I think it’s safe to say that literally every real estate agent or mortgage pro has posted something in the last week or so along the lines of “2020 is going to be my best year ever.”
Right? Come on now, we all do it. It’s healthy to publicly set expectations for yourself. Well, assuming you actually follow through on the claim.
So if you are planning on 2020 being your #BestYearEver, like we all do, then I have just one question for you: “What will you do differently next year that will ensure you get different results?”
Working your butt off will only pay off if you’re doing the right things. For example, when the Ford Model T was released to the masses in 1908, anyone “tripling down” on building a better horse-drawn carriage simply didn’t have a shot.
You get my point. To have any shot at massive success in the new year, you first need to make sure that you’re working on the right things. Otherwise, you don’t stand a chance.
With that in mind, here are four keys to making 2020 the best year of your career.
1) Learn what consumers really want
Understand that consumer demands are vastly different today than they were even a few years ago. Today, almost everyone does everything online, and they do it on their mobile phone. (I don’t even know why we call it a mobile phone anymore. It’s a phone!)
As a real estate agent or loan officer, if your process doesn’t allow consumers to apply, submit documents, search for homes and get process updates on demand from their phone, then you’re creating friction. Friction between what they want and expect, and what you’re willing to give them. I’ll let you decide for yourself whether or not that friction is good or bad for your business.
Uber, Netflix, Spotify, Apple Pay and Amazon have gradually trained society that they can do everything on their phone, and that it’s quick and easy. I mean come on, it’s 2020. We have packages being delivered within an hour by drone. We’re able to leave our wallets at home and navigate our whole day without ever needing to pull it out. We live in a mobile-first world. Act like it.
Beyond the mobile experience, you need to understand what consumers actually want to hear about. If you are doing videos or writing articles on topics that you want them to hear, but they don’t really care about, you’re not going to get any traction. Flip it. First think about what consumers want or need, and then figure out how to deliver that to them.
2) Be visible everywhere
Our whole world is now online… but did your business get the memo? Are you and your business able to be easily found online? Will a stranger get the impression that you’re a local expert, that you’re likable, that you’re credible, or that you’re up for the job of selling their $800,000 home in a slowing market?
Social media IS the internet. So if that’s where everyone is spending most of their time, why aren’t you showing up when they’re scrolling their news feed? If you aren’t showing up, I assure you, one of your competitors is.
Put yourself out there on the social networks. Often. Posting videos, articles and other valuable content on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Twitter is completely free. And you’re not doing it! It’s insane that anyone would pass up this opportunity to be seen, found and recognized on social media. It’s likely not always going to be free like this.
3) Do (more) Video
The most effective way to be seen, found and known online is through video. Think about it, you’re able to see and hear the other person. Video is the next best thing to being face to face. Then again, it’s much more difficult and time-consuming to be face to face with over 1,000 people, while getting 1,000 people to see your videos is extremely do-able. In my opinion, video is the best, most powerful way to build your brand online, because consumers can see how you say things, including your body language.
That’s how connections are made in today’s world, and a connection will lead to them deciding whether or not you’re likable, credible and trustworthy. Video can make that happen for you in a major way, as long as you are authentic in your videos. The quirks and personality are what people will connect and relate with.
There are many different ways to do videos these days, most of which are free. Sure, it would be great to hire a videographer to do professional-quality content on a regular basis, but the informal, laid back format of Instagram and Facebook stories are equally as powerful, if not more so. If you can do a combination of recorded, edited videos for YouTube, Facebook and IGTV as well, then you’re well on your way.
Throw in consistency over time, and you’re going to win… assuming you’re putting out stuff that people actually want to watch. But don’t overthink this. Case and point: cat videos.
4) Learn Facebook Ads
Lastly, you really need to leverage the power of Facebook Ads. Going into 2020, now is the time to learn how to properly use the most powerful, undervalued paid advertising platform available… Facebook.
The Facebook Ads platform is an amazing tool that, when used properly, acts like pouring gas on your brand’s online reach.
By spending $50-$300 or so each month, you can get tens of thousands more views of your videos, your logo, face or brand. You can get a ton more readers of your articles or blog, or simply capture more leads. I’ve never seen an ads platform that was more powerful (and affordable!) at getting strangers to know that you and your brand exists. Facebook Ads are so powerful that once I personally mastered them, I was getting about 70% of my buyers and sellers from Facebook advertising in one way or another.
If Facebook ads can have such incredible results, why aren’t more real estate agents and mortgage pros using them?
Simple. It takes time and money to learn how to do them effectively. First, the learning curve. Believe it or not, it takes time and money to really master the Facebook advertising platform. Crazy, right? You can’t just spend $50 on one ad and close two $750,000 transactions. Sure, you can get lucky. Yes, if your ads are good and setup properly, you can absolutely have some quick wins. But if you think that Facebook Ads are a short term solution to your “lack of new business” problem then, well, that’s a problem.
It takes trial and error, which means you’re going to spend some money on ads that just flat out do not work. But that’s part of the process. I mean, you can’t learn how to drive a car by reading about it, can you? No, you have to actually get behind the wheel to fully understand and learn. The same concept applies to learning how to run effective ads.
I challenge you to make the commitment of time and money to learn Facebook Ads. Personally, I did this the hard way. I watched YouTube videos, read articles, and lots of trial and error. But it took a long time to master. In hindsight, I should have hired a Facebook Ads coach, taken a course, gone to a workshop, or ideally, all of the above. But I chose to tell myself the story that “I couldn’t afford it.”
Proper training is not so much an expense as an investment. Because when you learn how to control your own ability to get your own leads, or how to grow your brand’s online exposure, you have control. You aren’t reliant on any broker, branch manager, team leader, Zillow, Lending Tree or whoever else to bring you new business. You have control.
And in 2020, having full control over your ability to get new clients will likely make the difference between failure, or massive explosive growth.
Now, go do the things.