Meet our featured agent of the week, Megan Dickson in Melbourne, Florida!
Megan went from a career in the insurance industry to one of Brevard County’s top Real Estate Agents. Today she is giving us all of her advice to starting a career in real estate and building a brand on Instagram!
What advice would you give someone starting a career in real estate?
- Meet with a real estate agent and interview them. Ask them to tell you the good bad and ugly of this business, trust me they’ll tell you!
- Really consider choosing to make real estate FULL TIME or consider a different career. I am very passionate about this! I know some may not agree but I’m speaking first hand from experience. I tried to work part-time in real estate and insurance at the same time and I had the “jack of all trades good at nothing,” feeling. I wasn’t taking classes or learning anything new, I wasn’t spending time marketing, etc… You’re doing your clients a disservice by not being a “real estate expert.” I don’t think I’d like to work with a doctor that practiced part-time and the rest of the time they decide to give financial advice. Do you feel they’d be a pro at either of those practices?
- Spend time and money marketing! Typically your marketing efforts will pay off 4-8 months after implementing them, so continuing to market even when you have a good month is key!
- Do not take every client. some people will drain you! (Somehow I feel this is one of those situations you just have to learn the hard way….) but…. Consider your ideal client and who you want to work with and market to them. The best example I give to new clients is, I tell them the relationship they will have with me is like dating. I need loyalty, respect, transparency, and communication and I will return it. I set the expectation from the very beginning so there is no confusion!
- Find a niche. I.e. property management, rentals, listings in a certain community, find a niche, become great at it, and stick with it! You’ will grow a reputation and become the go-to in that niche!
- Don’t give up so easily on something just because it doesn’t work right away. This business is about connecting with people, relationships, and staying consistent even when it’s hard!
Did you have a career before real estate? What caused you to get into the business?
I was an insurance agent for 15 years before getting into real estate. I was very familiar with the real estate industry because I worked closely with realtors, lenders, title companies, and clients on new purchases. I was with my clients through the most important part of the buying process, the inspection, and insurance. I had ways of helping people save thousands and avoid costly mistakes because of my insurance knowledge which has helped me tremendously in real estate.
Where do the majority of your leads come from?
The majority of my leads come from my sphere and social media. I tell EVERYONE what I do, neighbors, my hair gal, the guy bagging my groceries, postman, etc… + I always keep cards on me. Being in sales my entire career I’ve learned its all about genuine connections and talking to people. TELL EVERYONE what you do and how much you love it, STORIES SELL! It’s all in what you pour your time and effort into!
I am NOT good at cold calling, never have been and never will be, and I know this, so I focus my efforts where I have strengths!
What advice would you give an agent just starting out on social media?
- Education: obtain all the knowledge you can, and be an “expert!” Don’t just get your license and do the bare minimum. Continue to learn, get your GRI, etc…There are so many agents out there and clients will ask you “why they should pick you” and “what makes you so different.” One good answer would be that you are constantly educating yourself and staying up on legal matters that can help prevent costly mistakes! People love hearing when you can save them money!
- Create your brand: This is vital, brand yourself, not your brokerage you land with! You are your own brand. Just don’t spend too much time on the look, keep it simple, come up with a plan, and execute it! This is all apart of setting yourself apart from others.
- Be Authentic: Don’t copy every agent out there. I gather great ideas from others but you HAVE to put your own spin and personality into your social media or you will just blend in. Most of us have been there, but if you can avoid that mistake, you’re 10 steps ahead! Just be yourself and you’ll attract the right tribe! Coffee & Contracts has helped me become more authentic in what I share. I have transformed my social media and how I create content. I do use their content as a guide but I add my own advice, tips, and personality! It frees my mental space up to actually create genuine content vs worrying about what to post and how to make it look good.
How do you stay consistent on social media?
I make it a priority and schedule it out! The 4 tools I use to stay consistent on social media are Coffee & Contracts, the preview app, Facebook creator studio, and Canva! I have implemented other automated processes to free up time to keep consistent such as a landing page and lead capture. Staying consistent will gain people’s trust. Showing you’re consistently showing up on social media gives a perception of reliability. People do business with people they know like and trust!
I prefer Facebook Creator Studio over other platforms because I seem to get more organic interaction with FCS than others such as Hootsuite. The preview app is a game-changer, I can layout my Instagram content ahead of time to see what it will look like as I post it. I typically do 2-6 days of content ahead of time, or if I know ill be busy or out of town, Ill plan for those days as well. I only use the preview app as a visual, it has other features but I don’t utilize them.
Its a balance for sure but I’ve come to find that C&C has made this process night and day better for me! Honestly, I use to be disorganized with posts and struggled with content. C&C is a game changer!
How has Instagram in particular impacted your business?
It’s given me a visually appealing and cohesive look to my business and a way for me to connect to others easily, such as searching other pages followers. Simply put, It’s a clean and minimalistic platform. I don’t get tons of notifications of other people commenting on other people’s posts or group comments, its strictly about the comments and likes I make or that others make to me. Stories, videos, and highlights are so helpful in connecting new followers to the content I create. Stories are where it’s at! I know we all do it, we scroll stories for longer than some of us like to admit!
I got a client off Instagram when my profile was not cohesive or consistent so I am looking forward to what it will bring now that I have a consistent brand, content, and presence! I’m looking to dive into the video next but want to get a few things automated and implemented before moving to the next thing!
What method(s) do you use to grow your social media?
- I stay consistent! Make it apart of my daily routine like brushing my teeth, it’s not negotiable!
- Check other brands or local companies, or city pages and follow people I see myself connecting with. I comment and like their posts.
- Invite past clients to follow and ask them to invite their friends and family to follow.
- I ask myself what type of content am I attracted to and engage with (as well as the content I am turned off from), and I try to bring value, education, and fun all while showing my personality and avoiding the very things I can’t stand!!! I think people can tell when you’re trying to post what you think they want to see vs posting genuine you want to share.
- Find something you know a lot about and share it. Be the “go-to” in something you’re passionate about. I have done several Reno projects and I have become a go-to for advice on DIY projects especially kitchens and baths after doing several of my own.
What’s your favorite part about real estate?
Ahhh I have a few favs but if I had to choose one it would definitely be the negotiation of a contract. “The art of the deal!” Every transaction is different and it keeps me going!
One of my other favorites would have to be the “ah-ha” moments my client gets during a transaction. The defining moments when the clients show gratitude for helping them avoid a costly mistake or educate them on things they were clueless about. It’s truly gratifying when I can exceed my client’s expectations. We all love closing day, that’s a given. The clients are excited, we’re excited, but the in-between moments that can really make or break a deal are what keep me going!
Thank you for chatting with us, Megan!