On this week’s episode of The Walk Thru, Byron Lazine and The Broke Agent are joined by Utah luxury agent and Instagram must-follow Paige Steckling and the host of The Massive Agent Podcast Dustin Brohm. They discuss hacked Instagram accounts, the Great Debate recap, layoffs at Compass and Redfin, and how to explain the market changes to consumers.

Instagram scammers, closed accounts, and some good news

Paige gave the full breakdown of her experience on Instagram – from a scammer’s offer to protect her account from a client who paid him to shut her down – through her removal from Instagram and the ransom note from the same scammer — to her account’s eventual return.

According to the friend-of-a-friend who restored her account, the scammers who’d impersonated her on the platform used a software to mass-report her as an imposter. With 100K of these reports against her account, Instagram shut it down. 

The initial scammer messages came in via requests, which Paige saw because she checks her requests on a daily basis. 

Since 80% of her business comes through Instagram, this whole experience had her freaking out. And she learned through the person who helped her that Instagram had people on the inside earning money on the side from users willing to pay for the blue check mark. 

So, what can agents do to protect themselves? Paige referenced Taya DiCarlo’s recommendation of filling out the copyright infringement form for each and every impersonator you run across on Instagram. It’s time-consuming – but necessary. 

Paige added the drafts she saved of new Reels were gone when her account was restored. On a more positive note, though, Matt Lionetti’s account was also restored today! 

The Great Debate Recap

We created a recap of the debate for those who didn’t watch it yet, but Paige and Dustin took a moment to weigh in with their thoughts.

“I thought it was entertaining and interesting. There were some people who had very thin skin and don’t handle being challenged very well but also have thoughtful reasons or responses. The majority of it was good points and good insight. I’m a big fan of paid coaching, because when you pay for it, you pay attention… In my personal life, I found I’ve grown the most when I invested money–into coaching, into a course or something. Because I take that sh*t seriously..”

Dustin Brohm

“Well, I actually just signed up for Tom Ferry for the first time at the beginning of this year… and it’s been amazing for me… We have a dedicated time every single week. She’s invested in me. I think it’s great.”

Paige Steckling

The Broke Agent loved the debate from a content standpoint and called it a massive success as our first BAM event. We had 130-140 live viewers on YouTube throughout the entire 45 minutes. The chats throughout the event were entertaining, too. We’d like this to be the beginning of a series of entertaining and hard-hitting BAM debates. 

Byron had his own take on how the debate went and hopes to see more like it. 

“I don’t believe enough people in this industry are willing to be uncomfortable and have the full, long-form conversation like that, so I do hope we’ll see more of this format. Some people really confused me in the comments, like, ‘Hey, Byron, you were really in attack mode. You were trying to take him down.’ When I’m in a debate, I’m absolutely gonna try and take you down. That’s the point. I’m gonna try to win the debate… I prepare for a debate like I prepare for every single podcast I’ve ever been on….”

Byron Lazine

He brought up SocialBlade, which anyone can access to learn how many fake followers someone has. Ricky said he had about 100K fake followers on Instagram. It’s actually closer to 200K out of his 225K followers. 

Byron added, “If you’re just gonna do everything  out of the kindness of your heart, why do you have to build up the fake followers in order to get those people into your safe zone?”

Layoffs at Compass and Redfin

Compass and Redfin both announced 8 to 10% layoffs of their workforce on the same day. Inman articles on the two referenced the current inflation rate as well as higher mortgage interest and sharp drops in company stock value. 

Dustin brought up the fact that Compass and Redfin are very growth-focused and technology-oriented companies, but they tried to grow too quickly and hired more tech people, only to have to backtrack when stock prices went down and mortgage rates went up. 

Many consumers out there are wondering how all these recent headlines about company layoffs are likely to affect them. Real estate agents are in a unique position to help with that. 

“I think it’s really gonna be up to us to, when we’re in buyer and seller consultations, to give them the stats, what’s happening in the market right now and to be the professional in the situation.”

Paige Steckling

This comment ties the layoffs to the bigger picture of the current economy, which leads us to the final topic. 

How to explain the market changes to consumers

As Dustin put it, “interest rates will keep going up until inflation is stopped.” So, how does an agent explain the current economic situation and market changes to consumers without adding to the confusion? 

Dustin recommends breaking down the headlines and getting clear on what they mean for the consumer if they want to buy, sell, or stay put. Where do they fit in, and how do these changes affect you in tangible terms? 

“We’ve all been creating content on how crazy the market is… and now, agents actually get to have a different narrative and educate people… Real estate is still one of the best investments – if not the best – to actually park your money.”

The Broke Agent

Watch the full episode for more. 

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