For months, we’ve explored ways to scrutinize the best real estate professionals objectively across the country. After dozens of reports, the system we use, is the system we recommend potential buyers or sellers use. Do your own five-minute Google, Zillow, social media, and branding diligence to narrow your agency choices. The bottom line is there is no boxed toolset yet, for weighting, which agents beat out their competition. Instead, there are numbers, aesthetics, and online reputation to consider. With this in mind, we looked at Wichita, Kansas using our megshift analysis strategy.
Christy Friesen is a real estate marketing stand-out in Wichita. Here's the method for potential clients out there hunting for an agent to help them sell or buy a home. First, search Wichita on Zillow, and weed out anybody without a 5-star review. Next, follow the links to their website and social platforms, and then cross reference for 5-star reviews on Google. And “Whamo!” You found a proven professional at the top of your game.
Using Friesen as an example, over 300 excellent Zillow reviews and the fact she’s smart enough to invest in becoming a Zillow Premier Agent says a lot. 302 perfect Google votes amplify this agent’s efforts too. Clicking on Facebook, you find 1,600 followers engaged by a personable lady who does social the right way - with simple, honest sharing. Ditto Instagram. 500+ connections on LinkedIn are also indicative, as is the fact Friesen is a volunteer with the Kansas Human Society.
I’ll forgive this Witchita State University alumnus for using Re/Max’s cookie-cutter website since she ticks every other box America’s best agents do. Unfortunately, Friesen also gets let off the traditional media marketing hook. You'll understand why if you’ve ever been smack in the middle of Kansas. Oh, and in case you noticed, there’s your five-minute method for tracking down who the best professionals are in any given city. As I said before, no single service gives you the bigger picture.
Wichita is an exciting market for many reasons. One of these is tied to how businesses were operated in the old days. Tradition and the cliche hard work can take you anywhere. I found J.P. Weigand & Sons, Inc. via perfect scores on Google. Still, my other methods became a bit disjointed until I discovered the business’ legendary CEO Nestor Weigand, Jr. (who must be about 84 by now), whose grandfather founded the company back in 1902. Of course, Weigand’s business is incorporated now, but the client searching for a Wichita agent should be informed about all the best choices.
The website has a very respectable SEO score, which means some importance was attached to the company’s online billboard. Marketing Director Abby Parker seems to know her stuff too, since Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn top all the others in Wichita, and with creativity too. I also like the active blog postings with helpful information, another indicator that a business is “all-in” for serving clients and making a profit. Finally, whatever investing, real estate, and business news Kansas possess (half joke), Nestor Weigand’s company is in it. What’s interesting for me here is seeing an original brick-and-mortar success story adapt and stay relevant for a century.
Christy Needles is a Top 15 Berkshire Hathaway Agent Nationwide. 146 perfect Zillow reviews put her on this list. Of course, 14 perfect Google reviews helped a bit too. But the 144 sales in the last 12 months (Zillow) told me something the other criteria did not. That said, this professional’s other marketing endeavors seem a bit muted, considering this sales volume. I suspect Needles is getting a lot of miles out of the Berkshire Hathaway brand. And it’s a smart move for maintaining a business and economy of effort, but not for rapidly growing a company.
You see, 598 followers on Facebook is not a lot for a business or individual. But Needles does an excellent job of engaging the visitors she has. Unfortunately, the same goes for her Instagram feed, which has a broken link on her website.
Her website is aesthetically lovely, but the SEO effort is nothing to be proud of. 500+ LinkedIn connections usually indicate an agent using business networking to gain leads.
Eric Locke makes this week’s list. A Zillow Premier Agent, Locke has over 180 perfect reviews there. On Google, he’s not reached the 100 reviews threshold, but 15 of his profile have 5.0. He has over 1,300 fans on Facebook, but the agent seems to have slid off the social media roadmap. His website has the worst SEO score I’ve tested this year.
Locke may delegate much to his reasonably large NRA Great American Realty team. His team was picked in the 2021 ERA Top Producer Awards we covered. Some of Locke’s team members play around with Instagram and other channels, but it doesn’t look like the team leader puts much stock in digital marketing. He’s on this list because a lot of people were satisfied with his level of professionalism. He did pay the man to be a Zillow Premier Agent, so that’s something. I'd say it's critical to evaluate whatever investment converts to leads/sales. Certainly, you have to put yourself at the top of every agent search funnel possible.