“Please don’t kill Snapchat for me,” begged Bill Risser’s 22 year-old son. And with good reason. His father’s job is to help real estate agents use modern social media tools.
“The boomers moved into Facebook and took over,” said Bill. “So my son just wanted to keep Snapchat to himself.” And Bill agreed. For now.
As VP/Director of Digital Strategy with Chicago Title Agency in Arizona, Bill’s mission is to manage the firm’s digital presence. He also educates real estate professionals on how to leverage today’s online tools in their marketing efforts. (Excluding Snapchat, of course.) And it’s a role that took root somewhat surreptitiously in the dark days of 2008, when the housing market was at its lowest.
“Things were slow for most folks in real estate, so I started doing research online and someone was talking about Twitter — whatever that was. So I got on it and started playing.” His own interest in social media evolved into a more formal service: a technology service that Bill built using a very grassroots method. “I started helping an agent here, an agent there.” In just a few years, Chicago Title Agency made Bill’s role official. And that’s where the idea of being a bridge comes in.
“I am about the age of the average real estate agent, but I can use technology like a millennial,” Bill said. “And so the agents think that if I can do it, so can they.”
Bill has branched out from social to being an early adopter of new technology, from gadgets to apps. “I’m a shiny object tester for real estate agents,” he joked. But there’s no joke how many new apps and tech come at agents everyday. Which is why someone like Bill serves as a trusted expert in helping agents know what’s worth investing in and what’s worth skipping.
But even when he’s able to identify a new app or platform as useful, Bill still sees agents make mistakes. “They expect results immediately,” he said. “They aren’t in it for the long term. There is no quick fix for real estate marketing or everyone would do it.”
Bill is a firm believer in a multi-pronged marketing approach for real estate. And in giving the marketing channels time to work.
“No matter what the strategy — whether postcards to a farm or an old fashioned mail newsletter, or using Adwerx and creating brand awareness in the way that advertising was intended — it takes time to percolate.”
But most agent don’t give it that time.
Bill is also very well known for his podcast series, The Real Estate Sessions. In fact, he interviewed Adwerx CEO Jed Carlson.
Podcasting, for those of you remaining who might not know, is “like DVR for radio,” as Bill puts it. His audio interviews are published online and in iTunes so fans can subscribe, download and listen along at anytime.
The irony here is that Bill Risser is not a real estate agent. Never has been. But that hasn’t stopped him from becoming an indispensable source of information, education, innovation and entertainment for agents and really, anyone in the real estate industry.