A Referral a day – from FACEBOOK!!
I started off really not liking social media at all. So, then when Facebook came around, I kind of looked at it and went, “Eh, not … not going to be my thing.” I don’t play games, other than poker machines back in the day. I don’t … I was never into Atari, and all of those Nintendos, and … What’s big now? Xbox. I never did any of that kind of stuff. I’m just not a gamer like that. When Facebook came out, it looked like a big game to me because of all of the … I don’t know if you guys remember. All of the games were connected to it, and that was controlling … When Facebook first came out, everything was very gamey back then.
So, I one day picked up an article, and it said that Facebook had surpassed Google on visits, how many visitors to the site. I thought, “What are they doing that would pass Google?” So, now I had to find out because my thought was, “There’s got to be marketing in this. There has to be a benefit in there. There has to be a piece,” and I was in real estate by this time. I said, “There has to be something.” So, I took a look at it, and all I could see on there was FarmVille. The entire Facebook feed was just FarmVille. Come on, admit it. Anybody ever play FarmVille? You would never admit it if they did. Okay. Well, I did.
I’ll tell you why. There was this article talking about Zynga, this big game creator, and that that is the reason why they had surpassed Google was everybody was on there playing this FarmVille game. It was this huge thing. So, I thought, “Okay. Let me figure out what this is and how this connection to all of these people can turn into business.” It was 100% marketing based in the beginning
As time went on, I became very competitive with it because you had to be the one that plucked the most horse hairs and hatched the most gold chicken eggs. It was … What was cool about it … What’s fascinating is you could not grow a farm without help. So, you could go plant all these seeds. They wouldn’t grow unless your neighbors came in and watered it, and your neighbors were your Facebook friends. So, now, this challenge to me was, “Okay. If I’m the most popular farmer, I’m going to have the biggest farm. Now, let me see if I can do that, and then see if I can get this … take it to another level.”
Well, the fascinating thing about it was I did figure out how to become the most popular farmer by giving them what they wanted, the same concept that we talk about all the time here (in www.TheBallenMethod.com) , understand who the audience was. What product did they want? Okay. Now, I got them all. Now, I got them all friends on Facebook, and we’re communicating. But, the problem was these weren’t people who were going to do business with me. They weren’t going to buy houses in Las Vegas.
So, I thought, “Okay. Now, if I get rid of all of those friends-” I had about 1,000 friends by that point. “If I get rid of them and make it all real estate agents, what if those real estate agents could send me referrals in Las Vegas?” So, slowly but surely, I started removing everybody that was not in the real estate world, and I started friending and finding hobby groups and things like that for real estate agents.
Then, I realized, “Okay. Wait a minute. Now, I can get off FarmVille. If I build a group that has value that other real estate agents want to be a part of, they’ll start remembering me and thinking of me, and I’ll start getting referrals.” We now get a referral a day off social media. Now, not all of those turn into closings, just like anything else, but On average, they’re double our price range. They’re Las Vegas sellers that have equity, which is insane to me. I can’t believe how many traditional sellers we get referred to us from Twitter and Facebook, primarily. It’s opened this whole other world for us because I found a way. “Who’s my audience? What message? What products do they want? How do I get it to them?”
So, for me, it was really figuring out how to provide value through social media. We all have something. You just have to plug in to what it is. Hobbies are a great place to start. So, let’s say Richard, for example, is into magic. Surprisingly enough, there are other real estate agents who dabble in magic. Well, this is a great place to start a group and get all of the other real estate agents who are into magic in. They will only refer to each other. It’ll be a small group. There will be 25 of them, and they will all start referring business to each other because they all have the same type of interest.
So, if you really start to think about that, it might just be a mom. Do you know how many real estate agents are moms? I don’t know of a moms group out there for real estate agents. It’s all about working mom real estate agents. You know? Single dad real estate agents, whatever. So, thinking about that on a social media strategy is really huge when you think referrals.
This is the Ballen Method, identifying a niche that you’d like to specialize in. Then, choosing an audience that is appropriate for that niche; choosing a product and a message that is appealing for that specific audience. Then, over a period of time, with time on task and discipline consistency, we dominate the search engines for a desired keyword or set of keywords using press releases, blog posts, classified ads, social media, video, and of course fantastic, updated, fresh content for your website. Then, also, we tie in lead cultivation, which we master. All of these things, tied together, make up the Ballen Method.
“So, I thought I was a social media guru and I knew everything, and I still took away a million “ah-has.” So, I really recommend it. They were great.”
“I thought it was a fantastic class, and the agents in our office that did not come down here missed a lot.”
“This is IT for me. I’ve got some great ideas, fabulous tips, and I’m so glad I came”