Being Fearlessly Authentic with Holly Carroll

Today we are talking to Holly Carroll about how being authentic is a crucial element to your brand. We’ve said it before and we will say it again. No one will trust you if they can tell it’s not the real you.

Holly Carroll is the Muskoka Luxury Realtor and author of

“Selling Secrets You Can’t Afford To Miss.” She is also the former Miss Canada.

Three Things You’ll Learn in This Episode

  • Learn how handwritten notes reach your audience.
  • How do you get people’s attention?
  • Authenticity always works best.


Check Out Holly’s Instagram

Real Estate Marketing Dude

The Listing Advocate (Earn more listings!)

REMD on YouTube

REMD on Instagram


So how do you track new business, you constantly don’t have to chase it. Hi, I’m Mike Cuevas to real estate marketing. And this podcast is all about building a strong personal brand people have come to know, like trust and most importantly, refer. But remember, it is not their job to remember what you do for a living. It’s your job to remind them. Let’s get started.

What’s up ladies and gentlemen, welcome another episode of the real estate marketing Jew podcast, folks we’re chatting about today, we have a social media star, like you got some star power. And I was just sort of scrolling through Instagram. And she messages me and I’m like, Hey, how are you doing Nice to meet you.

And it was like, I guess really authentic. And then I started checking you out on social and like, Damn, she’s got 90,000 followers or content gets a shitload of engagement. And it looks like she’s doing everything right. And I’m looking at your I’m on your Instagram page right now. And dude, perfect. Looks great.

And you’re a luxury agent out of Canada. So I was like, Dude, why don’t we do a show? Let’s get on here. Tell us what’s, how did you get here? What are you doing? And how are you all over the place? Because you’re definitely not shy. And I think one of the problems that people have on social media is like, Oh my God, if I post something, someone’s gonna think this of me or someone’s gonna think that of me. And at the end of the day, who gives a shit. Nobody hires anyone they don’t relate with. And oftentimes in sales and business and whatever the hell we’re doing. We often overthink it, I think, and we try to be someone we’re not. But my goal today’s show, and I have a feeling she’s going to do a good job at it is talking about why you should be fearlessly authentic, quote unquote, your own words. So without further ado, let’s go ahead and introduce our guests. Miss Holly, Carol. Holly, how are you?

I’m wonderful. And thank you so much for having me on. I did find you. Oh, where? Yeah, how did it work? It was actually through this course that I took. And they had your contact. Oh, okay. I’m gonna message this guy. And then boom, here I am on the show. Very grateful to be on this show. If you don’t ask you don’t get you know what I mean? Like, same thing for all the agents out there. If you don’t ask for referrals, you’re not gonna get referrals. If you don’t tell people you’re in real estate, they’re gonna keep forgetting and you’re gonna be a closet agent. If you don’t put yourself out there. It doesn’t work because you’re the brand now your broker Holly wants you to tell him where you’re nothing you said that. I love that you said that because literally like 90% of the time it’s just showing up and being out there. Yep, conversations you’d like to face is the brand that’s why social media if you’re not if you’re in real estate, you’re not on social like you’re only losing an opportunity. I sale time is no longer optional. It’s a necessity unless you don’t care when other people start cheating on you with agents like Holly you know they’re gonna go hire somebody else that’s going to be a lot more present than somebody that they forgot about.

