48: I was talking recently with Eileen Mulkey, a seasoned real estate broker and Fannie Mae appraiser on the team here at The Gary Lanham Group at Coldwell Banker Fort Lauderdale Beach Office. We were discussing how she was marketing a new listing in Fort Lauderdale’s Victoria Park neighborhood. The theme that arose was network marketing. This approach wasn’t any different from how our team today markets every listing. Her commitment to our process is what has made the Gary Lanham Group one of South Florida’s most successful, respected, and trusted Realtors from Las Olas Isles to Lake Ridge, Wilton Manors, and throughout Greater Fort Lauderdale and Boca Raton.
During our conversation, Eileen discussed the role real estate network marketing the upcoming open house. First, a little bit about what makes that slice of Fort Lauderdale so charming. From the Internet, Victoria Park is considered an upscale residential area reminiscent of Old Florida. It has the modest, traditional 1930s “cracker houses” that were common among the growing city’s earlier residents. It also has luxury estates that are alluring to a growing number of affluent and upwardly mobile business people and executives across the region.
Our conversation spoke of the need to build and marketing to a network, the importance of embracing change, and how savvy home sellers, buyers, and their agents must welcome the rapid pace of change that’s changing how we all live, work, play – and, yes, handle real estate transactions.
Our ‘Welcome’ to Victoria Park
Those looking to enjoy Fort Lauderdale’s lifestyle will find it in Victoria Park. It’s a walk to both Fort Lauderdale’s historic Las Olas Boulevard shopping, dining, and entertainment district, as well as the emerging Flagler Village area. Health enthusiasts will find the city’s Holiday Park close at hand, with its jogging trails, tennis courts, and playing fields. The neighborhood also welcomes water sports enthusiasts for boating, jet skiing, kayaking, canoeing, and stand-up paddle boarding.
Friendly to the LGBT community, Victoria Park also is home our own archive of LGBT history, the Stonewall National Museum & Archives.
So against this rich and attractive backdrop, Eileen set out to market her listing. She planned an open house and took to all the technological, digital, and traditional marketing efforts we use at the Gary Lanham Group.
She planned to shoot a Facebook live video from the property the day before the open house to introduce the property, and to discuss the property’s specifications and its amenities. Eileen also would share some of the event’s details, like time and location. It would also include an open “invitation” for people to attend. Sometimes, people are more comfortable being invited to open house showings. We want viewers to know they’re welcome to drop by - with or without a Realtor - to ask any questions they may have about the property, the neighborhood, and life in Greater Fort Lauderdale.
Sharing Real Estate Videos Far and Wide
This video would be shared across all our social media channels and platforms, and by some of our other agents and partners. Posting videos widely across the Internet helps create a “viral” exposure that introduces the firm’s - even the property owner’s - friends, family, and network to the listing and event.
“Before you know it, we will have 10 or 15 people come by who say that they found us on social media,” Eileen said in the video. That’s the power of social media.
It was also important for Eileen to introduce herself in the process. Here at the Gary Lanham Group, we’ve often said that “people like doing business with people they like.” They can’t “like” you if they don’t know you. So we all use social media, like the videos this blog discusses, to share a little bit about ourselves, our experience, and why we like connecting home owners and prospective buyers to help find, market, and sell properties.
Network Marketing Says: Drop by to See Us!
Once the event begins, Eileen will shoot and share the first of several live videos telling prospective home buyers that the event is on and open to the public. Again, a “Drop by to see us” greeting invites home shoppers and their agents.
She’ll shoot several more live videos before the event is through. Eileen will show the home and some of those walking through it. This creates an energy, a buzz, an urgency behind the home. There’s a concept called “FOMO” - or the Fear Of Missing Out. People who want to find that “right” home don’t want to miss any opportunity, a showing, a listing, or an open house. Our videos put urgency on every open house.
Why all this effort? Eileen was showing a home in the South Middle River area of Fort Lauderdale recently when she asked a visitor how they learned of the open house. “I was on my phone and a friend sent me the video and forwarded this information,” Eileen recalled. One person learns, then shares with others. Sharing information that’s important to others – that’s the beauty of social media.
Even Eileen, our team, and I are amazed each time it happens. We've been in real estate for decades between us. We’ve discovered this is how “word spreads,” networks are built, connections are made, and shoppers become buyers and homes get sold. It’s remarkably fast.
Changing with the Real Estate Market
Why is all this important to our client - the seller? Real estate agents today have to be prepared to work with the modern buyer base. In a twist, they also have to be prepared not to work with them. Many of those buyers don’t have Realtors to find and show homes. The buyer has become so educated that they can handle the research side of home shopping.
We embrace this change. And we’ve changed with it. Our approach has proven to be a tested, tried, and true way to market real estate. It’s something we’ve embraced as a group. As the Greater Fort Lauderdale real estate market has changed, so has the way people behave in the market. Smart Realtors realize consumers can find much of the same information, data, and market content we Realtors have. So Realtors must be more than a data source. We have to be a consultant and an advisor who helps to counsel our clients, structure the right deals, and especially identify problems with a property or in a possible agreement - before they occur.
The Internet, social media, and real estate network marketing are wonderful tools. But they’re only one tool in any smart, savvy, and successful Realtor’s tool kit.
We call this the “blocking and tackling” of real estate marketing. With the velocity of change in the real estate industry, there’s pressure on all our lives. In work, life, and even finding the right home, change is coming at us fast. So the technology we use allows us to do real estate is a rapid-fire pace.
Embracing Rapid Pace of Change
We as Realtors are only one piece of the machine, all of whom are sensing this accelerated pace. Lenders realize that loans that used to take 30 to 45 days to get approved and close now must take 14 to 21 days. Competition is keen; customers don’t work on yesterday’s deadlines.
Attorneys who used to prepare documents in 10 days now know their documents have to be drafted, reviewed, and ready for signing in 72 to 96 hours.
Realtors have to show homes today - because they could be sold tomorrow.
We applaud the changes that this pace has brought. We welcome the challenge of keeping up with the pace of modern life. It enables us to get more done in the service of our clients.
But we will never embrace the future of change at the expense of the valued trust we’ve built over the years. We’re our clients’ trusted advisors. They rely on us not only to help list, market or sell their property, but to find the right property - today.
This is a challenge we embrace. That’s where the Gary Lanham Group has made its name: through our ability to tackle any transaction, no matter how difficult, complex, or challenging it may be. That's where we excel: In helping you buy or sell a house in the Fort Lauderdale area.
So become that educated consumer. If you’re buying or selling your Fort Lauderdale home, network with your friend to help spread the word about the home you’ve listed - or a home you may be looking for. And if you want to know more about real estate in Fort Lauderdale, from places like Las Olas to Lake Ridge, Sailboat Bend and Wilton Manors, Oakland Park and Pompano Beach, reach out and let’s start a conversation. We’ll introduce you to our network.
Gary Lanham Group at Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate is a boutique real estate organization offering sales, leasing, and brokerage services to the Greater Fort Lauderdale area. A listings agent matches home sellers with buyers and tenants with landlords. While Broward County is our universe, we focus on Coral Ridge Country Club, Oakland Park, Wilton Manors, Pompano Beach, and the surrounding areas. Call us today at (954) 695-6518 or visit www.GaryLanhamGroup.com.