This week I traveled to Miami to attend what turned out to be a better-than-expected conference by Gary Vaynerchuk called Agent 2021. For those who don't know Gary, he is a serial entrepreneur and the CEO and founder of VaynerMedia, but I've known about him even before that when he hosted one of the first and most successful shows on social media platforms called Wine Library TV, which helped him grow his family's business into a $50+ million business.
The most important insight that he shared is that it's still very early in the Digital Age and opportunity abounds on all social channels. Newcomers tend to be intimidated by "influencers" who have been in the social sphere for a long time now with an enormous resume of content. Bottom line: there's always room for new quality content and most people lack the discipline to produce on a regular basis. Furthermore, the cost of exposure ranges from free to low cost as major brands have yet to fully enter the arena and drive up the cost!
I am also in agreement with the emphasis that was placed on personal branding. In the pre-Digital Age, you had to spend a lot of money to brand yourself on billboards, T.V., radio and just about every major media outlet just to get your name out there. But in today's world, social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and LinkedIn are the Modern Age's equivalent of the major networks such as A.B.C., N.B.C. and C.B.S. The best part is that there are no gatekeepers to get approved by or gigantic budgets required!
Although the access is simple and free to low cost, I do recognize that there's a "content paralysis" where a lot of you get stuck about what type of content to put out. In the real estate context, you already have content. You can talk about how you would take someone through the buying and selling process and supplement that by doing a monthly market summary by simply pulling the statistics from M.L.S. and discussing the trends in your marketplace. In addition, you should be publicly discussing your listings and their features and the lifestyle benefits that they offer. In short, the content is right in front of you! It's all about injecting yourself. Start recording and talk about these topics and push them out into your social platforms.
However, the most important concept I took away from the #Agent2021 was to ensure that you engage with your audience. It's one thing to get content out there and it's another thing to engage people in and around that relevant content. Talk to them and answer their questions because all of these social media platforms are only viable when we engage each other. However, don't push! Be genuine and help people. When you engage in an authentic way, you magnetize people into the conversation where you build meaningful relationships that bear true fruit.
If there was a key word for me this week it was "agency". Although many business models, including real estate, are under great pressure to change, the concept of agency is alive and well. A top-shelf real estate agency owner or real estate agent is more responsible than ever for lifting up agents and consumers by providing effective solutions to Digital Age problems by giving structure and guidance in a new context. When you embrace the concept that we are in the "agency" business, you begin to see yourself as the problem solver that the World needs more than ever.
To summarize the key point: “Go all in on understanding these social platforms. They are not going away."