What Is Zillow Homes & How Does It Affect Real Estate Agents? • Insights With Zillow • Chris Lapp

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Welcome to our November episode of Insights with Zillow!

In this episode Chris Lapp goes into detail about Zillow’s recent announcement regarding Zillow Homes and it what it means for consumers and agents. We learn that Zillow’s commitment to agents remain unchanged, and they believe this is a win for both real estate professionals and home shoppers. Next, Chris discusses best practices around social media, specifically around video. Last, Chris reminds agents why now is the time to start building your online brand through social outreach.

If you’d prefer to watch this interview, click here to view on YouTube!

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D.J. Paris 0:00
This episode of Keeping it real is brought to you by zillow.com Hey podcast listeners. Are you looking for ways to boost your business and expand your network? I want to encourage you to check out what advertising options are available to you on zillow.com. If you haven’t checked out Zillow in a while or maybe never have before, please send an email to keeping it real at Zillow group.com That’s keeping it real at Zillow, group.com and one of Zelos team members will be in touch with you to see the options available in your market as well as learn about their new products and tools to help your business grow. Again that email address is keeping it real at Zillow group.com And now on to the show.

All right. Welcome to keeping it real, the largest podcast made by real estate agents and for real estate agents. My name is DJ Paris. I am your guide and host through the show. Today we have our newest monthly series insights with Zillow. Now everyone listening knows that Zillow is at the forefront of home buying and selling. Here in the digital age. For example, currently, Zillow is averaging 190 million unique visitors to their website every single month, that reaches incredible and they’ve become experts at buyer and seller behavior because of the sheer volume of users on their website. And this means they have insight based on hard data, not just theory. And they’re gonna talk about some of these insights here on our show and we couldn’t be more excited or proud to have Zillow as our guest today. Representing Zillow as usual is Chris lap from their corporate partnership team. Now I’ve personally known Chris for several years, he’s a fantastic resource to listen to, and also to help agents take some of these Zillow insights to increase their overall real estate production. But let me tell you a little bit about Chris before we get started, Chris Lappe has been with Zillow for four years and serves as the corporate partnership manager. In this role, Chris works with some of the largest and most strategic real estate brokerages around the country to drive partnership opportunities with Zillow. Chris has a doctorate degree in the field of communication, and has years of experience coaching agents and brokers nationwide to implement best practices and strategies for online lead conversion. Welcome to keeping it real. Chris, thank you so much, once again for joining us.

Chris Lapp 2:33
Thanks, DJ. Absolute pleasure to be with you again. And the whole crew.

D.J. Paris 2:38
Well, thank you. Yeah, we’re excited to have you and we just found out that Chris used to live right or nearby where I was just on vacation. So next time before I go on vacation, I’m going to reach out to you because you’ve I could have I could have used some of those recommendations and but I had a great time out in California where you used to live so what a magical place in southern wonderful place.

Chris Lapp 3:03
It really is good to live there too.

D.J. Paris 3:07
All it takes is money.

Chris Lapp 3:10
takes my money.

D.J. Paris 3:11
Right next to where we were staying the resort we’re staying at in we’re in Dana Point is these beautiful homes overlooking the water and we were there with one of it was a mirrorball resort and they have all sorts of cool new agey classes and things and perfect for Southern California and we were taking this this morning meditative walk four mile meditative walk along the coast. And as literally right next to our resort and the I’m not really a basketball person but Kobe Bryant’s widow is building a home there and she has one of the more inexpensive homes there and it’s still like it’s just an insane area and I was like, Oh, if I ever get rich that’s where I’m going to move to

Chris Lapp 3:52
it’s a weird place I ran into Tom Cruise at Disneyland once and that was an odd odd thing

D.J. Paris 3:59
that is that’s pretty awesome was Was he did you were able to say hi or how did it work? Was it

Chris Lapp 4:06
it was like a don’t talk to Tom like security guard presence around him.

D.J. Paris 4:10
Sure. Otter my I have my aunt lives in the town of orange itself. So So I grew up going to visit her and I’ve been to Anaheim plenty of times I’ve been to Disneyland but never never met any celebrities but But it was funny because we’d be walking on the beach in Dana Point. And these homes overlooking I mean, God only knows how expensive they were. And we’d see these people you know, walking along the beach and I’m like, is this a billionaire? It’s like they have to some of these people have to own these homes. But they all are just, you know, in their their casual California clothes. But anyway, we’re not here to talk about my trip. But I’m still in trip vacation mode. But today, what we would do want to talk about is take a few minutes to ask you about Zelos recent big news. And could you explain to our listeners and our viewers Where’s the announcement of what Zillow homes is and give us an update?

