Listen to Episode 11: Don’t be a MLM
Today we are chatting about how to avoid coming across as an MLM to your circle!
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Hey everybody. Welcome to agents unfiltered, where we talk about the dos, the don’ts and the what the fucks of real estate. Make sure to follow us on social media. We are at agents unfiltered on TikTok and Instagram. And today we are talking about how to not come across as an MLM to your sphere.
This is pretty easy to do, especially when people are eager in the beginning and don’t really know how to talk yet and they’re like, it’s cool. I’ll just pull this script off Google. It’ll be fine.
Sometimes as realtors we have to get 200 people in our database, however by asking our friends and family it makes us seem like a MLM.
ONE WAY TO NOT SEEM LIKE A MLM: People withhold info and then they’ll do a teaser. And then it’s like to find out more, you have to sign up or you have to attend a class or you have to do whatever.
I get building curiosity, but don’t do it in a slimy way.
I was a part of a MLM because I liked the product, but then the MLM world is just kind of crazy. And that’s what they teach you is you need to create curiosity. Don’t tell people what you are. Get them to come into your inbox and then send them the links and do the things.
And it just always felt kind of underhanded. Like you couldn’t just be real about what you were, what you’re doing.
POINT #2 – DON’T BE LIKE A MLM HOPPER
A lot of people who do MLMs hop from one MLM to another. Like they’re always picking up a new one. And so to me, I feel like if we’re grouping ourselves into that category and we’re attacking people that way, then they don’t take us seriously, cuz they’re like, oh, this is just another phase. The flavor of the week and you as a realtor loose value.
POINT #3 – STOP THE HEY GIRL MESSAGES
Hey, girly. And you’re just like, ah, shit. STOP with the bait and switch because maybe the person actually is interested in you as a person, but then they realize you’re not in it for a relationship.
And then you realize there’s an ulterior motive and then it takes away any wanting to deal with that person. I will say I have bought some stuff from MLMs and like do, but it’s always from people who aren’t pushy. Like they post about it. They’re like, this is what I have. This is what I do, but they’re never people that are always trying to push you into it.
Like that’s what I like. Like, I’ll come to you if I want something. And if you’re not someone that’s constantly pestering me to do it. I’m gonna wanna get it from you. And that’s when I do it.. I think that that’s so important. I think it just cheapens us and our realtor business otherwise.
Would we like to sell homes to everyone? Sure. But, so much of our business is building that referral business and you’re not gonna have people coming back if you act that way.
I don’t like when it’s constantly like, well let me rope you in… it’s a little shady. Oh, my gosh. That’s like one time I won free makeup from Mary Kay and a free facial, but I didn’t know that it was gonna be her trying to sell me stuff while she put lotion on my face for 20 minutes.
And I was stuck. I hate the underhanded, like bait and switch kind of thing. I can’t even tell you how many emails I get from people trying to sell stuff.
I think that’s part of it too. We’re just bombarded with information from buy this and get this and join this and whatever. And so like even emails we send, I feel like have to be really intentional.
I’m not doing the copy paste, copy paste, copy paste because you can tell when someone’s just sending out an automated, like robot thing. Did you know if you do that on Facebook they’ll shut your account down? Oh really? Yeah. If you go one after another with copy paste messages to people they shut your account down.
And when I was a part of an MLM, they would tell people, make sure to change your message a little bit every time, because Facebook will lock you out of your account if you do it too much, too fast, because you’re literally spamming people.
A “Time Out” is what they called it. Good. They should be putting time outs if you do that. Yeah. But it just puts a bad taste in everyone’s mouth when you use that strategy especially as a realtor.
The MLM model just isn’t for me. And if it is for you that is great. Make your money. Some people make a whole business out of it. But you kind of make your business on the backs of others. Yeah, because not everyone is gonna make that much money and you usually have to spend the money to buy in and that’s how the people higher up usually make their money.
Right. And so the people lower down don’t make any money. The whole thing is kind of jacked up and usually you have to spend money to make money.
They also just jump so much from one product to the next. They say “this product’s so great, blah, blah, blah. I love this product so much” and then two months later, they’re into another product. And then they’re like, oh my gosh, this is the best thing ever. And I don’t know. I feel like even just as a person, I’m like, do you know who you are? Do you know what you like?
Personally it is really easy for me to get sucked into that because it is a fun group and they go on trips, but I have to remember the shady business model and it starts to feel yucky and deceptive.
Even if you love the product, it ended up costing me way more and it wasn’t really worth it.
Yeah. We might as well just buy the product, but it was fun. Like I liked the people who were a part of it, but I also feel like MLMs can cost a lot of people friendships. Because it’s like, well, if you supported me as a friend, you’d buy from me. That’s dangerous to me.
Yeah. Well, and that can happen in real estate too. Like I’ve seen relationships broken over people not choosing their friend as their realtor and it makes me sad. Even if they have been your friend for many years, it is fine if they choose a different agent. That doesn’t mean they don’t deserve your friendship anymore. Like, that’s the kind of stuff that irks me.
I mean, would it be nice to work with your friends? Yes. But if for some reason they wanna work with someone else, you have to just respect it. Like it’s not a big deal. Life moves on, it was a transaction that you didn’t even know existed until it was brought up.
Like, it just doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter. No. Well, and I think sometimes it’s how it’s handled too. Yeah. You know, like I definitely had a couple that have stung. A lot. But it was how it was handled. It wasn’t that they used someone else, it was the shadiness. But a lot of times people who are going through a big life change don’t necessarily want their friend involved in it and that’s okay.
