How Often Should You Post On Social Media?

How Often Should I Post On Social-There is no right or wrong answer to this question. Plenty of studies have been done. Lots of experts have weighed in. I am no expert but I do have an opinion based on hundreds of meetings with real estate agents and studying social media for real estate for the last four years. Ultimately it depends on who you are trying to reach and how often YOU are willing to engage. I should also mention that real estate agents should not try to manage more than two accounts. If they are very good “at social”, four accounts at the most. However, I know from experience that real estate agents have a hard time being consistent on social media. So I advise that you start with two and if you’re able to keep up with that, increase accordingly.

Facebook Business Page: 1 post per day

Twitter: 15 tweets per day

Pinterest: 10 pins per day

LinkedIn: 1 post per day

Instagram: 2 posts per day and lots of hashtags!!

The good news is there are plenty of tools out there to help you manage this. A few of my favorite are HootSuite, CoScheduler and Buffer. Choose one and spend some time learning how to use it. Before long, you will be up and running and getting exposure for your brand!

The next questions is always, “but Kara, WHAT do I post”? Stay tuned for next week’s blog post where I will go over several types of content for all the above mentioned platforms.

kara-best-picAbout The Author

Kara Macdonald is the Owner of Your Favorite Title Lady, LLC and the Vice President of Pruitt Title, LLC. Her mission is to inspire real estate agents by teaching them how to market themselves better online and offline through blogs, vlogs, webinars and in person consultations. She can be reached by email at and on her cellphone: 571-432-9382.

12 Steps To A Successful Open House

A goal without a plan is just a wish, right? Every agent hopes their open house will lead to generating new buyer leads but without a plan, it’s just a wish. And if you’re going to be spending your precious Sundays doing open houses, you should have a clear plan and follow every single step, every single time.

Step One: Prepare clients

If it is your listing, your clients should be aware as soon as you take the listing, not only that you will be doing open house(s), but which days they will be on.  Before you go to the listing appointment, check your calendar. Obviously, it will depend on what date they will be listing so it might be “every Sunday for three weeks after we list”. But the key is to be prepared to tell them which days you are available to do open house(s) and get them on the calendar.

Step Two: Enter it in the MLS

Enter the Open House into the MLS no later than midnight on the Thursday prior to the open house. This will ensure that the open house is “picked up” by all the major websites that buyers use when looking for opens (Zillow, Redfin, etc.).

Step Three: Create an awesome flyer

Your flyer must be awesome. If you have a knack for graphic design, great! But if you don’t, hire someone to create a template for you (estimated cost $100) and then you can drop in photos and update the copy as and when you have an open. Remember, everything you put out to the world is a reflection of you and your business. You can also use sites such as to create a flyer. They have templates and the most you’ll spend is $1.00 per image that is not free.

Step Four: Promote Promote Promote

Post that flyer EVERYWHERE: LinkedIn, Facebook, Facebook Groups, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, EVERYWHERE. And not just once … In the week leading up to the open, the flyer should be on each of the sites mentioned at least twice. Hashtags should only be used on Instagram and Twitter. They don’t belong on Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.; they look “salesy”. Having trouble coming up with hashtags, use my 5/5/5 method: five location hashtags, five activity hashtags and five fun hashtags. Here’s an example (feel free to borrow it): #arlington #arlingtoncounty #arlingtonva #northernva #nova #openhouse #vaopenhouse #realestate #home #realtor #dontmissthis #thiswontlast #springmarketisstillhere #icansellyourhousetoo #realtorlife

Step Five: Invite Neighbors

Remember that awesome flyer? Print fifty copies and invite the neighbors the day before or the morning of. You could even have a “neighbors only preview” for one hour prior to the public open house. People love to feel like they are special and they also nosy. Utilize this to your advantage by inviting them beforehand and chatting them up. Be sure to give them your card or have something to give them about yourself that they can take with them (a nice postcard with info about you and what you’ve sold in the neighborhood).

Step Six: Be sure the house is in PRISTINE condition.