Chris Lapp 5:04
Yeah, absolutely. I mean, look, I’m excited for a couple of reasons to talk today. One, obviously I want to, you know, talk about, you know, social media some of the insights we have there. But, you know, before we jump into that, I really do want to take a few moments and discuss kind of the recent announcement about Zillow homes. So to start just to get high level overview. Zillow homes is a licensed brokerage entity. And it is our latest service to simplify and streamline. Zillow offers transactions to deliver really a more integrated experience to customers. So Zillow offers customers can already use Zillow affiliated mortgage title and escrow services through Zillow home loans, as well as Zillow closing services. So, delivering all Zillow offers related transactions service through a single coordinated platform. That’s what was really designed to help consumers save time, as well as kind of reduced friction and uncertainty in the home buying process. So ultimately, what that means is that starting in January, this coming January, customers in the Atlanta market, Phoenix market, as well as the Tucson market, who sell their homes through Zillow offers will work directly with a trusted licensed employee of the licensed brokerage entity, which is Zillow homes. So Zillow owned homes in these markets will be listed for sale by licensed Zillow homes employees. And that this means for the first time, Zillow offers, sellers can complete the entire transaction from start to finish, utilizing Zillow branded services, rather than up into this point. It’s been multiple third parties. So we expect to kind of expand services to additional Zillow offers markets later in the year in 2021. But that’s kind of the 30,000 foot view for you.

D.J. Paris 7:04
And this isn’t the the lead programs that you offer to agents has not changed those continue to, to be in service and, you know, indefinitely.

Chris Lapp 7:16
Exactly, exactly. This is just very specific for the Zillow offers markets.

D.J. Paris 7:22
Got it? Yeah. So just out of curiosity, what is brought Zillow you mentioned a little bit already but just curious what brought Zillow to introduce those new services.

Chris Lapp 7:31
Yeah, well, over the last few years of operating the Zillow offers business, we learned that it’s really, really important to customers, that they’re having a service that’s simple, giving them control and transparency. It’s all the things that consumers in the 21st century want, right? I mean, that’s like the 21st century economy, it’s the thing that we’re all kind of evolving and growing into, right. And, you know, as I’ve mentioned, on this podcast, prior, our customers have been, and they’re always going to continue to be the North Star. And we’re working to kind of evolve the business to meet their needs and their expectations. So we really believe doing this is going to benefit our partners in the industry as well. You know, regardless of how our customers want to buy or sell, you know, whether it’s through Zillow offers, or through a trusted premier agent, partner, we want our partners providing the seamless experience that’s going to help buying a home and make it really a joyful, delightful experience. So really, the idea is to streamline the process and create less friction and confusion for the consumer. So, again, the people that will be acting the agents acting will be Zillow employees, and these are employees that we have had at Zillow that went and got went through the licensing process. So it’s not I’m bringing people in from the outside.

D.J. Paris 9:00
Yeah, and if a buyer reaches your website and wants to talk to an agent, a non Zillow, you know, employee that that does not change. So So for everyone listening, this is not changing the the traditional process of what the what the consumer is looking for, they can still reach out to agents, they can still, you know, agents can still advertise on the premier agent platform. There’s, there’s still those opportunities have not changed at all.

Chris Lapp 9:30
Yep, exactly. Yeah. I want to really want to stress that that nothing’s changing on that front. Yeah. Yeah,

D.J. Paris 9:35
that’s great. So, you know, with this announcement, you know, this is this is an announcement. Are there any other changes that you see coming?

Chris Lapp 9:45
Well, I like you said I want to stress just again, the way we do business with agents today, it’s really going to remain largely unchanged. Right? So connecting agents expertise with exceptional customer service skills for home shoppers, that that’s going to remain a core part of our business going forward. So, you know, agents are essential to that mission and providing a better real estate experience for all home shoppers, that’s really the goal. But with this announcement, we are looking to simplify and improve the way that we collect listing data. And currently, we have a whole bunch of data feeds from all over the country. And we’re moving from those like 1000s of deaths, disparate feeds to MLS IDX. You know, internet data exchange feeds, IDX feeds. And so for compliance reasons, gaining access to the IDX feeds, is going to require us to make some minor adjustments to the site, you know, including just very small changes to how agents photos appear on listings, and so forth. But overall, nothing’s really changing, you know, our solutions, the goal is really to continue to help maintain agent, advertising ROI and brand presence while connecting agents with active home shoppers. So, you know, no changes are gonna happen to the site. Now, anything that will change will happen in the new year. And you know, I’m committed to keep you and your listeners up to date on any of those changes. But again, just looking at minor things. So ultimately, I want to reassure agents that they can expect to see the same Share of Voice for their leads and connections, nothing on that front is changing.

D.J. Paris 11:28
And for everyone listening, what this might ultimately mean. And I know with our agents, you know, sometimes people want things so fast. We even have agents say I just posted a new listing on the MLS here in Chicago. It’s not on Zillow yet it was like, how long is it? Oh, it’s been 10 minutes? Well, okay. Well, there is there is a feed delay in their ability. Certainly Zillow wants it up a second after it goes live. And so with the announcement of Zillow, Zillow homes, the Zillow, the new home, the Zillow home service, this actually will help potentially bridge some of that time gap. It’s not a guarantee. But But that’s part of the reason for my understanding of, of one of the reasons that this will actually help bring that data to your site much faster, which serves everybody better.

