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Author Archive for Nadine Larder

Turning “Nos” into a “Yes”

Turn No into Yes

Do you hate being told no?

Most of us do. It’s frustrating. It means that we don’t get what we want – at least not right away. From the time we’re two years old we don’t want to hear “No.”

Unfortunately, in the real estate business you hear “No” a lot. How do you handle it? The good news is that you don’t have to simply walk away. You can turn a “No” into a “Yes.”

No is a Knee-Jerk Reaction

Most people will say “No” to anything as a first reaction. Are you shopping in a store, and an employee asks if you need help? “No.” Any time your coworker or child starts to say “Hey, would you..”

“No.”

The good news is that means the first time you hear a rejection it probably isn’t a firm one. They probably haven’t even thought about what you said. They are being interrupted, or they are defensive, or they are thinking about something else.

So how do you handle a “No” that’s not a real “No”?

Start the Conversation the Right Way

One way to avoid the knee-jerk “No” is to start the conversation without going straight for the sale.

Let’s say you are doing a pop-by and someone is chatting with you at the door. Ask questions like, “Isn’t this a great neighborhood?” and, “Wow, what a sweet dog, I bet that’s a blessing to come home to every day.”

In essence, talk about agreeable things where they start saying “Yes.” Of course they like the neighborhood. Of course they love their dog. Get them on these positive topics, and get them saying yes.

After this, you have more room to ask if they know the value of their home and if they’d like to find out. By that time, you’re already an acquaintance they have positive feelings about from your initial conversation.

Be Curious, Not Obnoxious

There are sales jobs where they tell you the customer has to say “No” three times before you can end the conversation. That leads to a lot of obnoxious, pushy sales calls.

Don’t be that person. Instead, be curious. Suppose they say no, they aren’t interested in learning the value of their home. Ask about it. “It never hurts to find out more about your home’s value. What about a value assessment doesn’t interest you?”

Think about things in terms of serving them, not in terms of making a sale. In what way can you serve them? What do you have that they need? How can you set up your conversation so it fits into the timeframe they have?

When you approach a prospect through eyes of curiosity and service, rather than sales and closing, you approach them as a person. The difference in your attitude will be obvious, and the prospect will be much more open to talk to you.

This is Just the Beginning

The full process of handling rejections and turning a “No” into a “Yes” is of course larger than a blog post can cover. But the approach can be the most important part. If you come at things understanding that “No” is often a knee-jerk reaction, and not a real answer, it will be easier to overcome.

You can start the conversation in a way that brings forward “Yes” before you ask for the sale. You can approach the prospect with a spirit of curiosity and service, instead of aggressive sales. Both of these help you set the stage for a good interaction.

What do you do to turn a “No” into a “Yes”? Share in the comments!

It’s that time – time to get your 2018 marketing planned and purchased. Be sure to buy before Dec 31 for maximum tax benefits next year! Take a look at our variety of marketing materials today!

Better Together—The Mastermind Group

Today, we are featuring a guest post from Christel Silver, Broker/Owner of Silver International Realty!

Real Estate Mastermind

The concept of the Mastermind Group was formally introduced by Napoleon Hill in the early 1900’s. In his timeless classic, Think And Grow Rich he wrote about the Mastermind principle as: “A friendly alliance with one or more persons who will encourage one to follow through with both plan and purpose.”

A mastermind can make a huge difference in your real estate business. Here’s how to set one up, what to share, and an example from my own experience!

How to Set Up a Mastermind Group

The ideal size of the group can be anywhere from 4 and 6 members because if your meetings are 60 to 90 minutes long, everyone should have enough time to talk. You don’t have to be from the same area – you can meet virtually!

It is not a networking group. This group helps one another to achieve success.

It is not about a facilitator coaching each member. It is about sharing with each other and empowering one another. Everyone in the mastermind is unique in skill, experience, and connections. They are interacting and sharing any challenges.

The group decides the agenda.  At the end of each meeting, the topic for the following meeting is discussed.  You challenge each other to set goals and share your accomplishments. The group helps one another in making wise decisions.

In my group we discussed customer relationship management (CRM) systems. Each one of us was searching the Internet and exploring the possibilities and then reported why they liked one over the other at our next meeting.

