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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.

The Five People Every Realtor® Needs to Know

Five People Realtors Need to Know

People never find business success alone, especially in real estate. Knowing the right people and being able to use a close network to help your clients is vital.

How do you know who you need to know? Professionals in a variety of fields help your clients finalize a deal. Whether it’s a mortgage banker or a home inspector, having people you can refer clients to time after time gives you many benefits.

The Benefits of a Close Referral Network

Why bother to have a go-to mortgage professional or inspector? Why not just let the client find their own?

First of all, you’ll save a lot of time. Home buyers, especially first-timers, don’t even know where to start when looking for professionals. When you give them a referral, even if they don’t use it, it will give them a starting point.

Secondly, you can help your clients find someone who is qualified. It’s easy to be fast-talked into a bad deal when you’re already overwhelmed with buying a home. It’s also easy to end up with someone who does a poor job and causes the deal to fall through.

Finally, it helps you build good relationships with other professionals. You can build a lot of goodwill by sending consistent clients to someone, and perhaps when they need a Realtor® or know someone who does they will think of you.

The Five People You Should Have on Your Side

So who does every Realtor® need to know? Most of these are common sense when you think about it, but the truth is that most real estate agents don’t take the time. Build a relationship with these five folks and you’ll be able to streamline the buying process for your clients.

Mortgage Broker

This is the most obvious, and many real estate agents do have a mortgage professional they refer clients to. This can help clients gain pre-approval and be an option for them when closing a deal. Find someone who is good at working with the types of clients you tend to have, and closes a lot of deals.

Home Inspector

Having a Realtor® who knows a well-qualified home inspector is a great benefit for buyers. Home inspections are nerve-wracking and home buyers are always nervous something will be missed and they will be left with a lemon. Having a self-assured, detail-oriented inspector you can recommend will help your buyers be confident in their purchase and in you.

Insurance Agent

Having home insurance is a key factor in closing any real estate deal. Many customers will have an existing insurance company to use, but you can also refer them to a skilled independent agent you know as well. Comparing prices never hurts, and if a buyer is completely lost your referral can give them a starting point.

An Escrow Officer

Knowing someone who has closed a lot of escrows and has seen a variety of scenarios will be invaluable to your real estate business. Using an inexperienced or unskilled escrow officer can completely scuttle a deal, which costs you and your clients money. Find out who is excellent at escrow in your area and make sure they are a part of your team.

A General Contractor

Many buyers approach a home wanting to make changes and updates. Other find specific things that need repaired or changed once they move in. Even after a deal is closed you may get questions about who to call for specific repairs. Having a general contractor you know that has a great reputation and performs high-quality work will make you look great to your clients.

Who Do YOU Know?

In real estate, as in many other kinds of business, it’s not always about what you know. It’s just as much about who you know. With these five professionals as part of your referral network, you’ll save time and hassle in almost every buying deal. It’s worth the time and effort to build these relationships, so start today!

Are you ready to ramp up your spring and summer marketing efforts? We’ve got a variety of ways to reach out to new buyers, including buyers postcards, Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM), and more. Contact us for help today!

Are You Killing the Golden Goose?

Are You Killing the Golden Goose?

As a Realtor®, you do a lot to grow your business. You focus on attracting leads through a variety of marketing techniques. You set up appointments to pitch your services to buyers and sellers. When you win a client, you focus on doing your very best to help them buy or sell a home.

But what about YOU? Does your business ever focus on you?

If you want to be successful, it should. Here’s why.

The Goose Who Laid the Golden Eggs

You may remember this fable from your childhood, but in case you don’t, I’ll give a quick version here.

Once a farmer had a goose who laid eggs. One morning the farmer discovered, to his shock, that the goose had laid an egg that was 100% gold. The next day, the goose laid one more golden egg. The farmer was able to sell the gold and make quite a lot of money.

Over time, however, the farmer got restless. He wanted more golden eggs, but he wanted them NOW. He was thinking of how amazing it would be if he could just get a whole bunch of eggs in one day, instead of waiting for one each day.

So one day, tired of waiting for a single golden egg a day, the farmer went out and killed the goose. He cut her open, eager to find the storehouse of eggs inside. But there were none. The goose truly only produced one per day. And now she was dead. No more gold, no more wealth.

The moral of the story is to take care of what produces good things for you, and not to get greedy. So, what does this have to do with real estate?

Everything.

You are the goose. Your hard work produces gold in your business and personal life.

