The following is a chapter from the book REAL: A Path to Passion, Purpose and Profits in Real Estate. The author of this chapter is Lisa Archer, co-founder of Geeky Girls. @lisaarcher
I joined the banking industry right out of college. I loved the work and became very successful, readily eclipsing my sales goals. However, the rigors of a 9-to-5 job and an hour-long commute to and from the office took a toll on my family. In 2006, with my daughter just a year old, I resigned my position at the bank to get a real estate license.
Good decision, terrible timing, as the market crashed shortly after I obtained licensure. At that point, in something of a whole new world, every sale was grueling. It took longer and longer to sell a property; securing a mortgage was near impossible; and each appraisal seemed like a pull on a one-armed bandit. Needless to say, stress was the only constant, and by the fall of 2010, I was burning out. It was time again to stop and reconsider. I desperately needed a change of scenery. I wanted to do things differently. I wanted independence.
After a move in 2011 from Texas to Charlotte, North Carolina, I enlisted my dad as partner and started an intense mission to build an independent brokerage. He and I hired three buyer partners in four months and have never looked back. We ended 2012 rebranding our team “Live Love Charlotte.” We also partnered with Laurie Davis to create Live Love, Inc., which now includes an extension “Live Love Pinehurst” [Pinehurst, North Carolina is a resort city best known for its challenging golf courses.] and an investor division. At last count, the firm employs twenty-seven people, including agents and staff. As I write this, we hope to expand into two additional North Carolina metropolitan areas.
One of the biggest passions of Live Love, Inc. is social media. In 2012, Facebook surpassed one billion users — that’s an enormous number and demonstrates the potential of the platform. But like communication via traditional outlets, your message must be crafted to fit the media. You wouldn’t walk up to someone at a backyard BBQ and start spouting new listings, so why do the same on Facebook and Twitter?
Everyone knows I sells real estate, but no one hates to know it. This has been my mantra for several years. Generally, ninety percent of my posts are personal and only ten percent discuss business. Business is not my focus; relationships are.
If you’ve never had a referral via social media, reconsider and reformulate what you are doing. Are you listening? Can you see what’s happening in others’ lives? If no, set up a list and scan it daily for life events — births, promotions, weddings, birthdays — you should “Like” or comment on.
Mobile applications make it simple to stay engaged with little effort. You can now respond to an Twitter mention while you are waiting at a doctor’s office or update your status from the line at the grocery store.
A word of caution, though. It’s safe to say nothing is private anymore. You need to be careful about what you write because it’s very difficult to rescind a post or tweet (as many politicians, pundits, and companies have learned the hard way).
Social Media is an amazing tool if you use it for what it was intended for. Listen to what others are saying and then do what any good friend would do. Once you have everyone on a list, follow along regularly and reinforce each connection. People like to do business with people they know, like and trust. Stay engaged and the referrals will follow.
About The Book
Most real estate books fall short. REAL goes beyond mere tactics and strategies to focus on the core of what really matters - You. In addition to the authors' lessons learned, this book also includes contributions from some of real estate's most influential thought leaders: Lisa Archer, Marc Davison, Spencer Rascoff, Sherry Chris, Krisstina Wise, and many more.
If building a real estate business that lasts is important to you, this is a book you surely won't want to miss!