Yes, you could Google this yourself – but the brainstorming, interaction, discussion and creative thinking would not be available.

The Benefits of a Mastermind Group for Real Estate

The group helps with creative ideas and wise decision-making. Then, as you begin to implement your plan, you bring both success stories and problems to the group and problems are solved through peer brainstorming and collective, creative thinking.

The biggest value of a mastermind group is that in an instant, you have multiple minds using their brainpower to help solve your individual business problems. It’s very much peer-to-peer mentoring and if you are lucky enough to get invited to one, you will most likely see a marked change in yourself and your business.

Whether you are invited to join an existing mastermind group, or start a new group, you’ll love what this group process can help you accomplish!

What to Share at a Meeting

Here are some suggestions to ask your members when holding a meeting for your new group:

  • Share one thing that is currently working really well in your business activities.
  • Share one thing you are struggling with.
  • Share one resource, such as a blog, podcast, service, product that you believe the others in the group would appreciate knowing about.

An Example – My Mastermind Experience

I have been a member of a mastermind group for about 3 1/2 years, and it has shaped my life and my business, besides becoming close friends with the group. We can openly discuss our concerns, successes, and frustrations – without being criticized.

Our members – all CRS’s  (Certified Residential Specialist) are Clark Niblock from Texas, Joanne Fraser and Jeff Dowler from California and Silvia Dukes and myself from Florida.

We have created a real estate agent marketing Think Tank. We get together once a month via a conference call and when possible in person at real estate events we all attend.

Silvia Dukes, our newest member, says “As one of the newer members of the mastermind group, I appreciate the different perspectives every member brings to the group and the topics we discuss. I find it beneficial to know how things are done differently across the country and maybe even apply that knowledge to my own real estate practice.”

Clark Niblock says, “My monthly interaction with these fellow agents inspires, encourages, enlightens, challenges me and keeps me focused. Each of these 5 successful agents come with very different individual and geographic perspectives, professional insights, and career achievements. I absolutely believe this consistent think tank agent interaction facilitates and increases sales performance plus helps me objectively evaluate and quantify the real estate Supermen’s team sales results.”

Joanne Fraser shared, “Even working in totally different market areas with different challenges and real estate procedures, we find common ground to help each other.”

Jeff Dowler says, “Participating in a Mastermind with other top-producing agents from other parts of the country over the last 3 1/2 years has been tremendously rewarding, personally and business-wise. It’s been an excellent learning experience to find out what others are doing as far as marketing, lead generation, pricing, and multiple other business topics, and to try new strategies that are working in our respective markets which are quite diverse. Our Mastermind has blossomed into a very personal forum where we can all share our concerns, frustrations, questions, and ideas to obtain feedback and input from others in a positive, supportive way, without fear of criticism. Not only do we learn new things, but also we learn about ourselves and our personal styles that contribute to our successes and help us improve the real estate industry. Lastly, we have become very good friends who are there to help each other out, whenever needed.”

What about you? Can you benefit from a mastermind? Try starting one in the new year – it’s a great way to set yourself up for success in 2018!

 

Christel Silver is a full-time Broker/Owner of Silver International Realty servicing the East Coast of South Florida. The National Association of Realtor’s (NAR) President appointed her (2010-2014) as the President’s Liaison to Germany, where she grew up and worked at the Justice Department for 17 years prior to coming to this country. Fifty percent of her business is in the International arena. For more information visit www.silverhouses.com.

 

We want you to have every chance to succeed and make 2018 the year you break through and reach your goals. Check out the resources we have available today!

The Perfect Real Estate Blog: A Community Info Page

Blogging Community Page

You’ve probably heard how much a blog can help with your business. It helps you be found when people do website searches for homes in your area. It also helps you build trust and authority with your prospects as they visit your site.

But many Realtors® are held back from starting a blog for one simple reason. What do you say? And how do you find something new week after week?

I have good news. There’s a perfect way to create a blog with ready-made content. And that’s by making your blog a community info page.

Prospects Want to Know Current Events

Do you know how hard it is to find out basic information about anything in most areas?

  • Where are the best Christmas light displays in town?
  • What is that new construction over on Elm St.? What are they building?
  • I wish my favorite music artist would come through. What’s coming up at the Staples Center?
  • Are there live plays I can take my family to this month?