If you don’t take care of yourself in a variety of ways, your work will die and your profit with it.

Using Personal Development to Take Care of the Goose

One way to take care of yourself and build your business is personal development, which is the focus of this article. With personal development, you can carefully increase the number of “golden eggs” you produce each year.

Keep Your Vision in Front

Your vision is the overall picture of where you want to go with your business and your life. It’s easy to get so caught up in the mundane that you forget your vision altogether.

Instead, take the time to write down your Big Goals. Read them each day. It may also help to create a vision board on Pinterest for your personal use, and look at it every day.

When you keep your vision in front, you provide yourself the “why” and the energy to keep moving forward.

Know Yourself

Knowing a lot about your personality, strengths, and weaknesses can help you know how best to spend your time. Rather than trying to emulate someone who isn’t like you in important ways, discover all you can about who you are.

Understanding your Myers-Briggs personality profile can be important, as can a test like StrengthsFinder. The more you know about who you are and what you’re great and not-so-great at, the better you will be able to communicate with clients, focus your work, and even hire a team.

Shifting Your Paradigms and Mindset

All of us grow up with a particular script in our minds and hearts. We feel capable or we feel not good enough. We have confidence or we wilt. We have a lot of grit or we get frustrated and quit easily.

The good news is that these scripts and reactions can be changed. Each day we encounter things we can’t control, but we can control how we react to them. When we learn to stop making limiting assumptions and instead choosing our responses wisely, we can truly transform our lives.

Some great resources for this are The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and The Slight Edge. For specifics on your business, I recommend The Millionaire Real Estate Agent.

Take time to read and journal every day as part of your morning routine, and you’ll be amazed how much you can develop and change in just a few months.

Are You Killing the Goose?

Step back and take a look at your business. As you focus on your marketing, buying, and selling, are you taking care to develop yourself? Or are you just running yourself ragged?

Are you nurturing your golden egg producer or is it on the verge of death?

The tips I gave in this article just scratch the surface of everything you can do to take care of yourself and your ability to produce wealth. Of course, you need to sleep enough, eat well, and nurture close relationships as well.

When you develop yourself every day, you’ll be amazed how much you can grow and increase your success in a few months’ time. A year from now, you may not even recognize yourself!

After you’ve spent some time on self-development, it’s time to get back on the marketing trail. We can help. Take a look at our marketing resources for real estate agents today!

The Five Best Books for Realtors® in 2017

Best Books for Realtors® in 2017

Real estate agents rarely have time to breathe, much less read. However, you have to find a way, because failing to continue learning and growing is not an option if you want to succeed in real estate.

Often, the slower winter months are a great time to grab a book or two and focus on you – your business, your personal growth, your mindset, and more.

With that in mind, here are some ideas for books you could read this month before the spring and summer season start to heat up!

(This post contains affiliate links, but only because I TRULY believe these books will have a great impact on you!)

The Millionaire Real Estate Agent

I’m going to start right off the bat with one of my favorite books, and one I recommend to agents all the time: The Millionaire Real Estate Agent.

This book is incredible because it combines the reality of real estate with the systems, mindsets, and practices that will get you where you want to go. If you’re focused on making 2017 the year you lift your business to new heights, this book is a must.

Your First Year in Real Estate

Your First Year in Real Estate is a great book if you’re just getting started in real estate, but it’s also a good reminder for veteran Realtors®.

Author Dirk Zeller will help you set important career goals, combine online marketing with traditional print methods, develop essential professional relationships, and more.

If you’re new to the business, or if you’re stuck in a rut, this could be just the boost you need.

The Miracle Morning for Real Estate Agents

I have a good friend whose life was absolutely transformed by The Miracle Morning. Author Hal Elrod talks about how to actually become and stay a morning person, the morning routine that will start your day on the right foot every time, and how to apply it all to real estate.

If you’re tired of rushing out the door with minutes to spare every day, give yourself the mornings you deserve. Grab The Miracle Morning for Real Estate Agents, take notes, and start practicing. You’ll be amazed how much your days will change.

The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Real Estate Investing

If you’re ready to attract a whole new kind of client and grow your business in new ways, The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Real Estate Investing is where you start.

Investors buy and sell frequently, and getting a reputation as an investor’s Realtor® can help you have consistent income all year long. Word-of-mouth is powerful in the investment community, so once you’ve built a reputation, you’re in great shape!

Best of all – this book is free!!

