About This Episode
You’re an expert when it comes to the latest real estate industry trends, but social media is a different story. Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube–there are just too many, and they’re constantly changing. This week on The Walkthrough, we talk to a real estate agent-turned-social media expert who helps agents stay current and grow their business through social media.
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Links & Show Notes
- Chelsea’s Instagram Profile
- Chelsea’s Book – What to Post
- Chelsea’s Website
- Chelsea’s Podcast – The Voice of Social Sales
- Join our Facebook mastermind for The Walkthrough listeners
- HomeLight’s Agent Resource Center
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(SPEAKER: Lisa Johnson Smith, Host)
Lisa: It’s your job to keep up with the latest real estate industry trends, but social media is altogether different, and yet so necessary. So, in 2022, you’ve made videos touring your client’s homes on YouTube. You posted them on Facebook, and Instagram, and added Stories. You’ve even posted funny videos on TikTok. Well, now that you’ve got the hang of it, guess what? Things are changing for 2023
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faster than you can click that like button.
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But not to worry, we’ve got you covered. Our guest this week says she speaks “fluent Instagram and Facebook.” Her name is Chelsea Peitz. She’s a social media strategist and a former real estate agent who’s here to tell you exactly what and how you should be posting in 2023 to grow your business. This is The WalkThrough.
Lisa: Hi there. I’m Lisa Johnson Smith, producer of The WalkThrough here at HomeLight. Welcome to The WalkThrough. This is a weekly show. New episodes come out every Monday. This is the show where you learn what’s working right now, from the best real estate agents and industry experts in the country. At HomeLight, we believe in real estate agents. We’re here to explore how great agents grow their business, stand out from the crowd, and become irreplaceable.
With so many social media platforms around, it’s hard to keep up with the latest trends and changes. But if you want to be effective, it is necessary to. Well, Chelsea Peitz to the rescue! She is the best-selling author of “What to Post.” It’s a guide for real estate agents on how to get the best results for their business, using social media. And she covers them all– Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, you name it. It is a wealth of information, and I’ll be sure to share a link to it in the show notes, along with her podcast, “The Voice of Social Sales.”
Well, on today’s show, we’re gonna talk about new changes in the algorithms on certain platforms, and exactly what changes you need to make in order to still be effective. We’re going to talk about ways to measure your ROI, and also give step-by-step instructions on exactly what you should be posting and how you need to show up differently in 2023. Here’s my conversation with Chelsea Peitz.
Lisa: You did tons of research on Facebook, on LinkedIn, on Instagram, on TikTok. And the one message that was very clear to me was that things are changing all the time in social media. Let’s get right to it. Tell me, what is it that agents need to know about 2023 before posting?
Chelsea: Yes. To your point, my goodness gracious, everything is changing constantly, all the time. If one thing is constant, it’s change, and specifically in the world of the socials. And it can feel really overwhelming, especially if this is not your full-time focus. And it shouldn’t be. You are helping people buy and sell real estate, build generational wealth, and you are not a full-time content creator. So, I’m excited today to talk about some of the major things that we can focus on, so we can get you out of the overwhelm, and get you focused on taking action and feeling empowered. So, let’s go ahead and start right in.
And I’m gonna start with this first one, very specifically on purpose, because nobody listening is going to be surprised when we talk about video, and what’s coming for video, and what’s changing for video. We’ve been hearing about video for years, and yet we still don’t like making videos.
One of the major frustrations that I see and hear again and again is, “Chelsea, I feel like I’m posting, I feel like I’m doing what I should be doing, and yet I’m not seeing new business or transactions. What am I doing wrong?” And so, then, what we do is we look and I say, “Oh. I know exactly what’s happening.”
And so, the first thing to note about a 2023 environment, going forward, is that we need you, those who are listening, need to show up the same way in a digital environment as you’re showing up in a physical. So, we’re showing up differently. What does that mean? So, let’s talk about how we often show up differently in a digital environment, meaning your videos on Instagram, your Stories, Facebook, wherever you might be. Here’s an example.
I hear this all the time. “Ooh, gosh, but I really can’t stand the sound of my voice when I hear it back. It’s terrible. I can’t possibly sound like that, do I?” We’ve all experienced it. And so, now, we let that limiting belief, that story that we’re telling ourselves, keep us from showing up on video, because we’re afraid. “Oh, my gosh. I look different. I don’t like how I look. I’m not someone who’s made for video, and I certainly don’t like my voice.” Now, let’s put the lens of what would we do in a physical meeting, if you and I were in the same room right now?
