What is BoldLeads?

BoldLeads is a platform that generates real estate leads. PropertyBase owns it, and the goal of BoldLeads is to help real estate agents generate leads more efficiently.

Generating Real Estate Leads Through Craigslist

In this video, Dustini Nulf shares how he generates 200 real estate leads in a month from Craigslist. Hi! I'm Lori Ballen owner of Lori Ballen Team in Las Vegas [BallenVegas]. I generate all of my real estate leads online. I enjoy featuring videos and training from fellow agents that figure out how to rock a particular area of lead generation.

In this video, Dustini Nulf shares how he generates 200 real estate leads in a month from Craigslist. Hi! I’m Lori Ballen owner of Lori Ballen Team in Las Vegas [BallenVegas]. I generate all of my real estate leads online. I enjoy featuring videos and training from fellow agents that figure out how to rock a particular area of lead generation.

Moving Up into Luxury with Michael LaFido

Computer is on a table, words on the screen spell out luxury real estate leads easier than you think

In this interview, we sit down with Michael LaFido, a luxury real estate agent in Chicago. Michael shares his strategies on stepping into the luxury industry and how to generate luxury real estate leads.

I’ve found, Lori, that unfortunately many agents have limiting beliefs, and luxury’s one of those things that agents believe they have to be with a certain brand, they have to be in the industry for X number of years, they gotta drive a certain car, live in a certain kind of home to break into and dominate selling homes. And unfortunately, those are false, false, and false.

Listen to the Audio

Michael Lafido

Book Cover has Michael LaFidos picture plus the words Marketing Luxury and sell your luxury home in any market

Michael LaFido is a top-producing Realtor® and real estate consultant with over seventeen years of experience in the real estate industry. Michael’ marketing has been the featured cover story in Crain’s Chicago Business and highlighted at Noon on FOX News Chicago Business Hour.  He is also the author of the books “Marketing Luxury” and the best-seller “Cracking the Real Estate Code”.

Michael has created the nationally recognized luxury certification for real estate agents which is known as Luxury Listing Specialist (LUXE).  This new certification establishes an in-depth and detailed set of standards for agents that represent luxury homes, and is currently offered for 12 hours of Continuing Education (CE) for real estate agents in Texas. The trainings are based on the same principles Michael outlines in his book, “Marketing Luxury” that he teaches to agents across the world.

Many agents within the industry are calling Michael’s methods “The New Standard” for marketing luxury homes today. DIRECT +1 630.674.3488 Michael@ConlonRealEstate.com


Lori Ballen:                   Hey, everybody. Thanks for joining us today. I’m so excited that you’re available to listen to this podcast, or the audio on YouTube, or maybe you’re sitting here reading to blog. And my goal is to bring real estate agents everywhere lots of options for your lead generation activities. We all know that real estate is a lead generation game, and if you’re not out there getting lots and lots of leads, you’re at the mercy of whoever is, and that includes the big technology giants, and other real estate teams. You need to be the one that knows how to go get the leads, and there’s lots of different ways for you to do this. So pick your favorite, and just do it consistently. Master it. Do it at a high level.

So I’m bringing you lots of fantastic real estate agents that are the best at what they do in that specific lead generation activity, and today my guest is Michael LaFido. He’s a top producing real estate agent with 17 years of experience in the real estate industry. His market, he’s been featured on a cover story in Crain’s Chicago Business, and highlighted at noon on FOX News Chicago business hour. He’s also the author of the books Marketing Luxury, and the bestseller Cracking the Real Estate Code. Throughout his career, Michael learned the importance of high caliber marketing versus traditional marketing, which has become pivotal to his success.

Over the past 17 years, LaFido and his team have developed a method that takes a more comprehensive and proactive approach when marketing a home. Michael, the founder of The Marketing Luxury group, assists other real estate agents and affluent homeowners by providing top-tier services, including consulting, lifestyle marketing, public relations, and coaching, to help agents and owners sell their luxury homes utilizing his proven and reputable strategies.

He’s created the nationally recognized luxury certification for real estate agents, which is known as Luxury Listing Specialist, LUXE. This new certification establishes an in-depth and detailed set of standards for agents that represent luxury homes, and is currently offered for 12 hours of continuing eduction. Well, that’s a nice bonus. That’s for real estate agents in Texas. The trainings are based on the same principles Michael outlines in his book, Marketing Luxury, that he teaches to agents across the world.  Many agents within the industry are calling Michael’s methods the new standard for marketing luxury homes today.

Michael, thank you so much for joining me today.

Michael LaFido:            Oh, it’s a pleasure. Thank you. That was a mouthful, wasn’t it?

Lori Ballen:                   That was a mouthful, but hey, you’re doing a lot of great things, and that’s why I spotted you and said, “This is the guy we need to be talking to right now about how to get into luxury, and how somebody would start generating real estate leads for luxury.” So you want to tell me a little bit about somebody that hasn’t done it yet, they’re doing bread and butter listings, everyday buyers, average price ranges, and they say, “You know what? I want to get into luxury.” So Michael, what do they do?

Michael LaFido:            Sure. So that’s a very fair question, a very direct question, and so I have really two huge takeaways for your listeners. But before we get into each of those two, I want to share with you and your audience. I can give you the best lead gen activities, and I’m gonna give you two today, but it’s gonna be wasted unless an agent believes they can. So unless they have the mindset, I’ve found, Lori, that unfortunately many agents have limiting beliefs, and luxury’s one of those things that agents believe they have to be with a certain brand, they have to be in the industry for X number of years, they gotta drive a certain car, live in a certain kind of home to break into and dominate selling homes. And unfortunately, those are false, false, and false.

