Dylan Handy was a business development coach providing marketing solutions for brokers and agents on behalf of Elm Street Technology some years back when he realized the need for more education and long-term support, especially in digital technology.
“It was eight or nine years ago,” says Handy, who grew up in a real estate family and has a fair grounding in the agent mindset. “Social media marketing was fairly new at the time, and many brokers and agents were either unaware of the ways it could boost their business or too timid or indifferent to learn how to make it work for them.”
Handy conferred with Pam Gee, Elm Street’s director of national field events, kicking around ideas about a Social Media Boot Camp designed to deliver high-energy, interactive education that would not just empower brokers and agents, but provide them with an integrated platform and ongoing support to help them succeed in the long term.
“Too many real estate professionals were still using a scattershot approach to technology,” says Gee. “The idea here was to help brokers consolidate their tech stack and arm their agents with programs that speak to each other—a simple platform they can log into once to manage their CRM, social media, direct mail newsletters and even lead generation—in a single, easy-to-use system.”
Immediate and actionable social media strategies
The company’s Elm Street Academy began partnering with MLSs, associations and brokerages around the nation, offering Social Media Boot Camps (the company’s most requested offering) and other educational programs free of charge as a means of introducing the Elm Street suite of solutions, which promise education, monthly leads and ongoing support to agents who sign on.
“The purpose of the Boot Camp is to provide a fun, upbeat and unique educational experience for brokers and agents,” says Gee. “Our goal is to motivate, inspire and excite agents about their online marketing and, at the same time, relieve any fears or concerns about engaging with social media to grow their business.”
Along with an array of practical, real-life marketing solutions, in-office Elm Street educators bring to the presenting office a choice of snacks, lunch or brunch, including alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverages at the discretion of the host, as well as gift cards that are given out as door prizes, says Gee.
“We do the Boot Camps free of charge,” she notes, “asking only to conclude them with an introduction to how our products and services can make a difference in their business.”
But the star of every show is the Boot Camp presentation.
“They have been well-received from the outset,” says Handy, who today, as Elm Street’s national business development consultant, leads a busy team of regionally posted Elm Street educators and hosts a monthly “Getting Social With Dylan” series in which he deep-dives into various social media marketing topics and strategies.
“The Boot Camps were so popular that we kept them going as webinars all through the pandemic,” he says.
While virtual Boot Camps are still available, in-person presentations are back on track and increasingly in demand among a growing number of real estate professionals and related organizations.
A proven digital marketing system
Brittany Henricks, managing broker and agent at Main Key Realty in Festus, Missouri, learned of the free educational opportunity from an agent who had seen the presentation at a REALTOR® board meeting.
“Bringing the Brunch and Learn experience to my 50-agent office last fall was a really good decision,” says Henricks. “Elm Street provides a sensible and straightforward program, and delivers every step of the way. The food and margaritas were a nice bonus, but my agents were so impressed by the automation and consistency of the platform that 19 of them signed up on the spot, and we are all the better for it.”
The response was typical, according to Gee, who estimates that agent enrollments after each Lunch and Learn or Brunch and Learn presentation average between 30% and 50%.
“We know that’s because social media is so crucial in business today, but too many agents aren’t maximizing its value due to lack of know-how, lack of time, fear of ‘messing up’ or all of the above,” says Gee. “We are out to change that with classes that are designed and proven to make an immediate difference in their business.”
Elm Street Technology, headquartered in Frisco, Texas, provides the real estate sector with a variety of data-driven growth and connectivity solutions.
“We offer a choice of classes, each tailored to help brokers and agents simplify and coordinate today’s complex technology needs, but we recommend starting with our free Social Media Boot Camp,” says Gee. “It’s our most popular because so many agents still need help navigating the world of social media.”
Seven educators around the country are now instructing nearly 20 Boot Camps a month, says Gee, who oversees the educational field team and integrates Elm Street’s educational offerings into MLSs, associations and brokerages in the U.S. and Canada. Agents who sign up at one of several levels afterward are guaranteed a certain number of monthly leads based on the selected package.
“I highly recommend this program,” says Henricks. “It was a lot of fun, their solution packages are fairly priced for the products and services they provide, and we are seeing our agents become so much more comfortable managing their digital marketing.”
To learn more or to schedule a high-energy and insightful educational experience for your organization, please visit https://elmstreet.com/book_an_event.