Become a Client Magnet Using Social Media

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About This Episode

Social media has become a powerful tool for you to connect with your target audience and attract new clients. With the right strategy and approach, you can build a strong online presence, showcase your expertise, and engage with potential clients. This week on The Walkthrough™, we’ll explore proven techniques that can make you a client magnet using social media, whether you’re just getting started or looking to take your existing strategy to the next level.

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Links and Show Notes

Full Transcript

(SPEAKER: Lisa Johnson Smith, Host)

Lisa: Have you Googled yourself lately? Well, if you haven’t, trust me, your potential clients have, and your presence on social media–or silence– can be the deciding factor in whether they hire you or someone else.

Shannon: For agents that aren’t implementing or using social media, their silence is really hurting their business because the biggest pool of buyers right now are millennials. They are Googling you. They’re looking at your Instagram. They’re looking at your YouTube. And if you just don’t have anything, you’re probably not going to hear your phone ring.

So right now, I don’t have to cold call, door knock, anything. I just have clients reaching out to me saying things like, “I just found your YouTube video from 2019. Will you list my $2 million house?” And it’s amazing to have these inbound calls.

Lisa: Oh my gosh, wouldn’t that be nice? That’s the voice of Shannon Gillette of the Gillette Group. She is among the top 1% of agents in Arizona. Her team did $80 million dollars in sales last year, and she says she owes it all to her social media–with a little help from her virtual assistant. And she’s gonna tell you how you, too, can become a client magnet using social media right now. This is The Walkthrough™.


Hey there, I’m Lisa Johnson Smith. Welcome to The Walkthrough™. This is a weekly show. New episodes come out every Monday. This is the show where you’ll learn what’s working right now from the best real estate agents and industry experts in the country. At HomeLight, we believe in real estate agents. We’re here to explore how great agents grow their business, stand out from the crowd, and become irreplaceable.

You probably already know that social media can be a game changer for your business’s growth, but it takes time and consistency. And time is something we’d all love to have more of.

Well, our guest this week had been consistent for a while before she started to get multiple leads, but she was exhausted trying to manage her Instagram and YouTube all by herself. Then she hired a virtual assistant, and that’s when things begin to change for her. Now, Shannon has tens of thousands of followers on Instagram and YouTube. And, as she said, clients now come to her.

On today’s show, Shannon is going to share how you can create social media platforms that will get clients coming to you. You’ll hear us talk about how your YouTube videos can become your number-one lead source, why recording more than just listing videos is so important and what type of videos are going to attract the most clients, why hiring a virtual assistant is more necessary than you think, and why it’s okay if you’re never in the mood to shoot a video but to just shoot it anyway. Here’s my conversation with Shannon Gillette.


Shannon: Well, what I’ve learned over the past six months, ever since the market has really started to shift, was that buyers and sellers care more than ever right now who their Realtor® is. They are Googling you. Even if they won’t, they probably won’t admit it, but they’re really researching their agent. So, I always ask Realtors® like, “What do you find when you Google yourself?” You should have a presence on YouTube and social media and videos and all of that.

And what I’ve done as an agent is, even when the market was crazy and homes were selling in hours, I always stayed very consistent with my content, with my videos, and really developing a personal brand where people that follow me on Instagram or find my YouTube videos.. I wanna have a brand that somebody can really know, like, and trust, where people feel like they know me, and they’ve never even met me in person.

And I think that starts with really building that personal brand, which I truly feel like the agent and even the lender with the best personal brand is going to win the business moving forward because you can really be somebody that clients know, like, and trust.

Lisa: And so, you have a pretty strong presence, obviously, on social media. You had to start somewhere, and I’m interested to know what were your first videos like versus what they’re like now? Shannon, do you remember what your first video was like?

Shannon: So my first video was horrible. I was talking loud. The audio was bad. There’s wind blowing. Everything was bad. But, with anything, it’s never gonna be perfect your first time. Whether you’re going to your first listing appointment or showing your first house or taking your real estate test, nothing is easy the first time.