If you can find out any of these answers, it takes a lot of work. You have to search either on Google or on community sites. There’s no one website that gives you everything you want to know.

In this case, you’ll need to Google “Christmas lights” and your town, and hope for the best. Then you’ll need to look at the minutes of city council meetings for the last couple months to see what’s being built. You’ll need to check the website for the Staples Center. And you’ll need to Google plays in your area.

And despite your efforts, sometimes you can’t find the answers at all.

You Can Become a Much-Needed One-Stop Shop

You’re a Realtor®. You may not realize it, but you have connections throughout town that give you information most people don’t have.

  • What if you had people submit their favorite Christmas light displays and created a map for others to use?
  • What if you kept people up to date on new construction and businesses that are coming into the area?
  • What if you kept an ongoing list of entertainment, from the Staples Center to local music and plays?

It would be easier than you think. You wouldn’t have to do all the research. You simply keep your ears open, check a couple of websites you keep bookmarked, and you’ve got everything you need.

Use a Community Page as Your Blog – and WIN!

Don’t wrack your brain trying to think of new content for your blog every week. Instead, keep your ears open, discover what’s happening locally, and post it!

The community and daily life will give you plenty of content. You don’t have to come up with anything. Let life happen, share about it, and everyone wins.

The community has a place to find out what they want to know. You are an authority and an expert in your area. And you have tons of fresh content that Google loves.

You can’t lose!

Start your blog with a community page today. The holidays are a great time to start, and you’ll be in a perfect position starting 2018.

December is the perfect time to invest in your marketing! Don’t let your chance to get a tax write-off while you position your business for success in 2018. Let us help – we have everything you need!

Why December is Perfect for Investing in Your Marketing

Invest in real estate marketing

I can think of a lot of things December is perfect for.

Hot chocolate. Christmas carols. Shopping. Gingersnaps. Family.

Oh, and investing in your real estate marketing! 

Now before you tell me I’ve had a little too much eggnog for my own good, let me explain. December is a perfect time to invest in marketing – for several reasons.

Get Your Year Off to a Great Start!

First and foremost, investing in your marketing in December allows you to get your year off to a great start. Whether you want to revamp your branding, rework your website, or just refresh your business cards, nothing feels better than hitting January 1 ready to go.

In real estate, the late fall and winter can be slower times in our businesses. That makes it the perfect time to reflect on what worked and what didn’t in 2017.

Find ways to increase your focus on successful marketing and cut back on unsuccessful outreach. Try new things. If you haven’t used postcards before, for instance, take a look at our farming postcards! Try sending out one per quarter in 2018, using a mailing list or Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM).

December is the perfect time to create your 2018 marketing plan and invest in the resources you need to make it happen. Get out a calendar, mark down outreach dates, and have your best year ever!

Hello, Mr. Taxman…

…or Taxwoman!

April is everyone’s favorite month, right? Maybe not. But it can be a lot better if you’ve invested in your real estate marketing in December!

All of your real estate marketing purchases are part of your business expenses, meaning that you can write them off against your income. That makes THIS MONTH your last chance to lower next year’s tax bill!

Don’t wait until January to get those business cards or postcards ordered. Do it now, and not only will you start the year strong, you’ll get a big dose of relief at tax time.

Make the Most of Your Winter – Plan for Spring

In no way do we advocate letting your marketing hibernate this winter – you have to stay consistent if you want to have business in the spring. However, it’s common that spring and summer are the heaviest marketing time of year.

It’s also common that spring and summer are the heaviest work time of year as well, however, and sometimes marketing competes with work – and loses.

You can avoid this turmoil by planning ahead. Order postcards to be printed with Printerbees, and let us mail them for you at the right times. We can use EDDM or your mailing list. Either way, you won’t be wasting valuable work time in May running to the post office!

Plan ahead for local events you know you’re going to sponsor or attend as well – that way you can keep the calendar around it clear. Set up times for pop-bys.

By putting everything on the calendar now, you’ll be able to see if you’re overscheduling, or if you have one heavy marketing month and one with nothing in it. Move things around accordingly. If you have two local events in June, focus your pop-bys in July.

When you plan ahead, you can move into the spring and summer knowing that both your marketing and your workload are planned and manageable – which means you’ll be much more successful!

