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Building Connections Through Community Engagement with Jeff Lobb

With Jeff Lobb, Founder and CEO of Spark Tank Media

International speaker and trainer, Jeff Lobb says he speaks three languages - English, technology and real estate. The founder and CEO of Spark Tank Media, Jeff creates sales, marketing and growth strategies for real estate and mortgage companies. He thinks growth is founded in relationships, creating connections and communities, which in turn fashion pipelines for referrals.

He explains, "Spark Tank Media is a multi-channel company where we not only help real estate agents grow their business but, because of our round experience of brokerage and leadership, we can help companies scale, we can help companies rebrand. We help them really just drive more sales, and sometimes that comes from so many channels."

Keep Learning

To keep ahead of the game, Jeff advises to never stop learning. He says, "You need to be reading every day; you need to be learning something new, whether it be the Inman news channel or something that's going to change your day. I don't care how big you are in this industry or how little you are, learning something and executing something to keep your business flowing is important. Execution is a huge, huge issue so we’ve got to keep pushing it."

Talking still works - It's the foundation of relationships

Jeff says, “No system is worth a dime until you know how to go earn business with it. As simple as your iPhone, iPad or your new app you've downloaded is, until you know how to go spin that and go make money with it, it's useless.” Finding ways to talk to people still works.

He adds, "The phone still works when you talk to people; knocking on a door to talk to somebody. You must use whatever method you can to have a conversation to create a relationship. Whatever that is, if it's paper or digital, so be it."

Jeff believes that agents need to have multiple channels of people who can then act as a steady source of referrals – so a business networking group, a school group, a high school or college group. He says, "Most real estate agents have a few channels of resources, and not enough. When they have that cash flow crunch, when they close three transactions and then have nothing else in the pipeline, that's when they need to have those other streams. Agents need more streams of people and resources to continue that referral base and activity."

Give and help first then you will receive

Jeff thinks agents therefore have to create a community base and he teaches clients to go out and prospect the local businesses in their community. He argues that local businesses know 300, 400, 500 people way more than agents do, and by creating that one lasting connection, and tying that business onto an agent’s own Facebook page, that begins to create a wider community. He explains, “One of the things we teach them is, go help promote a local business and create that business culture on your Facebook page. First of all, most of the times real estate agents have a Facebook page, that's not generating any results, no activity, no engagement. When they walk in the door to a local business, tell them you want to promote their business because you like them, they're the best in the area, and you think they're doing a great job and your clients would love to know more about them. Create a fabulous handshake right there to that person who knows way more people than you do. Give first and help them first and you just might earn their business, which in turn can turn into a lot. It’s the way you get to connect with people; you’ve got a networking opportunity, and that creates more streams for you."

Listening and Listing

Finally Jeff insists that agents shouldn’t just talk – they should listen, particularly on social media. Rather than focus on every post on Facebook or Instagram, he suggests a more targeted and engaging approach which creates lasting connections.

He explains, “Facebook can be very noisy. To me, it's the most fabulous source of connecting people, but it's not a sales tool, it's not a lead generation. The problem is, we don't listen enough. If right now one of my family members made an awesome post - for example, we're having a baby, some fabulous thing. Even if I'm tagged, by the time I get to Facebook in an hour or two, that post is somewhere down in the noise. I’ll miss it or I'm busy, so I don't communicate, I don't say anything. Further if a client posts about a renovation of a kitchen she just did of a home I sold them three months ago, it’s in the noise, it's in the stream, I don't say anything, so I don't comment or post. I missed it. What does my client feel about me for not paying attention, for not making sure they matter?"

Jeff says the simplest thing you can do is create a simple list. He says, "When I create a list in my Facebook page of my friends, I put my colleagues or my clients in a list, and when they're in that list, it isolates them so when I get 10 minutes of time instead of scrolling through the noise on Facebook, I go to my list of clients. When they post their daughter won an award, where they renovated their kitchen, I see just their stuff and I can literally stay in touch with them, liking and commenting on their stuff on a daily or weekly basis which is better than any CRM system that ever existed because I'm staying human and I'm paying attention all the time."

"You must use whatever method you can to have a conversation to create a relationship."


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