All right, Holly, so tell us you’re in your you do luxury in Holland. I can’t say this Canadian name all the Canadian Muskoka Muskoka. Okay. So Muskoka, and that’s outside of what Ontario? Yeah, so it’s about an hour north of Toronto. And we kind of call it the Hamptons of the North. That’s sort of what it’s what it’s like, it’s a lot different than the Hamptons. But if you think of it, it’s where that type of the world so Toronto and surrounding areas want to get away and vacation. And it’s kind of nice that the rest of the world doesn’t really know about it, because that’s part of its charm. It is home to a lot of rich and famous during the summertime. It’s absolutely stunning. There’s 1600 lakes. I sell waterfront property, usually boat houses, it’s like a lot of people say it’s a Coors Light commercial. It’s like a Coors Light commercial. Just picture out your knickers like commercial. Exactly. That is my niche. And how did you get started? How long have you been in in real six year part of the agency, I see a picture of you with Mauricio because I want to get I want to get to on this podcast too. I like Marty, see, I watch all this content. But tell me your agency and that the agency is a luxury brand. Like you guys know this? If you watch anything on HGTV, like it’s just a luxury brand. And you’re selling luxury properties in a luxury market. So it makes sense that you’re dialing in the niche. But where do you How did you get into this? Because people want to? The biggest question I get from people is like, Hey, Mike, I want to sell $2 million houses. And I’m like, There’s no marketing or advertising that’s ever gonna get you to sell $2 million houses. If you want to sell $2 million houses, you got to start hanging out to people who own the $2 million houses. It’s very simple. You have to hang out with the people that are in your database. You don’t pick your brand God did it’s just the way you’re born. Whether you want to embrace it or not as 100% up to you. Okay, so Holly, how did you get into luxury because it’s a question that people want to know, but I could I know how it is. I mean, you’re just this is your this is your tribe. It looks like here so tell me how you got into it. And when just

All right, and we’ll start with that. Of course. So I’m coming up on four years. I will say that anybody listening, you can get into luxury real estate Don’t. Don’t, you know, forget about that. So, a big thing about being a luxury real estate agent is you got to be luxury. So like you have to become that vibrational match to attract your clients. So when you’re out there buying luxury, luxury, show off your luxury things so that people are like, okay, she’s obviously luxury. It’s not just about luxury, real estate, it’s about your whole lifestyle. I sell a light drive like a Toyota Datsun and then it’s all luxury houses is what you’re saying.

Can I wear sandals and shop?

I mean, I don’t want to discourage anybody either. Like I don’t, it doesn’t mean they have to go out and buy that Rolex watch, or they have to buy the Lamborghini they can’t afford. But there is a mental state you can get into that makes you feel like luxury. Like I always say drink water out of a wineglass like there’s little things that you can do where you feel luxury. And then that way when you’re around the luxurious clients that have a lot of money, you don’t feel so out of place, you know, so embody it luxury, imagine luxury, you know, become a vibrational match to luxury.

And then, here in Muskoka, I just kept going to those luxury properties I kept, you know, putting it on social media. I kept dangling the carrot in front of everybody, and then you know what I asked. So I go after the rich and famous and I am not afraid to get in their DM and send them a video or send them a property you would love this property. You know, Mark Wahlberg wants a place here and in Muskoka, and I know the perfect property for him because he likes basketball. And the basketball court overlooks Lake Roscoe, which is one of the best lakes here in Muskoka. So I sent him a video like a response. No, no, yeah, that’s hilarious. But even like, Look I’m looking at so we just got out of I do this, like, do this a content creator challenge once a month, and if you guys haven’t heard about it yet, sign up for next month’s. It’s called The Real Estate content creator challenge. And the whole premise of it is like when you’re correct, everything you do in life is content, right? But if you go to Holly’s Instagram page, I’m looking at it right now. Every photo and image of her on here is is luxury. Like, It’s luxurious. She’s either at a pool, or she’s that like, there’s a there’s a yacht in one. She’s got images of cool, you know, freaking houses, she’s got bikini shots, like she just looks luxury, right? And you have to remember that people, you’re an average of the content you create from the outside. Right. So like, if you’re gonna if Holly’s, if she’s out here, like hanging out at McDonald’s and Showbiz Pizza on Pizza Hut. And I see her over, like running like four wheelers and whatnot. Like, she’s not going to have a luxury brand. But perception is a lot everything in this business. And it’s marketing, right? It’s a marketing, like everything we do is marketing. With social. Yep. What did you do prior to real estate that and why are you so not shy?

