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“It’s Not Fair!” Oh YES It Is.

video for real estateI taught a video class today. An updated version of my “How To Use Video In Real Estate” series that I’ve taught across the valley for the last 3 years. For those that have not attended this class, it’s all about HOW to get started in real estate video. I don’t reduce it to “use your iPhone or iPad to shoot video”, we get into mindset, what to make videos about, YouTube, video outlines, video editing, video syndication, types of video and more – there really is more.

Towards the end of every class I show videos. Real estate videos from agents around the country, some good and some – not so much. Then I show some of the videos I shoot for my clients right here in Phoenix. HD Property tours like the one below, screencast, green screen, animation. Maybe I’m biased but the videos I shoot are great. Not just because of the quality (I use the same cameras and microphones as the local and national news, Dateline, 20/20 – you get the point) but because the videos I make tell a story and allow the real estate agent to play a role in the video. When I started shooting real estate videos the overwhelming majority of listing videos out there were “fish-eye” virtual tours, with no mention of the listing agent except agent name, picture, contact info and logo. I encouraged my clients to be IN their videos, to build not just the brand of the house – but their own personal brand. Don’t listing agents deserve some attention too?





As you might imagine, at the end of the class agents come up to me to ask for recommendations - “can the camera I have now shoot video?”, “would you suggest I get a mac or a PC?” etc. Today an agent asked if I would help her shoot one of her listings. I said – sure, I just ask for the opportunity to earn your business“. And then she said it, what this post is all about –

“the title rep that markets our office says what you are doing isn’t fair”.

Fair? I asked, what do you mean? “She said you using video is not fair and she doesn’t agree with it”.

I wish I could say this is the first time I was hearing something like this but I’ve heard it more times than I can count over the last 2 years. This title company says you shouldn’t be doing this because…. or that title company says it’s a violation. So I wanted to address this whole “fair” thing and get it out in the open. I say what I am about to say in my classes and to anyone that asks so this is really for those title reps at competing companies that have not gotten the memo.

Since when is business fair? When have you EVER seen Apple not do something to compete with Samsung or vice versa because it wasn’t “fair”? When have your EVER seen Google not do something to compete with Facebook because it’s not fair? They do what they do, they continue to innovate, to invest in their own people, companies and technologies, to get a leg up on their competition. That’s what I did.

Invest In Yourself

Yes, I do video. I own a WordPress development company with an Indexable IDX too. I also do SEO and content marketing and I know how to use Social Media to get found online. So what? You know how I acquired these skills? I invested in myself. I invested in my business. For the benefit of myself and my clients. In 2008 when the housing market collapsed, instead of pouting and chasing around real estate agents that couldn’t use me anyway, I learned all I could about Video, WordPress, Optimization, Social Media, IDX and more. I had this website built. Today, real estate agents and title company reps, sales managers, county managers, owners, closing attorneys from from across the country, reach out to me for guidance, consulting and suggestions. They know what I do is the future, why don’t you? I HATED 2007 – 2011, I never wanted to “beg” for business again.  I knew the real estate market would be coming back around and I also knew when it did, I wanted skills that would set me apart from MY competition. I didn’t have an REO account. I had to innovate. I had to compete. It made me a better salesperson.

Instead of insisting “it’s not fair” or, even better “It’s a VIOLATION!” look at your own business. When the REO market started, real estate agents had to go to classes, they had to LEARN how to list an REO, HOW to sell an REO, HOW to use software programs to communicate with banks, with investors. They had to invest in their real estate business. When the short sale market started, real estate agents had to learn HOW to find short sales. HOW to list them. HOW to get them approved. How to stay out of legal trouble. They invested in their business, their education (CDPE), themselves.

Why are title reps any different?

The real estate market has changed. The same things you used to do “we have great escrow officers” or “We are a Fortune 500 company”, “here’s a battery powered fan or fly swatter with our logo on it” mean less than ever. Real estate agents and brokers alike are voting with their feet and finding vendors (like me) that have a skill they want and need in their business. I’m not necessarily hunting your clients down, they are finding me! Online. Where over 90% of consumers start their home search. For those reps that pitch service all day, escrow service only means something when the agent has a deal to give ya know. You can’t expect the same things that worked to market to real estate agents BEFORE the boom to work now, can you? The “Consultative Sales Approach” will help you draw out a real estate agents needs but those needs still have to be served. Video, WordPress, Content Marketing, SEO, Social Media, PPC, are not the future, they are the here and now. Technology has changed. Behavior has changed. Just because you have not, because your companies have not doesn’t mean “it’s not fair”.

