If your strategy for marketing is just throwing ideas at the wall and hoping something sticks, you don’t have a strategy. You have hope and a prayer.
Some people can skate by for years doing this and actually have a decent business from a revenue standpoint. The problem is that it’s not replicable or predictable. Some can keep it going indefinitely, others get stuck and eventually start declining.
The result? You now have a strategy that you can execute consistently, confidently, and see predictable growth. The more predictable your growth is, the more you can plan and ultimately achieve any goal you set for your business. Whether that’s more freedom, more money in your pocket, expanding to a bigger team, launching new ventures, it can be achieved using our Wheelhouse Marketing Framework.
If your strategy for marketing is just throwing ideas at the wall that you heard about and hoping something sticks, you don’t have a strategy. You have hope and a prayer.
Some people can skate by for years doing this and actually have a decent business from a revenue standpoint. The problem is that it’s not replicable or predictable. Some can keep it going indefinitely, others get stuck and eventually start declining.
Having a strategy that you can execute on consistently can give you the confidence and predictability to grow.
Here’s what we’re going to cover to help you get predictable results:
How to get people to discover you exist
Getting people to join your database
Converting them into clients
Earning their trust
Building long term loyalty
If you have specific tactics in place for each one that you perform consistently you can create a predictable growth engine for your business. The more predictable your business, the more you can plan ultimately set your life and business up in a way that helps you get you to your goals.
Whether that’s more freedom, more money in your pocket, expanding to a bigger team, launching new ventures. It doesn’t matter. Once you can consistently get clients with a repeatable process, it’s up to you what you do next!
ChatGPT is one of the most talked about things online recently in the business world. I’ve been testing it out and I can confidently say it’s one of the first new tools that actually earns the name game-changing.
First, to answer what ChatGPT is, I had it write the explanation itself.
I typed in “”Give me a 50 word explanation that a 5 year would understand” and it said:
ChatGPT is a computer program that can carry on a conversation with a person. It can answer questions, tell stories, and even make jokes! It uses a special set of rules and a lot of information it has learned to understand what you’re saying and come up with a response. ChatGPT is not a real person, but it can do a good job of pretending to be one when you talk to it.
Then I answered that response with “now explain it for an adult so they get a better understanding”:
ChatGPT is a natural language processing (NLP) model that has been trained to generate human-like text based on a given input. It uses a combination of machine learning techniques and a large dataset of human conversation to learn the patterns and structures of natural language. When given a prompt, ChatGPT can generate a response that is coherent and follows the rules of grammar and syntax. It can also be fine-tuned for specific tasks or domains, such as answering questions about a particular topic or generating descriptions of products. While ChatGPT is not capable of understanding or comprehending the meaning of the text it generates, it can produce text that appears to be written by a human and engage in conversation in a way that is similar to how a human would.
It’s an incredibly useful tool *if* you know how to use it.
Let’s be clear though, it’s not perfect. It can’t replace your expertise. It can enhance your productivity. For example, something that used to take me 2-4 hours to write can be done now in 1. What it spits out is generic in many cases but its faster and easier to edit the generic into something valuable than starting from scratch.
Our recommendation is to have it help you write, not write for you. You’re mostly limited by your imagination. So let’s give you some examples of how you can use it.
Not sure what to say to someone? Have it draft a response. You can even write a rough draft and say “rewrite this professionally.”
Need an auto-responder written but not sure what to say? Ask it to write one for you. This may not be as good as having an actual copywriter write it but it’ll get the job done and for many, done is better than perfect. You can get this written quickly and live and then come back and refine later.
You can bet in the next 6-24 months we’ll see email programs that will pre-write replies to every email you get and you just have to approve the response.
It’s one thing to write a single email, this can help you write the outline for a full drip campaign. Then start writing the emails themselves. This is a classic case once again of done being better than perfect. The more descriptive your requests the better they are.
For example, writing “write me a drip campaign for new leads” will not get you a great response but you’d get better results with “write a drip campaign for someone who has requested a free home value report that is 6 emails long. Each email should include one question to get them to reply to the email while providing valuable information about selling their home.”
Especially in specific situations like this it takes refining. That’s where ChatGPT works really well. You can respond to each thing it writes and then ask it to improve it in a specific way. It’s a back and forth with iterative improvements. This is where you can cut time by 60-80% when you’re writing content.