2,001 Winning Ads for Real Estate

Do you struggle writing copy for your listings? 2,001 Winning Ads for Real Estate is your ultimate cheat sheet.

Take a look at what has worked for other Realtors® in a huge variety of markets. Each chapter is broken down by location, size, style, terms, and specific features. No matter what houses you’ll be selling this year, they’ll move faster when you know exactly how to advertise them!

Keep in mind that these ads will not work word-for-word with today’s advertising standards, but the book will give you great ideas for timeless ways to describe features and tell the story of a home. Human nature stays the same – people buy for the same reasons they always have.

What Are YOU Going to Read?

Five options give you a bit of variety without being overwhelming. No matter where you are in your career or what you will face this year, one of these books is in a position to make a difference.

So, the only question left is – what book are YOU going to read this month? Let me know in the comments!

Hilarious Real Estate Marketing Ideas that Worked

Hilarious Real Estate Marketing That Worked

At Printerbees, we’re always major advocates for the tried-and-true. A combination of print and online marketing, done consistently over time, will always win the day.

But that doesn’t mean we’re afraid to think outside the box. Recently, I came across these hilarious, off-the-wall marketing ideas that really worked for the Realtors® who used them.

Take a look at these examples, and consider whether an outrageous marketing tactic or two might fit in with your traditional online and print marketing plan.

Make a Music Video

Doing a cover of Adele is brave, but Megan Hill Mitchum absolutely killed it. Her real-estate focused parody of “Hello” has over 277,000 views on YouTube. With branding prominently featured throughout the video, and a humorous message about life as an agent, this video really connected with people.

If rap is more your style, check out the hilarious “Every Day I’m Hustlin’” by Santa Clara Realtors® Cherie Brown and Zach McReynolds. They use great lyrics and lots of fun rap clichés to share their work in an offbeat and funny way. With over 80,000 views on YouTube, you know it made an impact.

“Open Concept”

Selling a lot isn’t easy, because it’s very difficult to help buyers see the potential of what they can do with it. Instead of trying a traditional route, an Oregon-based Realtor® took a unique approach. He put a red door in the center of the lot and advertised it as the ultimate “open concept” home.

Not only did the online world notice and share the picture widely, but the marketing tactic worked as well – the lot sold shortly after the advertising campaign began.

Build Intrigue

Normally in real estate marketing, we put our best face forward – literally. Our marketing has our picture, our brokerage, our contact information, and more.

That’s a good idea, but sometimes breaking the mold is even better. One Oakland Realtor® started a hashtag, #FASTAGENT, on Twitter. Then, he did bench ads, billboards and more – and they all said #FASTAGENT and nothing more.

The ads created a lot of intrigue, and people went online to find out who or what #FASTAGENT was. They found Kenny’s Twitter profile, which lead to a flood of new leads and closed deals. In fact, he was a finalist in Inman’s most innovative marketing campaigns in 2016.

Play on Current Events

Grabbing current trends and memes and using them in your marketing can be a great way to get attention. You want to do this in a way that makes sense in your market, but it can be a huge draw when done well.

The 2016 presidential election featured two candidates who were not well liked. Many celebrities threatened to move to Canada. A South Carolina real estate agent decided to take advantage of the unrest in a playful way. His “Moving to Canada? We Can Sell Your Home” billboards got broad coverage in various news sources, giving him free publicity and lead to a big spike in his business.

Have Fun With Your Name

Do you have a name that makes you cringe sometimes? Or even a fairly normal name that you could do a play on words with?

Brad Lamb, from Toronto, took advantage of his last name to make a series of ridiculous but extremely memorable ads. They were incredibly popular, and vaulted Mr. Lamb to significant fame. He has a television show on HGTV Canada called Big City Broker, and a song was written about him by Canadian songwriter Final Fantasy.

What’s in a name? Quite a lot!

Make Marketing Memorable

Obviously these few examples just scratch the surface of the innovative, hilarious, and outrageous things you can do to build your brand and market your listings. The key is to have fun and find ways to make your marketing memorable. How can you stand out among the other Realtors® in your area?

When you think of a playful and unforgettable campaign, we’d love to help you get the word out. Take a look at our postcard templates, flyers, and more!

How to Be the Realtor® Others Want to Work With

Realtor Others Want to Work With

I ran across an article the other day describing what a home seller should look for in a Realtor®. There were a variety of criteria about how to find a Realtor® who will give you a good experience in selling your home.

