Guest Speaker

  • How to Sell More Real Estate With This Little-Known Framework

    EPISODE 66

    How to Sell More Real Estate With This Little-Known Framework

    Before you can learn how to sell more real estate, you have to first earn the right to sell.

    You’re not ready to sell, until you deeply understand your clients, connect with them and know their real problems.

    Only then can you begin to solve their problems, influence their decisions, and ultimately sell to them.

    In this podcast episode, I have author Christine Miles on the show and she is going to walk us through the simple framework for learning how to listen to what is said, but more importantly what is not said. To see what is not only on the surface, but lies beneath.

    Here’s what you’ll learn

    ☑️ Why learning how to listen properly matters and what it’s costing you to not update your skills

    ☑️ The critical difference between active listening and story gathering

    ☑️ How to use the Listening Path framework to understand, connect, influence, solve and sell

    ☑️ The six most powerful questions you can ask to uncover your client’s hidden problems

    ☑️ How to earn the right to solve your client’s problems and ultimately sell to them

    ☑️ How you can use Story Selling as a tool in your sales toolkit 


    Here are ways to follow Christine Miles:


    Get a copy of her book WHAT IS IT COSTING YOU NOT TO LISTEN? →

    Episode Transcript:

    Jennifer: If you want to learn how to sell more real estate, you’ve got to learn first how to genuinely connect with people, how to influence people, and most importantly how to solve their problems. But you can’t solve problems that you don’t see.

    Well in today’s episode, I’ve got Christine Miles on the show who is going to break down exactly how to do this through a process called transformational listening. By the end of this episode, you’re going to learn when working with clients how to hear what is not only being said but even more importantly what is not being said. You’re going to learn how to see what’s not only on the surface but what’s underneath it and once you know how to do this it is going to transform how you show up, lead, influence, sell, and ultimately succeed in every aspect of your life.

    Christine welcome to the show. I am so excited to have you here after reading your book What Is It Costing You Not To Listen. While I was reading it had so many aha moments where I was like oh yes yes yes and I think that my audience is also going to get so much value from kind of listening to this episode so welcome to the show.

    Christine: Well thank you for having me and I appreciate that you read the very nice book.

    Jennifer: Yeah no it was I’m gonna make my whole team that I work with read it. It’s a game changer I think. Real estate agents are always asking me you know how can I sell more, how can I influence people more, how can I get people to make decisions it all starts with learning how to listen properly and put properly in quotes because I think like there’s so much misunderstanding and sort of myths around what listening properly actually is and how it can help you sell more, influence more, help people make decisions, lead, all of the things. So before we get into all of that good stuff why don’t you kind of quickly tell the listeners sort of who you are and how you got into doing what you do?

    Christine: Well, I’m Christine, Christine Miles. I live in the Philadelphia area for those who are interested in where I am in the market so to speak. So I’m in the Philly market. Yeah, so how did I get into this? So here’s the first tip I’ll give to your listeners, we all have a story as I said in the book we know that because Oprah said it, and if Oprah said it it must be true.

    And I bet that for most of your audience members that their interest in what they’re doing now in some way shape or form started just like mine did which is at a very early age. Fundamentally that whatever passion or purpose mine started from my childhood. I grew up with a mother who had mental health issues that stemmed from the loss of her mother from childbirth. So my mother was this very exuberant, warm, loving, kind of charismatic, lit-up-the-room woman who had this deep pain that nobody saw.

    Jennifer: Right.

    Christine: In reality, to some extent, we’re all in that boat. That’s we’re all faking it as I like to say and this was just she just talked about it and wore it and it was known. So my job was to understand that dichotomy of spirit and it you know there was some responsibility and that that wasn’t easy but the gift was I did learn to listen properly and differently at a young age.

    Jennifer: So that you didn’t even know that that’s what you were doing when did you discover the difference between like listening properly and just hearing?

    Christine: Well, so this was you know one of the rare things about my childhood as screwed up as it was in so many ways because you know you don’t study psychology unless you come from some level of crazy. So we all know that we fix what’s broken.

    Jennifer: FYI I studied psychology too.

    Christine: That’s the secret they don’t tell you when you enter you need help is what they mean when you go to school. Help yourself first so you can help others. So there was a lot of language we had a lot of conversation it was not an elephant in the room that my mother had this depression and anxiety and other things going on it was talked about and so there was a language of listening in my family not just in terms of what was expected.

    So it probably didn’t look that different for me but in high school is when I started to know that I was getting I was known for not what I did but more for how I showed up and it was more how I cared and paid attention to people so that was one thing. And then when I got out of undergraduate and I started working as a home-based family therapist so I’ve lived a version of the realtor’s life because I’ve not I’ve seen the houses and it’s not always fun what you say.

    Jennifer: I thought you were talking about the therapy part of it because we all feel like therapists too.

    Christine: You are because there’s a different level when you enter somebody’s home it just is so you’re it’s such a personal sale. That was my sales training when I went into people’s houses I took a job that wasn’t quote sales I could have you know got a sales job.

    I took a therapy job thinking I wasn’t selling and then I went on 22 and I have to convince them I can be their therapist never more selling did I do. And the reason I was successful and I was trained by clinicians who were very successful and well-known people through the Children’s Hospital of Philly I stood out because I had this listening thing. They called it joining they called you know what say that again in the therapy world, they call it joining. How do you join with the family quickly create that bond and kind of leverage who you are with them so that you can influence them right that’s probably when I started to get language around it.

    Jennifer: Nice and then how did you like how did you come to write a book how did you put a framework around it tell me a bit about that kind of process.

    Christine: In 2010, in particular, storytelling profoundly came onto the landscape we have to be able to tell a story and I believe in that as you can see from reading my book I believe stories are a powerful way to sell but I was like the world’s getting it wrong because you don’t know what story to tell unless you’ve gathered the right story first right yeah so I did a lot of like a tug of war to get organizations in particular to pay attention they weren’t ready for it I always snuck it in right and it was also that storytelling wasn’t getting adopted because it’s really hard unless you know how to gather a story first and that gets a lot easier. So over since that time I started honing in on how to make this tangible for people and to really help them learn the skill in a very simple you know transformative way right and when the pandemic hit I thought the world’s ready to listen about listening right and so I better get busy I wrote the book in the spring of 2021 pretty quickly and launched it in October.

    Jennifer: I love it there’s a quote or a line in this book that I highlighted because it really really stood out to me and I want to use it as a bit of a jumping-off point you say here that listening differently is hearing not only what is said but also what is not said seeing what is not only on the surface but what lies below the surface and that to me sums up the whole skill of what kind of transformational listening like you call it is versus attentive listening so let’s kind of start with that so how are people traditionally taught to listen which is that attentive listening and how does it differ from transformational listening.

    Christine: well again I so appreciate that you’re bringing this up because there is a big difference and I’ll even go back a step kind of go back to the beginning most of us have zero years of education on listening zero I mean I’m a prime example master in psychology from a pretty good school if I do say so myself I was trained by world-renowned clinicians never had a course on listening to my family was my upbringing so elementary schools high schools colleges nothing’s paid attention you may get a course in a sales training or in executive coaching you know uh program something like that or a workshop where they’ll do attentive or they call it active listening how do I actively listen to you which is like I’m going to show you I’m paying attention exactly and I’m going to do behaviors that will help you feel heard or feel paid attention to I might get more out of that than I would have if I hadn’t done that so it’s a step in the right direction.

    Jennifer: right better than nothing.

    Christine: but it’s what to do and not how to do it and so it’s things like let me make eye contact let me look at what you’re doing well, first of all, that’s very American of us to think that eye contact is a solution to problems because culturally that’s not the way the world thinks or operates what I see may not be what other people see because we’re not no we don’t know what to look for right it’s also let me repeat what you said okay that feels good until you just repeat it without understanding it that’s a different problem.

    Jennifer: so my husband does that yeah.

    Christine: let’s talk about all the time the kids can repeat the words but not the meaning yeah so it’s really about finding the meaning and that’s what’s transformational because when you find the meaning in the conversation it’s a discovery people are bought into you in a different way because you understand them and that’s what leads to the influence that’s what leads to the ability to sell more connect more do more with them because the trust of you understand me is what sells.

    Jennifer: Well it’s you get me maybe even more than I get myself and probably more right and when somebody feels that way how can they not want to you know a. spend more time with you we work with you you know it’s the one thing that I think stands between those who um have those connections with people and those who try to get them by like following that active listening process which I almost feel like it’s so known and overdone that people know when it’s being done to them and they almost it feels disingenuous do you know what I mean.

    Christine: yeah and I would say that a lot of people don’t even know what’s happening because it’s just so bad it’s like it’s a bad movie right I mean it’s and when I anybody who’s putting effort it is going to be ahead of the game so because I, unfortunately, you said it earlier like it’s a problem we don’t know we have because we’re told to listen not taught we’ve been listening all our lives it’s like kind of like saying you’re walking wrong you know well I’ve been doing it my whole life I’m doing something right I’m still up on two feet right but in reality maybe your hips off a little bit or maybe something’s wrong and you don’t know it until you fix it and then you’re like wow yeah so um so if you’re thinking I’m trying to actively listen to this will be a lot easier for you because you already know it’s something you need to pay attention to.

    Jennifer: right and um one of the things that you talked about and I and I said this to you at the beginning of our conversation before we started recording was one of the like outcomes that I wanted for this episode was for the listeners to understand how important it is that they get this right and that they learn this skill because it truly is the difference between like either not making it at all or having a mediocre business and having a like a thriving business where you literally can’t keep up with it and I think I think sometimes the easiest way to kind of connect those two dots is to like to talk about what are the consequences of not listening right like what are we losing what are the opportunities that we’re losing by not learning how to listen in a transformational way.

    Christine: well so I I think it’s you know how do you empathize with that right and understand it and I I would encourage everybody to just take a moment and think what is the experience I feel and have when someone doesn’t listen to me in an important sale or an important conversation do you want to go back for more do you go I’m never dealing with that person again like that visceral you know when you’re really not being hurt understood and it’s like I don’t want more of that that doesn’t mean that’s not cake right cake makes me want more at least for me wow that’s that’s not what that is so when you understand well what would I you know what I feel is lousy after something like that and that makes me not want to go back that’s what you’re inadvertently doing to your own customer base without knowing it because intention and impact here have nothing to do with one another right we go in we go in for the impact we want to and we try to pay attention and what what I know is even with good intentions it doesn’t work because you can’t go you know what we call the listening path is the solution which is into the conversation you wouldn’t go hiking in the woods without tools or supplies in your backpack for two weeks that’s crazy right I need food I need water I need tools same with conversations we go in completely unprepared and we fail and we’re not going to notice we fail because we don’t know what good looks like as you said we don’t know what failing looks like because it’s death by a thousand cuts it’s not a gaping wound guess what they just don’t call you back guess what they just come to business with you guess what the next person’s down the line they just go to that person or they just go maybe not now it’s the land of indecision right the land of.

    Jennifer: so death by a thousand I always said death by a thousand paper cuts I I love that saying because it’s so it’s not one big thing that happened right that made them not decide to want to work with you it’s like it’s a bunch of little things that over time they just get this feeling that you you either aren’t interested or don’t know or understand you know where they’re coming from how they feel but I think the even bigger opportunity is again when people don’t even know themselves that there’s something and you are able to uncover that when you’re able to do that they have such a aha moment of oh my gosh you get me better than I get myself and now you’re like you’re invaluable to me right like I I can’t move forward without you in this process and that’s sort of where I would love for every single you know human to get to in life and so what are some go ahead.

    Christine: let me say something about that for you because so one of the things I know is that and I could not agree with you more because when you that’s the gift of understanding you helped me realize something I didn’t even know I don’t how am I going to go forward without you I wouldn’t you’re seeing something I didn’t see and that could feel like a lot of pressure to those who that’s a foreign language too and so one of the reliefs I want to give you is that your listeners are that it’s okay if you don’t figure that out on the first path. The tools that and the and the way to listen transformationally is to know that when you use the tools that will eventually come and you don’t have to be right or mystical about it like you don’t have to be able to walk in and hear what isn’t said with the customer and then where the client and go there you go it’s the process of the conversation that gets to the discovery and the tools do the work so that there’s not even empathy by the way because some people are like I don’t know I don’t have that level of empathy they look at me they look at you they look at their friends their wives where that woman’s empathetic I don’t know how to be right I know well that’s because we’re expected to be empathetic and then listen when in fact flip it when you go in to listen and you properly I like what you said empathy follows not the other way around.

    Jennifer: the other way around well and I’m living proof of that like I always thought of myself as not a very good listener I had to work really hard um and then I mentioned this to you I got certified as a coach and discovered just how bad I was and and it was a it was such a frustrating process for me because I was like just give me the roadmap just tell me what the the tool is tell me what to do what questions to ask and every time I would get in a especially in a one-on-one coaching situation I couldn’t put it all together I couldn’t put the listening to what they were saying thinking about what I needed to ask them next to get to the underlying like it just felt like I and I couldn’t write notes at the same time my brain just couldn’t do it all and I was like I can’t do this I’m not good at this but it was over time being put into the same kind of situations over and over and over again where now it’s like it’s almost like my hearing tunes into some things and is able to tune out the other stuff it’s almost like when you really like listen to people you can kind of tune out the noise and get to the root of what the real problem is the more you get good at that the faster you’re able to do it but my lord does it take to practice.

    Christine: well it does and so and I am an athlete by background and um you know I wasn’t a natural athlete most people laugh at that when they see me now but that’s only because I practiced a lot right so I was I willed myself into athleticism it wasn’t gifted to me um but when you have the right coach and the right tools it’s a lot easier to do it well so I learned to play golf when I was in my 40s I was in a motor vehicle accident when I was 28 a longer story I really learned how people struggle with understanding what they can’t see because the people that loved and cared about me had a cervical spine injury could not see what was wrong everybody’s like you look great and I was in like a level nine pain right a version of my mother’s experience just not emotional physical and so but so when I finally could hit a ball again I was so thrilled and I thought I’m an athlete I can hit a ball well golf is a little challenging to hit a ball even for someone who I had done it a little bit before but the first coach gave me a complicated way to learn golf and I didn’t get any better I just got more frustrated and then I got a coach that went there’s five things you need to know let’s just go over those and I went I can do five well I do four really um but you have to do them all you have to do them consecutively like you can’t just do one right and then expect the swing to work so that’s a little bit what you just described I think why it would feel complex right because you took all the pieces and you figured out how to bring them together which is what opened up the the insight right most most listening isn’t taught that way that’s what I believe we’re doing very differently which is there is a system to this there are foundational tools that need to be used in combination for that to happen and the the combination of those will bring that to you in a more efficient way.

    Jennifer: right I love that so before we get there let’s start with like what are some of the things that people do um that really hinder listening and understanding what are some of those like bad habits that we’ve developed those listening inhibitors so to speak.

    Christine: yeah well the the brain is one of the there’s two great enemies of listening the the primary one is our brain it’s a superpower you talked about all these things that were going on in your head right that’s our conscience you made it conscious you were what’s the word you were consciously incompetent and one I don’t know what I’m doing right well that’s that’s the first place to get to confidence yeah competence right unconscious incompetence isn’t where you want to be so so you have to you have to realize that first you have to realize where you need to go um and but the brain is in overdrive telling us to do everything but listen because we have our own story going off in our brains right our own I this house is beautiful it meets all the specs that they told me they wanted you know I have this is perfect you go in with all your own story and then they’re telling you and you’re like it doesn’t match your brain’s going to contaminate their story for example right that’s one um rehearsing what we say is another inhibitor like what I’m not sure what how I’m in a response so I’m thinking about my response you said that I didn’t know what question asked you were rehearsing the question yeah how can you listen and rehearse at the same time it doesn’t work that way yep but here’s one of the biggest enemies of listening which is experience and knowledge the more you’ve seen the same problem over and over again the more you know how to fix that problem the less you’re likely to listen.

    Jennifer: so true so true.

    Christine: yep so when you’re listening you’re a you’re on a broadway stage and you’ve done the show 500 times but that audience hasn’t seen it before so you’re singing or in this case listening as if they’ve never heard it we need to listen like a five-year-old we need to listen like a like a broadway actress that has not been in the show before right we have to kind of let go of all of our preconceived ideas about what might or might not be happening even if it feels like a repeated situation that’s and it’s a sales trap to rush to solving and solutioning even if you know the answer and experience and knowledge make us want to fast track that even more now telling you that isn’t enough but knowing that is helpful that alone will not prevent you from doing it um you need the road map but that knowing that i’m gonna i’m about to problem solve i’m about to sell i’m about to try they’re not ready until people feel understood understanding someone even if you think you already understand really helping them feel understood is what earns you the right to sell to connect to influence to to do all those other things all.

    Jennifer: yeah exactly I um that is such an I think that plays out whether it’s in a work situation you know in a relationship situation it’s so relevant to like you don’t get to solve the problem and I think so many of us just want to fix things right we just want to get it fixed and kind of move on and get to the end result that we’re looking for and again I think we self-sabotage.