Writing ads is a great use case for them. The ads aren’t perfect and from the tests we’ve run here at JSH, the ads we’ve written have outperformed BUT when we have it write variations, take a few pieces and put them in with how we write them, the results are similar. This can cut ad-writing time down significantly.
The key we’ve found is asking for specific copy styles. Instead of “Write an an for a free home valuation report” we’d type in “Write a direct response ad for a report on a home valuation report in the AIDA copywriting framework”
AIDA is Attention, Interest, Desire, Action. One of the more classic ones out there.
We’ve also found PAS and Before-After-Bridge have worked well for writing ads when we didn’t like the AIDA version. Then sometimes we’ll reply asking to make it shorter or longer. Turn it into a story, or write it more colloquially.
There’s a lot of variations and it can really speed up the ad creation process. If you aren’t familiar with proper copywriting techniques it will create better ads than an inexperienced person.
Need some content outlines? YOu can ask it to write it out for you. I wouldn’t rely on it to create the content itself or it’ll be very generic and not valuable to your readers. It can create a good outline for the type of content and spark ideas for you.
For example, I typed in “write an outline for a home value report” and here’s what it came up with:
Purpose of the home value report
How the report was created
II. Property information
Address and location of the property
Description of the property (e.g. type of home, number of bedrooms, bathrooms, square footage)
Features and amenities (e.g. garage, pool, finished basement)
III. Market analysis
Overview of the local housing market
Comparison to similar homes in the area
Analysis of recent sales data
IV. Home value estimate
Estimated value of the property based on market data and property information
Range of possible values
V. Factors affecting home value
Condition of the property
Location and neighborhood
Recent renovations or updates
Recap of key points
Suggestions for next steps (e.g. seeking a professional appraisal, updating the property to increase value)
Contact information for any questions or further assistance
Not a bad place to start from!
I went on Realtor.ca and grabbed a random listing description.
Here’s what I copied:
Stunning* 4Bed/5Bath New Home, On Rare, Nearly 1/2 Acre Lot Minutes To All Amenities. Luxurious Finishes & Design, $$$$ In Upgrades Including Hardwood Throughout, Quartz Countertop/Bksplsh In Kitchen, Frendel Custom Kitchen Cabinets, Waffle Ceiling In Family Room W/Gas F/P, Lg Primary Bed W/5 Pc Bath And Immense W/I Closet. Finished Bsmt. W/Lg Rec Room, Electric F/P, & 3Pc Bath. *See Attached List Of Upgrades/Features!* $214.95/Mo Fee Incl. Rd Maint./Garbage**** EXTRAS **** Bosch S/S Fridge, B/I Oven, B/I Microwave, B/I Gas Cook, S/S D/W, W/D. Gdo W/2 Remotes, Central Vac And Attchmts., All Window Coverings, Elf’s *Excluding Fam.Rm Light Fix. & 2nd Bd. Light Fix.*
I now told ChatGPT to rewrite it and it produced this:
A luxurious 4 bedroom, 5 bathroom home with numerous upgrades, including hardwood flooring, quartz countertops and backsplash, custom Frendel kitchen cabinets, and a waffle ceiling in the family room with a gas fireplace. The large primary bedroom includes a 5 piece bathroom and a spacious walk-in closet. The finished basement boasts a large recreational room, electric fireplace, and a 3 piece bathroom. This new home is situated on a rare, nearly half acre lot that is minutes away from various amenities. The $214.95/mo fee includes road maintenance and garbage. Additional features include a Bosch stainless steel fridge, built-in oven, microwave, gas cooktop, dishwasher, washer/dryer, garage door opener with 2 remotes, central vac and attachments, all window coverings, and electric lights (excluding the family room and second bedroom fixtures). See the attached list of upgrades and features for more information.
Now I can expand with something like “write an email to my email list promoting this property with a call to action to book a private showing”:
I am excited to announce a new property that has just come on the market and would be the perfect fit for your family! This stunning 4 bedroom, 5 bathroom home boasts luxurious finishes and design, with numerous upgrades including hardwood flooring throughout, a quartz countertop and backsplash in the kitchen, custom Frendel kitchen cabinets, and a waffle ceiling in the family room with a gas fireplace. The large primary bedroom includes a 5 piece bathroom and a spacious walk-in closet. The finished basement features a large recreational room, electric fireplace, and a 3 piece bathroom.