Chris Lapp 12:19
100%. You know, there, we all know those frustrating times, right? Where somebody reaches out On Property, and maybe it was just taken down and it hasn’t had a chance to update on the site. key idea here is that this is going to create a much more streamlined experience for the consumer and ultimately help everybody including the agents.

D.J. Paris 12:36
That’s really exciting. I think that’s I think it’s so cool. I just love how, you know, Zillow, really being a technology firm at its core is always utilizing technology to just better better serve the client, which then I think tees up a better experience for the agent, right, Zillow, I’ve always thought it’s so cool that Zillow is, you know, free service to consumers really takes a lot of the legwork out of what agents used to have to do. And the agents can focus more on the human connection, the human side of it, Zillow can take some of the just some of the data side away and just makes it so much easier for the agent, in my opinion.

Chris Lapp 13:17
Yep, that’s the goal, right? We want to make it, we want to take the difficult parts and make it you know, work through those so that the consumer and the agent, they’re able to just make the connection, and agents are able to utilize their strength moving forward without getting stuck with any of the difficulties that they didn’t have.

D.J. Paris 13:36
Yeah, well, let’s let’s I think that that really covers that particular topic. By the way, if any of our listeners want more information about that, or want us to dive deeper into that, please let us know. Send us you know, emails or you know, postings on social media and let us know if you want us to get get more specific about that. But a lot has been written about this. And I find that that a lot of the news articles that have been written, I think I’ve been very explanatory and really going into detail about what this means for agents. And it really I see it as a huge positive personally. But let’s talk about social media. That was the other topic we wanted to cover. Okay, great. You know, I’d love to hear your thoughts about leveraging sort of best practices around what agents can can do.

Chris Lapp 14:20
Yeah, absolutely. You know, sometimes, you know, hearing the word social media, the word social media, it can, it can do a couple of things. You know, for some, it’s kind of second nature, it’s like, no different than breathing. Right? For others, it can feel like an alternate universe and it can be kind of, you know, overwhelming and intimidating. And, again, our goal is to make this easy for you and to really help you have the biggest and greatest impact that you can on your network. So, you know, as as I was thinking about the, you know, social media and the topic of social media, you know, I was all start with this. I’ll make a big assumption about probably a lot of those who are listening today. And I’m going to assume that a lot of agents who are listening to this podcast they got into the industry, because they’re very good with people, especially meeting people face to face. That seems to be a lot of agents strength. Yes. But as we all know, 2020 has brought about some big challenges for agents because, you know, well, namely, you can’t use your strengths of meeting people face to face in the way that you’re used to right now, right. And this COVID world, right. And most agents that I know, they didn’t get into the industry, because their social media gurus or because, you know, their internet marketing experts, they didn’t get their degree in online marketing, right. And so I think a lot of agents can feel intimidated, kind of by the prospect of needing to be an expert and so many different ancillary fields. And a lot of agents that I talk to really consider themselves more generalists, right, kind of those who know a little about a lot, right, and, again, are very good with people. But the good news for agents is that here on Zillow, we know a lot about consumer demands, right. And we know a lot when it comes to the online marketplace, as well as social media marketing. So, you know, I think you’ve mentioned with over 190, unique 100 90 million unique monthly users, that’s now over 200 million. Wow, you know, we see lots and lots of data trends. And we are able to kind of pour through the data, see what works as well as what doesn’t work. And really, we want to make this as easy as possible for agents to find success in the changing world of real estate. So I want to take a look at how to leverage social media, as well as kind of discuss some tools that you can use to find success in this, you know, social media meets COVID world,

D.J. Paris 16:51
everything, everything’s changed a bit. Right. So you were saying the the meeting face to face? More than a bit, of course. And, you know, even I was just, you know, out in California and took a flight out there. And, and, you know, that was even something that my girlfriend and I really had to think about was, were we comfortable, it meeting face to face with other travelers, and having to sort of figure out, you know, what was what was reasonable for us. So I think social media is probably more important than ever, until we get to a place where we’re able to have more, more face to face meetings, which hopefully it will be coming shortly, but certainly not right. The second. So what are some of the main ways that you feel we can best leverage social media?

Chris Lapp 17:37
Yeah, well, I mean, as you said, Really, social media right now, for a lot of people is a bit of a lifeline, right? I mean, there’s there’s good components of that. And then there’s also, you know, as we all know, negative components, right. But what we have found when it comes to particularly the agent, creating and sharing content, that’s going to be the most important part of social media success. And so there’s a couple methods that we have, you know, suggest maybe using. First thing is this video is king. Yeah, right. That’s, I mean, think about your own browsing habits online. Right. I mean, video is the first thing that you’re most people are pretty drawn to, right? Sure. So I just want to be clear, though, I’m not talking about the need for some highly produced video. It really can be basic, right? What we do know is that video drives the most online engagement, it just Yes, yes. And we, we have, we have Facebook,

D.J. Paris 18:39
Facebook comes on our show once a month, they always talk about video video video. So this is not an opinion versus This is absolute fact. Yeah.

