#245 Mail-Right Show Special Guest Christy Murdock Edgar From Writing Real Estate
How To Do Social Media The Right Way In The World of Coronavirus
Christy Murdock Edgar is the Owner of Writing Real Estate. She is a freelance writer and content marketing developer for real estate professionals throughout North America. She may be reached at email@example.com or learn more at www.writingrealestate.com.
Jonathon: Welcome back folks to the Mail-Right show. This is episode 245. We’ve got a returning guest. We got Christie Edgar back. She’s been on the show a couple of times; I’ve classified her as friend of the show. We’ve got some interesting topics to discuss, but I’m going to let both Christie and Robert introduce themselves. And then, I’ll go on and tell you what we’re going to be discussing. So, Christie, would you like to quickly introduce yourself to the audience?
Christie: Hi, I’m Christie Murdoch-Edgar, and I am a writer. I specialize in real estate content and related industries like the mortgage industry and the finance industry. And I’m just really excited to be back.
Jonathon: That’s great. We’re going to be talking about the luxury market. We’re also going to be talking about what you should not do with your social media presence at the present interesting times that we are living through. And also, we’re going to be talking about how you should position yourself when the market recovers a little bit and is more normal. I also got Robert my great co-host. Would you like to quickly introduce yourself to the new listeners and viewers, Robert?
Robert: Sure, why the fuck not? My name is Robert Newman. I had to get it out early. I’m the founder of a real estate tech company. I’ve been doing it a long, long time. And I think that people know me mostly for knowing real estate SEO. Oh, and you can find me at inboundrem.com.
Jonathon: That’s great. So Christie, this going to–
Robert: Introduce yourself, John.
Jonathon: Oh yes, I should do. I’m the founder of Mail-Right. It basically uses the power of Facebook to generate leads, but then it does all the follow-through which you don’t have time for. It sends out email, text messages, and also helps you keep a presence on your social media and also gets you extra quality reviews, so it does quite a lot for you. So if that sounds interesting, go over to Mail-Right, have a look at what we’ve got to offer, and you can book a free demo with me. So let’s go into the meats and potatoes of this episode. So the luxury market, you know you think is not in every area, but you see some life and some activity from the feedback that you get from real estate agents when it comes through the [inaudible[00:02:37] of the market, do you, Christie?
Christie: Absolutely. And it’s, you know, like you said, it really is not sort of the luxury market as a whole. It depends on the market. It depends on the features of the home. So for example, in New York City, we’re not seeing resurgence necessarily in the luxury market. That’s normally a really hot luxury market that has cooled off a lot. But out in the Hamptons, which have actually had it a bad couple of years, they are seeing just more demands than they can actually meet.
Jonathon: They probably think that the tear gas can’t go up that far.
Christie: I think everybody’s trying to get out of the city. And it was funny, I was talking to an agent from out there and he said, well, you know, everybody’s European vacation got canceled this year. So they’re looking for a little more out of their summer then they would otherwise be able to have. And that means a tennis court. That means a beach. That means a pool. And so–
Jonathon: You know you got to do something with that bonus.
Christie: You got to do something, and you’ve got kids all in the house all the time, and so you’ve got to keep them entertained because they can’t go camping. They can’t go to school, and so the Hamptons have really seen resurgence. And then of course, the Southern California luxury market is doing just wonderful as always, you know, because outdoor spaces, things like that are so much a part of that market. So they’ve just held really strong all the way through.
Jonathon: So, it’s probably also the teargas from certain parts of LA can’t reach Malibu. They got coastal breezes that will push it away anyway, isn’t it?
Christie: Right, exactly, exactly.
Jonathon: Some of the English sarcasm there audience.
Christie: Right, but it’s definitely something that, you know, we see people trying to get out of cities and trying to get further out and get a lot more space for their money.
Jonathon: And do you actually think that it’s actually changed? I think what you’re actually saying they actually change some of these luxury buyers, what they’re really looking for; they’re looking for specific features, aren’t they?
Christie: Definitely. And I think one of the ways that people can really differentiate a home you know, sort of, if they’re thinking about listing is you know, smart home features I think are really going to become not just nice to have things, but really necessities. So the ability to kind of run your whole household from your phone used to be sort of this kind of almost silly thing, you know, like why do you need to do that? But now, you know, the idea of not touching light switches, not touching lips, not touching everything in the kitchen when you want to turn on the stove or whatever, you know, all of those things suddenly makes sense in the context–
Jonathon: These people have servants anyway.
Christie: You know, there are a lot of luxury markets.
Jonathon: I don’t think a lot of these people touched much anyway, aren’t they?
Christie: You know, if you really think about it, I mean, I lived in DC for many, many years and I mean just a regular non-servant household would be considered a luxury buy in most of the countries, so I don’t know. I think there’s still, especially with the kids home, there’s still a whole lot of hands-on that goes on in these houses.