This new home is situated on a rare, nearly half acre lot that is minutes away from various amenities. The $214.95/mo fee includes road maintenance and garbage. Additional features include a Bosch stainless steel fridge, built-in oven, microwave, gas cooktop, dishwasher, washer/dryer, garage door opener with 2 remotes, central vac and attachments, all window coverings, and electric lights (excluding the family room and second bedroom fixtures).
If you’re interested in seeing this property in person, please don’t hesitate to contact me to schedule a private showing. I would love to assist you in finding your dream home.
Now I follow that up with “Write an instagram caption for the property” and I get:
Looking for your dream home? Look no further! This stunning 4 bed, 5 bath home has luxurious finishes and design, $$$$ in upgrades, and is situated on a rare, nearly 1/2 acre lot. Features include hardwood floors, quartz countertops, custom kitchen cabinets, a gas fireplace, and a finished basement with a large rec room and electric fireplace. Contact me to book a private showing and make this your forever home! #dreamhome #luxury #realestate #newconstruction
This last one is a great example. It’s a decent post but I’d personally not use those hashtags. They’re too generic. They won’t actually help discoverability in your area. Is it better than what a lot of people in the industry put out? Absolutely. It also did it in just a few seconds.
Whether you’re brainstorming blog topics, email subject lines, or headlines, it can help. For example, I’ll write a blog, paste it into a ChatGPT and say “Give me 10 titles for this blog post” and it will give 10 options. Then it’s just simple rewriting and minor editing and you’re good to go.
Don’t like what it wrote? Ask for new variations. Can ask for more or less clickbait style, more punchy, more professional, etc…
ChatGPT can allow a great reduction in time spent writing content. It can get rid of writer’s block and give you ideas. It can’t replace your expertise, your talents, and what makes people want to work with you. Your unique style is still your own.
Leverage ChatGPT to make you more productive and get more done. Don’t let it write entire pieces and post them without editing. It won’t be good enough to help you, especially for blog posts. Google knows how to identify AI written content and you won’t rank as well if you have all AI written content.
Online real estate leads are hard. They have one of the highest degrees of difficulty for most real estate agents to convert to clients. Constant discussions, seminars, blogs, etc… in the industry about how to convert online leads.
What if I add in more calls? Double dial? Call the leads faster and faster? Tactic after tactic. Tactics are useless if they aren’t part of a winning strategy.
The truth is there’s no silver bullet for online real estate leads. Most are looking at the problem from the wrong angle. Many focus on getting as many leads as possible then hammering the phones to find a couple who are ready to go now. This can work but it’s pretty close to building a business cold calling. It works to build a business but it’s a grind that wears most down and has high turnover.
This approach leads to thousands and thousands of agents saying “online leads are %*$#.”
Ask any vendor in the industry that helps agents generate or convert leads and we hear it all the time. Said the exact same way. If you’re used to referrals or sign calls, traditional online real estate leads are %*$$.
The exception to the rule is if you’re doing inbound marketing and driving people to reach out to you. Like farming a neighbourhood, inbound marketing takes time. Once it’s up and running, the leads coming in are high quality.
Here’s the thing…most are looking at online real estate leads from the wrong perspective. Most are skipping one of the most crucial steps of the lead conversion process. Nurturing.
Online “leads” aren’t prospects yet, they’re leads on potential prospects. They are further upstream than most. Prospects are people planning a move soon that may hire you. Leads are people who may be more likely to be a prospect than the average person you run into on the street.
Online leads can be anywhere from 12-18 months away from moving. Dean Jackson did a study with one of his clients of every lead he helped an agent generate and after 5 years. 50% of all the leads generated over that time had moved. They didn’t all use his client, but within 5 years, half of everyone who had reached out in any way moved.
Does that change the perspective a bit about “%*$# leads”?
You should be thinking about it from this perspective: I want to find out which of my leads are looking to move soon. Everyone else is simply moving later.
When you simplify the lead conversion process, you’re breaking it down to two distinct phases. Those who are moving soon, and those who are moving later.