Like you’re not shy? And I think that’s half the battle and like, you seem to not really care, others opinions and how do you get there?

So before I was in real estate, I was an international model for 17 years. And then I was Miss Canada tourism. So I have been in the public eye, if you will. I’ve been in marketing for a very long time. But I will say that I was a little shy before. But the reason why I’m not shy now is because I did the inner work. I believed I was an internet, I believed I was a luxury realtor before I became a luxury realtor. So you know, I believe in myself, I love myself, I radically forgive anything that I ever did. I looked back I went and did the work and I love myself beyond anybody else. So like if I get a no to from Mark Wahlberg, which won’t happen. He’s gonna say yes. But if I get a No, that’s okay. Because it’s a yes to me. Like I say yes to myself. Great. Yeah. I mean, it’s a great way to put it when you first started though, like, you’re like, Alright, I’m making the shift everyone now and I see this with a lot of people that it will career transition or whatnot. But like, I used to do this, or I used to do that. And then right when you first get into real estate, people probably knew you. Oh, she’s a model before and she has all this and then you probably had overcome that because some people might have stereotypes are out there, right? But you probably said fuck off. I don’t really give a shit. Here’s who I am, how I roll. But I see that as a major issue. So I think how do you overcome that? that specific day because people are like, Oh, they’re gonna think I’m this and that and all of the above? How do you rebrand yourself?

That was a big hurdle for me. And I tried to be somebody else. I tried to be that mold that I thought people wanted me to be that corporate mold real estate agent, and it just didn’t work out. And it didn’t feel good either. So what I was doing is I was

doing stuff that I didn’t want to do. So it was more energy as well. I wasn’t getting anything back. And I like you said, I just said, Fuck it. And I thought I am on I was an international model, like, why can’t I use that infuse that into a brand? And so I just like I said, I, like we said earlier, I just became fearlessly authentic. And I said, Well, what’s the worst thing that can happen? I’m not getting any business now anyways, I’m trying to be somebody else. So I might as well try and be myself and the world opened up, it really did. And anybody listening, be yourself, like people like that?

In some won’t, right? Let’s be honest, like some people gonna be like, Oh, well, blah, blah, blah, and you’re like, Great, I’m not gonna get along with you anyways, but when you guys rather have that out of the way before you get in the car and start showing them a bunch of properties. So like, let’s talk about different ways and like giving people different ways that we could market this brand. So you might have a listing video strategy where you don’t the listing video is nothing more than its you like a runway to tie back into your modeling career. So every single house you’re just think of like, you ever see the show? Was it with the two male models? With Ben Stiller? What’s the name of that movie? Zoo lander. Zoo lander. Okay. That movies about male models? Yes. Yes. So like, literally, how would a mom how to form model market her business? And she’s already doing it. But for those guys thinking, like, how would you do some video like, I don’t do listing tours, I do fashion shows, right? There’s a big difference with how you market which is going to remember, if she’s having an open house, she’s probably going to treat it like a fashion show. It’s not gonna be a normal open house. That’s not how a model would roll. You have to roll with whom you are okay. I’ve seen people do the opposite. And I’ve seen people who are big talk, I’ve seen people build brands off loving tacos. So at open houses, they have a taco truck, right? It’s how you do business that people actually remember. And that’s the cool thing about this industry is you can do whatever the hell you want. Be whoever the hell you want, but you have to be willing to put yourself out there.

How do you marketing your business? Now? What are you doing for business? Like how do you find new people? Other than just I’ve seen and walk me through what your monthly cadence is in terms of content creation and all the above?

