ARA Social Series: Vol 2
When I started with the Arkansas REALTORS® I knew I wanted to do something different, something that struck at the heart of communication. After many cups of cold brew and brainstorming sessions came Social Series: A place for REALTORS®, by REALTORS®, with real REALTOR® experience.
Volume 2 of our Social Series takes us to iRealty Arkansas, home of the 2017 Arkansas REALTORS® President: Maurice Taylor. iRealty Arkansas in recent years has been the home of social innovation, introducing young, energized agents who are using creative, digital ways to reach and serve their clients.
Currently, one of the strongest branches of iRealty Arkansas is Chase Rackley and Ramsy Shuffield; you may know them better as The Rackley Team. Rackley, 27, and Shuffield, 32, have a combined following of roughly 15K followers, produce real estate music videos (yes, I said music videos) that reach over 100K views, and each possess a level of intelligence and charisma that could rival any skilled politician. Currently, they are in the top 1% of their market and still find time to celebrate God and their families. So for me, not only were they the perfect candidates for our first social media edition of Social Series, but it was a no brainer that I had to sit down with this dynamic duo to find out how they’ve utilized social media to rocket-launch their careers into REALTOR® success.
(Chase Rackley, left. Ramsy Shuffield, right.)
First, can you both tell me how you got into Real Estate?
Rackley: I asked myself: “Where can God use me most?” I traveled to Atlanta to take the Johnson- O’Connor Aptitude test to determine where I would be most valuable and the test told me to be a leader in residential real estate so here I am.
Shuffield: Both my dad and grandma were REALTORS® while I was growing up, so I was exposed to the industry at a young age and always thought there were intriguing aspects of it. I liked the idea of a flexible schedule and the ability to help people.
Do you worry that your age can hurt you in this industry?
Rackley: It works for me. We are not limited to our Rolodex or to simple, traditional practices. We promote digitally and very strategically. Especially with our background in a digital marketing agency, we have a very powerful arsenal of tools and technology to help our sellers make more money.
Shuffield: Initially I did, being in an industry where you are the lower tier in age of those involved. Going in I was a little bit afraid people wouldn’t trust me with these big financial decisions, but I found the opposite is true, for sure.
Now that we have down the basics, I really wanted to dive into what it is about social media that helps their business. What has social media done to create such success for the Rackley Team?
According to Forbes: “it is imperative for any real estate agent to use social media in marketing their businesses and listings, do you find this to be true?”
What platforms is the Rackley Team currently on?
Rackley: Our primary success has been through Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Twitter, ironically, people think it’s not as “hot.” It actually is in a lot of ways because it creates good value for your SEO on your website. We use the “if this, then that” rule which means you just auto publish our Instagram posts to our Twitter.
Shuffield: I think they all benefit us in a different way, too. One platform may be better for promoting listings while others may be better at promoting what we are doing as a team in general. [We are] Kind of selling ourselves to a specific market or demographic. We do both, we sell homes and we sell ourselves.
Do you separate your personal from business profiles?
Rackley: No. I am my business. We have a business profile, but that’s to promote the togetherness. I think that’s important.
Shuffield: We are the business. The personal portion of it is us. It’s difficult to separate in this specific industry and it’s beneficial not to in my opinion.
Do you ever worry that your personal profile could damage your business?
Rackley: I’m going to be honest, I really struggle with that. I want to show that I’m working hard. It’s a balance; it’s also a headache if you let yourself worry about it too much. I think it’s important to consider it, but what I decided was I’m going to work my butt off for these clients, and we do that, but there are sometimes that I’m having a great time with my family and that’s okay. I want to seem like a workaholic, and I am, but at the same time, I want to celebrate my family and post about that.
Shuffield: It allows your clients to see a glimpse into your personal life. They feel a deeper connection to you. Obviously, 100% there are things that could be detrimental if posted. If we were advising someone new to the business there would probably be things we would tell them not to post that could be harmful to their business such as polarizing topics, venting, or complaining on social media.
Next, we needed to find out the secrets, the strategy behind it all. And while the Rackley Team joked around about whether or not to give away all their tips, they were great sports in giving some phenomenal advice.
Do you have certain times you post to certain platforms? Or a limit on how much you can post daily?
