In this episode we’re going to listen to a podcast episode when I was a guest on The New Construction Marketing Podcast with Anya Chrisanthon.
In this episode we talk all about what it's like to transition from new home sales to real estate, personal branding, the current real estate market, and trends we are seeing with technology disrupters!
Tune in for all the details!
Make sure to around to the end of the episode where I’m going to give you some details of a giveaway I’m running so stay tuned!
AUTOMATED TRANSCRIPTION - PLEASE EXCUSE ANY ERRORS
Stephanie L.: I've had to learn, okay, pick a couple of colors because I'm all over the map. One day I could like black and white and red, and that tomorrow it's leopard print. For me, I've had to learn, "Okay to have a cohesive look, we need to stick with the same color palette. We do need to stick with similar fonts." That really helps me because it gives me clarity, but it requires me to sit down and plan.
Stephanie L.: I think that's one of the biggest things that, as an entrepreneur, whether you're in new home sales or you're a realtor is so much of us are on. We want to make the sale and that makes us feel successful. But there's a certain percentage of our time that we've got to stop and plan. If we don't do that, then we're going to live in a constant state of being reactive. So having a platform that you own. One of the biggest things is it's great if you're on Instagram or Facebook or LinkedIn, or there's probably going to be something new next year. But what if they turn that off tomorrow, or what if that following your account gets hacked or something happens?
Stephanie L.: I like to have my blog to where I can point people that way, I own that space. But then if I want to post on Instagram and link back to my blog, great. Because then you're really utilizing the platforms that you own, versus you're dependent on who Instagram serves your ads or your posts to. If I'm going to spend this time working on content, I want to be able to control who sees it, where they go, and if something crashes tomorrow, I own the site and they can come back to me and see my stuff and my content.
Stephanie L.: Hey guys, it's Stephanie. Today what I thought I'd do is air an episode when I was a guest on the New Construction Marketing Podcast with host Anya Chrisanthon. Anya was actually the first guest that I interviewed for my show when it launched, and I thought it would be cool, and she was gracious enough to share with me the audio when I was a guest on her show in early about mid 2019. She'd asked me to be on the show to talk about personal branding, and how to market yourself online and on social media. We talked about the real estate market.
Stephanie L.: I thought it'd be fun to just share that with you guys and get a feel for Anya. And if you want to check out her podcast, it's called New Construction Marketing Podcast. She's got a whole training system, where she's working with new home sales counselors and helping them get to their next level in their business with the coaching program. Anyways, without further ado, let's get to the episode with Anya and myself.
Intro: You're listening to the Glam Life Of Real Estate Podcast where we talk about everything from productivity tips, social media strategies, business hacks, and more to get ahead of the curve and crush it as a real estate sales professional. Whether you office out of a model home or your car. Where leopard print and high heels never go out of style. Here's your host, top producing real estate agent, social media strategist, and fur baby mama, Stephanie Lindamood.
Anya C.: Hello and welcome everyone. Thank you so much for joining me for another episode of the New Construction Marketing Podcast. I'm your host, Anya Chrisanthon. I'm very excited to introduce my guest for today. Her name is Stephanie Lindamood. Stephanie is with KW in Fort Worth/Dallas area. Welcome to the show, Stephanie.
Stephanie L.: Thank you. Thanks for having me. And first, I want to congratulate you on your show celebrating one year, so I just wanted to shout out to you on that.
Anya C.: Thank you. Thank you. I'm beyond thrilled. That was my goal to really make it to one year. Then I was going to see do I keep going or not? And now I'm like I can't imagine not talking to people. It's so many wonderful people for the show that I'm addicted, so we'll keep going. Stephanie, if you don't mind kicking off things by telling us a little bit about yourself, your journey through the real estate world and what you do now.
Stephanie L.: Sure, absolutely. I graduated college back in, gosh, '04, and got my first job I in new construction sales in January of '05. I was in new construction sales for a builder here in Dallas/Fort Worth for about three years through the end of 2008. During that time, I sold probably a little over 300 homes. It was super high volume.
Anya C.: Wow.
Stephanie L.: I know. Super high volume, sold a lot of homes. Really it was creating systems and processes and just very good training program. I love sales and I love real estate. I did that and then was in a situation where, we were starting to feel the recession quite a bit. My husband and I were both selling new construction. I was driving 70 miles one way to my neighborhood. Just got to a point where I decided that I wanted to take a step back and do something else for a little bit.