Obviously the house should be very clean but a few extra things that some people don’t think of are mow the lawn, put away all evidence of a pet, put away jewelry, be sure all lightbulbs are working, put away toiletries, clear all hallways, make all beds, make sure the light switches and walls are free from handprints and clean and adjust temperature if they keep the house unusually cold or warm. Prepare an email template to send out to your clients a couple of days ahead of the open house(s) so they have plenty of time to comply with your requests.

Step Seven: Use an electronic sign in

The whole reason we do opens: to capture buyer leads … you’re unlikely to do that with a sign in sheet. People expect you to be “with the times” so be prepared to exceed their expectations by being prepared to have them electronically register. My two favorite apps are and … be sure to create an account well before the open house so you have time to learn how to use it properly. The last thing you want to do is be messing with setting up the app ten minutes before your open house starts. Both of these are very customizable but they do take some thirty minutes or so to familiarize yourself.

Step Eight: Bake cookies

I do this at every open house I help agents with and everyone that attends is always so impressed. The smell of the cookies when people walk in plus the taste of warm cookies creates an ambiance that will be remembered. I also offer water bottles and napkins. All you need to bring with you is a baking sheet, premade cookie dough, a spatula, an oven mit and a plate to put the cookies on. Don’t worry about baking the entire time. I usually put a new batch in every thirty minutes so I have time to talk to the guests without worrying about the cookies burning.

Step Nine: Play music

Bring a Bluetooth speaker and play music from your phone (Pandora or Spotify). I like classical music played softly. Again, it’s just an extra touch to set your open house apart from the three or four other ones they are most likely going to visit that day.

Step Ten: Take Notes & Follow Up

As soon as the guests leave, jot down any personal info they may have mentioned (children’s names, looking to move right away, works at the pentagon). After the open, do some digging, find their address and mail them a hand written note mentioning some of the personal things. For example “It was great to meet you and your wife, Lucy, and your daughter, Jane.” Nothing too pushy (since it’s already going to be a little strange that you found their address) …. Just something lighthearted with your business card. If you can’t find their home address, email them or text them if you have good info. And don’t give up unless you’re flat out told to go away. Just continue to touch them every month or so and be super kind, offer to help without being pushy. If it’s meant to be, it’ll happen. If it’s not, it won’t, and that’s okay. It’s more time for you to find your next potential client.

Step Eleven: Have fun

People will respond to the kind of vibe you put off. Treat the open as a fun event. Have fun and offer to help but don’t say too much, especially if you’re getting the feeling that they do not want your help. No one likes a pushy agent and a lot of agents are pushy. We need to stop that. Be kind, helpful and genuine and it will be a wonderful, successful event!

Step Twelve: Give a full report to your sellers

Always close the loop by reporting back to your sellers as soon as the open house is finished. Give them detailed information on guests, how many seemed like serious buyers, how many seemed interested in THEIR house and any feedback you got as to why their house was not appealing. All of this will lend to a wonderful experience with you as their agent which will lead to them recommending you in the future.

How To Make Instagram Work For Your Real Estate Business

There is no doubt that Instagram is hot. It has proven its ability to stay relevant with its release of Instagram stories last August. It is definitely where millennials are with 59% of those between the ages of 18 and 24 active on the social platform and 54% of those aged 25-34 using the photo sharing platform on a regular basis. It is the only platform that’s acceptable to post personal and business content. In this post, I share a few tips to optimize your profile and some of my favorite ways to use Instagram as a real estate agent.



This is your opportunity to showcase yourself. When people click on your name, they want to learn more about you. Do not underestimate this chance to shine! As a real estate agent, you should have your phone number, email, website and service area(s) listed. Get creative with emojis and hashtags, list what you’re passionate about. Stand out! Why do you sell real estate? What makes you tick? How are you different? TRULY DIFFERENT. People should FEEL something when they read your bio. Are there any causes near and dear to your heart that you are able to support because you have a flexible schedule or supplemental income as a realtor? Take a look at my profile below for some inspiration.