Chris Lapp 18:49
Right? It is right. But video has a way of humanizing you, right? It kind of makes the screen two dimensional to three dimensional a bit, right? We’re able to get more aspects of that person who’s on the other end of the screen. And, you know, I think a lot of people think that maybe it needs to be you know, some high class produced video. And that’s not necessarily the case, right? Sometimes there can be something really engaging about something that’s not overly produced. And it really can benefit to make you come across more human. And I think a lot of agents are afraid of video because they feel you know, they need to stack up to their competition. And but I’ll say this, the reality is the industry is being forced into this direction. And if you can start learning how to take basic videos now it’s going to get you ahead of you know, ahead above your competition. And really, right now with you know, being in these COVID restrictions, now is as good a time as ever to jump in. So,

D.J. Paris 19:53
and I want to you know what’s great and for everyone listening saying, Well, I don’t have the right lighting or They don’t have you know, a producer or a director or a professional crew. You know, I think content is king, when it comes to video, which Chris, you just said, basically, the same thing is, is the value of what you’re providing is way more important than the aesthetic of the product. So if you have a shiny, you know, beautiful ring light, that the influencers use to make yourself look better, that’s fine. But a content is really what’s most important. So even if you’re, you know, driving, or you shouldn’t do this while you’re driving, but even if you were doing a very non professional video, without those, you know, accoutrements to make it look and sound perfect, if you’re providing great value, people will, will respond to that as much, if not more than something that’s highly produced, that might not have that level of value.

Chris Lapp 20:54
Right, right. You know, I’m just thinking, you know, a couple of ways that I have seen this kind of effectively be used. I recently saw an agent, who’s very good on social media, post a very simple basic video, where it showed them delivering a pizza, a box of pizza, and some champagne, to some clients who just closed on a new house. And you know, he’s smiling, he’s walking up to the door, you know, rings and knocks on the doorbell. And, you know, the couple opens the door and hands him the pizza, the champagne. Next thing, you know, they’re popping the champagne. And it was it was short as a short, basic clip. But it was powerful, right? Yeah. And it was one of those experiences, just watching it kind of put a smile on my face put me in a good mood, and it really kind of made me want to work with that agent. Right? You know, I’ve also seen agents do things like creating a very simple just in front of their desk, two minute monthly marketing video, right, like market update, like, here’s what’s new in the market. Here’s the trends, here’s what we see happening. And they you know, if you do it on a monthly basis, it can help to build that consistent rhythm of credibility to your network, right? And you can, you know, put it on social media, Facebook, you know, Instagram, Twitter, you can do all the different mediums, and you can even email it out, as well. Right? So that’s something I’ve seen that’s been really effective.

D.J. Paris 22:21
And I’m gonna, I’m gonna interrupt for just a moment, because you just gave me an idea to share with the audience. So that’s a non real estate related idea, but very similar to what Chris just mentioned, because we’re just talking about doing a monthly market update, you know, couple minutes, get some data points, read them, and turn your phone around and do that. Here’s something that any one of us could do monthly, or sorry, weekly. I know for me and I live in in Chris is in Seattle, a big metropolitan area. So of course, is Chicago where I am. But even if you’re in a more rural area, this this maybe even is, in some ways, maybe even better to do there, but certainly can be done anywhere, which is I know, every weekend, especially now, in you know, the pandemic days, I’m not sure what events are even available. I’m not sure what’s going on in my local community socially. I know the weekends are always like, okay, what can we do on the weekend? Where am I able to go? And I think agents, you know, all you have to do is, you know, do some research and think about what value that provides us do. Maybe every Thursday you do a Here’s what’s coming up this weekend in your local community. We know real estate is hyperlocal. This is a great way to provide value right? Now here’s, here’s things you could do outside of your house this weekend, in your local area. I just have three or four ideas. I would love if somebody were to do that for my own little neighborhood. I don’t I’m sure somebody does, but I haven’t found that yet. So you could do that just as a little idea. So didn’t mean to interrupt

Chris Lapp 23:48
that flow. No, that is that is a great idea. I mean, I’m thinking I would love to see something like that myself. Sure. You know, I saw an agent, post an Instagram story, like a video story, where they did a walkthrough of their latest listing. And then they did a I don’t know, it was like a two to three minute little clip where they showed how they decorated the front porch with like, you know, Autumn themed decorations, like really basic things like pumpkins, corn stalks, and they showed how to make a nice front porch decorated for this season. And they did so on a listing, right? And it highlighted the agents expertise, you know, their eye for detail, and it’s stuck with me right you know, another thing you can do is you know if your clients up for it, film them talking about their experience working with you, right? Think of it like a you know, a video review of sorts, right? Again, just getting this content. So getting your kind of creative juices flowing, thinking what can I do to put myself out there to keep myself top of mind in my network. That’s what’s going to be vital.