Stephanie L.: I actually got into retail management, and then I went into IT sales. I really wanted to get back into real estate, but it was just waiting for the market to get a little more stabilized. In 2013, I got my real estate license. Then in 2014 went ahead and got back into the industry. When I got back into the industry, I decided I wanted to come in on the realtor side versus the new construction side even though I had a love for that. My husband's still sells new construction, and just wanted something a little bit different for myself.
Stephanie L.: Now that I'm on this side, and I've been doing that for since 2014, I still work with a lot of my builder partners. I still get that new home sales interaction, but I get to help clients on the sell side of this side of real estate. So it's kind of the best of both worlds.
Anya C.: Absolutely. I think a lot of people have an idea that the realtor side can be so much easier. I [crosstalk 00:05:46] myself into it recently and certainly know that that's not the case. It's definitely challenging. What would you say the biggest challenge is that people don't realize when they transition from the builder to the retail side?
Stephanie L.: I would definitely say there's a lot. Partially like just in general, when you work for a builder, you do have to run that neighborhood and manage it as an entrepreneur. But you still have a marketing department you can go to a lot of times. You still have a manager of construction and you have a team around you. You don't necessarily have to build that team. It's built for you by the company and they're your support. When you're in real estate, you're completely self employed. What I find a lot of new construction sales will think is they'll see what I do and they go, "Oh my gosh, I want a little bit more flexibility. I want to do what I want to do."
Stephanie L.: Well guess what? I still work nights and weekends. I actually take Thursday, Friday off, and I work Saturday through Wednesday. When clients want to meet, it's from five to seven. I mean, I was at a listing appointment the other night till 10 o'clock mainly because we had bad weather and I had to delay a appointment. But it's still very similar in hours to my new construction days. One thing that I think a lot of salespeople think is, "Well, I love real estate and I can go sell homes." If you're really good at that, that's great. But guess what? When you get home, you have marketing to do and you have administrative things. If you don't want to do those things, guess what? Now you have to go out and hire those.
Stephanie L.: What a lot of people don't understand is when they get into real estate, they're having to not only do the sales part, which a lot of them are very, very passionate about, but they're going to have to run their business as well. That tends to take a toll in addition to just the expenses. I was running some budgets the other day, and my husband and I were looking at the numbers, and it's like it cost me X amount of dollars just to work for myself. So I better make that money versus going into a model home every day and getting to expense things and getting to use the company's computers and printers and that kind of thing. So it is a trade off.
Anya C.: Absolutely. I'm so glad you brought up the whole marketing department. There's always a conversation between who's in charge of marketing. Because a lot of times with some builders, salespeople are doing marketing and is that like should they be doing marketing or should they really rely on the marketing department? How the two sometimes don't talk to each other, so you don't see that kind of a symphony of what should be happening.
Anya C.: Because salespeople know what they want to say, but they're not necessarily good at marketing. Marketing people are great at marketing, but they don't necessarily know what's going on. So they really need to communicate. I always emphasize how important the communication is, but you're so 100% right that when you are out there on your own as a realtor, then the marketing falls completely on you.
Anya C.: One of the great things that you've done is you've been able to brand yourself. The way I reached out to Stephanie was through LinkedIn. Because I kept seeing Stephanie's posts, and I was just blown away by the branding that you did. From your hair, to your posts, to the videos, to the font that you use, I just think that's genius. If you don't mind talking a little bit about the branding, did you come up with it on your own? Is somebody helping you? And why do you think branding is important? Because clearly you're killing it.
Stephanie L.: Yeah, absolutely. No, I appreciate that. I went to school for business. I don't feel I'm that frankly that creative of a person, so the creation is really hard for me. I have done it all myself. A lot of it is studying what I like. What I'm really good at is taking a look or a concept and improving upon it.
Stephanie L.: What I try to do is I'll go on Pinterest or I'll go on Instagram or other sites, and I see what I like. Then I look at it and go, "Okay, how could I do something similar but with my style?" For me, I've had to learn, "Okay pick a couple of colors," because I'm all over the map. One day I could like black and white and red and that tomorrow it's leopard print. For me I've had to learn, "Okay to have a cohesive look, we need to stick with the same color palette. We do need to stick with similar fonts." That really helps me because it gives me clarity, but it requires me to sit down and plan. I think that's one of the biggest things that as an entrepreneur, whether you're in new home sales or you're a realtor, is so much of us are on. We want to make the sale, and that makes us feel successful.