So, imagine we’re at Starbucks, and you ask me a question, and instead of answering that question, as we all would, I furiously start writing notes. Furiously. I’m writing notes on my paper, and I, silently, take my notebook, and I slide it across the table, and on it, it says, “Lisa, I’d love to answer your question, but my voice, I think, is cringe. You’re probably gonna think it’s horrible. I would rather just… How about you talk and I’ll write? Does that sound okay?” And now, you’re laughing, because you’re thinking, “Well, of course, we’re not gonna do that,” right?
Chelsea: So, why are we letting that hold us back in the digital world? So, this lens of thinking that we are a separate and a non-human, on technology, or that we can’t use technology to show up as a human. And so, I talk a lot about different examples of how we’re showing up very differently, and it can be as simple as a Zoom call.
You know, all of us had to do Zoom for, almost exclusively, for two years. And I would say to people, “Wait a minute. You have no camera on. You wouldn’t come to a meeting at Starbucks or at an office and turn your chair around, or dive under the table and hide, right?” So, what are [we doing to] ourselves–keeping us from being that amazing, incredible human being that people wanna trust and connect with? It just happens to be in a digital environment.
So, I think the first thing is digital versus physical, how are you showing up? And I bet if you take a look at it, you’ll probably realize that some of those stories that we talked about, and then some, are keeping you from showing up as the amazing human, the perfectly imperfect human you are.
Lisa: So, that’s number one. And what’s number two, Chelsea?
Chelsea: So, number two, going into the vein of being human and showing up and being on video, let’s talk about a specific area of video that is going to be on every single platform, from TikTok to YouTube to Facebook. We’ll see if it goes to LinkedIn. So, what I’m talking about specifically is called short-form video. Short-form video.
Now, we are used to videos. We know what those are. Short-form video really kind of started with an app called TikTok. And what happens is, you know, the brain has a different experience when we watch something that is very short, that usually has movement. It’s full-screen, right? So, it’s not like you’re in a feed, with multiple posts. You open up TikTok, or you open up Instagram reels feed, or whatever feed you’re gonna watch with this short-form video, and usually, it’s activity, it’s a person, or a human being. There might be sounds and music and movement. It might be a little bit more edited. And it’s short. And it gets right to the point. And so, our brain’s like, “dopamine, dopamine, dopamine,” and then we go over to LinkedIn, and we’re like, “Oh.” This is a different brain feel as I’m scrolling through the images, right?
Lisa: It’s literally addictive. I mean…
Chelsea: I know. We’re not saying that’s a good thing. I mean, it definitely has negatively impacted attention spans. But I think it’s important to know why it’s no longer a trend. It is here to stay, and it’s changed behavior and consumption. And that’s the next thing we’re gonna talk about, is how engagement is changing, and what you need to know about that.
But short-form vertical video is on every platform. It is here to stay. A lot of people thought it was just a trend. “Oh, I’m not gonna do TikTok. I don’t dance. I don’t lip sync. Not for me. Never gonna sell a luxury home on it.” And we know that that’s not necessarily the case. And it is a type of format that is short. It’s vertical video. It usually has a person in it. And usually, generally, with an asterisk I’m gonna put in there, it tends to be a little bit more edited.
I think that’s an important point to note, because some people that might be listening might be a little confused as to, “Well, wait a minute. She’s talking about short-form videos like Instagram reels and TikToks, but wait. Don’t we already have short-form videos? Aren’t those called Stories?” Yes, we also have short-form videos in the form of Stories, and there is a distinct strategy difference. One, Stories, on one hand, it disappears. It’s very unedited. It’s supposed to be you, talking to your community, right?
When you’re making an Instagram Reel, that is going to be a little bit more edited. It might have a beginning, it might have a middle, and an end. You might be giving some tips or some education, so… and it will also stay forever. So, one disappears, one stays forever. One is very unedited and raw and human, one is a little bit more edited. And, the big difference is that Stories are seen by people who already follow you. That’s the nurture mechanism. Reels and TikToks, those are going out to people that don’t know you yet. And that’s how you have the growth, and then they check your profile, maybe they follow you, and then you nurture that relationship with the Stories.
So, in a real estate term, think of it as somebody opts in to your newsletter. Or maybe somebody says, “I wanna search on this website. I’m gonna give them my email address, and I’m gonna start searching.” Well, you’re gonna do something with that email. You’re gonna nurture them with your newsletter, or your monthly touch points. Same thing happens with social media. The Reel is the lead magnet. That’s the person seeing that one lead magnet, or opting in to your newsletter. And now, you’re gonna nurture them with the Stories. And so, it’s a really beautiful combination.
