I recently had the pleasure of speaking at the NAR Tech Edge event in Parsippany, New Jersey. There were a lot of great speakers sharing a ton information so I wanted to go over some of the highlights for all of you here.
The event was hosted by Jeff Lobb, the brain behind SparkTank Media, and one of the great guys in real estate. Jeff is a huge proponent of having a specific hashtag strategy. He doesn’t just talk about it, he leverages one that has even made him and his family very well known locally. You should check it out yourself on Instagram by looking up #lobblife.
Its important not to get stuck in the past. Stop being nostalgic about what used to work and embrace what works now. The way you market your business can keep changing and its your job to stay on the forefront. If your clients are all on Facebook right now then be there. If they all move to Snapchat then move there. It’s not about what you want, its about what your clients want.
On the note of embracing the way people are is the increasing use of emojis. They aren’t just for young people. Ask everyone you know over 40 and you’ll be surprised at how many are increasingly using emojis every day. As stupid as they seem to some they actually solve an important pain point in peoples lives. Its hard to convey tone and get the message across sometimes with only text. Emojis can help bridge that gap.
There was a great presentation by Judy Weiniger of the Weiniger Group. She’s an incredible agent from New Jersey. She echoed so much of what I’ve always believed about the advantage that real estate agents have over the big online portals. You may never compete with “homes for sale” on google but no big portal can compete with you over hyper local searches. They don’t have the information that you do.
As the local expert you should be promoting your area in ways that no one else can. Tell the stories of the locals. Find what’s unique in your area and highlight it. Check out this amazing video Judy made about a local pizzeria. Look at how little its about her or her business and instead focuses on the business.
Here are some great ideas Judy shared on types of content to create, especially with video:
- What the commute is like
- Who has the best pizza
- How are the highways
- How do you get to the city
- Flood zones
- Children Activities
- Grocery shopping options
- Gyms and Yoga Studios
- Local restaurants and entertainment
- Guide to Local Farmers Markets
- Where to go Pumpkin Picking
- Answer your clients questions
The trick is to just get started. Don’t wait for things to be perfect. You’ll get better over time but just start doing it now. This also isn’t going to be a free method of building your business. Good videos do require an investment. At the very least you should be investing in a lavaliere mic.
Steve Pacinelli from BombBomb came up talking about the benefits of using simple video to build relationships. Unlike the videos Judy was talking about that are for the masses, these are 1 to 1 videos that are used to build the know, like, and trust thats all so important.
Short videos can help convey so much more than text ever can. Whether its good news, bad news, responding to al lead, or any other number of personal communications, video can make it so much better. When you get the opportunity try and send a message you’d usually do over the phone or email and try sending it with video. See how the response can be different.
Smart Home Technology
We also had Joe Sullivan from CRT Labs (a division of NAR) to talk about the future of smart homes. It was really interesting to hear him talk about the future of the home and the devices within it. Also highlighted the importance of agents becoming very familiar with these issues.
For example, did you know that with a Nest smart thermostat, if your client buys a home with one they have to get the seller to transfer ownership to them? If not, the previous sellers could continue controlling the thermostat from their phone.
Another huge advantage of smart home technology will be the ability to keep people in their own homes longer. With the ability to help monitor and make their lives easier, smart home technology will prolong how long people will stay home.
People buy smart devices for convenience, to simplify their life, security, reduce energy consumption, reduce costs, and for the fun of it. Personally I have a smart garage door opener and its great to be able to check if its open or shut from my phone anywhere in the world.
Support your Community
Sharon Steel, another great New Jersey agent, is heavily involved in her community. She builds her business by getting really involved. Everything she does is centred around the idea of helping the community.
A great example is her direct mail campaign that she sends out. Once a quarter she sends 10,000 cards to the community. Except it has almost zero mention of her or her business. Each piece showcases the work of local artists. She’ll run competitions to see which person has the best piece to showcase each month. People are even framing these cards. Locals who have moved out of state are asking for copies to be mailed to them as a reminder of home.
On the back of cards she doesn’t take advantage of the space to promote herself either. She talks about the artist, what the piece means and represents to them.
Get involved in your community, put them first, and give as much value as possible.
There were a ton more great takeaways from this event but I could write a 3,000 word post about it. If you have the chance to attend a NAR Tech Edge event I’d recommend it.