    Christine: well and I also say and I’m gonna I’ll preface this with you you can bleep this but you’re not an asshole if you want to help.

    Jennifer: I won’t delete that that’s all good good.

    Christine: so I believe most salespeople not all but the majority are there to help are they there to make money do your listeners get joy out of finding the right property?

    Jennifer: of course they do.

    Christine: yes it feels great but that’s not all it’s about.

    Jennifer: no.

    Christine: purposeful purpose-driven work you know that’s not what this is about so yeah I see the solution I want to help you that doesn’t mean you were ready and I learned this as a therapist because people used to come into my office and you know by 28 years old I had a decent amount of experience right and so they go how I go how do you want me to help you and they’d be like I want you to help me solve this and I want you to help me do this and I’d be like okay and then I’d start telling them right and guess what they do they’d start arguing with me about why they couldn’t do the very thing they asked me to tell them to do yeah and I went this is a sales trap yeah even if sometimes the person rushing to solve is the one that’s asking for the help and that’s if we take that bait it’s clickbait we go down that rabbit hole we’re going to go down a rabbit hole of no that’s a rabbit hole to know.

    Jennifer: right oh I love that so much that like it’s yeah so how do we like how do we get out of that um that that trap how do we get out of that rabbit hole in terms of like how when we come into any situation with somebody what are the things that like I believe in the book um you talked about like your subconscious and the stories that we have our own stories that kind of affect our actions that then affect the person that we are trying to affect did that make sense.

    Christine: but we’re that’s what we say that our story contaminates right the whole situation so so one of the things so two things one is based on what I just said understand this about human beings nobody likes to be told what to do.

    Jennifer: right even though we think we want to be told because it feels easier.

    Christine: it does but we don’t human nature is to resist being told yeah okay so that’s what I said even when people say tell me they don’t necessarily mean that right you’ve understood first and you’ll see you’ll feel the difference from people because they’ll add they’ll it’ll be a different feeling when they’re ready for you to really tell them if they come in and say tell me what house you think we need to tell me where we need to go whoa whoa whoa slow that train down.

    Jennifer: right yes yes.

    Christine: and the second is to understand this whether you’re selling you know a home a property talking to your kids talking to your spouse talking to your parents talking to someone in the grocery store the Uber driver you are always listening to a story whether that story is 10 seconds or two hours it is a story and so you talked about the road map and it is I’ve realized recently the irony of being one of the most directionally challenged people on the face of the earth that there is I have created a literal GPS for listening to its kind of so ironic but that this is the only map that makes sense to me is that you need to know where you are in the story to know how to navigate where you are.

    Jennifer: Okay that is like I have to literally let that process for a second you need to know where you are in the story basically to know like exactly how to move forward in the story and is that you need to know where you are in their story or even your own story or both.

    Christine: well so now oh that’s a good question I love that question very so so yes and one story at a time first know their story then know your story so that when that happens you’re at a different level of listening now you’re in the movie and directing the movie at the same time so that’s a different level but you’re saying something very important which is there’s a lot of stories going on but right now I’m just talking about the story of your customer your client your partner your child.

    Jennifer: right so you’re you need to understand sort of where you’re at in their story and where they are.

    Christine: yeah so so that’s one of the first that’s the primary tool on the listening path okay so why do we call it the listening path it’s the path to understanding not just let me listen to attend or pay attention or be active but listen to get to the insight or the understanding.

    Jennifer: so I think because I’m sorry to interrupt you can we maybe just like high-level outline what that listening path is so that because this is my brain trying to like where are we now on the path so yes if you just give us a high-level overview of it and then we’ll dive back into that.

    Christine: that’s perfect so as I said you don’t go hiking in the woods without those tools or supplies right one of the things you would need if you were going on a two-week journey is you’d need a trail map right otherwise you going to get lost okay and when we go when you go anywhere now we have this thing called a GPS that shows us exactly where we are and how to get there right so the path is that main path to the story okay the path of their story the path of where you need to get them and just like movies right so that’s the backup right what’s the main thing we’re doing we’re outlining that path and then there are tools on the path that help you get to the understanding.

    Jennifer: gotcha okay.

    Christine: and in the book, I talk about the five primary tools and then we also do what works well beyond those where there are lots of listening tools that you continually put in your backpack and you go from novice to expert right so the book and the last third of the book is called the listening path which has those foundational tools okay.

    Jennifer: gotcha yes.

    Christine: the math is the first tool the second are what we call the stops or the milestones so that’s a tool and they’re they co-mingle because the stops are on the map right so why are they stop well it’s just like a movie there are stories right when we watch a movie and.

    Jennifer: is it like different paths that the story can take or is that kind of what you mean?

    Christine: there’s usually a story arc is what they call in Hollywood right there’s an arc to the story you read in a book there’s an arc to story yeah there are many stories all of the hero’s journey that’s right and most people will say it’s really beginning middle and end right okay so are you in the middle of the movie are you at the beginning of the movie or at the end of the movie where are you sales filter too by the way you’ll start to qualify in and out whether people are serious about buying when you figure out where they are on the path.

    Jennifer: gotcha gotcha okay so but we talk is 201 stops is 202.

    Christine: that’s right and those stops are important because when you know where you are you start to know what questions to ask right okay but we talk about the stops being for because there’s a beginning a struggle a tipping point and a new beginning yeah when you’re selling what you know in the real estate market the new beginning is they have a new property or house right right yep that’s the new beginning you want them to be in the struggle where they’re looking for that and can’t you know because that’s where you come in you get to be the tipping point to get them to the new beginning right now but if they’re already like at their new beginning they’re not going to buy right you know they’re just kicking the tires and they want to go to some open houses so most people start in the middle of the movie they usually start with some version of the problem we need a house with four bedrooms three bathrooms and a backyard with a pool right that they’re they’re talking about the need but that’s really not necessarily the problem right right what happens in your conversations with people what they start there and then what do you do you you find out more don’t you.

    Jennifer: well I always joke buyers are liars because of what they say and I tell them that like I would literally what that was part of my like introduction onboarding process I would say I have a saying and its buyers are liars so everything that you tell me today 50 of it is going to be true and 50 of it is not going to be true and my job is to help you kind of become a true storyteller and not tell them you know the things that you think you want are not the things that you actually want.

    Christine: because reality comes in right it’s like when you’re you’re upgrading your house and you’re like I want this bathroom and that until that you get the price tag.

    Jennifer: you get the bill.

    Christine: well and so you said something so important there because this is what happened this is the other reason why people fail at listening is that while we’re wired to learn in stories and we are this is through just evolution right this is how traditions were passed down and so forth we’re not wired to be good storytellers so with the story the person talking or the storyteller confuses the listener from the moment one because they don’t know where they are in the movie you liars are liars but they think they’re telling you the truth don’t they yeah because you know where they are in the story yes it’s your job to guide them on the path and that’s what we mean about the listening path and being a listener is about guiding them to their own story.

    Jennifer: right helping them see their own story.

    Christine: and find their way without getting lost on all these side trails.

    Jennifer: and without you telling them where they’re at right they’ve got to discover that on their own through your help obviously.

    Christine: well so yes and no because right what you’re doing is you’re telling them where they are you’re saying look I know you mean it but right you don’t know what you don’t know we’re still in the struggle right you’re very clearly orienting them to you think you know the solution but you couldn’t be more wrong you are firmly in the struggle and everything that you think you know is about to be disrupted and you’re going to learn that’s not at all what you think and so I’m going to show you that we’re in the struggle and we’re going to figure out what you really want after what you think you want right.

    Jennifer: yes totally and I think it did actually help to give them that awareness of even if they didn’t see it yet at least they and then eventually they were like oh yeah you were right like they did remember it after the fact right so it was helpful to just even open their eyes to it.

    Christine: yeah and I you know I might say to a client you know what they say tell me I might go well you’re not ready for you’re not there yet right you’re still trying to figure out where the conflict is and where the problem is where so when you keep people when you know where you are on the map of the path you’ll help others be with you and that slows them down and helps them stay focused so you don’t chase squirrels from the past.

    Jennifer: well and that’s like such a complaint that I hear from agents all the time is that they feel like they’re chasing squirrels and they’re going in a million different directions and like they can’t affect change to get them on the right path to the destination.

    Christine: that’s right so knowing where you are is a huge part of that.

    Jennifer: yeah so that’s so map stops what was what did you call the third one.

    Christine: next word well is the compass okay so that’s what we call the six most powerful questions so there are six questions on the compass that questions if they’re the only questions you ever asked you’d get more than you ever were with any specific questions it’s hard to convince people of that but we show them all the time because when we teach people how to listen differently we restrict them to only those six questions and they’re like I can’t do it and then within a day they’re like I get it.

    Jennifer: Well and again my audience doesn’t know that we talked about this but before we started recording I was telling Christine that like I have a laminated two-page list of questions that I like I needed as my toolbox when I was starting to learn how to code people and like two pages laminated front and back so if you had just given me six questions oh my god I would have loved that that would have been heaven compared to what I had.

    Christine: well and even two pages isn’t a lot relative by speaking but it’s just too much for your brain to comprehend because now we’re back to the golf lessons you tell me 20 things versus tell me four and I’m in a different boat so the questions are the reason they’re called the compass is that they’re guaranteed to get you back on the main path.

    Jennifer: Love it!

    Christine: Okay so let the compass do the work and orient both you and your
    customer, in this case, we call them the hiker as the person that’s telling the story um is that you’re guiding them back to the path and so these are the questions that journalists use great interviewers use um a therapist use so they’re pretty basic everybody tells you to ask open-ended questions it’s very hard to do for most right we’re fact driven so here’s one of the most powerful questions you can ask and it relates directly to the map take me back to the beginning.

    Jennifer: so true because that question helps the listener or the person that’s in the story your client start to orient themselves of where they’re at right.

    Christine: that’s right and most people don’t start at the beginning no you start the problem I need a house and you’re like no buyers or liars and you’re like let me see you get here.

    Jennifer: yeah take me back to the beginning.

    Christine: take me back to where’d this started take me back to the beginning think about when you watch a movie if you catch it 20 minutes in and have never seen it before what happens?

    Jennifer: you’re confused.

    Christine: who are the characters what’s involved where did this start what you can’t get you can’t get crowded and you’re you know whoever you’re watching the movie with you’re bugging what was that about you know?

    Jennifer: how did we get here?

    Christine: and so if you know that you know that most people start with the struggle the second stop not the first question is just take me back where did this start and then shut up and they’ll tell you because their beginning is their beginning you might find out that even more later but you’re starting at least in their minds where they think this began right.

    Jennifer: and so take me back to the beginning love that so that’s one of the questions what else.

    Christine: so I’ll go through kind of clear what happened next okay okay there are four situational or fact questions there are two feeling questions so the next one is a feeling question which is how does that make you feel or how did that make you feel now I this is a very personal sale you’re in I believe no matter what you’re selling you need to be asking feeling questions but the more personal the sale the more you better be asking the feeling questions.

    Jennifer: right well and it’s so true because the feeling things like that’s the root of it right this is like somebody’s home it’s the most important thing like around that feeling of belonging and grounding and safety the feeling questions are so important when you treat it as a transaction that’s when you’re going to lose people right when people feel like you you know said at the beginning heard connected you understood

    Christine: And people buy emotionally regardless of the sale this is particularly because it’s such a huge investment and they will live their lives here yeah uh so and by the way they also want to have an amazing experience if possible buying the home of their dreams because it sucks when it’s not fun like it’s stressful but it’s supposed to bring you like joy yeah yeah so how does that make you feel okay then here’s tell me more yep tell me more and by the way I encourage your listeners to start listening for these questions they’ll see them that they’re used all the time people are like they’re going to know I’m saying that I go don’t care and no they no, they won’t I’d love to have a common language where everybody knows they’re being listened to in a compelling way right that’s a better world so and then so tell me more than it’s and this is another version of tell me more that’s almost imperceptible in terms of it’s verbal but not really it’s when you’re really listening you’re encouraging the talker to tell you more through the it’ll happen naturally.

    Jennifer: right interesting!

    Christine: you’ve done that throughout the course of us talking you’re nodding you know it’s there right and then last but not least is another feeling question which is how it sounds like you feel so it sounds like you feel the kitchen’s the most important house part of the room in the house for you or it sounds like you want separation like you feel like you need some privacy so you better have your own office whatever that that feeling is yeah.

    Jennifer: yeah I love that so you’re saying it sounds like you feel and you’re specifically repeating something that is related to how they’re feeling about something not how they think about something.

    Christine: correct and you’re naming the feeling by the way it doesn’t matter if you get it wrong

    Jennifer: Okay people worry about that.

    Christine: well so you sound frustrated right no I’m not frustrated I’m angry great you just told me how you actually feel perfect I didn’t have to be right I had to care right I’m like this it sounds like this is you know you’re really happy about this no I’m not really happy about or yeah I’m thrilled oh you’re thrilled another level okay great right so it’s not this is where it’s uh it’s not about being right it’s about being with them and and and and guiding them to their own emotions.

    Jennifer: gotcha and so one of the um I’m taking a bit of a detour here one of the things that I noticed in my own coaching with people is I’ll often ask a question and when they’re stuck and they don’t even see it they’ll answer with I don’t know um and that would always like to cause me a roadblock I don’t know where to go from here with I don’t know but one of the tools that I was given that has actually like it sounds so stupid but I will often say well if you did know and it’s like that’s a key that unlocks something and then all of a sudden they do have the answer but it’s like the pressure of needing to know they couldn’t find it but the second that door got unlocked it’s there so that was a tool that I use that has worked really really well and it works with my kids I use it with them all the time well if you did know what.

    Christine: it looks like hypothesizing.

    Jennifer: right exactly!

    Christine: so the other things that’ll work tell me more yeah more about not knowing it’s okay how does it make you feel right I feel terrible because I feel like I should know and then you open up another dialogue as well.

    Jennifer: right um okay so just those questions take me back to the beginning um and what happened next tell me more.

    Christine: how’s it make you feel?

    Jennifer: how’s it make you feel? What was the other feeling question?

    Christine: it sounds like you feel.

    Jennifer: it sounds like you feel and the other nice thing about that one is it does do a little bit of that reflecting back thing which is a part of that attentive listening or whatever which it bugs me when people do that to me because I know what they’re doing but doing it that way it just sounds more like I don’t know genuine or something like it actually.

    Christine: I have to make a guess yeah I’m gonna try to at least take a stab at it like oh so you know I’m gonna take a genuine stab I just want to put the relief out that you don’t have to be right it’s really you know it’s really more about just seeking to understand what the feeling actually is and people will tell you um nobody’s ever said to me by the way how dare you ask me how I feel it’s always like they just tell me you know they just you know it’s the most um difficult question at first for people to want to ask that no one will notice.

    Jennifer: and so I know I can already hear right now um a question that i’m sure people have got is I get this all the time where they’ll say I don’t know how to start so not so much when they have a client um i think that one feels a little bit more kind of tangible but what about the situations where they’re trying to connect with somebody to and not for the purposes of getting them as a client but ultimately that’s hopefully the end result um but you know how do they connect with somebody in a setting or in a situation that isn’t directly real estate related they meet somebody you know in the change room I use this example all the time because i got more clients in the change room at my tennis club than any other location and they were always like i don’t know how to start conversations I don’t know how to like get to that place where i start to form a connection so are there any tools that you can use that help you get into their listening or into their story questions that you can ask where you’re given the opportunity to sort of build some of these skills.

    Christine: yeah um well there are lots of ways to do that so one is you know what you do is what we ask each other all the time right um so so what do you do oh I am a doctor uh you know okay, for example, all right take me back when did that start like how young were you when you wanted to be a doctor right beginning question you know oh I was seven ohs really no tell me more then you’re just going back to their story that’s one way it’s just too that’s very discombobulating because most people don’t you know they go oh you’re a doctor what kind of doctor where do you work and it’s all fact fact fact fact you get to know somebody when you go back and say when did that begin right how young were you when that began.

    Jennifer: right I love that that’s such a different like approach angle on it than just getting fact-based answers which then feels like you’re like firing off questions and it’s not like conversational driven from there whereas like oh my god tell me how did you get started you know one of my kids has thought about that tell me about your journey kind of thing.

    Christine: yeah and really go way back to the beginning think of that movie that usually our purpose shows up very early in our lives and so you know I had a lawyer sitting one time I knew I wanted to be a lawyer at eight because my parents used to like talk business my grandmother owned a like consignment store with it was all home stuff it was well beyond her year like before her generation right and he all the lawyers would they always talked about the lawyers would tell her no and I wanted to be the lawyer that told her yes right it’s like so the other side of that and this is also in the book um is that you need to listen to yourself and understand your own purpose and so to me a lot of people can hang up a shingle and say they’re a real estate agent that doesn’t mean they’re good at it.

    Jennifer: right so true!

    Christine: because I think a lot of people the attraction is making my own hours live my lifestyle make a big sale and they don’t realize how hard it is and then that makes it harder for the really committed and good ones to differentiate themselves and so what makes you different or special about why you do this is also a way to start I’m much like I shared with me like I often will say something like people says what do you do and I go well we teach organizations how to listen transformatively my belief is I have one-word understanding I believe when you understand yourself and others differently then that changes all your results it elevates everything right and now we’re in a different conversation now they know who I am and then I might go back to my beginning and tell my story.