Of course. So I have a couple of buckets that I like to fill when it comes to Instagram. I’m fully on Instagram, I try to dabble in Tik Tok, but I’m not really there yet. So I’ve kind of mastered and I believe I’ve got a little bit of a groove on Instagram. So I, I focused on that. But I have a few buckets that I like to do. First of all, it’s not all about real estate. For me. It’s about making an impact in the world. And it’s about inspiring others and it’s about just the collective. Right. So like, I know, those types of things keep you going. When you’re helping other people, they do keep you going. So I there’s more ways to to promote and market a listing, right. But there’s a lot of ways to get the listing. And I feel like when people look at your page, if you just have real estate listings, they’re not going to know who you are. And there you have it. Okay, so I think that that’s a common mistake that people do is they only put real estate. But when you go to my page, you know who I am, you know who I am, you know who you’re getting, you can decide whether or not you want to move forward or not. But I also like to market everything. So everything is the magical everything is creating a motion. So like I said, I have a couple of buckets is an inspiring buckets, a real estate bucket, it’s usually sort of a women empowerment bucket. It’s a fun bucket. So I look to see what what I have done in a while. Yeah. Did you like what you just said, really quick. So I think people get a lot out of that. So she’s theming out her content. Alright, so she’s telling herself in her head, a lot of people have trouble with this. They’re like, Well, what do I do, it’s not what you do, it’s how you do it. So she themed that out, which makes it easier for not for her to not have to think about what’s next. So in her head, she’s like, I’m doing intermittent, this is how your brain works. But she’s probably doing I’m doing for women empowerment posts this week, this month that I’m doing for fun posts this month, and then I’m doing four blog posts this month and I’m doing for this that’s a very easy order to follow because you know, what kind of brand you want to build. It’s when you don’t know what kind of brand you want to build and when you don’t have a strategy you don’t sit down and actually plan this out then none of it ever happens. People always how do you create so much content it’s really easy. I just sit there and 30 minutes and map it out. Like just think exactly are you to hire a real estate marketing dude and we’ll do it for you. But or you could take your course or you could take my course you could do whatever you want there’s info out there you could find out how to create info out there yes I also batch content of course. Because sometimes also I will say like sometimes I’m very inspired to do content so it’s like while I’m on a roll and then sometimes I’m not and and you know we all need a break from social media as well and I will shut it right off shut it down, shut the TV down for a couple of days and just be like this is just me time I need to just like because it’s not all about that either. And you don’t want half assed me you want full blown me so I do need my timeout as well. Yeah, I’m the same way. It’s like I like I didn’t want to

I don’t want to post on social like, honestly, if it wasn’t for business, I probably wouldn’t be on social media anymore. But it’s literally become just part of my business. It’s just who am I am? Yeah. But it’s like I said, it’s a necessity. Remember you guys, every time someone post content 10 to 15% of the people who see your shit are moving, but 100% of them have a referral for you. So don’t overthink it. The one who attracts the most businesses, the one who thought at first when the term real estate pops up,

is top of mind. And we know that we know that we know about top of mind. I will say I’m glad you said that earlier. But I just want to say it again, is it’s about intention. Yeah, all about intention. And I posted something earlier today to that I learned and you know, we used to have to post every day to be top of mind. But now real estate or Instagram is not chronological. So it actually you could have an post that you posted, and three weeks later, it posts up on somebody’s feed, because it’s still getting engagement. So it’s better to be in a detention will not necessarily take too long to post it, but just have a little bit of an intention behind it. And that’ll actually spread quicker than just throwing spaghetti at the wall. Yep. And I’m sure you probably get a lot of people like they feel like they know you before you speak to them. Yeah, I’m probably like, whether it’s a girl or guy like Dude, no, like, actually, I got that feeling from you when you reached out because you were personable. Here, I’m gonna see what the message actually was. I mean, look on this. And gosh, the person, it was just personal, you know, you’re like, Hey, I’m like, Hey, nice to meet you. And you’re just cool. So I was like, it was just easier.

It was easier to just like, talk to you. And I’m sure that people don’t realize that like when you’re on social the same way you build a relationship online the same way you build it off.