D.J. Paris 24:58
And for everyone listening or watching It does not have to look or sound perfect if there are mistakes, no, it’s okay. Not only is it okay, it might even be preferred. Because we are all imperfect people, we actually relate better to imperfection than perfection. So even if you stumble over a word or you do something silly, and you have to start over, I would keep that in, it’s endearing. It’s funny, everyone goes through it. And, and it makes you appear way more human than a perfectly polished. I mean, you know, we don’t hardly edit our episodes, too. And I am by no means in any way perfect in my delivery, or my visual, you know, sort of aesthetic of this podcast. So people don’t really want that they just want quality content.

Chris Lapp 25:44
You’re absolutely right. You know, and there are lots of ways to do it. You know, I would say, dip your toe in the water with a video if you’ve if you haven’t done it, try out all the different mediums, right? You know, so try out Facebook, Instagram Stories, try the live videos for Facebook and Instagram. You know, that can seem to get a lot of traction, because people get notified when somebody in their network goes live with a video. Right? So that can get a lot of traction. And then also just, you know, work with the typical static post, right? And that can be any number of things as well.

D.J. Paris 26:17
Yeah, that’s those are great. So outside of video, you have any other ideas for social media sort of best practices?

Chris Lapp 26:24
Yeah. So you know, video is king, right? That’s very important content, content content. But another thing is sharing articles and giving maybe your commentary on you know, any given article. Again, it’s putting yourself out there as much as you can. You know, we’ve created a resource, Zillow, that’s tailored for agents to share world class content. So we make it honestly as easy as possible for you. It’s called Zillow, porch light. And for those listening, it’s very simple. Just visit zillow.com forward slash blog zillow.com forward slash blog. And that is called Zillow, porch light. And we post articles on there all the time, right. And there, there’s a whole range of topics that we discover, sometimes, you know, I think recently, our most recent posts is how to carve the best pumpkin on the block, right? I mean, it’s kind of silly kind of playful, you know. And then we also have, you know, an article on there called selling, increase your screen, your home’s screen appeal, right. And so if curb appeal, kind of screen feel of it. So again, we have various all different different kinds of content. But you know, you kind of get the idea, easy, shareable content to keep you top of mind and your network. And you know, we have shareable on every platform that you’re on, right Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and all the sites.

D.J. Paris 27:51
So and one of the things we do on on our Facebook page is we find articles, specifically, we actually post articles from the zillow.com, forward slash blog, the porch light, because we’re looking for that content to send to our listeners who are agents, whether it’s real estate specific, or real estate adjacent, or even just fun, cool content. So we share that we you know, it’s literally the only other thing we do in social media with our respect to our podcast, is we post videos like this, we post our episodes once they’re completed, and we post articles that we find online. So this is a great resource, you know, go to zillow.com forward slash blog. And, and you know, subscribe, if you have an RSS reader. I don’t think most people use those anymore, but I do. So if you’re like a Feedly user, or if you just use Apple news, you can subscribe to that and have those pull in and then you can share them with your audience. And and that way, you don’t have to write the content, it’s even better. Fairly good content. Yeah.

Chris Lapp 28:52
Exactly. Again, trying to make it as streamlined and easy as possible. You know, and not only do we have a lot of great content, but you know, there’s a lot of great content just on the web from other trusted sources, right? So I recommend, you know, creating a file in your computer, have shareable content, you know, so that when you come across something that you think, is, you know, oh, man, this would be good to share. Just drop it in, save it in a folder. And before you know it, you’re gonna have a library of shareable content.

D.J. Paris 29:22
So this really helps solve the problem of what do I post, you know, and you should post as much of your own content as you can. Maybe through video, you can do some static posts, but jeez, you don’t have to write everything. Let the experts help. You know, you’re driving traffic to their site. So they’re thrilled about that too. But this way, you’re keeping good content in front of your audience. And you’re not having to do as much content creation, which is, let’s be honest, that is taxing stuff. It’s hard enough to make a video it is much harder to sit and I’m a writer. I mean, I write articles for magazines and stuff. I know how much boy agents really don’t have that much time. So leverage some of these other services like Zillow as blog to do that for your clients.

Chris Lapp 30:09
Right? You know, and I’d also say is, you know, something to not forget is, you know, when you have a client who posts, you know, those coveted Zillow reviews on your Zillow profile, you know, you fought hard to get the review, you fought hard for the client, make sure that you’re sharing those reviews with their network, we have a shareable option on your profile. So you can post that directly to your social media, you know, or think of it this way, you know, you close you list a home, you close a home post about that, too. Don’t just share, though, that you know, closed another property, right? Instead focus on the experience with the clients, tag them in the post. This not only helps make the client feel special, you know, when the experience is highlighted, but it lets their social media sphere know about it too, right. So this can help grow and expand your brand. It builds your likability and really the joy of you know, finding a new home, you get to focus on the story of the client. And that keeps the posts unique, because we’ve all seen the agent, you know, post closed another home, closes another home closing, create the story, find the story, and really share that, you know, and I’ve seen several agents do that very well. And I’ve also seen them, you know, share when they close the whole property, you know, if they give them a closing gift, you know, they post about the gifts that they’re giving that client, not in a braggadocious kind of way, but in a way of saying like, look, I value my clients, I like to work with them. And I like to see that they’re treated well, right. So highlighting that is another thing you can post about.

