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Archive for real estate and marketing

Why Realtors® Don’t Need More Leads

Why Realtors Don't Need More LeadsRealtors® need leads to survive. So why would I say that you don’t need more leads? Aren’t Realtors® always in need of more leads?

In a word, no. Very simply, what Realtors® really need is to be more effective with the leads you already have.

Did you know that 70% of leads are never followed up on? True story – I was meeting with a new Realtor® in my area over lunch. We were discussing the lead generation tactics in his agency, and he mentioned that one Realtor® had a drawing as part of an open house. To enter the drawing, visitors had to fill out their name, address, and phone number. I asked my friend what the other Realtor® had done with all those new leads he now had. My friend looked shy and said, “Well, he realizes that follow-up is his weak point.”

WHAT????

The Realtor® had gone to all that trouble to get information on dozens of visitors to his open house, and hadn’t done anything with the leads. NOTHING. And these were people looking to buy a home!

So that’s what I mean when I say you don’t need more leads. Chances are you have more leads than you are following up on. Until you’re effective in following up on what you have, you certainly don’t need more.

Lest I sound all “high and mighty”, let me tell you that I was just the same way. I was losing major sales because I simply couldn’t follow up on the leads I had. 70% of my leads were slipping through my hands, and I constantly had to generate more in order to survive. But not anymore. I’ve discovered how to capitalize on 100% – yes, 100% – of my leads. And you can too. Without breaking the bank.

I’ll share more on Thursday about the system I use to follow up automatically on my leads. It involves a very well-designed email automation program that saves me hours while earning me a lot of money. Until then, ask yourself the question I found myself asking several years ago – do you really need more leads? Or do you need to find a way to be more effective with the leads you have?

Where do you find yourself with leads? Do you have great follow up? Share in the comments!

Are You Slow Enough to Win the Race?

Making Time As A Realtor.  Real Estate Marketing MagazineHave you ever wondered what makes some Realtors® amazingly successful and others just so-so? The answer comes from Winston Churchill: “Continuous effort — not strength or intelligence — is the key to unlocking our potential.”

This made me think of the old children’s story of the tortoise and the hare. The hare was sure he’d win the race based on his brilliant speed, and he was ahead at the beginning. However, he got lazy, rested, and fell asleep, allowing the tortoise to pass him and win. So my question to you today is, are you slow enough to win the race in real estate?

What do you mean, SLOW?

No one wants to be slow. Slow is a negative word in our society, especially as obsessed as we are with instant gratification. If a website is slow, fix it. If traffic is slow, curse it. If your cell phone is slow, upgrade it. Slow is always a problem.

However, when we focus on the continuous effort required in our real estate career, we realize that slow is not the problem. Inconsistent is the problem. Inconsistent marketing. Inconsistent in requesting referrals. Inconsistent in our farming. Inconsistent in our cold calling. Inconsistent on following up leads. The list goes on and on.

Be OK with being slow. Be OK with starting your day with 3 hours of cold calling, the way a successful California agent shared he did in a Facebook group for lead generation. He is on track to hit $10 million in sales, and this is his second year in the business. His average listing is right around $365,000. Yes, it’s California. But every market has its problems – he’s just discovered that slow and steady wins the race.

How to be more consistent

Slow Enough to Win the RaceSo, as real estate professionals, how do we build more of that slow, consistent effort into our lives? One of the most important ways is through routine. By having a daily routine – or even just a morning routine – we’ll ensure that we are doing the same things repeatedly.

However, being consistent alone won’t help as much as making sure we are being consistent in the right things. Review your last year, or last quarter, of business. Where are the majority of your leads coming from? What’s working? Spend the first part of each day focused on the activities that bring you the most leads and new business. Everything else can wait.

There’s a philosophy called 80/20, that says that 20% of your activities give you 80% of your results. Review your lead generation and appointment scheduling tactics, and focus daily time and effort on the 20% that matter most. Then, no matter what else happens during the day, you’ve accomplished your most impactful work and set the stage for your ongoing success.

It certainly seems like an odd question to ask if you’re slow enough to win the race. But when you realize that consistency wins over hurry, stress, and scattered efforts, it all begins to make sense. Steady, consistent work is how you win the race in real estate.

What effort in your business do you want to focus on more consistently? 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 to Get More From Your Social Media Efforts

Realtors® Get the most out of Social Media

As we discussed earlier this week, having a social media presence is essential for a Realtor® in developing relationships, building interest in properties, and gaining attention for their business. But are you really getting the most out of your social media profiles? Remember, social media shouldn’t be a passive experience for your followers. Building relationships is all about engagement!