    Jennifer: right and so on that listening path so once we figure out you know
    where they are in the journey what those stops are we’ve got the compass with the question of what comes after that.

    Christine: so what comes after that is exactly what you just did which is the flashlight so I appreciate that you just

    Jennifer: you didn’t do that on purpose

    Christine: people think about like when I say flashlight they think about reflecting and while there’s some reflection it’s really more of a summary okay so how do I know I know that there’s a map it’s like imagine you’re summarizing a movie right you would say well the plot began here and you would say there were two k you know there was this character and that character and that’s what they were doing and then you would move to the struggle and the problems and you’d summarize that and then you’d move to this point and summarize that and to wherever you are in the story and when you do that in 10 to 90 seconds summarizing both facts and feelings then your flashlight let me show you the trail we’ve walked together let me show you what important things you’ve told me facts and feelings so that I know we’re in the same place that’s what the flashlight does that’s what you just did you didn’t share feelings but you shared the summary of what we talked about

    Jennifer: so it’s kind of like like you said a recap basically um and how important is it to like to talk about those like or to reiterate that kind of facts and feelings that got discovered is that a critical piece of it.

    Christine: it’s really critical and here’s why you want to differentiate yourself the most powerful story you can tell someone is their own and when your flashlight when you use the flashlight this is your opportunity to be the storyteller to them about them.

    Jennifer: so you’re the storyteller of their story

    Christine: correct you just told me your story now I’m going to tell it back to you right it is incredibly powerful this is really how people come to their own conclusions because you’re shining a light on what they told you they’re not They’re just talking right now you’re shining a light on what they said and they’re hearing it for the first time and it’s like wow to you that you heard all that and wow to me I didn’t realize that so a flashlight is very powerful because we don’t that’s a lot of what we don’t do and I’m not talking about repeating I’m talking about surprising tell me your story imagine some stranger walks in the room and you just had a client or customer and you told that story to the new person so they knew exactly what you heard that’s how this looks.

    Jennifer: right instead of the repeating back it’s not a repeating back and so in that process are you like providing any of your own insights into the story or are you just reflecting back what the story is

    Christine: not yet you’re just reflecting back now you want to do that in a meaningful way that doesn’t mean you can’t paraphrase right or interpret but you want to be careful that you don’t contaminate it and that takes us to the next tool right we’re inevitably going to contaminate it because our brains are the enemy of so again it’s not about getting it right here’s what’s going to now you so you’ve walked the path you have the map you go to the four stops you’ve used the six questions the compass to stay on the path you’ve gotten all the story and now you’re flashlighting you’re reflecting it back you’re summarizing it and then you go I’m going to make sure I didn’t contaminate it so you get out your water filter because you want to remove the contamination of the story and you say let me see if I get you did I get you right.

    Jennifer: so that’s the question you ask after you do the summarization is did I get that right i is that accurate.

    Christine: yeah now I’m gonna change that language a little bit because we do tend to say did I get that right or is that accurate and that’s all fact what I want to make sure of is that you connect with the human and the feelings I learned this from a gentleman named Mike Bosworth who wrote solution so in the 70s and 80s for xerox very powerful methodology he talks about that one of his books that there’s situational awareness and there’s people awareness and do I get you are both.

    Jennifer: right and so is that the actual question is do I get you?

    Christine: it’s really I call it a prompt and here’s why I call it a prompt because it’s I’m going to prompt you to tell me whether you got me or not and that prompt you’re going to respond in a few ways one is you’re going to say you get me and you’re going to mean it you’re most often this is what happens yeah you got me but let me tell you all the things you didn’t get right beautiful by the way because now they’re protecting you and they’re telling you everything you quite missed and they’re now they’re like now they’re telling you no I want you to understand this now you know you have them right.

    Jennifer: right I love how you flip the script on that doesn’t view that as oh I totally missed the vote on that one now you’re getting a whole new map with a whole new set of tools.

    Christine: it doesn’t matter like they’re telling you more that’s awesome here’s what happens I think in what you’re trying to help the audience not get and we call that the urban dictionary and in sales there’s a very bad word associated we will just say grin fudge okay for the think of the audience um you can look it up the urban dictionary it’s in there I wrote about in the book but that’s when someone tells you yes but means no it’s really a sales term for you know what you know f off I don’t want to see you again I’m not I’m not even going to take the time to tell you why you don’t get me because you didn’t connect with me enough.

    Jennifer: right interesting.

    Christine: people are polite where they don’t want to tell you so they’ll just say yeah yeah I’m gonna I’ll be back in touch right you just got an urban dictionary.

    Jennifer: gotcha and that means what like where did you go wrong or do you not really know?

    Christine: well you want to pay attention because what you can think is I just gained a customer when really they’re just out shopping for another agent right for one or yeah you sort of understand but not really and they’re not gonna they haven’t they don’t trust you enough to tell you so you want to pay attention to are they telling you more when you ask do I get you are they really sincerely yep you got me or are there are do you feel like what are your little spidey senses up that maybe there’s more.

    Jennifer: it’s like they’re giving you platitudes or whatever.

    Christine: yeah we’re just not used to paying attention we’re used to saying oh you know yeah we’re in a good place no you have to watch it it’s like somebody walking down the hall and you go how’s your day going and they go oh I’m doing great and you’re like you found out later that they had a fight with their spouse or they’re miserable and they just gave you the urban dictionary right we do that all the time we have to look for that and when we get that water filter out and we really get somebody now we’re getting closer to really being able to shift and building a connection that we can start to sell and problem solve and otherwise.

    Jennifer: that makes so much sense um and knowing so is there anything at that point when somebody does respond that way that you can do to kind of I don’t know course correct save go back.

    Christine: I do it all the time because I just know that sometimes people don’t think you really care enough to really want to get it right so there’s that there’s politeness there’s you know sometimes I’ll be on like a Zoom call like this I’ll be like hey so-and-so how are you doing and they’re like yeah I’m great you know and I go well that doesn’t sound good like I that that didn’t match for me and then they just go blah.

    Jennifer: so you call it out.

    Christine: totally call it out or if I were if I summarize if I use the flashlight and I see your face going I go wait a second I don’t think I got that no no no you got me I don’t think so what did I miss take me back what did I miss I’m not lying.

    Jennifer: I like that approach I actually remember using that with a guy one time I was like well that wasn’t um I think I said to him well that wasn’t genuine and he he was a lawyer I did end up doing a lot of work with lawyers and he appreciated that I called him out on the like yeah.

    Christine: it’s actually it’s a verb in our when we teach this we help people pay attention we have a card we’re developing a game that we’re working to it so and the gamification and I mean a board game, by the way, okay it’s very tangible so you see the tools and people are like they love the urban dictionary because it’s like I they’re in meetings I just got the urban dictionary like they start to see it you know start to see it changes the game.

    Jennifer: Okay so that’s the whole path correct.

    Christine: that’s the found foundational tools on the path yes that’s how you start to transform how you listen we also could talk about one other tool which is a foundational tool which is the footprints which are now I’m on the path with you I don’t need to wait till the end I can ask little moments where I reflect feelings or facts along the path um.

    Jennifer: so that’s sort of in the moment while they’re in the story you can use that tool to just kind of show that you’re engaged in and hearing them.

    Christine: what you just did right there is a mini reflection yes we call those footprints because sometimes the person talking is going to get ahead of you or fall behind and you want to make sure you’re staying step in step.

    Jennifer: gotcha I love that and so at what stage do we earn the right to solve people’s problems and provide advice?

    Christine: well I think when we earn we earn the right when we’ve truly understood and gotten them okay and we have to think about how big or what are we what’s the ask right so have I earned the right to tell you you don’t really want a kitchen for this much or that much you know or this neighborhood isn’t as important as you thought versus you’re not even in the right category of the house like there are different levels of earning the right but the way to do that is to make sure you are reflecting and summarizing and telling them their own story asking if you get them and if you don’t get that urban dictionary now you’ve started to earn the right.

    Jennifer: interesting I love it and so one of the other things that you talked about in the book that we didn’t really cover is what’s the difference between story selling and storytelling.

    Christine: well they can be used interchangeably the the difference is I think what people you know if you have to tell somebody something the best way to tell them is with a story right it’s just the best way to sell it and stories don’t have to be 20 minutes they can be 30 seconds right you know you said i um i had a lawyer that and you gave that example that’s an example of how you tell a story to make a point um the good news is when you learn to listen through gathering a story you’re already becoming a storyteller so we’re building that muscle the first story you’re telling somebody is their own so you’re just a storyteller now you know the components of the story when you start to language things that way you bring people along in various ways on the path and so you don’t have to give them all the facts you make the point that they might not they might sit in their car and go I didn’t even know what she said to me but something’s clicking i bought an um a mini cooper several many years ago now and I was an accident victim and you know people and I’m tall and five nine and people are already in the mini cooper for I loved it was right but i saw I got the one the club men and then they had the countrymen which was the bigger version and I thought well this has got to be safer right so I called my guy and I go I was like damn it I bought the wrong car right not yet and I called him and I said so I saw this countryman and what is this a lot safer and blah blah and he goes no the airbags are the same but this is the same I’m like who is this guy he’s not trying to sell me this car and I’m driving on my Bluetooth and he goes I go okay well I appreciate it thanks he was waiting to hold on a second however I had a customer who was on route 30 and 113 last week she somebody pulled out in front of her she got clipped she walked out of the car he ended up in the hospital for three you know two weeks whatever and she was fine unscathed I go and he says okay let me know if you need anything I thought about what a perfect so he knew it was an accident perfect story if you tell me about the airbags if he’d told me all the safety features that weren’t what he told me is a woman who I wanted the story ending that she had yeah now the car unscathed very powerful guess what I bought the car.

    Jennifer: and so I think where it’s so funny how you like you know when I gave the lawyer example I didn’t even realize that that was what I was doing but I do that a lot and so I think when we hear all about this like storytelling concept it’s you’re right it is like all the rage I think people think they have to be bigger more elaborate stories than they do um I think it can be literal just little quips of things that just help people connect the dots on things but how do you go about or do you or should you kind of go about building up a library of those little stories that you can use like is that something you should be intentional around and like deliberate about.

    Christine: so yes it’s the answer to that 100 and it’s not the first step because what I can tell you is that I fundamentally believe and have proven throughout my career with others and myself that you will sell more just by listening than any story you ever tell.

    Jennifer: I love that!

    Christine: yeah so do the simple stupid as they say.

    Jennifer: you know simple stupid.

    Christine: and we we do as we you know one of the things you have to that makes you what we call an expert listener or transformational listener is the ability to tell stories along the path to bring the hiker along but that’s a more advanced skill right so so if we look at kind of the wheel of how do you evolve to be a real conversational guide and a listening guide start play start learn the notes of the piano right yeah you can you know you can sound pretty good at the piano if you really learn the fundamentals right you’re not an improvising yet so so I would say less is more but we call that the rope well now we’re getting into more advanced tools because the stories help you really stay connected on the path and bring somebody over difficult obstacles those little moments help that happen but that’s definitely a more advanced skill and one you’re too at risk of telling too much if you go there first.

    Jennifer: well and if you don’t build the muscle first of learning how to just shut up and listen right it’s like you you only earn the right to start telling the stories once you’ve mastered the ability to get really good at listening and uncovering what their story is what their problems are etc before you need to have kind of like tactics and strategies yeah I love it is there anything that we didn’t talk about that you think oh man I wish we’d covered this topic this would be really helpful.

    Christine: um one of the things that I want to caution uh your listeners about is using the words I understand okay so because like as someone who’s been in the business and career of listening when someone says to me I understand never do I feel less understood oh so true.

    Jennifer: interesting I love that.

    Christine: so this is where the tools do the work so if you tell me if I tell you my story and you go yeah I understand I’m like you don’t understand by the way don’t even take my order at a restaurant that I want this on the side and no onions and this like without repeating what I actually ordered and why it’s important to me like I’m an ice fiend and so I ask for extra ice I know every time whether that server’s going to bring me extra ice.

    Jennifer: and how do you know?

    Christine: because they don’t see that I care about it I can tell because I’m so like crazy about it I want extra ice like in water whatever um.

    Jennifer: I just want extra ice.

    Christine: coming back they’re used to hearing light ice it’s the opposite of what most people want it’s so so I just have I now have enough cues that I just can tell the ones that go look at me at the x-ray yep and they and then they feed me cups of ice as I put them better I’m not that you know so so it the words I understand don’t do it because they’re devoid of any real concreteness to.

    Jennifer: it feels like a platitude thing right?

    Christine: yeah and I think it’s genuine most of the time but it doesn’t convey understanding the only way to convey understanding is to use your flashlight and tell the story they just told you and ask for the do I get you with your water filter there’s where understanding happens anything you knew it all right up to that point you 100 get it all you don’t do that they’re not going to feel understood you’ve just lost an incredible opportunity right so so be aware in our personal relationships as well under the words I understand don’t mean the second thing is and this is more of an advanced tool is interrupting is a very powerful form of listening.

    Jennifer: I do that all the time.

    Christine: but not to talk.

    Jennifer: right oh I do that.

    Christine: but in something and again now we’re getting into more advanced tools but I will say that we think interrupting is a bad thing interrupting to talk or just tell is bad if you interrupt to understand that’s a different matter.

    Jennifer: oh I love that distinction.

    Christine: it takes learning the fact I’m getting I’m this is a little bit of a teaser right it’s you need to do the foundational tools first.

    Jennifer: of course!

    Christine: before you go into these more you know leveled up like as I was a field hockey player back in my earlier days and I went to a camp with an Olympic athlete um and she made us hit blades of grass in the summer in August for 30 minutes in the afternoon a day for a week and I went you know we’re all like why are we hitting blades of grass well this woman could kill the hockey ball and bowl by the end of the week my drive was insanely better.

    Jennifer: right right.

    Christine: without ever touching a ball she knew the discipline of just doing the simple playing of those notes on the piano will escalate your skills so focus on those foundational tools but understand there’s a lot more you can add to over time that makes you even more expert listener I love it.

    Jennifer: I love it this has been one of my favorite conversations for sure of 2023 but maybe even of my entire podcast I can’t like stress how much of a difference I think this can make in people’s success um if they really learn how to listen properly um and kind of adopt this transformational listening versus just active listening or you know listening to sell something essentially so if people want to get your book which I like everybody listening should read this book it’s so it’s I said this to you at the beginning of the call it’s really well laid out it’s easy to read um I had so many aha moments there’s exercises in it like I just thought it was fantastic so tell yeah listeners where they can get it.

    Christine: I like I do really like to make complicated things simple so I think that’s important as it’s good I’m dyslexic you know I’ve learned later in life and so that you know that’s what’s hard right is things can be so complicated so I hope I’m glad it was more simplified it’s on all the major outlet’s Amazon for example and I believe people should get it in the form they want so it’s audio kindle softback hardback.

    Jennifer: oh so it’s available in all those… that’s amazing!

    Christine: yes because you know you like you mentioned your listeners are they’re listening to books they’re not reading right as long and you can speed it up we’ve tested I think it’s like 1 15 because before I start sounding like a chipmunk because again we want to slow down we you know we try to we seek to understand first so right up and you can find me um at on social media The Listening Guide.

    Jennifer: The Listening Guide, so everybody… remember, this is Christine Miles the book is called What Is It Costing You Not To Listen and your Instagram is what again The Listening Guide

    Christine: The Listening Guide just put them in front of it

    Jennifer: gotcha we’ll help you become a listening guide and you can follow me as the listening guide all right I love it.

    Jennifer: and did you say you’re making a game like a board game.

    Christine: yeah so we have the um the one we use with within our facilitator workshops yeah ready um all those tools from novice to uh expert hiker uh and then we’re working on the junior game for schools our mission is to change the paradigm to flip it to instead of just talking telling knowing to educate kids and adults but particularly kids at an earlier age I mean there’s no education on this and no I’m not a skier necessarily I skied a little bit before my accident but I know anything you try to do at five versus 35 45 55 is a lot easier so let’s just get there.

    Jennifer: they’re sponges absolutely honestly Christine thank you so much for coming on the show and sharing all of these nuggets of wisdom and I sincerely hope that people get your book read it and more importantly start to learn to implement it in their lives thank you so much.

    Christine: well thank you and let us know if we can help.

    Jennifer: I appreciate it I love it all right there you have it folks I hope you enjoyed this episode and I really hope that you read the book I genuinely believe that learning how to perfect this skill is the key that can help you unlock more success in your real estate business but also honestly in all other important relationships in your life as well.

    If you are enjoying the show I would greatly appreciate it if you left me a five-star review on Apple Podcast and remember to those who are listening that the more you learn the more you’re going to earn but only if you’re actually implementing what you’re learning.

    Until next time.

  • How To Get Found Online By Buyers & Sellers In Real Estate

    EPISODE 47

    How To Get Found Online Buy Buyers & Sellers In Real Estate

    In this episode, Jennifer and guest Rachel Lindteigen teach agents how to create optimized content on your website, so that you are found in the organic search results when buyers and sellers are looking for a realtor online.