Stephanie L.: But there's a certain percentage of our time that we've got to stop and plan. If we don't do that, then we're going to live in a constant state of being reactive. From a marketing standpoint, there's some days where yes, I get up and go, "Oh my gosh, I need to post something. What do I post today?" My goal though is to get to a point, and I'm actually working on this right now, sitting down and saying, "Okay, what's a monthly plan for social media or for branding? What's an annual plan for communication with past clients or ads or that kind of thing?"
Stephanie L.: Because you get to a point where you can't be reactionary anymore. What I really tried to focus on is not putting something out there if I don't feel it's my best. If I need to skip a day on Instagram, or I need to skip a day on LinkedIn, instead of putting something out that's fuzzy or grainy or something like that, I'll wait until I can get something that I feel really good about, that I feel is professional looking and get it out there. Because it's perception. Perception is reality. If it looks like I'm in a hurry or I halfway did it, then what are they going to think about when I go meet with a client, how I'm prepared? It translates into every aspect of your business I feel like.
Anya C.: Love it. All the things you're saying resonates so much with me. I think there's been definitely a shift in social media, the way we use social media and what is expected. In the past, I think that philosophy was more so if you want the followers and you want the numbers and the likes, you need to post, was like five times a day or something crazy. It was all about quantity of the posts that you were making. Versus now, I think it's more about the quality of your posts. Even if you're only posting once a day, you should really think very clearly about what that post is going to be. Because that is your chance to impress people, and to get interaction from your clients, and to really get engagement.
Anya C.: Yes, it's so important to be mindful instead of posting frequently and stuff that doesn't get any attention. Because the way Instagram and Facebook works is if nobody's interacting with your posts, then they're going to stop seeing your posts all together versus putting something thoughtful out there that is actually engaging. Even if it's one post a day, people will actually see that next time because they are responding to your post by liking it, commenting and et cetera.
Stephanie L.: Right, no, totally agree. The other point to make about that is having a platform that you own. One of the biggest things is it's great if you're on Instagram or Facebook or LinkedIn, or there's probably going to be something new next year. But what if they turn that off tomorrow? Or what if that following your account gets hacked or something happens? I like to have my blog to where I can point people that way. I own that space. But then if I want to post on Instagram and link back to my blog, great. Because then you're really utilizing the platforms that you own versus you're dependent on who Instagram serves your ads or your posts to. So if I'm going to spend this time working on content, I want to be able to control who sees it, where they go. If something crashes tomorrow, I own the site and they can come back to me and see my stuff and my content.
Anya C.: Absolutely, 100% true. Even if you are not a realtor and you're working for a builder, you could still start your own blog, and think about the content that you could post out there that's going to attract your ideal customer. Whether it's 10 things to know about new construction or 10 biggest mistakes, whatever it can be that could be housed on your blog and then just linked from the blog directly to Instagram, Facebook, et cetera. But that way the content lives somewhere else.
Anya C.: And especially, we've talked about evergreen content before, but it's going to continue to drive traffic continuously to you, and that's how you're going to get referrals as well. That's definitely a really, really true point that you made. You never know what's going to happen. Instagram is all the rage right now. Next year, who knows? It's going to be a new Snapchat or something else that's better.
Stephanie L.: Right, right. The other thing too is there's some builders out there or organizations in general that they may not want their employees posting as an employee. You may have a builder X that says, "Look, we have a builder X Facebook page. We don't want our employees or sales counselors to actually have." And I'm dating myself here, but when I was in new home sales, I don't think we had Facebook, we didn't have Instagram and we didn't have, I don't even think Pinterest was around. So we didn't even have some of these options.
Stephanie L.: Some of the marketing departments are trying to reign it in a little bit because they want control over the messaging, which I totally get because they need to make sure logos are correct and branding colors, and from a liability standpoint, especially when you're posting prices of homes and upgrades and that kind of thing. But you could still market yourself. And not to say that you're not going to be with your builder next year, but my husband's worked for a couple of builders where they bought each other, they sold each other so he didn't necessarily move on, but they changed names. You don't know next year if your builder's going to get bought or sold or what have you.
