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In this weekly column, real estate agents across the nation share stories of the lessons they’ve learned during their time in the industry.
Savannah, Georgia-based Karin Carr is an experienced real estate agent in her own right, but it’s her video acumen that has made her a household name among agents all over North America.
With thousands of followers across multiple platforms, she puts her humor and personal style front and center when creating content for her business endeavors. Find out how this No. 1 BombBomb real estate video influencer (in 2019) developed the professional strategies that have made her a leader in both real estate and marketing.
(Note: This interview has been edited for style and length).
How long have you been in the business, and how did you get started?
I first got licensed in 2005 after moving to northern California. Back then, a starter home was half a million dollars, and we quickly realized that there was no way we’d ever buy a home on a single income there.
My daughter was only two months old at the time, and I had plans to be a stay-at-home mom. I thought that if I got my real estate license, I’d only need to sell homes part time to significantly add to our household income, without having to put our new baby in daycare 40 hours a week.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
I have worked my way out of production at this point and have a small team of five (soon to be six) agents plus admin help. I started training agents a couple of years ago on using video as a bona fide lead-gen strategy, and it’s so rewarding to hear how it changes people’s lives. I seriously get teary-eyed when I hear what video is doing for the agents in my group coaching program.
I see myself being a full-time coach and speaker, and having someone run the real estate team for me. My goal is to work 20 hours a week and no weekends or evenings.
What’s one big lesson you’ve learned in real estate?
Chasing leads who don’t know me, don’t want to talk to me, don’t value my expertise and think that I’m one of a million agents who all do exactly the same thing had me on a surefire path to burnout and wanting to leave real estate altogether. I almost quit in 2015 when I moved to Atlanta.
But once I figured out how to attract leads rather than chase them, my whole business changed. I loved my job again, loved the clients I was working with and started making a heck of a lot more money too! I wish I had figured that out a lot sooner instead of 12 years into the business.
How did you learn it?
I used to run a lot of Facebook ads. “Get a list of single-story homes under $400,000!” I’d get a lot of leads for $1 to $2 apiece, but I’d have to call them all seven to 10 times just to find out they weren’t really interested, motivated, or they were not financially able to buy. I spent so much money on ads and felt like I was working 24/7 to not make much money at all.
Then I started making YouTube videos out of sheer desperation. I remember so clearly that first phone call. A man called and said, “My wife and I are selling our house in New York and want to move to Georgia. We have watched all your videos, and we feel like we know you already. We want to hire you as our buyer’s agent.” A light bulb went off at that moment. He said, “We feel like we know you already.”
At that moment, I decided to make one video a week, without fail, for people who were thinking of moving to Georgia and didn’t know much about the area. My goal was to be a resource for them when they were Googling their questions, and once I got in front of them with video, I knew a portion of them would want to contact me directly.
What I didn’t know was how many of them would! As I made more videos and got more leads who turned into clients and closings, I upgraded my equipment, hired a video editor, and formed a team.
I’m really proud to say that we get three to five leads a day, all of whom already know who we are, like us (otherwise they wouldn’t contact us) and are ready to do a transaction in the foreseeable future.
The clients who call us are thrilled that we even answered the phone because they think we’re celebrities, which cracks me up! But hey, I’m happy to let them think that.
What advice would you give to new agents?
You hear a lot about cold-calling, door-knocking and buying leads from the big portals. And while you may close business from those sources, you often end up with clients who are argumentative and confrontational or are just looking for whoever will discount their commission. It’s not a satisfying way to earn a living — at least not for me.
If you can create content that attracts your ideal people, they will flock to you like you can’t even imagine. You earn more money this way and the relationships you have are more rewarding. If you can learn to attract business rather than chase it, you’ll have an amazing career that will not only make you a lot of money, but you’ll be happier, too.
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Christy Murdock Edgar is a Realtor, freelance writer, coach and consultant and the owner of Writing Real Estate. She is also the creator of the online course Crafting the Property Description: The Step-by-Step Formula for Reluctant Real Estate Writers. Follow Writing Real Estate on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.