As I sit down to write this, the Festivus episode of Seinfeld is fresh in my mind. It’s an American classic!
(Millennials, put down the avocado toast and kombucha and go watch it if you haven’t seen it).
Dustin Brohm, Columnist
A quick refresher for those who somehow haven’t seen the episode since the ’90s: The alternative holiday, Festivus, couldn’t begin without a proper “Airing of Grievances.” In the spirit of the holiday season, this list of the top five mistakes agents and lenders make on social media feels a little like the Airing of Grievances. But so be it!
I know you were hoping for yet another super original listicle. A top-five listicle at that! But hey, it’s a good one. So let’s begin with our Airing of Social Media Grievances.
1) Posting listings with no thought or creativity
Are you posting a listing link simply to check a box? Sure seems like it. Whenever I see a listing being “advertised” on social media, it’s stunning how often the agent or lender just posted the link with no added commentary (aka “reasons to give a crap”).
Making matters worse, the link to the not-so-user-friendly MLS (or even worse… Zillow!) only shows the boring front of the house! Is the photo of the front of the property really the most attention-getting and inspiring photo of the home?
Unless you’re selling luxury homes, the answer is likely no. There’s no rule against posting the best photos of the home that highlight the most desirable aspects of it. I know that some MLS’ require the front of the home must be the first image.
But you also don’t need to post that link and use that auto-populated thumbnail. Remember, your job is to sell the home. So sell it! What’s so great about it? Does the backyard have a new outdoor kitchen with smoker grill? Maybe the view from for master bedroom window? Or maybe it’s not even the house itself, but the fact that a desirable park is just across the street.
Whatever those desirable, attractive things are, show them! You control how the property is portrayed online, and it’s your responsibility to make sure it’s done well.
2) Talking over consumers heads with industry jargon
A couple of weeks ago I wrote at length about this issue our industry seems to have of talking over our consumers’ heads and not realizing that they’re not actually industry insiders like we are.
Luckily, to their credit, I received messages from quite a few agents and lenders who admitted to doing this. But at least now they know they were confusing consumers and causing them to tune out. How many of our fellow agents and lenders still speak “real estate” in everything they post?
Most consumers don’t know the differences between FHA, Conventional, VA, USDA, Conforming, Fannie, Freddie…etc. And if they know of them, they don’t know about them, like what those differences mean to them.
Using industry jargon in posts meant for consumers is, at minimum, a lost opportunity to educate, help and potentially earn a client for life.
3) Talking about real estate or mortgages too much
I always advise my coaching clients and Massive Agent Podcast listeners to talk about real estate and mortgage topics as little as possible. I think 10% of the time is plenty.
Seriously, limit your real estate and mortgage talk to just one of every 10 posts, stories or videos. Even less often if you can!
The reason is simple: You want to grow an audience and give that audience a reason to keep tuning in. Very few people at any given time are seeking out real estate or mortgage-related content. And when they do, they likely do it via Google or YouTube, not their social media feeds!
So, when every single post from you is about rates, your “must-see” open house on Saturday from 11-2, plus a deluge of listings or market updates, you’re dramatically limiting the number of people who give a crap. Furthermore, those who do give a crap and end up reading and watching your content will eventually stop caring.
Stop giving them a reason to tune you out, and start giving them a reason to tune in. (Dang, that’s good. I’ll have to use that somewhere).
Instead, talk about your community. Become a resource for the entire community; a resource that people keep coming back for because you keep them plugged into the cool, fun and interesting stuff happening in your town. Talk about the new farmers market opening up. Talk about the high school football team’s big rivalry game coming up next weekend. Talk about anything and everything going on in your community, and do it in your own unique voice. That is what will keep your audience coming back for more. Not your frickin’ daily lock or float recommendation!
Become a local influencer or local celebrity and you’ll have more business than you can handle.
4) Reading a script on a video or podcast
Can’t you always tell when someone is reading a script? I’m sure you can. I certainly do.
Guess what? So do consumers.
There’s something odd about hearing someone read a script. It’s almost 2020. Everyone expects authenticity on social media. So whenever someone sounds rehearsed or are reading from a script, it sticks out like a sore thumb.
If you need a script to practice what you’re going to say, that’s cool. I get that. In that case, practice until you have it down and can do it without a script. If you truly know the subject matter that you’re talking about, and the message you want to get across, then you don’t need a script. Ditch the script.
5) Not looking directly into the camera
Along the same lines as No. 4, if you’re reading a script on camera, and the script is slightly off camera, literally everyone notices that you’re looking off-camera and aren’t making eye contact with the viewer.
It’s so distracting to me whenever someone is reading a script on camera that I can’t even hear what they’re saying. I’m too busy focusing on their eyes! People notice this stuff. How do I know? Because I notice this stuff, and so do you.
Don’t think that your ideal audience is any different. It only takes a little bit of practice, or full-on rehearsing if you really need it, to look directly into the camera and deliver your message with personality and energy.
Video is so powerful because it allows personal connections to be made through the lens. Those connections happen because of eye contact combined with personality. By not looking directly at the camera in your videos or stories, you’re missing out on the single most powerful aspect of doing video in the first place.
I hope you found these top five “grievances” helpful. I could go on and on, but I’ll save some for future articles and presentations.
My goal here was to provide constructive criticism by holding up a mirror. We’ve all done this stuff, myself included. My hope is that once you become aware that you’re doing this stuff, that you make the changes and improvements needed to build a thriving and growing brand and business.
Remember, stop giving your audience a reason to tune you out, and start giving them a reason to tune in.