Social Media Explained…Using Cupcakes!

So you have questions about social media? Great!

There are many social media outlets, and you may want to consider using local micro sites for specific results, but for simplification let’s talk about “the magnificent 7,” as Tony Giordano refers to them in his book The Social Agentand how you can use them in your real estate business.

In order to keep it simple and to protect copyrights and the original content of agents we will use cupcakes as our subject matter.

Let’s start with Facebook. You could post about open houses, or a hot new listing. A post should have great pictures and keep it short and simple. Anything beyond a few sentences will be cut off from view, think about how often you push the “read more” button when posting. Questions are often the best way to engage “friends.”


Facebook Post Example: “I love cupcakes…what’s your favorite dessert?”

Next we head on over to Google+ and do a similar post. It is the same concept, just try to mix it up a bit. Google+ helps give you better SEO or Search Engine Optimization (which means google likes to move you to the top of search results), so don’t forget to use your Google + account!
Google+ Post Example: “It’s crazy how much I love cupcakes! I even named my cat cupcake” “Did you have a pet named after a dessert when you were a kid?”

Twitter is a bit different. Think of it as a place to post quick update, or big announcements. You could talk about big news that affects your community or farm area, or important real estate stats.
Don’t forget to hashtag! This will help your search-ability, and connect your “tweet” with the right audience.
Tweet Example: “A new study says that cupcakes are fattening!!! #MyLifeIsOver!”

Now let’s talk about LinkedIn. This is a professionally networking site. You can use it to connect with vendors, or look for talented new people to grow your team. A lot of agents even use it to find high end qualified prospects!
LinkedIn Post Example: “Lisa’s Cupcake Shop is officially open for business and looking for talented staff!”

Instagram is what’s hip with the younger crowd, and could eventually weed out Facebook. Here you can share amazing listing pictures, or very short videos called GIFS. Your Instagram account user name is important because it is how people will recognize or categorize you.

12350201 – valentine cupcakes

Instagram Post Example: (Beside a stunning image of your cupcakes) “Here is some cupcake art by Lisa!” @LisaCupcakeGirl

Pinterest is a fun site to be really creative! You create boards and “pin” great ideas to them for your audience to see. Pinterest was the first social media site intended to be used commercially. “Pinning” from your website or blog builds that ever elusive SEO. You could do home improvement, selling / buying tips, things in your community, the possibilities are endless! Yes Pinterest users are mostly women and women are home buyers and sellers.

For cupcakes we would share our recipes, or baking tips. Our cupcakes would have pin-boards that help the audience narrow their interest. Chocolate, Vanilla, Gluten Free… something for everyone!

Now let’s talk YouTube… “video killed the radio star” or am I dating myself! YouTube can be used for client testimonials, home tours, lead generating, client education, you get the idea…everything!

YouTube Example: We could do a “how to bake” video, or possibly interview a famous cupcake chef.

Now remember…don’t talk about cupcakes, talk about what’s important to your clients, and your real estate business.

The most important thing to remember is:
-Keep in relevant
-Keep it simple
-Have Fun!

I hope that helps clarify social media, now get out there and start posting!

Watch this fun video to help explain things further! 


The Hashtag Explained by Wikipedia:
A hashtag is a type of label or metadata tag used on social network and micro-blogging services which makes it easier for users to find messages with a specific theme or content. Users create and use hashtags by placing the hash character (or pound sign) # in front of a word or un-spaced phrase, either in the main text of a message or at the end. Searching for that hashtag will then present each message that has been tagged with it. A hashtag archive is consequently collected into a single stream under the same hashtag.[1]
For example, on the photo-sharing service Instagram the hashtag #bluesky allows users to find images that have been tagged as containing the blue sky, and #cannes2014 is a popular tag for images from the 2014 Cannes Film Festival. Hashtags can be used to collect public opinion on events and ideas at the local, corporate, or world level. For example, searching Twitter for #worldcup2014 returns many tweets from individuals around the globe about the2014 FIFA World Cup.
Because of its widespread use, hashtag was added to the Oxford English Dictionary in June 2014.[2][3] The term hashtag can also refer to the hash symbol itself when used in the context of a hashtag.[4]


The Keller Williams Chadwick Group agents were among more than 134,000 Keller Williams associates worldwide who participated in the real estate franchise’s eighth annual RED Day on May 12, 2016.
RED Day, which stands for Renew, Energize and Donate, is a collective service initiative where Keller Williams’ associates donate a day to give back to the local community.


Established in 2009, Red Day originated as a birthday celebration for Mo Anderson, former CEO of KW International. Agents spend the day away from business serving worthy organizations and causes in the communities where they live and work. The hope is to bring communities closer together through incredible acts of service for others.