Jonathon: I was being a little bit sarcastic there. So at least go-on, so it’s not all doom and gloom; there is activity out there.
Jonathon: So on to another really fascinating topic; on your radar, you’ve been observing a lot of people have been saying things on social media, which maybe on reflection. They maybe shouldn’t have say than maybe when we get into more normal times might affect their business. So I’ll put it back over to you again, so what you’ve been seeing on your radar Christie?
Christie: So I think that you know, if I think about social media over the last few days, a lot of people, I think with the best intentions in the world want to be part of the conversation and they want to maybe show their viewpoint, share their viewpoint. And I think that there is a time to talk and a time to listen. So some of the more successful people that I’ve seen on social media, though, the ones who seem to be doing it right, and getting a positive response are the ones who are really taking some time if they are in a privileged position to sort of mute themselves and take a little bit of a back seat and be willing to listen. There are a lot of people out there who are giving sort of practical ways to help in terms of donations or book lists; things like that. Those are the people that seem to be communicating really well in this moment.
The people who are sort of trying to talk over other people especially if it appears to come from a place of privilege or if it appears to come from a place of scolding, and I’m going to tell you how you should feel about things; those are the people who really seem to be struggling right now. And you know, creating situations where their brand I think is really going to be negatively affected when this is all over. So, I really do think that it’s almost better to say nothing if you can’t say something nice, you know, kind of like your mom told you.
Jonathon: So what do you reckon, Robert? You know, you still got to be relevant, you still going to be out there, but is there a way of coming across which doesn’t really rub up in these strange times that we living through?
Robert: Yes, I think so, but I don’t know. I don’t know that I feel like I have personally all the answers, but I know that if I was in real estate, number one, I would stay away from the political socio conversation. As a business person, I want to be clear about this. I’m not saying that as a person, I don’t have opinions. I’m saying, if you are talking on a Facebook page or Twitter page or some other kind of page where you have a mix of personal and business associates, I personally feel like it’s probably best to stay unopinionated about the fray because you can’t help, but necessarily alienate one side of the audience or the other.
These are very charged times with a lot of different opinions on like even people in the camps that agree, have different opinions inside that camp. They agree on the bigger issues. They oftentimes don’t agree on how things should change, how they’d like to see them, how vigorously we should be pursuing that change right now. I’ve noticed amongst my own friend circles. And these are people I’ve known for 25 years, where I’m watching people unfriend each other after a quarter of a century of friendship over things like, ‘should we go out and March today’ and stuff like that. Now, I’m sure that where I live in the creative community here in Southern California with kind of friends that I have, that it’s a little bit more charged, a little bit more emotional, a little bit more dramatic. I have a lot of actors and entertainers and singers and dancers and all these things in my friends circle, and they do tend to run emotional about stuff.
So I would stay away if it was me just to be from a professional standpoint. If you have a personal social media account and you don’t have any people professionally on there, then by all means, go ahead, and if you feel it necessary weigh in. I have to agree with John in one sense though, and as a person that lives in the world of technology, there’s an interesting thing that you start to understand and he pointed at it, but I don’t think he said it clearly. Words that you say online never go away ever, ever. So, once you’ve typed that word onto the page, you are committed to it for a lifetime. And that kind of commitment over socio relevant things in the moment makes me personally very nervous as a marketer, as a person with– albeit I don’t really care too much about my brand, but I do like to define it. Like, if I want to step into the ring and say, I don’t want an accidental thing that I said to a friend on the side or jokingly be taken and have that be branded to me. I’m actually relatively cautious about– which is funny if you knew me, you know how shocking that is. I’m relatively cautious about how and what I say online. So John asked a simple question and I went off to the races here, but–
Jonathon: No, I think it was great stuff. In practical terms, I would suggest to you listeners, beloved listeners and viewers is that, you know, don’t use your Facebook and your Instagram. You know, if you really can’t resist venting, set up a Twitter account and vent on there because probably most of your clientele ain’t going to be on there, so it doesn’t really matter; just don’t do it on your Facebook page, your business page and your personal profile. And the same probably applies to Instagram as well. What do you reckon Christie? I made you laugh at these dinners.
Christie: You did. Instagram is where I see a lot of I’m going to careful; performative is what I would call it, performative political statements and posturing.
Jonathon: Never, you shocked me, Christie.
Christie: I think that some of it is probably coming from a good place, but I don’t think people are in the mood for things like that anymore. And I was actually talking to a client about this recently. Again, I think it’s almost better for you to say I’m taking a day, as some of my favorite brands did yesterday. I’m taking a day to listen and learn, you know, rather than to think, well, I have to say something because everybody else is saying something. I think it’s good if you’re not going to say something useful than to say, I’m taking a day to listen and mute myself.
