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Transcript: Sue Pinky Benson Interview

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Hey everybody, Katie Lance here, founder and CEO of Katie Lance Consulting, and the Get Social Smart Academy. And guys, I’m so excited. We have a very special conversation in store for you today. I’m so excited to have my good friend, Sue Pinky Benson here all the way from Naples, Florida. We are zooming today and we are talking about video and Instagram for real estate. Uh, welcome Sue. I’m so happy to have you here today.

I’m so excited to be here, Katie. I can’t wait to have this conversation cause like we just spent 20 minutes talking to each other as friends. So this is going to be fun.

Absolutely. I have known Sue. I’ve known you. I don’t know for how long we first met on. I think, I think Twitter possibly, uh, somewhere on social media back in the day. And um, I, I’m honored to call Sue, not just a friend and social media, but as a friend and rural life. And I’m so, so excited to have you, uh, having you here today. So for those of you who don’t know, Sue Sue, yes. Pinky Benson, uh, is a realtor with Remax. She has more than a decade of experience in the real estate industry, working side by side with her husband, Josh in Naples, Florida. She has maximized video and social media to grow her business tremendously. And in the last five years, Sue has doubled her business year after year because of the power of video and social media. So again, welcome. I’m excited soon. This is going to be fun.

See, you did my bio great. Like I don’t like my bio. So you did it really well. You did great.

It takes someone else sometimes to look at it, right? Yeah. So for people who aren’t familiar with you who I, I can’t imagine anyone who’s listening, who isn’t familiar, but if, if people are not familiar with you, can you kind of give people just a little bit of background about, um, you know, who you are, like, what your business looks like, whatever you want to share, just a little bit of background about, about, uh, but what you guys do.

Well, you know, I’ve been in the business for more than a decade, nearly 12 years now. And when I first started in the business, it was a completely different business, right? I mean, social media was just coming out. We just had Facebook. And, you know, I saw in the very early stages, the potential to, to see where the marketing was going to go with social media. And so that’s how I first met. You was on, you were on stage talking to Ben and I was like, Hey, I’m the one with the giant hat out here. And that’s when we were. Um, and so I, I built a business first with video and then Bri, well, social media and video at the same time. So this was like 10 years ago when it wasn’t a buzz word, it wasn’t a thing. And yet, you know, you, Christmas, you were talking about using video.

We had Twitter and Facebook way back then. So, you know, then, um, you know, I started to really see growth in the power of using those tools to grow my brand and my business. And I was an agent in the Bay area of Florida. And then as things happen in life, life happens right. Uh, Josh and I lost our youngest son Sawyer and that was kind of a reboot, a restart for us. We kind of had the aha moment and said, you know what? We want to live somewhere else. We want to go in a different direction with our lives. So about five and a half years ago, we restarted. And that’s really hard when you’re a real estate agent and you’re in, you know, you’re engraved, you’re, you’re embedded into those communities that, you know, everything about and to take me out of there and in three hours, South to a completely different market and have to start over and start a new brand and expand, you know, get your brand awareness going again.

You know, and I had a very little budget because Josh was working, but I was only still selling houses three hours away and making less and less as the months went by, as I wrapped up, wrap that up. So then I started using video and social media and, you know, growing my awareness from those platforms. So I wasn’t spending money on a videographer ads, anything like that. I was literally using what was free and in front of me and with your help and, you know, diving into like get social smart and the Academy and the books like that to me was so valuable because I, I was able to use that to maximize where I am now. And so it’s been a slow journey. It sometimes feels like it’s overnight, but when you sit back and I go, Holy smokes, it’s been five and a half years.

I know, time flies, time really flies. So that’s a good, that’s a great segue to talk about, uh, video, because I, I remember when you, when, um, you know, I think when I first met you, you had, I think pretty recently had just moved to Naples and I had, I sort of witnessed this whole transformation of how you, how you do move and how you do establish yourself. And I saw you doing a ton of video. I remember there was a, a hurricane at the time and you were like, you know, doing all this video footage. And so I’d love to kind of talk a little bit about video. You know, you, you mentioned how you didn’t use a video editor videographer, like how has video impacted your business and how has it impacted, especially moving into this new area and really establishing yourself in Naples?