There’s no difference. Yeah. And like you said, like, they’re not necessarily the client, but they may know somebody else. So I want that when anybody thinks of Muskoka they think of holly Carol period. Yes. Whether that means a buying a house or not, we can get into that I can sell them just get them to me.

And we can work that out later. And also to like, it’s about helping the world as much as being kind everybody like, eventually that shit pays off to. Yep. It’s not just about real estate transactions like that. Just if you’re just a better person, if you have intention, if you do the right thing, if you help other people, if you put out some good content that that is good for your soul, it comes back. Yeah, always does reciprocation. You know, when you do some good for someone else, it always comes back to eight.

What else do you do for biz? Do you buy any business? I don’t think so. Or do you sit open houses? Do you like is everything just 100% attraction based to you or?

No, I do a lot of events. So I do a lot of you know, shaking hands and kissing babies. I love events. That’s my main thing. Muskoka has that small town feel to even though it’s it’s very saturated in the summertime in the season? What’s the population? What’s a media population? Like summer and winter? I actually don’t really know the answer that question. There’s three main like little towns, but there’s it’s spread out so much. So it’s hard to it. That’s hard to say. I’ll put that in the comments. Because it changes all the time. It also changes during the pandemic. Just know that it’s a lot. There’s a lot more people here, it’s a tourist season town.

What was I saying that right? Oh, yeah. So I, I do a lot of charity events. And the another reason why I do charity events, too, is because I like the people that go to charity events. So I’m not just looking for the rich and famous. I’m looking for the good hearted, rich and famous, you know, so is that where you got your start at? Like, would you say like going to events because I mean, I got started, I got all my business at nightclubs. That was only 22 Then but it was the same concept. Like I would go to meet people. And then I would stay in touch with the people I met. Are you collecting email addresses? Are you sending like you meet people, but then you know how it is meet someone they forget about you the next day. It’s like when you showed a video shot.

I’m doing strictly social media. I mean, I sometimes get their number, but even even now I’ll get their social media and then get and then get theirs. And you know why I do that not just to get more followers, not just so they can see me. But so now I know them. Because remember, we used to have to get a an email or a phone number. And then we’d have to write all the description like, Oh, he’s got a dog. And he’s got a wife named Joan and edited up. Well, now we can just look at their social media and find something that likes them. And then that’s, that’s a reason to talk to him. What kind of dog is that? I totally forgot, right? Yeah, because when I would do my calls, I’d be like, Hey, how’s fluffy doing? But now I don’t even care about fluffy because I could just look on their feet and see fluffy right there. Well, that’s that’s a very important. So I have a feeling you probably have a strategy on this. So let’s let’s roleplay this a little bit. Let’s pretend we’re at a an event, because a lot of people will go to event they don’t know what to say. Right? So like, let’s just say you’re at an event you’re there to network, you know you’re going for business, right? But you probably like these events anyways. But how do you go out and meet somebody? So let’s just say I

I’m sitting here drinking my little cup of I don’t know what’s ever in here. Some alcoholic? Yeah, champagne in my Ticor title cup. That’s a paper cup. But yeah, I’m drink champagne. I’m sitting there. How do you break the ice? What do you do?

I’m very approachable. So we’ll we’ll laymen’s it down. I mean, I would just say hello. When I would ask them questions, the best ways to ask question people like to talk about themselves. Yeah, don’t talk about yourself. People like to talk about themselves, and you’ll find a way for real estate to get in there. Yep. I always, I always like so what do you do?

Yeah, always ask people, What do they do? And then they always ask me back, what do you do?

And I just like it just, it just happens. You guys, like don’t overthink this. It’s not it really is that simple. really is that simple. And then you’ll find something that you connect with them to see I’m a huge animal lover. You know, I like boating, there’s something that will come up and then that’s when you spark that up and started talking about that a little bit more, but don’t just bombard them with questions. Once you find a question that kind of connects with you then go more into that, but I wouldn’t lead with real estate I never have it comes up. Yeah. People real estate’s like always comes up, especially when people are moving like it’s just they talk about it, because it’s emotional. And they’re excited. And it’s, it’s fun. It’s exciting. And don’t overthink it. Guys. Have you ever prospected anyone? Have you ever like cold called anyone before? Yes, I’m prospecting Mark Wahlberg. Right?