Phase 1 of Online Real Estate Leads: Soon
This phase is where 95% of lead conversion energy focuses on yet, at most, it’s 10-15% of the leads coming in. Your job isn’t to try and turn every lead into someone moving now. It’s to identify which of the leads are ready to go soon and then push the rest into your long term follow up.
The key here is to get to know them as much as possible. We all know the easiest way to generate leads online is to leverage listings. It’s what people want and has the lowest cost per lead by far.
When you generate the leads, don’t push right away to get them into a contract. Your first push is to get them engaged in a conversation and discover everything you can about them. Learn their unique situation.
When a lead first comes in, according to Phil M Jones recommends this simple framework:
Opening – A polite intro sharing your name and agency
Fact – A mutually agreeable fact
Question – An easy to answer question
In practice, that might look something like this:
“Hi, it’s Andrew from JSH Realty. Recently you were browsing online and showed some interest in one of our homes for sale in XYZ neighbourhood. Are you still looking or have you now found somewhere?”
All you’re looking for here is for them to respond. Once they respond the goal is NOT to push to get more answers about that specific property. It’s also not about any specific property at this point.
Your goal now is to find out why they’re moving, what the motivation is. Learn about their situation and where they are in the process. Once you know that you can truly be helpful to them. Instead of potentially offering other listings that may not actually be a good fit for them.
Lead with curiosity and get to know them as people first.
Some questions you could ask instead of asking about the specific property:
How long have you been looking?
What is prompting the move?
Have you seen many homes in person?
What needs to happen with your existing home when you move?
When are you looking to move by?
Once you know about their specific situation, you can jump into a soft close.
“So it seems like the best next step would be to….” or “Based on what you are saying – it sounds like we should….” then go for what is the best next step for them.
Our team here at Just Sell Homes brought in Phil Jones to help train our clients on Lead Conversion. He did a couple of hands-on workshops. From that we created a PDF outlining an 8-Step Framework. This focuses on the 8 steps to creating conversations with online real estate leads. It’s definitely worth your time to download and read through!
What about all the leads that aren’t ready to move soon?
Phase 2 of Online Real Estate Leads: Later
This is where most Realtors don’t have a good system in place. Systems here, if any, are usually the odd follow up email or text. Could be a canned email once a month or a calendar reminder to call them in 8 months. A lot of the time, Realtors do nothing.
Our recommendation is to educate and entertain them every week. A well-done weekly newsletter can have a massive impact on your business.
Not the canned content about how to winterize your home or other generic advice. That doesn’t keep people coming back. You want them excited to open your email every week.
The easiest content is real estate focused. People are always interested in what’s going on in the real estate market. So tell them. Don’t share the stats your local board sends out, interpret it for them. Answer the “What does that mean for me?” question. Put in sold prices for properties that are notable Help people keep a tab on the market.
Another real estate angle that works is a “Deal of the Week”. Nobody wants to miss out on a great deal. Each week you send a “Here’s the best deal we found on the market this week.”
When I sold real estate, I remember asking someone if they wanted daily emails of properties. The standard automated ones that come from the board. They said yes then showed me their phone. They were already getting them from 4 other agents.
A lightbulb went off that we need to stand out above that. I started writing them emails with my honest thoughts on properties that were a fit. They started working with me instead of the other 4 who had been emailing them for months.
The other way is to curate content that’s local about their community. For example, we send our weekly newsletter to real estate agents like you. We curate information useful to agents because that’s our community. What’s going on in market, whats new in social media, good marketing from other agents. If we think it can make someone a better agent, we share it. Our pitch is simple; make you the smartest agent in the room in 10 minutes once a week.
Take the same approach but focused on being the most informed resident of their town in ten minutes once a week.
It’s not about YOU. It’s about making them better and providing as much value as possible on a consistent basis. These newsletters include easy calls to action throughout. The specific mechanics of a great newsletter will be in a future blog post. We’ll hyperlink it from here when we have it finished, too!
The reason we like to send it weekly is that it keeps you top of mind. If someone signs up today and your monthly newsletter went out this morning, they’ll forget you by next month. Weekly keeps you top of mind.
You want to be top of mind so that when someones plans change on when they’re moving, you’re first person they think of. They could get pregnant and need a bigger home. Someone could have had a fall and need to move into a nursing home unexpectedly. Divorces, love, growing families, work, or a million other reasons can cause a change in timeline. You want to be there when that happens.
