Do you have more BP colleagues or Instagram followers?

36 Replies

For those that know me I hit social media marketing....HARD.

For those who don't know me I guess I am not hitting it HARD ENOUGH!

Social Media is in my opinion the greatest tool that we have as Real Estate Agents. BP has been a tremendous farming source for new business for me. I have sold well over $50 Million to clients I have directly met on this website.

I have always been incredibly active here on BP this is my 12,990th post. As of today I realized that my Instagram following has now surpassed my BP following. As of right now I have 8,012 Colleagues on BP with those 12,990 posts. My Instagram page with it's modest 201 posts has now hit 8,045 followers.

It's very clear that my BP following is a much more valuable resource in generating leads and eventually sales as it's laser targeted on my niche which is Real Estate Investing. Instagram is much more random but being known to as many people is the ultimate goal. "Love me or hate me you are going to know me." Has always been my business philosophy.

So with all of that said I want to know where you guys are at.

  • How many BP colleagues do you have?
  • How many Instagram followers?
  • Which of the two has brought you more business?
  • Are there other platforms you have been using to get your message out there? Facebook? Quora? Reddit? Snapchat? YouTube? Pinterest? Twitter? Anything I am missing?
  • How do the other platforms stack up against BP?
  • Any best practices using BP or some of the other platforms?
  • Do you use each platform the same way, or differently?

Well Jim you know me.. I don't even know what instagram is.. and twitter I only know becasue of trump but don't know how to use it either.

got tons of BP folks though that either follow or ask for colleague requests... and I only use facebook for grandkids

@Jay Hinrichs , truly entertaining you are! LOL, thanks for the laugh on Turkey day here is to wishing you and yours a GR8 Thanksgiving!  I must admit the only online presence that I use is BP.

Don't have instagram and there are maybe a handful of BP colleagues that I initiated, everyone else was initiated with a question by someone else. I don't accept someone's colleague request, if they don't write to me with a reason for wanting to connect with me and neither do I accept wholesalers that want to put me onto some email list. I also keep my FB friend list to maybe 50 people that I actually know and interact with in real life. 

That's good enough for me. I personally avoid doing business with anyone that tries too hard to sell themselves through spam or wanting to be colleagues when we have no common ground. 

That's just me.

I do not have Instagram.

I enjoy Bigger Pockets.

I know a lot of people and have thousands of connections on here but not as many as others.

The reason is simply for what I do commercial real estate and the people on this site there is a smaller amount of people on here that have millions to tens of millions or more to invest with.

90% on here are looking at wholesaling  or trying to buy a small rental under 100k or something.

When I go to the events to speak my room might have 50 people for commercial and residential might have 300. Again it is a money thing and capital to get started.

For me I could sell a 5 million retail center and make the same as someone selling 100 - 50k houses. Actually more as I have less capital and time costs to make the same money.

Thanks to everyone who has commented & offered an insight into how they do things thus far. I know @Joel Owens & @Jay Hinrichs are Brokers. @Tony Wooldridge & @Michaela G. are either of you Brokers/Agents? I ask as I was aiming this towards Brokers/Agents as those are the folks who have something to sell & their life blood depends on getting in front of people. A large social media presence is of course, not necessary for those who are land lording & or renovating homes or things that don't really involve much in the way of sales or client acquisition.

@James Wise   my limited experiments with social media was putting up a linkden post... got scammed by head hunters and fake lenders and pesky wholesalers selling crap ... plus I could never figure out how to work it anyway.. so even though its there I have not looked at it in a few years.

I think this question in all seriousness is geared more towards the agent broker starting out in todays day and age.. and I have no doubt it is something most need to do to create their rolodex.

my Rolodex is quite full and deep over a 40 year period.. and extensive stints at lending money.. But I do know my wife will put open houses and such on facebook and it does work  getting traffic out to our new subdivisions.. not sure if any of it has converted to sales or not. 

and for you selling investment properties to mainly out of state buyers ( which is an assumption on my part) it seems very logical. As that endeavor is very sales and marketing driven.. and one needs to week through a ton of tire kickers to find the for real buyers.. 

Originally posted by @Jay Hinrichs :

@James Wise  my limited experiments with social media was putting up a linkden post... got scammed by head hunters and fake lenders and pesky wholesalers selling crap ... plus I could never figure out how to work it anyway.. so even though its there I have not looked at it in a few years.