Now’s the Time – Don’t Put it Off!

December will be over before you know it, in a whirl of presents, cocoa, carols, and gingersnaps. Take time now – before the holidays get really busy – to plan and order your marketing for next year.

It only takes a couple of hours, and it can save you big – both at tax time and during the spring and summer next year!

 

Need help planning your marketing? We’re here for you. Contact us for a free marketing plan session today!

How to Make Your Real Estate Blog an SEO Powerhouse

Today, we are featuring a guest post from Brad Shorr, Director of Content Strategy at Straight North!

SEO Blogging

Maintaining a blog is quite an undertaking. For a real estate blog to be effective, fresh content has to be posted regularly, high-quality interior and exterior property photos need to be taken, and a variety of marketing efforts must be made to build blog subscribers and generate leads.

If you plan to go through all of this, you should also do everything you can to maximize your blog’s SEO. A well-optimized blog helps get your blog content in front of people when they are in the market for commercial or residential property — and using Google to locate properties or find an agent.

When it comes to SEO, and local SEO in particular, there are 1,001 tactics and techniques that can be used to improve a blog’s organic search engine rankings. Since few realtors have a five-figure SEO budget to do it all, prioritizing SEO efforts is job number one. Here are the most important things you can do to turn your real estate blog into a strong SEO performer.

  1. Do keyword research. It could be worth investing a few hundred dollars in professional keyword research — you must have keywords that people commonly use when searching for what you sell. In addition, your targeted keywords have to be ones for which you can rank; some keywords are just too competitive and a waste of time to go after. A professional SEO knows all the factors that go into the decisions.

For realtors, using a blog for long-tail keywords is a very promising strategy. Big companies are likely to utterly dominate rankings for general real estate keywords — however, if you focus on more specialized keywords, such as “how can I get a mortgage with no down payment”, you stand a better chance of getting a decent ranking.

  1. Create blog posts dedicated to one to three target keywords. Trying to incorporate too many keywords will probably confuse the bots that Google sends to your blog to figure out what your post is about. And, of course, at the other end of the spectrum, failing to incorporate any keywords wastes an opportunity.
  1. Optimize the blog post’s title tag. A title tag is meta data seen by Googlebots, but not necessarily human readers. The title tag is VERY important and should include the main keyword for the post, preferably at the beginning of the title.
  1. Install an SEO plugin. To optimize title tags and execute other types of SEO work (such as adding a meta description to a post), you may need to install an SEO plugin on your CMS. Here is an informative resource for researching WordPress SEO plugins. Most other CMS packages have good options.
  1. Get other websites to link to your blog. So far, the items we’ve looked at are all on-site SEO issues. Off-site SEO issues are also important, and THE biggest one is getting high-quality, relevant links back to your website. Google places a lot of emphasis on backlinks in its ranking algorithm — if your blog has more and better backlinks than competitor blogs, you’ll gain a big advantage. Chambers of commerce and other local business organization websites are great candidates. Also, you may be able to write a guest article on a local business site that includes a link back to your blog.
  1. Optimize your images. People looking for real estate are likely to search using Google Images — take advantage of this opportunity by optimizing your photos with relevant keywords. Here’s how to do it.
  1. Make your blog mobile-friendly. Most CMS platforms have responsive templates that adjust automatically for optimum viewing on mobile devices and desktops. Google places enormous emphasis on this, and many of your visitors may be accessing your blog on a mobile phone — you can’t afford to disappoint them (or Google!).
  1. Use local SEO best practices for your blog page templates. Of prime importance is making sure your company name, physical business address and local phone number are on every page of your blog. (This seems obvious, but a lot of bloggers miss it.) If you’d like to learn more about this and other local SEO ranking factors, read this article.

 

Brad Shorr is Director of Content Strategy at Straight North, an Internet marketing agency specializing in SEO, PPC and web design for small and midsize firms.

How to Make Your Winter Real Estate Marketing Pop

Winter Real Estate Marketing

Does the thought of winter real estate marketing leave you cold?

A lot of traditional real estate marketing is less applicable in the winter. Few people do pop-bys with a foot of snow on the ground. Not as many people are trying to list when it’s 10 below zero outside, and even if they did there are fewer buyers braving the weather.

