Gogo Bethke’s nickname could not be a more fitting offshoot from her Hungarian tongue-twisting given name of Gyöngyvér. In fact, everything about Gogo’s personal journey has pointed to winning and smartly honed strategies in life and work.
Gogo manages her eXp Realty business in Pinckney, a small Michigan township 25 minutes north of Ann Arbor. Leading up to joining eXp, Gogo built a dynamic social media presence, too, but she needed a brokerage that got it — and rewarded her for it.
Since 2011, Gogo has attracted more than 43,000 followers on Instagram, the photo-centric platform that best suits Gogo’s drive to share her personality and expertise. She’s reached similar heights on LinkedIn and Facebook, attracting many followers who rewarded her with “likes” and engagement, both online and in real estate transactions.
“Social media is free advertising and it’s a way to promote yourself,” said Gogo. “People want to work with people they know, learn to love and trust. You earn their business. As long as you show YOU to them, they will follow.”
Neighbor Tells Gogo She’s Made for Real Estate
In 2003, Gogo made her way to the United States as an au pair for a Michigan family and then cycled through a variety of jobs: jewelry store, secretary, warehouse work, restaurant business, data entry, restaurant food safety. She caught the attention of a neighbor, a marketing director for a title company. The advice? Gogo’s drive and ability to connect with people made her a perfect fit for real estate.
By then married to her husband Duane Bethke, Gogo in 2011 kicked off her new career. Her first gig was with a family-owned agency exclusive to Michigan.
“I was young. The average age [in the company] was much higher. I was the only one doing social and it took off. Agents were talking to me from all over the place and I’m helping them, but I never got much of a benefit of referring them.”
Gogo stayed there until 2018, at which time she joined a larger brokerage, but knew she ultimately needed a brokerage that valued her savvy online marketing skills.
She felt her proven ability to inspire and train other agents was a lucrative commodity that also deserved compensation. It was around this time that a couple of agents introduced Gogo to eXp.
“The revenue sharing, the stock awards and the ability to earn my cap back made perfect sense,’’ she said, adding: “I used to talk to tens of agents every single day, helping them with their social media questions. Eventually, I was repeating myself over and over again explaining the same thing. So I decided to record myself. This way I can help thousands at the same time.”
Gogo’s Bootcamp Is Born
That’s how Gogo’s bootcamp came about. In the spring of 2018, after repeated conversations with agents on how to grow their business, she decided to funnel all of that effort into an online program that provides 20 hours of video training to agents covering everything from the basics of social media to lead generation all the way to closing. She also hosts a Facebook page for members, offering one live class a month, and has become a sought-after motivational speaker, doing 15 events last year.
“I feel like I don’t work,” Gogo says. “It’s because I love what I do. It’s almost too good to be true.”
Gogo loves eXp’s transparency and agents’ willingness to share information. It’s a collaborative atmosphere very different from most real estate brokerages.
“It was weird at first, getting used to how much everyone shares,” Gogo said. “Because prior to eXp I only experienced the cut-throat side of real estate where everyone hides their tricks and knowledge because they don’t want you to take a slice of their pie.”
Her Social Media Know-How Grew Organically, Then Exploded
Gogo says she never planned on becoming a social media star, but it came out of necessity.
“I had $7 to my name when I got my license,” said Gogo. “Very early on I realized you need to spend money to make money. Well, I had no money to spend.”
Gogo turned to social media as a free way to reach potential clients and stay in front of them.
“I started posting about what I learned today,” Gogo said. “It showed them I’m hustling and learning. Over time, I became an expert in social media. One transaction turned into another and today we are close to $60 million in real estate transactions all organically from social media.”
From Romania to Michigan, it appears Gogo has embraced her potential, citing Warren Buffett’s belief that “If you don’t find a way to make money while you sleep, you will work until you die.”
With eXp, Gogo has easily figured out a way to avoid that.
10 Fun Things About Gogo Bethke
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
A family home on the beach. The ocean is where I’m the closest to God.
Which talent would you most like to have?
I would love to have a voice like Celine Dion and just sing when I need to relax or cry or I’m happy… for any reason.
One thing you can’t live without?
Q-tips! If I’m going on a TV show and there is one item I can take, it’s Q-tips!
One trait that has led to your success?
I’m relentless. I’m quick. I won’t give up. And I can do all of this in three languages.
What celebrity would play you in a movie or TV show
Lazy people and excuses.
Little known fact about yourself?
I failed English almost every year in high school. I mean I barely made it.
Song you never tire of?
“One Headlight” by The Wallflowers.
A good street taco with cilantro and onions and avocado and marinated meats.
Your epitaph will say:
Just go (Gogo) for it!