If you’re new to Instagram or want to grow your audience, hashtags are crucial. Hashtags are clickable links which become searchable. For example, by using the hashtag #tamparealestate, people that search for that hashtag will likely find you. The more popular the hashtag, the less likely you will be found, so you want to be as creative as possible. The maximum number of hashtags you can use in one post is 30. I know, that’s a lot. I like to stick to 15. So how do you come up with 15? I came up with the 5/5/5 formula to help trigger some ideas. Here’s how it works: Use 5 location based hashtags based on where you are when you post (i.e. #newyorkcity, #vegas #houston #houstontx #grandcanyon), then use 5 activity based hashtags to describe what you are doing when you post (i.e. #familytrip #realestateconference #teammeeting #businesstrip #settlement) and lastly, 5 fun/expressive hashtags to further describe what you are doing and reinforce your branding: (i.e. #bestclientsever #realtorintraining, #hustlehard #springmarket #workinghardforyou #lovemyjob). This last one is where your tagline or a custom hashtag would go. I use #CloseWithPruitt on almost every post related to a settlement.

If you are really struggling with coming up with hashtags on your own, there are plenty of free apps that will generate hashtags based on other hashtags. My favorite is HASHME.


This is probably my favorite thing to do on social media. It can be done on Twitter and Facebook, too, but it works best on Instagram. The trick is to tie in your real estate activities to a local business and/or local people by mentions (Instagram’s word for “tagging”). Whenever you mention another account, Instagram sends that account a notification. I don’t know about you but when someone tags or mentions me, I usually go to that post and like it or comment on it (unless it’s a spammer). Likes and comments equal engagement and engagement equals brand visibility. If you are strategic and consistent with this method, you will see a spike in your local followers which means more local visibility in the are(s) you sell real estate. DING DING DING!!!

Here is one scenario:

After a long morning of showings, you take your clients, Joe and Rachel, to Duck Donuts in Arlington for some coffee and a snack.

Picture: If Joe & Rachel are cool with it, snap a selfie of the three of you enjoying your sweet treats and upload it to Instagram.

What To Type: Joe & Rachel found “THE HOUSE” this morning. Celebrating at Duck Donuts in Arlington then off to write their offer. Wish us luck!!

What Hashtags To Use: #ArlingtonVA #ArlingtonCounty #DuckDonuts #NorthArlington #NorthernVA #HouseHunting #ArlingtonRealEstate #CelebrationTime #ForeverHome #SaturdayShowings #BuyWithKara #ABCRealEstate #KaraCanHelp #IloveMyClients #FingersCrossed←← #SweetTreats

How To Properly MENTION or TAG Duck Donuts. Type the “@” symbol and begin typing a name or a business name and Instagram will provide you with a list of possible matches. Choose the right one (remember not everyone/every business is on Instagram so you may not see what you are looking for) and you’re done. See two pictures below. In the first one, I typed “@Duck “ and Duck Donuts appeared. In the second picture, you can see the finished post. Notice @duckdonutsnova is in light blue. That means I tagged them properly.








Be sure you are checking your notifications regularly and responding when someone mentions YOU. I recommend checking your notifications twice a day (minimum) and ALWAYS responding in some way even if it’s just a “LIKE”. It shows you care about your audience.

Scroll through your feed a couple of times a day and comment on other people’s posts. Offer advice if someone asks, give recommendations when appropriate and comment often. The more peopleyou’re your name in the comments, the better.
Send a personal message to your new followers, ESPECIALLY local ones. No one does this on Instagram and I think it is a huge opportunity missed. Whenever you have a chance to be different, you have a chance of being remembered when your services are needed.

kara-best-picAbout The Author

Kara Macdonald is the Owner of Your Favorite Title Lady, LLC and the Vice President of Pruitt Title, LLC. Her mission is to inspire real estate agents by teaching them how to market themselves better online and offline through blogs, vlogs, webinars and in person consultations. She can be reached by email at kara@yourfavoritetitlelady and on her cellphone: 571-432-9382.

6 Ways Realtors Can Implement Video In Their Marketing

Video is the most untapped method of content marketing by real estate agents. It’s the most effective way to connect with consumers and create brand awareness. So stop worrying about what you look like or whether or not you have recorded the perfect video. You don’t need a lot of fancy equipment. A smartphone and a simple tripod will do just fine. Below are five ways you can start using video right away.

An Introduction Video

Create a video introducing yourself as a real estate agent and a human being to the world.  The video should be no more than four minutes in length. Let your audience know who you are, why you became a Realtor and what your mission is. Remember to be specific. The more vague you are, the less people you will appeal to. Include a few personal facts about your family and what you enjoy doing in your spare time. Imbed the video on the first page of your website, add it as the featured video on your YouTube channel and to your Facebook Business Page.