On a phone not on. I guess that’s a different way to look at. I haven’t looked at it that way before. But it is pressed. I have been prospecting people on Yes, I’ve been DMing people because I am being a little bit more intentional on who I want to call in.

But it’s not like the hard sell. It’s like it’s more just kind of

building a relationship. Yep.

I bet you have a lot of these.

This is the upper end upper upper class, you’re dealing with millionaires, right? I bet you they respect the hustle.

They do. Oh, I’ve gotten a listing that way.

I actually said to the guy said, It’s okay. If you know if you don’t go with me. And he’s like, Well, I would really like it if you if you said that, that I should go with you. And I’m like, Well, I definitely want you to go with me. That’s funny. But like he appreciated the fact that I like, went and met him and like met him again. Like he almost it’s like I courted him almost that day at the upper market wants that. Like they like you, they want you to chase them. And like you got to remember, like when you’re dealing at least I can’t speak on

the millionaire class of women. But I know how the men react. And I know that they always want to brag about themselves. They want to tell people about the story that got them to where they’re at. And it’s always just you just have to float their ego. Oh, my God, I’m so impressed by your thing. How did you do it? That’s the number one question you could ask anyone who’s very successful, and they’re automatically going to take liking to you. Every time right.

Compliments are good. Questions are good.

Like it? i This is this is cool. Any closing thoughts? We like to keep these about 2530 minutes? And we’re just right about there. Do you have any final closing thoughts? You want to mention? Anything? Any advice you want to give to people, people who are just I don’t know what to post? I don’t know what to do. I’m just sort of stuck. How did she become successful? And for years, I’ve been doing this for 10. And I don’t have that success? What is it?

I think, think about what you would want to see. So if you were you’re the client that you are trying to target, think about what they want to see. And then try to put your spin on it. Don’t overthink it, be bold. And just get yourself out there. But be you love it. Why don’t you go ahead and tell them what your handle is one more time and you guys want you to go ahead and follow Holly on on social media. And then you can see sort of what she’s doing how she’s doing it and r&d, it goes like there’s no such thing as you know, r&d is a ripoff and deploy, but do it in your way. The cool thing about real estate is that you could do the exact same thing she’s doing, you could do the exact same thing anyone’s doing but because it’s based on your personal brand, eat both, you’d be doing it differently. And there is no way to duplicate that. And that’s the power of having a personal brand like people Hey, Mike, what if I have 30 people you’re doing videos for in my market, it wouldn’t matter because each of those videos are going to be going out to the people that they’re associated with. And each of those videos are going to be done in a way that only they can do and that’s the most marketable part of your business. It’s your personal brand, your persona. It’s not people aren’t hiring you because you have a license that just gives you a legal right to make money with it. They’re hiring you because of how you make them feel.

So true. So appreciate you guys listening. Why don’t you tell them your handle one more time? So yes, my handle is Holly and Carolyn. I will say reach out to me. I’m here to help. I want to help everybody. And one last thing. Try to create emotion with your content like that. Thank you folks for listening another episode of The Marketing do podcast visit us leave us some more reviews.

Share this show with your friends and take our next content creator challenge if you want to visit learn more about that it’s www dot real estate content creator We’ll see you guys next week. Bye bye. Thank you for watching another episode of the real estate marketing dude podcast. If you need help with video or finding out what your brand is, visit our website at WWW dot real estate marketing We make branding and video content creation simple and do everything for you. So if you have any additional questions, visit the site, download the training, and then schedule time to speak with a dude and get you rolling in your local marketplace. Thanks for watching another episode of the podcast. We’ll see you next time.

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