Don’t be a real estate dinosaur*
Remember the flip camera? It was the hottest tech gadget around but within a couple years it was obsolete. Turns out products aren’t the only thing victim to obsolescence, so are entire business models. Case in point, Blockbuster. I can still remember keeping that damn card in my wallet just in case I needed to rent a movie. Blockbuster had several opportunities to buy Netflix and passed on it. Ouch. I don’t know about you, but if I was CEO of Blockbuster I’d be kicking myself in the ass. Truth is, when you don’t embrace new technologies, you run the risk of becoming an industry dinosaur. In today’s economy, where the pace of innovation has never been faster, you have to adapt on a dime if you’re looking to have serious long term success. At least, that’s been my story.

I started real estate in 2003, at the beginning of one of the largest housing bubbles that would face the country. After much success, I made over half a million dollars my second year in the business, I opened my own indie brokerage and BAM! the market crashed. I had 2 choices: change or die. Failure was not an option. I adapted and ended up being one of the most prominent REO brokers in the state.

Thankfully REO went away leaving me another opportunity to reinvent my business. So, what was I going to do? I’d sold over 2,000 homes and established an amazing company. But I wanted more. I wanted to inspire other entrepreneurs on their journey, yet didn’t have the established systems and revenue to compete with top brokers. What I did have was a proven track record for success and more knowledge and experience than just about any broker in town. I needed to spread my message to as many people as possible, for the least amount of cash.

Now, it may surprise you that up until this point I was a social media holdout. A complete ghost on every single social channel. Why? Because I thought people on video and Facebook were narcissists and the ones watching them were losers. And I couldn’t have been more wrong.

When I joined Facebook and started using video in 2014, I had no idea that it would impact my life and business in such a positive way. Now I know the truth, or the secret sauce as I like to call it. And I’m gonna share it with you: video and social media are the most powerful ways to market yourself. The connections you make over social channels accelerate the trust building process, allowing you to share your services with many more people.

Now most of my marketing time is spent engaging on social channels and creating video content. Here are 11 strategies you can use to incorporate video marketing in your business.

#1 Time block social media activities. If not, you’ll find yourself getting sucked into the social media vortex of Tasty videos, funny memes and cat videos. I spend about 3 hours on social media platforms most days, with about half of the time in the mid-morning and half in the evening. I do allow myself the guilty pleasure of searching for incredible memes and will stop at almost nothing to find them. Seriously. I have a meme addiction.

#2 Don’t spread yourself too thin. There’s Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, Youtube, Tumblr, Pinterest, Reddit, Vine and the list goes on and on. What I’ve learned is that unless you have a team of social media experts at your disposal, it’s best to pick 2 or 3 platforms and do them right. Try not to get caught up on which platforms and instead focus on learning the ones you jive with. I’m all in with Facebook, Snapchat and Youtube with a mild use of Instagram.

#3 It’s social media, not shove your business and agenda down everyone’s throat media. Trolling, which means scrolling feeds without acknowledging or liking them, is considered bad juju when it comes to social platforms. In order to build an audience you must participate in the action. Beware: the temptation is to start posting away, but this will only lead to unfollows and unintended consequences. Instead, give yourself a daily action plan that is heavily based on engagement. For instance, on Facebook my goal is 100 likes and 50 comments a day.

#4 Keep it inspiring, positive and fun. We’re on social media to have a good time and catch up on what’s going on with our friends, family and those that matter most. My fun or outlandish posts generate the most engagement

#5 Monitor your ROE-return on engagement, not ROI- return on investment. If you’re old school, this might be hard for you, but initially it’s difficult to gauge the impact of your social strategies. Instead, measure your success by the rate of engagement you receive. If other’s engage with you, then you’re doing it right. Little or no engagement indicates there’s a problem and you may want to revisit strategy #3.

#6 Incorporate a video strategy. Designate a specific day of the week you will publish a video. If you don’t commit to a specific day, you won’t be as likely to do it. Trust me on this. When I first started, I decided to make a Monday Motivation. Using the day of the week in the name of my video series forced me to stay consistent with my content delivery. And, thanks to tieing my video series to Monday, I’ve now created and published over 2 years worth of Monday Motivations. Pretty cool.

#7 Start using, gulp, Facebook Live. Yep, you knew I was going to go there, didn’t you? If you can stomach it, use Facebook Live instead or in addition to creating your video content. Mark Zuckerberg is passionate about making Facebook Live a huge success, so the Facebook algorithms are forever in your favor when you go live.

#8 Don’t worry about buying expensive equipment. If you have a smartphone you can record a video. Unless you’re on Snapchat, shoot horizontal. This way you don’t get the 2 black bars on either side of the screen. I use an iPhone 7 and do minimal editing on iMovie on my phone. Android has similar video editing apps. And, if you’re really wanting to up your game check out Magisto, Animato or Go Pro’s Quik. If you feel the urge to spend some cash on equipment, the best investment is on a microphone. I purchased a Rodes mic for $70 that connects to my phone.

#9 Don’t watch it, just post it. Remember that most of us are critical about the way we look, how we talk and our mannerisms on camera. Don’t exacerbate these feelings by watching your videos and judging your every move. Instead, just post it! If you trip over your words or mess up, no worries, it makes you even more likeable because it shows you’re human and willing to show it which will build more trust with your viewers.

#10 Distribute your content across platforms. Whenever I make a video, I give the raw file to Facebook. I’ve found that I get more views and engagement by posting the video directly on Facebook, versus on Youtube and sharing the link. This makes sense because each platform has algorithms that will reward original content. I also cross promote my content on my other channels. For instance, when I’m making my Monday Motivation I will post a few snaps of me doing so on Snapchat, encouraging my audience to head on over to another platform to see the remainder of my video.

#11 Just do it. Nike’s slogan remains the best advice. Just start. Don’t worry about what people think. We’re all riddled with worry and self doubt from time to time, just remember that ultimately that thinking doesn’t serve you.

If you don’t want your clients to say, “Remember her” just like we do the flip camera and Blockbuster, then start using social media and video in your business now. Not only are these tools free and effective, they can help you build a legendary business. You can create your dream life, literally by turning that camera around and showing the world who you are. You, in all your perfectly imperfect beauty.

*as featured in February 2007, edition of Southeast Valley Edition Real Producers
Kala Laos is a real estate broker and owner of JK Realty in Gilbert, Arizona. You can connect with her on Facebook at on Snapchat @kalalaos and Instagram @kalalaos