With everything, you become better. I mean, experts say you need 10,000 hours to really master a skill. So, you have to be willing to be uncomfortable and get in front of the camera because anything that you’re posting on social, if it could be a video, that is going to be a better return on your time, and you’re actually going to build your business from it.

So I see a lot of agents posting, for example, Canva graphics of market stats, like average days on market or the average price in their market. Instead of posting a Canva graphic, maybe pick up your iPhone, press “record,” and talk into the camera like you’re explaining that to your audience. Because people don’t wanna read things. They want to watch a video. It’s more engaging.

Anytime you can get your face in front of people, you’re really helping that “know, like, and trust,” and you can become the agent of choice. And I always update my Instagram Story throughout the day, no matter how busy I am.

And, I can’t think of a better word, but it’s almost like you’re brainwashing the people that are watching to think, “Shannon Gillette, Realtor®.” If anybody’s asked, “Who do you think of when you think of Queen Creek, Arizona, Realtor®?” I want them to say, “Shannon Gillette,” because they see me everywhere. And that involves me getting in front of the camera, which gets better with time, but you just have to hit “record.”

Lisa: That is so true. I think…don’t you agree that buyers nowadays are different? I mean, they won’t just go to any old agent anymore versus how it was when the market was going crazy. They can pick and choose a little bit more.

Shannon: Yeah, and people are watching. And I’ve heard from very successful agents in my town that sell a lot of homes, but they’re just not active on social, which that’s fine. You can become successful in many different ways, but their own friends and family are asking them if they even sell real estate anymore because they don’t see them anywhere. So it’s so important, especially in this shifting market, to get in front of the camera. And YouTube became my number-one lead source this year, which is just so amazing.

And I used to use my YouTube channel like most Realtors® do, and I was just posting listing videos. Because that’s another thing right now. Sellers, they’re being very picky with who they hire as their agent because homes aren’t selling in a day. They wanna see their home marketed with video and ads and all of that. So, you should definitely be doing a listing video with every home you list.

But I started to grow my YouTube channel this year with other videos in addition to just listing videos. So if you go to my YouTube channel, you’ll even find my kids on there showing their favorite trampoline park or me answering frequently asked questions.

And we now have next-step videos for all of our clients. So we’ve only ever received a five-star review from our buyers and sellers because they have so much communication and they can watch a video for every step of the way. So video is just so powerful, and I think a lot of agents are just so scared to get in front of the camera. But it’s just gonna take practice.

Lisa: How do you handle all this? Because you’re busy, you’re one of the top-selling teams in your area…and in the top, what, 1%, I think?

Shannon: Yeah, we’re one of the top 15 teams in the Phoenix Southeast Valley.

Lisa: That is outstanding. So how in the world do you handle Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, all these social-media channels on top of all the business? And now you have a team. “How is that even possible?” I think a lot of agents would say.

Shannon: Well, it’s not easy. I mean, filming content can sometimes feel like a full-time job. And up until 2020, I was doing a lot of it myself. I was a solo agent with a videographer and a TC. I didn’t want to bring anyone on my team because my brand is so important to me. But I slowly built a team, and now I have several Realtors® that are helping with all of this inbound traffic.

But, around a year ago, I made a huge change in my business, and I hired a real estate coach. Which, I am a huge fan of coaching. I was very skeptical of it at first, but my coach has been life-changing because my first call with her, she’s like, “Shannon, you’re working seven days a week from sunup to sundown. Why are you getting up at 4 a.m. to make your YouTube thumbnails? You need an assistant.” And I thought to myself, “Oh, I don’t have enough work for an assistant. I can just do it myself. I don’t wanna pay somebody to do this.” But she helped me hire a virtual assistant.

And it’s been life-changing because now my VA is working full-time. It’s very affordable, less than $2,000 a month, and she’s doing all of those tasks I was doing, like tagging my YouTube videos, uploading, YouTube thumbnails. All of that back-end stuff that we shouldn’t be doing. We should be out there selling homes, not in front of the computer at 4 a.m.

