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"There is really no good excuse for not being able to grow"

Yesterday’s opening day of engage.marketing was very tactical, but Day 2 really doubled down on actionable tactics that any Realtor, loan officer or industry pro can implement right away. 

The day started out with a bang with some of the most brilliant minds in the industry, who also happen to be in the trenches every single day, building teams and empowering people. Then it went into some specialized sessions on how to grow and maximize your pretense on different social media platforms. 

How to Maximize Marketing’s Influence as it Integrates with Internal Teams

Speakers: Brian Covey, VP, Regional Production at loanDepot; Phil Treadwell, VP of Development & Regional Manager at Mason-McDuffie Mortgage; Haley Parker, Area Business Development Manager at Fairway Independent Mortgage Corp.; and David Arnett, Vice President of Marketing and Communications at Cherry Creek Mortgage

Brian Covey, Phil Treadwell, Haley Parker and David Arnett all run large teams that operate at very high levels in the mortgage space. They all have different viewpoints and different company structures, but it was interesting to see them all in agreement on most things. 

Lead response, in particular. 

At one point, they were asked how leads or prospects are prioritized internally to decide who gets a call back, and when. 

Dustin Brohm

Brian Covey from LoanDepot seemingly spoke for the group in saying that everyone deserves a call back. Everyone, regardless of which stage in the process they are in, deserves to be called back and served. Rightfully so, heads were nodding all around. 

But the question then became, how are leads responded to, and by whom. That’s where some differences emerged, but ultimately, each differing view all had the same goal; serve the consumer as best as you can, as fast as you can.

Haley Parker from Fairway Independent Mortgage Southwest said that they actually prioritize hiring more help if they discover leads or prospects are not able to be responded to in a timely manner. If they find a consumer request cannot receive a timely response, they hire as fast as they can to fill that need. You may be thinking, “Well duh! That’s what they should do!” But how many companies actually factor lead response time into their company hiring guidelines? My guess is, not as many as there should be. 

Local Marketing

Speaker: Eric Benaim, Founder, CEO / President at Modern Spaces

I was stunned to hear that Eric Benaim, a Realtor and team leader in Long Island City, New York has roughly 70% market share in Long Island City! Uhh, yeah… 70% market share! How the hell did they pull that off?


Eric’s story was a perfect example of why branding is so important. Brand awareness. Logo and name recognition. Absolutely crucial! 

One example of how Eric built brand awareness in Long Island was with coffee sleeves. Years ago, he went around to local coffee shops and asked if any needed coffee sleeves supplied to them. He then bought 10,000 coffee sleeves with his brand on it and delivered to those local coffee shops who raised their hand. Now every time someone went in to grab a cup of joe, they saw Eric’s branding. 

Another great idea that Eric and his group have done is superhero photo days for families in the community. They’d have a few superheroes in costume and invite the community to come out with their kids and get photos, free of charge. Those photos would get hung on the fridge, so then every time they looked at it, they’d remember Eric and his real estate team. 

Branding is not about having your branding, name, face and logo seen once by a ton of people. It’s about being seen repeatedly over time until, eventually, that consumer would always think of you when they think of a real estate agent or lender.


Speaker: Chelsea Peitz, National Director of Social Sales at Fidelity National Financial

Instagram is still arguably the most powerful platform to build a brand. Chelsea Peitz, in my humble opinion, is the most knowledgeable, most credible Instagram expert in our entire industry. She has built her audience 100% organically and authentically, and I’m hard-pressed to think of any other “social media personality” within the real estate and mortgage world with a stronger connection to her followers. 

Chelsea shared the science and reasoning behind why Instagram Stories are so powerful. Being able to make a face-to-face connection through a camera is literally the next best thing to meeting someone in person. So when you document your day, or tell a story through an IG Story, you can have a “face-to-face” impression on people by the hundreds, all at the same time. 

The takeaway here is this: Use Instagram stories, and use them often.

Do not overthink the content you put on there. Just share you. Let people see who you are, and get to know you and your personality, quirks and all. When you do it consistently, you’ll find that you’ve built a deep connection with many people who now know, like and trust you, even if you’ve never met. All because you took out your phone and hit record.


Speaker: Travis Thom, Founder & CEO at Elevated REM

There were some great takeaways from Travis Thom about Facebook advertising, which anyone who knows me knows I’m a huge proponent of. Travis is someone that I look to for the latest Facebook ad news and info, which comes at us fast and furious these days. 

As Travis taught us today, for anyone at any stage of their career, Facebook is quite possibly the best way to spend your ad dollars. Regardless of your goal, whether it’s acquiring leads, branding or just getting more people to come to an open house, the Facebook Ad platform can do it all. And for much less money than almost any other ad platform out there. 

To be honest, I could write a 10,000 word article every day this week just from Travis’ presentation about Facebook advertising, but I’ll spare you. But I do want you to at least walk away knowing that Facebook ads are a very effective tool for helping you to reach new people. Through this tool, you can get them to hear a message and create chances to have more conversations with those who already know you.

Facebook Ads can do so much more than just capture leads, and it’s worth taking the time to learn how to use it.

Final Words

As an outsider looking in at the last two days of engage.marketing, I was very impressed. Impressed by the caliber of speakers who opened their playbooks and shared some real, tactical information. Impressed at how well HousingWire was able to shift gears so quickly from a live event in Orange County, to an online virtual summit, and have it turn out so well. 

But I was also impressed with how many different ways there are to win as a housing professional. You can do damn near anything and see success. You just have to do it consistently, and continue getting better each time you do it. 

There’s so much great informational “how to” info out there, that there is really no good excuse for not being able to grow. If you’re not growing, or not succeeding, it’s not because of a lack of info on how to be successful. It’s nothing more than a lack of willingness to seek out the information, take action and DO THE THINGS. Simple as that.

 Connect with Dustin on LinkedIn

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