I was the featured speaker at an impromtu Texas REI Webinar last week. We had 27 agents and 9 brokers in the room. We had 8 more real estate investors -- all of them former REALTORs.
The purpose of the webinar was to share some gut-wrenching sad stories of agents, who "once upon a time," were living and enjoying life at the top of the Real Estate Food Chain with anual GCI's of $400k or more.
This blog post is the sad story of what happend to "Amy the Agent."
This is not her real name, as I do not want to cause any embarassment to her. But her story while sad, has some important take away points for the rest of us.
Here's Amy's story:
Amy is 43. She is well-educated with a business degree from the University of Texas.
She has her GRI, ePro, CRS and ABR designations. She knew nothing of Tumblr, or Google Plus and she's been selling Real Estate now for seven years and works in Austin, TX for a large, independent broker.
- Traffic / leads has gone from an average of 30+ a week in 2010 down to less than 3 per month today
- She sees her buyers' agents (team) eclipse her GCI now. She was at $328k in 2009. Her GCI in 2011 was less than $68k
Here is what Amy has for on-line marketing tools right now:
- Website: Bought from Cevado (5) years ago. Not one change in five years.
- No IDX links. Her entire 27 home listing inventory is done by hand and posted to two (2) pages.
- No WordPress Blog.
- No Facebook fan page.
- No Tumblr, no Twitter, no Pinterest account, either.
Amy goes to the monthly MLS meetings and drinks coffee and meets with other agents. Amy is also part of a local Women's business group (business after hours) and socializes there. She sends out post cards at the rate of 150 or so every month and she participates in the local real estate guide along with her brokerage.
Amy's GCI in 2009: $328,400
Amy's GCI in 2010: $211,740
Amy's GCI in 2011: $67,340
"There's proof in the pudding," as Barbara Corcoran likes to say.
Amy witnessed first hand, several of her team eclipse her GCI simply because she was ignoring Social Media. To put this into crystal clear perspective, this is a loss of over $200,000 in 3 years.
One of Amy's buyers' agents is Robert and he's 53. He went from ZERO to HERO in 14 months simply by immersing himself into going social. Amy said he just dove right in and took to Social Media like fish takes to water.
He has a Blog, he has Facebook, Twitter and a Tumblr micro-blog, too. He has a custom IDX, a smoking hot website and he spends 3 hours every morning on his computer dancing from one blog to another social media account talking up the Austin TX lifestyle.
Robert's GCI in 2010 was $0, because he started in November, 2010.
But at the close of December, 2011, Robert's GCI was just over $278,300. THAT, my dear reader demonstrates the power of learning HOW to go social. Robert is no spring chicken. He's not a wiz kid at fixing computers. He does zero HTML programming. He's a former plumber.
Imagine that. Way to go Robert! You are inspiration to the rest of us in the 40-something and 50-something crowd.
Suffice it to say, Amy's motivated after seeing Robert do so well.
So Amy has listened to my advice and she's commited about $18,000 to bulldoze her website, add a custom IDX and sign up for Tumblr, Pinterest, Google + and lear how to work daily with Facebook and a mix of social media widgets.
I'll update you on Amy's journey here every 3 or 4 weeks.