But that doesn’t mean your marketing should go into hibernation. Instead, find creative ways to continue your outreach all winter with these ideas and tips!

Sponsor an Indoor Event

Just because it’s cold in much of the country doesn’t mean you can’t have a live event. It simply has to be indoors!

Consider having a family fun night where you rent carnival games from a local provider. You can have seasonal treats including hot chocolate, a bake sale, gingerbread or cookie decorating, and more!

Giving people something to do in the winter that doesn’t involve freezing can help you build brand awareness and community goodwill. It’s especially fun because other real estate agents are likely to be less visible during this time. You have a chance to gain some ground!

Write About How to Make the Most of Winter

Whether you use a blog, email marketing, a newsletter, postcards, or all four of these, you always need new content. Why not write about how to make the most of winter in your area?

In a warm climate like Arizona, write about how to make the most of the nicest season your area offers. It’s not so wickedly hot, so encourage people to get out!

In other areas of the country, write about local winter festivals, ways to enjoy the outdoors in the cold, and how to stay safe and warm.

You can use this content across all of your marketing, including social media. It’s relevant and will definitely get attention!

Use a Free Giveaway to Build Your List

The holidays are a great time for free giveaways. You can use so many things to build your list. Consider getting both email information and mailing addresses so that you can maximize your outreach!

Here are some great free giveaways that really make your marketing pop:

  • A free drawing for a prize
  • A small set of greeting cards
  • A holiday decorating guide
  • A list of family-friendly activities in your area
  • Holiday-themed word searches or crossword puzzles
  • Branded gifts like wine bags

Make sure your free giveaway is high-quality and appealing to your target customer base. Families with children will be interested in very different freebies than retirees!

Say Thank You and Ask for Testimonials

The end of the year is a great time to reflect and say thanks. You can send holiday cards showing appreciation to everyone you’ve worked with during the year.

In the card, after sharing your thanks, you can ask folks to leave an online review or testimonial if they enjoyed working with you. Let them know that it makes a difference and their experience can help others decide who to choose as a Realtor®.

You can also simply ask for direct feedback on working with you. Once you receive it, you can keep it private and learn from what is said. Or, if you think it would help build your business, you can reach out for permission to publish it or ask them to post it online.

Reviews matter a great deal – don’t miss a chance to ask for feedback!

Don’t Leave Your Marketing Dormant this Winter

As a real estate agent, you can’t afford to drop off in your marketing, even in a traditionally slow time of year. People need to see your name and information regularly in order to build up that rapport and expertise.

You can’t afford to lose business to competitors in the spring – and your spring business will have a lot to do with your winter marketing!!

What do you plan to do for marketing this winter? Share in the comments!

How to Take the WORST Possible Listing Photos

Worst Listing Photos

Many times we like to offer advice on how to succeed and do well. However, sometimes it’s extremely informative to look at how folks do it wrong.

In some cases, terribly, terribly wrong.

In that spirit, here’s a light-hearted look at how you can take the WORST possible photos for your client’s listing.

Enjoy!

Focus on the Throne

When you photograph the bathroom, be sure to focus on the main point. Buyers don’t need to know what the appearance or size of a bathroom is. Instead, the need to see a solo shot of the most important element of the room – the porcelain throne.

You get bonus points for this one if the toilet has a fuzzy rug cover and a fuzzy rug foot mat. Nothing like a fuzzy rug set in the bathroom to scream cleanliness and style!

While you’re at it, be sure to impress buyers with the details of your client’s personal sanitation and grooming. They need to know what brand of makeup they use, the fact that they still need feminine supplies, and the fact that they stack toilet paper in the corner.

You know they’ll snoop during a showing, why not just lay it all out up front?

“Clean” By Any Other Name

Remember, everyone has the same definition of “clean” embedded since birth. So when you tell your client that the home needs to be “clean,” there’s no need to explain that term or make sure they understand what you’re talking about.

In fact, it’s more fun to just find out what happens. Does “clean” mean that your client’s home will look like a photo shoot, or just that the dog vomit was picked up and the clutter shoved to the corners? Like a blindfolded piñata game, just swing the stick and see what happens.

Besides, the client displaying their own version of clean helps the buyer see the seller’s unique personality!