Well, first I would say is, you know, first I was using video before I came to Naples. So it had just started. And it was, I mean, even though I have a degree in broadcasting, I had to learn how to digitally edit. Cause I had edited on VHS tapes. Like that’s how, that was my knowledge. Right. That over again. And then when I started to make, you know, a good commission and things of that nature, and I had the budget to go ahead and hire the videographer I did. And so I had the videographer, but as I said, the budget had to start over again and I was down at ground zero and it was like, okay, so what kind of videos can I make that would have an impact on like community? Um, and it, for me, the journey with me going out, cause Michael thorn, our lovely friend, Michael Foran had said, you know, go out and start interviewing people in the community.

It’s the Gary V effect. Right. We go out and start talking to the commute, showcase different places. And that was kind of where I started was like, okay, I don’t know where the trolley goes. I’m going to take the trolley, let’s take the trolley. And then Facebook live came out and I was like, okay, well now I don’t know. You even have to edit. Cause that was kind of daunting to me. Like I don’t really want to edit, you know? And so then I was like, Facebook live, hit the button, go live, talk, okay, whatever I am, you know, and I just, I just did it every Friday at one o’clock, that’s what I would do. My pinky knows Naples where I would go out and I would have a, a plan like, okay, today I’m going to talk about the history of fifth Avenue.

And I would have like five facts that I would memorize. And I would say, okay, here’s what you need to know about this Avenue. And I would walk down the street and yeah, people looked at me like I was fricking crazy, but I have to tell you this guys, when I first started video, when I was in the Tampa area this 10 years ago, right. They thought I was crazy then too. And most of the people that thought I was crazy was my peers, the other, the other agents. Oh, who does she think she is? Is the video about homes, you know, sorry for the accent, but that’s, you know, my, my character, but that’s they were like, who does she think she is? And I don’t know, many times I’ve heard that. And if I had listened to those voices, I would never have gone any further.

And you know, and at one point, Josh, my husband, you know, I think you’ve seen him grow, remember, well exponentially with social media and videos. But at one point I remember when we first moved to Naples and I was doing these things on Friday. I mean, he was like the trolley. He’s like, I grew up here. I don’t even know where the hell the trolley goes. You know? He’s like, what are you doing? And he was like, he’s like, is this really the best time spent for you? Like, are you a tour? You know, are you a tour guide or are you selling houses? And it really gave me so much wealth of information, but it is very difficult to keep your blinders on and your head down. And you know, I will say this that no matter what you do with the video, I know you’re going to be conscious.

You’re going to be worried about what people think about you. And first of all, they’re already thinking something about you. You can’t control that. So whether or not you do the video, they’re still thinking they may be saying it. They always have, and they always will. So you kind of just got to say, this is who I am, you know, like it or not, you know, I got a gray street going on in my hair. I got a little spark to you, but to some of the colors, I might not be offensive, you know? And you just kind of got a great your teeth and go for it because at this point the client wants it. The consumer expects it. So your excuse of, well, I don’t know how to do video cause I didn’t grow with that. I just, I, you know, I don’t know how to do that. I don’t have time to learn that. That’s not a good enough excuse. Okay. If your 13 year old child can create a video with their phone, then the expectation that you should be able to make a video of a home is very high and is expected at this point. Just just saying

Absolutely. Yeah. I mean the, the, the bar, the bar is raised and it’s, it’s, it’s, I think definitely more of an expectation than something that, um, you know, is, is a nice to have for sure. Yeah. So I also want to ask you about Instagram because you know, I see you really active on Instagram and I follow your stories. I know you’re doing a ton with reels. Uh, you know, there’s, IETV, there’s all these different areas of Instagram. How has, how has that impacted your business? And do you have, you know, maybe a couple of tips that you can share that you think are making a big difference in terms of growing your Instagram and using that for business.

Okay. So I love is that the love, the love, love, love, and Instagram, especially for the people out there. They’re like, Oh, Facebook, it’s such a, it’s so crazy over there on Facebook, you need to get on Instagram a lot nicer over there. It tends to be a more positive place, not as many negative Nellies, that’s why I like it. You can’t just, you know, post a comment and that’s it. Like you have to put a picture or a video or something to it. And I think that there’s major value in that. I know stories can be a little like, Oh, I don’t know exactly what to post in my story. Who cares? What I wear. I got my coffee, but it’s the story it’s telling the story. It’s it’s people want to follow you through your process of your day. They want to know you don’t have to share everything more.

