When you’re in a smaller market, building your book of business requires a different approach than if you’re hailing from a much bigger area. Karin Carr at Georgia Coast Homes Keller Williams has been operating in Savannah, Georgia, after relocating from California to be closer to family. “When you get somewhere new, you’re basically a brand-new agent all over again,” Carr notes.
She’ll be participating in a panel discussion about how to increase your book of business — whether you’re from a small town or a big city — at Inman Connect New York, January 29 through February 1 at the Marriott Marquis Times Square. We talked to Carr about how she stands out in Savannah and what she thinks some key areas of focus for agents will be as we move into 2019 and beyond.
Tell us a little more about your session. How will it address how the industry can embrace the shifting market?
I started in my new market using YouTube, and I feel like going into the shifting market, agents need to be able to generate their own business. If you’re buying leads, they’ll get more and more expensive as the market shifts. I feel like you can’t be dependent on somebody else to be giving you business; you have to go out there and find it on your own, and a very under-utilized platform for that in my opinion is YouTube. It’s the second-largest search engine in the world owned by the first-largest, and so many people who are doing video aren’t using YouTube. They’ll do a Facebook live, download it and upload it to YouTube, but it’s not meant for the YouTube platform and nobody sees it. If you’re going to be putting stuff on that platform, you should be making content for that platform so it gets hundreds, if not thousands, of views from people shopping in your market.
What do you think are the biggest opportunities to focus on in the real estate industry right now?
Content marketing as a whole — it can be blogging, it can be video, but you’ve got to be making content that’s going to rank on the big search engines so people can find you because if you’re just buying leads from the same sources, there’s going to be more competition, and quite frankly when someone is on one of the big portals and is interested in a house, they want the information about that house; they don’t really care who gives it to them. The first person to give them that information will get their business, but they’re not loyal to you. Whereas if you’re providing valuable content online, they’re reading your blog posts or watching your videos — when they do reach out, they feel like they know you already. They pick you to assist them and then they go find the house.
It’s a different mentality from the consumer — first find the agent, then find the house. Because they’ve chosen you upfront, they’re loyal to you, they’re not going to run off and write an offer at an open house. It’s a complete paradigm shift when the consumer is choosing you first. When somebody says “give me information on this house,” suddenly they’re bombarded with calls from different agents. And they perceive those to be unwanted sales calls, and it puts us in a negative light. If I’m buying that lead and spending hundreds of dollars a month for these leads, I’m going to make sure I follow up because I don’t want to waste money, but I think it just perpetuates the impression that people have of real estate agents — they just think of us as Charlie Sheen’s mom on Two and a Half Men, who’d go to funerals to look for her next listing.
To stay competitive, agents, brokers and companies need to execute quickly. What do you feel are key areas where quick execution can vastly improve the customer experience?
Knowing whether a property is actively available or not is a huge pain point for clients. They find something online and by the time we go to investigate it and make an appointment, it’s already under contract. That’s a huge thing, to be able to tell them — it just got on the market, it meets all your criteria, if you wait around till Saturday it’s going to be long gone.
When it comes to sellers, being able to promote their home online through video is a huge advantage as well. I live in an area where people tend to not embrace new technology quite so much, and if you put the home on the MLS and wait for your peers to show it and sell it for you, you’re doing your sellers a disservice, but if you’re promoting the heck out of the house online, you’re going to drive more interest and more immediate drive to see the property and put in an offer.
What are your hopes for the next 12 months, and what will you be working on?
I am working on my YouTube strategy as much as I possibly can; it has served me extremely well. For the last year and a half I’ve been uploading one video a week, now I’m pushing it up to two a week, because the more content you can put out there, the faster your channel will grow, the more people see it. If somebody Googles something like “relocating to Savannah,” my videos dominate the search results both on Google and YouTube, so I’m going to take that strategy as far as I can.
Discover the opportunities in a changing market at Inman Connect New York, January 29 – February 1. Jumpstart 2019 with tactical takeaways, unlimited networking and thought-provoking speakers. Learn more.
Thinking about bringing your team? You may qualify for special group perks! Contact us to learn more.