    Listen Now:

    Show Notes:

    • Download Rachel’s Free Quickstart SEO Guide here.
    • Follow Rachel on Instagram here.

    Episode Transcript:

    **Please note transcripts are not always a perfectly accurate transcription of the conversation.

    Hello what’s up everyone, you’re listening to the women rocking real estate podcast, I’m your host Jen Percival and thanks so much for tuning in to the show. Before we jump into today’s episode, I just want to send a quick shout out of love to Lana, Milana, Joanna & Anna for leaving such lovely reviews on apple podcasts. The fact that all of your names rhymed made me laugh and is so the law of attraction at play. Also want to thank each of you that share the podcast on your instagram stories and tag me. I so appreciate you ladies taking the time to help promote the show and make it worth my time to produce!

    Ok let’s get into today’s episode. I am so juiced to have today’s guest on the show and we’re going to talk about something that is so so important in your business and something that I bet so many of you are not prioritizing.

    When you are building a real estate business, you can do it one of two ways….you can find people or you can get found. I promise you, getting found is a much smarter strategy than having to constantly be on a hamster wheel trying to find clients randomly using strategies like door knocking and cold calling and harming your relationships by asking your friends and family for business.

    There are people online right now actively searching on the internet for a realtor in your area. They are already in the market and are the lowest hanging fruit and they are finding other realtors instead of you and that’s a travesty because they could have easily found you instead. I made on average $300,000 every year from random people finding me through internet searches. These were not referrals, these were not deals from my sphere of influence, these were not sign calls, these were not people I met at open houses. These were people who searched for a real estate agent in my area, who had never heard of me and found my website, liked what they saw, called me for an interview and hired me. $300k a year because I just made sure that I got found when people were searching for an agent in my area. And before you think that won’t work in your market because it’s already saturated with agents online. There are 62,000 registered realtors in my board and only 95,000 homes were sold in 2020. That’s not enough transactions for everyone to even do 2 deals, so it is one of the most competitive, most saturated markets in north america.

    So before you spend your time running around trying to find random people hoping they may be looking to buy or sell, I want to make sure that you’re getting found by those that are already in the market and actively looking for an agent and that is what today’s episode is all about. Now up until now, I have purposely avoided even using the words that are traditionally used to describe this strategy. I didn’t put it in the title of this podcast and I didn’t put it in the description, because if I did, I know a lot of you wouldn’t be listening right now and that’s because this topic is really, really misunderstood. It’s kinda like a pitbull. People are afraid of it, they think it’s something that it’s not. Or they think it’s really complicated and techie or they think it’s really really boring….so what we’re going to be talking about is Search Engine Optimization and if you just recoiled when I said that and reached for the skip button, STOP!! This episode could be worth $300,000 in your bank account, so instead of getting overwhelmed and shutting down, pull over, grab a pen and paper and turn up the volume instead.

    I want you to throw all of the preconceived ideas you have about search engine optimization out the window or if you have no idea what the hell that term even means, today’s episode is going to be so informative and critical for you if you want to get off the lead generation hamster wheel and instead have clients calling you on the regular. I have got Rachel Lindtygen on the show and she is just brilliant at dumbing down this topic and explaining it in a way that makes it so easy to understand and easily implement in your business. So without further ado, let’s get to it……

    Rachel I’m so happy to have you here. Welcome to the show.

    Thank you. I am so happy to be here with you today.

    I can’t tell you how excited I am to talk about such a boring topic, because people think it’s boring, but I am so passionate about it because so much about search engine optimization. It’s all about the opportunity that it represents. And so that’s what I’m excited to talk about today to like take the kind of tech boringness out of it and really focus on like the opportunity that it represents in people’s businesses.

    Absolutely. I love that. I am your favorite SEO nerd because SEO feels scary. It feels hard. It feels techie, but the reality is you just have had the wrong teacher. Once you understand how it works, you’re going to be like me maybe, and just be excited by the opportunity. There’s so much potential once you understand how it works, we just gotta get you there.

    Exactly. And that’s why I’m so happy to have you here, especially a woman being able to explain it. Um, I don’t know, it’s just a little bit more easy to absorb and it’s a little, like you said, less scary and all of that stuff. So before we dive into all of that stuff, why don’t you tell us who you are, what you do and how you got into this search engine optimization world?

    Absolutely. How did I end up in the boys club being a girl that I was their boss, so I love it. Um, so my name is Rachel. I run etched marketing academy, and I have been in marketing for about 20 years and I, I love it. I, um, spent the last seven or eight years of my corporate career with agencies and working with different clients and leading their SEO and content strategies. I spent some time with an agency. That’s the original content marketing agency they’re based in Phoenix. And then I went on to work for another agency in Scottsdale, but they were based out of Manhattan. So I was in and out of New York on about a monthly basis meeting with clients and like really living that dream life, especially for somebody who’s in Arizona. I was going to meetings on Madison avenue and talking with these huge, huge companies about their SEO strategy and coming up with their content strategy and speaking at conferences all over the world, it was amazing. And now I’m out on my own. So I get to still do what I love without all the travel. And I have better balance because I have a young child. I have a little boy who’s graduating from kindergarten. Um,

    Milestone. It is,

    And I get to be the mom. I want to be, but I also didn’t have to lose my identity and my career and you know, everything that I’ve done for years now, I get to teach people all about it and help them see how easy it is once they understand. And my whole thing is this is easy. And the reason I can say that is I know that it seems hard. It seems scary. It seems techie, but that’s just cause those techie nerdy boys are the ones explaining it to you. And they don’t know how to talk to human beings. And I say it with love. I was their boss for years and it was my job to translate what they said to what smart marketing people could understand. So I’ve spent a decade now translating SEO to human

    Level. I love it. And that is like such an important thing because it’s the same thing with websites themselves. Like web developers make websites so complicated and it really doesn’t have to be that way. And search engine optimization is the exact same thing. So which is a good, why don’t you like kind of from a high level, just explain what SEO is and how it all works again.

    Yeah. Super high level. So SEO search engine optimization is the process of getting your website found on Google. So until you do SEO on your website, they don’t really understand what you are about. And so they don’t really know who to show your website to. So by adding in what we’re going to talk about in this training, we’re going to walk through what to do on your website. It’s going to help you get found, which means Google’s going to understand you and they’re going to show you to more people. And then the people who are going to come to your site are people who are looking for exactly what you have. So they’re looking to buy a house or they’re looking to sell a house. We just got to show you how to do that on your website. So

    True. And I find that, um, a lot of the agents that come through, like my coaching program and other programs that I’ve offered, they, they might have a website, but they think just the act of having a website and having it sit on the internet is going to drive business to them. And I always say, it’s like building a house in the middle of nowhere that nobody knows about, unless people can find it. Um, you know, the, the effort and the work that you put into building, it is kind of all for not because Google doesn’t know who to send there, unless you, like you said, work on your search engine optimization. Absolutely. Why do you think, uh, SEO is especially important for a real estate

    Business? Well, let’s be real. Everybody in their brother knows somebody or is a realtor. There are so many realtors. So how do you get your name out there? You’re in a hyper competitive market in probably any market. And this year, the real estate market is ridiculous. I mean, I have friends who are realtors and it’s insane, but when you’re in a highly competitive market, you may be asking, how do I stand out? Well, SEO is one of those things you can do to stand out by optimizing your site, by figuring out who your ideal customer is by really creating the content that they want. When they’re looking for it, you become viewed as a trusted resource. People are more likely to trust the results that they see in Google’s organic search, meaning the SEO results than the paid ads. And they’re much more likely to click on the organic results than the paid ads.

    So people we talk when we talk SEO, 35 to 37% of the people will click on the very first listing on a page. 60% of the clicks will go to positions one, two, and three. That’s an enormous potential. When we talk about ads, 3% is an excellent click through rate on Google. So for Google ads. So that means 97% of the people aren’t looking at the ads or clicking on them. So where do you want to put your time and effort? SEO. You have a much bigger pool of potential customers who are willing to click on that to come see you

    Well, and that’s so, um, it’s so I never actually thought about it when I do any sort of Google search. I actually intentionally skipped

    The ads because I’m like, I don’t want

    To click on something that is an ad here. I want to like, as a guy click, you said, get to the organic results because that’s going to have more value. And so just to dumb it down even further. So really search engine optimization is about creating content that is sort of strategically created to help you get found,

    Correct? Yes. And that’s part of what we’ll talk about with, what do we do and how do we do it, but yes, to truly have a good SEO program, you’re going to have to create some content for your website and your, except you can’t rank a website without any words on it because Google doesn’t know what it’s about. And if you don’t optimize a website nobody’s ever going to find you, you’re going to be the best kept secret in town and you don’t make money as the best kept secret in town.

    So, so, so, so true. And this is, you know, another thing that I, you know, preach a lot of the people who sort of follow, um, this podcast we’re attracted to it because I don’t preach things like door knocking and cold calling and bugging your friends and family for business. But a lot of people don’t know what to do instead. And so I am really, really strong on the content marketing, but it’s almost like people like, yeah, I don’t want to do that. But then as soon as you start talking content marketing, they’re like, yeah, I don’t want to do that either. It’s like, pick your poison, you got to do one or the other. So let’s, um, uh, you know, before we get onto that next topic, the back to the whole, why is it important for real estate? Your point was a fantastic one because it’s such a competitive industry, but also what’s the kind of localness, um, or the geographical, um, aspect of real estate. That’s super important with SEO as well. Correct?

    It is. That’s where we really want to get into what we refer. We refer to as local SEO where we optimize not only for keywords, but we optimize for locations. And I want you to think about your market, you know, where exactly are you based? And are there multiple cities, like where I am, I’m in a suburb of Tucson these days we’ve moved, we’ve relocated. So the realtors by me would be optimizing. They might optimize for Tucson, but they’re more likely to optimize for Oro valley or Miranda, or they might even optimize for some of the actual developments around here. So that’s part of what you’re going to want to brainstorm and think about when we talk about how we do this on your website, you’re really going to want to think about where you are, because we’re going to want to get hyper-local

    Right. And so exactly. So going to high level at a city level, a it’s too competitive and B you’re saying people aren’t really searching necessarily for that. Anyway, they tend to get more micro, uh, niched down. Correct.

    That’s my take, like my own experience. When we moved my family here two and a half years ago, we relocated for my husband’s job. All of my searches were around schools and neighborhoods and communities. And we were working with a realtor from the relocation company, but I still was doing research on my own to figure out where we wanted to look. And I think that’s pretty typical within real estate. You know, your ideal customer is probably the wife. If it, if they’re a married couple, it’s usually going to be mom, who’s doing the majority of that research. So you want to think about what is she looking at? What is she researching?

    Right, right, exactly. And so one of the other things I want to chat before we even get into the nitty-gritty on this stuff is another kind of, um, I don’t know if it’s, I don’t know. Do I want to say it’s a, I’ll call it a red herring where people are putting more energy and attention these days into their social media marketing and abandoning a little bit, the more traditional content marketing and SEO. So how is SEO less or more effective at getting found online than social media marketing would be?

    So in my opinion, which is probably not going to surprise you, SEO is more important than your social media, both. I agree, both play a role in your overall content marketing plan. The concern I have with social media and I love it. I use it for my business. I have multiple social media channels and they’re great. And they’re really good for interacting with your audience, but your building on borrowed land as a realtor, would you ever recommend that your, your buyer just rent somebody’s land and build their dream home, but that’s exactly what we do when we build everything on social media, you need to have both, you need to have your website that you own, that you have control over. You need to probably have an opt in on there some way to collect names and build your email list, which SEO can help you with.

    And then you want to share your content on your social media channels. And you want to use social media to help people find you and discover you. But you want to keep sending them back to your blog or your website for more information. So you use both, but in my opinion, SEO is more important because you own it. And you have more opportunity to be found by people who are looking for exactly what you offer. You have the chance to be found by people who want to buy a house or sell a house. Whereas on social media, are they really searching to buy or sell a house? No, they’re there to be social. They’re there to be entertained. They’re there to watch reels and Tik TOK videos and whatever. They’re not. They’re thinking specifically about, I want to buy a house, but when they are searching, I want to buy a house and you show up, oh my gosh, could you have a hotter lead?

    Exactly. And then if they follow you on social media, after finding you on your website, then you can reinforce and build that, you know, authority and credibility. And those know like, and trust feelings by sharing content and remaining top of mind, et cetera. But without that website piece and the search engine optimization and the content it’s like, you only have half of the pie.

    Absolutely love

    It. Love it. So what, in your opinion are some of the myths or kind of misunderstandings when it comes to search engine optimization in real estate specifically?

    So I think the biggest myth is that it’s hard and it’s technical and you’re not smart enough. You’re not able to do it yourself. You have to hire someone well,

    But you have to hire someone that’s such a big one. Yeah. Yeah.

    And let’s talk about that for a second, because there are some challenges when it comes to hiring someone to do your SEO, because there is no degree program, there’s no certification that says this person is an SEO expert. Like I shared with my own background, I did a number of different things within marketing before really getting into the SEO and content side. Now I happen to have a degree in journalism and I also have an MBA. So I have a lot of education that goes into that. But anybody can claim that they know SEO. So you hire, and maybe, maybe your realtors, maybe your audience even gets this. If they have a website, you start getting these emails that tell you, they’ll get you this number of links a month. They can guarantee they can rank you in position one. They guarantee they can get you to page one for just this amount of money.

    Those are all scams. Nobody can guarantee any results on Google other than Google. And so you have to follow the rules and do everything, but you have to make sure if you are hiring someone that you’re hiring someone who knows what they’re doing. I have clients who’ve come to me after working with other consultants for two years and never getting a report and never having any idea how things were going. And then when I did get access to it and I did run the reports, I didn’t want to deliver them, even though it wasn’t right. My work right down two years straight, every single month, their performance was less. They were getting absolutely nothing for the money that they were paying and that happens. So I think that’s a big problem is hiring the wrong person. You have to understand enough about SEO to either do it yourself, or understand enough to know what questions to ask to ensure you’re getting what you pay for.

    Okay. We are so speaking the same language.

    I, I, whenever I

    Have people on the podcast, I’m always like, oh no, what if they say something that like, totally contradicts what I’ve said? So it’s a bit of a scary thing, but I am always preaching. I always say, you’ve got to know enough to be dangerous. You don’t have to know enough to do it, you know, for a living, but you have to know enough about it. To know if the person you’ve hired to do it for you is doing the right thing or not. And so just knowing the basics at least is, is important. Love. Absolutely. Any other myths or misunderstandings, um, besides it being hard, um, when it comes to SEO and real estate,

    It’s really the biggest that it’s hard and that it’s super technical. It doesn’t need to be super technical. There’s a lot more strategy and a lot more brainstorming involved in SEO than anything.

    Right. And that’s such a, it’s the work that you put in ahead of time. Yes. That is such a big kind of bulk of it. So what is some of that research? What is some of that work that you kind of, the prep work that you would need to do the brainstorm?

    So what I always have my clients, my students do is start brainstorming and thinking about the questions that their ideal customer asks when they are looking to solve their problems. So in this example, obviously as a realtor, somebody either wants to buy or sell a house. So they’re probably starting to research neighborhoods. They’re researching schools, they’re researching areas. They’re looking, if they’re getting ready to buy, maybe they’re doing some research to figure out, should they make updates to their house before they sell it? Um, maybe they’re looking to find out how much it’s going to cost them, because we all know some are going to try to sell it as fisbos. And we know that that’s not ideal. And as a realtor, you don’t want to go chasing down fisbos. My mom was a realtor for years. You don’t want to go chasing down fisbos and calling them and begging them to list with you. You want to just have the information that people are looking for when they come to you. So that brainstorm those questions. You, I’m sure you have a list of five or 10 questions that almost every potential buyer asks or almost every potential seller asks start with those. That’s going to be some of the most important content that you could create for your website.

    Okay. And so that content would be, you know, what’s involved in, uh, buying a home for the first time, for instance. So the premise is that you would create a blog, right? Correct.

    Absolutely. So let’s just take that as an example, what’s involved in buying a home for the first time. How do I qualify for a mortgage? How do I find, how do I figure out how much I can afford? How do I do I need to save this amount? What do I need as my down payment? Are there any other hidden fees that are going to come with it, start with that one and then just brainstorm everything else that goes along with that. And then you’re going to want to do a little bit of keyword research because you’re going to want to figure out which of these is the best opportunity. So where is there the most search demands? So you’re going to want to use a tool. I always like to use the Google, Google keyword tool. And I know it’s a little more complicated than some of them, but I prefer it because it’s free.

    They don’t put limits to how many keywords you can search in a day. And some of the paid keyword tools that have free versions, they only let you search like three words a day. That’s useless. How are you going to get anything done? If you can only serve three words a day, give me a break. So get to know the Google keyword tool. It is an ad words. It is free. You have to set up an account. It’s a little bit of a pain in the butt because you do have to go ahead and like put in your credit card information. You do have to create an ad. You’re never actually gonna run. Um, it used to be a lot easier. It used to be separate and it was much easier, but I still recommend that even though there’s a little bit of a learning curve, search those keywords.