Show Off All the Zany Collections

Speaking of personality, every buyer needs to know that this is your client’s home. So, keep all unique and unusual collections on full display. A collection of rubber bugs? Perfect! Dozens of creepy dolls? Amazing!

Clutter and collections show the unique style of every seller, and that’s what matters. Buyers need to see how the sellers enjoyed their home. Buyers care deeply about the unique idiosyncrasies of each seller, so don’t worry about showing off the home.

Besides, sellers are attached to their stuff, and mentioning that it should be moved can cause an argument. Instead, let them know how much buyers love seeing a variety of angles on that fly-fishing bait collection.

Seasonal Decorations Front and Center

Decorating for the holidays can bring out the best in a home, so encourage homeowners to have listing pictures taken during Christmas. So festive! So much cheer!

Who cares that the listing is in May?

When buyers see photos adorned with Christmas lights, cookies, decorations, and more, they will be warmed from the inside out. They’ll be reminded of the snow, cold, and grey that ruled just a few short months ago – and they’ll be that much more appreciative of the spring sunshine.

Everyone has great memories of Christmas. It’s not a hard season for anyone, and folks don’t struggle with holiday stress or difficult family members. Because the holidays are universally amazing and give such great photo opportunities, use those holiday listing photos at any time of year!

Go For the ‘Shop – Photoshop

Hey, even million-dollar fashion models have their assets enhanced. Why not a home? Photoshop is the perfect tool for any listing photo.

Got a dog in the picture in an unfortunate position? No problem – just cut it out! Do power lines mess up a home, or nearby traffic look uninviting? No sweat. The ‘shop can take care of it all.

The goal is to get people to the home, and they’re bound to fall in love. If you have to take a few creative liberties… well, so be it, right? Certainly not an ethical concern, after all.

While you’re at it, see what you can do with filters and magnification to improve the appearance of every room. People want a large master bedroom and a light, airy, feel – you’ll be amazed how much Photoshop can help you!

Have a Laugh, Then Do it Right

Ok, ok, you know I’m not advocating any of this – especially the ethics violations! However, we’ve seen them all multiple times in listings.

So, learn from these and do differently – and you’ll having listing photos you can be proud of!

What hilarious listing photo mistakes have you seen? Share in the comments!

Ready to put those beautiful listing photos to great use? Check out our Just Listed postcards today!

Relationships with International Real Estate Agents

Today, we are featuring a guest post from Christel Silver, Broker/Owner of Silver International Realty!

International real estate

A relationship does not happen overnight – locally or globally.

The first time I went to Germany as the liaison to Germany for the National Association of Realtors (NAR), no one wanted to talk to me. That’s because in many places, including Europe, real estate agents don’t do business the same way as we do. They don’t cooperate with each other.

You have to work hard to build a relationship and build trust. You have to understand their needs. There is a lack of inventory in many European cities.

If you have a buyer referral, chances are they will tell you they are not interested.  Since they are selling their own listings, they have a large pool of buyers themselves.  They need listings.  But they also know people who want to invest in U.S. real estate.

If you can help them understand how they can refer those buyers to you and trust you to do a great job, you can have a thriving international business.

Find Your Niche

You cannot be a specialist for the whole world – so find your niche.

The first thing I recommend is to join the local real estate association in the country in which you specialize.  Most have a publication that gives you an idea about doing business in that area.

More than that, volunteer to write an article about the local real estate market or information that is pertinent to international buyers about doing business in the United States.  Learn about their culture. You can sour a relationship by doing the wrong things.

Go to their association conventions. There you can pass out information and network with other real estate agents.

Do not forget our conventions like the National Association of Realtors where there are many possibilities to meet international attendees.  Have you used the global sites from the NAR?  You will find statistics and valuable information.

When You Travel Overseas

When you visit, meet with banks that have big real estate portfolios.

In Germany, banks are in the real estate business. I schedule meetings with the bank CEO and volunteer to show them around my state should they visit. I also volunteer to write articles about the market.

From that connection, a bank CEO called me when he was in town and asked me to show him some new constructions and some resales. The banks have connections to people with money and advise them about their investments.

When they recommend that these people invest in U.S. real estate, you want them to contact YOU! I have received more referrals from banks in Germany than from real estate agents!

