This month, we chatted with tech-savvy Nancy Braun, owner of Showcase Realty in Charlotte, North Carolina, recognized for her effective technological approach to building a brand and maintaining client interactions.
With major companies engaging in personalized advertising and every company, big and small, posting on social media; marketing can seem a daunting, complicated task.
Relationship-building is key, and knowing how to leverage technology to build and maintain relationships is an increasingly important skill. Sifting through all the technological options available can be difficult, so we’ve reached out to one seasoned professional who leverages technology in a variety of ways to seek professional success.
While real estate has typically been a paper-heavy industry, Nancy Braun, owner and broker in charge at Showcase Realty in Charlotte, North Carolina, runs an entirely paperless, high-inventory brokerage with multiple offices. She uses e-signatures, zip forms, Evernote and more to organize, track, and process all tasks and transactions at her office.
Running a paperless office may still be somewhat unique in today’s real estate market, and Braun’s technology innovation doesn’t stop there. Braun embraces technology from every angle, leveraging it to communicate with potential buyers, market individual properties, position herself and her office as an authority in the industry, and continue her own professional development and advancement.
Reaching Customers with Efficiency
While Braun takes it as a given that most real estate professionals will understand the importance of a customer relationship management (CRM) system, she emphasizes the significance of finding a CRM “that has a lot of bells and whistles.”
Braun has about 15,000 potential home buyers in her CRM, and she is able to reach them through email, text, and voicemail blasts. For example, she recently held an open house for a property for which 41 clients had previously expressed interest. She texted, emailed, and voicemail blasted all 41 to inform them about the open house. Braun also regularly sends out e-fliers and videos to her extensive client list.
In addition to traditional buyers, Braun keeps in touch with a large list of investors whom she can contact when she gets a property that might be of interest to them.
Effective Social Media
Braun and Showcase are also active on social media and maintain a significant online presence. She has Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, and Snapchat accounts in order to interact with potential clients on a personal level.
For agents who are either new to social media or looking to refine their social media presence, Braun recommends focusing on Facebook.
“Stick to one platform, and do a good job with it,” she said.
Braun promotes individual properties and open houses on her Facebook account, but she also posts more informative content relating to home buying. This content helps her build her brand. Braun also leverages social media to position herself as an industry source by posting webinars and information about training events she hosts.
“Another big ticket item is getting testimonials,” Braun says. She asks her clients to submit their testimonials online, and then she reposts them on her website and sometimes on social media. She also publishes video testimonials.
The real estate industry can be demanding, and being an expert in both real estate and social media may be too much to take on. Braun reminds agents to take advantage of available resources. Hire a social media specialist, or find an intern from a local college or university, she says.
However, even if you have someone handling social media and/or marketing for you, “it’s also good for you to know so you can direct them and understand what they’re doing.”
A social media intern will not likely have a deep understanding of the real estate industry, so it will have to be a team effort to create a meaningful social media presence.
Leveraging Your Resources
In order to stay abreast of technology trends, social media techniques, and continue to understand the real estate market, Braun says it is important to go to conferences and find informative webinars.
“Use your down time when you’re driving or exercising to better your skills,” she advises, adding that she listens to webinars on the way to work and while walking her dog each day. She seeks out webinars about leadership, marketing, technology, real estate, and business.
“The information is out there; you just have to take advantage of it,” Braun says.