So we could spend hours on the mindset and how to attract more high-end clientele, but I at least wanted to start out with saying that. So no matter which brand you’re in, how many years you’ve been in the business, you can do it. I’m a living testament to it, and so I just wanted to share that with your audience. So before we go into Xs and Os, whether you believe you can or whether you don’t, that’s half the battle. And so you really have to believe in yourself that, hey, selling a high-end and luxury home, it’s the same Xs and Os and a lot of the same things as selling an entry-level property. Sure, there’s nuances. Sure, there’s some differences. But it’s really a people-based business, and people don’t care how much you know and I know until they know we care.

Lori Ballen:                   Right. So you’re saying … I love that. I absolutely love that because I do believe that that is a lot of reasons why real estate agents don’t get into that next level, is because it’s intimidating. We’re not one of them. We don’t drive those cars. We’re not fancy schmancy. We’re not gonna be able to hold our own against another luxury agent that is that person. Are you saying that, when we’re sitting in front of a luxury potential client, that … Well, I’m gonna guess you still are gonna suggest that they look the part and act the part, but what you’re saying [crosstalk 00:05:12]-

Michael LaFido:            I mean, so I’m gonna answer … I totally know where you’re going. So what I’m saying is be authentic. Be yourself is what I’m saying. There’s some courses, some trainers, that say, “Say this instead of this. Do this.” Be authentic. Be yourself. Be transparent. I mean, we’re in a world where they can Google you and find out anyway, so you do want to start building your brand and looking to part before you get on the appointment, right? In other words, if people check you up on social media, they Google you, you gotta look professional. But if you don’t have to portfolio of sold properties, then … This is a course in itself … then what do you do to leverage that?

OF course, we can talk about it later, but I do a lot of speaking and training, written a book called Luxury Listing Specialist as well, and we have a certification. But getting back to your original question, is be transparent and just be likable. I mean, I’ve lost appointments in the past where I know I was against an agent that I could out-market left and right, but because I’m a big dis-personality and I’m a driver, bottom line, I missed that important rapport building. And so building that affinity, doing research on them before the appointment. In other words, what their likes, what their interest. Joe Stumpf used to say, “Ford: family, occupation, recreation, dreams.” What similarities do you have in common? Building those core rapport is really important before you get into Xs and Os.

Now, certain personality types just want you to bottom line it, of course, and they’ll point blank ask, “Well, how many million dollar homes, home many eight million, whatever … How many homes have you sold in my neighborhood?” And unfortunately, many agents don’t go on the appointment because of fear of those questions. I won’t get into too many details, but I have $10 million dollar property I represent that’s on the TV show Empire, it’s a FOX series, and that gentlemen point blank asked me, “Well how many homes have you sold in this town?” And I said, “Well, I haven’t sold any, but the previous two agents you’ve had probably sold more than I have in this area, but they didn’t get the jobs done. So if you want to hire the best marketer, I’m the right guy. If you want to hire the neighborhood expert, I’m not the right guy, but you’re going 0 for 2 here before you hired me.”

So, again, building the confidence, it’s a multi-pronged approach. It doesn’t happen overnight. But let’s … That’s a great segue into getting some bullet points on how you can build the confidence. So the first thing I’m gonna talk about is, because I get asked this all the time, is, “Hey, Mike. If you moved to such-and-such, or my city, what would be the first one or two things you would do to break into luxury?” And so that’s kind of how my segue is, Lori, into the bullet points I’m gonna talk about for lead generation. Is that okay?

Lori Ballen:                   Perfect. Yes, please.

Michael LaFido:            Okay. So the first thing I would do is I would video. Video’s not going away. So I’m really good at citing sources, and unfortunately I don’t have the source in front of me that I’m about to say, but there was a survey done where 73% of sellers said that they would hire an agent who uses video to market their home versus an agent who doesn’t, so video’s not going away. So you as an audience member listening to this, step out of your comfort zone, whether it be a free videos like Facebook Lives, or whether they be educational videos for buyers. So hey, if you’re thinking of buying a home in blank community, or this subdivision, or in Seattle, Washington. Fill in the blank, doesn’t matter. You know, tips for buyers in this market. So that’s one bullet point for your audience. You gotta create educational videos for buyers.

You gotta create educational videos for sellers. So perfect one is, hey, just a little on year … just over one year after the election, how are home sales in New York or whatever community it is you represent? So talking about that. So talking about tips for sellers. So in other words, hey, if you’re thinking of selling in 2018, here are seven things you want to avoid to get top dollar. So educational tips for sellers. I talk about being proactive, so hey, if you’re thinking of selling in 2018, it’s important that you’re proactive when selling versus reactive. So that’s a great segue into being proactive. An example of that would be looking at the home from a cosmetic standpoint to neutralize and do the things that today’s buyers are looking for when they’re buying.

So tips for buyers, tips for sellers, and then the third bullet point would be educational videos that are market-driven. So in other words, how … I kind of talked about this earlier. One year after the election, how are home prices? How’s the election affected home prices in Chicago, or New York, or wherever it is your audience is? Or you might talk about educational tips market-wise as far as price points. Overall, it might be, “Hey, folks. Today’s video we’re talking about, overall in the Chicagoland market, there’s shortage of inventory. It’s what we call a seller’s market. But when we’re dealing with high-end properties, and by high-end, million dollars and above, the shift has occurred and it’s a buyer’s market. Buyer’s market is when there’s a lot of inventory. There’s not a lot of showings. Homes could sit on the market for a year or two years plus.”

And so educating the market on, overall, is it a buyer’s or seller’s market? But in every marketplace, Lori, the shift occurs from a seller’s market to a buyer’s market, and it’s usually at the upper end where things aren’t moving quickly and things are stagnant. So it’s really important for your audience to own the numbers at the local level. Understand buyer’s market, seller’s market, days on market, list to sale ration, and understand at what price point in their given market does luxury occur? So I personally, when we teach people in our trainings and our certification, we define luxury as three times whatever the average sale price is for that given market.