Network Locally in the U.S.

Locally most areas have cultural clubs. We have many in Florida—Swedish, German, Brazil—just Google them for your area.  If you are interested in getting involved, attend some of their events and join.

I’m in a German club and I advertise in their newsletter, which is inexpensive, and I got two listings out of it. And once you make those connections and do a good job, they refer you to others.

Social media is great!  Look for groups especially on LinkedIn. As an instructor for CIPS, I suggest to the students to find a group on LinkedIn for the country you want to work with or your other specialties like oceanfront or horse properties and see what groups are established.

Look at who is in the group, listen in first and maybe respond a bit and if it’s something you want to be part of, write an article and get known, get interactive. You will connect with real estate agents from all over the world.

Do You Need a Foreign Language?

You do not need to speak another language – just build your professional team around you: attorney, CPA, lender who speaks the language. But if you are fluent in another language and you have a website, create a page in the foreign language, but also add keywords in this language.

Trade Missions

Trade missions are wonderful. I participated in trade missions to Germany, Columbia and Brazil.

We had real estate agents showing us properties and explaining the construction, which is so different. A trade mission is a good way to get a feel for the country and to learn how they do business, make connections and build on them.  Many U.S. Associations offer trade missions.

Join one and add a couple days for vacation!

Next Steps

In closing, I recommend that you get your Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS) designation, offered by National Association of Realtors. This will educate you about all the tools you need to interact with foreign clients successfully and market yourself to international real estate agents.

 

 

Christel Silver is a full-time Broker/Owner of Silver International Realty servicing the East Coast of South Florida. The National Association of Realtor’s (NAR) President appointed her (2010-2014) as the President’s Liaison to Germany, where she grew up and worked at the Justice Department for 17 years prior to coming to this country. Fifty percent of her business is in the International arena. For more information visit www.silverhouses.com.

So You Want to Be a Great Realtor®? Tips & Tricks

Today, we are featuring a guest post from Jessica Rosato, a Luxury Broker Associate at Nestler Poletto Sotheby’s International Realty!

Great Realtor

Working as a real estate agent has its challenges: you don’t get paid unless you sell, you can work long hours and still have no paycheck, and you have to adapt to changing market conditions. That said, it can be a rewarding career, both financially and professionally.

Calling on your sphere of influence, projecting a professional image and utilizing today’s real estate tools and technology can help you develop a successful career in real estate. Here are some tips that might be helpful in your quest to be a great Realtor®.

Delight your customers/clients. . . Make your customers so happy, so content, so delighted, and they will be loyal for life.

A new direction. . . Don’t be afraid of taking a new direction or going off path –  sometimes the journey brings you someplace unexpected that is even better and more rewarding than what you initially anticipated.  Embrace it and don’t be so tied to the expected result. It’s okay to switch it up!  What you say yes to is just as important as what you say no to!

Value proposition . . . Know what makes your different and shine a light on it.  Know your value proposition at all times and what you can bring to the table that others can’t/don’t/won’t.

Be unique. . . Don’t worry about what negative people say or think about you.  Be true to yourself, be honest with yourself about what you really want, and don’t pretend to be anything other than what you are. You don’t want to waste your life following someone else’s dream for you. This is the biggest regret of most elderly.

Keep good company. . . Align yourself with like-minded people who genuinely want to see you succeed, better yourself and stretch the limits. Never be the smartest person in “your” room.  Consider a mastermind group (becoming part of one of creating one yourself) or finding alternative ways of meeting people interested in things you might be interested in or want to learn more about. Look to the past to gain valuable insight and information.

Give back. . . To your community, to causes you believe in, to organizations that excite you and draw compassion out of you.  You have to give back to truly have a sense of purpose.

Work hard. . . It’s as simple as that. Do what needs to get done consistently, what should get done, not what “could” get done.  Prioritize and focus on the “musts.”  Be okay with letting some things go and letting then fall by the wayside—you can’t do everything well! Working hard and working smart will put you closer to the opportunities you want.

Balance. . . Accept that there really is no perfect work-life balance. Stop chasing it.  It becomes its own controlling thing when you keep after it, trying to solve it, trying to make it either go away or come to you- just deal with it—sometimes you work and sometimes you play and sometimes you play when you should be working and sometimes you have to work when you want to play. Sorry!