It really made me think about how often we, as Realtors®, think about being the Realtor® our clients want to work with. Of course, we all know that most clients don’t interview very many real estate agents before they make a choice. But that doesn’t let us off the hook.

Are you someone a buyer or seller would want to work with? Here are some ways to be sure.

You Still Have Your Fire

Real estate is TOUGH. You lose time with your family, and it can be hard to have anything that resembles a work/life balance. The old saying, “I only work half-days, and I can pick whichever 12 hours I want” really applies.

In addition, there’s a lot of pressure to say “Everything is great!” about your business when it really isn’t. You want to be positive in front of everyone because you never know who might be planning to ask you about selling or buying a home. That false front takes a toll.

Finally, feeling like you have to justify your value every time you make a pitch can get very tiring. You care so much about the outcome, but you have so little control.

All of this makes it easy to lose your passion. However, a real estate agent that’s just going through the motions isn’t someone a buyer or seller wants to work with. Fortunately, there are ways to reignite your fire if it’s going out.

You’re an Expert

It’s much easier to become a real estate agent than it should be, really. By studying the laws and passing an exam, you can put out your shingle. Of course, it takes much more than that to be a quality real estate agent.

To be a Realtor® that stands out, make sure you’re an expert on your target neighborhoods. This doesn’t just mean knowing the market values, it means knowing the events, new stores, school systems, and more.

Find ways to be present in your target area, even if you don’t live there. Volunteer, shop in those areas, walk your dog in target neighborhoods, and join local associations. Be as connected as possible, and be a real expert. It will make you stand out from “book-knowledge” agents and clients will want to work with you.

You Use a Mix of Marketing

Some clients will simply not hire you if you don’t have a website. In fact, without an online presence, a significant portion of your possible customers won’t even find you!

At the same time, don’t overlook the importance of great print marketing, especially Just Listed and Just Sold postcards. There’s less competition in the mailbox than anywhere else right now, and that makes Realtors® who use print marketing really shine!

When you can point to a clear mix of marketing techniques, a potential client will have much more confidence in you as an agent. It will help them understand your value as well as helping them realize that you’re well-prepared to sell their home for top dollar or help them find the home they’ve always dreamed of.

You Have Great References, Online Reviews, and Testimonials

Referrals can be a huge source of business for successful real estate agents, but references, reviews, and testimonials are just as important. If someone hasn’t heard of you before, or has only met you once, why should they believe you’re a quality Realtor®?

Someone who is looking to hire you is likely to research you online before they call. When you have great online reviews and testimonials, they’ll be much more likely to want to work with you. One great idea is to have a happy client do a quick video testimonial right after a deal closes. Their enthusiasm will be contagious!

One thing that’s important is making sure that your reviews and testimonials are recent. If your last great review is a client from three years ago, prospects will wonder if you’ve been in business since! If you make asking for a review part of your process, you’ll make sure that you’ll always have recent testimonies.

You’re Easy to Get Along With

There’s good news and bad news on this one. The good news is that you don’t need to change your personality type in order to be a successful Realtor®. Different types of clients need different types of real estate agents, and no matter what your personality, there are clients who will click with you.

The bad news is that everyone has bad habits that need work in order for them to be truly easy to get along with in a professional transaction. Here are some traits you want to develop to make others more likely to choose you as an agent:

  • Empathy. You don’t have to be emotional or mushy, and you don’t have to ask for a list of your client’s woes. However, you do need to be able to respond empathetically to others even while you move the conversation back to business.
  • Perspective. Think about the transaction from your customer’s point of view. You may buy and sell houses for a living, but if it’s their first home, they’re probably scared. Combine this with empathy, above, and help them feel understood and comfortable.
  • Listening. Are you constantly trying to multi-task, checking your phone while your client is talking to you? Do you feel the need to have an answer for everything, and plan your response while someone is talking? Active listening is a skill few people have. If you develop it, you’ll be great as an agent.
  • Communication. Agents get frustrated about a lack of communication from clients, but it goes the other way too. No matter how busy you are, don’t “ghost” on someone – that is, don’t stop answering messages in a timely manner. Be a great communicator and make sure the client knows what to expect every step of the way.

Being a great agent isn’t easy. However, these five traits help make you the Realtor® others will want to work with. If you can develop them all, you’ll stand head-and-shoulders above your competition!!

If you’re ready to set up your marketing mix with some great print marketing, Printerbees is your go-to source. We have dozens of templates and professional designers who can help you customize anything you need. Contact us today!