That’s why you need a regular long term follow up strategy that’s more than checking in from time to time.
Phase 1 is identifying the soon people, phase 2 is keeping in touch with the later people. This simple framework allows you to focus on the rest of your business. Don’t overcomplicate it.
Online real estate leads don’t have a silver bullet that makes it easy. It takes work. Focus on identifying the people moving soon and then staying in touch with everyone else.
Your Instagram profile is pretty important. This is where people go to scope you out and see if they want to hit that follow button and start engaging with you. In this blog post we’re going to walk you through how to set up your Instagram Profile step by step.
Think of your profile as your storefront. You have a couple of seconds to make a good first impression so people will hit that follow button and come into the store. Let’s get started!
Choose your Handle and Name wisely
Your handle is the name that pops up at the top of every post and is what is used when people want to tag you in their content.
Choose your handle carefully and make sure it’s easily searched! No one will ever find your account if your handle is @bestrealtor86725! Make sure your handle is clear and easily searchable.
Your name is listed in your bio and is the perfect opportunity to use searchable keywords so people who don’t know your name can find you. Think of what your ideal client would type into Google search to find you. We normally recommend going with SERVICE LOCATION. For example, Toronto Realtor or Toronto Real Estate.
Once you’ve selected your name, give it a couple of minutes and type those keywords into the Instagram search bar to see if you pop up!
Take full advantage of your bio
Instagram limits the number of characters you can use in your bio so it’s vital that you include as much relevant information as possible. Instagram bios are searchable too, so using relevant keywords can help new followers and potential clients find your account easily.
This is also a good opportunity to let people know exactly what you offer, how awesome you are, and show off your personality.
This one may seem obvious – you put your website link where it says website. Makes sense, but something to keep in mind is that, other than your stories, this is the only spot on Instagram where you can put a link. Links are not clickable and people cannot copy and paste them from your post captions on their phones. So you definitely want to make the most of your one link.
Using a website like Linktr.ee allows you to create a landing page where you can add multiple websites under one link. You can see below, Cool Jane used a Linktr.ee link where we can access tons of web pages. It’s free and super user friendly!
Followers and potential clients want to feel like they know and trust you before reaching out. Picking a high quality, clear and welcoming profile picture can help create that trust with your followers and presents your business in a professional way.
Low quality, busy pictures should be avoided at all costs! Keep it as simple as possible so it’s easy to tell what’s there. It’s a small space! So try to avoid adding extra text or multiple elements. We recommend using a professional, well lit, headshot style image for your profile picture. Or, if you’re a team, stick with your logo!
Though it’s great to add your information in your post captions with a call-to-action for people to contact you for more information, your followers won’t be able to tap or copy paste those either. Make sure you’ve included your contact information when setting up your Instagram Profile. Once you fill that out, a ‘Contact’ button will appear on your profile page. You can direct people in your posts to tap the button and contact you easily.
Instagram stories only last 24 hours then disappear. With Instagram Highlights you can save specific stories to your profile long term. This is a great way to introduce yourself and your team, show testimonials, let people know what you offer, show off your current listings, and show off your branding.
We’ve created a few Canva templates with Highlights Covers that you can customize and use on your profile! Simply tap each link to save the template to your Canva account and get creating!
Now you’ve got everything you need to optimize your Instagram profile, just like Cool Jane. If you have any questions please reach out to us here! We’re more than happy to help.
Are you willing to commit to developing an in-house social media expert? Have you hired an in-house team member to manage your socials? Click here and scroll down to our 6 Week Social Media Foundation program!
“I just wanted to know the price, don’t talk to me”
“Just wanted the photos”
“Ugh, this is just a bait and switch to get our contact information”
“You can just look it up on online without giving up your information”
If you’ve used forced registration to generate real estate leads you’ve heard them all and more.
A forced registration system creates a predictable flow of leads, which is the key positive attribute. The main downsides are that it generates negative emotions among potential clients because they’re annoyed by having to give up their information in order to gain access to details about the listing. Details that are freely available elsewhere. This also puts you, as the agent, in a position where you’ll have to do a lot of chasing to stay in touch. Forced registration, or gated content in the SEO community, can negatively impact your SEO.
It can be a grind and traditionally very low conversion rate for most agents.