So I was talking to somebody on Facebook chat the other day that’s down in Texas, and her average sale price was $130,000. So in that case, I would define luxury as homes that are 390 and above. So most of the time people think luxury and they think the McMansions, the million dollar plus markets, or maybe in the Silicon Valley a million dollars is not luxury, but it’s all relative to that given market. And so, just from a terminology standpoint, I think it’s important. I know different brands define luxury differently, but for our Luxury Listing Specialist certification, we define it as three times whatever the average sales price is.

So getting back to the one goal-

Lori Ballen:                   Mike, let me jump in. Let me jump in for one second, because I’ve got a couple questions that I want to make sure that as you’re … before you move onto the next little section there.

Michael LaFido:            Please.

Lori Ballen:                   Okay, so first of all, I love that. The luxury is three times the average price range. Now, so taking that, if my average price range is 200,000, then our luxury market would be 600,000. So once we figure that out, are you saying that when you’re doing these videos and when you’re making those, you’re educating the consumer on the buyer’s market, seller’s market, and … Are you specifically hitting those price ranges in that conversation? Are you saying, “So the high-end market, this, this, and that,” or are you trying to include everybody in that segment?

Michael LaFido:            Yeah, so that’s a great question. No, I try to break it down by price points in educational videos. So I speak holistically overall, and then I break it down into entry-level, the bread and butter, the middle, and then upper end. I try to keep it really simple, even though you could probably break it down into more.

Lori Ballen:                   Yeah. So are you doing any, then, that are specifically only targeting the luxury buyer or seller, or are all of your the holistic [crosstalk 00:13:46]?

Michael LaFido:            Yeah, that’s a great question. So we have specific videos for entry-level, for … We don’t really focus on rentals, so we don’t do like rental type videos if you’re looking to rent a property. But no, we do first time buyer videos, we do entry-level, we do luxury specific videos. So we do a little bit of it all, right? We do some of the videos are more broad and they cover importance of pre-home inspection, for example, or being proactive when selling, getting a pre-home inspection done, getting all your ducks in a row with your special features of the property, the ages, et cetera. That could be a universal we recommend at all price points, but certain educational videos are geared toward certain price points.

And the one thing that I want to let you know, many agents don’t break into luxury because, well, it takes more time, or most cost, or … And there’s some truth to that, but I look at it as your financial advisor. Your financial advisor probably uses the term diversification. We want to diversify your portfolio. In other words, some high risk, some low risk, some cash or liquid. Well, real estate’s no different. If your bread and butter is 200,000, that’s what’s selling, don’t quit that. But by adding and sprinkling in some of the high-end … By the way, I define high-end as two times your market average. So if it’s 200,000, high-end would be 400, and luxury would be 600.

So sprinkle in some high-end and luxury to your portfolio, because, Lori, I believe the fastest way for anyone on that’s listening, the fastest way for an agent to get instant credibility in their database, in their sphere, on social media, is you land that first high-end or trophy listing.

Lori Ballen:                   Yeah. Okay, so I’m loving this. I mean, you’re giving us great information. Back to your video for a second, are you having professional videos made, or how are these videos being created?

Michael LaFido:            Yeah. So I’ll do … That’s a great question. So I’ll do non-professional videos. A great example of that would be Facebook Live, right? You hit record. You’re not editing. So let me first say, on some of my professional videos, like when I’m doing a property video, I do some of the extreme lifestyle marketing. I’ve shot videos from helicopters. I’ve shot … I had a house I was selling that had kind of like a train that went around it. I brought in $2.5 million dollars worth of cars for a video shoot, so I do some amazing … I call those lifestyle films.

But those cost money, right? And so the opposite end of this spectrum is the free videos, and sometimes on those free videos, if I’m doing a Facebook Live for example. Hey, Michael LaFido here. We’re in front of the home at 123 Elm Street. This property’s coming to market in a week or in three days or whatever it is. This home features A, B, C, D. If you know of anyone looking to buy a home in blank, please contact me. It’s not gonna last. It’s an amazing property. So that would be like a coming soon video.

Now, I’ve done those kind of videos, Lori, and I’ve had 1,200, 1,500 views within 12 to 24 hours. And on some of those videos I’m spending thousands of dollars on, I might get 1,200 views in two months or three months. So your database, your sphere, don’t discount that. There’s things that you can do on a zero dollar budget.

But some of the other videos that we referenced, I use a service called viral, and they do a lot of my editing in my videos, and they email them out to the database. So that’s what I use, but there’s other services out there. One of the services I use for email is called BombBomb. Maybe you’ve heard of BombBomb. And so if I’m meeting with a buyer or a seller, I want to send them a personalized video message, because for me, I can articulate my message and words through a video a lot easier than typing out a three or four paragraph email.

Lori Ballen:                   Sure. Yeah, we have all of our videos transcribed through rev.com, and then that’s also great to turn into blog posts and-

Michael LaFido:            Yup. Rev.com.

Lori Ballen:                   Right. So you’re using your content all the way through. [crosstalk 00:18:00] Okay, so also on your video, then, are you promoting that video at all through Facebook ads, or Google AdWords, or any kind of paid promotion?

Michael LaFido:            Yes. Facebook ads is really something that we’re been doing, as well. So trying to figure out. This is a complicated topic in itself, but trying to figure out who your buyer is for your properties, right? Trying to figure out that avatar, right? Is it a family? Is it somebody that has kids, doesn’t have kids, based on migration patterns? Is there a certain area that they’re moving from? And then you want to target that avatar through advertising.