Be persistent. . . Even when things get rough and you’re down and depressed and can’t believe that nothing is working out even though you are working so hard (yes, we all feel that way—you’re not alone), keep going.  Put one foot in front of the other and just keep going.  To perfect a skill, to become an expert and be on top, you have to consistently do the right things every day whether you want to or not.  A painter must paint every day even if just a doodle to keep connected and on the same vein (or risk losing it).

Coaching. . . all the greats have coaches, some even 2 or 3. . .why don’t you?! Most of the time we don’t engage in coaching because we don’t want to spend the money, but you’re ultimately investing in yourself and working towards bettering yourself! Look into it!

Celebrate your successes. . . Don’t get so caught up in the grind that you forget to reward yourself because that becomes a habit that only causes you to feel like a slave to your profession.

Don’t be so serious. . . Stuff happens, you make mistakes, you disappoint, you slack, you complain, you cry. . . it’s all part of the process—just don’t worry so much.  You have many glass balls that you carry that you don’t want to shatter (family, health, etc), but your work ball is a rubber ball and it always bounces back.

Leverage. . . Know when it’s time to get help—period.

Have purpose. . . Without a deeper purpose, your success will have a ceiling.  You may achieve great financial success, but that will bore you eventually and leave you feeling unfulfilled and searching for more.  A purpose, a passion, what makes you happy, will propel you into the next phase.  Once you have that wealth, it’s what you do with it that makes the difference.

Jessica Rosato is a Luxury Broker Associate for Nestler Poletto Sotheby’s International Realty of Delray Beach. As a concierge realtor, she utilizes her skills to create experiences of a lifetime. Visit her website at www.bocadelrayluxury.com.

How 280 Characters Impacts Twitter for Real Estate

Twitter for Real Estate

Do you use Twitter for real estate marketing? It’s not something we’ve discussed here on the blog very often, mostly because there are so many social media options.

When using social media, it makes sense to focus on Facebook for targeting and Instagram for photos. However, that doesn’t mean Twitter is useless, especially now that they’ve expanded to 280 characters per post.

The Good: Using Twitter for Real Estate

There are quite a few features that make Twitter a good tool for real estate. You can find prospects, engage in conversation, and provide helpful information.

Finding Prospects

Twitter’s search feature lets you see what folks are talking about regarding specific housing areas, types of homes, and more. You can search terms like “Moving to (city)” or “affordable house in (city)” to find prospects.

You need to do this regularly, because the search results can pull up tweets from weeks or months ago, and as you know, you need to answer right away to be effective!

Like all conversations, however, be sure you don’t “go for the close” immediately. You need to ask questions to be sure you understand their needs, then offer suggestions.

Engagement on Twitter

This part is hard, I’m not going to lie. A lot more folks use Twitter to trumpet than to listen. But that doesn’t mean engagement is impossible.

Try these approaches:

  • Talk to people about themselves, like their hobbies, profile, or a recent tweet
  • Share pictures with each tweet – it’s much more eye-catching!
  • Connect with influencers, especially if they are local to you
  • Share local content – including hashtags
  • Answer questions you find on Twitter search

The 280 Advantage

Now that Twitter has expanded the length of tweets, you can share even more value with each post. It also makes it easier to cross-post from Facebook or other platforms. You don’t have to worry about cutting down the content to fit 140 characters!

With the extra space, try asking more questions, using more local terms and hashtags, and sharing more detailed content. You’ll be surprised how much flexibility the extra characters will give!

The Bad: Challenges in Twitter for Real Estate

One of the biggest struggles with Twitter is that it seems everyone is shouting, and few people are listening or responding. It may take a while to find folks to connect with that are genuinely interested in you.

The key to overcoming this is to not be one of those people! If your whole Twitter feed is simply cross-posts from other platforms, you can’t expect much engagement. Instead, use search to find relevant conversations you can participate in.

As with all social media, it takes time. We recommend this as possibly a third or fourth platform, with Facebook and Instagram being #1 and #2. Not every real estate agent will have time for more than two platforms, but if you do, Twitter is fun to experiment with!

Let us know – do you use Twitter? Why or why not? Share in the comments!

 

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