Stephanie L.: Maybe your name is something specific to your area or your profession versus the builder or neighborhood you're in. Because as we all know, when you're a new construction sales, you're not in the same neighborhood usually forever. You're going to move on, but you don't necessarily have to lose that following. If you've built relationships with realtors in the area or clients you've worked with, then you want to be able to take them with you. If you branded yourself something more general as far as something where they can follow you regardless of where you go, then you can take that with you and you don't necessarily have to worry about the liability of your company's marketing department worrying about how you're showing up and representing them.
Anya C.: Absolutely 100%, So it goes back to thinking about yourself as a brand as opposed to just your company as a brand.
Stephanie L.: Exactly.
Anya C.: Where your own brand. One of the things that is smart to do if you haven't done it in a while, is think about your Facebook. Think about Instagram, any social media that you're on. Think about when customers look at it for the first time through the customer's eyes.
Anya C.: I always like to audit mine, going back and checking to see like what did I post? Does it represent what I want people to think about me? I think millennials are especially good at it right now because they are creating this personal brand on social media. They're really posting what resonates with them and how they want people to perceive them. I think that's like true definition of personal branding with millennials. But older generations who are not necessarily native to the whole online social media experience and adopting it now may not be as familiar with that concept.
Anya C.: So it's always a good idea to audit it. See how you're presenting yourself on social media. If you're feeling not so sure about it, better is to delete it. Because you know what, whatever's out there, it's going to stay out there and it's just again goes back to how people view you. And oftentimes you only have one chance to make a first impression for sure.
Anya C.: Okay, so speaking of branding and you guys, you definitely should check out Stephanie's hair, love, love, love, love, love the whole look. I've always wanted to cut my hair short, so I don't know if I have the balls to do it, but maybe someday I will. But love your hair. I think anything from how you're representing yourself personally to your website and your social media, you're doing a really great job.
Anya C.: Let's transition a little bit and shift gears. Let's talk about the market since you're out there selling ton of homes and working with buyers. We realtors tend to see more so than insulated communities shifts that are happening in the market and what's going on. What are you seeing right now in the Dallas area?
Stephanie L.: In the Dallas/Fort Worth area, one of the things I specialize in is listing property and then working with clients when they're buying with a builder. One of the things that I'm seeing is just in general the listing numbers are raising a little bit. What I mean by that is days on market are increasing a little bit. The levels of inventory are up about 22% from this time compared to last year. What we're finding is sellers are getting a little bit more nervous about, "Hey, why is it taking you so long to sell my home? I'm not selling it for necessarily what I thought."
Stephanie L.: Because in DFW we've had about a 50% run up in price in the last five to six years which with our market is pretty unprecedented. Usually in Texas we were going at about three or 4% a year, bumping along just fine. We've been a little bit more of an immature market in that regard. We've seen a lot of changes here recently. I would say the number one issue we're seeing is a lack of affordability. If the average incomes are X, and the average price is here, frankly the builder prices are a little bit higher than that.
Stephanie L.: We're seeing a lot of clients having to really be selective of where they're buying, they're having to be mindful of property taxes, and is the neighborhood in a PIT or a MUD, which are additional taxes from a property standpoint. They're just having to really look at it. Because what we're finding is the affordability, it's just becoming more of an issue.
Anya C.: Yeah, I think that's definitely a trend that we're seeing on a lot of parts of the country. It seems like we're definitely in this shifting market currently. I think it always starts with California and the talk of a shifting market and then rolls over to the East Coast. Similarly to you, here in Pennsylvania, in the Philadelphia area, again the market is very pocketed here. We still have areas where I'm seeing multiple offers and people bidding $30-50,000 over asking on a $300,000 house, and still not getting a house.
Anya C.: At the same time I'm seeing higher end inventory that is spending more time on the market, $1 million plus range, definitely double and triple digit numbers that are spending time on the market. It's very interesting how in the same local area it is very much a neighborhood and even a type of a home that is going to demand different price, different days on the market. I am seeing a lot of baby boomers right now trying to find a ranch style homes, which are very hard to come by in our area. So anytime something comes on the market with that, it's like done.
Stephanie L.: Yeah, and to your point, we're seeing the same as far as if I list a home in the 170s, under 200, it's 20 showings that weekend, four or five offers, it's going usually over list. Once we get into that 300 plus range, days on market are increasing. There's just a little more competition because more of our builders now are in that $300 to $500 price point, and so their new construction is now competing with the pre-owned. If you can buy new for the same price as pre-owned, you're going to if you can. That' some of what we're seeing. The builders I'm finding that are more in the twos, 250s, they're really able to capitalize on the buyers out there because that's where the market is looking for housing.