Lori Ballen:                   Right, correct. All the laser targeting through the demographic options, which means we often times pay more for the audience, since we’re bidding on each audience that we add. But on the flip side of that, might have a lower cost per lead, because we’re better reaching the audience that we’re targeting, so convert click throughs and conversions become higher. So there’s an art to all of that for sure as well.

Okay, great. So what’s next after video? Did you complete that, finish that little-

Michael LaFido:            Yeah, so video, just to kind of recap, a video’s something everybody can do that’s on here. Just do it. We’re our worst critics. If you’re a female, you think you don’t look good or whatever. As a guy, I always kid around. Self-deprecating humor is great from stage, but when I’m speaking I’m like, “Hey, look. If you look, I got one nostril that’s bigger than the other, and it shows up on video, but just do it. Whatever your barriers are, do it.” And so there’s free versions, and then there’s videos on a budget, like I talked about. So educate the consumers, tips for buyers, tips for sellers, and market update.

So that’s what I recommend to help position yourself to attract more high-en and luxury properties. But it’s difficult to penetrate, like Robert De Niro said in Meet the Parents. It’s difficult to penetrate the circle of trust when you’re dealing with high-end and luxury clientele.

Lori Ballen:                   Right.

Michael LaFido:            So the second bullet point, or golden nugget, if you will, is that lead generation. How do you penetrate the circle of trust in these little cliques, in these little communities, and how do they think? What do they eat? Where do they drive? How do they … How do you penetrate? Well, I believe that way is through what I call my Luxury Networking Group, and I’m gonna give you the cliff notes version on how this came about.

I was part of a Chamber of Commerce in Hinsdale, Illinois. Hinsdale, there’s more million dollar, single-family sales. At least in 2016 there were. I don’t have the data for ‘017 yet, but in 2016 here was more single-family, million dollar sales in Hinsdale than any suburb in Illinois where I’m based out of. And so like Coach Q, the Blackhawks, Chicago Blackhawks, NHL, lives there. Fred Hoiberg, the Chicago Bulls’ NBA coach lives there. So it’s kind of like the who’s who suburb.

And I was a Chamber member there, and the Chamber president came up to me and said, “Hey, we want to start kind of like a BNI leads group.” They called it a Heroes group, which stood for something. And it was very structured. It was a weekly meeting. Met at the Chamber. Someone took attendance. There was a secretary. There was this, that, and the other thing. And you don’t know me that well, nor does your audience, but it was just way too structured for me, and I couldn’t commit to weekly meetings. So there was a gentlemen that dealt with big, high-end kitchen remodels, and so I said to him, I said, “Hey, why don’t we do our own thing and build it the way we want?” And so that was about three years ago, and that’s how our Luxury Networking Group started. And I’ve shared this same golden nugget with agents across the US on live trainings or other podcasts, and feedback I’m getting has been astounding.

So how it looks is, you meet monthly. Meet once a month. Most people on this say, “Oh, man. Once a month. I could commit to that. I could believe that.” I believe the best way to get referrals, Lori, is to get referrals. I believe through reciprocity. Reciprocity is if you’re walking into a building, somebody holds a door open for you, you want to hold it open for the person behind you. I believe the best way to get referrals is give referrals, and lead with a giving hand.

So the Luxury Networking Group is basically a group of service providers, business owners, key influencers for your given community, that caters to the high net worth individuals. And so, initially when Andy and I started this Luxury Networking Group, it was businesses that catered to high net worth individuals that were in the real estate space. So in other words, home, kitchen remodeler. We had a security guy. We had a guy that did the night lighting, you know, the landscape lighting. It was all real estate based, but then as we grew it, we said, “It doesn’t have to be. We’re limiting ourselves.”

So we opened it up to people that services high net worth individuals. So we had Chubb Insurance. We had financial advisors. Of course, we had different builders there. We had divorce attorneys. We had people that, when shopping men’s clothing lines, you know, that did customs suits and that kind of stuff. And so … It could be somebody that’s in a PTA. If they’re in a PTA for an elementary school district that caters to the gated communities and they know everybody, they’re the chatty Cathy and the know what’s going on, who’s thinking of buying, selling, and they’re a key influencer, they could be a part of the Luxury Networking Group.

So that’s kind of the who. The what part of it … Any questions on that, first off, before we go to the what part of it?

Lori Ballen:                   No. [crosstalk 00:23:50].

Michael LaFido:            So the what part of it is, like I said, a monthly meeting. I recommend nine times out of a year. We usually take December off because there’s way too many holiday parties, and we take June and July off because summer vacation with kids getting out of school. So really, nine times out of a year. Now, someone who can say, “I want to do December.” That’s fine, but we recommend nine times out of a year. It’s really important that the people that are attended consistently attend. So they want to be hungry. They want to grow their business, and they’re hungry, because you don’t want to have someone who shows up one month and they don’t show up for another three or four, because you’re gonna lose continuity in the group.

The other aspect of it is this is not Noah’s Ark. If you’re familiar with the Bible story Noah’s Ark, there was two lions, just two of a kind. You don’t want to be two real estate agents there. You’re the only real estate agent there. Now, if there’s two attorneys, one is divorce and the other’s corporation, they’re not competing. If one builder specializes in million dollar plus and the other is five to 750, those are non-competing. But you don’t want to have non-competing businesses. It’s by invite only. You are the president CEO of this Luxury Networking Group. Nobody can invite someone unless they run it by you first.

