Amy's GCI went from $328k down to $68k. Here's Why.

Services for Real Estate Pros with Virtual Pictures Corp. (VPiX)


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. 

Her complaints:

- 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.


Posted by

Bart Wilson | CIO
Virtual Pictures Corp (VPiX®)  
iPhone: (719) 645-9940  |  Skype:  vpix360 


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Malcolm Johnston
Century 21 Lanthorn Real Estate LTD., Trenton, Ontario - Trenton, ON
Trenton Real Estate

Tumblr is often overlooked in the grand social media scheme. It's amazingly simple to use and it does get results. I'll be looking forward to reading about Amy's progress. Good luck to her.

Aug 09, 2012 02:43 AM #1
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

Well I sure hope this overall works out for Amy and looking forward to seeing her progress.  It seems to me that the highest impact item would be the combo website/IDX and bloggin.  I sitll need to look into Tumblr.  Not sure I fully understand the benefits there. (but I'm a bit busy now as my website/blog is generating a lot of leads).

Aug 09, 2012 03:04 AM #2
Karen Steed
Tallapoosa, Bremen, Waco, Buchanan, Temple, Carrollton - Tallapoosa, GA
Associate Broker Haralson Realty

How did Amy do?  I see the need to be better connected.  I will have to work harder on social media.

Aug 09, 2012 03:28 AM #3
Bartley Wilson
Virtual Pictures Corp. (VPiX) - Monument, CO
VR Software and 360° Solutions

For Malcom,

Acording to ComScore Media Metrix, the age group using Tumblr is 17 - 24.  And of this age group, less than 7% of them are able to even purchase a home because they don't have enough credit, a down payment (10%) or a nhigh enough FICO score to even qualify to purchase a home.

So you might ask: Why bother to waste any time on Tumblr if we can't reach home buyers? Good question. 

The better answer is the impact of social media. Links to / from Tumblr will be gathered up by Bing and Google.  This is the ONLY reason why we want to go with Tumblr.  Purely for getting exposure, back links and marketing the brand called YOU.

I'll be publishing my 3rd book (hopefully) by Christmas.  This will be sold on Amazon and will be entitled:  "The Real Estate Online Advertising Playbook."  It will be an NFL like Playbook with lots of pictures and diagrams.  

In essence, it's the first stupid simple HOW TO DO THIS, step by step guide for getting you coaching / trained on how to use Facebook. How to create a Tumblr Micro Blog, Twitter,, Pinterest and how to crowd source your leads and referrals. 

It will be wire bound and less than 50 pages.  It's the work book that every agent and broker I've ever consulted with has been begging me to produce for more than 3 years. So I'm doing it.


Aug 09, 2012 03:41 AM #4
Richard D. Ferris - Clermont, FL
Florida State Certified (FHA) Appraiser

The main reason I post to Active Rain is for Google SEO points when someone searches for an appraiser in my area.  I have a Tumbler account, Twitter, Facebook, etc.  What I need to do is get a better handle on posting to them for appraisal related topics.  I use them for my other businesses - but really don't do as much as I should with them for real estate.  Thanks for the reminder I am leaving $$ on the table by not engaging in traffic generating activities!

Aug 14, 2012 02:16 AM #5
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Bartley Wilson

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