Lisa: So, like you mentioned, a lot of agents out there are like, “Look, I’m not a dancer. I’m not gonna do this, X, Y, and Z.” Some people are. Some people add that, and it’s great. But how do you know which platform to get started on? Or if you’ve already started, but you haven’t been able to get that engagement?
Chelsea: I am always a big fan of starting with one thing. So, maybe the first step is deciding which platform do I like the most? Maybe you’re more familiar with Facebook. Maybe you love LinkedIn. Maybe you have been saying, “Gosh, I’m not gonna get into Instagram. I’ve been in Facebook world for 15 years,” and you feel great and comfortable on Facebook, and now you’re ready to take on or try another platform. I don’t recommend trying all the things at once. It gets overwhelming, it’s a recipe for burnout, it’s not sustainable long-term, and it can start to feel really discouraging and “drudgerous”, if that’s even a word, where you’re like, “Oh, now I have to make a video, and I have to post it over to TikTok, and then I gotta go over to Instagram, and then I have to do all these things.” And then you just don’t wanna do it.
Lisa: So, it really depends on preference, is what you’re saying?
Chelsea: It depends on preference, and, you know, where are you, or where your client’s at. And I’m here to tell you, they’re everywhere. They’re on every platform. Even if you don’t think they’re on TikTok, they are. Okay. So, step number three, and you actually just teed me up for it, which is perfect.
Usually, we think of social media kind of like a CRM, right? You’re following people, maybe past clients, people that you know. Generally, you are feeling like these are people that I’m gonna know, or that I choose to follow. And now, what’s happening is we have a recommendation algorithm. And an algorithm is a fancy word for software. So, it’s just, everything has it. Amazon has it. Netflix has one. It’s looking at your data points and your behaviors, and it’s saying, “Oh, wow. You like watching true crime. All right, well, you’ll probably like this other one.”
And so, we see that all the time. Same thing happens in social media. And this recommendation algorithm is now serving us content from people we don’t follow. And if you think about how you use Facebook, you’re like, “Oh, that’s kind of different, because I don’t open my Facebook feed and see people I don’t know.” And now you’re going to. And now that’s already happened on Instagram. And so, this beautiful opportunity for all of us everyday average humans, who can now get a level playing field, and don’t have to have millions of followers, this recommendation algorithm is looking and saying, “Gosh, this person likes to look at beautiful homes. We’re gonna serve them more of your content.”
It’s working for you. It’s helping your content go farther to new people, which means new people become new followers, new followers, as you nurture them, become new relationships, and new relationships become new clients. So, it’s a really nice opportunity. Now, what does that mean for engagement? People say, “Yeah, I know. This whole Reels thing and TikTok, but my engagement is just terrible now. I feel like I don’t have any comments. I’m not getting any transactions. People aren’t picking up the phone and calling me.” And I’m like, “Okay, wait. Is it down, or is it different?”
See, what happens with the recommendation algorithm, and you and I just mentioned it, we open TikTok like TV. You and I scroll. But we’re not leaving comments, we’re not leaving likes, because we don’t know these people, yet. So, you have to remember that, because your content is gonna start going out to new people, those people haven’t yet developed a relationship with you yet, and the new metric is truly watch time, and views. And all of that, you may never even know unless the platforms start to track that, which, Instagram, it hasn’t even tracked that yet. So don’t get discouraged.
Because what’s gonna happen is you’re gonna be posting, and you’re like, “Wait a minute. Where’s my comments? I thought comments were, like, you know, the one thing we were looking for.” It’s important to note that engagement is different, and it may not be down like you think it is. You just may not have the type of metric that you are used to measuring, such as a comment, or a like. You will still be able to see if someone shares or saves your short-form videos, which is a great metric to look at.
So, I just wanna mention that is changing as well. And don’t get discouraged. Just stay consistent, and create content that answers your clients’ questions.
Lisa: So, you mentioned scrolling. The goal is to get people to stop scrolling. So, how do we know what content to post? You mentioned…and one of the things I love, you talked about it in your podcast, with Neel Dhingra, the hook is so important. Can you talk a little bit about that?
Chelsea: Yes. So, I’m so glad that you asked that. That’s actually on our list. So, you just [introduced] the next one. I love it. Okay. So, full disclosure, everyone who’s listening, I have content stress. And I know you’re thinking, “Well wait, you write about content. You’re a content creator.” Like, yes, I do. And I’m also human. I have a lot of anxiety, and there’s a lot of things that I work on.