Nine times out of a year. We’ve tested the different days. We recommend Thursdays. Thursdays either 3:00 to 5:00, 3:30 to 5:30, 4:00 to 6:00, 4:30 to 6:30. Late afternoon on Thursday because the hot usually brings food, light beverages, maybe wine, and alcoholic beverages, and finger food. And you change the location. It’s not at the Chamber of Commerce every month. You change the location. I usually host two to three times a year, and where do you think I would host it, Lori?

I stumped you, didn’t I? I’m gonna host it at a luxury listing of mine, right? It’s congruent with my message. It’s synergistic with what I’m doing. So I’m gonna host it at one of my luxury listings, and if your audience members don’t have a luxury listing … And Lori, if I didn’t have a luxury listing and I was in your office, and I said, “Lori, I have a networking group. It’s key influencers, business owners, to high net worth individuals in this area. Would you mind if I hosted an event at your property?” Chances are you’d say, “Let me check with the owner.” And of course you’d want to do liability and all that stuff, but if it’s a vacant listing, you would say, “All day,” if the sellers gave you the okay, and if it’s an occupied listing, you’d probably get a 50/50 chance of an agent saying yes. So if you don’t have one, you can borrow another agent’s in your community probably … or, excuse me, in your office.

So I host the event two to three times a year, and then other key members in the group host. We’ve had events at Lamborghini dealerships, at a company that gives twilight helicopter tours in Chicago, and a men’s clothing line, at the guy that does the $200,000 home theaters. He’s hosted an event. We did one at a place that did … they had 18 complete kitchens and bathrooms in their showroom, and they had a chef bring out food. So you want it to be a great experience so that your attendees are excited about next month’s event. There’s great content.

So that’s the what. Let me give you the structure. So let’s just say it’s 4:00 to 6:00 Pm. Of course, you as the CEO of the Luxury Networking Group, you need to remind people of when the next meeting is. You gotta give a reminder the night before. Maybe a text message, “See you tonight.” That sort of thing. But again, you’re top of mind awareness. You’re bringing value to the business owners through reciprocity. They’re gonna refer you business even if you don’t have a track record of selling high-end and luxury properties, because it’s called reciprocity.

So if it’s 4:00 to 6:00 PM, the first half hour’s naturally just networking. If it’s at one of my luxury listings, we’re giving tours of the properties as people are having a beer or a coke, having finger food. And then the structure is, “Hey, guys. We’re gonna get started.” And let’s just say there’s 15 people, 20 people in the room. “Hey, thank you for attending this month’s Luxury Networking Group. I’m the host, Michael LaFido. I’m with XYZ real estate. I want to thank you for coming. I see a lot of familiar faces. There’s a couple guests today, as well. I’m gonna demonstrate how we do introductions. This is gonna take a good half hour because I want everybody to get something out of it. So what we’re gonna do is you’re gonna say who you are, what you do, and what you specialize in, and who your ideal client is.”

So that’s the second bullet point, so who you are. The second bullet point is what you specialize in and what your ideal client is. The third bullet point is what’s really working in your business. And the fourth bullet point is what you’re struggling with or who you could use an introduction to.

So let me demonstrate. Hey, folks. Thanks for coming. My name is Michael LaFido. I’m with the Marketing Luxury Group. We help real estate agents dominate selling luxury properties in their marketplace. My ideal client is an agent or a broker owner that’s looking to break into luxury real estate. So that’s the who I am, what my ideal client is. The third bullet point is, hey, what’s really working in my business? What’s really working in my business is video email. If you’re sending out stuff to clients, I recommend video email. It’s a way for them to feel like they already know you before meeting, and for me, I can articulate my message, and so that’s what’s really working. So for all of the other business owners, even if they’re not in real estate, they might be saying, “Oh, that’s interesting. I’ve never heard of video emailing.”

And then the fourth bullet point is what I’m struggling with or who I could use an introduction with. So it could be, hey, I’m looking for a great accountant. This tax year’s coming up. If anyone’s got a rock solid accountant, A) we could them in this group, but B) I personally could use them. So if anyone has one, please share with me your resource afterwards. Or it could be who I could use an introduction to, so, hey, for our certification, we’re looking to get in front of some large brokerages. So if you know of anyone that owns a large real estate office, please, that would be a great introduction for me.

So that’s kind of the structure. So now, Lori, the 15 to 20 people in attendance, next person says, “All right, it’s your turn.” So you’re saying, “Hi, my name is Lori Ballen. This is who I am. My ideal client and what makes me different is this.” The third bullet point is what’s really working for you and your business and the fourth thing is who you could use an introduction to or what you’re struggling with. And now you got 15 people giving it an ah-ha, what’s working in their business, and you’ve got 15 people that are saying, “I need help with …” So then that takes a good half hour, 45 minutes, and at the end of course you say, “All right, guys. That concludes our introduction portion. So feel free to connect with somebody that you might want to ask them about a resource, or maybe you have a recommendation for them or you want to ask them about their ah-ha.”

And so now that takes it another good 15 to 20 minutes, and then you conclude it. Say, “Hey, guys. Next month’s meeting is at the whatever, at the Lamborghini dealership. It’s gonna be the same time, 4:00 to 6:00 PM. We’re gonna get an email reminder out, and thank for coming.” So that’s kind of the conclusion. So it’s usually an hour and a half to two hours. The first half hour’s just general networking, then the next half hour to 45 minutes is that introduction I just talked to you about and what’s working, what’s not working, what you could use help with, and then the last half hour is just connecting with people you wanted to connect with, and then a preview announcement of the next month’s meeting. So that’s what I call the Luxury Networking Group.