Jonathon: I think practical tips to deal with different situations. You know, I’m going to be slightly sarcastic again here; how to deal with tear gas when you either get a whiff of it in your house or some other tips or that. But I think if you just want to vent your personal political views that you really should avoid that on Facebook really as a real estate agent. Unless, you have purposely positioned yourself with a certain crowd in your local community as your buyers or sellers, and you know you’re using it to actually appeal to those groups even more. But I do know a couple of local agents that in normal times, I personally would probably not be their ideal client and they’ve made it quite through their positioning and their statements over the years. They made it very clear who they are looking for. And in some ways it could be quite effective can’t it Christie, but it’s got to be a full tout decision, isn’t it?
Christie: It does. And I think the other thing to think about is the platform, and you sort of alluded to it. You know, the crowd on Facebook is very different from the crowd on Instagram is very different from the crowd on LinkedIn. And so I think a lot depends on where you have your audience, and for a lot of people, there’s just one platform that probably they use the most, and where they are the most of themselves, and so that plays into it as well. And some people even differentiate, like what they put on their stories on Instagram is very different from what they’d put in their posts because the people who are looking at the posts are different people. It’s a different audience than the ones who look at their stories. So there are a lot of ways to sort of slice and dice it and differentiate your messaging, I think.
Jonathon: So we’re going to go for our break. We will be back, we’ll continue this discussion, and I think Christie has got some other subject areas that she wants to cover, so it should be a great discussion. We’ll be back in a few moments’ folks.
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Jonathon: We’re coming back; interesting times we’re living through beloved real estate agents you know, you might get your car scratched. You don’t want that Merck scratch, you know, do you? You’re walking–
Robert: I’m raining in the English sarcasm. John did not mean anything by that.
Jonathon: You walk in, try to show a house and the teargas walks over and you start, you know, your poor client starts to weep, and that’s not the price of the house; that’s the teargas.
Robert: Alright Christie, what did you want to talk about?
Christie: One thing to kind of go back to the COVID-19 real estate landscape. One thing that, you know, I’ve been thinking a lot about and writing a lot about lately is sort of trying to imagine what the market is going to look like in not just, you know, a couple of weeks or a couple of months, but next year, two years from now, you know, how are we going to fundamentally shift our expectations, our the way that our household is set up? I do think we’re going to come out with a lot of activity in the real estate sector. And I don’t think it’s just going to be– I think everybody talks about that in terms of like, it’s just pinup demand because everybody wasn’t able to go and buy the house they wanted this spring. But I think it’s also going to be, you know, you’re going to see marriages coming together, marriages breaking up, and you’re going to see a big COVID baby boom, I think. And I just think, you know, there’s going to be a lot of multi-generational households created. I think there’s just going to be a big shift in the way that people live and that’s interesting.
Jonathon: I think by what I’ve heard– yeah, especially in Silicon Valley, in other parts of the country been given the permission to work more from home because of what has happened has become much more established, and we’re going to have more and more people spending, you know, over two, three days at home. This change is being forced, but I think it was a change happening anyway, but it’s been accelerated. Would you agree with that Christie?
Christie: Totally. And you know, it was interesting, I was talking to Oh, I’m trying to think it was a Connecticut real estate executive for a series that I did on how millennials are sort of reshaping suburbia. And one of the things that we talked about, which I really had not thought about previously was, you know, you have so many households where we also always talk about, you know, oh, this is a good space for a home office. Well, now you need two home offices. And with schools kind of talking about– some schools talking about going entirely virtual and some school systems talking about doing sort of half days and things like that–
Jonathon: Well, she’s frozen.
Jonathon: That’s a bad one. She’s frozen listeners and viewers. Hopefully, we’re going to get Christie back. Maybe it’s all those real estate agents sending in they realize that their social media is not being that great.
Robert: You froze up Christie.
Christie: I’m sorry, where did we leave off?
Jonathon: It was when you said that agent that you froze.
Christie: Oh, in Connecticut?
Christie: Oh, okay. So I did a series on the way that millennials are kind of reshaping the suburban landscape. And one of the things that we talked about was, you know, that families now, you know we’re used to talking about needing a home office. Well, people need two home offices. They need space for the kids to do their schoolwork. You know, a lot of school systems are talking about having virtual school next year or having just part-time school from here on out, and having the rest of it online. So we’re really talking about three or four or five, I guess, depending on the size of your family workspaces plus the internet and all of that.
Jonathon: Yeah, in a way I can really see that affected the California market because it’s an ongoing trend people leaving California. I can see this actually accelerates in the process because people are going to need more space and they’re just not going to be able to afford it in California. I know a lot of Californians are looking at Texas and Oregon and Nevada, but Nevada– I’m looking at Las Vegas has become rather expensive. So probably maybe Oregon and maybe definitely Texas. So I really see a lot of Californians and maybe this is also affecting the East coast as well, the Boston area, people looking to move out of state or to get an increased room. What do you reckon?
