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The Most Overlooked FREE Real Estate Marketing Technique

Write Good MLS Descriptions

You just got a listing – congrats! Now you’re ready to ramp up the marketing. I’m sure you’re thinking of postcards, open houses, and online marketing. But wait – are you missing something?

Many Realtors® miss the most important marketing element when it comes to listings – the MLS notes. What does that have to do with selling your listing?  EVERYTHING!

Why MLS Notes Matter

Realtors® who are sloppy with their MLS listing notes are forgetting about some key buyers who see these notes all the time. Other Realtors®. The ones that decide to bring buyers. The ones that come to open houses. If you really want to sell your listing, you need to be attentive to how your MLS notes present the home to other Realtors®.

In addition, the MLS listing feeds into dozens of websites, including Realtor.com, Zillow.com, Trulia.com, and more. The MLS descriptions are what buyers see when they browse those websites. Are your MLS notes and descriptions making an impact? If not, you’re losing buyers, wasting time, and leaving money on the table.

Write your MLS descriptions in a way that catches attention, highlights the best parts of the home, and in general will do the selling for you! It’s the first thing buyers and Realtors® see. Make it great!

How to Write a Great MLS Description

I get it, we’re Realtors®, not writers. Many of us have a hard time writing great descriptions. However, the MLS description can make the difference between a home that’s on the market 5 days and one that doesn’t sell after 5 weeks. When you look at it that way, this is a skill worth mastering!!

Don’t Use Abbreviations and Lingo

Not only are industry abbreviations and jargon not understandable to buyers, they also send a message to fellow agents that you are trying to be brief and transactional. You want both buyers and agents to be wowed, envisioning themselves in the property you are selling. Take the time to flesh out your description!

Use Emotional Terms

I don’t mean that you have to cry a river, of course – but use terms that elicit emotion. Which is better: “vaulted ceilings” or “This home’s vaulted ceilings give a Wow Factor you can’t miss!” Obviously taking the time to describe the home with emotion will bring in more buyers.

Paint a Picture

When you’re appealing to buyers, you want to draw a picture in their mind of what the home could be for them. “After a great night’s sleep in your gorgeous master bedroom, complete with whirlpool tub and walk in closet, walk downstairs into your newly remodeled kitchen with brand new stainless steel appliances,” is one example.

Use High End Words

Words that describe a high-end experience will help a listing sell for top dollar. Use terms like deluxe, gourmet, crown molding, high detail, beautiful, and upgraded. These terms resonate with both buyers and buying agents, helping your listing get noticed and sell for top dollar.

Use Keywords Google Will Love

Remember that MLS descriptions feed into a lot of real estate websites, and you want to make sure your listing shows up on key searches. Don’t stuff keywords in to the point of being unreadable, of course. Just be sure to include the city, state, and key selling features. You can describe a “beautiful lakefront home in Boulder, CO” and do well with targeted searches AND buyers!

You Don’t Have to Pay for Extra Space

A great MLS description makes use of the space provided, but you don’t need to pay for extra space to sell your listing quickly. Don’t skimp! But don’t be intimidated and feel you need to write a novel and pay for the space to do so.

Writing a great MLS description is an overlooked technique in today’s real estate industry. Don’t skimp, and don’t use abbreviations and jargon. Use keywords, emotional language, and high end words to paint a picture of the reader living in your listing. You’ll be amazed how much of a difference this simple, free technique will make in your sales!

How do you handle MLS notes on your listings? Share in the comments!

Social Media for Real Estate – Where and What to Post

Social Media For Realtors

As a Realtor®, it can be very challenging to get your name in front of the right people. Whether you work on farming a neighborhood or volunteering in community associations, it seems to take a lot of time to make the right connections. Fortunately, social media can make it easier – and faster – to become known and build relationships.

The Best Social Platforms for Agents

Real estate agents have a strong advantage in the fact that their products are very visual. Visual content gets more attention, likes, and shares than other types of media. As a result, Realtors® do best when they focus on platforms that highlight pictures and videos.

Facebook

Almost all agents have Facebook and use it in a personal capacity. However, making the jump to a business Facebook presence can be daunting. It’s a great platform because of the high penetration – there are 1.3 billion Facebook users worldwide, and five new profiles are created every second. It’s also highly visual, allowing pictures and videos to be shared that can make your properties stand out in a big way. Finally, it offers affordable advertising and promotion – you can boost posts and get them in front of new viewers for as little as $20.