Right. You know what I mean? Like a divorce or something like that. You feel really personal and raw and we need to respect that as their real estate agents.
Yeah because it may just be too close to home and I’m like, I totally get that.
So how do we go about marketing to our sphere without coming off like a MLM?
Yeah. Especially I think as a new agent, like just starting out in the business, if you’re newer, if you’re trying to build your client base, how do you do that? I never personally messaged people. It’d just be a post on my page, like, “Hey, doing this now and I am so excited to have my license” or if I’ve got a listing or if there’s a cool house, just pop it up on your personal page and leave it at that. You want to be top of mind but not annoying.
I only personally reach out to people if I see them asking specific questions and I’m like, oh, here, I’m here to help you if you need it.
I will sometimes use email. I have messaged people just to give value of, “Hey, we have a newsletter, you live in the community. If you wanna be a part of it, I would love to add you if not, that’s totally fine.” And so I’ve sent those out to people that I know that are in the Cheney or Spokane community, but then I just like every month or so do a post that somehow relates to real estate to let people know that I’m a realtor and there have been multiple times where people that are on my feed don’t realize I’m a realtor.
Maybe they don’t realize I cover the Spokane and Cheney area and see the post in passing and then have reached out and said, I need to sell my house. I’m looking to buy. And they’re usually from posts. Another way to post is every year at your anniversary say something like “I just celebrated my second year in real estate.” Those type of posts will get me clients, but I also have a relationship with them many times. I am not reaching out to people who I haven’t talked to in 15 years.
Act like you care about them as a human, because you should!
You shouldn’t just want customers, you should want COMMUNITY. It’s important to actually take the effort to make a community and create community as a realtor. Respond to every single tweet or DM if you can.
You’re making people feel, I need to be better about that on when I like post something, responding to every comment mm-hmm cause I’m so bad about going back and responding to everyone, cuz it just gets really overwhelming.
It’s all about the little, personal touches. Like thanks. I see you. Thank you for commenting kind of thing. You really do have to build that base. And there’s so many great ways to do it besides MLM strategies.
Also be involved in your community. And it’s like, you know, when you’re involved in the community, when you’re doing things, you’re naturally meeting people and it shouldn’t be like, you go up to everyone at an event that you’re helping put on and be like, here’s my business card. Do you need a realtor? Gosh, I’m the one for you.
Are you looking to sell? Wanna know what your house is worth? But just naturally in conversation with people like, oh, what do you do for a living? You know? Oh yeah. I’m in real estate. I love this community. Just making it a natural part of conversation as you’re a part of the community and doing things and then if someone needs a realtor, your face could be the one that pops up.
It’s amazing to want to believe in yourself, but then there’s a point where you’re overdoing it so much to where it’s a turn off and it feels fake and people don’t wanna be near it.
Many times in MLMs the girl or guy is trying to match personalities with top producers. And it’s not that you can’t ever and wont ever, but when you’re trying to match a personality of something, that’s not you, people can smell that from a mile away.
And this is a profession. This isn’t just a, sign up for a hundred dollars and then go sell things, you know, like there are people that treat this business like that, but this is an actual profession. This is something that you have to hone in your skills and learn new things all the time and be well versed in.
And if you approach it like a MLM it just kind of cheapens the entire industry.
Right. Then it makes it look like, oh, that’s so easy. Anyone could do it. And it takes away the balance. There’s so much more that goes into it and it’s easy to fake it. Like, you know what you’re doing, but that doesn’t mean that as you’re walking through a transaction, you’re gonna be able to know all the special details and intricacies.
I feel like people can smell desperation like I need this money. I need this paycheck. And it makes clients run away so quickly if you give off that vibe. Whereas if you’re like this is my profession and I really care about it, I would love to help you, people are more inclined to take you seriously.
Market outside of social media
Take your marketing outside of social media. Do things like mailings or email campaigns, and send people value and that will distinguish you as a business and not a MLM.
Don’t focus on touting your own horn, but rather ask yourself “how can I help the consumer?” The fact that you sold a hundred homes means nothing to them.
Don’t use the “this is exclusive” approach
Be generous with your information, not secretive like so many MLMs are.
No, like this is available and I would love to share it with you. I’m not gonna hold anything back. Or when people ask you for information, like out and about, right. If you’re like doing something outside of real estate and people ask you for information, I feel like if you are willing to take the time to actually answer questions you will be remembered when they DO need an agent. I am always happy to answer questions.
KARMA! That can come back around in a beautiful way when you’re just caring about someone and wanting to see them be successful.
It’s like whenever people post on Facebook about does anyone know any lenders, I’ll reach out to them separately and I’ll send them a few different ones that I like to use and wish them luck. Because at the end of the day, even if they don’t use me, they know that they can come to me for help.
Skip the “urgent” type of marketing tactics
Instant stress when I get those mailings. I personally don’t wanna be grouped into that. Plus it’s misleading. I get that different things work for different people, but you know, people are getting bombarded with information right now and I think there’s a happy medium in there.
If you burn them now you are burning your sphere for the future.
Don’t collect people’s addresses like it is your job
I know a lot of MLMS require you to have like 200 contacts before you start, whatever the number is. And that person runs around gets them. And then the average rate of people not making this business is like 95% after five years and then what happens to those contacts? They go into the main person’s database to market to and keep reaching out to. So that main person is making you do all their dirty work and then benefiting off of your people.
Moral of the story? Skip the cringy marketing schemes that you’ve seen
Ok another one, don’t come to my door. Unless you have girl scout cookies. And skip the big bilboards with your face. They are tacky.
That’s all for now! What are your thoughts about marketing your real estate business like a MLM? Let us know!