When you first start working with new clients, let them know you hope to earn a testimonial at the end of the process. Preparing them ahead of time will make the next step very easy . . . After your closings, ask your clients if they will record a quick video testimonial for you. Offer to leave the room so they feel more comfortable. I would ask them to use your phone so you don’t have to worry about getting the video from them later. Ask their permission to post the testimonial on your website.

Highlight Local Businesses

In my last video blog, I talked about doing videos highlighting local businesses. Watch th

at video here ( . Teaching people about the community in which you sell is SO IMPORTANT and hardly any agents are doing it. This means you have a very unique opportunity to STAND OUT NOW before everyone starts listening to me.  Shoot a video in front of a new restaurant and tell your audience where it is and what kind of food they serve, a little about the ambiance and price range. Are there new construction homes being built near you? Shoot a video in front of the homes being built or in front of the sales office and tell your audience where you are, what is being built and what the homes will be in close proximity to in terms of amenities and shopping. Take a trip to the movie theatre on a Friday morning and tell your audience what movies are opening that day. The possibilities are endless. And remember to ALWAYS mention your name, company name and tagline.

Open Houses

Shoot a video in front of the house the day before inviting people to attend. Describe the property in detail along with community info (close to Great Falls Park or Town of Clifton, four dog parks within 5 miles, a new Wegman’s is being built less than one mile away, etc.). Post the video on your Facebook Business Page the day before and run a boosted/targeted ad for everyone within 20 miles of the home. If you do this consistently, people will start to feel like they know you which will lead to trust which leads to them reaching out. Be strategic with where you do open houses. Try to do them in the same county or city as much as possible.

Vendor Highlights

Schedule a time to sit down with your go to lender and title company to “interview” t

hem. Be sure you choose someone who is as engaging as you are. Prepare five or six questions ahead of time for he/she to answer. If you are really bold, you could plan a Facebook Live event a few days ahead of time and then take questions from your audience after you are done with your questions. Your future clients will remember you as the go to person for all of their needs if you do this consistently.


We have all heard of BombBomb. I’ll admit, I do not know a ton about BombBomb but I do know that when someone sends me a video message via any method, I am impressed. And it takes a lot to impress me. According to BombBomb’s homepage, 81% of BombBomb users get more replies, 68& convert more leads an

d 56% get more referrals. It is definitely worth checking into. Their site offers a 14 day free trial (no credit card required).

Consistency and patience goes a long way! If you need any help “doing” any of the tips I have suggested here, I am just a text away. Thanks for reading this!

kara-best-picAbout the author:

Kara Macdonald is the Vice President of Pruitt Title, LLC, an independent, woman owned title insurance company licensed in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia with offices in Tyson’s Corner and Rockville. She can be reached at 571-432-9382 or via email at

Inman Connect New York 2017 Takeaways

This was my second Inman Connect, my first in New York and WOW, WHAT A WEEK! I met so many new friends, reconnected with old ones and paved the way for new opportunities. In case you have never been to Inman Connect, I will tell you what it is like . . . It’s a four day conference held twice a year: once in New York City and once in San Francisco. Everything from how to run a successful team to what tech will be like in real estate in five years is covered. Each day, there is a general session in the morning, breakout sessions and learning labs in the afternoon and happy hours, dinners and cocktail parties in the evening. IT IS NON STOP. The name of the conference truly reflects what it’s about. The connections you make are priceless. Everyone is eager and willing to help you meet who you want to meet or if you aren’t sure, they will help you figure it out. Now that I am home and able to review my notes, I wanted to share what stuck out the most.

Video was mentioned a LOT, especially Facebook Live. Videos, live or not, have 135% greater organic reach than photo posts. And if it is LIVE, people spend three times longer watching video live versus when it’s not live. Steve Pacinelli, Chief Marketing Officer at BombBomb, did an excellent learning lab on video marketing. He spoke about sending a quick video to a lead instead of a text or an email. If you have access to who has visited your website, record a 20 second video thanking them for visiting and letting them know that you’re here if they need anything but if they don’t need anything, feel free to visit the site anytime. The more “off the cuff”, the better. It makes you relatable and approachable. Do not worry about being perfect!

