Next week will be RealtyNinja’s final blog post of the year. We’ll recap 2016, share some upcoming plans and generally rejoice in another successful year.

This week, however, is my personal last chance to say a few important things aloud before the holiday break. I’ve decided not to bother with anything too technical this week – I’ll hook you up with a couple neat & useful resources below – but for the most part this week’s Dojo article is a brief personal note from me (Sepy) to you, and a chance for you to get to know the dude managing The Dojo a bit better.

I have been working behind the scenes for RealtyNinja for years. Since the early days when we had under 100 customers and we used to have a physical office in North Vancouver. I used to run a freelance social media marketing agency called Socialbaz, and RealtyNinja was always one of my clients – one of my 15 clients I should add.

Sepy Bazzazi circa 2012 via Socialbaz Marketing Facebook Page
A pic of me from my Socialbaz Marketing Facebook Page circa 2012... and no, it wasn't for Movember.

My clients at Socialbaz included all kinds of small-medium sized businesses. Businesses like barbershops, politicians, authors, beauty salons, lawyers, personal trainers, restaurants, bars, non-profit organizations, martial arts schools… AND REALTORS®! Lots and lots of REALTORS® over the course of five years actually. Which incidentally gave me a solid head start before arriving at my current role!

Back when I first started Socialbaz in 2011 (when I was 25,) I had a unique opportunity to compete for the role of “Social Media Manager” for none other than Charlie Sheen! I submitted my video application and long story short was selected as one of the Top 50 Finalists out of over 80,000+ entries from around North America. You’ll get a good laugh out of the video, you can watch it here.

Charlie Sheen and I... real or photoshopped?!
Charlie Sheen and I... real or photoshopped?!

Being part of the Top 50 was kind of a big deal considering I was only 1 of 2 Canadians in the running… the stunt ended up earning me a TON of publicity like interviews on the radio, TV interviews, newspaper mentions and more. My very own 15 minutes of fame!

The attention earned there, paired with my 4 prior years of experience at Earls Restaurants Corporate Head Offices (as Assistant Marketing Manager) gave me all the street cred I needed to get Socialbaz thriving! I didn’t even have to market myself, everything was word of mouth and business was BOOMING!

The reason I closed Socialbaz last fall was to join the stellar team at RealtyNinja on a full-time basis – to focus 100% of my attention on 1 project, rather than 7% of my attention on each of the 15 projects. It was time for me to grow something much larger than myself and to help more than 15 entrepreneurs at once.

RealtyNinja was created to bring a seamless, modern website solution to a traditional industry. But RealtyNinja was also the product of years of website development experience by Ramin & Casimir. My goal is now to share the experience and technical skills I’ve picked up along my 8 year professional modern marketing career with real estate agents in the same way.

As of August 2015, I have been waking up every morning and dedicating myself to creating value for Canadian REALTORS® through the RealtyNinja brand. I honestly couldn’t be happier.

Sepy Bazzazi & Casimir Loeber - RealtyNinja
Casimir and I working from Whitehorse back in September 2015 - my first full month of full time!

I distinctly remember a few conversations with Casimir last year to the effect of “I can’t wait until a year from now when all of our Marketing initiatives are in place and have been gaining momentum.” 

Well, here we are a year and four months from then, and I’m proud to say that the momentum is strong… very strong. Our blog traffic has increased by over 500% over last year (thanks for reading Heart Emoji,) we’ve earned over 900 new mailing list subscribers, our new Ninjagram account is blossoming nicely, we’ve built and fortified relationships with awesome 3rd party service providers, and so many more little victories we’re proud of and excited about (but that I won’t bore you with.)

Perhaps you’re a customer who has noticed this momentum too, perhaps not. Or perhaps you’ve just heard about RealtyNinja sometime in the last year – that’s great news, hopefully you like what we’ve got going on! wink emoji

With that said, our momentum is not solely the result of marketing by any means; our team is incredibly talented from design to support, and the software is simply amazing (try it for free if you don’t believe me.) I’m just one of the final cogs in a well-oiled machine. You’ll be hearing about all the exciting things we’ve got in our pipeline next week!

In any case, I gotta say it’s been such an awesome journey – easily the best career move I’ve made in my 30 years. Working closely with agents, brokers, Approved Ninjas, and the real estate industry in general has been a real exciting privilege and opportunity to me. One which I’m very grateful for.

Sepy Bazzazi - Real Estate Marketing Presentation
Me during Social Media for Real Estate presentation in Burnaby, BC earlier this year

I was always interested in real estate and real estate agents. I moved around from apartments to houses over 10 times throughout elementary school and high school, so my parents spent a lot of time in the real estate pages of the newspaper, going to open houses, browsing the MLS® and dealing with real estate agents.

I naturally took a liking to the whole real estate scene from an early age and always felt a connection to it. I always viewed REALTORS® as very important people in the world… and I still do. Probably now more than ever, having hired one myself to buy my first condo in 2012.

Still, I never thought I would be working in the real estate industry… connecting with high profile real estate influencers on the local and national scale. Again, it’s been a real treat and I wanted to just say Thank You.

Thank you for reading these articles in The Dojo each week. Thank you for your comments, likes, shares, retweets and overall engagement with me on RealtyNinja social media channels. Thank you for downloading our Modern REALTOR® Marketing Survival Guide and other real estate freebies. Thank you for making the RealtyNinja Marketplace launch so successful last month. Thanks for subscribing to our email list, and for reading & responding to the weekly emails you receive from “Sepy from RealtyNinja.”

Seriously, my Dojo readers are so awesome. I super appreciate you!!

Duke & Meimei
As an added thank you, here's a photo of my awesome ninja-dog sidekicks: Duke & Meimei

Finally, thank you so much for all the feedback and guidance along the way. I’ve had the pleasure of chatting in person and on the phone with numerous agents (customers and otherwise,) brokers, boards, 3rd party service providers and more over the last nearly 1.5 years. All of these conversations have helped guide our marketing strategy to where it is now.

I look forward to more such guidance from you as we tackle 2017 together – which is undoubtedly going to be the biggest and best year to date for RealtyNinja and our customers, guaranteed. That being said, please feel free to contact me directly if you have any suggestions or feedback. I’d absolutely love to speak with you:

Before I sign off for the week, and slowly start to hang up my hat for the year, I wanted to give you a couple of resources I recently whipped up as a convenience for Dojo readers:

  • Sepy’s “Cool Resources” Bookmarks – Various links that I’ve bookmarked, and found especially useful throughout my journey to become a better marketer. Updated regularly.
  • List of All Dojo Articles –  A list of titles of all of our Dojo articles from September 2015 to present, newest at the top, updated each week.

Wishing you the happiest holidays from myself, Duke and Meimei!! candy cane