  • Keller Williams Brandon Suburban Tampa and Plant City associates volunteered at Habitat for Humanity, Plant City homes.
  • Keller Williams of Seminole associates volunteered at Shephard’s Village, Bellair Bluffs.
  • Keller Williams of South Shore associates volunteered at Haven of Hope in Ruskin.
  • Keller Williams of South Tampa associates volunteered at Miracles Outreach in Tampa.
  • Keller Williams of St. Pete associates volunteered with The Neighborhood Team of the City of St. Pete and at Boyd Hill Nature Preserve.

Keller Williams Red Day 2016 was a huge success! All our agents worked together to accomplish great feats with all the wonderful organizations mentioned above.


Please enjoy this video of the Chadwick Group Red Day 2016!

Expanding the Tampa Bay Real Estate Market through International Buyers

Creative abstract global business communication success, worldwide financial growth and development concept: color growing bar graphs with red rising arrow, colorful pie chart and blue Earth globe sphere with world map isolated on white background with reflection effect

Last year 12 percent of all Florida real estate transactions involved an international buyer or seller.  69% of Florida Realtors have had an international buyer compared to the national average of 35% so there is a good chance that you will encounter an international prospect.  Let’s explore how international buyers and foreign investors impact our Tampa Bay real estate market.

Florida has always been attractive to foreign investors and hot spots like Miami are overheating.  That is why many International Buyers are looking to Tampa Bay.  “Tampa is becoming as popular as South Florida with foreign investors, and many of the same retailers and companies in both markets,” David Sobelman, a managing partner of commercial real estate brokerage Calkain Cos., wrote last year in a report to investors. Tampa Bay, he added, is arising “as a more slow and steady alternative to the rest of the state.”

One in four foreign buyers of American homes, town-homes or condos last year chose Florida, spending more than $6 billion, Realtors’ data show.  About $370 million of that was spent in Tampa Bay, mostly from buyers in Canada, France and the United Kingdom.  To win over foreign buyers, who almost always pay in cash, Realtors here have done everything from hosting social outings for Russian prospects to chartering tour buses for Chinese buyers hoping to scout out suburban homes.

According to a January 2016 report in the Tampa Tribune the growth of direct international flights to Tampa International Airport, and higher prices in South Florida are sending people further north.  The Tampa metro area’s favor with the new direct international flights, better pricing on both lots and existing homes here, a secure environment in which to invest, proximity to beaches, professional sports, a new outlet mall and plans for a more vibrant downtown Tampa with more residential units.

International buyers account for 12 percent of all sales in the state, according to the Profile of International Buyers in Florida 2015, published by Florida Realtors.  The 2016 study shows a reduction to 11 percent.

In 2014, the Tampa metro area was tied with Orlando for the highest percentage of foreign buyers in the state. Top international buyers in the Tampa metro area in 2015 came from: Canada (31 percent), United Kingdom (19 percent) and Sweden (12 percent), according to the Realtors report. Last year, international sales in Florida totaled 44,000 properties, or 12 percent of the state’s residential market, compared to 15 percent in 2014. Nationally, international sales accounted for just 4 percent of sales, according to the report which conducted a Realtor survey between July and August. And when foreigners buy here, they buy more expensive real estate than Floridians. Many pay cash. The volume of international sales totaled $23.7 billion, or 24 percent of Florida’s residential dollar volume of sales (19 percent a year ago), compared to 8 percent nationally. It’s a market worth growing, Glaser said. The Realtors report listed the Miami metro area with 36 percent of international buyers in 2015, Fort Lauderdale got 14 percent last year and the Orlando-Deltona-Daytona Beach MSA getting 8 percent.

Although the Tampa Bay area lost some ground with foreign buyers going from 11 percent in 2014 to 6 percent in 2015, there are many changes occurring in Tampa/St. Pete that will open up opportunities to the agents that are paying attention.  There are some special considerations about purchasing a home in Florida that Realtors® need to communicate to international buyers and the Florida Association of Realtors has prepared a great video on 6 offer-to-contract elements that will help a transaction with an international buyer go smoothly.


Here are 5 tools to help you locate, engage and service foreign buyers:


1. an extension of offering the TRC “Transnational Referral Certification” course that allows real estate professionals from around the world connect.

2.  Most MLS listings are available in multiple languages through Proxio, and there are additional benefits.  Proxio is included in your MyFloridaMLS Subscription, here are the details.

3. a free and somewhat reliable translation tool.

4. Profile of International Home Buyers in Florida

5. Contact local title companies, lenders, attorneys and other professionals and ask they how they assist foreign buyers. Face to Face connections are still the most productive.