How to Use Online Reviews to Build Your Real Estate Business

Use Reviews to Grow Real Estate Business

Everyone knows that referrals are the lifeblood of real estate, but do you know what’s almost as amazing? Online reviews. Online reviews are like evergreen referrals – a chance for you to let prospects know what others have said about you and how much they love your work. In fact, 88% of consumers look at online reviews before making a purchase!

Capitalizing on online reviews is a great way to build your real estate business, and fall is the perfect time to get started. Your business may be a little slower so you have time, and most of all, you probably have some happy clients you worked with this summer who you can ask for reviews!

Here’s how to make the most of online review to build your real estate business.

Claim Your Real Estate Business Page and Update Your Information

Step one is creating a place for your clients to leave reviews. Be sure to claim your real estate business Yelp, Facebook, and Google+. Also, make sure your office location, contact information, and picture are updated and accurate.

If you’re unsure how to lock down your business pages, here are some guides:

It’s helpful to have all three pages active, along with Zillow, Trulia, and Realtor®.com. When someone leaves a review, don’t be afraid to ask them if they wouldn’t mind posting in other locations as well, or if you can use that review on your website. The more mileage you get from reviews, the better!

Ask for Reviews – With Perks

No, I’m not asking you to be unethical. But when you send along your request for a review, send along a small $5 gift card. Include in your request, “As you know, reviews are vital to our business. To thank you in advance for leaving a review on XXX.com, here’s a small token of appreciation.”

Because the gift is given regardless of whether they leave a review, it’s not considered compensation.

Here are some ways to maximize the number of reviews you’re able to get from your customers:

  • Mention Reviews Early. If you have a chance, mention early in the real estate buying or selling process that you request reviews from clients and ask if there’s anything you can do to help ensure an excellent review.
  • Request the Review More Than Once. Just as you should ask for referrals in multiple ways, you can ask for reviews in multiple ways too. In an email, make the request and include a link or two to online sites. In a letter or postcard, remind them of the request and include in gift card. In person, make one last mention of how important review are. Of course, don’t do all of these within 24 hours of each other! But do them within a week or so, to trigger reminders if needed.
  • Make Suggestions. Sometimes people just don’t know what to write in a review. Think about the relationship and, in your request, point out some things that went really well. “We were able to sell your house in XX days, which is great!” or “We got 10% over asking!” or “You mentioned how nice it was to have an agent that did XYZ.” Then, when you request the review, they’ll have those items right in front of them.

Ask for Reviews Even Without a Closed Transaction

Did you show someone homes, only for them to discover the loan wasn’t going to work? They may still give you a great review! Similarly, someone who didn’t sell their home because they changed their mind or had an emergency might still have enjoyed working with you. Don’t think that only closed customers will leave reviews. Anyone you work with can say something about the experience!

Zillow actually allows you to request reviews for a large variety of customer types, so consider all of these when you’re asking for reviews:

  • Listed and Sold a Home or Lot
  • Listed but Didn’t Sell a Home or Lot
  • Helped Client Buy a Home/Lot
  • Showed Clients Homes/Lots
  • Found Tenet for Client
  • Helped Client Find Rental Property
  • Property Manage a Home Client Own

Think outside the box. The more reviews you have, especially five-star reviews, the more you’ll stand out among your competition. Don’t be afraid to ask for reviews on multiple sites, or ask permission to use the review in your marketing.

People want to know what working with you is like. A referral is one way they find out. But reviews can be even more powerful. Start your review-building process today!

Need note cards or postcards to make those review requests through the mail? We can help, especially with seasonal or holiday postcards! Check out our selection today!

4 Tips for Those Just Starting in Real Estate

New Realtor® Tips

Getting started in any new industry is never an easy task. There’s always so much to learn, and often money is tight.

And with so many different marketing strategies and promotional ideas out there, how do you know which ones are worth investing in? How do you know what’s best to help you get started?

Real Estate is no different. Starting a new career as a real estate agent is fun and exciting, but can also be pretty scary and intimidating at times. Because of this, we’ve put together a list of 4 great tips for those just starting out in the business of real estate. Hopefully, you’ll find some of these helpful, especially when deciding where to invest your time and money.

Develop a System to Generate New Leads and Stay in Touch with Old Ones

Lead generation is, of course, extremely important to real estate. In fact, it’s important to pretty much any business out there. With that said, the best thing that you can do when just starting out is to develop a solid lead generation (and client retention) strategy right from the get-go. For example, you could send mailers out to people in your area or host an event for locals interested in buying or selling their homes.