Should you share everything? But they like to see the little behind the scenes. It’s a way of saying, boom, I’m out doing my job without, you know, being like, here’s another one sold, right? Like it shows the process. You get vested, vested viewers, right? They’re vested in you. They want to see how does this, how does this turn out? Right. They want to see the little backstories. They want to see my relationship with Josh. They, you know, they want to know what wine I’m drinking this week. Like right. You know, they have little things that they start to pick up on that makes them like, Oh, you know, I I’m, I’m invested. I have, I like her. I know her. I trust her. Um, so stories is huge. You’ve gotta be in there and you’ve gotta be creating original content, original, not just sharing stuff from your feed into your stories, guys, you got to put your face in there.

Not, not 15 zillion stories with your face in it, but just at least say, Hey, happy Monday. How are you guys doing today? I got a, B and C going on. Let’s go, you know, and just show your face a little bit, you know, um, parts of the day, like, just think of it as there’s a beginning, a middle and an end. Right. It doesn’t have to be horribly long, but just enough to give them, Oh, so that’s what she’s up to today. But stories has huge power when people are watching it, you know, who’s watching it, you know, who’s stocking ya. You know, like you got really good information. Um, you know, I G T V I like it. I’m not going to tell you I love it, but I see the value in it. Um, I can’t be in every neighborhood of Instagram all the time.

So you gotta be strategic, you know? Like, so reels has been fun. I like reels. I think the short little videos of the education entertainment is really a fun way to showcase. You don’t have to dance. You don’t have to lip sync, you know, although that’s fine too. Um, you just have to have a presence with it and don’t make it, Oh, I don’t know how to edit. Go grab the nearest teenager. They’re going to call you up boomer or whatever. Just let them show you how to do it. Like they will show you and it’s boom, easy move onto the next one. You know, don’t overthink this. Don’t think that everything has to be a picture perfect billboard, commercial people will engage with who you are and what you’re putting out there. So be conscious of what you’re putting out there, but don’t have this expectation of perfection.

I think that’s a good point because I think that holds a lot of people back and I get it. You know, there’s a lot of content that we create that takes a lot of time and editing. And there’s, there’s, there’s, there’s sort of like the short term content, like you’re talking about with stories and there’s content. Like what w what we’re we’re recording right now, this is, you know, can be on our YouTube channel. This will be up on, on our podcasts. But the reality is there is so much content and things are flying by, you know, uh, so fast. And so, you know, a story is here today and gone tomorrow. So I think what I hear you saying is what I often say is like, done is better than perfect. So you know,

Is better than perfect. And, you know, on, on that note, let’s talk about real estate videos for a moment, because I think so many agents get hung up on this perfection of the listing video, that it has to be a commercial. I am here to tell you, it does not have to be. There is power and purpose in having that type of video done. We do them, they are on a local TV station. That’s great. But I will tell you that those same videos do exponentially better on social media than they do with a new station. I get more inquiries, more questions from those videos on social media than I ever have from them being on the TV. Right. So what does that tell you? People are on their social. Now break those down into the, behind the scenes. I get more engagement when I’m putting little videos together than I do on these commercial videos, right?

So to me, the power is in doing these unperfect videos. One of the most powerful videos I have done during the pandemic where I really honed my skills is the unbranded video. And, you know, it’s so funny to me because agents will be like, I’m a little overweight. And I don’t like my voice. And I don’t like the way I look on camera. I got some grays. And so then I tell them, well, you’re going to do an unbranded video. That’s going to go into the MLS. As long as your MLS allows it, an unbranded video that you’re, you’re not in, they’re not going to see you. You’re not going to say your name. You’re not going to give a phone number. What, why would I do that? You know? And it’s like, okay guys, you’re kinda messing with me here. One minute. You don’t want to be in front of the camera the next minute.

You don’t know why to do a video without it. Here’s why there is intention in these unbranded videos. That is a gold mine. People who are hitting that button on the MLS, they’ve already looked at the pictures. They’ve already read the description. They want more. So give them that video. And it’s very casual. Your phone, your you’re literally I do it as a Facebook live. And what I do is I put it to only me status. That’s it. Nobody sees it. I make sure I have a good internet connection. And I walked through the property and I say, okay, here I am at X, Y, Z. I showed the street. I show, I go inside. I give them the stats that they could find on any website, but I also tell them things that they want to know the answers to. How much are the homeowner association fees? What’s the rental policy. How much could I get for rent? Can my furry friends come and live with me here? All of those things people want to know. So give it to them because they have intention when they hit that video on the link, those are the most powerful videos you can do. Your call to action is call your agent to schedule your appointment. That’s it?