Anya C.: So being a realtor and working with both people who are interested in buying new construction as well as I'm sure you do some resales, what do you see generally that is maybe surprising to you that people are not aware of when it comes to new construction? Because I think oftentimes as a new home salesperson, we're so on our own island and because we deal with it every single day, we can become almost desensitized to simple things that people just have no idea about. I guess, what are some of the conversations that you're having with your buyers about new construction and what surprises you the most that people are just not aware of?
Stephanie L.: Sure. One of the things that seems to be being a conversation piece now, even though the process and market hasn't really changed, is buyers are not aware or they're just thinking they can trade their home in and buy the new home and it's going to be seamless. I think a lot of it honestly is just from this convenience world that we live in. I can order something on Amazon and it shows up tomorrow on my doorstep or today even. So we just expect that in different areas of our life. What I've seen mostly is, you've got the rise of what we would call the ibuyer. You've got different companies, organizations that are offering to purchase homes.
Stephanie L.: The builders love it initially because they're like, "Oh, this helps with our contingency," which a contingency is when you have a buyer buying the new home that has a home to sell and they have to sell their home to qualify for the new home. When the builder has a contingency, that's an added risk on that transaction. Because if they don't sell the home, then they can't buy their new home.
Stephanie L.: Basically these companies are coming in, these investors essentially, and saying, "Hey, we'll buy their home for them and then they can pick when they move and they can move into your home and mitigate any kind of moving twice costs, fees, work, that kind of thing." But what's happening is, okay, this is just the same as the guaranteed buys were 10-12 years ago. It's an investor. They can't give you market value.
Stephanie L.: But the problem is a lot of them are advertising that. They're comparing it to a new or traditional sale. So what's happening, we're seeing a lot of our clients are getting these quotes. They're looking at the quote. They're either shocked at the number they're getting because they know what their neighbors sold for because it's all public. Or they're getting a teaser quote and then they're moving it toward the process and they're getting their final number closer in and it's not anything close to what it was after repairs and negotiations and things like that.
Stephanie L.: Because what they don't understand is those companies aren't representing them. They think they are. They surveyed people and they said, "Who represented you during this transaction?" They're like, "Oh, the company that bought my home." But they're not. They're representing themselves. What I'm finding is the builder partners are thinking, "Oh this will take care of our contingencies." They're not realizing that they're basically sending them to a company that's going to be low balling the offer, which is fine. There's nothing wrong with that as long as the client knows it. I think there's a breakdown in them understanding that this offer is going to be lower than market. Then the clients think, "Oh well I have this low offer. I really don't want to move twice."
Stephanie L.: They're not understanding that it's not like trading in a car. There's if you want the top dollar on your home, to have an agent help you and to represent you and to negotiate on your behalf. It's just like saying, "Hey, I don't want to gain weight to get pregnant." And unfortunately, that's something you got to do if you want to go through that process. So that's one thing we're having to reeducate everybody on is "Look, you send your clients that way. You've got to let them know they're not going to get market value, otherwise they're going to be mad at you."
Stephanie L.: Then the client's got to know, "Hey, you've got to be willing to take a hit on the house and if you are, that's fine." Most of the clients I talked to, they're trying to net every nickel out of their house because they're trying to afford the new home or pay off debt in the process so that they can get into their new home with as little financial stress as possible. That's one of the major things that we're seeing is a disruptor in the marketplace.
Stephanie L.: The ibuyers are usually converting one out of 10 clients. So what I tell my builder partners and my clients are, if they were really offering market value and are saving you moving twice, they'd be converting at the 85% that I convert at when I meet with a client. That's why I think it's a cycle. We're going to see it. It happens in real estate. We've been on a good run here and so we're looking at a shift as kind of a positive in the sense of it's going to get all these disruptors out. It's going to get all the agents that are selling two to three homes a year because that also confuses clients because they think Susie from church is going to help them sell their home when she does three or four homes a year, which is fine. But when you're in a shifting market, you've got to have an agent that knows the market and does this day in and day out. That's just some of the things that we see every day.
Anya C.: I love that. It sounds like you've positioned yourself as your value proposition. Working with the builders is to really help them, help their clients sell the home, and get the top dollar, and actually work with an expert and not just somebody who's going to low ball them and essentially almost take advantage. I mean, not take advantage of them. Again, if they know that they're getting low balled, that's fine. But I think a lot of them don't realize after fees, et cetera, et cetera, what it's going to look like. They think like, "Oh, it's the hassle to fix up my house, to do this or that."
