Laurie Derickson and Kalene Zaabadick are two highly successful real estate agents with eXp Realty out of Colorado Springs. Formerly working in education, they both decided it was time to follow their dreams and dive into the real estate market. They jumped into a small brokerage but felt they were not able to brand themselves. After joining a larger brokerage, they discovered Witly, which dramatically improved their business model, and they realized the impact of video marketing.
They are well known for their youtube channel “Colorado Springs WHATs Going On,” where their primary focus targets people who are moving to the area. Using TubeBuddy to nail down what kinds of things people are searching for, they can capture interest by creating content geared toward what people want to see.
“I always thought it was word of mouth,” says Kalene, ” today it is definitely all online…this is lead generation.” After attending the Summit Marketing Conference in October, they learned how to be at ease on camera and its value to the audience. Kalene explains, “You really do have to learn to be comfortable with talking to your audience through a computer or phone and expressing and branding yourself through that; that is your audience.”
Laurie and Kalene believe it is essential to be yourself and brand yourself. “People can get so hung up over the little details,” says Laurie, “is my audio correct…is my lighting correct, do I look like I have fourteen chins, is my hair correct? We just decided don’t show it to me; just post it. We have to get it out there.” What is essential is progress, not perfection. “If you don’t start somewhere, you’re never going to get to where you want to go.” Remember, it is about the audience and creating content that is valuable to your viewer. Consistency is key to using the social media machine to your advantage.
As a new agent getting leads is the most critical part of the job. Using Witly’s drip campaigns, they were able to generate leads and convert them into clients. “What we loved about Witly is that it was video, and what helped us in the Colorado Springs market is that people would come to us and say we know you!” They explain how you can post pictures of houses, which can be an ok source of lead generation, but what is most important is putting a face to the name. “Video has allowed us to brand us; It is who we are.” They went on to explain that one of their favorite parts about using Witly to propel their business is that it allows you to pivot with the market using other tools on numerous platforms, which is crucial in the ever changing real estate market.
Using video marketing, they are able to target their Colorado Springs audience and reach more people than they ever thought possible. “They know who we are, and they already want to use us as the Realtor. They feel like they have a personal connection with us which is fabulous.” Kalene explains how important it is to have people to bounce ideas off to help you hone in on what content you should be putting out there. “It is hard to do a quick something that grabs people’s attention but you still want to give them something valuable.”
This year they have put a lot of focus into honing in on their “Trifecta”. Alongside Witly, Laurie describes how they use YouTube as one part of that triangle. “YouTube is an amazing, free tool out there that no one really uses. We go out there, and people are not looking on YouTube for appraisal gaps or information on inspection or your home tour… no one cares about that really.” She goes on to explain how instead, they are more interested in creating content for what people are searching for, for example, the cost of living in Colorado Springs. “That’s how we hit people moving to our area.” Their goal is to get to people before searching for a home on Zillow and adding value by building a relationship as a real person. The final part of their trifecta is their community page, “Colorado Springs WHATs Going On,” which currently has almost 5,000 members. By using video, partnering with local businesses, and sending messages, they are able to brand themselves as the local real estate experts. The ultimate goal is to get attention and keep it.
In closing, Laurie and Kalene discuss what they would tell an agent that is just starting in order to help them propel their business. “You have to have a social media presence and brand yourself… You need to align yourself with someone who you can see; you know what? That’s the direction I want to go.” Laurie says, “You have to establish your brand.” Kalene also recommends, “Write down those steps to get your vision accomplished and literally check them off… Make your first video!” They recently launched another YouTube channel called “GYST Finest Agents,” where they coach agents on their trifecta approach and how to adapt to a market that is constantly changing.
If you would like to connect with Laurie and Kalene, you can find them on YouTube at GYST Finest Agents.