Lori Ballen:                   Wow. That’s fantastic. First of all, thank you for breaking that down in so much detail, because I’m actually transcribing this interview as well, and this is gonna really give people some actionable items. They can put something together. I was just … There’s no accident to this world. I was just talking to the owner of my real estate office here in Las Vegas, and we were discussing, I was discussing the fact that my natural style would be to create some … And it wasn’t luxury specifically, but I was discussing another strategy that I had, but I was saying, “I need to get together with more real estate agents in all brokerages, and I should have some sort of monthly meet up that incorporates some sort of non-threatening, safe environment where we all benefit from each other somehow,” and you just gave a perfectly clear breakdown how to apply that to something that’s not even specific to luxury.

Michael LaFido:            Yup.

Lori Ballen:                   You know, there’s so many ways you can incorporate that in your business to generate real estate business, to generate attraction to your business for whatever your purpose is. I mean, it’s absolutely huge.

We’re about out of time here. So you gave us video and you gave us your-

Michael LaFido:            I gave video and then I talked about, of course, the importance of a Luxury Networking Group. I talk about this. Like I said, I’ve got a resource that’s really dirt cheap. It’s on Amazon. It’s a book I just released. It wasn’t even in your introduction. I wrote a book and it came out in the fall. It’s called Luxury Listing Specialist. It’s on Amazon, and anyone that wants to invest in themselves, it’s a free resource. They can find out about our certification, as well, Lori. Luxurylistingspecialist.com is where they can find out about the certification. It’s not cheap, but I guarantee you, it’s gonna help agents break into and sell luxury homes.

My goal for any agent that goes through our training, reads our book, gets our certification, is for them to increase their average sale price for a home they represent by 30% over the previous year. So if they’re selling $150,000 homes on average, if I can get them to 195, guess what? That’s a 30% raise. Working smarter, not harder, and that’s really our goal through our certification. We also have a podcast as well, called Luxury Listing Specialist, on iTunes and Stitcher.

Lori Ballen:                   Fantastic. Well, I sure appreciate it. I’ve got to tell you, you’re one of my favorite interviews so far because I’m all about bottom line and actionable steps, and you gave us all of that. So I appreciate you very much. I will be including links to your certification, and to your books, and to your real estate team there in our write up, so get you some extra links back there. And if there’s anything else that you want to send me, and kind of checklist, or bullet points, or graphics, or samples, or links, or samples of those videos that you mentioned, feel free to send those to me, and I’ll make sure they get up in the write up for our customers as well. So thank … Yeah.

Michael LaFido:            Well, I appreciate that. We didn’t have video going today for today’s interview, but if we did, you would see the sign that sits behind me in my office. It hangs on the wall. It says, “Prove them wrong.” I’m gonna leave people with a last motivational tip. Whether it be a significant other, whether is be a former significant other, whether it be somebody that says, “Hey, you know what? You can’t do that.” I love when people tell me, “You can’t do it,” or, “You’re with this brokerage. They don’t specialize in luxury,” or, “You’re up against the rockstar luxury king. You’re not gonna get that.” That’s what feeds me, is helping people, empowering agents to step outside their comfort zone to prove others wrong.

Lori Ballen:                   Fantastic. Thank you so much. Thank you. I hope this really empowered our listeners to realize that there’s no limit, and they can be whoever they want as long as they believe that they are whoever they want to be. So thank you so much. I’ll be sending some business your way, and hope to meet you in the future.

Michael LaFido:            Awesome. Thank you, Lori.

Real Estate Leads through Next Door

Liz Abrams of Abrams Realty shares with Lori Ballen how she became the neighborhood export landing several real estate listings from the social network NextDoor.

Interview with an NextDoor Expert

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Liz is co-founder and co-owner of Abrams Realty. She is a mom to 7 kids ranging from age 9 to 21 and a handful of fur babies. Abrams Realty is a smaller but growing brokerage in Virginia Beach with about 30 agents who she also considered family. In Liz’s spare time she enjoys boating and camping with her family.

Liz Abrams Realtor is smiling

Liz Abrams
Abrams Realty
Serving:  Hampton Roads. This includes Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Newport News, Hampton, and Poquoson.


What Is Nextdoor?

NextDoor is a private social network for neighborhoods. It helps to bring the neighbors together and allow users to know what is going on in their own communities.

It also allows neighbors to reach out to one another and get to make new friends. The private neighborhood site began in San Francisco, California and since expanded across the United States and other countries. Users have found the site to be extremely resourceful and a great way to meet the people who live in the neighborhood.

The private social network was created on October 11, 2011. It has since grown and expanded its usability among neighbors and communities. The social site provides a safe place to keep people up to date on businesses and services in the area.

It is also a great way to keep the neighborhood safe and keep up on the latest issues that may be arising in the area. Neighbors can help support one another on new adventures and welcome newcomers to the community. This site is a fantastic way to keep in touch with all the neighbors on your block and keep informed on the latest news in the area.

Individuals and business owners enjoy using the site because it helps connect local people together.

It is an impressive way to have block sales or parties for the neighborhood. Many people enjoy being able to keep up with the latest news about the other neighbors that they may not have known without the site.

The site helps neighbors know who is moving out of the community and of newcomers moving in. The communication gateway is an excellent service that helps neighbors stay informed on what is occurring in the community in real time. The private service offers several ways to join and stay in touch with your local neighborhood and surrounding communities.

Join NextDoor

Next Door Set Up Screen for signing up as a new member

Individuals can log onto NextDoor.com and enter their street address and email.

The individual will be asked to verify their email to confirm that it is a working email.

You can only join the neighborhood you live in for your personal account.

This is why you want all team members setting up their NextDoor accounts.

The good news is that once you set up your business page and earn recommendations, you actually have the opportunity to be visible to other neighborhoods.


Set Up A Business Page

Agency users can also set up a page on the site. It is important to log out of your personal account before setting up your agency page.