Lisa: How difficult was that for you to just say, “Okay, I’m gonna give this to this person now. I’m not gonna do these things anymore.” The fact that you’re up till four in the morning says you had something in mind that you wanted to do yourself. Like, how did you even make that adjustment?

Shannon: I’m very controlling. I really care about my brand. I wanna do everything myself. And it’s very difficult to let go. And I think something very powerful for agents that are struggling with that is to look at your hourly rate. Like, what is your hourly rate? And do the math of how many homes you’ve sold. What’s your hourly rate? And if you’re doing tasks like making a YouTube thumbnail or uploading or building websites, that doesn’t support your hourly rate. You should hire somebody to do that for you because it’s not the best use of your time.

And the same goes for once you start building a successful business, even having help with cleaning your house or your laundry, things like that. So you can use every minute of your day very intentional. So, I wake up early. I live by my calendar. I don’t watch TV.

I have to sacrifice a lot of things that could make me very comfortable, like after a long day, just sitting on the couch watching TV. I can’t do that because I have to be intentional with my time, spending time with my boys.

And for us, one thing that really helps is we always have some type of trip planned, whether it’s going to Disneyland for the weekend or different things just to get away because I am on the go so much. And my husband’s so amazing. He helps with the kids, homework, and all that just because I am very much still in production.

And it’s difficult. It’s not easy. And that’s why I think it’s important to have one or two goals or things that you’re really focused on. For me, it’s my Instagram Stories, my Instagram content, my YouTube and video. I just go all in with that.

I leave these real estate conferences saying, “Oh, I just wanna do all of that. I wanna be awesome at cold calling. I wanna go door knocking and host all these open houses,” but we can’t do it all. So we have to pick a few things and just go all in. And you have to sacrifice a few things because you have to get uncomfortable to take your business to the next level.

Lisa: I have to say it still sounds exhausting, Shannon. I mean…

Shannon: I know. I need a nap.

Lisa: Well, hello. I mean, despite the fact that you now have a VA…and then at night, you’re still not able to wind down and watch a little television, or whatever. I mean, would you say you’re the type of person who, work is your wind down? Is that you?

Shannon: It feels like, in real estate, there is always something to do. I could always open up my laptop and have something to do. And I care so much about my clients. And right now, homes aren’t selling overnight, so I’m constantly trying to listen to podcasts, learn how I can get more marketing out for their home. I mean, every home we list, we do a ton of marketing. Our average YouTube video right now for our listings is getting 5,000 to 10,000 views within the first week. We’re literally selling our listings off of social media.

But I’m constantly wanting to be better for them because this is our clients’ biggest asset and they’ve put their trust in us to sell it. And a lot of our clients, they really need to sell their home, and it’s a big deal. So that’s the kind of thing that, when you really care about your clients, that can keep you up at night or wake you up in the middle of the night, like, “Man, what can I do more?”


Lisa: Hi, this is Lisa Johnson Smith. Hey, have you subscribed or followed our show yet? Some apps call it subscribing. Others call it following. Either way, it’s free.

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I wanna ask you about not just the types of videos that you do, besides that, who’s doing all of your editing and all of your…you know, I mean, are you recording these every other day? Or are you batch recording? How are you doing this, and who’s doing the back-end stuff?

Shannon: That’s a great question because video’s the future. If you’re an agent and you’re not on video, you need to start. It’s not going away. And the consumer expects you to be on video. They wanna watch your videos. And what I found, because my calendar is so full and I have to be so strategic with every minute of my day, I found a local studio in my market where I can go in once a week, every other week.

And I use a teleprompter. I write scripts. So I have a lot of Instagram Reels and frequently asked questions on YouTube and all of that. And that has helped me because I can go in the studio for two hours. I can read from a teleprompter and film 20 or 30 videos in two hours. Then I’m done with content, and I always have something to post.

I have learned after filming thousands of videos that you will never be in the mood to film a video. You’ll never feel ready. You’ll always feel like, “I don’t know what to say. Nobody wants to listen to this. I don’t have anything to wear.”

