Summary: The #DigitzedMLO knows that their brand is linked to their digital footprint. What we don’t talk about often enough are the ways we goof it up. Here are three of the biggest mistakes real estate pros make on social media: 1) The expensive rant, 2) Karma imbalance and 3) Giving up the farm.
1) The Expensive Rant.
Here’s the first social media mistake: the expensive rant. I know, it is challenging to keep your mouth shut. We are paid to talk, to connect, to network, and to have an opinion. Political posts are killing more than one career right now. You have an opinion, you have a glass of wine, and you know the exact counterpoint to change the mind of your fellow high school alum. Well take a pause and breathe. If you need to take a stand, do it carefully, do it deliberately and do it in alignment with your target demographic.
Every day, there is a 1 million dollar prize waiting for you. If you had to summarize your UVP into the perfect elevator pitch and deliver it in front of a panel of judges and the prize was 1 million dollars, you would spend the next month practicing. What is the lifetime value of a top referral partner? The leads, the referrals from those leads, the repeat business from the entire lot. Every day, the 1 million dollar prize waits to be unlocked by that one sentence.
Knowing that, we still struggle to spit out a compelling reason for someone to choose us. If you have followed along, you realize this must be done, you have assessed your clients needs, your platform, your uniqueness and now we pull it together. Below I have outlined a couple of real life before and after elevator pitch examples.
Building your UVP is hard work. You have acknowledged your pitch needs work, found out what your customer needs and assessed your platform, it is time to explore your personal uniqueness. Caring more than the next person, providing good service, having been trapped doing the same thing for 20 years, and offering open house flyers don’t count. There is a paradigm that we need to break from that has us spouting our resume as if anyone cares.
The true pro understands, at a behavioral level, what separates them from their competitor and leverages it to add value. When you tell someone that you provide great service or spout off a product feature, you are noise. You are the static we are all working desperately to avoid in our lives. How do you avoid being reduced to static? Examine the behavioral and tactical traits that add value.
Your UVP and the resultant elevator pitch needs to be amazing. More importantly, it needs to be accurate. When your mouth writes checks your company is unwilling, or unable to cash, that is a problem. This problem extends beyond you to your client and all those that put their trust in you. In order to do what you say, you need to have a level of influence that creates certainty.
I attempted to hire a big time recruiter to help me fill a key role. The team is top notch, and always fills their contracts. Naturally, they were my people. I went through the process, yep, they were expensive, nope, no guarantees. The conversation wraps and I am ready to sign. To my surprise, they declined to work with me. “You have a good business but you look like everyone else and don’t seem to have one major point of differentiation we can hang our hat on. The reason we get the job done is we take the right jobs.” Now, that was a wake up call. What about how cool I was, what about our great service, what about our 20+ years in the market?
So, the next step in your UVP construction is to review your platform. Do you understand what influence you have? Do you know the value they add to your business? Seth Kahan defines three ways platforms create value: Creating new business, extracting more business and facilitating better business.
I walked by the Apple store and my phone buzzed in my pocket.It was an alert, from Apple asking me if I needed any accessories for my new phone since I was close to the store. I looked at my phone, turned off my location services, looked up at the big white logo, walked in and bought a new charger. Yet another win for Apple.
Your message has to resonate in order to be heard. Telling people what you do is far different than evoking the proper emotion in the right moment that converts a prospect to a buyer. As salespeople, we are faced with walls of noise. The only way to really be heard is to align your voice with the needs of your people in the right moment. Anyone can meet basic needs, (good service), but you need to solve THE problem. What problem are you solving today? Is it THE problem?
It started with a simple question. I sat in a “sell more stuff” workshop and the speaker called on me, “Why would I use you?” I rambled on about how amazing I was and the great service I offered and how I shopped 50 lenders a day for the best rate. There was a bit of uncomfortable silence before he declared, “That was total s*&it, no one is going to buy from you because you give good service and shop for low rates, unless you are a prostitute, are you a prostitute?” I hesitated just one second too long. You know, when you are thinking of that pithy reply and all you get is… blank. In that second the room filled with uncomfortable laughter.
For context, at this point in my career, I was a partner a small company that closed loans and made money. I had read and re-read How to Win Friends And Influence People, Raving Fans, Love Is The Killer App and Synchronicity. I had an amazing database and 75% of my business came from referral. Yet, I failed to articulate in a sentence or two how I added value to someone’s life. In the subsequent years, I figured out I wasn’t alone.
The other day I was being courted by a sales team for a particular service. It was something I needed, it was expensive and I had choices. I sent an information request to Choice A and the well thought out, informative e-mail drip ensued. It explained all the reasons I should choose them while not being overly salesy. There were a few videos, an automated scheduling tool and all of it lead to an appointment. I scheduled the time slot that worked for me, received confirmation of the appointment, a Google Calendar item, confirmation SMS days before, the day before, the morning of and 15 minutes prior. The anticipation was killing me. I mean, who on earth sends 4 confirmations? My palms were sweating, I sat by my phone, I cleared my desk. I was READY, there was no way I would miss that call. Wait, what?