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  1. Go to https://nextdoor.com/business
  2. Choose the Business Option
  3. Enter your business name
  4. Enter your address
  5. Find your business on the list
  6. Click Claim
  7. You’ll need a separate email than your personal account to establish your business
  8. Your phone will be used to verify your business

What if I can’t find my business page on Nextdoor?

After searching for your business, if you can’t find it, you can manually add it. Find the link on the bottom that reads “Add your business to Nextdoor”


Manage Your Page

The business page allows you to add your logo or banner for a professional appearance. Being able to add this to your page can promote your agency and provide an idea of what your agency is about. If you want to insert a logo on your page, then click the camera logo icon on the screen.

Select the logo or banner you want to use and choose upload. You can then find the logo you want your computer and open it.

You are now done adding your logo and banner to your agency page.

You can locate your settings page by clicking on your profile pic in the upper right-hand corner of your screen and select Settings in the drop-down menu.

Name:  Nextdoor suggests that you use the name your customers would recognize. This should not include slogans, special deals, coupons or other promotion

Photo:  A business logo or professional picture is advised.

Greeting message:  Think like a neighbor. Be friendly. Share a bit about you.

Address: This is not your home address, it’s where your business license hangs.  While it might be tempting to list your home that is actually in the neighborhood where your personal account is, it is not advised and could be a violation with your licensing division.

Phone number: Please include the phone number where customers can contact you. For those of you focused on Local SEO, remember that this is a local citation. You want it to be consistent with your other citations.

Email address: Please list the best email for customers to send communication to.

Website: List your website here so neighbors can learn more.

Hours: Where appropriate,  this is an important section for members to know how and where they can contact you.

Categories: Categories make sure your Local Page is found when members are looking for help specific to your business. For real estate, we have real estate agent and real estate broker.



Your personal page will allow you to create posts and communicate with the neighborhood. This is not a place to sell. Think about how you can add value to the neighborhood.

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Nextdoor will give you a link to build your reputation. It will include email, Facebook, Twitter and a link you can share through your other channels. We recently set up an Infusionsoft campaign requesting reviews from past clients and included the Nextdoor Link.

We’ve seen that most people who successfully grow their neighborhood reputation get the word out through multiple channels.

In my interview with Liz Abrams, who won the neighborhood favorite award, she shared how she interacts with other neighbors. From commenting and “thanking” their posts, to sharing her own neighborhood posts, she works to create awareness without “selling”.

Sample of what a new post looks like on Nextdoor

If you want to add a file for your message you can choose the icon that is a green camera.

Before submitting your new post, you have the option to preview it. This lets you check your post for grammatical errors and ensure your post is correct.

Once you have ensured your new post is fine to display, you can click the post button to publish it. You are now able to introduce your agency to the new post.

After you have submitted the post on your business page you can also share the post on your social media accounts if you want. It is an optional feature and you do not have to share it on social media if you do not want to.

The neighbors in your area will be able to see your post and examine your agency. This is a great way to meet new people and expand your agency locally.

Topic Examples

The NextDoor Site lets residence introduce themselves to other people in the community. People can share up to date news that is happening locally. Residents can keep in contact with other people who may not have a way to interact face to face.

The neighbors can share upcoming events that may be happening in the neighborhood and can create a community sale. It is a great way to share current events that people are celebrating with their friends and family.

You’ll see a lot of posts about strangers in the area, crazy drivers, and crime reports if there are any. It’s definitely a neighborhood watch type of social network.

There are also a lot of “who do you know who” posts. Consider gathering these suggestions and then making a neighborhood guide to give back to your community. There’s nothing wrong with giving out a PDF with a little branding on it.

Neighbors can check on each other in times of need or bad weather conditions. It is a fantastic place to find out about neighborhood get-togethers or community assistance programs.

If a neighbor is going to be out of town, it is a nice way that they can ensure their home is safe while they are gone. Other neighbors can help keep an eye out for unwanted visitors or criminals in the area when they know a neighbor is not home.

Neighbors can find a local babysitter or dog sitter in their neighborhood.

Lost pets can be found quicker when you get the word out to the neighborhood. The private site allows you to do things online without walking around the neighborhood going door to door. It is a fast way to sell candy bars or girl scout cookies for your kids.

There are many possible uses for neighbors to take advantage of when using NextDoor.


Neighborhood Favorite

Not to be confused with sponsorship, the neighborhood favorite is an award you can’t buy. Winning businesses are labeled with a  trophy on their Business Page.

These lucky businesses also earn a Nextdoor Neighborhood Favorite sticker to place on their front door (or yard sign, or car sign etc) to let their customers know about their coveted position in the neighborhood.

A neighborhood favorite survey is sent out to the neighborhoods. In order to choose a winner, the recommendations from the closest neighbors are calculated. Next, the recommendations from farther away neighborhoods are added in.

There is also a city level favorites list.


Neighborhood Sponsorship

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NOTE: Neighborhood Sponsorship is not yet available in all markets

Neighborhood Sponsorships provide real estate agents the chance to promote their area specialty in the neighborhoods they know best.

Your ads will appear in three places:

1. The Digest Email

Your sponsorship will show on top of the Real Estate section in the digest email on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. This is an email that has all of the day’s updates from that neighborhood.

2. Real Estate Section

When a member visits their neighborhood’s Real Estate section on their computer, your sponsorship will display in the upper right corner of that section. On a smartphone or tablet,  the ad will appear on the top of the Real Estate section and stay there as a user scrolls through listings.

3. Newsfeed

When a user logs in to scroll the newsfeed, your sponsored ad will show on top of the real estate listings in whichever neighborhoods you buy space in.

How Many Agents can purchase Sponsorship in a Zip Code?