So what other options do you have?
The Just Sell Homes Listing Update Email Strategy.
It flips the script and allows people to sign up for updates about a particular listing. The value in signing up is no longer in the information, but in keeping a pulse on the situation with the most up to date information. It fits in really well with our Wheel House Marketing Strategy!
You can collect email addresses (or add in phone numbers if you want) of people genuinely interested in following along with your updates. The benefit is that it works at each stage of the coming soon, just listed, and just sold process. With these stages, you’ll be able to nurture the relationship by: First: Inviting people to trust that you have up to date information to share
Second: Inviting people to trust that you will share this information when, in this current market, time is of the essence
Third: Inviting people to see your success with selling a home, expressing the challenges, and how you overcame them
Finally: Inviting them to connect with you directly!
COMING SOON PERIOD
Especially given the market we’re seeing in most places where homes are selling at a rapid rate, the ‘coming soon’ is your best period to do the grunt work of your marketing.
Most Coming Soon marketing is focused on trying to double-end the property but not every agent is comfortable with trying to double end and in some area, it’s not legal.
This is precisely the situation when the Simple Listing Update Email Strategy works exceptionally well. They’re registering to stay up to date on this property. This can also help collect information of neighbours in the area. A neighbour may not reach out to book a showing or ask questions but many will register to know what happens with the listing. You can even encourage this by adding a call to action on your sign rider to register for updates on the property.
Simple videos work really well with this phase.
For example, you can do a video ad from in front of the property and say something along the lines of “Hi, this is NAME, with BROKERAGE/TEAM, and we’re currently getting this home behind me ready for sale. Photographers are doing their thing, stagers just finished, and we’re getting all of our marketing together. If you’d like to get a copy of the photos and all the other details when they’re available just click Sign Up button attached to this video and we’ll send you all the updates about this home. Whether you’re interested for yourself, a friend, or just a neighbour who wants to peek inside and find out what it ultimately sells for, we’ll send you all the updates as they happen!”
Now you’re switching from forcing them to opt-in to get the information to coming from a place of value to get their information. You’re not forcing them to opt-in to get it, you’re giving them the option of being the first to get it when it’s available.
JUST LISTED PERIOD
Once you have all the details, the day before it goes live, send an email to everyone who has registered with all the details and let them know it’s going live tomorrow and send them the photos and accompanying details that support the sale.
We’d recommend creating a blog post to direct them to your site where all the details live.
Once it’s officially live, send them an email with the listing with a “It’s Officially on the Market!” and the link to the live listing.
Updates can include:
If you’re holding off offers, send updates with how many offers are registered and a reminder if they’re interested with the deadline coming up to register now.
If you’re hosting an open house, send them an invite to come and view it.
Any time you change the list price
JUST SOLD PERIOD
When the property sells, send them an update of the sold price. I’d include calls to action (CTA) along the lines of either “If you’d like to get similar results for your home or want to get a list of similar homes on the market, just hit reply and we’ll help you out!” or try something more conversational along the lines of:
“123 Main Street sold last night with multiple offers coming in. It sold for $950,000. Were you interested in this property due to the location or the price point?”
That way you can attempt to get a conversation going with the people on the list. We recommend testing both and seeing which gets better results for you.
We also recommend that you create case studies of each property that is sold so that a few days later, you can send your registered clients the case study along the lines of “They got $50,000 more than they thought possible for their home, this is how they did it”. This is your chance to tell the story, take people through your clients journey: when they called you,to when their home sold.
When you have a new listing coming up similar to a previous listing, send an email along the lines of “You previously registered for updates about a similar home to 456 Main Street that we have coming up on the market soon. Would you like to get updates about that one as well?”
You, and your clients will find that every time you reach out, you’re coming from a place of value about something they’re genuinely interested in. People want to stay up to date on particular homes, whether it’s because: they’re interested in buying it, a nosy neighbour, or generally just curious. This Simple Listing Update Email Strategy allows you to communicate with them regularly on their terms, thus eliminating the ‘annoyance factor’.
Don’t forget, you build trust by making it easy for them to opt out of updates, and avoiding peppering your emails with overly salesy language. When you make things easy, and transparent for your prospective clients, they’ll be more inclined to work with you, than if you were to rely on forced registrations.