Anya C.: But at the end of the day, you as an expert can recommend those things. You can work with clients to actually help them, guide them through those things. The amount of money that they can get can be substantially higher and make a huge difference in people's lives is actually, [crosstalk 00:28:28] yeah, especially after that whole downturn where everyone was pretty much in a negative. And now finally we're seeing people have some equity in the homes, it's nice to be able to actually pull that out and use that, so love that.
Anya C.: I guess, you guys, the takeaway from the conversation about these guaranteed buys, and I'm sure you're probably seeing something similar depending on where you are in the country. With all the tech companies getting into the business and their money, we're going to see more and more of them buying up and buying up and buying up properties. It's going to be interesting to see the proportion of those companies owning real estate and what they're going to do with that in the future. But definitely good ideas to maybe create those partnerships with your local real estate agents who know what they're doing so that they can bring true value to your clients and help them through this transaction.
Stephanie L.: The other thing I'll say real quick, if you don't mind, is again, some of our older partners don't understand this or realize it's happening is these companies are basically taking the information from the client. They're taking their information, their lead source now. A lot of times they're selling that lead. So even if they don't convert them, they're selling them to other agents that are paying for the leads or if they've got their own agents. Then those agents are contacting those leads of the builders. Then they're saying, "Hey, we'll help you go find a home. Or if you buy from this particular company, we'll give you more on your trade in. Or we'll discount the new home that you're buying through our little MLS system."
Stephanie L.: And what's happening is they're not loyal to the builder. What we do that I do with my team, my business partner, is when we work with a builder, especially if we're in a referral situation, we're loyal to that builder partner. We're not taking them anywhere else. We're not trying to distract the buyer and take them anywhere else or do anything else. But what the builders don't realize is they're just handing over those leads.
Anya C.: Yeah, so you guys listening to this, that's definitely a good conversation to have with your realtor partners, and really almost do kind of a quick interview process before you send your client to a guaranteed buy that you think is going to be in an easy way out. Really take the time to interview some of the top agents in your area and see who can really bring the most value to your clients in this situation. Yes, absolutely. And I think, yeah, again, going forward we're probably going to see that more and more happening. So very, very important to be educated on it and know that what you see is not always what you get.
Anya C.: All right, great. Well I'm so happy that you were able to make it in today and it's been such a pleasure chatting with you. I feel like you're really positioned yourself so great in the market and differentiated yourself from all the other realtors. And again, when I was checking out your posts, that really stood out to me, the genius branding behind what you do. I don't believe that you're not a creative person at all.
Anya C.: One of the things I've noticed is that you do use a lot of professional photos. Can you talk a little bit about that? I know it can be costly to do the professional photos, but how often do you do them? What's the inspiration behind? Where do you do them? To give some of us ideas if we're looking to incorporate more pictures into our blogs, into our posts. Because obviously again, a picture is worth a thousand words and we see that if you are using images, your blog readability goes up significantly versus no images.
Stephanie L.: Yeah, absolutely. So think about Pinterest. If I took my iPhone out, or even if you list property and you have your iPhone, are you going to do that with your property for your listings? Or are you going to have a professional photographer go in and make the home look like a page off a magazine with HDR technology? When we list a home, I have staging done, I have professional photos done. I want to show up just like my homes do in that regard. I do have a photographer. It depends on the season and the quarter, but basically I... For a while I was going every other week and it's partially with my current blog, The Glam Girl Boss, and then my real estate.
Stephanie L.: I have in my mind, I've got two separate brains in this regard because there's some things like whether it's fitness related or fashion or that kind of stuff that I want to capture. A lot of that stuff I can repurpose over on real estate. Because in all fairness, it's great talking about real estate, but sometimes people want to hear about something else. It allows me to build a little bit of personality into my brand. Whether it's with my dogs, with my husband or something like that, what I try to do is before a shoot is I try to... Instead of trying to make the pictures match my topics, I try to think about, "Okay, what are things that I'm going to want to cover?"
