As a real estate agent in Eureka, Mo., Josh Kahn, of The Josh Kahn & Katie Busk Team, took a creative approach to growing his business. He had been to training seminars where different social media strategies were taught, but noticed everyone around him was simply pushing their business and not looking for a chance to serve the community. As a top-performing agent, he wanted to be more intentional about his marketing.
“If I’m looking to buy a car, I’m not going to follow a salesman who only posts about his cars for sale,” says Kahn. “Maybe I will for that time being, but once I buy a car I’m probably going to focus on something that’s more interesting to me.”
He knew the same was true for real estate, and wanted to find a way to bring value to his community. Research shows that top-performing agents like Kahn look for opportunities to enhance the lives of their clients and then actively manage their marketing ROI after they’ve spent money doing so.
That’s how Kahn saw that Eureka had no online hub.
“I changed the name of our Facebook page,” says Kahn. “It became the Eureka, Missouri page.”
He began to post about local events and news.
“I didn’t think there was a lot in Eureka to talk about, so I had to look for things to integrate into there,” says Kahn.
In his search for content, he started frequenting local businesses and sharing information about them.
“I would go out and eat dinner somewhere and take a picture of my kid eating meatballs and post it on Facebook,” says Kahn.
Kahn didn’t use the page as a selling tool in these early days, but instead focused intensely on how to provide value to his immediate community. It took a lot of energy and attention, but the Facebook page blossomed into a trusted source that the community turned to for up-to-date information.
When Eureka experienced catastrophic flooding in 2015, Kahn was one of the first to post pictures of the damage.
“The pictures went viral,” says Kahn.
As a result of his hard work, Kahn’s Facebook page is now the go-to online presence for Eureka news, giving him a massive audience who he has built a rapport with.
Slowly, he began to integrate his real estate business into his social media efforts, running contests to increase community engagement and tagging his business in all the photos to get top-of-mind recognition from the community.
One of his most successful contests is a take on “The Price Is Right.” Kahn will post pictures of a listing and if followers can correctly guess the listing price, they win a $20 gift certificate to a local business. By doing this, Kahn is able to create engagement, support local businesses and drive interest in his listings. It’s his creative way of showcasing his inventory without making people feel like they’re being sold to.
It took several years for his online presence to start netting results to the bottom line of his business, but now he says it’s not uncommon for him to get 85 leads from Facebook a week.
“We have more leads than we can work,” Kahn says. “Getting leads at this point isn’t a problem.”
He estimates 75 percent of their business last year was local to Eureka.
“Eureka,” he says, “is our focus.”
That’s a sincere focus he’s talking about—not a marketing ploy he executed. What worked for his strategy was being genuine and caring about the community.
“We were doing the community page purely out of good faith,” says Kahn. “At no point did we expect anything back.”
They even put their own marketing dollars into the page to promote local businesses.
“I think that really translated,” Kahn says. “If you’re positive about the community you’re living in and genuinely supporting local business, then people are going to be interested.”
Find other useful strategies that top-performing agents are using to grow their business.
Tom Davidson is the general manager of Real Estate Express, a national leader in online learning for pre-licensing, continuing education and professional development. Davidson has nearly 15 years in the real estate industry. From sales training and product development to growing the business, his multi-faceted background encompasses crucial functions to a successful career in the field.