How CityBlast Saves Paul Time and Makes Him Money
"You are your business and that means you have to become a walking advertisement."
It comes as no surprise that life as a real estate agent is hectic. Between balancing clients’ schedules, open houses, arranging viewings, taking photos and juggling a personal life, agents rarely find the time to really get themselves out there. You are your business and that means you have to become a walking advertisement. We sat down with Paul McGregor, a real estate agent based out of Toronto, to talk about the challenges that he comes across everyday and what he does to make life in the industry a little easier.
Born and raised in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Paul decided to move to Toronto 14 years ago when he was offered a promotion for his career in commercial real estate. He had a finance and lease admin position, but the long hours and lack of social interaction had him searching for more. He liked researching properties and the feeling of acquisitions, but it wasn’t exactly what he was looking for. Five years ago he decided to take up residential real estate and never looked back. He got to meet new people, find homes for them and there was a rewarding feeling when he found a client’s dream home. He took his passion and interest and in just 5 years he is now a successful real estate agent with a burgeoning business.
What steps did he take to go from a mere interest into a thriving career?
It wasn’t easy. He went from working 12 hours a day, 6 or 7 days a week in commercial real estate to a new kind of busy. He had to learn how to become a “good kind of busy” as opposed to just being busy. He had to learn about managing his cash flow and about closing deals. He had to learn how to reach out to people to grow his business and explain to strangers why they should choose him over anyone else. He sent out letters announcing his career change and expressing his excitement and eagerness. He had to find time to maintain his relationship with clients, something very important to him. While managing his time with clients, he also needed a smart way of marketing without breaking the bank. There simply were not enough hours in the day to maintain and build his business.
He used his brokerage to market himself through its website. He took a course on social media and the important impact it has as a marketing tool. For Paul, it was a no brainer. He knew that he had to keep up with his social media presence in order to boost his business. The problem, once he established his profiles, was finding the time to keep posting.
And that’s when he met CityBlast.
“It’s not one ingredient that drives your marketing, it’s all of it together that make a good recipe,” Paul explained. “CityBlast is one of the main ingredients to my marketing strategy, like the flour or sugar.”
With over 1 billion users on Facebook, one post has the potential reach of hundreds if not thousands of people. When compared to handing out 1,000 flyers, Paul saw how marketing his brand on social media could save him a lot of time.
“Even with a thousand flyers, you can’t guarantee that people will look at your stuff. They could tuck it away with the rest of the mail and end up tossing it out. Just one post is guaranteed to be seen by hundreds of people and you didn’t even have to do anything.”
Paul chose his market that he wanted to post to, he receives posts to his Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, he chose how many times a week and which articles he wanted to see. When everything was selected, CityBlast got the message out: Paul was in real estate and he knows what is happening around town. His favourite part of the service is that he could set-it-and-forget-it. When first he saw posts going out he was, in his words, ecstatic. He rarely has to check up on whether his posts are going out and all he has to do is follow up on the comments that people are making. In the end, CityBlast saves him a lot of time.
For Paul, this was the smartest way to be busy, by having a social media expert manage one of the biggest marketing forums for the fraction of the cost of an administrative assistant. On average, Paul was also saving almost 10 hours a week from being on social media.
Paul has received calls from people he didn’t even know about a listing that they had seen on social media. Even if someone didn’t choose that listing in the end, he had gained clients. He would learn more about his clients and established a rapport with them. He would figure out what they liked, the style they were looking for and would keep that in mind. And sometimes, even 6 months later, a listing would show up on his social media and he would call his clients to make the sale. CityBlast was making it easier for him to efficiently run his business.
Not only did CityBlast generate a real lead, it helps establish trust with potential clients, something that Paul values.
“I develop a rapport with my clients by getting to know them, having an honest conversation with them to see if it’s the right timing for them. Establishing a sense of trust is in the best interest of the client as it will bring a positive sale as opposed to making them feel like they are being pushed into something they didn’t want.”
Every week, Paul receives posts that show potential clients he is on top of the latest news and trends. It helps keep him top of mind and reminds people that he is in the real estate business. He has become the go-to real estate guy amongst his friends and family. He is someone they can trust to give them accurate real estate advice and the guy to help them find the right home.
“With CityBlast, your social media receives listings, gets articles and builds that trust that you need from a client. It makes them feel like they are getting the full service treatment.”
And, what about those posts that don’t get any likes or clicks?
“People ignore what they don’t want to read and read what they want to read. It still gives them an instant flicker of what you do and keeps you top of mind.”
For Paul, CityBlast became the main ingredient to his marketing strategy and he doesn’t need to spend time on it. With articles about the latest local architecture to bathroom remodel ideas to news about the local housing market, he has branded himself as the “real estate guy” in his social media circle. People aren’t always looking to buy a home, but when they are ready, they go to Paul. In the end, the service saves him from spending time on his main marketing platform and makes him money by generating real leads.