Yeah. I love that. And, and the, the reason for doing that, as you said, is to put it on the MLS, right? Because those, uh, those need to be an unbranded. And again, anyone who’s listening, check your D you know, double check your own MLS rules. I know every MLS is, is a little bit different. Um, and I just want to touch on one thing to you, which a lot of people may not, you know, may not, may have missed that, is that you’re, you’re doing it through Facebook live. And I have asked you this before. I was like, why don’t you? And I’ll now I’ll do a voice. I remember asking you, like, why don’t you just record it on your phone? And your answer was brilliant. So why don’t you share why you don’t, you know, why don’t you record a 10 minute video on your phone instead of doing a fake,

All that spice. Okay.

Big videos. They have a ton of space.

It takes up a lot of space. And gosh knows. I don’t want to get into the middle of this video. And it come up and say, sorry, you’re out of space now. So, you know, I’m like, Oh, so Facebook live. And then you have a place where it stays, right? So this unbranded video, you can put it on your MLS. You can put it on out. You can uncloak right there to sell out. You can put it on there, get it out there. Your purpose as a real estate agent is to sell the home, sell the home guys, stop worrying. If you’re in it, if you’re not in it, look it’s about selling the home. You’re doing what you can possibly do to help that sell that home in the best light for your clients. So do your job. That’s what it comes down to.

And I, I, one of the last times we talked, you, you shared with me how, you know, you really got yourself into a system when it comes to your video. You know, you, I’ve heard you say before, like you go, you know, you go, you’re going to, if you add a listing, you’re, you know, you’re going there. You’re, you’re your, your plan is to do your unbranded, you know, Facebook live. But then you’re also doing some Instagram stories. Like you do a bunch of content all in one shot. If I, if I’m not mistaken, right?

I mean, we’re all in this every day agents we’re in there every day, we’ve got multiple things going on, especially in this hot market. So, you know, if I’m going out and I will schedule in my professional photographer will tell you, you’ll see him in the, in the Instagram stories. Cause he’s in there. If I’m going out to let somebody in to do something, whether it’s professional photos or to fix a licky, a leaking faucet, like I am there and creating content for either that day or another day, or what have you. So a lot of times when I go out, if I’m going to do an unbranded tour, I’ll probably schedule a Facebook live that the whole world sees the whole world. They never watching the whole world will do the Facebook live forward-facing so that I have content for Facebook. I may do an Instagram live, which then I turn into IgE TV.

And then I may do a, of course I’m going to do my Instagram stories. And now I even do reels, which are like, Oh my gosh, are you there all day? No, I’m there for like an hour, maybe an hour and a half, but I am creating enough content so that I don’t have to go back numerous times to be like, Oh, I forgot to do a reel or I forgot to do this. Like I, you know, I get it done. And that’s the thing. When you start doing it regularly, like, think about it the first time you went into the MLS to put in a listing, Katie, I know you haven’t ever done this, but it is the most daunting, scary thing in your world. Cause it’s like, how big is the room? How big is the room then? It’s like, what kind of windows does it have?

And it has like 17 options for the type of double home, single home. Is it, you know, jealousy, windows, is it? And you’re like, no, it’s very daunting, but now you go, Oh, I got a listing. I don’t know what to do, blah, blah, blah. And it’s the same thing. Once you get yourself into the rhythm of expectation, okay, I’m going to this house, I’m going to be there for an hour. This is what I do. Just like when you put a CMA together, any of that, any of that information, you get into a series of, okay, I know how to do this and I’m just going to do it, you know? Yeah.

Well, it goes back. It goes back to, you know, I’m a big believer in batching content. And a lot of the folks in our Academy will batch content, you know, for like educational or informative content. But you know, you’re talking about batching content that, you know, for listing content, right? I mean, it’s the same idea. It’s like, you’re there for an hour and I love that you give yourself like an hour or an hour and a half. I find that, you know, whatever you, whatever amount of time you give yourself, that’s how long it’s going to take. Right. So get in, get out, you know, and, and create a bunch of content all in one shot. I, I love that. Yeah.

I will say this, that sometimes the videos that you see, like the, the reels, like sometimes it takes me longer to convince Mr. Benson to get into the video than it does the actual video at the end. I’m you just did. It could have been done. So that’s my point. But it could have been done by the time you come up with all the excuses as to why you didn’t want to do it.

Right. Exactly. So I want to ask you a quick about apps. You know, people always want to know, like, is there an app or two that you love for editing or is there an app or two that you love for Instagram? What are, what are some of your go-to apps these days?

