Judi Crockett is proud to admit that she’s addicted to Facebook. While she used to feel embarrassed about her self-professed love for the popular social networking site, Crockett realized that it’s actually a reflection of her love for the real estate business. “I’m addicted to Facebook because I’m addicted to people. I really do care about people and I want them to know I care.”
Crockett—co-founder of the top-producing Crockett Team in Ohio—shared her social media strategies during RISMedia’s latest webinar, “Social Media Myths, Mysteries, and Magic: Stop Faking it and Start Closing Business.” Moderated by Verl Workman, founder and CEO of Workman Success Systems, the Oct. 21 webinar was sponsored by RISMedia Content Solutions.
Crockett began her real estate career in 1978 and formed the Crockett Team in 1994 with her husband David, son Todd and daughter Melissa. The Crockett Team is the number one real estate team in the state of Ohio and No. 1 at Howard Hanna Real Estate Services. In 2014, the team closed 427 transactions accounting for $76 million.
According to Crockett, the key to success in social media—as in all aspects of her business—is systems. “To do high volume, you have to have systems in place,”
Crockett’s systems-based approach begins with the hiring process, where every new employee completes a DiSC (Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, Conscientiousness) personality assessment.
The DiSC assessment plays out in Crockett’s Facebook strategy as well, where she deploys both a personal and business page. On her personal page, she sticks to posts and comments that connect her to her audience, which is comprised of S and C personalities. “You need to know who your audience is,” she says. “We’re all American, flags and apple pie here. So I’m not going to talk about my new Mercedes on my personal Facebook page; I’m going to talk about my grandchildren and family values.”
To that end, Crockett spends a couple of hours each morning, finding out about her Facebook friends, commenting on their posts, congratulating them on milestones, and drawing parallels between their lives and hers, through commonalities like grandchildren and pets.
According to Crockett, there’s a method to her madness: “When you’ve been in the business for 37 years, you’re kind of like a star in the community, but because of Facebook, people know I’m also a real person, which then attracts people to the Crockett team. I used to think Facebook was a cute social thing, but I have at least five sales so far this year that came from Facebook.”
“People like to work with like people,” says Crockett, “so what better place for people to get to know you than Facebook? If you want to be really private, then you’re in the wrong business.”
On the Crockett Team’s business page, many of the posts are designed to bring new recruits to the team by sharing photos of contest winners, meetings and shopping-spree rewards. “I don’t have to recruit anymore—the Facebook page attracts people to our team.”
Crocket also pays to boost certain posts on her team’s Facebook page. For a recent listing at an area Hunt Club, for example, Crockett boosted the post to people in a certain age group who like golf. The strategy resulted in significantly increased inquiries about the listing.
The Crockett Team Facebook page also attracts consumers through its non-real estate posts, a strategy used on the team’s Pinterest page as well. “I hired a social media manager who is not a REALTOR®,” says Crockett. “I wanted someone who didn’t think like a REALTOR®, but like our clients. Last year, she posted a Superbowl platter on Pinterest and it had an unbelievable amount of hits. She helps us think out of the box and connect with more people.”
Crockett also strongly believes in the use of video and uses BombBomb to drive the effort. “Our client care manager introduces herself through a video, and our escrow manager sends a video to congratulate someone when their home has sold. People need to see who they’re working with. ”
Speaker/Coach Terri Murphy of MurphyOnRealEstate.com followed Crockett with several important social media strategies. She began by reminding participants, “You have to take yourself out of the equation—post toward other personalities, not yours.”
According to Murphy, the average person only has a seven-second attention span. Capturing more of their attention demands messaging that has relevance and value, presented at the right time by a person of influence. “You have to have some sort of social proof and celebrity authority,” she explains.
Murphy also emphasized the necessity of becoming hyperlocal in your social media strategies. “Who is your audience and where do they hang out?” is a question that should always be asked.
Murphy believes that LinkedIn is underutilized by most real estate agents and points to Cape Cod REALTOR® Jack Cotton as an example of someone who has successfully mastered LinkedIn. She also agrees with Crockett that Facebook, given its massive appeal and reach, must be a part of any real estate professional’s social media strategy.
“[Facebook] is about revealing a certain amount about your personal side,” says Murphy. “You are a person who happens to be a real estate professional and only you know how to best serve your area.”
According to Murphy, Facebook can be used to position yourself as an expert in your community, posting about events happening in your area (not just your own), open houses and contests. She points to the Creig Northrop team as a masterful example of a real estate professional who has turned his Facebook page into a community hub.
“It’s not about followers—it’s about engagement,” says Murphy. “That’s how people are going to figure out if they’re going to use you for their real estate needs.”
Murphy also emphasized the value of Twitter’s live streaming app, Periscope. She told the story of the Finchmans, a real estate team in Canada who walked an American couple through a neighborhood and property with Periscope and sold them a $1 million house without their physical presence.
Ultimately, however, social media is just one part of a multi-pronged strategy. “You can’t only do social media,” says Murphy. “You have to get out there and meet the people. Community events do a great job of that and give you high visibility because you’re not asking for something. The idea is to give and not expect to get until you’ve earned it. Give first, but make sure it’s relevant, hyperlocal, specific information. “
To watch the webinar in its entirety, click here.