Four quick steps you can use so you don't throw money at useless stuff.

Today, I actually want to talk to you guys about something that drives me batty. How do you spot a fake? How do you spot a vendor who is actually selling you crap? How do you spot someone who is trying to use data or statistics that are a lie? They’ve manipulated or changed.

See being in our world of real estate, we get slammed with all kinds of everything, we get slammed with, of course, ZRT, Zillow, and Trulia, we get slammed with those.Those aren’t what I am talking about. I am talking about all the ads you’re seeing pop up in your Facebook news feed because I’m seeing them too.

I get all of those, plus I get everything in our industry or outside our industry, and that’s what I want to talk about today and we’re going to talk about key pieces you can do to spot those fakes so you’ll know even if they are teasing you with something you like or sounds good or sounds logical.

If they are teasing you with that kind of stuff, you’re gonna know right off the bat. Guess what? No, this is not someone I need to be listening too, I need to block them, I need to get rid of them.

How to spot the fake real estate vendors

So today, I am actually going to talk about, what is the name of this, I can’t remember, it’s like “How to spot a fake?” Basically, different vendors who are trying to sell you are crap. The crap sounds logical, or it’s something that makes sense.

Here’s where this came from, because I am still considered a brokerage partner, etc. I still get a lot of stuff in my Facebook news feed, I get a ton from Vendors popping up all over the place.

Real estate digital marketing

I’m not talking about Zillow,, or Trulia, I’m not talking about the big ones because there is a love/hate relationship with those and some people, very few are doing really well with those, and the rest of us who are using those types of things are paying for a lot of nothing.

Every piece, every time you pay for leads, it could potentially be a really great thing for you, but that’s not what I’m talking about.  I am talking about in your Facebook newsfeed, stuff that come up about “real estate digital marketing.”

You’ll see all these different pages and businesses popping up, and they are going to be sharing all these different kind of stats, like one in particular that I’m not gonna name the page. I’m not gonna talk about any of who it is, I’m not here to actually, physically disparage them.

I am here to give you guys tips and pointers on how to spot them yourself because with Facebook, they are popping up every single day.

Watch out for the lies

Number one, I see a brand new business page, I am passionate about this, I see a brand new business page popping up, and I see it in my feed lying to you, like flat out lying to you.

An example of this would be something that pops up and says, “We started an ad running in the last 6 hours, the last 24 hours, and we started getting this cost, this is how much all this stuff cost, so here’s a tip for that.”

If a site is showing you an ad started any less than 5 day ago, and their saying this is the norm, this is the cost of the lead or whatever. They are lying to you. In fact, I would even go as far as saying that they would have to have done it for 7-10 days. That’s number one.

Number two, do they have multiple, multiple, multiple, multiple proofs of duplicating this exact same thing. So when someone says they can get a lead for $1.60, or you can get an opt-in, you need to know exactly what that means to buy a lead. Is it a conversation on the page?

Is it in messenger? Is it an actual opt-in where you have a least an email? See, they’re not going to tell you the actual truth in that.

They have zero proof

Number three, they’re not going to actually show you all the data.

Anybody, anybody could get a temporary quick burst of a lead or two for super cheap. Anybody could do that, it’s whether it’s sustainable or not, whether it lasts, do you always have to be creative? Do you always have to be on to do that?

That’s a whole different thing, so let me tell you number one, if they are pointing you to data they used on one case study over the course of a 3-4 day run, here’s the problem: they have zero proof. None. They’re not using real data. They are using one anecdotal evidence that you don’t know the situation surrounding it.

Using the term Realtor®

Number two, I’ve seen a whole lot of businesses or “business pages” popping up using the term Realtor®. Like Realtor digital marketing or Realtor whatever- as a Realtor® you know they are not allowed to use the phrase Realtor®.

That means member, that is for NAR, if you see a business using “Realtor®” in their name, unless it’s Jane Doe Realtor, that’s different, you’re allowed to use that. You’re a member of NAR.

If it is a business using Realtor® in their names, they are just trying to get your money. They have no idea, they don’t know the real estate industry, they don’t know your needs, they just see a quick buck. They see you guys struggling out there, doing stuff.

If they use “Realtor®” in their page name, in their business name, in their “academies” or digital marketing – anywhere in their name like that or apart of their course name: STAY AWAY. Absolutely stay away. They don’t even know the very basics of the use of the term Realtor®.

It’s really that simple, it’s a big huge red flag and I’m like “whoa, wait what, no”

Look at their page likes

Then you really have to look at the deal and their page likes. If they’re a new business with 100, 200 or 300 page likes and they are popping up like “we got this thing we’re gonna see you right away,” they are not legit.