Pinterest

Pinterest is another amazing platform that allows you to share visual images as “pins” and provide a link to your listing or website. This is a great place to share listings and just-solds, as well as tips and tricks about moving, organizing, spring cleaning, and more. When other users pin your content, it then shows up for all of their followers, meaning you can get a lot of reach in a short amount of time. Pinterest users skew heavily female, so keep this in mind when sharing content.

YouTube

By moving from pictures to video, you can showcase a lot more about your listings, your neighborhood, and your real estate practice. You can easily create a branded channel on YouTube for your videos, and then share a variety of content. More and more Americans are drawn to video – 61% of the population watched online videos in January 2014 alone. By creating catchy, relevant content, you can get those eyes on you and your brand.

What to Post

At this point you might be nodding, thinking, “Yes, I’ve heard this before. But what do I SAY?!” That’s the question most real estate agents really struggle with. They create a Facebook or Pinterest page and stare at it, thinking, “Ok, now what?”

The one word answer is: Relevance. Create content that matters to your target market, things they want to see and share. You can create a schedule where you create particular types of content at regular intervals, making it much easier to keep up with social media. Here are some specific ideas.

Facebook

The key here is to engage with your community. Post things that are relevant to the demographic and neighborhood you are targeting. You can talk about anything from new restaurants in the area to a local teen’s recent Eagle Scout award. You should also talk about your new listings and real estate trend

s in the area, but mix it up.

To create a schedule, choose how many times a week to post – let’s say, three. On Mondays, you can highlight community events for the week. On Wednesdays, talk about real estate in some way, and on Fridays, create a “fun on Friday” joke or series. In that way, you keep people engaged, talk about real estate every week, but come off very friendly, trustworthy, and low-key.

Pinterest

On Pinterest, you want to build a presence that targets the key demographic – women across all age ranges. The thing that makes this so great is that women are often very home-centered, and often a major decision-maker in the household. As a result, content from Realtors® can be embraced quickly.

As with Facebook, consider how often you want to post and what you want to show. You probably want to be more home & garden focused on this platform. When you first start, invest some time creating a variety of boards with at least 5 – 10 pins each. Then, you can build week to week after that. Some suggestions include listings (of course!), interior design ideas, home renovation, neighborhood informati

on for your key farming areas, spring cleaning, and home organization. Don’t be shy – more content is better on Pinterest!

YouTube

Many Realtors® overlook YouTube because they think they need to be a professional actor or have a major video setup to produce videos. While you probably shouldn’t shoot all your videos from your iPhone, you don’t need to invest thousands either. Many successful agents are simply using a video camera with a stand while sitting at their desk or standing in front of a whiteboard. Remember to relax – being stiff doesn’t make you more professional! Videos don’t have to be long – in fact, they shouldn’t be. Just a few minutes per video will do.

When deciding what to post, start with home walkthroughs of your listings. You can link to t

Realtor Social Media Sharing

he walkthroughs from your other social media sites to drive views. Then, add other interesting, entertaining, and informative videos. Maybe do a behind-the-scenes at your brokerage, or share important tips for preparing a house for sale. You can talk about winter preparedness, or discuss the importance of pricing a home correctly for sale. You can share video from a local community event or interview community leaders – as a bonus, they may help promote the video as well!

 

Knowing where and what to share on social media can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. By starting on three well-known platforms, you can be up and running in no time. When you share relevant, fun content you’ll begin to gain attention, and you can send followers from one social media account to another one by sharing links. At the end of the day, using social media wisely can dramatically extend your reach and visibility.

How do you use social media? Share in the comments!

3 Tips for a Successful Real Estate Blog

Real Estate Blog connections

Blogging has been a hot trend in business for several years now. Business owners, including Realtors®, realize that customers are searching online, and search engines give results based on great content that seems to match the keywords used by the customer. The goal of any business blog is to be relevant to specific keywords in order to gain customer traffic.

However, that shouldn’t be the only goal. Just like with print marketing in key neighborhoods, you want to establish a relationship over time. That means creating useful content that keeps readers coming back, even if they don’t need your services right now.

Here are five tips that will help you establish a successful real estate blog that brings in search visitors and builds relationships over time.

Write About Local Real Estate

This is the most important way to get noticed in your market. The key to being listed highly for a search term is to write about it frequently. Being in the top results for terms like “real estate agent” is very difficult and really not that helpful. Customers are much more likely to be using terms like “buying a home in Dallas” or “selling homes in St. Louis”.

This means that the most bang for your buck will come from writing about local real estate. Write about new home developments in your area, or write specific tips about how to prepare a house for sale with references to your city built in. When you write with local terms, your blog will naturally rank well for local real estate search terms.