Don’t do it just once – keep it going regularly by creating a system that will remind you when it’s time to reach out again. And once you have clients, you also need to keep in touch with them on a regular basis through phone calls, additional mailers, or via email, which brings us to our next point…

Email Marketing

A great way to both stay in touch with old clients and also reach potentials is through email marketing. Not only does email marketing have an awesome return on investment – 4,300% on average – but it’s also great for promoting new deals you might be offering or even local events that you might be hosting. Generally speaking, people who are on your email list have opted in to be there through your website, so they’re already interested in what you have to say – they want to hear from you! Don’t be shy. Keep them in the loop and informed about what’s going on in the industry.

Email marketing that uses automation, like Infusionsoft, can be a great way to make sure that no leads fall through the cracks and that you follow up on a regular basis – without having to drive yourself crazy with a mile-long to-do list.

Blog and Website

If you’re just starting out in real estate and you don’t have a website and blog yet, that should definitely be your first order of business. Having a website is pretty much a necessity in today’s world. The majority of people are looking online to find real estate agents, so you’re going to want to be where they are already looking. You can use your website to showcase current listings, share success stories, host your blog, and offer free information in return for email addresses so that folks will join your email list.

Blogging on a regular basis is a great way to provide your clients with useful real estate related information, such as what’s going on in your target neighborhoods, how to care for and organize a home, staging tips, and more. As a bonus, they keywords you use in those articles will also help to push your website towards the top of search results in search engines. Finally, an active blog will help draw people to your website so that they see your listings and learn more about you.

Design Quality Business Cards

Even though we live in an increasingly digital world, there’s just something about a physical business card that will never go out of style. A business card helps potential clients remember who you are, and makes it simple for them to recall your contact information when they are ready to do business with you. So don’t skimp on your business cards! Make them truly shine and stand out from the crowd. At Printerbees, we offer a wide variety of business cards – take a look at some on our website to get an idea of what you should be going for!

With so many people focusing only on digital marketing, there’s less competition in printed advertising that ever. Having high-quality business card, postcards, and flyers will help you stand out in your target neighborhoods and help you establish yourself as an exceptional full-service Realtor®.

When you follow these four steps, you’ll be well on your way to establishing yourself as a trusted real estate agent within your community. And even if you’re struggling at first, don’t give up – consistency is vital and over time you’ll really begin to develop a solid client list.

Are you a newer Realtor®? What’s the biggest struggle? Share in the comments!

7 Habits of Highly Effective Realtors

Habits of effective Realtors

Every Realtor® has their own style and their own approach. But the most successful people in the industry typically have a number of things in common, regardless of their age, experience or the size of their market.

It is said that success is not an act, but a habit. So let’s look at 7 habits that the most effective Realtors® share.

1. They Follow Up Immediately

Staying successful means staying accessible.

This means responding to anything your clients may send you, whether it’s a call, text, email, or any other message.

“They are the warriors of email, text, and phone and they keep that rhythm right up through the whole transaction,” wrote Realtor.com blogger Deirdre Woollard.

“Busy Washington DC agent Jeff Vinson told me he calls it his land, sea, and air approach, reaching out to clients through as many channels as possible in the beginning even using Skype.

2. They Know Their Brand and Stand Out

Yes, we know. You’re reliable and an expert in your area. So is everyone else.

Tell a different story and position yourself a different way. Use all kinds of marketing – printed cards and flyers, your website, social media, and more.

Differentiation in the marketplace comes from disruption: When something stands out from everything else. Make your brand something different.

Lock into your real strengths and sell them. For example, I once worked with a Realtor® who positioned herself as a “family first” agent. This resonated in everything she did—right down to having her own daughters babysit her clients’ children while they toured houses.

3. They Know How to Remarket

Just because someone came and left your website without contacting you doesn’t mean you’re done selling to them.

Remarketing allows you to keep your listings in front of would-be buyers, even after they have moved on from your website.

“As the house hunter moves to other websites, whether a local newspaper site or maybe a sports page, remarketing allows you to continue to show your ads to him, such as photos of the listing he was just looking at or other homes in that neighborhood that meet his criteria,” wrote Kacie Ricker, the Regional Vice President for Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage’s Western Region

“The idea is to get him back to your site to have another look at the property or similar ones he might be interested in.”