Whether you speak a foreign language or simply want to increase your buyer pool the inclusion of international buyers is just smart business for real estate professionals in Tampa Bay.


S.W.O.R.D.S. – The most overlooked Tampa Bay Real Estate Buyer

The S.W.O.R.D.S “Separated, Widowed, or Recently Divorced Singles” are increasingly entering the real estate arena, and if you have the right real estate skills and tools to help them, they can add to a powerful base in your sphere of influence.

According to the National Association of Realtors, in 2015 single women made up 15% of all home-buyers.  And the bachelors?  Last year they accounted for about 8% of total home buyers.  So why are the single women that outpace the men nearly 2 to 1 often overlooked?  It is often because we haven’t shed some of the home buyer stereotypes that we have carried around for years.

Debunking the myths:

Women make less money than men.

According to an article in Fortune, Laura Lorenzetti states “One of the most important factors when buying a home is income.  Single women are earning more money.  In cities like Boston, San Francisco, Seattle, and San Diego, there’s been a significant rise in the share of women earning more than $100,000 over the past three years. That hasn’t necessarily been true for men, whose share making over $100,000 decreased in Boston, Seattle, and San Diego, as a comparison.”

Women don’t want single family homes.

The days of men having the corner on home improvement skills is over.  Most school systems have eliminated or made “shop” classes unisex, so there is no longer a skill set exclusive to men.  According to the Fortune article “Single mothers and widows especially will make sacrifices financially because they have a strong desire to be a part of a community” as stated by Jessica Lautz, managing director of survey research for the National Association of Realtors.  With all of the changes to a family brought about by becoming “suddenly single” staying in familiar surroundings is a choice most single mothers make.

Women take less risk than men.

The housing crisis that gripped the nation for nearly a decade has come to an end, and both men and women learned lessons.  What still holds true is that home ownership is still the best way to build wealth.  There are very few investments out there where you can leverage other peoples’ money (the bank) to build your own wealth.

Another interesting fact from the National Association of Realtors survey of Buyers and Sellers is that 90% of women buyers use a real estate broker.  The typical woman buyer does more research and wants to work with a trusted adviser.  This gives Realtors a special opportunity to earn the trust and business of their female consumers.


Here are 7 tips to help you develop your services to this special “niche” market.

Mother and son embracing each other
  1. Feature resources like Florida School Grades on your website.
  2. Use IDX pre-set searches for gated communities, or other target neighborhoods
  3. Send your property listings with the embedded “rate plug” feature so payment information is readily available.
  4. Conduct “The Benefits of Home Ownership” seminars or offer a free “ebook” on your website.
  5. Offer to give 20 minute presentations to local women’s support groups.
  6. Take the time to do a thorough “Buyer Consultation” using a home buying flow chart or other “info-graphics” to take the mystery about the process and expenses associated with the purchase.
  7. Provide superior follow up and follow through to develop a loyal following… and ask for a testimonial or referral.

Working with First Time Home-buyers can be rewarding regardless of their gender, and take a moment to look at your contact list on your phone.  Do all of the single women own their home?  If not, take the time to ask them: “Have you ever considered building wealth through home ownership?”


The Top Ten Reasons To List During The Holidays

Two friends have approached me this week with letters that they received in the mail asking them to consider selling their home because the agent had a qualified buyer looking for a home just like theirs.  As the trusted source for everything real estate, they brought the letter to me and asked “is this for real?”

It may seem unusual that real estate agents are taking to the streets writing personal letters to unlisted homes hoping to find inventory for their buyers.  However, the election speeches were eroding the confidence of many.  Thoughts of taking on a bigger mortgage in an environment of uncertainty caused many “move up” home buyers to put on the brakes.  This left “first time” buyers out in the cold with little or no homes to purchase.  Our current market is being impacted by a lack of inventory, which is also the most significant factor in the year over year price increase in the average sale price of 10% in Hillsborough County.

You may think that listing your home during the holidays is a bad idea.  However, here are 10 reasons to list your home during the holidays:  Top Ten Reasons To List During The Holidays – Handout


Remember that although it may seem convenient to respond to a request to sell your home directly to a buyer, or to just pay a discounted commission to an agent that is representing a buyer, the best price is obtained by exposing your home to all available buyers.  A real estate agent should be selected for a marketing plan that maximizes your buyer pool, and provides superior negotiating skills on your behalf.

New construction is an incredible bargain now. Builders are clearing their inventory before the end of the year, so they can start the new year with new floor plans at higher prices or simply reduce their tax burden.  A home that goes under contract right now can close in time for sellers to capture the new home of their dreams.

Just like Pumpkin Spice coffee, the unique opportunity to capture last minute holiday sales are only available for a limited time.  Help people make the move to a new meaning for “Home for the Holidays!”