Know How Often to Post

Some Realtors® don’t start a blog because they are worried about the time commitment. In truth, you can post as little as once a week and still have a great, fresh blog. Quality of content matters much more than quantity.

This can help you avoid starting a blog and abandoning it also. If you know you don’t have to post every day, you can take some of the pressure off of yourself and create great content once a week or so, rather than trying to post every day and burning out.

If you need help creating regular blog content, there are writers who can help. Find someone who is a great writer and is familiar with the real estate business to help you. You can work out a contract where they ghost-write for you, and you own the content and can publish it under your own name. Of course, these need to be high-quality blog posts.

Write Naturally

The best and most authentic writing is when you write similarly to how you talk. You don’t want to sound fake or canned. You certainly don’t want to be shoving keywords like “St. Louis real estate” into every other sentence. Just write naturally, the way you sound.

When you write naturally, not only will you be creating great blog posts, you’ll be allowing your audience to get to know you. This will help them feel a connection with you immediately, which is essential to getting business. In addition, those that don’t need your services right away will still feel connected to you and may well come back and continue to read your blog. This will keep you top-of-mind when they do need a Realtor®.

When you create a frequently-updated local blog, you’ll be creating a resource that is valuable for those moving in to your area and those that already live there. When you write in your own natural voice, you’ll be building authentic relationships through your blog. A great resource and authentic relationships bring sales to YOU, saving you time and making you money. Sounds like a win/win, doesn’t it?

Do you have a customer-facing real estate blog? Why or why not? Share in the comments!

5 Tips to Maximize Your Realtor® Website

Maximize Realtor Website

There are over 3 billion people in the world that use the internet. With that many people online, a Realtor® can’t afford to do without a website. However, there are so many websites online that it can be hard to know how to stand out. These five tips will show you how to maximize the effect of your website on your realty business.

Use Graphics and Have a Responsive Site

Graphics are an undeniable part of showing off your real estate business online. People love to see pictures, and having a great photo gallery of each listing will help generate interest and create buyers. However, it’s also important to have a “responsive” site, or one that adjusts to fit on the screens of mobile devices.

Many times, you can bypass knowing the nuts and bolts of website design by using pre-designed templates on a website service. Just make sure the service lets you have your own domain name, such as MyNameRealty.com. In addition, take advantage of slideshow templates that allow you to cycle photos of various listings and recent sales on the homepage.

Focus on the Visitors’ Perspective

Visitors to your site aren’t interested in you; they’re interested in how their own needs can be met. Be sure to set up your website and optimize it with this in mind. You’ll want to use keywords based on prospective clients’ needs, such as “moving in Atlanta” or “new homes in Charleston”.

When you write the content on your website, whether it’s a blog post or a property description, think about it from your visitors’ perspective. What would resonate with a potential buyer or seller? What do they need to know? What needs and fears can you address? When you focus your website on the visitor, you’ll stand out to the right people and your site will gain traction.

Link Your Social Media Accounts to Your Site

If you have active social media accounts – and as a Realtor®, you should – you’ll want to link them to your website. Not only should your social media posts invite viewers to visit your website, your website should also have links that encourage people to visit your social media accounts.

It’s always helpful to specify what you would like people to do when they visit your page. You can say things like “Follow me on Facebook!” or “Check out my latest pins!” These types of invitations will help people join you on all of your platforms, allowing them to receive information from you more often. That will keep you top-of-mind when they have a need!

Have a Blog that Informs More Than Sells

A blog ensures that new content will be created on your site frequently, which will help it rank highly in search engines. In addition, you can share your blog posts on social media to encourage viewers to visit your site and check out your listings.

However, your blog should be about more than your real estate business. You should use an 80/20 rule – 80% of your content can inform, educate, and entertain, while 20% can advertise your listings and recent successes. Sometimes a Realtor® has a hard time knowing exactly what to write about on a blog. If that’s you, check out this amazing list of 101 blog post ideas. You won’t lack inspiration ever again!

Focus on Lead Management Along With Lead Generation

As many Realtors® know, it’s not enough to just generate leads. It’s important to nurture those connections as well, so that they will come to you when they are ready to buy or sell a home. If you simply collect new contacts, you may lose out on old leads that are now ready for a Realtor®.

There are many ways to keep in touch with the network you create. Social media is one way, but you can also keep in touch from your website. Offer a monthly email newsletter highlighting what’s going in the neighborhoods you serve. You can use the newsletter to show of recent success stories you’ve had, and to congratulate new homeowners. This way, you don’t lose touch with leads that aren’t yet ready to act – and when they are, they will be more likely to come to you.