And, by the way, I am not one of those people that sits down once a month and, like, records 25 videos. I wish I could. I wish I could. So I’m here to let you know that you can be successful in a variety of different styles, in a variety of different, you know, ways that you feel you’re inspired, or your brain thinks differently. That’s wonderful. Honor that. You do not have to box yourself in, and feel like you are less than because you can’t whip out 30 videos in 30 minutes.
So, what I will tell you is that, the hook… What is a hook? A hook is the very first few words, or usually sentence, that is going to be said verbally in your video. And it’s so important. It truly, I think, is the one thing that is going to get people to watch your actual video.
Lisa: Is it the same thing as the title?
Chelsea: It can be. It’s very similar to, like, if people are familiar with blogging, or reading articles. That article, like, that title, has to kind of grab people in. And you know how mad we are when we get a clickbait title, and we are, “Oh yes, I wanna know this,” and you click on it, and then the article’s not even that good. And you’re like, “No. I hate that,” right?
Lisa: The worst.
Chelsea: So, we don’t want to manipulate people. But that’s the power of the title, that grabs you in, or the power of the hook. So, let’s talk about a few examples. Some video tips.
So, we wanna think about, very simply, the easiest hook you can think of has two components. The first component is you wanna use the word “you.” “You” is the most powerful word in copywriting, because when someone addresses “you,” now, you’re speaking to someone, and they notice, because “Oh, you’re speaking to me. You just said ‘you.’” Not “I,” not “we.” You said “you.” And so, you’re speaking to me, so you have my attention.
And then, the next component is asking a question, using the word “you,” and asking a question. It could sound something like this. “Do you want to learn the secret to the Instagram algorithm?” “Do you want to know how much $1 million can buy you in blah, blah, blah?” “Do you?” “How you?” “Have you?” Very, very, very simple way to elevate the interest and curiosity of that first sentence of your video.
So, yes, just getting right into it is so important, and especially using a hook to grab that attention, because they’re not gonna watch seconds five through 30 if they don’t watch zero through three.
Lisa: Don’t other popular hooks also include titles that have numbers in them?
Chelsea: Yes. Those are called lists. So, the basic is the “you” and the question. And then, you know, once you’ve got that and you feel comfortable, you can go into other areas where it’s, like, “Three Reasons You Should Never Buy Furniture Before You Close on Your House,” or something like that. You know what I mean? So, “Three Reasons,” “Two Things You Need to Do,” anything with a number, they’ve done studies on that. People, our brains love numbers. There’s also kind of the warning, where it’s like, “The Biggest Mistake You Could Make.” You know, something like that.
And then there’s also sort of the controversy. And the goal of the controversy is to kind of grab…it’s a little click-baity, of, like, “Oh, my goodness. What is this?” And then, generally, what you do is you turn it around into a positive, or you turn it around to answer that question. So, there’s a whole variety. And to be honest, you know, I didn’t make any of these up. This has been around for decades.
You could google “viral hooks,” or “viral video hooks,” and it’s so funny, because there’s one slide that I have in one of my presentations that I do for content classes. And it’s, like, a 2 a.m. infomercial, and I have these sentences. It says, “Have you ever felt like…imagine what it would feel like if you had eight hours of sleep on your new mattress,” right? And we’re laughing because we’re like, “Eww. So yucky. We’re not gonna use that.” But the reason that people use those is because they work. It’s the formula. And so, now, if you take out that 2 a.m. infomercial tonality, and we just say, “Have you ever felt like you’re not gonna be able to finance a home?” “Have you ever felt…” You can see, “Ohh.” So, these are tried-and-true templates, that copywriters and advertisers have been using for decades because they work. And it will increase your engagement and watch time.
Lisa: And in the end, increase your transactions?
Chelsea: Yes, yes, yes, yes. Absolutely.
Lisa: So, what’s next?
Chelsea: I would say the last thing that I would put on our list today is, kind of goes in line with what we’ve been talking about, but this idea about metrics and ROI. So, I will say that, you know, there are ways to measure ROI from social media. And also, many of the most important things that are happening, human elements that are happening when somebody is consuming your video, that perhaps puts them at ease, and provides them different insight about what a market shift really means for them. Or, perhap,s they watch your motivational video, and it brightened their day.
