As the connecting force between a potential customer and the purchasing portal, social media allows for the syndication of a business’s message to a larger target audience. It’s an important part of daily business operations, as well as the individual lives of employers, employees, and customers alike as they peruse digital content to learn how they may better their buying experience.
Though social media’s ties back to Facebook and MySpace make it barely a decade old, it’s something that has grown to the point that it requires an expert’s touch. Real estate’s no different here as customers look at houses online, get to know their agents through the images created in these profiles, and decide who they want to do business with based on the real estate professional’s presentation.
Brandon Patrick is the owner of the Middle Tennessee based Intervision Media Group that helps such real estate personnel craft the narrative they want to communicate to their client base. Through posts, pictures, and audio/video content, he shows brokers, agents, and others how to express their story best. He’s also spoken at GREEN Investor Club Meetings on a few occasions.
Our interview with Brandon is below.
GREEN: Brandon, let’s bring readers up to speed about your business interests, and how they intersect with real estate and social media. What is it that you do?
Brandon Patrick: Sure. As far as real estate goes, the biggest thing that I can say is that I am a twenty-two year real estate veteran. As a broker, I managed real estate companies from… oh gosh, 1997 to 2011. I spent fourteen years as a principal broker for real estate agents. I managed several companies, and probably the biggest was doing about $135 million a year in sales volume [with] Re/Max Elite in Franklin. I managed that from the day it opened, and grew it from zero in sales to $135 million. Getting good, coachable people – that’s pretty much what I would do – “get after the people who wanted to get after it.”
GREEN: So, you’re a real estate veteran turned social media manager? And you’ve seen both sides of the real estate industry?
Brandon: That’s correct. And, pretty much what I saw there… I have a life coach whose name is Michael Burt. He just got me really focused in on things, and pretty much that’s why I got out of real estate. I wanted to focus solely into my new company, which is Intervision Media Group in Cool Springs, TN. Right now, we serve real estate agents, we serve attorneys, we serve employment agencies. And let me tell you what I believe: It doesn’t matter if you’re a “one man show” selling houses, or if you’ve got a team of thirty agents. Every company deserves to have top-class marketing. Things that bring in effective leads. So, I consider myself in the “business transformation” business.
Because people don’t know how to utilize social media marketing effectively.
GREEN: So, you would say that your job is to change the business’s look through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and other social media platforms?
Brandon: That’s correct. We get into that, we get into their branding, we change their logos up – we get better logos. Because a lot of times people get out there, and they start working without anything that really promotes them professionally. So we build out their websites. We do a whole bunch of things.
GREEN: You’ve recently spoken at the GREEN Investor Club Meetings about “Facebook Live,” — the real-time, video creator function that captures a live video and notifies a wide pool. Let’s discuss that, and how the function actually trades the “polished look” for something that “feels real.”
Brandon: As far as Facebook Live goes, a lot of people are scared of going into a Facebook Live chat. The reason why is because they think they’re not gonna look good, or maybe they’re gonna “sound stupid.” But the one thing that we do know about Facebook is that the world’s changing. In 2011, adults were online an average of 21 minutes a day watching YouTube or watching video on Facebook, things like that.
Today, it’s increased to over an hour and sixteen minutes. So people are online an average of an hour and sixteen minutes a day looking at videos. That’s how much things have changed. Some people are even online more than they watch TV.
To be effective, people have to know how to make it work for them. The first step that I would tell anybody is “Don’t try to make your Facebook Live perfect.” It’s not gonna be perfect, and people aren’t gonna watch a perfect video. They wanna see people in their natural environment, and they want see people being real. They don’t want to see “fake-ness.”
GREEN: They want to see authenticity, right?
Brandon: They want to see authenticity. You know, if you’re a slow-talking person, be a slow-talking person. Don’t be something that you’re not. The video doesn’t have to be perfect. Your hair doesn’t have to be perfect. Just get on there and start.
The second thing is that people think that they have to do Facebook Live from their phone. That’s actually not true, and you can do it if you’ve got a camera on your laptop. You can do it on your PC. It’s not just connected to your phone.
You can put the video on personal pages. If you’re running an event, you can do a Facebook Live on an event page if you’re inviting people. You can do it on a business page.
The third thing is, be prepared. Don’t go online without having something to say. Know what you’re going to talk about. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but know why you’re there. If it’s to market an open-house, go online to [show] the open-house. You want to wait a few minutes before you start it because you’re building up people coming in. But that’s very important to be prepared.
If you’re on a phone, you may have to use a Facebook Messenger [app]. But the big thing is to have a great headline. Something that people want to see.
GREEN: What can you offer as an example of “a great headline” for Facebook Live?
Brandon: I would say… “The Most Outstanding Kitchen in Franklin.” “Great House, Open Saturday.” Something that’s going to intrigue them to come in. “Beautiful Hardwood Floors … It’s the same thing that’s used for regular advertising. “Outstanding bonus room with a garage that fits a camper.”
You know. Things that people are looking for. More than anything, you’re trying to get people intrigued to come in there and look. [And] tell people what’s in it for them. Tell people why they need to watch the video. “We’re fixin’ to go inside the house… as you see this is a beautiful front yard. We’re standing on an acre lot on a cul-de-sac with rolling hills on a beautiful night.” Sit there and do total ‘pans’… get people totally intrigued. Go “We’re gonna go inside and see this home. This home was built by X-and-X builder, they’re one of the best builders in Franklin. It’s a five bedroom, four bath house with a Y square foot on the master level. You’re gonna love the hardwood, … the crown-molding. It has 10-foot ceilings…”
You have to tell people what’s in it for them, or they won’t stay.
GREEN: You’re selling the specific qualities of the home.
Brandon: Right. “Stainless steel appliances.” “Stainless steel appliances with a gas stove and a built-in refrigerator.” You know, things like that.
GREEN: So, essentially, you’re selling “excitement.”
Brandon: Right. And a big thing why these videos don’t work is that people don’t introduce themselves. They don’t go “Hey there, I’m Brandon Patrick. I’m a Principal Broker for Re/Max, TN. We’ve sold close to a thousand homes in the Middle Tennessee area. Today we’re gonna be going inside 123 Rufus Lane. This is a beautiful home…”
Tell people who you are. Just don’t start the video out… you’d be surprised at how many people do that.
Another thing is that the more people do Facebook Live online, the better they’re gonna get. They’re never gonna be perfect starting out.
GREEN: So, you encourage people to put aside their fears so they can get better over time?
Brandon: Yes, they’ll get better day to day… Every day they’re gonna get better.
Get people engaged. Sit there and call the audience by name. “Hey Justin! How’s it going? Hope you’re day’s going well. Hadn’t talked to you in a while. We need to have lunch.” Get people to where they’re liking your stuff, and you start getting the hearts or the likes… keep ‘em engaged. Let them know that you see ‘em. And that keeps people inside of the room.
And lastly, don’t worry about how long the broadcast is. When it comes to Facebook Live, you can go as long as you want.
Those wanting to learn more about Brandon’s company Intervision Media Group may do so by visiting the business’s website.