I think this question in all seriousness is geared more towards the agent broker starting out in todays day and age.. and I have no doubt it is something most need to do to create their rolodex.

my Rolodex is quite full and deep over a 40 year period.. and extensive stints at lending money.. But I do know my wife will put open houses and such on facebook and it does work  getting traffic out to our new subdivisions.. not sure if any of it has converted to sales or not. 

and for you selling investment properties to mainly out of state buyers ( which is an assumption on my part) it seems very logical. As that endeavor is very sales and marketing driven.. and one needs to week through a ton of tire kickers to find the for real buyers.. 

 I don't think anyone understands how to work LinkedIn. Especially LinkedIn, hence their monthly active user base drop over the last year or two.

As for today's business vs that of yesteryear absolutely. There is no doubt a changing of the guard. The agents in the twilight of their career can still work off of their contacts made over the course of their career but a newer agent trying to transact business the way it was transacted 30 years ago would get eaten alive by tech savvy agents.

Lastly, your assumption is correct. The majority of our investor buyer pool is out of state. Primarily from the West Coast. Sometimes it feels like the California gold rush coming into Cleveland. The hard part is finding enough sellers to keep up with the property demand of the buyers & hiring/training enough employees to keep up with the growth of the management/construction business.

@James Wise   off topic but simply put  CA investor is a market maker.. without them the markets in most of the mid west and rust belt would be stale as week old French bread. 

In your business, social media is important.  For many people, it's a distraction from achieving goals.  It's important to protect your time.

I'm not a real estate agent

Younger agent here. My (team) Instagram is in it's infancy (16 followers), but I absolutely will surpass my BP colleague count (~80) on Instagram quickly. All it took really was to Follow Biggerpockets on Instagram and a flurry of real estate folks started following my page. I don't expect these folks to turn into clients, as I believe  most are promoting themselves by following my page. I haven't dedicated a lot of effort into IG yet, but we hit Facebook pretty hard. To me, Facebook is the easiest way to get real, personal connection. On IG people can hide behind made up usernames and such, generally Facebook is of course named people with all of their correct info available.

I believe both platforms are important, Instagram lately seems hyper-promotional so I tend to think people are always selling something, and nobody likes to be sold. Generally I feel like IG would be used for Real Estate "porn" shots since it is photo based. Facebook is a lot of people's daily source of "news" (for better or for worse), so I tend to use it to keep people up to date on listings, post day to day stuff, interesting articles and content creation.

@John Knisely

Good tips here. I do think it is important to find where the consumers attention is (Gary V)- 

Originally posted by @John Knisely :

Younger agent here. My (team) Instagram is in it's infancy (16 followers), but I absolutely will surpass my BP colleague count (~80) on Instagram quickly. All it took really was to Follow Biggerpockets on Instagram and a flurry of real estate folks started following my page. I don't expect these folks to turn into clients, as I believe  most are promoting themselves by following my page. I haven't dedicated a lot of effort into IG yet, but we hit Facebook pretty hard. To me, Facebook is the easiest way to get real, personal connection. On IG people can hide behind made up usernames and such, generally Facebook is of course named people with all of their correct info available.

I believe both platforms are important, Instagram lately seems hyper-promotional so I tend to think people are always selling something, and nobody likes to be sold. Generally I feel like IG would be used for Real Estate "porn" shots since it is photo based. Facebook is a lot of people's daily source of "news" (for better or for worse), so I tend to use it to keep people up to date on listings, post day to day stuff, interesting articles and content creation.

 I agree that Facebook generates a much more tangible lead then IG. Facebook & BP for that matter provide direct and tangible leads. EX "Hey I saw you on BP/Facebook I want to buy or sell x house." That happens all the time.

IG in my opinion is more of a brand builder & a great way to publicly store your content & past marketing. Great stuff to refer to on listing appointments etc....

As a side note John you need to hit both platforms harder my man! Get those number counts up. People need to know who you are. So much money to be made out there, 1st step is to be the guy who is in front of the most people.

@James Wise I like that business philosophy! It certainly seems to have worked for you.

My marketing is still in its infancy, but here's what's working for me. (in order of ROI)

1. BP has been the greatest ROI

2. Market research email newsletter - unique quality content about our local market

3. Facebook Ads to drive traffic (i.e. to a listing or blog post)

4. Facebook Page/Instagram/LinkedIn - mostly experimenting with these. No consistent strategy.

I think Instagram and LinkedIn have tons of potential for those who learn how to use them well.  I'd be really interested to hear if anyone has a content strategy that's working well on Instagram or LinkedIn?