If they have thousands of page likes, go and find out what countries their page likes are from. Because there are big people out there, one of the big Facebook gurus outside of the real estate industry, one of the things she is teaching is go and get fake page likes.

Yep, she teaches you to go out and get fake page likes because it helps bump up your reputation. Yeah worst thing you could possibly do for your page, but that’s what some pages are doing just get you to think they are authentic, that they are legit.

Go look and see where the majority of their page likes are from.

Are they from North America? No? Then you need block that page. You need to get out of it and not even look at it because number one, they don’t know the industry, they don’t know Facebook, their trying to see you stuff, like they do.

They are selling you stuff that actually doesn’t work. Maybe it got them some page likes, but guys when our page likes are not targeted, are not the ones we actually need, that screws us up.

It screws us up. Facebook now with algorithm change, huge difference. It’s been a problem for years, but now with the algorithm change, guys, it’s really important.

Your colleagues need to hear this!

You have colleagues who need to hear this and this is really important. This one is important because we get sold so much crap, we get sold to like crazy.

I mean there are so many coaches out there selling us stuff that have never even had their own business, they’ve never had their own real estate business. Or they’ve learned to be a coach – you can “learn”  supposedly to be a coach or be “certified” and blah, blah, blah and never have experienced anything yourself so you can under the feelings of what’s going on, etc. Yeah, it’s just ridiculous.

Summing it all up

Here is another thing, well there are three things.

Number one, I don’t even have these written down, I am just fired up this morning.  If they are using the term Realtor® in their page name, in their business name, in their URL, in their class they are offering,  whatever: if they are using the term realtor, bad news they don’t even know the basics.

They don’t even know the basics of our industry, I’m not even talking about buying or selling houses, all they think is a Realtor is just a real estate agent, not true.

They think the term is synonymous which, you know as a NAR member that is a big thing. So as a Realtor®, as a member, if you can replace the term Realtor with term member, you are using it correctly and so that is a big thing. Using the trademark term incorrectly, avoid them. That’s number one.

Number two, if they are giving you a load of data based on one case study that was over a couple of days, no longer or they are no other case studies in there, it’s simple antidoticle and you have no idea what all of the elements are, they just sound really good.

Number three, their page likes.

If they have few very page likes, beware, they are brand new. They popped up out of nowhere. They got a couple hundred page likes and now they want to sell you crap.

If they have a lot of page likes, look and see where those page likes are from. Are the majority of them from North America? If they are great, and I’m talking like 90% majority.

If they are not, if they’re from India or Taiwan or Indonesia or any of the areas where you can get “fake” page likes, where they say they are real, but they are fake.

If they are prodimatly outside of North America, avoid them like the plague.

And I am adding in a fourth one, you’re going to love this one, vendors are going to love this one, NOT!

If they are calling you to sell you something, ignore them. Avoid them. Don’t take the call.

Seriously, Zillow, or Trulia all hound you with phone calls. They’re out to sell you something, not help you. Period.

Google, SEO, all of that, if they have to call you and do sells pitches on you, if that’s what they have to do, they are after your money. They don’t give a crap about your actual business. They don’t have something to help you, if they did, they would actually be teaching you and attracted you to their concept.

They would be showing you, you would be like, “Yes, I want that, let me sign up!” They would not have to cold call you, oh by the way this works in real estate too, as a Realtor®

It’s very important you know this. Please do me a favor, share this, I am going to keep this short, share this with your colleagues. Let them know so they don’t get screwed.

The more we let real estate agents know this is what’s going on, this is the way to identify fakes and junk that are just trying to get our money. The more we let people know that, their going to go away faster.

Hopefully, we will have fewer of them, not the real estate agents but the junk. We make it harder for vendors to jump into this realm so they actually have to be legit.

Do your due diligence

If we keep chasing them, listening to their phone calls, respond to their stuff and we don’t actually don’t do our due diligence, they are going to keep popping up, wanting a piece of your pie, absolutely they are going to want a piece of your pie.

That’s all they want, that’s all they see in their mind, real estate agents are making all of this money, they need to spend more.

Bullcrap. No we don’t, so be aware of that.

Know these four things. If they are using the term Realtor®, if they are using a one off case study only over a couple of days, literally over a couple days, especially with ads, Facebook ads as the data doesn’t work over a few days.

You have to have your Facebook ad run an absolute minimum of five days, if not longer, and that’s just one ad. You need to be able to replicate it in multiple markets.

If their page likes are too low, number one or if their page likes are predominantly outside of North America, get rid of them. No way.

And four, If they’re calling you, if they’re hounding you to try to get your business, that’s a big one.

 Written by Christina Ethridge - the founder of Leads and Leverage, helping overwhelmed business owners eliminate the marketing chaos and get more customers. Simplify your marketing & bring in more sales. 
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