    So take those ideas that you’ve come up with for your content, and now start putting them into Google and see is their search volume. Are there things that people are looking for and then determine which of those looks like the best opportunity. Now you’re probably wondering what in the heck, how, how do I determine the best opportunity? Well, that’s going to be based on the amount of search volume and then how competitive is that keyword? And so when you look in the AdWords tool, it’s going to show you the search volume. It’s also going to show you the average cost per click, which you don’t need to worry about because you’re not buying ads. So don’t worry about that, but it’s going to also show you competitiveness. And that competitiveness information is actually for paid search, but it’s going to be about the same for natural search, because if they’re willing to pay a lot of money for highly competitive words on an ad-words side, I guarantee you they’re optimizing for it, right? So you’re going to want to look for, from that brainstorm from that keyword list, what do you see? That’s got a good keyword volume. That’s not super competitive, and that’s going to be your first step to figuring out which of these you prioritize and how you start building out that content to start driving those people who want to buy or sell a home to your website. And so, um,

    Do you recommend that? So if, okay, so you do that brainstorm. Um, so you’ve got that overarching kind of topic, and then you realize there’s like a bunch of different arms from that. Then you do the research to try to find out what is the best opportunity. And so do you kind of search all of those concepts and then kind of rank them to say, Ooh, this one has got the highest kind of search volume and isn’t super competitive. So I should start with that blog as an example, and then kind of work your way through the list.

    That’s kinda what I do. I take it a step further. So once I’ve done that initial research and I’ve kind of identified the ones that could be the best opportunities, then I want you to go to Google and I want you to plug those keywords in. And I want you to add your local area, because remember we’re talking, hyper-local here as a realtor. So I don’t care who ranks for, how do I buy a house the first time nationally, I care who ranks for how to buy a house the first time in my area. Right? So what you’re going to want to look at is how similar are those websites? And because you’re going hyper-local, they should be pretty similar to you. If you were to do, how do I buy a house the first time you probably wouldn’t find websites for other realtors, you would probably find large mortgage companies, large real estate franchises, things like that.

    People who are not the same as you, there are significantly more authoritative websites. So you want to make sure you put in your localization and then you look and see are these people. I know if the websites that are coming back are people, you know, they’re people in your industry, they’re names, you recognize you’re probably on a pretty good road. You probably are headed in the right direction. Now, if you put one of those in with your localization and there’s no one, there, there’s nothing you, my friend just found your number one priority because when there’s nothing there, right, you have a really good chance at ranking high because nobody else has that exact term. So I just did six of these for my own website, as a test to see how quickly I can get them ranking. But I released six blog posts this week that are all tied to my ideal customer, where I couldn’t find exact matches for any of them.

    Right, love it. And so that’s, um, a mistake that I find realtors often make. When they think of marketing, they just jumped to creating the content. And it’s often content that they want to create that interest them, that you know, but they don’t do the research into whether anybody’s actually searching for that content and whether it’s going to help them get found. So that’s, um, such a good kind of reminder to put the research part above. And first, before you get to actually creating and writing the content itself,

    Honestly, the research part is more important than the content that you write. I love that you can write the best blog post ever. If nobody’s searching for it, nobody’s going to see it. They don’t care. You can write a good blog post that’s well optimized. That’s on a topic. A lot of people are searching for and you’ll get more leads. You have to provide value. You have to provide what people are looking for. If they’re not searching for it, then if there’s zero search volume, nobody cares. Don’t write on that. Spend more time on your research, your keyword research, your brainstorming. Really the number one thing you can do is know your ideal customer. And I swear, nobody knows their ideal customer as well as they possibly could or should the better, you know them, the better every single piece of content you create is going to be love

    It. Love it, love it. So if writing content that people aren’t searching for is one mistake. What are some other mistakes agents make when it comes to their websites and content and SEO?

    I think probably one of the biggest mistakes. And it’s not just agents. It’s everybody. They fear getting it wrong so they don’t do anything. They’re not sure how to optimize. They’re not sure what to do or where to get started, or they’re so afraid they’re going to get it wrong that they don’t do anything. Well, when you have a website that’s not optimized, Google doesn’t know what you’re about. They don’t really crawl it. They don’t show it to anybody and you remain the best kept secret in town. The other big mistake that I see comes to keyword targeting and they target the same keyword on every page. So if you’re trying to be found for, you know, um, buyer’s agent Oro valley, we’ll just pretend that’s what I’m looking for. But I start using that keyword on every page, on my website, in every blog post, I’m actually hurting myself because Google is only going to rank your website two times for a given keyword. So if you use the same keyword on 10 pages, you actually cut your ranking opportunity down to two. But if you use 10 different keywords on those 10 pages, you now have 10 different opportunities for people to find you.

    Gotcha. I love that. That’s such an important, I remember falling victim to this myself. When I was developing my very first real estate website, I was like Toronto real estate on every single page. I tried to like repeat it all over the place. And then I remember reading this article that was like, your website itself. Doesn’t get ranked. It’s the individual pages on your website.

    Oh yeah.

    Gets ranked for something potentially a little bit different. So taking advantage of that and like thinking of each page almost as its own little mini website,

    If that makes sense. Absolutely. And that is exactly what you want to do. And you want it. If you create a blog, you’re going to want to also think about your blog, that way, everything that you’re creating, you need to keep that ideal customer in mind. Who is she? What does she need? Or who is he? What do they need? What questions do they have? If you are providing value and answering their questions, you are going to see results because you’re going to have the information that people are searching for when they’re looking to buy or sell a home. Like guys, you, we can’t make this easier. This is no it’s low hanging fruit is like, guys, this, if there’s one thing you could do to change your business right now, maybe not right now, because I understand you got like 15 offers for every house and all that. Yeah.

    Maybe when things go a little more normal when you’re not, you’re not, I’m

    Fielding 20 offers for, you know, every starter home. This is something that you should work on.

    Totally. I couldn’t agree more. I couldn’t agree more. So question for you. Um, I have so many questions that are going to be like, not on the questions I sent you, you would happen. That’s fine. How would you describe the difference between blog posts and the static pages on your website? Like how did they both work? Um, which one’s better, like give us a little bit of the scoop on that as it relates to SEO.

    Okay. So that’s an excellent question because it is kind of hard to figure out what do I put on the, what do I put on the website? What do I put on the blog? So I’m going to switch over to e-commerce real quick because e-commerce is really easy to see this and explain it. And I think that example will make it easier for your, your realtor audience to understand. So for years I did e-commerce websites at the agency, anything that should lead to a direct sale, a product, a service, something like that, that belongs on the website. Anything that provides additional value or reaches out to a consumer who maybe is in that awareness stage. They’re not quite sure what they’re looking for that goes on the blog. So let’s take this a step further. I had a client that was a home, a home goods, retailer type store.

    They had, you know, three or 400 stores across America. They had a blog that was fantastic for driving traffic. We addressed design trends. We addressed holiday. We highlighted new products that were coming in. Every blog post that we created, had a tie to a product and would link to the product page. So we had it to drive additional traffic. But when we optimized things like big core keywords for the pay for the website, we optimize the actual product pages or generally category pages for those terms. So you want to drive traffic through basically think of your sales funnel. Your blog should be that early stage content and then driving them to the most important pages on your website. So my blog is all about how to do SEO, how to market your business. Can I learn SEO on my own? And then my website has pages about how to work with me and my SEO classes and my coaching programs and stuff like that. Does that make sense?

    Totally. From a real estate perspective, the, the important pages on your website are obviously like the services that you offer and how you work with buyers and how you work with sellers. And, um, your blogs are more of the educational answering questions, addressing pain points, all of that stuff. Absolutely. What about location? Um, pages. So I always call it cornerstone content. So the pages that are dedicated to communities, et cetera, do you recommend that you have a static page with those and then blog content that sort of speaks to that? How do you, how would you recommend that stuff is managed? Am I making any sense at all?

    No, you’re making it great counts. I’m trying to think it’s been a while since I’ve done real estate, but we had a couple of real estate clients that the agency, um, yeah, what I would do there is your cornerstone. Like if you’re targeting two or three specific communities, I would have a community page on your website. And then I would have supplemental blog posts. Like, what is life like in this community? Or my

    Favorite things about this, or

    What you could even do there, have your, your cornerstone content and then create posts about the best communities. You know, the best developments in this area for families with young children, and then maybe highlight three or four of them and then link those posts where you highlight them link back to the actual, the full community page on your website. So that way they’re kind of seeing, and you’re helping them move through the process and kind of narrowed down, oh, this one has a great big water park for the kids in the summer. This one

    Has a school right within the community. This one

    Has this. And then they kind of start to come to your cornerstone page then and learn more.

    Love it, love it, love it. So while we’re on the topic of, um, these pages and blogs, et cetera, um, how, like what is the ideal length of, um, content on a page? Whether it be like a static page or whether it be a blog, is there like a, a word length, a character count that people should be aiming towards?

    So yes and no. The minimum recommendation is 300 words. If you’ve written blog posts for a while, you’re going to know that 300 words. It doesn’t really cover much. It’s very high level overview. The pages that rank the highest in Google tend to be 11 to 1200 words sometimes even more. But what I see there and I want to caution against think about the recipe that you go to. And it’s like six pages before you get to the actual recipe. And they’re telling you about how they bought the bowl. I don’t want to hear

    How they bought the book. I don’t care and know

    Exactly. So keep that in mind. What I tell my students and what I do with my clients is we write to provide value and we answer the questions. So some posts are naturally going to be shorter. Some are naturally going to be longer, but if you do that and you keep your customer in mind, you’re not going to write a blog post that tells them about how you picked out the bowl, right? Just to get the character count up, like focus on the character, count, focus on telling a story and giving the information that they need. You’re naturally going to write better. Love it,

    Love it. I always say like, when people say, how long should it be? Well, make it as long as it needs to be in no longer, right? Like, it’s keep it as succinct as you can get it so that people stay interested and actually get through it and provide that value. Um, but yes, you don’t have to ramble on for 18 pages front and back. Please don’t

    Do that and make sure that you’re making it easy for people to read. You’re using bullet points. You’re using numbers. You’re spacing things out because the amount of time people spend on the page, reading it is going to impact your overall performance. The other thing is add images. So if you are writing a long post, if there are pictures you can include that are going to help illustrate what you’re talking about, include them. The ideal rule of thumb with images is one image, every 500 words. But I also like to just really focus on what can I show that makes this easier to understand use headings, break your information up, use headings, think of them as like the sub paragraphs and like use them to help change if you, I mean, think about yourself your own. If you log onto a page and there’s like eight, 1,000 words of text, single space, no pictures, no headers, no bullet points. You’re not going to read that. Cause that’s sucks. Totally. It’s so

    Boring. Yeah. You lost me at hello. Yes, exactly. So

    I love that. So pictures, headings, um, you know, not writing super long paragraphs, but even like a max of one or two sentences and more white space around it. Um, any other tips related to like how blogs can get laid out to a help with the readers kind of enjoyment of it and also the SEO, or did we pretty much cover

    That? I probably the biggest thing is make sure you have a hook in that beginning, that first paragraph, make sure it’s interesting. Make sure somebody wants to read it. And then from an SEO standpoint, make sure you use your first, your core keyword in that first paragraph, because that’s going to help you as you’re writing it. And you’re trying to rank for all of this content, but you can create great content if nobody reads it. If nobody stays on that page, if they bounce, like they come, they look at it, they go, Ooh, I don’t want to read that. And they leave. You’re actually going to hurt yourself because Google has access to everybody’s analytics. So they won’t tell us exactly how they determine ranking. There’s 200 factors within the industry. We’re pretty sure that the time on site is one of those ranking factors. And if they’re hearing gone really fast, you’re not going to have good performance because Google knows that’s not a good user experience. So in everything that you do, keep your reader in mind, think about them. What do they need to know? And then make sure that it’s easy to follow and it’s easy to read and it’s not overwhelming. That’s digestible,

    Easily digestible. And so this also sparked another thought for me. So I have a lot of realtors that come to me that have purchased, um, a blog writing service that, or they get it from their brokerage where the brokerage provides blogs for them to put it on there. But no, no, no, no. Right. Uh,

    Like I, every, every fiber of my being wants to say no, no, no, no, no, no, no. Exactly, exactly. Okay. So let’s talk about this for a minute. Your blog writing services, they suck. Have you read the copy that they give you? Have you read their blog posts? Like some of them are awful. I remember one of the guys who worked for me a few years ago after I had left the agency and was out on my own, he emailed me. He’s like, Rachel, I have these blogs. I paid for them. My client rejected them. They said, they’re not good. I think they’re fine. He was a technical SEO guy. He was awesome. But he was a technical SEO guy. I said, well, send them over. Let me see. And I am like, I am in agreement with your client. These are horrible. I would not with these on my blog.

    And so I ended up redoing them for them so that, you know, they worked in the client was happy with them. Most of what we get from those writing services. They’re not people who have a whole lot of background in writing, unless you’re paying a lot of money. But if you’re, you know, you’re buying like articles for 20 bucks or 40 bucks or something, you get what you pay for people like it’s not going to be good and it’s not going to help because Google knows what crummy content is and they’re not going to rank it. Well, right. Then we talk about all the posts that come from the brokerage. And I know your brokerage is trying to help you. I know they are, but here’s the problem. They’re sharing it with you and Ben, everybody

    On Susie and Jenny and Jim and everybody

    Else. And now you guys have what Google calls, duplicate content. If you can a post or a paragraph or a sentence out of your blog post and put it into Google and get multiple results for it. It’s not going to help you from an SEO standpoint because you have duplicate content and Google knows they’re not going to index it. They’re not going to rank it. Well, they’re not going to give you kudos. Ooh, yay. You have a blog. No, you have crummy content, right? Don’t use it. Use it as an idea. Maybe jumping off topic, but right. Don’t use what they’re giving you. It’s it’s no, just, just don’t.

    I just don’t I say

    The exact same thing. I’m like, I know it’s the easy button, but it’s the easy button that not only is not going to get you anywhere, but it can actually, like you said, like it can hurt. Google can penalize you your website for that.

    And not only that, if, if potential clients

    See that you’ve got the exact same content on your website, is everybody else at the same brokerage? Like, it just kind of says you’re lazy, right? Like that you don’t have, you’re not putting effort into providing the value that is uniquely you and your voice and your insights and all of that. So I’m glad, I’m glad

    You agreed with me on that. That was another dangerous one. One of the most

    Important points though, and it’s, it’s something I’ve seen for years and it, oh, I thought we were moving away from

    Well, and so many people say, um, blogging is dead. Can we chat about that for a second? That this concept that blogging is I almost feel like it’s got to have a new name, which kind of content marketing is the new name, but it’s, you know, people just need to understand that it’s it’s so not dead. It’s such a great, um, you know, alternative to other lead generation methods. Um, but it does take work and it does take time, but so does everything there’s like, there is no easy button here, right? Exactly. Oh, were you going to say something? I was

    Just going to say, let everybody else think blogging is dead while you work

    At marketing strategy and you’ve lost because you guys,

    The websites that blog regularly get more leads every single page. So you want to know the secret with Google. Everybody wants to know how do I get more keywords to rank? How do I get to show up more? How do I do this dice? It’s blogging. Every single blog, every single blog post that you create is an opportunity to have a new potential customer find you. So rather than thinking about that blog post just, oh, I got to write a blog post. Think about that blog post. As I hope somebody is going to find this and buy a house. And my commission is going to be X number of dollars, seriously that sit in your pajamas with a glass

    Of wine at your computer. Like this is not rocket science, and this is not horrible.

    If you are a realtor, you know what you’re doing? These blog posts should not take you four or five, six hours. I’ve talked to people who spent three days writing blog posts. I’m like, why did I write blog posts in like 30 to 60 minutes? You know your stuff, answer the questions. Your most important part you do is that research in the beginning, you’ve got a whole list of things. I’ll bet you’ve answered these questions a hundred times. How long does it take you to write them down on? Even if you type slow, you can still like, I type probably 80 words a minute. So that’s an advantage. But even if you were like my old boss who was like Mr. Hunt and Peck, I still could have gotten it done in an hour because you build or use a text to type thing. If you hate, totally use a text to type thing and dictate it, like guys make it easy for yourself. But totally blogging is not dead. Let the, let the other people think that while you go to town on your blog and you get more rankings and you make more money.

    Yes, yes, yes, yes. Um, so this is, I’m so glad you brought it up. Cause this is another kind of roadblock that a lot of, um, people come up to, which is they know what the topics that they want to write about are. And then they sit down at their computer and they get writer’s block and they don’t know where to start and they think it’s got to be this perfect elaborate thing. And so do you have any strategies for besides, I love the talk to text because if somebody asked you the question, just record yourself, giving the answer and turn that into a blog post, right? Like it doesn’t have to be over complicated, but do you have any strategies for how to make it a bit simpler?