Be of Service

This is the first and most important thing you can do on social media as a Realtor®. Remember that your business is not all about making money, or selling more houses than someone else. The point of your business, if you want to be truly successful, is to serve. Use your social media profiles to be the most helpful Realtor® around, not just to potential clients but also to other professionals. If you’ve helped another Realtor®, they will remember you and may make a point of bringing a client by to see one of your listings. Community will get you much further than being a lone wolf.

Include Social Media Monitoring in Your Strategy

Social media monitoring may sound intrusive or time-consuming, but it really isn’t. Another term for it is ‘social listening’. It just means you keep up with what people are saying about you, your industry, and your business. A social media monitoring strategy can let you know when someone is tweeting about an upcoming move, or has questions about using a Realtor®. By being the first professional contact that person gets about their question, you’ll put yourself on top of the pack when they need your services. Social listening helps you build better relationships, beat your competition to the punch, and get a better return on your social media time.

Initiate Contact with Those Who Express a Real Estate Need

By being proactive and finding those who are talking about moving or selling property, you can dramatically increase you results. NM Insite published a report that showed that 71% of consumers who experience a quick and effective brand response on social media are more likely to recommend that brand to others. In social media, you ARE your brand, and if you can make a connection, you’ll be more likely to find recommendations coming your way.

Add Value Statements to Your Profiles

Being a Realtor® is about bringing tons of value to your clients as they search for or sell their property. By making those statements of value upfront, you’ll gain extra attention on social media. A value statement will describe and differentiate your services, and give consumers a better idea what you are about. Keep in mind, though, that customers want to know how you meet their needs, not how amazing you are. So keep the value statements focused on the customer and the important benefits they gain from working with you.

Keep Interest with a Variety of Content

Your social media presence will be more interesting and gain more followers if it provides a variety of content experiences. Here are some ideas you can use as a Realtor®:

  • Video walkthroughs of a property
  • Case studies showing how you helped a client
  • Infographics showing the importance of using a Realtor®
  • Photos of listings
  • Well-written articles describing the value of your services to clients

Create Targeted Calls to Action

Whether you’re posting a beautiful listing on Facebook or engaging with property hunters on Twitter, you want to make sure to let viewers know what you’d like them to do next. The power of suggestion is potent, and by saying things as simple as “Don’t miss this open house!” or “Call me about this home!” you can create action on the part of your customer. A targeted call to action can make the difference between a post with no engagement and a post that drives customers to your listing.

Social media can be a gold mine of relationships with colleagues and potential clients. However, it does take proactive work on your part to make it happen. By using the tips above, you’ll be taking full advantage of your social media experience.

What’s your favorite thing to share in social media? What gets you the most engagement? Share in the comments! 

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!!

Create the Perfect Real Estate Business Card

Perfect Real Estate Business CardLasting impressions are made in a matter of moments, especially in real estate. One way to ensure you make a great impression is by having amazing real estate business cards. As a Realtor®, handing out your business card can mean the difference between gaining a customer and losing to a competitor. However, not all business cards are created equal – it’s important that yours stand out and really represent who you are as a professional. Here are some tips on creating the perfect business card.

Standard Size

It’s fun to be creative, but keep your creativity inside the standard sized card. Oddly shaped or sized cards do stand out, but for all the wrong reasons. Customers will find them hard to place in a wallet or standard business card holder, and as a result your real estate business card may get thrown away rather than kept for future reference.

You also want to make sure you choose excellent paper quality to help your cards seem more professional and ensure they hold up inside a wallet or purse. You may also want to choose a supplier that allows you to add additional information to the back of the card, so that you can utilize the full surface.

Choose Complementary Colors

Winning a customer is all about having a business card that stands out in the right way. If you were listing a property, would you want it to have bold, brash colors inside, or complementary tones? Obviously the home that shows best is the one with complementary colors. The same holds true for your real estate business card. You can choose noticeable coloring, but make sure the colors aren’t too bright and don’t clash.

Remember to be careful about using colors that are too similar for the background and the text. The text can disappear into the card, especially after printing. Suppliers and design programs do their best to show you the finished product, but there will always be a difference between the screen and the printed result.

In the same way, detailed pictures should not be located behind text. The text and the details of the picture can trick the eye and result in neither one being clearly visible. A detailed picture in one corner, such as a photograph or logo, and text in a different area is the best strategy.

Mind Your Edges

The edges of a card can be a danger zone. Whether you are designing and printing your own cards or are ordering from a supplier, you want to watch the outside area known as the ‘bleed area’. This is the area where you or the supplier aims to cut the cards. You want to make sure your background color covers this area completely to avoid white edges. However, you also want to make sure no important information carries over into the bleed area. If it does, you could easily end up with your phone number or email address cut off!

