating content, we need to realize that we are creating valuable information for our avatar. We are answering their questions, we are giving them what they want and need. We are helping them.
And most importantly, we are building know, like and trust relationships… virtually. If we aren’t revealing our personality, pieces of ourselves, there is no way we will help as many people as we want to help. Period. Our avatars know when they are reading (and I use the term “reading” here very loosely, because let’s face it, people don’t read robotic crap) a boring journalistic piece and when they are engaging in something passionate and powerful.
If you don’t know your avatar, all your efforts are pointless
This isn’t about “touching” our list. This is about helping our avatar. Ghostwriters do not understand your avatar nor do they know how to reveal pieces of you. It’s really that simple.
Mistake #8: Focusing On SEO
This is a BIG one! Real estate agents who are online are very focused on SEO (search engine optimization). We believe that the only reason we are there is to “rank,” otherwise, what’s the point? We believe that we must write our blog posts or our website pages around certain keywords.
The problem with this is that we start spewing out content that is robotic and provides no value to anyone, except (hopefully) us because we are using what we think are the right keywords to get search engine ranking.
Focus on your future clients, not the search engines
When you write content based on what your avatar needs, the search engines will find you. But most importantly, your avatar will find you. THIS is what is important, NOT the search engines.
Not to mention, if you are writing to the search engines, you are building a house on sinking sand. As we all know, search engines change their algorithms almost daily… and they penalize and punish constantly. Don’t get caught up in providing value to search engines, focus on giving value to your avatar instead.
Mistake #9: Automating Promotion
Another mistake is when real estate agents automate everything. We quickly post something (from our library of canned crap) on our WordPress blog and then have IFTTT or another plug-in set up to automatically push that post out to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, and RSS feed it to our email list… in other words, full automation.
As much as I love automation and delegation, there are cases in which it hinders, hurts, and doesn’t help you (time saved is exactly zero, because the results are exactly zero – well actually, the results are often negative).
Remember, promoting your valuable assets is about building know, like and trust relationships. You can’t build know, like and trust relationships if you spew out automated content.
You can’t build know, like and trust relationships if you
spew out automated content
However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t use scheduling tools like Edgar to leverage your time. Just don’t have your blog setup to push out your blog posts as soon as they publish… that’s where agents fail and leave a gaping hole between promotion and relationship.
So… are any of these new to you? Are you making any of these mistakes? How many? What are you going to do differently to change the direction of your online lead generation?
I created a checklist just for you – to help you identify and fix these mistakes. Click here if you want a copy of “The 9 Biggest Mistakes Real Estate Agents Are Making With Their Online Lead Generation” Checklist.