But you have to stop the excuses. And what I do is I put this on my calendar. Like yesterday, I filmed a bunch of batch content. I had it on my calendar. I did not have any scripts ready. I felt like I had nothing to wear. I was like, “I just wanna reschedule this. I don’t wanna go.” But I just threw some shirts because I change outfits, too, so you’re not wearing the same thing in every video. I hopped in my car. I’m driving there. I’m like, “This is just ridiculous. I don’t wanna go. Nobody wants to listen to any of this stuff.” But I went, and I filmed.

And you feel so good. It’s kind of like going to the gym. You’re never in the mood to go to the gym. Same with filming video. But after you feel so good and accomplished. And you just have to know you’re never gonna be ready to film. You just have to go and press “record.”

And I like professional video, but you can also use your iPhone. One of my most successful videos on my YouTube channel, I went to a local new-build community with my iPhone and did a little drive-around tour. I’ve literally made about $60,000 off that one video from inbound traffic that came in because people went to YouTube to search for that community name.

Lisa: I know a lot of our listeners who maybe haven’t reached the level of success that you have but are either headed there or doing great, but they’re thinking, by listening to you, like, “Okay, how did she do it?” Now, and you already talked about the fact that you have help.

But I’m gonna go back to today. I would love to hear…so, how it goes? You start out with working out and then…I mean, you said you’re not doing cold calling anymore. You’re not doing door knocking anymore. What are the things that you do on a daily basis that you can say, “This is something that is definitely helping my business to grow every day that I do without fail?”

Shannon: Every day, I’m spending a lot of time on Instagram because it’s a social media platform. It involves you engaging with your audience, doing DMs, liking posts, commenting. So I am probably spending about three hours a day on Instagram. That could be just communicating with other people or researching content ideas. I mean, watching other reels and saving my favorite audio or saving ideas and just always thinking about what content can I produce next?

So I spend a lot of time on Instagram. And I will always update my story throughout the day. So whether it’s not the same every day but it could be like, “Oh, behind the scenes, working out in the morning.” Or my cup of coffee or a smoothie and then I’m out showing homes. And in real estate, every day is different because I’m in production. So today, I filmed a listing video, and now I’m here on the podcast, and then I’ll go to a listing presentation tonight.

Lisa: And you’re a real estate agent and you’re a content creator, and a lot of content creators get burned out. And it sounds like you are spending, like you said, a lot of time on social media. Do you ever have to just shut it down?

Shannon: Well, I always try…and I think even my family, my family can sometimes get frustrated with that because it’s like, “Oh my gosh, you have to put everything on Instagram.” But they’ve also seen this success. And now my kids, they get to travel to amazing places because their mom has built a great real estate company and brand. So it’s not easy, but it’s definitely rewarding.

Lisa: So what you’re saying is you’ve never gotten tired of it?

Shannon: I’m tired every day, and I’m like, “Oh my goodness.” But I think what a lot of agents do is they’ll try something for a little bit, and they’ll give up way too fast. Like, they’ll say, “Oh, I tried hosting open houses, but I didn’t get any leads.” Or, “I tried posting a few reels. I didn’t get any calls.”

But you have to be consistent, and it takes a lot of discipline. And it could take, sometimes, three years to see results. I started filming videos in 2015. I didn’t get “Come list me” calls six months in. It took years of getting in front of the camera thinking, “Oh my gosh, only five people are gonna watch this video. This is such a waste of time.” But you just have to get up, be consistent and disciplined, and just don’t give up.

And one other tip I have is to have a plan in place for when you do get busy that you will still stay consistent with that. Because for example, you could say, “Hey, I’m just gonna go all in on cold calling.” And then, all of a sudden, you get busy. And then it’s just a roller coaster. Then you stop cold calling. And then, two months later, you’re desperate for business. You have no inbound traffic because you gave up too soon.

So it takes a lot of discipline. It’s not easy, but if you do it, you can see a lot of success. And I’m so blessed to be where I’m at. I never thought in a million years, I would have this platform and the thousands of followers and be able to change so many of our clients’ lives.