Virtual Reality was another thing that was talked about. I will admit, I was totally lost during the first talk. I do not understand VR and when I do not understand something, I tend to zone out. But when it came up again, I forced myself to pay attention because I started to see how VR could be a tool that has the potential to make an agent stand out. And, when you can stand out, you WILL win more clients. That’s a fact. Picture this, if your clients are going out of town or do not live here, you could give them your VR headset and show property to them, in a much more unique way than Facetime, while they are out of town. All you need to make VR “happen” is a VR headset, which you can get for as little as $79.00, and a smartphone. Talk about standing out from the competition. My marketing wheels are turning big time with all the possibilities of advertising to and attracting overseas buyers just because you have a $79.00 VR headset. I know, I know, this is too much. But honestly, the more AHEAD of the tech game you are, the MORE clients you will attract. So WHY NOT give it a try? I think it’s a game changer.

Next up is retargeting. Retargeting is a form of online targeted advertising by which online advertising is targeted to consumers based on their previous internet actions. Do you ever wonder how the boots you looked at online show up on the right side of your Facebook feed? That is retargeting. How can YOU use this to attract clients? It starts with having killer content on your website. Whether that is videos about the DC area or a blog post about family friendly events in Alexandria or Gaithersburg, it has to be compelling content. You can push that content out to social media and then retarget the people that click on your post. Another thing you could do is do a post for homes for sale in Fairfax County within $400,000 and $500,000 and retarget an ad to the people that click on that. If someone click on a post about homes for sale in a certain area in a certain price range, chances are they are (or will be very soon) interested in making a move. By taking that data and using it to advertise YOUR SERVICES in a subtle way, you will convert more people from Facebook to clients. This is a little above my head but I am committed to figuring it out and doing it. That is how I have done everything else so I am up for the challenge! Who’s with me?

Another takeaway has to do with the handy dandy database. We all have one. We all need to clean it up and we ALL should be utilizing it MUCH BETTER, right? Rivers Pearce from BoomTown gave an amazing talk at a Learning Lab sponsored by DotLoop about the rebirth of the database in an audience centric world. He said you need three basic categories: people you’ve done business with, people you are currently working with and people you want to work with. He said the way we contact people in our database is CHANGING BIG TIME. The days of direct mail and geofarming are over. Your focus should be on SMART digital marketing, creating hyper local content, having a mobile friendly website and engaging social media posts. Many people are still responding to texts and emails but that will change soon as well.

Last but not least, I was inspired. Kala Lous and Valerie Garcia both gave fantastic talks. Kala is the Founder and CEO of JK Realty in Arizona. She is a visionary and a forward thinker. Her hard work and positivity has led to a very successful brokerage. Valerie Garcia is the Director of Training for the North American operations of RE/MAX Integra. She encouraged us to choose to give up what you know (because it’s comfortable and safe), be a disrupter (you can do it!), be willing to be seen (don’t deprive the world of your awesomeness!), be willing to ask for help (no one knows everything), overcome fear with practice and make bravery an employee benefit. WOW!

I hope you will consider attending the next Inman Connect Conference. Here is a link to get your tickets. The sooner you buy them, the cheaper they are:

About the author:

kara-best-picKara Macdonald is the Vice President of Pruitt Title, LLC, an independent, woman owned title insurance company licensed in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia with offices in Tyson’s Corner and Rockville. She can be reached at 571-432-9382 or via email at

How To Use Hashtag


Hashtags can be so confusing, can’t they? I am here to clear up the confusion for real estate agents.

The pound sign (or hash) turns any word or group of words that directly follow it into a searchable link. This allows you to organize content and track discussion topics based on those keywords. So, if you wanted to post about the Gilmore Girls finale, you would include #GilmoreGirls in your tweet to join the conversation. You can click on a hashtag to see all the posts that mention the subject in real time.


According to the “experts, when used correctly, hashtags increase viewership, help build your social media following, create new customers and help with branding. You want to be found on social media and if you use relevant, hyper local hashtags, you will be.

WHO IS YOUR IDEAL CLIENT (stay with me, this is VERY relevant)?