Having a website isn’t optional for Realtors®, even though the homes you sell are definitely not virtual. Using the five tips above will help you maximize your website results and help your realty business grow tremendously. The time you invest online will be handsomely rewarded!

How Realtors® Can Take Full Advantage of Social Media

Realtor Social Media

As of January 2014, Pew Research found that 74% of online adults use social networking sites. 74%!!! That means that three-fourths of your online customers can be found using social media.

As a Realtor®, it can be difficult to know exactly how to approach social media. There are so many options, and consistent engagement can be hard to maintain. In this article you’ll find great tips for the three most common social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

No matter what social media platform you focus on, be sure to listen, add value, and interact consistently. Also, follow the 80/20 rule – 80% of your postings should be lifestyle, connecting, and helping. 20% can be about your listings.

Facebook

Facebook is the most well-known and well-used social media platform. Pew Research found that 71% of online adults use Facebook, so this is a great place to start your social media strategy.

  • Set up a business Facebook page focused on your realty business. You want to separate your Realtor® work from your personal life and personal posts. Stay natural though! Have real conversations and make connections. And use lots of pictures! Some ideas include pictures of your target neighborhood, pictures of unique staging or architecture, and of course pictures of your listings and sold properties.
  • Using the 80/20 rule, post a lot of helpful information, especially about your target neighborhoods. Post about local events, local news, and local sports. This will make you stand out as a very knowledgeable Realtor® to potential clients in that area!
  • Run contests to encourage engagement. Ask what your page followers’ favorite street name in the neighborhood is, or have them vote on a favorite photo of unique or celebrity homes. Award a random winner with a local treat. You’ll build your reputation and strengthen your network!
  • Consider targeted local advertising with Facebook. You can have promoted posts offering your services end up in front of locals, encouraging them to contact you if they know someone buying or selling.

Pinterest

Pew Research states that 21% of online adults use Pinterest, and demographics show that these users are largely female and focused on home, food, and design. That makes it the perfect platform for a Realtor® to show their expertise!

  • Get ideas for staging properties you sell. Pinterest is full of amazing home décor ideas. You can start a board of home décor ideas – this will allow you to attract followers while stockpiling ideas. Avoid using the word ‘staging’ in titles and descriptions, as that comes off as inauthentic.
  • Set up a variety of board that will help you attract followers, such as celebrity houses, interesting architecture, or DIY projects. Not only will these pins teach you facts that make interesting talking points, others may follow you and see your listings and other pins as well.
  • Be authentic – post about your own hobbies and interests too. On social media, it’s important to show your real self, not just a professional image.
  • Have a board for your listings. Repin listings that have important changes to bring them to the top of others’ feeds. An upcoming open house or recent price reduction can be highlighted this way. Also highlight your sales!

Twitter

Twitter may be the most intimidating platform of these three. Because it is text-based and uses only 150 characters per tweet, many realtors aren’t sure how to use it to promote their business. However, 19% of online adults use Twitter, so it’s worth learning how to tweet effectively!

  • Create the right account. Your handle (name) should have something to do with real estate, and your smiling face can be your image. Be sure to give a quick elevator-style pitch in the bio, add your website address in the links, and create an attractive background.
  • Remember the 80/20 rule in your tweets. You can tweet your listings, but also tweet about local events, local news, fun things to do in the area, and tips for moving. Don’t forget to include pictures – you can add a short link that leads to a Facebook photo or pin on Pinterest!
  • Use hashtags to expand your reach. A hashtag is a pound sign – # – and indicates a general subject. You might use something like #NYMovingAdvice or #TXHomesForSale. You can make up any hashtag you like, and folks who search for that topic will see your tweet.
  • To build followers, find influential people in the area and follow them first. Ideas are local celebrities, news organizations, or community groups. They may follow you back, and in any case you can retweet (re-share) their content. When you do, their followers will see you, and may choose to follow you for more information.

Social media is about being as helpful as possible in order to build connections with others. Whether you choose to focus on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, or some combination of the three, authentic interactions are key. The people you help are likely to become customers as they learn to know and trust you. They’ll think of you when they need your services!

Do you use social media as a Realtor®? What have you found to be effective? Share in the comments!!

Real Estate Marketing Ideas for 2015

2015 real estate marketing ideasThe New Year is upon us, so it’s time to revamp your marketing efforts for 2015! A new year is a great time to review what worked in 2014 and make plans for what you want to change or continue. Here are some real estate marketing ideas for you to consider for 2015.