    Yeah. If I have writer’s block and I am 100% not in the mood, I don’t care if that was my big three item for the day, I’m going to write these blog posts. If it’s not happening, it’s not happening. And I’m going to do something else. Sometimes jumping in and doing something else, actually lets me go back to it and feel energized. I find personally I love to batch my content. I don’t like to write blogs every week. I don’t like to plan stuff every week. So I go through and I batch and I like right now, I can tell you exactly what content I am releasing for the next six months, because it is planned out. A number of the posts are already written. Everything for the next two quarters is already written. It’s already ready to go on my blog. I still need to do the social stuff.

    But planning in advance and batching write four blog posts in a day, go ahead then and edit them. Like if you’re just writing them yourself, use a tool like Grammarly to edit them, to make sure that they’re they’re good. I, I do that with every single thing that I do because I’m a really good writer, but I’m not always the best. I missed the commas before and, and like every time. So I don’t even bother anymore. I had a teacher in journalism school, tell me you’re an excellent writer. Let somebody else edit. Don’t even worry about this stuff anymore. Right? So for 20 years I haven’t bothered. Just rely on Grammarly. Totally a copy and paste it in it. Like guys make this easy. If you find that, it’s you think best when you’re moving, then go take a walk and take your phone and make voice notes or record yourself and then type it out or hire somebody to type out your voice notes.

    If you’ve got the budget to do that, batch your content. Um, keep a note. I have a note in my phone where if I’m out and I have a brainstorm, I just add a topic idea. And then I, when I get home, I put them on my master topic list. Love it. There really it’s about the process and just make it easier. Stop stressing yourself out. It doesn’t have to be perfect. It doesn’t need to take you hours, set a clock and tell yourself you have an hour and write as much as you can in an hour and be done. I love

    It. And that’s such a, that’s actually a great tip because people do, they get hung up on the, what they’re going to write. And then they just sit there. They don’t do anything. They abandon it. And, and, and it’s on their to do list like indefinitely of writing blogs and they never get around to it. And so it’s that just pushing through and doing it

    That’s because it’s not on their to-do list, it’s on their should do list. And I found this when I did a lot of research on SEO. SEO is not on the to-do list. It’s on the should do list. I know I should do it. I should learn it. I should figure it out. But I do everything else. Instead when you find yourself folding and putting away the laundry to avoid writing a blog post, you need to go ahead and just write the stink in blog posts, because folding and putting away the laundry should not outrank writing your blog post. And we’ve all had those days.

    And that is like

    Good perspective of like really like, this is not rocket science, just push through and get it done. So on that note, how often should people be blogging?

    So the recommendation is weekly. Now what I’m going to say, because I know a lot of people probably just went, I was with you

    Until then. That’s not going to happen.

    What I recommend is that you blog on the schedule that you can maintain. So if you think you can do weekly, great, I do weekly. It’s a pain in the butt and I’m going to be real, but I do it because I know how important it is, but there are times where I’m sitting there and I’m like, I don’t want to write

    A post. And it happens

    To all of us. I would say, start with once or twice a month. What I recommend is that you actually batch like four to six in advance so that you can then schedule them out and then you can figure out, okay, I can do this once a month without a problem. I can do four of these at a time. And that lets me batch out the next four months. The more you do the better results you’re going to have, just because you have more opportunities to rank, but a blog that is, or that is sporadic. Isn’t really going to help you anyway. So consistency, consistency, trumps quantity, in my opinion, and my experience. Not just opinion. Right,

    Right. That. And that’s, that’s really good to know. And I think I say the exact same thing. I’m like at minimum, come on. There’s no way you cannot write one blog a month. Like there’s no excuses on the planet that someone can say they can’t find the time to blog once a month. So that’s at absolute minimum. Ideal is weekly. Find something in between. Just do what works for you.

    I have one client in particular, we do twice a month. They are amazing with their SEO because we’ve optimized the site. We do two posts a month. We have everything going, 62% of their leads come in from SEO. Like it’s phenomenal. They rank number one for almost everything related to their business. They own a preschool, almost every preschool related keyword in their town. So hyper-local same as a realtor. They are positioned one or two for almost everything. So yeah, like you brought

    Up the grid. Yeah, exactly. Um, so you brought up a good word there, which we’ve used a few times, or you used a few times, which is optimized. So what does that exactly mean? So how does, how does one optimize a webpage or a website or a blog?

    Okay. So we’ve talked about creating the content and all of that. Once you’ve created it, there are some things that we need to do to help Google understand what it’s about. So you’re going to have things we refer to as optimization elements. So the first is your title tag, which is what shows up at the top in your search result. When somebody is looking for stuff in Google, your title tag is the first welcome that they have the first introduction that they have to you, you need to include your core keyword there. You need to include your business name. You have to keep it under 60 characters. And that includes the spaces. So that can be a little challenging sometimes, right? But that’s the first introduction to what that page is about or what your website is about. So you really want to make sure you focus on that.

    Now, if you want a bonus pro tip, this is something that can improve your click-through rate, which again is thought to be one of the ranking factors. But we don’t know for sure, because it’s a secret sauce and Google doesn’t tell us exactly what they use, but your click-through rate is the number of people who see your website listing on Google, who actually clicked. So if three out of 10, see it and click your click-through rate then is 30%. Well, if you include a call to action in your title tag, shop, learn, discover, find something like that. We can see up to a 30% increase in that click-through rate. So really big there doesn’t cost you a penny. If you have enough characters to add it in you don’t always. Um, so that’s your first thing, the next one. Okay. Yep. Your title tag. The next thing you’re going to do is to add a meta-description.

    So your meta-description is the next step. So it’s up to 160 characters also, including spaces should use your core keyword. You do not have to use your business name in this one. I go back and forth. Sometimes I do. Sometimes I don’t, depending on what that blog post your website page is about. So here you have one to two sentences to further your cause to entice them to click through, because you want to think about it. When people are looking at the Google search results, their window shoppers their browsers. They’re trying to figure out which one is going to be the best for them. You want to make them know this is the one to click on because that’s how you get them to your website. So those are the first two that you add in. Then other things you can do. So we talked about breaking up your content and adding some headers.

    So those header tags, if you’re in WordPress or Squarespace, you’ve probably seen like in your dropdown menu, you’ve probably seen an option for headings. And maybe you knew what they were. Maybe you didn’t well, when you choose H two, which is like your subheader. If you use your core keyword in there in your H two tag in your subhead tag, that will help you because Google reads your header tags. So by default your website, page name, especially if you’re like on blogs is an H one. Like if you’re on WordPress, whatever you’ve named your post, that’s your H one. So you’re going to generally have your keyword in there because your post is named using your keyword. So your H two is another really important one to use. If you want to break down your content further within like subsections, you can use an H three. You don’t need to go further than that guys. Like you’ll see options for one through six. Don’t worry about it. When one and two are what I use 90% of the time. Gotcha. Then all those pictures, we talked about one picture, every 500 words. Well that picture they can’t. So Google can’t read the text, that’s in your picture, but they can read your image file name. So what you’re going to want to do is to save your image, file name, get rid of whatever camera info or Pexels,

    Whatever you got it from, whatever

    Free, safe source. You got it from. Remove that information. What you’re going to want to do is save that file name with your core keyword. Now you’re going to want to use dashes, not underscores because Google reads a dash like a space. So the dash that looks like a subtraction. Okay. So it looks like a minus sign. So use that between each word. Now, bonus tip. If you want to be able to be found in Google image search, or you want your business name to show up as well. Go ahead and put your business name there. So core keyword with dashes in between it business name dashes in between it, I don’t, if this thing is six words long, it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter image file name. Don’t worry about it. Um, you can add alt text if you’re in there, if you know how to do that, and you’re in there uploading your image and you see an option for all texts.

    Go ahead and use your keyword in your alt text. It’s not going to hurt, can help a little bit, the most important thing. The last thing is your copy and making sure that your copy is well optimized. You’ve got all your words on your page. You wrote your blog posts. I’m never going to tell you, I want you to write this blog post, and I want you to use this word seven times or 10 times or anything because that leads to crummy content that leads to content. That just, I mean, we talked about it a minute ago. The ones that you buy from somebody that they’re horrible. That’s why they’re, that’s part of why they’re horrible. So tell your story, then go back through and read it out loud to yourself. You’re going to be able to see if you’ve naturally used your keyword enough times.

    You’re going to see, is there an opportunity to add it somewhere? Should I edit it and change it? Google understands things like very similar. They understand similar terms. Thanks to, um, an update a few years ago, you don’t have to optimize for like singular and plural. You don’t have to optimize for misspellings, things like that. So they understand semantic search. So very similar terms are going to work as well. You don’t have to have everything with an exact match. Like this is my exact key word. You can use it slightly different and still have it work.

    That’s good to know. Okay. So those were titled tag Meditech description, um, subheadings adding like H two tags into some subheadings file name, uh, alt text, and trying to naturally disperse your keywords throughout the content. And I get it. You did. And

    You did. Absolutely.

    And I do. It’s a lot to take in. I do have a freebie on my website that if they want to grab it, it actually is a quick start guide. And I have a checklist both. They’re going to tell you exactly what to do. I actually went a little more into the nerdy side of it there just because we kind of went there. Um, I don’t usually talk about the alt text or the header tags, but because we had already talked about breaking into sub sections on the page, I went ahead and shared about that, but I’ve got a couple of things on the website. That’ll make it super easy for them. So you don’t have to write all this down and remember it, just grab that and you’ll have the reference guide.

    Perfect. I will make sure to link that in the show notes. And so what about if you’ve got a WordPress site? What are your thoughts on using like the Yoast plugin to kind of help with some of this stuff

    You have to it’s the best one? Like I wouldn’t use something other than Yoast on WordPress. Perfect.

    And another question. So let’s see, you’ve been blogging for a while and you realize you’ve probably not been doing it as well as you could have. Can you go back and optimize past blogs and will that help them to rank better in the future?

    Yeah, absolutely. I do that myself. Um, so that’s what we refer to as a content audit, you go back and you look in your analytics. This is why it’s really important to understand how, what everything means in your Google analytics account. So you go through and you look and you see, am I getting traffic? Are they spending time here? What are they doing? If you find option opportunities, you can absolutely go back. You can update your title, tags, your meta descriptions. You can look at doing new keyword research. There’s all sorts of stuff. We actually do it. Um, when I was with the agency, we did it about every 12 to 18 months on our client’s websites to refresh things and update and see if we couldn’t improve the performance that we had already

    Love it. Love it, love it. And so speaking of that, if somebody was to let’s say they were to blog weekly and they were to do good keyword research ahead of time. And they were to optimize the blogs that they’re creating. You know, I always say to people like you can’t expect this stuff to bring you results tomorrow, but you’re building your future business essentially. And when it does start to work, it’s like evergreen. I have a blog that I wrote about buying a cottage in Ontario that still ranks. It was ranking number one, organically. I get more leads from that thing. And I wrote it back in 2016, I think like, you know, it’s amazing. So, but how on average, how long do you think it takes to start seeing results?

    So they say that SEO takes 12 to 24 months. I personally have seen results start sooner than that. So the way that SEO works, the first thing we’re going to see is that our keyword that we’re targeting starts to rank and it starts to move up through the ranks. Now we have to get to page one before we’re going to see results, because nobody goes to page two. Think about your own search habits. 99.7% of people never go to page two. So you gotta be on page one to your point, Jen, that cottage country. And I love it cause we have a family cottage in Bobcaygeon.

    We do. Yeah. My dad was from Bob Cajun. Um, but

    That cottage country post that’s in position one that’s from 2016, that’s sending tons of traffic. That’s how it works. So the vast majority of my traffic comes from posts that I wrote in 20 16, 20 17 and 2018. It takes a while for them to work. So the, the ranking start coming, we start moving our way up. Then we start to see more traffic come because we’re higher up there. So that position, you know, one gets 30, some percent positions, one, two, and three get about 60% of the search traffic. Well, once you get up there to that one, two or three rank, as long as you continue optimizing you update, you refresh, you kind of watch out to see what the competition is doing. You protect your rankings, you can’t do this and stop because if you do this and stop your competition, isn’t stopping. So when you stop, you just give them the green light. You’re like, hi, here, let me hand you everything that I’ve just worked on for the last two years, right? You got to continue doing some stuff, but those leads keep coming in. Like how many cottages do you want to sell in a summer? You know, more, as many as you can, right?

    Yeah, no, it’s, I mean, literally for years I did nothing but blogging. And I would say there was like three or four pages on my website that generated 60 to 70% of the leads that we would get and like making hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars a year off of blogs that I had written years ago that I do kind of update a little bit, but, but it’s like, it’s, it’s the compound interest, um, on the effort upfront works for you for so long so that you don’t have to be slogging it, you know, at the same rate forever. Exactly. Exactly.

    So I’m going to share something real quick, cause you, you hit on a couple of really good things. We talk about SEO. When we say, think of it as your retirement account or like that long-term savings account. It’s just a little bit today, a little bit today, a little bit today. And then all of a sudden you’re like, whoa. Um, I had a client that same home goods store they referred to SEO is the unstoppable train we had done so much and had optimized and created these blogs that their results were just ridiculous. They were making over a million dollars a month just from SEO. So huge results. They actually stopped all their paid search ads because they were getting so much out of SEO that they, she called me. She was like, I want to stop paid search, which that team’s not going to be happy with, but whatever.

    And what can I do? How many more blogs can I get with this amount of budget? What can I do? I’ve got $35,000 extra. What can I do with it like that? When you see that potential, it’s easy to keep going. Um, and just sharing, you know, so I had a situation like everybody else in the world COVID hit last March. My son was four years old. He was in preschool, preschool, went on spring break and never went back. My husband is an essential employee and was gone all day. Every day. My mother has Alzheimer’s and dementia and I had to, um, figure out and navigate her and moving her into a memory center during a pandemic because she wasn’t safe at home anymore. So I suddenly didn’t have time to blog. Like I couldn’t there just, I literally was at that point. So for a few months I didn’t do any new content. I didn’t share on social. I just kind of shut down to figure out my personal life. I still had thousands of visits to my website while I was not creating content during that temporary shutdown.

    Exactly, exactly. It is

    So, so powerful. It like, it, it, it like hurts

    Me when people

    Don’t see the opportunity of it. Um, and, and if you don’t want to do the old school ways of growing your business, you got to do something else. And this is such an effective really easy way. Yes. It takes work. Yes. It takes time. But again, you can do it in your pajamas with a glass of wine sitting at your computer, right. Like theirs and it will, it will continue to work for you for years to come. Um, and because not everybody is doing it, there’s again, that opportunity there.

    Right. Absolutely love it. So where can people find

    You and learn more about the services you offer? Um, yeah. Where are you on Instagram, your website? What type of services do you

    Offer? So I offer a little bit of everything. Um, I do have an online class for those who want to learn how to do it themselves, or want to learn enough to protect themselves, to make sure that they get what they’re hiring. You know, they get, make makeup yes. Enough to be dangerous. So I do have that. It’s called simple SEO and it’s one class, six modules walks you through exactly what you need to do for SEO and teaches you how to do the keyword research, teaches you my proven process for verifying that you’ve got the right keyword. So, you know, if you’re going to rank before you even get started, it’s a process I’ve worked out over the last 10 years and used for all those clients. Who’ve got all those great, huge results. Um, so that’s the course. I also do one-on-one training or coaching if people really want to learn and they want to have that hand-holding and they want to have a weekly meeting or something where we go through it, or I do done for you services. So it just really depends on what you’re looking for, but I do offer the three different things. Um, my website is etched You can find me on social at etched marketing academy because I really focus my social more on those who want to learn rather than the agency side. So Instagram, Facebook and YouTube at etched marketing academy, and the website is etched

    Love it. And of course I will link to that stuff in the show notes. And I will also link to that freebie that you mentioned around the kind of checklist of making sure that your blog is, is optimized,

    Correct? Yes, absolutely. There are a number of freebies. So on the website, you’ll find a free SEO class to get you started. Um, you’ll find an SEO, quick-start guide a blog ideas guide. So if you, now you’ve listened to this and you’re like,

    Oh, this isn’t so awful.

    I have 101 prompts for all different types of businesses, all different types of blog posts. Um, I also have a marketing plan template and then the SEO checklist, which is included within the quick-start guide itself. So lots of stuff to make it easier for you guys take advantage. I’ve been doing this 20 years take advantage of all the stuff that I’ve learned over the years that I’m sharing with you.

    Well, and I love, I mean, just even in this chat, like you explain it in a really easy to understand and follow along way, which I think my listeners will be like, oh,

    Finally, someone’s talking about something

    That confuses me and I totally understand it. Now. That is my goal.

    That’s I, it breaks my heart. When people say, I don’t understand SEO, it’s above my pay grade. I’m not smart enough. You are smart enough. Oh yeah. You just, you were listening to the wrong people. You just need someone who understands how to explain it. Okay. Exactly.

    It’s just in the, the it’s in the message. Well, thank you Rachel so much for taking this time to share all your wisdom with us. I know I super appreciated it and I know my audience will as well. So thank you. Thank you. Thanks. Thank you.

