On November 10, 2016, Marguerite Giguere and Anne Jones hosted Genuine Hustle, a "gathering of community-minded agents" in Tacoma, Washington. Real estate agents came from all over the country (and even Canada!) to take part in the conference, a day packed with incredible speakers (see the complete list here!) and intensive breakout sessions the next day.
This was the first real estate conference I had ever been to, and I also happened to be a speaker on a panel about content marketing and one of the sponsors—big thanks to Anne and Marguerite for giving me and Home Scribe Creative this opportunity!
But before I get too much into the conference itself, as we all know, just a couple of nights before on November 8th, America elected our next president. It was an incredibly stressful day and night for me, and after the results of the election were in, I found myself in a state of shock, sadness, disappointment, and disbelief. I wasn't sure how I was going to have the focus and energy to participate in Genuine Hustle over the next few days, and I had to be up early the next morning to start preparing and meeting people in Tacoma the day before the conference.
Who would have known that this was actually *PERFECT* timing for Genuine Hustle?!
This gathering of community-minded real estate agents was uplifting, inspiring, and restorative. What an amazing group of people who truly care about the well-being of their communities and this country. In a time when I was feeling vulnerable as an American citizen, these people showed me sincere kindness and a feeling of safety, unity, and love.
So you may be wondering...
What exactly was so special about Genuine Hustle? And what does it mean to be a "community-focused" real estate agent?
Community-focused marketing is really about being a part of the community that you work in. It's all about
- having a real connection to your community
- providing excellent value to your audience so people can see you as a trusted resource
- attracting clients in a way that is authentic and sustainable over the longterm
- being there long before someone even knows that they (or maybe their friend or family member) need you as a real estate agent.
It's about highlighting community members, local businesses, events, and important issues in your neighborhood through blog posts, videos, podcasts, social media posts, etc. It’s important to keep in mind that it won't work overnight, it’s an investment, and it needs to be treated like a priority in order for it to work. It's not easy, but as Marguerite Giguere says—"It's a long game, but it's the good game."
So true, Michael Thorne and Jaclyn Ruckle!
Throughout the day of the conference, we heard from a variety of speakers, each with their own unique take on building community as real estate agents. Michael Thorne presented on how to use video to become the "digital mayor" of your community; Amy Curtis had a post-election-fueled discussion with Marguerite Giguere on being authentic; Stacie Staub talked about how to build relationships through community events; Seth Price shared an amazing presentation on branding; Katie Lance talked about email marketing, and every single speaker that day shared a captivating presentation with real, actionable, useful information.
And then of course, there was the content marketing panel that I was on, led by the content marketing-expert Chavi Hohm of Team Diva Real Estate. I was also on the panel with Sharon Steele of The View From My Porch and Garret Hunt and Tyler Chism of LiveinEverett.com, all real estate agents who are delivering valuable community-focused content to their audiences in different ways.
Then, there was me—not a real estate agent, but as someone who has a lot of experience working with agents on blogging and social media strategy. I shared what it can look like to outsource your blogging by sharing Marguerite Giguere's website MovetoTacoma.com as an example. (I work with Marguerite on her blog and social media.) I also shared five tips for creating a content calendar, which Katie Lance conveniently tweeted:
The day ended with a talk from Nate Bowling, Washington State's 2016 Teacher of the Year. Nate's talk was titled "Intersecting Paths: The Tangled Knot of Race, Class, Education and Real Estate," and it was probably my favorite part of the day. You can watch the entire talk below (and if you want to check out any of the other talks form the day, follow Genuine Hustle on Facebook!).
The day after the event, people who wanted to stay could gather for breakout sessions on specific topics. This was a chance for people to dive in deeper on whatever interested them most—video marketing, social media, race in real estate, etc.
Sitting in a room with some of the top realtors around the country. We're not talking about Team volume, GCI, or scripts for lead conversion. We're talking about how to deepen our connection to our communities. We're sharing resources to learn about the history/ongoing racism in housing. Also blogging. So grateful. ❤️ #Realestate #tacomahustle
I have pages and pages of notes from the event, but this blog post is already long, so I'll be sharing those later! For now, I just want to say thank you to Anne Jones and Marguerite Giguere for planning and hosting this incredible event, and thank you to everyone else who made this once-in-a-lifetime event possible!