As a Realtor, you should have a customer avatar. A customer avatar is a fictional character that represents your ideal prospect. Click here for a great worksheet to help you identify your ideal customer.

Here is an example of an avatar:

32 year old woman named Gina

Born and raised in Ft. Bragg, NC where she met Mark at age 19. Three years later they were married

Soon after they were married, Mark was stationed in Germany. They lived in Germany for three years before being reassigned to the Pentagon.

They now live in a three bedroom, three bathroom townhome near George Mason University.

She and Mark have two sons, Ryan, age 7, and Matthew, age 4

Gina went back to school at GMU and just finished her bachelor’s degree in early elementary education (she was attending Methodist University in Fayetteville before she and Mark married)

She is a stay at home mom now but hopes to get a job teaching once her kids are school age

Mark is a captain in the army and works at the Pentagon

Gina enjoys cooking, running and volunteering at church and at her kids schools

They would like to have one more baby but haven’t yet for a couple of reasons.
What is stopping them? Their house is too small, they cannot afford a four bedroom in Fairfax, husband’s commute time would increase if they moved further out, children would have to change schools.


Start small so you don’t get overwhelmed: Based on your avatar, choose fifteen hashtags. Five should be geographic, five should be psychographic and five should be demographic.

The hashtags I would choose based on the above avatar are:

Demographic: #Millennial #FamilyFun #FamilyOfFour #MilitaryFamily #Expats

Psychographic: #SAHM #MRTT #momofboys #armywife #Methodist

Geographic: #FairfaxCounty #FairfaxCity #GMU #NOVA #NorthernVA


You must create content or find and share content that SPEAKS TO GINA. Choose TWO platforms that your Avatar is on. I would choose Facebook and Instagram for Gina. Here are a few topics WITH some of the hashtags above (and a few extra I came up with):

5Ks in Fairfax (#FairfaxCity, #MRTT, #FamilyFun)

Activities to do with young boys / anything related to raising boys (#FamilyOfFour #Dinner, #momofboys #DinnerTimeAgain)

How Young Families Can Save More Money (#MilitaryFamily, #MoneyTips, #SaveMoreGiveMore)

Raising children with Christian values (#Methodist, #ChrsitianFamilies, FamilyOfFour, #momofboys)

What Single Family Homes Cost in Western Fairfax / Eastern Loudoun (#FairfaxCounty, #NorthernVA, #SingleFamilyVSTownHouse)

Babysitting Services in Fairfax City (#FamilyOfFour #DateNight #NOVA #armywife)

Activities at libraries in Fairfax City (#FairfaxCity, #FamilyFun, #momofboys)

How To Make Better Use of Space in a Small Home (#MilitaryFamily, #NorthernVA #SpaceSaver, #Minimalist)

Where to get military discounts (#armywife, #MilitaryFamily, #savemoregivemore)

How to connect with other expats (#expats, #NorthernVA, #NOVA, #armywife)

Expat groups or get togethers in Fairfax County (#expats #expatsinnova, #meetup, #armywife)

Healthy Family Dinners For Picky Eaters (#momofboys, #dinnertime #recipesformoms #FamilyOfFour)

BE CONSISTENT & PATIENT (you can do it!!):

I recommend posting on Instagram once per day and Facebook twice a day. The more you GIVE to Gina, the more she will notice and appreciate you. Every fifth or sixth post on each platform can be “salesy” (an open house announcement, a closing picture, a real estate update, interest rate update, etc.) But try HARD to communicate YOUR VALUE. Remember, Gina wants to have another baby and move. Address her concerns about moving via blogging and sharing content that answers her questions and eliminates her fears. As long as you are EXTREMELY consistent, you WILL see results in three to six months. And remember, all this is FREE. And when Gina comes to you to help her move, you will have created a RAVING fan because you have earned her trust. Raving fans REFER their friends and family to you. THAT is the BEST way to grow a real estate business.

About the author:

kara-best-picKara Macdonald is the Vice President of Pruitt Title, LLC. She has succeeded in growing Pruitt’s brand and customer base by 300% in three years by utilizing social media. She is available for complimentary marketing and social media consultations and can be reached at 571-432-9382 or via email at