Uh, my go-to app is in shot, like in shot all day, every day. It’s what I use. You can speed up videos. You can add texts. You can put in transitions. Uh, when I do trainings for how to edit videos on your phone, it’s in shots. I N S H O T. It is on Apple. It is on Android. It is free. Okay. And just see all know the paid versions, like 24 bucks for the whole year. So if you wanted the papers and it’s really not that expensive, there is a little tutorial. The first time you open it, that it’ll kind of walk you through it. When, in doubt, YouTube, look up, how do I edit videos on, in shot? I’m sure there’s some sort of tutorial over there. Um, but it’s it’s and when seriously in doubt, go find the teenager again, cause they’re going to help you, but keep it short and simple.

Don’t do documentaries. Okay. Don’t try to create the Dateline episode of what happened in this house. Okay. It’s just, it’s too long. Like, you know, for like when you’re doing the unbranded tours, they, those might be seven or eight minutes long because you’re walking through the house a little bit longer in the, in the intention is different social media forward facing videos. Keep it short and simple. Go in. Hi. My name is Sue pinky Benson with Remax, really team here in fabulous Naples, Florida. This is my newest listing at one 23 main street. Let’s go in and check it out. Boom. You know, then you do the end. If you’re interested in this property, call me at this number below and I’ll see you next time.

Absolutely. I love that. So the last thing I’m going to ask you is the dreaded ROI question. I’m sure you get asked this a lot. I still get asked this all the time. The, you know, what’s the return on investment? Is it really worth it? So what, what are your thoughts, you know, are there certain metrics that you’re measuring in terms of, is it successful? Um, or just, I would just love your thoughts about that because I know it’s a question I get asked all the time and I’m sure you get asked from time to time as well. Is it worth it? How’s it impacting your business?

I would love to know what the ROI is on a billboard or a bus bench, right? Somebody tells me what that is. What about newspaper articles? Would you please tell me what ROI is on those ads that we put out? I mean, it’s just funny that suddenly social media is scrutinized for what is your ROI? Okay. It is hard to measure. It is a marathon, as Katie says, it’s not something that you’re going to like immediately do a video, immediately get business. You might, but it’s not immediate. It is the constant dripping in the background all the time, going forward. So year over year. So since I started and that’s where I’m, I’m pointing is that since I moved to Naples five and a half years ago and started this process of only using video only using social media to grow my business, I can tell you that year over year, I doubled my income and it points tripled the number of transaction I was doing a year. I will tell you, I stink at mailing my coaches on me about doing mailing. I am not consistent with mailing. I’m not consistent with anything other than social media. So I feel like that’s my ROI is that I can tell you that year over year, my business has grown and it’s been because of social media.

How’s that that’s huge. That was great. That was great. No, and I think it goes to the back to the fact that you don’t have to be all things to all people. You don’t have to quote unquote, do it all. You know, you pick something that, that, that you’re good at, that you enjoy. And you know, obviously this has been a, this has been really a great Avenue for you, so, uh, which I absolutely love. So for people who want to get in touch with you, Sue, what are, what are some of the best ways that people can connect and refer business to you and connect you with you and all that good stuff?

I do love my referral agents. So please, if you’re thinking about buying or selling and beautiful Southwest Florida, think pink and give me a call. So you can find me at pinky knows Naples it’s P I N K Y nos KNOWS, Naples, and AP Les on Instagram, probably the easiest way to get into my stories, interact message me that way. That’s probably the best way, but it’s always funny to me, Katie. Cause they always, when I say pinky knows Naples, they spell Naples like the nose on your face. I’m like, that makes sense.

Okay. Oh, that’s funny. That’s funny. Well, we will put, um, Pinky’s links below. I definitely recommend that you give her a follow. And if you are watching this video over on YouTube and you enjoyed this broadcast, we would love if you’d hit the subscribe button and the bell button. So you get notified when we have new broadcasts that come out each and every week. And I would also say too, if you are not following our podcast to check that out, because after we go off the air here on YouTube, I have a few bonus questions for miss Sue pinky Benson. So it makes you follow the Katie Lance podcast where you will get all the behind the scenes and bonus features as well. So thank you so much for tuning in and you know, I will just add one more PS. If you’re listening to this going, I got to get all my social media in check. I would encourage you to check out our Academy, go to forward slash Academy and check it out. All right. My friend, Sue, thank you so much for being here. You’re awesome. Thank you for having me.


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