Person to Person Interaction

The world has become too impersonal – we rely so much on email, postcards, and social media that we’ve almost forgotten how to actually speak to each other. For your 2015 real estate marketing strategy, place your agency on the front lines of in-person interaction. Here are some ideas on how:

  • Take regular walks in your target neighborhoods. If you have a well-behaved dog, even better! Strike up conversations with homeowners that you see out in their yards and driveways. Get to know them, shake their hand, and offer a useful branded item, such as a pen.
  • Host quarterly in-person events. These can vary throughout the year – perhaps a costume party at your office in the fall, and a free spring-cleaning seminar in the April. By regularly having face-to-face events, you will become well known in your community as a resource and a helper. Even if attendees aren’t buying or selling they likely know someone who is.
  • Participate in festivals, fairs, and other events that take place in your area. This may include attending farmer’s markets regularly, or having a booth at a local fair. Whether you’re simply attending or actually advertising, your presence will make you a trusted, familiar face.

Ask for Referrals!

As much as 75% of a Realtor’s® business comes from referrals and word-of-mouth. As a result, it’s important to not only make yourself known, but to ask for referrals! It costs many times more to get new prospects than it does to keep in touch with previous clients and ask them to help you find new customers. There are several ways to keep the communication going with previous clients:

  • Invite them to your in-person events. Using the “80/20 rule”, you should spend 80% of your interactions being helpful to others and only 20% offering your own services. As a result, you should be offering plenty of events that previous clients can learn from. If they come and gain more valuable knowledge from you, they will keep you in mind if someone they know needs a Realtor®!
  • Keep in touch with regular mailings. These mailing should be different than they ones you send prospects – they should include a thank you for your previous work together and ask for referrals if they know someone who is buying or selling property. These mailings can be holiday cards, seasonal postcards, or – for an especially personal touch – a birthday greeting.
  • Keep in touch on social media and email. Although you can focus on personal interactions in 2015, you can’t neglect the amount of time people spend online. Sprinkle in some emails, social media mentions, and other online interaction to keep your bonds with previous customers strong.

Rework Your Open Houses

Open houses can be one of the most effective ways to introduce buyers and other Realtors® to your listed properties. In your 2015 real estate marketing, focus on giving these a special touch. Here are some ideas:

  • Set up special stations near key features of the home. Everyone understands that staging is a must if you want to sell a home quickly and efficiently. But making interactive stations near key features is a great way to draw special attention to them. Set up some snacks on the beautiful kitchen island, or put some cocoa or cookies near the focal-point fireplace. This will also give people a reason to linger in the most beautiful parts of the home.
  • Consider when you schedule your open houses. Weekend afternoons can be very busy, and many buyers will be working during weekday hours. Consider an evening open house during the week, or a late morning brunch on a weekend.
  • Advertise your open houses in unconventional places. Think about where your ideal buyers are likely to spend a lot of time. Is there a popular gym in the neighborhood? Are there online sites that appeal to that demographic? By using targeted advertising, you can get more of your ideal buyers through the door and increase your chance of selling the home quickly.

A new year doesn’t mean you eliminate everything you did last year to build your real estate business. However, it is a great opportunity to bring new focus to your work. These real estate marketing ideas will help you create personal connections of trust, increase referrals, and make your open houses more effective. Here’s wishing you a prosperous and successful 2015!!

Realtor® Rip Off Report: How to Avoid Lead Generation Ripoffs

Market Leader Rip Off ReportEvery Realtor® needs leads in order to show and sell properties. Getting leads can be a lot of work, and many Realtors® don’t know where to start. As a result, some Realtors® turn to lead generation services that promise to do all the legwork. Sounds great, right!  Please read on….Market Leader is one such service, however according to many complaints they simply take your money and do not provide the promised leads. By locking Realtors® into a multi-month contract, services like Market Leader leave professionals with nowhere to turn despite not getting what was promised.

Market Leader Issues
Market Leader promises to generate a certain number of leads within your area code, but over time many Realtor®s are seeing the leads from outside their area. One customer was finally told that Market Leader cannot promise where leads come from. That makes the leads useless.

Past customers also report that once a contract is in place, Market Leader and many other services will work hard to make sure you can’t get out of it. Customers have complained that they have been told they need 35 day written notice (long enough to charge you an extra month) and that they have to cancel by a certain day of the month in order to have it process in time.