4. They Don’t Ask for Referrals. They Earn Them

You shouldn’t have to say, “Don’t forget to tell your friends!” Your service and outcomes should be so good it’s impossible to forget.

Never forget that people want to refer you. People love telling their friends, “You have to call ____. They’re the best.”

This means being in the business of delighting your customers and exceeding their expectations—every time. Again, this needs to be a habit, not an act.

5. They Know Everyone and Make Connections

You should always have a fleet of contractors, plumbers, painters, home inspectors and lenders at your fingertips.

Being able to name them on the spot, versus going through your phone to find them, helps establish you as a local expert with all the answers.

It also creates a great synergy with local professionals, who appreciate you sending them business and will reciprocate some day.

6. They Focus on Clients, Not Sales

This is so much harder than it sounds, but it can really drive your success.

“It is essential to remove any personal/emotional dispositions from the real estate transaction. Agents must instinctively assume the perspective of the client, as their own bias can adversely affect the outcome of the client’s decision,” wrote listing specialist, Monica Diaz.

7. They Know How to Use Technology the RIGHT Way

This means staying current on today’s technology. But this doesn’t mean buying into or adopting every new app, system or gadget when they’re released.

Stay mindful of new ways to do things. Technology is constantly presenting new ways for you to manage your time, communicate with customers, and promote yourself. But be cautious.

If something new catches your eye, do your research. Look for reviews from real people to determine if this is really helpful, or just trendy.

What habits do you feel drive your success? Let us know in the comments below.

How to Reconnect with Stalled Real Estate Leads

Reconnect with Stalled Leads

You know the feeling. That internal struggle when dealing with stalled leads in the real estate world – do you contact them again and risk coming off as a nag? Or do you just let things be and hope for the best (that they’ll contact you!)?

Neither option is all that appealing.

Well thankfully we have some great news for you – there’s a better way! Next time you’re wondering how in the world to reconnect with your stalled leads, take a look at these ideas – you’ll be back in business in no time.

Connect on Social Media – Are your potential clients on social media? If so, try reaching out to them there. Send them a tweet, or if they have a business and/or page on Facebook, “like” or “follow” them. They’ll appreciate the interest, and you’ll subtly remind them that you’re still available to help them with their real estate needs.

Send a Hand-Written Note – There’s nothing quite like receiving a hand-written note in the mail. Try sending a follow-up note, just to thank your potential clients for their time, and remind them that you’re always available to help. To make those notes extra special, check out PrinterBees’ customizable notecards.

Use Re: in the Subject Line of Your Email – In a recent survey done by ContactMonkey, it was shown that the use of “Re: (whatever your last email was about)” in the subject line of an email yields emails that are opened more than 92% of the time. That’s a lot of opened emails! Most of the time, people won’t remember what you were emailing about in the first place, so the use of “Re:” is a great way to gently remind them, so they don’t automatically delete your email or move it to spam without considering who it’s actually from.

Host an Event or Gathering – If you’re into party planning and hosting, try hosting a small gathering for potential clients. Not only will this make them feel valued and appreciated, but you’ll likely gain their business, either now or in the future. Additionally, you could ask potential (or past) clients to bring their friends who might be interested in learning more about your services. Offer them something – like a freebie or informative session on increasing the value of their home, for example – as a way of getting potentials in the door.

Plan a Coffee (or Tea) Meet Up – Try meeting up with your potential clients one-on-one for coffee, at your expense. Everyone loves a cup of coffee (or tea or cocoa), especially when it’s free! Don’t be too pushy – just get together to chat about a common interest you might share or something else going on in the world. You can gently steer the conversation toward real estate, but again, don’t be too salesy. Take a genuine interest in the lives of your potential clients – they’ll be much more likely to respond and connect with you in the future.

Share An Important Piece of Information – Did you recently move? Have a new listing up for sale that might be of interest? Discover something new about your target neighborhood? Noteworthy situations such as these are great excuses for connecting with potential clients. And while you’re on the phone with them, gently steer the conversation towards their real estate needs by asking if there’s anything you can help them with.

The Bottom Line? Take a genuine interest in your prospects and their lives by staying connected. Remind them that you are always available – whenever the need arises – and don’t forget to continually follow up. We all get busy, and most of the time potential clients aren’t ignoring you – they probably just forgot and may need a reminder!

What do you do to give lapsed leads a nudge and reconnect? Share in the comments!