There are things that are immeasurable, that are happening while people are connecting and consuming with that content, that you will never be able to measure. And those “aha” moments, where somebody says, “Oh, I didn’t know that. That was actually really a helpful tip.” And then they don’t leave you a comment. They don’t even tell you they watched. So, what I wanna say about that is views don’t equal value. Views are intoxicating. You might say, “Oh, my gosh. I’m gonna do a fun trend, and use this song, because the last video I did got so many more views.” Views do not equate to relationships and transactions.
And so, you might have to make up your own metrics that you can control, that are called lead measures. Maybe that metric for you is I’m going to time block my calendar. Thirty minutes a week, I am going to create content ideas, or record, or batch record my content. Maybe your metric is, I posted videos, and it did not start with the word “so.” You know, how many people did you talk to in a direct message? How many one-to-one videos did you send? We can control those. There’s so many things that we can’t control, that can get us very discouraged when it comes to social media, that we have no control over. So, I would say views don’t equal value, and make up your own metrics, so that you can, you know, really track things that matter and that you can control and impact.
Lisa: Is there any type of content that agents should not post?
Chelsea: I see a lot of real estate professionals making content for colleagues, not clients. Now, what do I mean by that? Well, I see a lot of really funny reels and TikToks that I can relate to, because I was a Realtor. I was licensed for 18 years. But that, is that your ideal customer? Maybe if you’re recruiting or you’re teaching other Realtors, and then you want to attract other Realtors. But keep in mind if your focus is on content that your colleagues are going to relate to, that may be missing the mark resonating with your potential perfect audience that could become clients.
Lisa: How do people keep up with all of the changes? I mean, you know, they’re changing the algorithms all the time. How do we keep up with that?
Chelsea: So, I would say the best way to do it, you could go to each individual blog. It’s just gonna be, unless this is your full-time job, don’t bother. Find someone that you trust, that knows what they’re talking about. Subscribing to these podcasts, that’s the way that you want to rely on the experts. There is no way somebody who doesn’t do this every day could keep up with all of the changes, and I feel like I’m very fluent in Instagram and Facebook language.
And I can surmise, “Oh, I think this is what they’re doing,” but they’re not saying it, but because I’ve been in the world of them for so long, so, I give that sort of insight and perspective on that. So, I think finding people that you can trust, that are really focused on that topic and that niche, are the best ways to do it. Trying to do it on your own is…yeah. You need to focus on the basics.
Lisa: Thanks to Chelsea Peitz for getting us all caught up and ready for 2023. If you wanna connect with her, Chelsea offers a bunch of courses and free downloads that you can access on her Instagram profile, which I’ll leave in the show notes.
Now, it’s time for our takeaways. Takeaway number one: You need to show up on video the same way you show up in the physical. That means connecting with people as you normally would if you were in person, authentically you. And please don’t outsource your videos.
Takeaway number two: Short-form videos. You need to be posting these, because they are here to stay. So if you haven’t started making these yet, pick your favorite platform, and get to it. But begin by focusing on just one platform at a time.
Takeaway number three: If you feel like your engagement is down, and you’re getting fewer likes or comments, it may not be you. It may just be the new recommendation algorithm, which is sending your content out to new people that don’t know you yet. It’s a great opportunity for you to connect with new people, but just give them a chance to get to know you.
Takeaway number four: Keep in mind that the metrics are changing. They’re based on watch time and views. And platforms like Instagram aren’t tracking that yet. So ask yourself, is your engagement down, or is it just different?
Takeaway number five: Don’t forget to use a hook. This is so important. And using the word “you,” or asking a question in your first sentence, is what’s gonna draw your audience in.
And takeaway number six: Views don’t equal value. They don’t equate to relationships and transactions. Make up your own metrics, so that you can track things that matter and that you can control, like tracking how many people you talk to in a DM, or how many one-to-one videos you sent. And those are our takeaways for this week.
Okay. If you have any questions or feedback, you can leave a voicemail or text us at 415-322-3328. You can also send an email to walkthrough[at]homelight.com, or find us in our Facebook mastermind group. Just search “HomeLight WalkThrough”.
Well, that’s all for this week. Thanks to Chelsea Peitz for joining me. And thank you for listening. We would love it if you could please rate and review us on Apple podcasts, or wherever you listen, and hit that follow button, so you can get all of our future shows automatically.
My name’s Lisa Johnson Smith, and you’ve been listening to The WalkThrough. At HomeLight, we believe in real estate agents. We’re here to explore how great agents grow their business, stand out from the crowd, and become irreplaceable. Now, go out there and sell some homes. I’ll talk to you again soon. Bye
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