Unfortunately, the complaints about customer service abound as well, both on posts to their Facebook site (Posts to Page on the left sidebar) and on external services. Many customers say they get ‘outside business hours’ messages in the early afternoon, or are not allowed to speak to a supervisor when they wish to dispute charges. There are also many technical issues with the site and Realtors® are simply told that a ‘ticket has been submitted’. Some Realtors® had customers reporting the campaign emails as spam because the Market Leader campaigns were malfunctioning, and multiple calls to customer service did nothing to fix the issue.

You can read all of the gory details from the Facebook group, “What Should I Spend My Monday On?” It’s  a good group!

Finally, users with Macs do not have nearly the functionality of other subscribers, but they pay the same high prices. The creative portions where you create your own mailings have to be done from a PC. Even with a PC, you cannot verify ownership of your domain with Market Leader so apparently there is no syncing with Google apps to coordinate with a team.

For a service that charges $580 a month and locks you into a 6 month contract, you have a right to expect better. In fact, if you put those kinds of resources to work in your own lead generation efforts, you could grow your business dramatically and remain in control of the quality of the leads you attract.

How to Avoid Ripoffs and Generate Your Own Leads
Here at the Real Estate Marketing Magazine, we have a free e-book that can help you get a jump-start on your lead generation efforts. You don’t even have to start spending your hard earned cash! Here are some tips from the e-book and beyond.

Start with those you know. I know, no one likes to harass friends and family. But remember, you’re in this to SERVE, and folks need help finding a great place to live! Finding a great Realtor® isn’t as easy as you’d think.  Keep in mind that it isn’t just who you know, it’s who THEY know also. Use our free calls scripts and letters to help you reach out to the people in your sphere.

By starting with those you already know and asking for referrals, you can begin your network with those who already know and trust you. And trust sells!

Social Media
Social media is a great way to reach out to those you don’t know, build relationships, and nurture prospects. You can establish a Facebook site for your realty business, and post photos from your listings to Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and even Twitter! In addition, you can establish a website using easy-to-build templates through any number of services. Squarespace is well known for having great visually-focused templates, which is a major bonus for any Realtor®! Remember, when you help people see themselves in your properties, your sales job is almost done.

Business Cards and Mailings
A professionally designed business card is essential for any successful Realtor®. Services such as PrinterBees have hundreds of real estate business card templates to choose from.  In addition, sending farming postcards to people in your area to announce a new listing or an open house can be very effective. Postcards get seen more readily than letters, which residents often throw away without opening because they are  seen as ‘junk mail’. Postcards with great graphics are eye-catching and already ‘opened’!  PrinterBees has a huge selection of real estate marketing postcards for any type of lead generation program you want to kick off.

These are just a few examples of low-cost ways to begin to gain leads. There are many more. See each person you meet as a potential sale – if not them, then someone they know! Learn how to connect quickly through conversation and assess their needs. When you add a new person to your network, it isn’t one person – it’s more likely 100, since you add their entire network as well. With this mindset, you’ll see that the world is your oyster – and you don’t need to pay $580 a month and be plagued with issues to access it!

Have these call scripts emailed to you. They work great for contacting your sphere of influence.

Stop “Wishing” And Start “Doing”…Get Inspired!

real estate wishes come trueHow often do you say to yourself things like “I wish I had more clients” or “I wish I was doing more business” or “I wish I had more listings” wishing for this and wishing for that, hoping that if you keep “wishing,” it will come your way.  I was inspired to write this article by an electrician that is doing some work at my home who said to me “You’re lucky, I wish I could work at home.”  Luck has nothing to do with it and neither does wishing… 😉

I am “Hope” (Nadine means hope in Russian) and I hope reading this helps begin turning your wishes in to reality…or “realty”…whichever you prefer. :-)

I no longer “wish” for things like I used to for two reasons.

  1. Wishing for things doesn’t do anything to move me forward towards my goals and life ambitions. It certainly doesn’t get me any closer to my purpose to “wish.”
  2. If I’m wishing for something else, how am I appreciating what I have and living in the moment I’m in.  This moment is the only one I have, so instead of wishing for something else, I choose to be thankful for what “is.”

The definition of the word “wish”
To feel or express a strong desire or hope for something that is not easily attainable; want something that cannot or probably will not happen.

So my question to you is…do you want to keep “wishing” for something in your life, that according to the definition “cannot or probably won’t happen?”  Or are you more in tuned with “doing” something that leads you to where you’re going?  If it’s the latter, I have some ideas I wanted to share to help you get to “doing” instead of wishing, which leads nowhere.

As a Realtor®, you are in the lead generation business and must keep yourself busy “doing” activities that result in getting more leads for your database.  Leads turn in to listings when you work them.