    Thank you. I’m so glad I was able to be here. And if you have questions, guys, just DME on Instagram, or shoot me a note on my website. I’m happy to help you figure it out. Love it. Love it. Love it. Well, thanks so much. Thank you.

  • Lead Magnets & Email Marketing For Realtors

    EPISODE 45

    Lead Magnets & Email Marketing for Realtors

    In this week’s episode, Jennifer and Aniysa discuss how to use low-cost lead magnets to generate leads in your real estate business. You’ll learn the do’s & don’ts, as well as how to use effective email marketing to nurture buyers & sellers to build know, like and trust feelings.

    Listen Now:

    Show Notes:

    Learn more about Aniysa here:

    Learn about Jennifer’s ATTRACT Coaching Program here.

    Book a Discovery Call about EXP Realty here.

    Episode Transcript:

    Jen Percival:
    Hello, hello. Hello. You’re listening to the Women Rocking Real Estate Podcast. I’m your host, Jen Percival, and as usual, thank you so much for tuning in. Before we jump into today’s episode, also, as usual, I wanted to say a special thank you to Keyanna. I hope I’m pronouncing that right. Y’all know I butcher names. And J Crosby, and Megan, and Sandra, and Joelle for leaving such amazing reviews for the show on iTunes. I so appreciate you taking the time out of your day to share your thoughts on the show and how it’s helping you in your businesses.

    I’ve also been getting a lot of inquiries about my coaching program, and although I don’t like to hijack the show by promoting the program too heavily, it is one of the easiest ways for me to just get messages out. So, the program is full right now, however, 20 spots will be opening up in September. It’s on a first come first serve basis, so if you are interested in learning more about the program and what’s involved, I encourage you to go to my website and visit the work with me tab. I like to keep things totally transparent, so you can find all the details including pricing. If it seems like a good fit for you, you can get on the waitlist and you will be first to be notified when registration opens. You can also book a discovery call with me before then if you’ve got any questions.

    Jen Percival:
    All right. Today, I have got a special guest on the show. I think I say that every time I have a guest on the show because they’re all special. We’re going to be talking about all things lead magnets and email marketing. Now, I do incorporate lead magnets into my business all the time, but for those of you on my email list, you’ve probably noticed that I rarely email you. I have got a serious block about it and I feel like I’m bugging you. Now, I did email those on my list about this episode, so I am really curious and would love to hear from you on whether you would prefer to hear from me monthly, weekly, or never. I genuinely want to know. So, please reply to the email that I sent, or if it’s easier, send me a DM and let me know your thoughts on this.

    Jen Percival:
    Okay. Without any further ado, let’s dial in to today’s episode. Hello, Aniysa. Welcome to the Women Rocking Real Estate Podcast. I am so excited to have you here.

    Hi, thank you so much for having me. I’m really excited to be here.

    Jen Percival:
    Awesome. All right. We are going to be chatting all about lead magnets today, and I am particularly excited about this topic because I think that they are either underutilized as a lead generation tool in real estate or they’re done wrong, so I can’t wait to get your thoughts and insights on this tool.

    Jen Percival:
    So, why don’t we start off by you just telling us who you are, what you do, and how you got into this?

    Sure. So, my name is Aniysa, and I’m the founder of Anyse Marketing, which is a real estate marketing agency. We provide social media management and email marketing services to realtors, investors, and brokers. I actually got my start in real estate marketing back in college. So, I went to the University of Miami, and at the time I was looking for some extra income, so I just applied to a few jobs through my school and I ended up getting a marketing assistant position for two top realtors in Miami and I helped them with their social media marketing, their blog content, website stuff. And they were listing agents, so they only worked with sellers, so I did all of their marketing for their new listings. And this was back in 2016, so social media wasn’t as prevalent at the time, but they really knew what they were doing when it came to both real estate and marketing, so I really couldn’t have asked for a better foundation and introduction into the field.

    Jen Percival:
    That’s amazing. Amazing. And so that was… sorry, back in 2016, you said?

    Yeah, I was with them for about three years off and on.

    Jen Percival:
    Right. So, you’ve seen lots of changes in the world of marketing over the last five years.

    Definitely. Very fast pace.

    Jen Percival:
    It is such a fast paced world out there. So, I would say lead magnets are a very popular tool, and obviously, really well-known for list building in the online world, but realtors might not be as familiar with them. So, if we can just dumb it down and maybe you could just quickly explain what exactly is a lead magnet and why should realtors use them to grow their business?

    Yeah, definitely. So, a lead magnet is really any piece of free valuable content that you give away to your audience in exchange for their contact information. So, it’s a great way to generate leads, whether it be through paid advertising, like Facebook ads, or even organically through your own Facebook page or Instagram page, and it’s a great way to showcase your expertise. So, in real estate, I think that lead magnets are particularly important and useful because it’s not one of those things where you kind of see something, you mull it over for a few days, and then you buy it a week later. Real estate, you have to take months of saving, and preparing, and researching, so lead magnets are a great catalyst to start building relationships with new potential clients over a long period of time, whether it be through email, or your phone, or whatever the case may be.

    Jen Percival:
    My God, I love that. That’s so true, that decision making process is long… especially on the buy side of things, a really long drawn out process. And so, there is time to build that relationship with people and to establish yourself as an authority figure and build that credibility and those know, like, and trust feelings. And so, one of the things that I see agents often doing and I’m curious to get your thoughts is how they use lead magnets, meaning, should they use different ones for different audiences and different pain points or should they just focus on one? What are your thoughts on that?

    Yeah. So, I definitely think it’s a great idea to have multiple lead magnets because the more value that you’re able to provide, the better. So, not everyone is at the same stage of the process. You might have a home buyer, you might have a home seller, and all these people are following you, but obviously, what’s important to a buyer is not going to be what’s important to a seller. So, being able to pinpoint all of those pain points and provide as much value as possible will be really important to help position you as an expertise and showcase your authority. So, understanding your audience and creating a piece of valuable content that really speaks to them and their needs is super important. If that means more lead magnets, that’s even better.

    Jen Percival:
    And I totally agree. And I think this is, again, one of those underutilized things in real estate is, if realtors spend as much time as they should figuring out who their ideal client is, or ideal community, or the types of people that they want to attract, they might know that, but I don’t think they’d go as much into detail as to what that audience’s pain points are, and what they’re struggling with, and what questions they have, and what information do they need to know, or what myths do you need to bust, or what beliefs do you need to change that they might have about the buying or selling process or about you as a realtor. And creating content that helps to address all of those pain points is such a critical part of generating leads. And so, lead magnets, if you do have a variety of different ones, that again, address those different pain points and those different questions and mess, etc, that’s super effective. And so, what are some examples of effective lead magnets that you would recommend in real estate?

    So, the most common ones that I see are buyer and seller guides, and those can definitely be super effective if you pack tons of relevant and helpful information in them, for example, market statistics in the area, frequently asked questions in the buyer or seller process. But you can also get really creative with it. Again, to be the most effective, it’s really important to identify who the lead magnet is for, and I always say go super local. So, for example, you can make a city guide for buyers who are relocating from another state with the best restaurants, museums, schools, so that would, of course, only be relevant to your area. Another realtor from another state or something like that wouldn’t be able to use that same lead magnet, so that kind of establishes you as the authority. You can also make a new construction homes’ guide with a list of new construction homes in the area. You can also do a quiz. “Am I ready to buy a home?” And you have to submit your contact information to receive the answer. You can even go as far as doing a webinar and having people submit their email address or their contact information to attend. And in that webinar, you can pack tons of valuable information for first time home buyers that just really need to be educated about the process.

    Jen Percival:
    I love it. So, in terms of the vehicle of your lead magnet, there’s a couple of different options. You said you could do something that you would turn into like a PDF guide, correct?

    Mm-hmm (affirmative), yeah.

    Jen Percival:
    And then potentially doing a webinar. Like a pre recorded webinar or a live training? What are your thoughts on that? What tends to be more successful?

    I think you could go either way. Honestly, you probably might be a little bit more comfortable if you do it pre recorded, but if-

    Jen Percival:
    I agree.

    … if you do it live, then you can open up for questions and answers and answer some of the burning questions that first time home buyers might have in that moment.

    Jen Percival:
    And so, when you have created this lead magnet, what’s the mechanism of how you promote it in terms of like, where do you put it? Is it on your website? Is it on your social media? Is it on your email signature? Where do you recommend people house these lead magnets?

    I would honestly put them anywhere that you think that your target audience might see them. So, you can put them on your email signature, you can put them in a landing page link on your social media, you can put them in a Facebook ad. But getting as much visibility as possible is really important, so having them everywhere would be really good.

    Jen Percival:
    And one of the things I always recommend is if… social media is fantastic at reinforcing those know, like, and trust feelings and building that authority, etc, but it’s not usually the platform that somebody goes to search for a real estate agent. So, if they’re actively thinking that they want to buy a home, they don’t go on to Instagram and start searching for real estate agents that way, because it’s just not an efficient way to find it. But they do go on to Google, obviously, and when they do those searches, they land on somebody’s website. And so, is having a lead magnet that’s tied to the specific page that somebody landed on a really, again, targeted approach. So, if somebody was searching for a particular neighborhood that they wanted to live in and they landed on your website’s page, would it be worthwhile and effective to have a lead magnet as a pop up, for instance, that is really specific to the content on that particular landing page?

    Yeah, definitely, because if somebody is coming to your page and they’re looking for something specific, having that piece of valuable information right there that they didn’t even know that they could get would be really helpful, and having it pop up right in your face is like you can’t really ignore it. So, if you have that advertisement for it and you have a place where you can opt in and put in your contact information, that will be a great way to have people submit and receive the lead magnet as well.

    Jen Percival:
    So, are pop ups better or are in line embedding it into your website better?

    Yeah. So, I actually tested this and I found that pop ups were actually more effective because you see it better. Having it in line, you might ignore it because it’s part of the web page so you don’t necessarily see it, but if it pops up maybe three to five seconds after you’ve arrived to the page, then there’s no ignoring it.

    Jen Percival:
    Right, right. I love it. And I think we’re all accustomed to having pop ups, and some people might say that they’re annoying, but I think we’re just so used to them that you can quickly delete it if you don’t want to or if you’re not interested in what it’s about, but like you said, it is in your face and it could get somebody’s attention that otherwise might not have.

    As well with the verbiage and the graphics and stuff can make it so that it’s not as annoying or shows that it’s going to be valuable for the person.

    Jen Percival:
    Exactly. And now, do you have any tools that you recommend for website pop ups? Is there one in particular that you would recommend people use?

    I think it would depend on your email provider. So, a lot of my clients have either MailChimp or Squarespace and they have some plugins that are built in so that you can create them easily because it might take a little bit of coding to implement that. Not, necessarily, everybody’s strong suit. So, having a plugin is really helpful through your website provider.

    Jen Percival:
    And so, MailChimp is… I mean, I always say MailChimp… although I don’t actually like MailChimp because it’s just… I don’t know what it is about the interface, I don’t like it, but it’s been around for so long, and it integrates with absolutely everything, and there’s a free version, and so it checks so many boxes, so it is a good option for people to use.

    Jen Percival:
    So, once somebody does opt in to the lead magnet, then what? How can realtors nurture those potential clients over a long period of time?

    Yeah. So, the best thing to do would be to set up what’s called an email drip campaign ahead of time. So, that’s a major time saver because it’s like a set it and forget it. You can create a campaign of maybe 12 to 15 emails over a three to four month period and you integrate it with the landing page of the lead magnet. So, once somebody opts in to receive the lead magnet, they’ll automatically get an email to send them that piece of valuable information, but then they’ll also be implemented to receive emails from you over that period of time.

    Jen Percival:
    And so, do you have a recommendation, again? So, you said three to four months of a nurture sequence. How often do you think people should be emailing? Because I know in the online world, it’s recommended that you contact your list weekly, but I feel like consumers have a lot less tolerance for real estate related content. So, what are your thoughts on that?

    Well, I think it goes back to understanding your audience and where they’re at in the home buyer or seller process. So, for example, if somebody is looking to sell their home in the next month or so, you’re probably going to have more frequent touch points with them versus somebody who’s not looking to sell until a year from now. So, just going back to that foundation and really understanding what their needs are. But I would say for a standard, once a week, or even once every two weeks, just making sure that you’re staying visible and staying consistent is most important, but definitely don’t overdo it to the point where you are overwhelming them and they’re seeing your name in their inbox all the time, especially if it’s not-

    Jen Percival:

    Yeah, that’s valuable to them.

    Jen Percival:
    And so, that’s a really good point, that don’t just create one standard nurture sequence that goes out to everybody, you would create specific nurture sequences depending on what lead magnet they opted into, which would then give you a little bit more insight into who they are, what their pain points are, and what their objectives are, correct?

    Definitely. The more targeted your emails are, the better. So, if you segment your audience based on where they’re at in the home buyer or seller process, if they’re a home buyer or seller, where they’re located, you can segment your audience in different ways. But the more segmented it is, the better you’ll be able to provide them with relevant information.

    Jen Percival:
    So, how do you recommend that you go about trying to get that information to actually segment them? Because when they are opting into the lead magnet, I’m assuming on that initial opt in, you don’t want to be asking a ton of questions because you’ll probably get a high drop off rate, right?


    Jen Percival:
    Yeah. So, basically, in that one, you just ask for first name, I would assume not even first and last name, just first name and email address?

    Well, I would actually ask maybe a couple of qualifier questions. I would add maybe two to three questions, not necessarily long form questions where they have to take a bunch of time to fill it out, but choosing from a multiple choice question or something like that where they can just give you a little bit more information about themselves so that you can better provide them with the information that they need, and even explaining that on the lead form that that’s why you’re asking the question so they’re not feeling that it’s being a little bit too invasive.

    Jen Percival:
    Right. So, you recommend asking a few, again, easy checkbox kind of questions on the lead magnet opt in form right away versus just getting their email, but one of the first emails that you send out, asking some qualifier questions.


    Jen Percival:
    Gotcha. So, I can imagine when you start thinking about all of the different segments that you could come up with here between buyers, and sellers, and renters, and then first time buyers versus… but is that effort worth it? And again, I think if you’re strategic about who it is that you’re trying to attract, and who your ideal client is, and who you want your niche or niche, however you want to pronounce it, to be, then you can focus in on lead magnets that are going to appeal to them, and so it does lessen the amount of nurture sequences that you would have to set up, correct?


    Jen Percival:
    And now, do you think that the average person would struggle trying to set up all of the tech associated with this? You could be honest.

    I mean, I think that a lot of… For example, I use Constant Contact for myself and my clients, and I think that Constant Contact does make it relatively simple to implement. If you don’t have the patience or the time to really sit down and learn it, it might be a little bit more complicated, but I think after doing it a few times, you’ll see that it comes a little bit easier. So, I think that with Constant Contact in particular, that platform is a little bit easier, but it really depends on the provider that you’re using and your knowledge of technology and marketing as well.

    Jen Percival:
    Right. And I think technology is one of those things that so many people have got limiting beliefs around their abilities or their tech savviness, and I always say to people like, “Being tech savvy is not a gift that you’re born with. It’s not like being born as a musician or an artist or something. Nobody is born tech savvy, it’s just a matter of the mindset of learning it.”