The number of agents able to buy ads in a ZIP code generally ranges from 1- 5, subject to change. This number changes based on how many members there are, how they engage, and what the demand is for that zip code. If more than one agent buys sponsorship in a zip code, the ads will rotate.

Are there Contracts?

At the time of this post, the sponsorships are billed monthly and recurring. At the time of this post, cancellation can be done at any time although you do finish out whatever month you are paying for. Once you cancel, another agent may claim your area.

To manage a sponsorship, log in as your business page. In the left-hand column, find the button called Sponsorship. If you can’t see that, you may not have listed your real estate agent or real estate broker categories in your business page settings.



Actual example of a nextdoor recommendation where Gene from Sun City West recommends Lori Ballen Team in Las Vegas

Real Estate Agents can brand themselves and connect with their local neighborhoods. It allows agents to reach out to people in their community and surrounding area to promote their real estate services. Neighbors can contact the agent if they are looking for assistance in selling or buying a home.

Once a real estate agent has set up their business page, they can begin earning recommendations.

[su_note note_color=”#fbfabf” radius=”4″]The more recommendations you from the various neighborhoods, the more neighbors that can then see your business’s Local Page.[/su_note]

The goal needs to be getting as many recommendations as you can from neighbors all across the market you serve.

Also, the more recommendations you get in a particular neighborhood, the higher you will rank in each neighborhood’s Recommendations section.

NOTE: Your comments will be shared with the business unless you uncheck the “Share my comment with the business” box.


Your Reputation

When you sign in to Nextdoor with your business account, the first thing you will notice is the “Your reputation” screen. This is a score of how many recommendations you’ve received, and then how many neighborhoods can see your business Page because of those recommendations, and the total neighbors that make up those neighborhoods.

Sample of a business page scoreboard dashboard on Next door with 16 recommendations, 126 neighborhoods


Neighborhood Reach

The Neighborhood Reach map indicates which neighborhoods on Nextdoor can see your Local Business Page and how many recommendations they can see as well. It also shows you which neighborhoods your recommendations were given in. The more recommendations you receive, the more neighborhoods you will appear in. And the more you receive in one area, the higher your placement in that neighborhood.

Sample of the Nextdoor Map showing organic reach for a business page


Invite Others

NextDoor is a private site but is simple to join. People who have already joined can send an invitation to other members of the community via postcard, which Nextdoor handles with no charge.

You’ll see a map after clicking Invite so you can locate who still needs an invitation.

A person can choose to send out an invitation to the people who live in the neighborhood. If an individual does not receive an invitation there is still a way to join this amazing site.


What not to do

A NextDoor site is a great place for Real Estate Agents to find more business and connect with communities. Real Estate Agents are not allowed to create a personal account in neighborhoods they do not live in. An agent can not create a personal account in the neighborhoods they sell homes in.

The personal account must be for the agent’s personal address in which they live and reside. An agent who tries to set up a personal account in neighborhoods in which they do not live can result in penalties or deactivation of the account. An agent who wants to use the private site as an expanded commercial site will need to create a local account page for that kind of business usage.

A real estate agent cannot use their personal account to post home listings to other neighbors. They can not post MLS lists on the site and flood newsfeed with them to conduct more sales. It is okay for a residential homeowner to create a selling post to add to the classified section of the page. This can only be added one time and should not be multiple postings of the same residential listing.

An agent cannot post open house dates on newsfeed but can do so in the event calendar section of the site. This keeps the newsfeed from being spammed and filled with unnecessary items that are meant to be posted in other areas of the site. In order to do this, it is important to deselect the announce to neighbors to prevent it from being posted in the newsfeed. Agents are prohibited from showing a neighborhood that is listed on the site to potential customers who are looking to buy a home in that location.


Marketing Listings

Real Estate Agents have several ways to promote and share listing information on NextDoor. The agent can create a local page to use for their agency. It allows users to input the company logo and banner to promote their business. A Neighborhood Sponsorship can let agents place listings on the site to promote the residential listings for sale.

Promo Box for marketing a real estate listing on nextdoor

If an agent does not live in the zip code that they are posting in, they can still see the information on the real estate section of the site. A branding listing allows people to ask questions and places the information in an ad on the page. Neighbors can endorse that ad and it appears near the ask a question area on the page.

An agent can pay a set fee to become a sponsor of a specific zip code or community. This is a useful feature because real estate agents can be placed in the newsfeed, regular emails, and top listing options for neighbors to see. It provides exposure and can help increase real estate sales in the future.

It also provides your name to neighbors who may be thinking of selling or buying a home in the near future. Your name will be the one they think of when that real estate decision is made. This can help increase the number of sales and promote your name to other people in the community that are interested in real estate.

Real Estate Listing Marketing is still developing on NextDoor. Stay tuned for more.


Geographic Farming 

Geographic Farming is a creative way to build clientele and expand the business. Agents have successfully used NextDoor to do this because it focuses on neighborhoods, communities and zip codes. Agents can choose the zip code they want to build their business in and begin reaching out to those in the neighborhood.

Agents can create an open house in that area and reach out to potential clients who attended. A good real estate agent can listen to the needs of the neighbors and keep in contact with them to fulfill their real estate needs. Being able to reach a bigger audience in the community is what makes NextDoor the prime service to use. It lets agents reach out to a bigger pool and provide information to that audience.

Being able to grow relationships with potential, current, and former clients is a fantastic way to grow your geographical farm. The more people that you get to know, the better opportunities you have for the future.

Even if some of the connections that you made are not ready to buy or sell now, that does not mean they won’t reach out to you in the future. Other contacts may know someone who is looking to buy a house or wanting to sell a home. These leads can not only grow your geographical farm but help to make you a high-profile agent in the area. The use of NextDoor can help you accomplish a large collection of prospects and can ensure that you get more business.