Christie: Well, and I think that there are a lot of ambitious people in lots of markets all over the country who are going to have opportunities that they have not had before unless they were willing to move to New York or Boston or Los Angeles. And so, I think it’s going to be really interesting to see. And I think that there are a lot of people who don’t want to live in the city who maybe even want to live in rural areas. I was talking to a Seattle realtor who talks about farmland right outside of the city being used for artists’ communes and all kinds of things. So there are all kinds of interesting ways that younger homebuyers are configuring their set up. And I think this is just going to accelerate that as well.
Jonathon: Well, you know when you look at the price levels in California; it’s obviously on my radar much closer to me. But the average millennial couple that’s got reasonable jobs, I’m not talking about higher management, but you know, they practically can’t afford anything in an area where they would want to live. Even at the present situation, I would say they’re being practical unless they get sizable assistance from their parents; they’ve been totally priced out the market. Would you agree with that Robert?
Robert: I would. I mean, California, which I live in, everybody is brutal. And all these conversations that everybody’s having. So for my artist friends, I’ve got a total of five friends that have now relocated to Nashville because it’s a growing community, it’s friendly; it’s artistic. The places and the people that I know in the communities that I live in, they’re looking at Austin and Nashville; places with large populations of artistic people. The only problem here in California, if you’re in entertainment, is that there isn’t– some of my friends have lost a lot of work by not being here in California. So I don’t suspect that the shift is going to be universal, but I do agree with everything that you’re saying. I can’t afford a house and I make a great living, and I know many, many people that are in the same boat. And I know people who’ve been on the journey towards homeownership with 401ks and things like that for 25 years, and they’re just now being able to even contemplate buying.
So when you say like, I’ll give you both one analogy. So a dear friend of mine, who’s also a client Ray Petkevis; he is in Delaware. And he just bought a 3,700 hundred square foot barn with 11 acres, a Creek and a Lake $415,000. Out here in California, I cannot buy a one bedroom crappy ass condominium for that, not even close. The power of where your money goes. And guys got into this [inaudible[25:52] by talking about how the remote workforce might change real estate. My opinion is this, imagine that you could go anywhere that you wanted, that you’re not particularly connected to a social community or a social tribe, and now it’s just about lifestyle. Where in the world would you go? Where would you live?
I would take a look at one of the other beach cities that are so where I don’t have to spend $2 million for a property within a block of the ocean. And there are lots of them at prices and seen here. You could go to South Carolina among many other places. So that’s where I think we’re going to watch the real estate industry.
Jonathon: I think it’s very relevant because I think it’s directly affecting the real estate market in the coming two years, isn’t it? What has happened? I think a lot of people’s options or lives have been opened. I think a lot of people when you look at the statistics, you know, people are being kind of flooding into about half a dozen major metropolitan areas; that might reverse a bit, won’t they, Christie?
Christie: Well, absolutely. And you know, you were talking about the entertainment industry. I’m originally from Georgia, and I think I’ve read last year, there were more productions that took place in the State of Georgia than anywhere else in the country. So, I mean, there are even, you know, because the entertainment industry is even looking for other places where their dollar goes further. And so, I just think we’re going to see a lot of repositioning and I think it’s exciting because housing affordability we’ve been talking about it for years; nobody really is doing anything about it.
Jonathon: No, that’s true. So I think we’re coming to the end. Thanks, Christie. How can people find out more about you and your wise words and more about what you’re up to Christie?
Christie: Thank you. I’m at writing real estate, W R I T I N G writingrealestate.com. And you can see my blog there. You can find me on Inman. I write for a lot of other platforms and companies, and so you know, Google me.
Jonathon: That’s great. And Robert, how can people find out more about you about yourself and what you’re up to?
Robert: I’m not going to do that. Hey guys, I’ve checked out Christie’s writing and she’s really brilliant. If you have a chance, I’ve linked some of her articles on my Facebook page and my Facebook; actually, never mind. On my Facebook page it’s there, so that’s Facebook/inboundrem, and you can see some of the stuff that she’s written. I highly recommend that you check her out, and John will tell you how you can find him. I’m a mystery. You have to search.
Jonathon: Just go to Inbound REM. He’s over there. He’s been [inaudible[28:54] recently. He’s been writing some fantastic reviews on CRMs and other technology, which we generally discussed, but we also like to have discussions, which we just had with Christie which is a bit less technology-based. If you want to find out more about Male-Right, just go to the male hyphen right website. There are all the interviews with great people like Christie on there. There must be over 200 interviews on there. It’s a great resource to learn more about real estate and what you should be doing to make your business better in the next six months because there are great opportunities if you position yourself in the right way and that’s what you should be considering right now. We’ll be back next week with another great guest or internal discussion between me and Robert. We see you soon folks, bye.