D.J. Paris 31:45
And for every everyone who first I’m just going to make sure everybody knows about this if you are a dot loop user, so that if you’re not familiar, that’s an electronic signature platform, there is a really cool feature inside of dotloop that many people do not know about. And it might have to be activated by your brokerage, I don’t know if an agent can activate activate it themselves. But reach out to dot loop. If you don’t know about this, there is a if you’re using dot loop to send paperwork back and forth and get signatures, there’s a little link right above the paperwork that says write a zillo review. So actually, it’s built in if you’re using dot loop, they have this cool feature and make sure everybody knows that, that the best way they could serve you is by writing a zillo review. And then once that review happens, as Chris mentioned, share it now if you’re thinking, Well, I don’t want to brag about my five star perfect review. Here’s here’s a suggestion on how to do that. Just a suggestion for me. It’s certainly not the only way to go. Because I might feel that same way. Like I don’t really know No, no, I’m not comfortable. What I would say if it was me is I would post the link inside of social media like Chris was suggesting, which you can find right on Zelos review site, you can get the link just to that specific review, and then say, Wow, I am so grateful that tag the person so and so was kind enough to share their experience working with me, it was an honor working with them, you know, and that way, you’re not saying hey, look at how great I am. You’re saying look at how Frank for that someone was kind enough, because you should be that thankful, by the way. And that takes that takes I think the perception of maybe you’re worried somebody think you’re sort of just bragging about how great you are into saying, How lucky am I that somebody took the time to do that?

Chris Lapp 33:29
Or use it as an opportunity to highlight your expertise, you know, say, Wow, I’m really grateful for this review. I’m really grateful that we were able to get this deal done in such a hot market. And we were able to, you know, provide an offer they couldn’t refuse or you know, something to that effect. There’s ways to highlight your expertise, while also sharing other people’s experience of working with you.

D.J. Paris 33:54
Yeah, I love it. What about, you know, let’s, I’ve always wanted to because there’s so many different opinions about this. And I think we should just just ask about it. So what about mixing? Because this is the other question is okay, I’ve got my personal non business side on on social media. And then I’ve got my real estate business. Do I keep that separate? Do I merge it? What are your thoughts about that?

Chris Lapp 34:21
Yeah, so you know, some agents will have separate for just business right and then something for personal. Here’s what I would say. Whatever you choose, you want to keep it professional. But I think that there are some really effective ways to utilize social media to show your network the personal side of you to write some things that we’ve seen agents do to leverage this is post you know about a food drive that you’re a part of or your that your brokerage is hosting, right? Yeah. Think of like, you know, a charity fundraiser. that you’re participating in, or a community building or cleanup project, think beautiful pictures of your neighborhood or your city, right? Those things can show how connected you are to your neighborhood, your city to the region, and really highlight your involvement. Right. So even even if it’s not real estate related, it can be powerful and building an online social media presence. So think about it in terms of that, right? Like, what do I want to do to really to show my engagement and involvement in the community that I live in?

D.J. Paris 35:37
What about virtual events? You know, I know there’s some agents who utilize Facebook Live or zoom? You know, there’s a lot of platforms to do that. What are your thoughts on that?

Chris Lapp 35:49
You know, we’ve seen some really creative things, especially during COVID. For example, we’ve seen agents and give real estate 101 classes, and market updates on Zoom. All right, live on Zoom, where they will advertise it for days in advance, you know, hey, sign up, come be a part of this zoom class that I’m doing. You know, we’ve seen, this is great. We’ve seen some agents partner with local contractors, to create really simple how to videos, you know, like how to replace the faucet in your bathroom. Right. So it’s more basic things that they can teach others how to do. And they’ve done it either recorded or live on Zoom. And some agents that we’ve seen have even been hosting, like cooking classes, right? It has nothing necessarily to do with real estate, other than really building the connection with your network, and showing that you know, you’re a presence in their network, you’re involved, you’re there to help them, right. So, think of it this way, once you set a date for whatever event, you’re going to host, you can start promoting it on social media and posting updates, as the events get closer. Again, this is the thing that keeps you top of mind. And it’s the thing that helps you with content creation. So again, there’s some very creative solutions and, you know, events that we’ve seen agents do. So I think, really the sky’s the limit, there’s a lot of opportunities.

D.J. Paris 37:14
And as far as posting frequency, because that’s a big question we’ll get is, How often should I post? Do you have any thoughts about frequency?