Originally posted by @Rob Drum :

@James Wise I like that business philosophy! It certainly seems to have worked for you.

My marketing is still in its infancy, but here's what's working for me. (in order of ROI)

1. BP has been the greatest ROI

2. Market research email newsletter - unique quality content about our local market

3. Facebook Ads to drive traffic (i.e. to a listing or blog post)

4. Facebook Page/Instagram/LinkedIn - mostly experimenting with these. No consistent strategy.

I think Instagram and LinkedIn have tons of potential for those who learn how to use them well.  I'd be really interested to hear if anyone has a content strategy that's working well on Instagram or LinkedIn?

 Newsletter is great. People love information driven content with a tie in to the business at hand.

How has the LinkedIn gone for you? I love social media but I hate LinkedIn. I recently read an article that their monthly active user base has dropped all the way from  100M + to around 10M. I typically share quality forums from BP on LinkedIn as it's only 1 click a way (Great feature BP) but don't ever really make any valuable contacts on the website. In fact I don't even respond to private LinkedIn private messages as they are almost entirely irrelevant.

Originally posted by @James Wise :

 Newsletter is great. People love information driven content with a tie in to the business at hand.

How has the LinkedIn gone for you? I love social media but I hate LinkedIn. I recently read an article that their monthly active user base has dropped all the way from  100M + to around 10M. I typically share quality forums from BP on LinkedIn as it's only 1 click a way (Great feature BP) but don't ever really make any valuable contacts on the website. In fact I don't even respond to private LinkedIn private messages as they are almost entirely irrelevant.

That's good to know about being able to share BP forums easily! 

I just started using LinkedIn's blogging feature a couple weeks ago. It seems pretty useful for driving traffic to your profile. I've gotten a lot of reads from 2nd tier connections and increased traffic to my profile. Similar to how it works on BP ;)

Haven't put  a ton of effort into it, just copy/pasting article's I've written elsewhere.  Also, I've never really made an effort to grow my LinkedIn connections.

I've got 330 connections and had 132 clicks on the last blog post I put up there. That's why I think there's at least some potential!

Great question @James Wise . One of my goals for 2018 is to exponentially grow my blog subscribers. Just started engaging with Instagram as I feel this social media platform will help most in accomplishing my goal. What have you found to be the most successful way to grow your IG followers? Just followed ya. 

When will BP add IG as an option for Social Links to our profiles? 

Originally posted by @Jay Helms :

Great question @James Wise . One of my goals for 2018 is to exponentially grow my blog subscribers. Just started engaging with Instagram as I feel this social media platform will help most in accomplishing my goal. What have you found to be the most successful way to grow your IG followers? Just followed ya. 

When will BP add IG as an option for Social Links to our profiles? 

Here is what has worked for me thus far.

  • Providing quality content.
  • Providing content that is engageable. Give people a reason to comment or tag their friends. Ask questions, look for feedback etc...
  • Follow others
  • Like others content
  • Stay consistent. You can't just post once. You need to keep chipping away to create a brand. If you post once and hope for a flood of contacts you will be disappointed. You need to stay in peoples mind by popping up often.
  • Cross marketing it with other platforms. (FB, BP, YouTube etc...)
  • Use tons of hashtags

I agree BP should ad IG as a Social Link option. @Mindy Jensen @Scott Trench any plans for this in the works?

@James Wise

I just started using Facebook this year so I am way behind the game in social media.

@Anthony Gayden

FB is interesting and intriguing for sure- Are you currently running FB ads on a weekly basis?

Originally posted by @Anthony Gayden :

James Wise

I just started using Facebook this year so I am way behind the game in social media.

What is your business? Are you selling Real Estate as an Agent/Broker?

Landlord?

Flipper?

Thanks for the suggestion, @James Wise . I've made a formal request to have it added.

(I have more BP colleagues than Instagram, but that may skew the results unfairly...)

Originally posted by @Mindy Jensen :

Thanks for the suggestion, @James Wise . I've made a formal request to have it added.

(I have more BP colleagues than Instagram, but that may skew the results unfairly...)

 With over 446,000 BP colleagues it would be a real feat for you to have more IG followers then colleagues....lol.

While we are on the topic have another question for you. Has BP ever entertained the idea of moving to a follower & following platform as opposed to colleagues & followers/following? I feel that having both followers & colleagues is slightly confusing.

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