Really?

I’ve been teaching real estate marketing classes, shooting all kinds of real estate video for years. You can bet the first time a title company lost a big client to me, or someone I trained, they SCREAMED “It’s a VIOLATION!”. I know many of the title companies in the valley have called anyone and everyone they can to complain about me (or the other reps I trained) doing video and I’m/we’re still here. (meanwhile some of the companies complaining keep doing things that are so BLATANTLY illegal paid leases, money under the table, $$ per transaction, internet portals for traffic that doesn’t exist), it’s ridiculous Come on, are you really going to complain about me?

My clients are growing their business. They are getting more listings. Closing more buyers because of the services I provide. Take a look at the testimonials. My clients have told me, when competing for a listing, they show a seller one of my videos, and are beating other, sometimes more experienced and established agents. Other agents have told me they are getting buyers and sellers calling them saying “I saw your video on Google and/or YouTube”. 2 agents have gotten new clients just by me filming their listing – neighbors came over to see what we were doing, and asked the agent to come over after to discuss buying or selling their home.

Skillset 

I opened 40 purchase contracts in my 1st month at the company I am with now. I’m on pace for 50-60 this month. I’d imagine that trend will continue. It’s not because what I do is not “fair” it’s because I have developed a skill set my clients want, my clients NEED to remain competitive. The younger real estate agents getting in the business have full grasp of these technologies AND have 2000 friends on Facebook, 500 followers on Twitter, 100 videos on YouTube AND for them – the tools I use day in and day out are – normal. The average age of a real estate agent is 55 while the average age of a 1st time home buyer is 31. There is a FUNDAMENTAL breakdown in communication, in cultures. I’m helping my clients compete. I am helping them remain relevant. Today over 90% of consumers start their home search online, 80% will choose the first agent they find. I give my clients a better chance at being that agent.

I understand you may have relationships with agents, some of them may have been in your wedding, at your kids birthday, maybe you coach their kids little league or soccer. But business is business and real estate agents are business people. They will seek out those that give them the best chance at success, like any business person would.

I’ll tell ya, if I was losing business to a rep that knew how to do something my clients demanded I would be going to school to learn it. Nights and weekends, fine by me. I’ve trained 4 reps here in the valley to do video, green screen, screencast etc. I’m training other reps around the country in Mississippi, Virginia, Florida and Minnesota through my real estate video course too. There are about to be a lot more of “me”. Things change. Markets change. Just because you haven’t doesn’t mean it’s not fair. Kodak filed for BK for one reason, they failed to keep up with a shift in consumer behavior. Some notice these slight changes and take advantage of them and others don’t. But nothing occurs over night. This shift has been happening for years. Where do you go when you have a need? So do consumers. So do agents. It’s survival of the fittest. Adapt or Die.

I Want You To Shoot My Listing Stephen!

Are you ready? Fill out the form below and I'll contact you ASAP to get your video scheduled. Oh and don't forget to tell your sellers YOUR videographer is coming to bring their home to life! Can you imagine what an advantage that could be in a listing appointment? What real estate agent has a videographer? YOU!
  • Anything Else I Should Know?

Stephen

Hi I'm Stephen Garner, I'm just a guy in the title industry {in Phoenix} trying to change how real estate agents market themselves and their services. To that end, I teach my clients HOW TO leverage sales technologies like WordPress, Content, Video, Camtasia, Final Cut X, iMovie and indexable IDX solutions to convey value and help your ideal client find you online when they are most interested in learning about you and your services. I work for escrows. Hire me!

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  • Charleston Lifestyle Guide

    Just had a similar
    conversation about something related with a friend. It’s business. Get
    over it or try to duplicate in some form what is making someone else
    successful without reinventing the wheel. People get so emotionally caught up in BUSINESS. Adapt or die!

    • http://mytitleguy.com/ Stephen Garner

      Like Rudolph said, “you’ll know you are doing something right when people hate you”. :-)

  • Ray Teerlink

    Amen to that Stephen! What in life is fair? Video has been a real life changer for me as well as a business changer. I am constantly thinking about what to video, how to do better video and I picked up a listing recently due to the seller’s desire for video marketing.

    • http://mytitleguy.com/ Stephen Garner

      Ray, it’s not like I am a rocket scientist or anything (believe me I’m not), all I did is what any business person would do, I found a niche that was underserved and I served it. At the end of the day, as a real estate agent you have to do what your end client wants and your end client wants their home represented professionally online – that means VIDEO and SEO. BOOM!