Chris Lapp 37:25
Well, you know, everyone’s different, right? You know, there’s not really a one size fits all approach, you know, there’s going to be some agents, I’m sure we’ve all seen that maybe posts, you know, three, four times a day, right? Maybe there’s those agents who posts you know, three times a month, and there’s some that post three times a year and those who never post, right, what we have found is that it’s usually best to not post more than once a day. And you really probably want to post something at least maybe every other day or every second day, right to keep engaged, keep top of mind with the people that you’re connected to. And really, in that you want to build a balance kind of between think business posts as well as personal. And especially if you’re doing it on the same account, right? This is going to be helpful for you to really kind of build the network by sharing things that you enjoy and care about. And it’s also going to help you establish and build that brand. And that you know, that online presence. So again, not a one size fits all approach. But I’d say probably no more than once a day, probably no less than every, like second or second or third day.

D.J. Paris 38:32
Yeah, that makes sense. And I think that’s really doable, even for the busiest of agents, you know, and there’s, boy, there’s so much content, I always recommend as a place to get started, we talked about some content options, whether it’s video or static posts earlier, and this is just a great way to start to think about what do my clients or rather, what does my sphere of influence really need right now? Or what do they want right now and this it doesn’t always have to be real estate related. Chris was mentioning he seen cooking classes and, and and how to, you know, decorate, you know, your front porch for Halloween. It doesn’t necessarily have to do with anything about real estate. I mentioned coming up with ideas every week to what you can do over the weekend. But the bottom line is think about what your sphere of influence actually would like to see. And you might not know the exact perfect answer for that. So you can try a few things. And then what I recommend is if you are thinking of a series, so for example, if you were to take my suggestion of I’m going to do a weekend event series and I’m going to do it every Thursday, realize that you can commit to that over the next year which really is seems like a big task but you just take it week by week. You know you probably do five minutes of research online to find out what events are going on. You write them down on a notepad you have in front of you. Super simple and you do a 92nd to two minute video. That is something that you can do Who, every single week for a year. And if you commit to that you have that’s the trick is you got to this, this podcast didn’t exist because I put out one episode and all of a sudden we had 1000s of listeners, we had like no listeners for, for gosh, I’m embarrassed to say how long we had no listeners for but but the reality of it was over time, we wanted to get people hooked on these conversations, because I just kept thinking, I know, if I were a producing agent, I would want to know what top agents are doing. And I thought no one has done that. And here’s an opportunity for you don’t have to have my idea, you certainly can try my idea to. But just think about what your sphere of influence would like. And even if it’s as simple as restaurant recommendations, or, you know, ideas to help stay in touch during COVID, there’s a million ways to do it. But commit to a series, commit to doing it for a year. And you know, try to make it so achievable, that you’re not killing yourself every week or every month trying to create the content, it doesn’t have to take that long.

Chris Lapp 41:05
Yeah, I totally agree. You know, I think having a calendar, right, where you simply just, you know, Mark every Wednesday, and you know, every Friday or whatever days you pick, right? These are the days that I’m going to post something, right, and you get you have a whole, you know, a toolbox filled with all the different things and all the different kinds of content that you can do to put yourself out there. But if you just put a couple of days in the calendar, these are the days I’m going to post, it’ll help keep you keep you to doing it.

D.J. Paris 41:35
And it’s going to take time to build up that that engagement. So if you’re not getting the likes and the comments, don’t worry, if you go to our Facebook page to sort of peel back the curtain here, you would think we have no listeners, because really, on social media, we do not have a strong foothold, we just don’t. And that’s not something we’re great at, however 1000s and 1000s. And 1000s of people listen to every single one of our episodes. So we’re so grateful. But we’ve been posting on social media for years. And it would appear that it doesn’t really have much of an impact, because we don’t get a lot of comments. But we’re also not posting content that would generate content, or comments. We’re just posting content that we think is really valuable. And we get feedback behind the scenes every single day almost for people saying, oh my god, I love what you guys post, not just your episodes, but some of the social media stuff. But don’t worry about the actual engagement. Because whether or not, you know, I mean, if you’re getting negative feedback, of course, take that into consideration. But really, it’s just put it out there and be consistent and just trust that it’s working. And then of course, take the temperature every so often and make sure that it’s actually useful. But, but don’t worry about how many likes or how many views. It’s going to take a while. And and you know, you’re still probably doing some good out there, despite how low the engagement might appear.

Chris Lapp 42:57
Yep, absolutely. 100%. Speaking of articles, I like the things that you post. I might not comment, but I see.