  • Talk to 10 people per day.  Just make contact with 10 people.  Don’t sell them real estate, just keep in touch and find out how you can serve.  When you keep in touch and are always ready to serve the needs of others, things just work out and the magic happens.
  • Visit no less than 10 properties in your market per week.  The best way to keep yourself educated and up to date on the market and what’s happening in it is to be “in” it.  Get out of your office, get out of your house, step away from whatever it is that distracts you and “be” a Realtor® by “doing” the things Realtors® do when they are working and lead generating.
  • Participate in Social Media.  Social media isn’t going anywhere and if you’re not participating, you’re missing out on a huge amount of opportunity to build your reputation as well as your brand.  You’re missing out on the opportunity to meet up with people on line, keep in touch and remind people you’re a Realtor®!!!  Many friendships and relationships are established on social media sites like Facebook.  It gives people a glimpse of who you are, what you stand for and what’s most important to you.  Concerned about privacy…don’t post what you don’t want people to see!  Simple.
  • Attend networking events.  You’ll meet a lot of local people at networking events.  You must “list to last” and the people who are local to your community are the ones you want to network with.  They are attending networking events to “network,” so get out there and network, finding out how you can serve each others businesses.
  • Be of service. Being of service in your community and the community you serve, serves everyone.  When we serve others, it all comes back around 10 fold.  Getting involved in community events helps you to get to know the community and the leaders of the community.  They’re the ones who making things happen in the community you serve and will direct people your way when they see you’re commitment to the common goals of a great community.
  • Be consistent with your marketing.  Marketing is like food for your business and without it, your business can’t survive.  Have a real estate marketing budget, work your budget by working your database via mail, phone and email.

If you had a wish list in your real estate business, I hope after reading this you put wishing aside and start doing to make it all happen.  Your life and your real estate business is where it is because you set it up that way based on what you do or don’t do.  Start doing something different and something different will come your way as a result.

Be blessed!  Keep me posted on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn on how these ideas worked to change something in your business.

 

 

Time Saving Tips and Tricks for Anyone Who Needs More Hours in the Day!

Time saving tips for RealtorsAs someone who is always looking to get more done in less time, I wanted to share some of my time saving strategies to help you get the most out of your precious time.

Create multiple email signatures for anything that is repetitive in your email communication. For example, I have an email signature file for everyday email communication. I also have one for media communication that includes all of my “bio” information. That way I don’t have retype it every single time I’m responding to a media request.

I also have a standard signature that goes out with all of our PrinterBees printing proofs, so when I’m sending a proof, I use the signature with the proof instructions all typed out so I don’t have to hunt for the verbiage every time.

Another example is when I’m sending something out relating to this magazine, I use my Real Estate Marketing Magazine (REMM) signature file. Using the REMM signature file helps with branding and recognition when an email is received by me from someone who may not recognize my name or PrinterBees.

Use a social media company like $99 Social to get your social media off your plate.  It’s a huge time-saving tip and it’s definitely worth the $99 to not have to worry about it.  They customize social media posts based on what you want and who you are trying to attract, and then post on your behalf. It’s a huge help! I LOVE $99 Social!

Pssst…I bet if you visit or follow my social media feeds, you can’t differentiate between what I post and what $99 Social posts. It’s one of my best kept secrets, and I’m happy to share.  Seriously…use them, you’ll be glad you did!

Use Buffer for scheduling social media. Set it and forget it. This is one of my biggest time saving tips that I use religiously to supplement what my social media company does for me.  I also like Buffer so I can schedule my posts for when I know people are more likely to be on social media.  Social media is far more active in the evening than during the day.  I don’t have time in the evening to be ON social media posting, so Buffer steps in and solves this problem for me.  I schedule my posts, and Buffer makes sure they go out.  One of their new services is to offer posting suggestions too, which is really helpful in staying active and consistent with social media.

Youmail: I LOVE my Youmail. It’s a voicemail service that sends an email to your inbox with the voicemail attached to easily listen to without having to login to anything. Checking voicemail is like checking email and it’s a huge time saving strategy for me. I also like that I can forward voicemails to my team via email with notes. It’s an amazing business tool!

Pssst…The “coolest” thing about Youmail is your ability to customize your voicemail greeting based on who calls.  It uses caller ID as a way to serve up different voicemail greetings based on who’s calling-it takes customer service to a whole new level!  When people call my cell phone and it’s my voice saying “Hi Tom, great to hear from you, I’m sorry I can’t take your call…”  It’s not an automated attendant, it’s an actual voicemail greeting you can record for any individual.  You aren’t required to have a custom greeting for everyone, and those without one will get your default greeting.