    Jen Percival:
    And I always say, in business, especially when you’re running a small business, which real estate is, you need to know enough about all of the ways that you run your business to be dangerous, because when you don’t know anything about it and you rely entirely on outsourcing everything to somebody, well, God forbid something goes wrong and you can’t afford to do that anymore, or you get taken for a ride and you don’t even know if they’re doing it right. So, knowing how to do this stuff, you don’t have to become an expert in it, but at least spending, like you said, a little bit of time investing some energy into learning how to do it is probably not a poor waste of time. Would you agree with that or no?
    Jen Percival:
    Love it. So, I do have some more questions about email marketing, but I do want to go back just on lead magnets. What are some things that make them effective or ineffective?
    Yeah. So, I would say that making sure the content in the lead magnet is of value to the client, and that ties back to knowing what it is that your client needs and what information that they’re searching for. So, for example, I’ve seen some buyer guides that basically just highlight the realtor and their accomplishments and have some testimonials in them, but at this at this stage in the game, you really want to focus on serving your audience and providing as much value for them as possible as opposed to selling, because they don’t know you yet, so you haven’t built that know, like, and trust factor, and that’s really what you want to focus on right now. So, of course, maybe including a page or two on yourself and your accomplishments in the lead magnet, but really focusing on packing as much value as possible. The majority of the lead magnet should be educational.
    Another thing is the way that the lead magnet is formatted. So, we of course, have really short attention spans, so when we see like big chunks of text, we might not want to read it or think it’s going to be helpful information to us. So, formatting it in a way that’s easy to read and scannable so that you can pick out keywords that people would want to get more information on. And then of course, having a call to action. So, what do you want your audience to do with this information, whether it be scheduling an appointment, or sending you an email with questions that they have, but having them take a next step with you. So, I would say [crosstalk 00:22:48] those things are super effective to have in your lead magnet.
    Jen Percival:
    So, basically, just to recap, make it about them and not about you. So, you can obviously end it off with details about you, but really make it about adding value and addressing those pain points, and teaching, educating etc. Make it really pleasing to peruse, so to speak. And there’s so many templates and stuff out there now that you can use on Canva that are pre designed and beautiful that you just make your own, so nobody has to be a graphic designer anymore to create beautiful stuff. And then the third was having a call to action, which is that next step.
    Jen Percival:
    Oh, I think I just want to also circle back to the whole creativity in terms of the type of lead magnets, because I know buyer and seller guides are effective, but I feel like they are probably overdone and everybody has them. So, the more, like you said, niche, and targeted, and specific that you can create a lead magnet, I would think the more effective. Have you looked at different opt in rates for different types of lead magnets?
    Yeah. So, I would actually say that the webinars probably have the highest opt in rates that I’ve seen.
    Jen Percival:
    Oh, interesting.
    Yeah. And I think it’s because people want to see that live presentation and get that information, and it’s a way to build that connection with a potential realtor. Any event that you’re able to promote as a way to really help out somebody who’s looking to buy a home for the first time I think it’s going to be really impactful. But I do think that buyer and seller guides also get a good opt in rate if they’re promoted correctly. You can tell when a buyer or seller guide is very generic and just has standard information, but again, tailoring it to where the person lives and the type of buyer they are, whether they’re a first time home buyer, or they’re an investor, or they are looking to sell their home, making sure that it is super targeted and relevant to your target audience.
    Jen Percival:
    Love it, love it. Sorry, let’s just circle back on the webinar thing again for a minute because, again, I don’t think it’s not done as often, and it’s so true that people really do form a much stronger connection when they can see and hear you, it gets them to start feeling like they’re getting to know you, and that is such a critical, critical thing in building those know, like, and trust feelings. And so, oh my God, I don’t know why I hadn’t thought of this before. I see webinars, obviously, in the online world all the time, but yeah, I don’t see realtors doing them that often. I see realtors promoting themselves on video, obviously, across social media, and maybe on YouTube, etc, but doing an actual webinar is a really interesting concept.
    Jen Percival:
    So, in terms of, again, the tech associated with that, do you have a particular platform that you recommend that would easily integrate with other ones or am I putting you out of the scope of your wheelhouse here?
    Oh, no. I would actually recommend Zoom. I think Zoom is the easiest way to do one pre recorded.
    Jen Percival:
    Love it. And obviously, it’s free as well or it can be free. So, that’s a good… So, you would have your lead magnet that would tie people to watch, I’m assuming like an on-demand webinar, and then from that webinar, there would be a call to action, and then there would be a nurture sequence. Correct?
    Right. So, at the end of the webinar, you can include a call to action. “Schedule an appointment with me to talk about any first time home buyer questions you might have or have a free consultation.” Discussing that call to action at the end of the webinar and getting them to take that next step, and then of course, they’ll be implemented into the email sequence.
    Jen Percival:
    Well, and it’s also a good time to let people know what your social media platform, where they can find you, your website, that sort of thing. And then how would you recommend promoting stuff like this? So, I know we talked about pop ups on website, I know we talked about social media, but can we chat about ads, running an ad to a lead magnet? Any thoughts that would be helpful to share on that?
    Yeah. So, right now, it’s a little bit difficult to run paid ads on Facebook just because Facebook has a lot of targeting restrictions due to the housing laws. For example, you’re not able to target specific neighborhoods or a specific income or job because that would be considered discrimination. So, you have to be very generic with your targeting, and a lot of times that can bring in people that are not necessarily qualified as the type of home buyer or seller that you’re looking for.
    So, one way to get around that is to include what’s called a Facebook Pixel on your website and to track the visitors that are coming to your website, and then you can create what’s called a look alike audience or a custom audience where Facebook shows your ad to people who are similar to those that have come to your website. So, if people have already come to your website, they’ve gone to specific pages and inquired about a home buying or selling a home, then they’re likely a potential lead for you. So, showing your ad to people that have similar behaviors online is an effective way to target through ads.
    Jen Percival:
    And not only that, if you had an email list already of people, whether it be your sphere of influence, whether it be people who have joined your list from an open house or whatever, you could also target those people who might not have taken that next step with you to see this webinar, so you could target them through a Facebook ad as well. Correct?
    Jen Percival:
    So, I know that there is a whole bunch of changes coming down the pipe, even with the Facebook Pixel and the ability to use that data, but until that’s all rolled out, obviously, you might as well take advantage of it, right?
    Yeah. You know that the change is going to come.
    Jen Percival:
    Exactly. And you know what… I don’t know. So, on that note, I’m sure my listeners are going to be like, “What are you guys talking about?” So, basically, there are some changes, if you haven’t heard, coming through the Apple iOS system that will now on mobile only, you will opt in or opt out from being tracked on websites that you visit. So, if you went and looked at some new vacuum, that vacuum is not going to show up all over the internet now in ads because if you opt out of it, it won’t be able to track you. Now, you do have the choice of opting in, and my understanding is that it only happens on mobile, it’s not on desktops, etc. But I personally plan to opt in because I find it a really efficient way of shopping. I don’t know. Have you experienced that or do you get annoyed by it? I know we’re totally off topic here, but might as well talk about it.
    No, I agree because I feel like I like to see ads sometimes and I like to see ads that are relevant to me. For example, if I’m online shopping and I see some clothes that pop up, and I’m like, “Oh, I’m interested in buying those clothes,” I want to see those types of ads come up. But if I opt out then I won’t see that type of information, I won’t see ads that are relevant to me. And if you have an advertiser that isn’t necessarily experienced and doesn’t know what they’re doing, then you might get an ad for wedding dresses when you never searched for wedding dresses, or you might get an ad for motorcycles that have nothing to do with you. So, it’s nice to see ads that are relevant to you, but I can understand, on the other side of things, wanting to protect your own privacy and knowing that you don’t have technology tracking your every move.
    Jen Percival:
    Right, right, right. Yeah. And what a lot of people don’t realize is some of the browsers have had this in place for… like Firefox has been blocking those cookies and tracking for ages now. And so it seems like it’s this new big thing coming but it’s just been a slower transition, and Google is going to be doing it as well. So, it’s all about adjusting and just figuring out what the new way is going to be to reach our ideal audiences, but until it’s done, might as well continue the way you have been, right?
    Jen Percival:
    So, just circling back now to email marketing, one of the other questions I had on my list that I did want to ask you was, what are some of the do’s and don’ts of email marketing? Is there anything you wanted to add in there about that?
    Yeah. So, I would say one do would be to have a compelling subject line. Obviously, that’s the first thing that your audience is going to see before they even open the email. One tip is to add the person’s name to the subject line, and you can do that in what’s called a merge tag. So, the email provider will source the contact name from your list so that you don’t have to put the specific name for every email that you send, and that makes it feel a little bit more personal. So, when they see their name in the subject, there’s a slightly higher chance that they’ll open the email.
    And then, again, always having that call to action at the end of the email. So, booking an appointment, scheduling an appointment, or responding to the email with questions. But don’t have multiple call to actions. In an effort to not confuse your audience, keeping it simple with one call to action that you want them to do is a lot more effective. But I would recommend to do A/B split testing with various subject lines and call to actions to see what works best for your audience. And you can do this by tracking the open and click rates of your emails, and whichever one gets a higher open and click rate is the one that you know resonates more. So, sending half of your audience an email with one subject line and the other half of your audience an email with another subject line and doing the same for your call to actions, and just testing what is most effective.
    Jen Percival:
    And then another question I have, and this is, again, something that started in the whole online world, what about just text only emails versus graphically prettily laid out emails? What are your thoughts on that specifically related to those real estate type emails and those nurture sequences, and then maybe a monthly newsletter?
    Yeah. I definitely think that graphics make the email more engaging and more fun.
    Jen Percival:
    Yay. I can’t stand the text ones anymore. They’re so undone.
    Yeah, and basic. But I get a lot of emails that have memes in them, so those are really fun, or GIFs, for example. So, just making it more animated and more engaging. The more images you have, the better, I would say. Well, of course, don’t overdo it, but making sure that is aesthetic and it makes sense for the email, but not just putting a ton of pictures. But I definitely think that having not just a text email is a better way to go.
    Jen Percival:
    And is there a length that you recommend that you, “Make it at least this long, but not longer than this”? I know these are not questions that I had on my question list, so you’re probably like, “Why are you asking me stuff you didn’t tell me you were going to ask me?”
    No, no. I’m not sure as far as character length, but I would say not making it too long where it’s going to take them forever to get through the whole email, especially if you are trying to give them valuable information, making it as concise as possible. It doesn’t have to be like a two-line email… I mean, it can be if you can get the information across in that short of information, but the shorter-
    Jen Percival:
    Make it as long as it needs to be but keep it as short as it could be.
    Jen Percival:
    And so, what about adding video into an email? And again, I know most email providers can’t actually play a video but it would take them to some sort of landing page. What are your thoughts on incorporating video into email marketing?
    Yeah. I definitely think that video is king right now. On email, on social media, that will definitely increase the engagement rates, just like the images that we’re talking about, and the GIFs, and memes and stuff like that. It is really annoying that you can’t play the video directly in the email, that it takes you to another like YouTube or Vimeo or something like that. So, I think that that makes it a little bit of an inconvenience for the user, but I definitely think that incorporating video, especially if you have an open house or a new listing, embedding that video into the email is really effective.
    Jen Percival:
    Anything that I didn’t ask you that you thought, “Oh, it’d be really great if we could talk about this”? Did I miss anything?
    And I think you did ask me this and I didn’t finish answering the question. For email marketing, and I actually see this a lot, is don’t purchase your email list.
    Jen Percival:
    Good one.
    And I think this is important because there are a lot of privacy laws in place where if the person didn’t physically opt in to receive emails from you, it’s actually illegal to send them an unsolicited email. So, that person can mark your email as spam, and if your spam rate gets too high, then your entire account can get shut down. So, it’s really important to make sure that you’re receiving your emails completely organically, and that might take a little bit more time, but you will have a more engaged audience, because these people want to hear from you and they’re expected to hear from you rather than a long list of people that have no idea who you are and why you’re emailing them.
    Jen Percival:
    And why you’re emailing them. It’s so true. That’s such a good don’t. Thank you for bringing that one up.
    Jen Percival:
    This has been, honestly, so helpful, so insightful, Aniysa. Thank you so much for coming on the show. Where can agents find you and learn more about the services that you offer?
    Yeah. So, I have my services and some of my previous projects with clients on my website, which is A-N-Y-S-Emarketing. And I’m also very active on Instagram, so if anyone wants to connect with me there, my Instagram handle is anysemarketing. And also, you can shoot me an email with any questions that you might have about lead magnets or email marketing.
    Jen Percival:
    Love it, love it, love it. I will link, obviously, to all of that stuff in the show notes, but thank you so much for being here today, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and insights with us, and I can’t wait to follow you more on social media and see what you’re putting out there.
    Thank you. Thank you so much for having me. I had a great time.
    Jen Percival:
    Well, there you have it, ladies. I hope you enjoyed that interview. And I want to leave you with a few key kind of takeaways as a reminder. Number one, in order to have effective marketing strategies, you really do need to know who it is that you’re trying to attract. Now, I’m going to do a whole podcast on this topic specifically, but I want you to remember that when you try to attract everyone, you end up attracting no one. I also want to clear up a myth about niches or niches, however you like to pronounce it. So, many realtors are afraid of niching down because they’re afraid of turning away people that don’t fall into that niche. And let’s face it, you probably don’t want to turn anyone away if you’re still building your business. But marketing, it just doesn’t work that way, and I want you to kind of think of it as a one way street that only goes one way, but not in reverse.
    Jen Percival:
    When your messages are targeted to a particular audience, that audience notices the message and pays attention to you, you attract them. But it doesn’t work the other way. People that aren’t in that niche that you’re trying to attract, they don’t notice the message in the first place. There’s so many marketing messages out there that our brains are designed to subconsciously filter out ones that aren’t relevant to us. So, someone who isn’t in the niche that you are trying to attract won’t even notice your message, so they’re not going to think, “Oh, that agent only specializes in that so I won’t consider using them.” No, they literally won’t notice the message at all. But the ones who it does speak to, they’ll pay attention. So, that is the reason it’s so important to niche down and target your messages to one particular niche or a few in particular.
    Jen Percival:
    Okay. The second takeaway that I want to highlight is that marketing your business effectively, it takes work. There are no two ways around it, there’s no quick detours to fast track your results. So, creating lead magnets and setting up all of the nurture sequences, especially if you are being really strategic about them, and creating multiple ones that speak to different audiences, well, it takes time, and it takes effort. But it can be a really effective lead generation strategy that has been proven over time to work, especially when it’s done right.
    Jen Percival:
    Now, this strategy can also fall into what I call shiny object territory. You’re definitely going to want to implement it in your business at some point, but right now might not be the right time. You might have bigger priorities that you need to implement first. If that’s the case, then put this strategy in the later vault, I call it, and focus on those other priorities first. The key is to focus on just one thing at a time and then take consistent actions every single day to make it happen. Only when you’re done should you focus on the next project on your list.
    Jen Percival:
    All right. I am done babbling. Remember, the more you learn, the more you’ll learn. Until next time. .

  • Creating Content on Instagram That Generates Real Estate Leads

    EPISODE 43

    Creating Content on Instagram That Generates Real Estate Leads

    In this week’s episode, Jennifer has nationally recognized real estate keynote speaker Chelsea Peitz on the show. Chelsea teaches sales professionals how to leverage social media and technology to build a powerful personal brand and develop content that generates real leads. She is the creator and host of The Voice of Social Sales Podcast and she is the author of the book “What to Post” which you’re going to want to grab a copy of. In this episode you’ll learn:

    • how to optimize your Instagram account to get found, get followed and get leads
    • the current content trends to focus on in 2021
    • how to re-purpose content to maximize your time
    • how to use Instagram reels to build authority (without feeling the need to lip-sync, dance or be entertaining)
    • how IGTV and Instagram Stories should fit into your social strategy
    • mistakes to avoid and secret tips you didn’t know

    Listen Now:

    Show Notes:

    You can learn more about Chelsea here:

  • Tips For Writing Better Real Estate Descriptions, Bios & Content

    EPISODE 35

    Tips For Writing Better Real Estate Descriptions, Bios & Content

    In this week’s episode, Jennifer and guest Christy Murdock Edgar chat all things about how to be a better writer in your real estate marketing. From listing descriptions to bios to blog content, you’ll learn some tips and tricks to up your writing game.

    Listen Now:

    Show Notes:

    • Learn more about my ATTRACT™ coaching program for women in real estate here.

    • Learn more about EXP Realty here.

    • Purchase my Planned with Purpose™ real estate planner here.

    You can learn more and connect with her through:

  • The Secret Skill That Will Set You Apart

    EPISODE 28

    The Secret Skill That Will Set You Apart In Real Estate

    In this week’s episode, Jennifer and guest Christine Laperriere chat about the secret skill that will set you apart in an industry flooded with competition.  

    Listen Now:

    Show Notes:

    • Learn more about my ATTRACT™ coaching program for women in real estate here.

    • Learn more about EXP Realty here.

    • Purchase my Planned with Purpose™ real estate planner here.

  • Ditch Your Limiting Beliefs to Start Getting The Results You Deserve

    EPISODE 27

    Ditch Your Limiting Beliefs to Start Getting The Results You Deserve

    In this week’s episode, Jennifer and guest Dr. Shannon Irvine discuss how Realtors can neurohack success by rewiring the brain.

    Listen Now:

    Show Notes:

    • Learn more about my ATTRACT™ coaching program for women in real estate here.

    • Learn more about EXP Realty here.

    • Purchase my Planned with Purpose™ real estate planner here.

  • Why, When & How to Hire a Virtual Assistant

    Why, When & How to Hire A Virtual Assistant

    In this week’s episode, Jennifer and guest Amy Ransdell discuss the benefits of outsourcing menial tasks to a virtual assistant, so that you can scale your business more quickly.

    Listen Now:

    Episode Transcript:

    You can learn more about REVA Global and explore hiring a Virtual Assistant here.

  • Building A Powerful Personal Brand

    EPISODE 19

    Building A Powerful Personal Brand

    In this week’s episode, Jennifer and brand strategist Sibila Ribeiro, chat about the importance of having a clearly defined brand strategy and how to go about clarifying your personal brand message.

    Listen Now...

    Episode Transcript

    You can find more information about Sibila’s free Visual Brand Style Quiz and her upcoming “Build Your Brand Kit” Masterclass this Friday February 7th, by clicking the image below!

  • Instagram For Realtors

    EPISODE 13

    Instagram for Realtors

    In this week’s episode guest Beth Flemming from UncommonAgent, provides listeners with tips for creating compelling content and strategies to grow your audience on Instagram.

    Listen Now:

    Show Notes:

    • Learn more about my ATTRACT™ coaching program for women in real estate here.

    • Learn more about EXP Realty here.

    • Purchase my Planned with Purpose™ real estate planner here.

    Episode Transcript:

    You can find more information about Beth and the services she offers by visiting her website or checking out her Instagram page.