This week in our “2013 Game Changers” series we’re talking with Tassia Bezdeka, Director of Technology Development and Social Marketing for CENTURY 21 Award in San Diego, California. Since starting her career with CENTURY 21 Award in 2009, Tassia has helped the franchise to go paperless, launch a new website, start marketing via mobile and train an army of agents on how to successfully use social media to market themselves and their services, as well as keep in touch with their sphere of influence.
Though Tassia isn’t a big football fan, she admits she’s excited about Super Bowl Sunday for the game day food. In fact, she and her friends are attempting to build a snack stadium! Can we come too?
C21: In your role as Director of Technology Development and Social Marketing, you have brought the franchise to the forefront of social media marketing for real estate. How did you come into this position?
TB: The opportunity came to me shortly out of college in 2009 and started as Director of Social Marketing. As part of the original class of Facebook users, it was exciting to train our agents and staff, as well as to talk social and build a name for our company. As the years went on, I became the point person for our tech initiatives (we’ve launched a new website, moved to completely paperless transaction document storage, adopted mobile technology and text-for-info marketing, and launched a digital lead routing system over the past 3 years, to name a few things). My position has since been renamed Director of Technology Development and Social Marketing. It’s been amazing to grow with CENTURY 21 Award; no two days are the same!
C21: Which social media platforms do you think are most important for CENTURY 21 agents to market their services?
TB: I think it really depends on the agent and where they feel most comfortable since that will lead to them being active.
In my opinion, Facebook is a no-brainer. The majority of people are there, and it’s a natural part of daily life in 2013. I also encourage our agents to make the most of their personal profile and resist the urge to create a business page, unless they are really going to focus and provide compelling information that is useful to the consumer as opposed to only posting about listings or open houses or market stats. Facebook profiles are an extension of ourselves and our relationships. It makes sense to continue to reach out and bond with clients and sphere of influence in this space. It’s an easy, less-invasive way to stay connected with a large group of people (especially if you make use of the Lists feature).
All that being said, there are huge opportunities on newer platforms like Instagram or Pinterest. Showcase what you love about your town and be sure to choose smart hashtags!
TB: We focus primarily on Facebook and create content on our company blogs (press releases, weekly open house postings, tech tips, etc.). YouTube is also extraordinarily important, but more in terms of training our agents than community outreach.
C21: Video marketing is becoming increasingly popular. Do you train the CENTURY 21 Award agents on how to shoot and upload video?
TB: Graduating from film school has really served me well in recent years! We’ve held on-site video workshops, meaning a group of 15 or so agents met at a property and we actually shot a virtual tour together, taking time to talk about audio and visual, shot setup, movement, etc. It’s a great, hands-on approach to learning that I don’t think many other brokerages have considered. On a smaller scale, we do have recorded trainings for video marketing and encourage our agents to incorporate it as much as possible.
C21: There has been a big emphasis on visual marketing in the past year – Pinterest, Instagram – are you using those platforms for your office? Training agents to use them?
TB: Oh, Pinterest! We’ve secured our name there and added a few things, but at the end of the day, we just can’t do it all. In case anyone from Pinterest or Instagram happens to read this, it would be great to have a multi-login or “business-based” app, similar to Facebook Pages. I love Pinterest and Instagram on a personal level, and it’s such a hassle to have to switch accounts when I want to post as CENTURY 21 Award. Going back to the agents though, these are places where it’s great to fuse your personal and professional self- showcase not only what you do, but also who you are and your interests, as well as the knowledge that you can provide in all aspects of life.
C21: How will you work Smarter.Bolder.Faster. in 2013?
TB: We are just a few days away from launching an exciting new training program called “One Byte at a Time.” Essentially, this is a drip campaign to our agents that provides video training on the technology we offer at CENTURY 21 Award. Every week day for approximately 8 weeks, an agent will receive an email outlining a small objective (generally 5-20 minutes in total) and a corresponding training video. Our hope is that this new service will allow our agents to build their websites and acclimate themselves to our tech products in a manageable, easy-to-accomplish way. Having the majority of our training pre-recorded also frees up some of my time to focus on other initiatives. Get a sneak peek here.
Secondly, our management team has jumped head-first into the paperless world! We’re working together to create a paperless hiring system (100% iPad & cloud-based), and eventually hope to expand that program into a paperless transaction system for our agents.
C21: Are you a football fan? What are you plans for Super Bowl Sunday? Where will you watch CENTURY 21 in the big game?
TB: Football is great, but I really love the food! One of my friends holds a massive Super Bowl party every year in San Diego and this year I’ll be trying my hand at a Snack Stadium.