Social media expert Katie Lance has been advising agents for years on the best way to leverage the latest digital tools to grow their business, and she’s constantly thinking about new ways to help her clients get the most out of their social accounts. It’s her life’s mission to make sure that agents and brokers are using their time to their best advantage — and part of that means assisting them with surfacing the leads that are most primed for buying or selling.
She’ll be talking about how to attract your dream client using social media and storytelling at Inman Connect New York, January 29 through February 1 at the Marriott Marquis Times Square. Lance told us about a social media academy she’s building, how to make sure they’re spending their time wisely — and more.
Tell us a little more about your session. How will it address how the industry can embrace the shifting market?
I think there is a little bit of — I don’t know if angst is the right word, but with uncertainty politically and then the market correcting, and everybody’s thinking about Compass and there’s a lot of stress and fear. I guess — and this is kind of the heart of what I teach and talk about in general — this idea of creating pillar content, which isn’t dependent on the market, it’s not dependent on what’s happening around you, and it takes a little bit of time, money and energy to create, but creating it on a consistent basis when it’s not about your listings or “call me today” but more about sharing really valuable, helpful information. Video content, recorded video like vlogs, Facebook Live content, podcast content — and there’s something to be said about audio, some agents are having a lot of success doing Alexa flash briefings which is interesting.
Part of what I’m going to teach is this idea of creating a content strategy where on a regular basis, ideally (probably weekly), you’re putting out content that’s somewhat evergreen, valuable today but also three, six months down the road, and generic enough that it’s relevant down the road but it’s also personal. It has an opinion. Anybody can Google “how to get your home ready for the market,” but nobody is going to say it how you’re going to say it.
We see a lot of agents and brokers right now who are really knocking it out of the park on social media. It’s less about being on all these networks and what to post and when, it’s more about quality vs. quantity. Almost like you’re creating your own show, where you sit down once a month and bulk create some of this content and run it and do some Facebook ads or Instagram Stories around it. So this talk teaches what that would look like and what these stories look like, and the value over the course of time is that instead of these super high and super low things that happen in real estate, it just kind of evens it out a little bit more so you’re constantly attracting the people you want to work with because they see you everywhere and feel like they know you.
If you plan on being in this business a long time and you put out good content over time, it pays off in the end.
What do you think are the biggest opportunities to focus on in the real estate industry right now?
I think, especially with social media, a lot of agents and brokers still don’t think about putting it into a system with their business; they still look at it as “this extra thing I have to do and a time-suck” as opposed to some other areas of the business that they might be more successful in. When I look at a lot of the agents and brokers who are getting a lot of business from social media, for most of them it’s just part of a system like any other part of their business, and that includes basic things like time-blocking, scheduling when you’re going to do your pillar content or your social promotion. Put it in your schedule: What days will you publish, when will you create it, and use a project management tool to make it a system. Because otherwise it’s easy to forget, you get distracted, other things pop up, and you’ll get distracted by every new shiny object.
Let’s say you feel like your audience is on Facebook. Ask yourself: Have you really gone all in on Facebook? There’s a ton to do just on Facebook if you just wanted to focus on that, from creating a group to Facebook Stories to all the things you can do on Facebook ads. And I always try to teach agents or brokers to try not to put all their eggs in the basket of social media — because I don’t think Facebook is going away anytime soon but you never know. I’m in the business of social media but if Facebook went away tomorrow, I’d be fine. You’ve got to own your own content.
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?
I think the agents and brokers who are delivering above and beyond as far as getting back to people quickly — some of the basic things are still so important. It doesn’t mean you need to be on 24 hours a day, but if you set the right expectations and have the conversations about how you work and how you fit with your clients, that’s half the work right there, and then just really delivering. For a lot of consumers, sadly I think the bar is kind of low in a lot of ways. I see people in Facebook groups being like “do you respond to clients via text, email, phone?” And most of them don’t even care how you answer them — just answer them! You have those conversations from the beginning, and most people do not buy a house all the time. This happens every maybe 7 to 10 years, for a lot of people it’s a lot longer than that, so I don’t think there’s anything wrong with an agent outlining how they typically communicate and then saying “but if you prefer a different way, let me know.”
What are your hopes for the next 12 months, and what will you be working on?
For us, we’re continuing to grow and finishing up our best year ever, so that’s exciting. We’re planning for next year and our Get Social Smart Academy, our on-demand social media training program has really grown like gangbusters, so we’re continuing to grow that. It’s a reminder that even with all these market fluctuations, agents and brokers are still valuing personal development and investing in their learning.
There were all these tech companies for a long time selling the next shiny object, and it’s interesting to see which ones have stayed and which ones have gone away — I feel like for us it’s exciting to see from a professional development standpoint how many agents and brokers are investing in that, whether it’s with us or with other companies. And personally, I’m excited about continuing to grow my speaking business.
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.