In addition, to keep your cards as sharp as possible avoid putting any kind of border around the edge. This is especially true if you are ordering from a supplier and not doing your own cutting. A small change in the cutting zone can result in cards that have only three or two edges bordered, creating a very unprofessional look. In the same way that your property listing photos should be centered and clear, your real estate business cards should also be symmetrical and centered.

Display Your Smiling Face!

As a Realtor®, you are your own brand. You want to make sure that your card shows off a professional image of who you are. This serves three purposes – first, it displays you at your best ever time the customer looks at the card. Second, it helps them remember who you are and what you look like – if they see your picture elsewhere, it will trigger recognition. Finally, a personal picture helps create a personal connection, allowing the customer to feel like they know you despite what may have been a short introduction.

Additionally, make sure you include all relevant information. The more ways a customer can reach you, the better. A phone number and email address are the minimum – if you have an office address, website, or Facebook page that’s even better. Finally, think of a clever or personal tag line that can be the motto of your realty business. By including that on the card, you’ve added another memorable personal touch.

Your real estate business cards are a key part of your realty business. You want them to be colorful but not brash, unique, and display your brand at its best. By being mindful of size, color and edges, you’ll be assured of having a professional card. By placing your clear, smiling picture and personal motto on them, you’ll build recognition and create relationships. These steps will give you the perfect business cards to grow your brand and win customers.

 

Need help getting the perfect real estate business card? Check out PrinterBees right away – we provide professional quality, customizable business cards at a great price

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!!

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.

 

 

The Five Most Important People In Your Real Estate Business

real estate business buildingTo create an amazing customer experience, you need an amazing team of people. As I’m currently going through an escrow, I’m reminded of all the people it takes for a smooth closing and why it’s important to make sure you’re working with the “A team.”  The “B Team” isn’t going to cut it and not having the A players moving the escrow through it’s paces with you could cause it not to close.

Here’s what I know for sure about having successful transactions as a Realtor®:

You must have a REALLY good mortgage professional on the team of people you work with: Without a mortgage loan, in most cases, deals don’t close.  I’m not feeling warm and cozy about the person I’m working with for my loan at the moment, we’re down to the final wire and I’m praying my escrow will close in spite of my lack of confidence.

Pssst…My recommendation to my Realtor® would be to find another mortgage “guy” to refer to, I’m not at all secure we will close.

You have to know a good property inspector: I had my property inspection yesterday, the inspector was very detail oriented, sure of himself and his assessment of the property.  He made me feel really good about the structure of the home and the minor things that needed to be addressed. His self-confidence in what he was doing and what he saw as he inspected the property was very comforting to me.

You must have an amazing escrow officer: One who has closed a lot of escrows, knows the ropes, has seen many files and many scenarios. A creative and experienced escrow officer that understands the system, title, the contracts, the fees, etc will make all the difference in your experience as a Realtor® and your ability to better serve your clients. Without a good escrow officer on your team, you won’t close…that’s what they do, they close the deal and bring it all together.  I’ve experienced “bad” and inexperienced escrow officers in the past, it’s scary, “messy” and it makes YOU look really bad as the agent.  Trust me.

You need to know someone in the insurance business: I can’t tell you the number of times that insurance verification was the one thing to hold up an escrow from closing on-time. It’s one of those little details easily forgotten and you can’t close escrow without home owners insurance. You need someone you can call in a moments notice that can underwrite your clients in emergency situations. First time home buyers definitely aren’t experienced in that regard and don’t likely have a home owners insurance agent/policy.

Having a good transaction coordinator on your team is worth every penny it cost you, and then some: My Realtor® just put three deals in escrow, right before leaving town for a family reunion. His wife is in the US Air Force and has been deployed for a year and a half. He and his five kids are enjoying some much needed and deserved time together for the first time, in as long. His transaction coordinator is handling the transaction, running with the ball, moving things forward while he’s enjoying his family. He got the deal in contract, negotiated the contract, represented me as the buyer and then he passed the ball to his transaction coordinator to handle the rest of the details. She’s fabulous!  A good transaction coordinator keeps you in compliance with your paperwork and will help keep you out of court as well.  If you’re new, you must have the assistance of a good transaction coordinator who has been in the business for a while.

It takes a team and the better the team you have in place, the smoother your business will run and more importantly, the better the quality of life you’ll enjoy. Great teams make for great success and having a great team will get you there faster and smoother. I am a big believer in delegating WHEREVER and WHENEVER possible, it gets things done/handled and it allows you to do what you’re supposed to be doing. Selling real estate and negotiating contracts.  How to find those people is my next secret, so make sure you subscribe so you don’t miss it! I definitely have my secrets and I’m willing to share them.

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!