Now it’s your turn-what are some of your time saving tools or tips?  I’d love to hear from you.

I’ve Been Keeping Secrets…It’s Time You Knew…

Secrets With Friends Book CoverFor the last two years, I’ve been writing a book, just for you…with all my small business secrets!  The book is titled The Secrets I Share With My Friends, Everything I Know About Building A Small Business.  I’m  excited to announce it’s been published and is now available on Amazon.

Why this book is for you, as a Realtor®:

Whether you realize it or not, you ARE a small business owner and seeing your real estate business as a small business will help you to build it up as such.  There’s a big difference between having a real estate business and being a Realtor®.  The real estate business owner has a business that’s of value to someone else, where the Realtor® who didn’t build a business just quits selling real estate one day.  Done, THE END.  There’s nothing beyond the last day of work to show for it, other than years of dedication to helping the people helped along the way.  The name just fades away in to nothingness the day the Realtor® stops serving…the business owner can sell his/her business, has systems, a valuable database, a solid marketing plan and it lives on without her providing income long past the days worked.

There are very few books available (that I’ve been able to find) on how to build up and market a real estate business, that’s why I wrote this book!

I’ve made a lot of mistakes along the way, like the time I showed up to a really important business meeting with a business card I had printed from my computer ink-jet printer.  I’ve included that super embarrassing story in the book along with many other mistakes I’ve made along the way to success as a small business owner.  My personal stories of bumps and bruises received from attending The School Of Hard Knocks can save you from taking the same path.  A path all too common with entrepreneurs and small business owners…and yes, Realtors® too!  If you’ve been in real estate for a while, your story isn’t likely much different than mine when the real estate market crashed and everything when to…ummm…hell!  I’m not sure about you, but I found myself in line at the food bank to make sure I had groceries to feed the kids while trying to meet my financial obligations (1.5M. in debt), with NO income!  Rough times!

The book is filled with an abundance of easy to understand, easy to follow and easy to read information on how to build your real estate business, build a team, hire the right people, delegate what should be delegated, market your brand of real estate, managing business finances, building your prospect list, where to get a list, and everything in between… all the way to retirement.

Reading this book will completely change the way you see your real estate business and the possibilities that exist with some simple planning and thinking ahead.

As a Realtor® maybe retiring and selling your real estate business at some point isn’t something you’re thinking about, right now.  After all,  your clients are doing business with you, versus your business/brokerage.  Changing your thinking around this could be the difference between a comfortable retirement that includes passive income from your real estate business and just deciding to stop selling real estate when you retire with no passive income.  Which path sounds better to you?

As you build up your real estate business, if you build it up with the end in mind, you have the ability to set yourself up for a nice retirement and create a business that pays you even when you’re done and not working any in it longer.  Creating a successful real estate business that can live on without you is easy with some direction on how to do it and I’ve included all of my secrets on how to do that in the book!

The book is getting rave reviews from top thought leaders and coaches like Steve Hardison “The Ultimate Coach” as a blue print for small business owners, like yourself, that’s easy to read because it’s not a boring text book, it’s a memoir that’s interesting, funny and filled with secrets throughout.  Here’s what Steve had to say about the book after reading it in one sitting.

Nadine Larder’s part memoir, part “how to,” and part textbook, “The Secrets I Share With My Friends…,” meets with trumpets of success from world-renowned personal, relationship and business coach Steven Hardison.

“I met Nadine today in the parking garage after attending #ICON 14.  It was my great privilege to be given her first copy of the book, “The Secrets I Share With My Friends: Everything I Know About Building a Small Business.”  After I completed my afternoon with a client, I sat down to thumb through the book she had given me.  I could not simply thumb through it. It was too compelling.

“As I read her book I was amazed at the passion that came through the pages, and I was even more astonished at the content of the information.  It is extraordinary! I can hardly wait to speak with her to tell her what I thought of her masterpiece.  It is beyond brilliant.

“I particularly love her Pssst… comments throughout the book. I will be giving this copy to my daughter who, like Nadine, has the desire to build a small business from the ground up. This book is a brilliant blueprint.

“I do not know Nadine, other than the 5-10 minute encounter in the parking garage, AND I am totally moved by her contribution to me as I have consumed her writing. I can only imagine the impact it will have on readers who are building their own business. My hat is off to this powerful and dynamic woman. Thanks, Nadine. Be blessed.”

Visit www.SmbSmarts.net for more information on the book, Nadine and lots of small business secrets!  You can get the book on Amazon…Grab your copy now!  They’re first edition and we plan do to a reprint soon!