D.J. Paris 43:04
Yeah, well, that’s Thank you, we appreciate that. And that’s, that’s really coming. But if I were to look, I would be depressed, I would go no one’s like, no one’s and it’s like I have to, if I actually look at how many people have seen it, then our numbers are great. But if I look at how many likes and comments, oh my god, well, I had a blog years ago, a very, somewhat popular humor blog. And I was getting dozens and dozens of comments on every post I made. This is sort of, you know, mid 2000s. And, and into the into the last one anyway. But anyway, then I started noticing comments drifting off. And so people aren’t commenting as much as they used to. So don’t worry too much about that. Just create good content, and make sure that the people know about it. Let people know that you’re doing this. And we there’s a there’s a a brokerage in Arizona, who puts out a podcast for their agents for their agents, they have 1000 agents, they’re in Phoenix, and they’re in a bunch of other states too. They put out a podcast episode every single day for their agents. And if you look at the numbers, because because they shared that with me, the numbers are pretty low as far as how many people actually, you know, actually what listen to this information. But it is so popular among their, their actual agent community. And it is now made them the biggest firm in all of Phoenix are all of Arizona rather. And it is not only because they do this, but they’re the only firm I’ve ever heard of who does that. And I’m like, That is awesome. And they’re like 10 minute little bite sized chunks. Now that’s a ton of work to do every day, but boy separates them from everyone else. So as somebody who recruits agents, I like oh my god, that’s a brilliant idea. Now you’re not probably our listeners are not somebody who needs to recruit agents, but you need to recruit buyers and sellers so you don’t have to create content every day. Single Day, but think about something that would be helpful and valuable. Don’t worry about the end result. Just worry about the value of it. And, and it’ll it’ll, it just takes time and just keep at it. Yeah. So So we’ve gone through a lot this Christmas. So funny before we were starting, Chris, like, we really don’t have that much to go through today. And now it’s been a full hour. So I gotta let Chris get back to his busy job. I’m not the only thing that he does every day as well. But you’ve given us so much great content, any any closing thoughts that you might have?

Chris Lapp 45:31
Well, look, you know, thanks for having me on the show. It’s always fun. You know, to close out, I’d say this, having an online presence is absolutely vital, especially in times like, we’re living right now. Right? It really is your virtual front door, there’s just no other way to say it. So having a robust social media presence can be very helpful to build your brand as well as grow your network. And, you know, to be honest, when you combine that with online advertising on say, Zillow, you’re really setting yourself up for success. So if you’ve never tried advertising on Zillow, you haven’t done it in a while, I highly recommend reaching out to see what’s available in your area. So feel free to email keeping it real at Zillow group.com Many of you already have, and we’ve connected you with the team that can look and see what advertising opportunities are available for you in your area. So again, keeping it real at Zillow, group.com Reach out and we will see what is available in your area. So and guys.

D.J. Paris 46:37
Yeah, it’s it’s really, really cool too. Because here’s what Zillow can do for you, which you might think so you might be thinking, I’d like to advertise on Zillow. But all of these zip codes are already locked up, I can’t get the zip codes. And that may or may not be the case. Zillow can look in and see what’s available. But they can also find opportunities in other areas that you might not have thought about where the actual ROI is significantly better than that ideal perfect zip code that you’re thinking you wished you had, because it has, you know, the most exclusive listings or whatever. It is incredible the data they have, I really encourage everyone. I’m not of course paid to say this at all. But I really think it is so cool. I was so impressed when when I’ve reached out to Zillow on behalf of our own agents and, and Chris and his team has said, Okay, here’s some zip codes that you guys probably aren’t thinking about that actually are really a really good deal as far as just a deal. And being a little depressed. For me as as somebody who works for our agents, we have 700 agents at our firm. This is great value for me to be able to bring to our agency. Hey, just so you guys know, here are some great zip codes that are under utilized right now that Zillow knows about and sent over so they can do all sorts of cool data dives for you. So definitely reach out again that that email addresses keeping it real at Zillow, group.com. And their team will connect with you and see if there’s any any synergies there. So I appreciate you, reminding our audience to do that. But Chris, thank you once again, this has been a great episode full of I think chock full of great actionable strategies, with social media also explaining the most recent Zillow news about Zillow, Zillow home, this is a big, big thing. We’re super excited to continue having these conversations and we want to on behalf of our listeners want to thank Chris and the entire Zillow team for being a part of our show we really couldn’t, couldn’t be more more excited and proud to have you guys with us. And we’ll continue to crank out these episodes on behalf of, of Chris and myself. We want to thank everyone else who is listening and watching or watching and just remind everyone to help do two things if you want to help our show. Well three things one, reach out to Zillow, see what opportunities are available for you keeping it real at Zillow group.com Send them an email the other two things tell a friend think of one other real estate professional that could benefit from having watched or heard this interview with Chris from Zillow and send them a link to our show. The easiest way to do that find us on our website keeping it real pod.com If you don’t want to do that, grab you tell your phone to grab tell your friend to grab their phone pull up a podcast app and just search for keeping it real look for the one that says DJ Paris that’s me that’s there’s a few others also called Keeping it real, but you should find us pretty easily. And and have them subscribe to that. And then also follow us on Facebook speaking of social media, that’s facebook.com forward slash keeping it real pod as I mentioned earlier, all we do is post articles that we find from places like Zillow to help you grow your business and also episodes and we also have started posting a funny real estate or a funny quote every single day because we thought you know, we’re sort of you know, we’re not that serious. So we want to do something fun, but that’s all we do there. There’s no fat it’s all meat So follow us on Facebook. Chris, thank you so much and we will see you next month.

Chris Lapp 50:05
Thanks so much DJ pleasure

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