Top Producer Playbook: Better Than InstaFamous with Instagrammer Sarah Johnston

As Featured on NAR's YPN Lounge Blog. 

REALTOR® Sarah Johnston aka @AdventuresInRealEstateYYC has what many might call "Instagram Magic".  Beyond being an Instagram Influencer, Sarah Johnston of MaxWell Capital Realty --Bridgeland is the president-elect to the Calgary Real Estate Board and has been a guest professor/presenter at the University of Calgary on the use of social media in real estate marketing.  

Keep reading for tips to up your Instagram business.

What does a week in your business look like (i.e. How do you generate leads/how do you nurture/convert them)?

I get 100% of my leads through past/current clients and Instagram. It's strange, but I don't find I have to 'convert' them. Most of the time the leads know a lot about me before we've even met. 



Sarah giving glimpses into her business life.

That being said, I still have to 'prove' myself as the leads have generally been given a few other agent names from friends/family as well. 

The 'proof is in the pudding' and therefore I make sure that my buyer/seller presentation and all contact (thank you cards, notes etc.) are 100% professional. Turning my business into a bit of a well oiled machines is paramount. Treat your business like a company so leads don't get lost, and everyone gets the same, high quality of service from you every.single.time! 


Sarah showing her commitment to professionalism.

Coaching Playbook: If you visit Sarah's Instagram account, you will see her sharing her 'why' along with snippets from her day that convey her commitment to service and professionalism.  What do you NOT see on Sarah's Instagram? Boring listing promotions or anything else that is annoyingly 'salesy'.

What about you? Are you sharing your authentic business life or just listing after listing on social media?  Sarah successfully connects with other because she shares LIFE. How can you improve your IG game?




What is your DISC personality type?

I'm a strong DI (in fact, they are both in the 40's and maybe 1% apart if not tied), and an ENTJ on the Myers-Briggs scale.

Coaching Playbook: As both a D (dominant) and an I (influencer), Sarah is very outgoing.  So please do NOT look at her example if you are more introverted and feel there is nothing to learn from her or that you have to change who you are.  Her commitment to her clients can inspire introverts and extroverts alike.  Furthermore, my doctoral research, where I studied some of the top 1,000 U.S. agents, found that introverts ARE represented among these elite top producers.  In other words, success in real estate sales is not reserved only for the extrovert!

What is your DISC personality type (find an online free test if you don't know or remember)?  Who are other real estate pros that share your same makeup?  What can you learn from them?  What can you learn from those that have opposite personality profiles from you?


What motivates you each day?

I write out a few things each morning:
1. The three things I am grateful for, from the day before 
2. Whatever goal or affirmation I'm working on (this get's written out 25 times)

I'm also reading the Daily Stoic so I have a small paragraph of positive reading in the morning. This helps set my day straight. If I can get a run, walk or gym time in before I start work - that's golden too! 

Coaching Playbook: Do you take time to be grateful for the accomplishments in your day-to-day business?  When we are honest with ourselves, sometimes we focus so much on what we want to achieve, we miss the blessings right in front of us.

How can you show daily appreciation for your business' journey?

For others of us, we lose sight of the end goal.  This means we are just going through the motions without any fervor for the future.

How can you daily remind yourself of your goals?


What advice do you have for a real estate pro struggling?

Set out a daily schedule and STICK TO IT! Your business is a small company. What do you love about your favourite store or restaurant? How do they treat you? How do they make you feel? Can you count on them for service and would you refer your friends to them? Design your own business this way and your world will change. 


Examples of Sarah's creativity and professionalism.

Coaching Playbook: There are a lot of real estate licensees in the world.  Often, what helps us to stand apart and become someone's "agent for life" is how his or her's experience is in working with us. 

How can you be as good as your favorite store?  What do you love about them? How do they handle issues? How does an experience there leave you feeling?  How can you incorporate this into your business life?



What are your favorite business tools/resources/apps?

BOOKS! I love reading and have made it a priority. You have to keep reading and learning. Business tools are knowledge and they change all the time. What I'm saying, is that my 'favourites' change all the time. What I find new and hot today, I may not even like next week. I love listening to podcasts and anything audio when I drive so Audible is a must!


Looking at my phone, my most used apps are: text, mail, IG, Snapseed, InsTrack, FB, PicSee, DocuSign, PDFExpert and Prospects.


I also find it funny that my last searches were: quotes about saying sorry, how to navigate the organ transplant program in Alberta, the history of Nike and the best bicycle baskets for dogs. I think that gives you a small insight to the insanity of my brain ;).

Coaching Playbook: When we stop learning, we often stop growing.  What would you like to learn in the next 90 days?  How can you ensure you learn something new as often as possible?



How did you overcome a low point in your business?

I feel like I overcome low points on a weekly basis because that's the nature of real estate! I've been pretty public about my 'meltdowns' and know I'm not alone. At the end of the day, you have to remember why you're doing this. Dig deep, put your head down and keep on working. The steely determination will get you through anything. This is all such a life long battle but acknowledging where you are helps. This is a journey and I'm so sick of everyone thinking it's easy! 

They see someone on a podcast or a show and think 'wow, this person is a prodigy, they make a million dollars their first year! Wow! So what's wrong with me'? All of those stories are a lie. This business is hard and you must keep working. No one magically fell on top of the mountain. Every successful person I know has worked their butt's off to get there. Full stop. Hard work. Keep going. Follow your daily ritual and just keep going. 




Sarah's video (click photo to watch) to motivate herself and others on the Gram.


Coaching Playbook: Henry Ford said, 'Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.' In other words, our best learning experiences can come from 'failures'. 

Name a recent business fail. What is the learning lesson in it?  How can you begin again more intelligently?

Sound off - I would love to hear from you!  Give me a shout on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Google+ or by visiting LearnWithLee.Realtor.  

Want more of the best practices of our nation's top producers? Grab your copy of the short read, Profit with Your Personality and, the classic, 5-star rated workbook, Plan to Win, to transform their real estate sales game plan. Or, get your "training on" with these on-demand classes.  Here's to your success! #LearnWithLee
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