  • Jed Gray

    I agree. I was approached by a local title company that is trying to sell me on a farming program where I front all the money and they get the escrows? What? $350 for 500 piece EDDM. What?

    • http://mytitleguy.com/ Stephen Garner

      I used to be against direct mail just because I know I only check my mail every 4 days, it’s all bills and junk mail anyway. Now, I think it can play a significant role in the BIG picture of real estate marketing IF the message is sent to a demographic that would be interested, of value, not “I’m the best agent EVVVAAAA!” and the goal is to get the consumer to an agents website where they can learn more, fill out forms and search for homes. The way title companies and most agents use direct mail is to try and convert a consumer at the point they are most likely to throw the message away – (no bueno in my opinion). What do you think Jed?

      • Jed Gray

        I am on the fence about mailers after moving into my new home and getting a fat stack of them that I keep as examples. I have yet to be convinced about how they can be effective. I do have a need for something in print right now so I would be interested in hearing what you can do over there at Driggs! :-)

        • http://mytitleguy.com/ Stephen Garner

          I think it can be effective in the scope of a bigger plan but on it’s own? It would have to his at the EXACT moment a consumer is interested in what they have to say. That does happen but hell, even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while. What do you need, EDDM?

  • Julie Stokes

    Love love love this sooooo much! I want to be your next you in Texas! Seriously!!!!!!

    • http://mytitleguy.com/ Stephen Garner

      Thanks Julie. I have gotten calls from quite a few title companies in Texas, county managers, reps and title company owners. I understand Texas, like California, has some of the strictest state laws regarding value agents can receive from a title company – You have a great opportunity to win in TX as how do you assign value to education? It’s not physical, you can’t hold it. I’m helping an agent in Mississippi now, every time he hits me on facebook or emails me he is even more excited. Here is an invite for our private FB group. Agents around the country, title reps, appraisers and lenders that “get it”. Be good for you to see what they are doing in their respective markets. Whats stopping you from being the “me” in your market? https://www.facebook.com/groups/VFREAgents/

      • Julie Stokes

        Nothing!!!!! Nothing is stopping me. I will email /private message.
        Thanks so much.

      • http://mytitleguy.com/ Stephen Garner

        I mean “Rep” in Mississippi

  • Carroll Hoselton

    I absolutely love this and love what you are doing. I went to a mixer tonight and I talked to a few agents about what i am doing. They were thrown off when I asked them what they do for marketing. One agent (huge agent) is going out of town but insisted that I meet his assistant to go over the details immediately. This is something special and agents love it. You put so much hard work into this. THANK YOU!

    • http://mytitleguy.com/ Stephen Garner

      Carroll, I am so excited for you. You are going to be one of the top title reps in Mississippi and Tennessee, look at whats happening for you already because of your video marketing, top agents want to meet with YOU! It doesn’t get much better than that in the title industry my friend.

  • Gene Montemore

    “It’s not fair” is said by victims. I don’t do business with victims. Keep kicking ass Stephen. (And thanks for the props using my video above!)

    • http://mytitleguy.com/ Stephen Garner

      It’s the American way Gene, “It’s not my fault!” They lose a client, which they probably didn’t get themselves any way, probably a cross sale with a great escrow officer, and I’m the bad guy? I’m just doing my job and I’m glad that agents like you appreciate it.

  • Justin Haines

    Good stuff Garner, you product is unique and is not some ridiculous sales pitch. Your site is living proof, keep crushing it!
    -Electric

    • http://mytitleguy.com/ Stephen Garner

      Wait, could it be? Nawwww, is that really “Mr Electric” HIMSELF? Oh well you know you are doing something right when electric shows up. Thanks J. BTW, the “Big Man” called me today, going to meet up with him sometime before 10/1 – at your office.

  • http://ifoundagent.com/ Dale Stouffer

    I love what Gene Montemore said – the complainers are victims. They are victims of their inability to adapt – to learn something more – to keep growing to offer something of value to the real estate community.

    Stephen – keep doing what you are doing. You are making a difference for everyone – even those who hate you – they just don’t know it.

    Who would have known 5 years ago when built your first website – mytitleguy.”net” that you’d be leading the industry and engaging with folks all over the country.

  • Kathy Ammon

    Fabulous article. I just love the way you tell it like it is. Lots of folks talk about leveraging the technologies. To date you among a very, very few who can move folks from talk to action to sales. You are the BEST!!!!!!!

    • http://mytitleguy.com/ Stephen Garner

      Thank you Kathy! There are a lot of people that talk the talk in this industry, some are even famous speakers – but few and far between can actually walk the walk. I’m blown away with how far you have come…