Stephanie L.: So give you an example. I know that I'm going to want to be doing some finance topics. So like today on Instagram, on my real estate Instagram, I posted something about compound interest because I said, "Look, so many of the sellers I work with want to tap into their equity. What if they could get a chunk of change and not have to sell their biggest asset?" If you're 20 years old and you invest a hundred bucks a paycheck, $200 a month, $2,400 a year after at 7% growth, after 50 years, at $200 a month, you're going to end up with one point something million dollars, okay? Your net investment was $120,000.
Stephanie L.: Well, no, people don't realize this. If you can educate them on little things like that. The point about the pictures is, in my mind, I'm like, "Okay, if I do something finance related, how does that show up as a photo? Is it me sitting at a desk with Starbucks and on a calculator? Is it me writing a checkbook? Is it me sitting looking at my iPad?" When we go on these shoots, I've usually got my laptop, I've got my iPad, I've got my phone as far as trying to do some things that are going to be able to be represented as more business related.
Stephanie L.: Then I try to think through, "Okay, what are some posts that would correlate to that?" Then if I want to wear something fun, usually it's always just still going to be work appropriate though, it'll be fine. That's what I do. There's a couple of different town centers in DFW, and so we'll go there. To me, I want a cohesive look, so I like more of the white background. There's a shopping center that has the whites and that kind of thing. But it's a lot. I mean you've got to go at a certain time of day because of the sun. If it's raining, it's no good. There's just different things that you think through. If you want to do book topics, like what books you're reading as far as recommending that to your clients, you could go take photos in a bookstore.
Stephanie L.: A lot of it's just seeing your personality and seeing what you do. I've taken photos with my dogs because all my sellers have dogs, and half the time they're like, "Hey, I love my dogs more than my kids," and so I can connect on that level. It's all about building connection and authenticity. But if it's not authentic to you, people are going to be able to tell.
Anya C.: I agree. So you guys, this past week I was in Nashville for a home builder tech conference. One of the things when we were talking about brands was building a mood board. It's almost like your inspiration board that you have with your ideas, what you want to see in your life. But it's colors that you're going to use, things that you gravitate towards. So that next time you're doing a post, again, looking at those colors and seeing does that represent who I am, the font, et cetera.
Anya C.: What they recommended doing is actually creating what I am and what I am not. So that you can very easily distinguish between the ideas that you should or should not pursue. So write out things that you think represent you, and then also take the things that you think do not represent you. So the verbs, the adjectives that describe who you are as a personality. I thought that that was really interesting. So the next time you were thinking about chasing that shiny object or going after something or doing a post, you can very easily see, "Does that represent me or does that not represent me?" I thought that was really helpful tip that I took away from the conference as related to branding specifically.
Stephanie L.: Yeah, and if you want start just simple, honestly, do a photo shoot wearing a black outfit and a white outfit. Because then if you get into some of the graphic tools, you can cut out your background. You could add just that to your just listed posts. But if you just do white and black just starting out with, easy. Then it can go with anything. If your colors are red or turquoise or whatever, it'll go with that and you can use that year round. You want to get some things that aren't real loud because then if you've got other pictures or house photos with it, it starts to look a little busy. But if that's what you want to start with that, I mean I follow some agents where they post a lot of cool real estate marketing content, but they're literally in the same three outfits every single time. It's you could totally go that route too.
Anya C.: Absolutely, yeah, it's a good tip. You can always start with one photo shoot and see how that goes. You don't have to do every other week. But that's got to be so much fun, so I'm a little jealous of you for that. Well you guys, if you want to connect more with Stephanie, I would check out her blog. I will link to the blog as well as all the social media information on the show notes. So be sure to go, like, and of course follow. Thank you so much for being on today. I really, really appreciate your time. Again, I'm just so impressed by the branding that you've done. It's so refreshing to see somebody coming from new construction side and killing it on the retail side, as I personally know it is definitely not easy. Thank you so much for your time and I hope we get to see each other soon and again.
Stephanie L.: All right guys, that's a wrap. I hope you enjoyed that episode with Anya and myself. Again, if you want to check out Anya's podcast, you can go to New Construction Marketing Podcast. It is a top ranked podcast in iTunes in her category. I am really fortunate to be able to be friends with Anya and really do a lot of cool stuff together. If you guys want to follow the Facebook group and join that, you can go to The Glam Life Of Real Estate Podcast Insiders Group, or go to the Glamgirlboss.com/facebook. I would love for you to support the show by subscribing, writing a review, so I can get some feedback. If you want to follow me on Instagram, you can visit me at MSStephanie Lindamood. As always, bye for now and I look forward to talking to you soon.