Rackley: 100% I would not put a limit on it. We have a limit on how much you cannot post. The limit should be authenticity and productivity. Limit out things that are just content, if you can pay a third-party company to do this for you it’s probably not the stuff you want to be posted every day anyway. If we are posting a property promotion we will post it at one of the slower parts of the day because it’s not something that engages a lot of interaction. We will intentionally post around lunch time and what we do is promote it with an ad budget that way we get around 2,000 views on it and then after the open house we delete it from our feed.
Shuffield: I think it also depends on how you’re using that specific platform. If you’re doing an Instagram story, you can post multiple Instagram stories a day. It’s all about: what would you want to see?
What is the healthy ratio of posting what you’re selling versus valuable information for customers/ personal information?
Rackley: I’m a huge fan of ghost posts. That’s where you use the Facebook ads manager and it will go through Facebook and Instagram without going on your feed. So, you’re not crowding your friends and family with the house you just listed.
Do your posts go through any kind of approval process before being posted?
Rackley: It’s collaborative, it’s not approval based. Your intention sometimes does not always match your impact. My intention may be ‘I’m genuinely pumped and thankful that God has blessed us with the opportunity to help so many people’ but the impact is ‘Look at me, I’m so successful, you should be jealous of me.’
Shuffield: There are ideas we bounce off each other such as thoughts on captions. Awareness, accountability, and just viewing something from a new perspective is very important.
So while they may be digital geniuses, you can’t take your ideas anywhere without a following.
How many followers would you say that you have combined?
Rackley: I would say combined we have about 15,000 followers.
Is there such a thing of quality versus quantity of followers?
Rackley: Quality comes from quantity. We would be absolutely foolish to suggest that just because you have 20K followers means you have quality followers. Yes, there is a major difference.
Shuffield: You have to ask: Who is following you? Is it a REALTOR® in Atlanta or is it someone down the street in Little Rock? Be aware of who you’re impacting.
What is the fine line of doing business with your friends on Facebook?
Rackley: We want to make Instagram a better place. We want to make Facebook a better place. You’re either making it a better place or a marketplace. Typically, what we try to promote is to celebrate our clients. We’re doing a jumping photo in front of a house or we’re jumping in the pool. We promote these homes in a way that we hope to sell the benefits, not just the features. We’re not here just saying: ‘here is this house for sale’ or ‘we sold this house.’ That’s the easy stuff, anyone can do that. We’re trying to create things that make people excited to engage.
Shuffield: Anytime that I post something, I don’t want my friends to give me a pity like. I want a genuine like. I want them to find it valuable. If I am posting just for hopes of likes, that’s not a post that should be published.
Is there certain material your clients enjoy more? Videos? Pictures? Blog?
Shuffield: People love my jumping photos.
The jumping photo was not my idea, it was my client’s idea.
From there, I had another closing like a week later and that client asked:“when are we going to do our jumping photo?” So it just kind of became a tradition.
And finally, we can’t look at the importance of social media without analyzing the investment and commitment that it takes.
Do you do all of your own material or do you outsource?
Rackley: I’m so glad to say that we do not outsource. The content is collected and captured organically by our team.
Do you have a social media budget?
Rackley: Ummm (laughs and hesitates) we probably spend too much money on social media, so no. We have a budget per listing. If we get a thousand listings, I’m spending a lot of money and that’s okay.
Shuffield: If anything, we have more of a minimum, not a maximum.
How accurate is the social media version of you versus the real you?
Rackley: I believe it’s for sure us.
Shuffield: To me, it’s me. I try to be as authentic and genuine as I can be. Hopefully, if you follow us on social media and see us in person, you’ll recognize us. Be a genuine depiction of you.
After all was said and done, I left Rackley Team more impressed than I ever thought I could be. Rackley and Shuffield are not just incredibly passionate about their careers, they are a very well-balanced partnership. The entire time I spoke with them I felt as though I was in the presence of two childhood best friends who could finish each other’s sentences and genuinely wanted nothing but the best for one another. I believe this is only the beginning of what we can expect from Team Rackley and I for one am excited to see what the future holds for them.
You can follow #TeamRackley on the following platforms:
Until next time, dear REALTOR®, may your days be filled with happiness, good health, and closings.
Cam, Director of Communications: Arkansas REALTORS®