Lisa: So, as we get deeper and deeper into 2023, talk to me about the things that you have changed your market strategy, if so? You know, since this market is different than the previous couple of years, what have you changed in your business?

Shannon: Well, the great thing about kind of how I’ve been running my content and team is I never gave up or paused or cut corners while the market was crazy. I still film listing videos out in every home. I still did all the marketing.

And other agents thought I was crazy. They’re like, “Shannon, why are you still doing all of that marketing in such a hot seller’s market?” And I stayed consistent no matter how the market is. Which I think all of us should. We should never cut corners for our clients. And if you’re not filming a video for every home you list, you are cutting corners because that video can help your client get a lot of exposure.

So I think as we go into the new year, it’s just back to the basics: consistency, discipline. It’s gonna be a lot harder to get clients. But I think the top agents that do stay consistent and disciplined they’re going to be very successful. And I’m very excited about this new market because a lot of people got into this business thinking it would be easy money. And everything kind of did come easy. And now I think the people that put in the work are going to really stand out.

And what I like to ask the agents is a question. “Do you work part-time hours or full-time hours?” Because when you are an entrepreneur or business owner, or you don’t have to be in an office every day, you may find, if you really add up what you’re doing all week, that you’re really only working part-time hours. But you’re expecting a full-time income.

You have to put in the work. This isn’t easy. And there’s so many great resources out there while you’re driving, listening to podcasts or audiobooks. And I’m just obsessed with learning and being the best. And I never wanna get comfortable. I never wanna say, “Oh yeah, I’m good. I don’t have to film videos this month.” I always want to keep getting better. I wanna be doing things today that other agents don’t implement for another five years. And it’s paying off. And it’s so cool to get these calls from clients.


Lisa: So, who’s ready to start posting? All you have to do is pick up that phone and press “record.” If you’d like to get some ideas for videos, you should definitely check out Shannon on YouTube and Instagram. She really is a natural. You can follow her @shannon_gillette. As she said, she’s on Instagram throughout the day, so shoot her a DM if you have any questions or comments. You can also catch her on “American Dream TV,” which airs locally on Fox in Arizona and, at times, on The Travel Channel. And I’ll, of course, share links to all of those in the show notes.

It’s time for our takeaways segment. Here’s what stood out to me from Episode 112 with Shannon Gillette, “Become a Client Magnet Using Social Media.”

Takeaway number one: Don’t allow fear, doubt, or perfectionism to stop you from recording. She says it’s okay if you’re never in the mood to shoot a video. But just shoot it anyway. The more you do it, the better you’ll become at it, and the more your clients will feel your presence. Remember, consistency is the key. Shannon’s YouTube channel is now her number-one lead source.

Takeaway number two: When you post, make sure you don’t limit your videos to just listings. Your clients need to see the human side of you. Shannon says to post about your life, your family, even your hobbies so you’re more relatable. She recommends picking a few things that you do outside of real estate and then posting about those regularly. This way, those who are watching will feel like they already know you before they even reach out to you.

Takeaway number three: You should consider a virtual assistant, even if you don’t think you need one. This is the thing that took Shannon’s business to the next level by freeing up her time to focus on the business side of things rather than the task that someone else could be taught to do. She says to figure out how much your hourly rate is and think about whether those tasks that you aren’t willing to give up are worth the time and the money you’re losing by not delegating them to a virtual assistant.

Takeaway number four: When you do start to get more traffic online from posting, be sure to have a plan in place in order to be able to remain consistent with posting. And those are your takeaways for this week.

Okay. Well, if you have any questions or feedback, please feel free to send an email to walkthrough[at] You can also find me in our Facebook Mastermind Group. Just search “HomeLight Walkthrough™.”

Well, that’s all for this week. Thank you so much to Shannon Gillette for joining me, and thank you for listening. My name is Lisa Johnson Smith, and you’ve been listening to The Walkthrough™. At HomeLight, we believe in real estate agents. We’re here to explore how great agents grow their business, stand out from the crowd, and become irreplaceable. Now, get out there and make some moves. I’ll talk to you again next week.

Header Image Source: (Kelly Sikkema / Unsplash)