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How to Create a Real Estate Website That Works

Real Estate Website that Works

The perfect Realtor® marketing attack is a triple-threat that includes your print materials, signage/ advertising, and your website.

You may worry that every other Realtor has a website, so they aren’t very effective. But the good news is very few of them are running it the right way. Creating a top quality online presence is easier than you think and a few simple tweaks can separate you from the rest.

Here’s how to make your website really work for you.

Stay Social

You can do your website a lot of good by keeping up a strong and active social presence. This will only cost you your time, and it’s time very well spent.

“If you haven’t noticed lately, Google is putting a lot of emphasis on social sharing,” wrote real estate strategist, Andrew Molz.

“It’s a good idea to get out there and get active if you want to rank in your city for a particular keyword phrase. Best of all, the social media pages are absolutely free, so you’re not paying out of pocket for any charges.”

Don’t Confuse Flash with Function

You may get discouraged by a rival’s website. It’s cool looking, has all the bells and whistles, and cost them a fortune. Good for them, but that doesn’t guarantee success.

Many Realtors® will recruit a web design firm, a photographer, and a copywriter to work on their website. That’s all wonderful, but not a prerequisite.

Professional headshots are essential, and high-end graphics are wonderful, but they don’t make up for a bad user experience.

True, you want to impress the site’s users. But you don’t want to confuse them. A busy and flashy website runs the risk of information overload. That’s bad. That causes people to visit the site and give up without contacting you.

Make it Really Easy to Contact You

Remember, your website alone doesn’t sell houses. You do.

You should never be more than a click away. Your site should show people your listings, then get them in contact with you in as few clicks as humanly possible.

So make sure your contact information is always in the footer of every page. And strategically place your “Want to know more” lead form on the side of every listing.

Know What Keywords to Target

There are a few great ways to find the keywords you should target for free. “Houses for sale + your site” is an obvious one. Now take it a step further.

Enter words you think you need to target into Google and see what it autocompletes after the phrase. The words that pop up next are often searched for, so keep them in mind.

Also, Google a series of words you think you should target, like “Realtor + your city.” Now scroll to the bottom and look at the “Searches related to” section. Those terms are also phrases you should target.

Know the Right and Wrong Ways to Use Keywords

Be mindful of keywords, but don’t overstuff them into your website’s writing. This can really hurt the flow for your readers. Remember, write for human beings, not search engines.

That said, you do want to use them where you can. Remember optimum keyword density (the number of times you use a keyword per page) is only about 1.5%. So you only need to use a keyword three times in 200 words. That should happen pretty organically, without the need to force it.

Be a Blogger

Blogging takes time, but it’s worth your while to get really good at it. This really helps you own your local market.

Remember, Realtors® need to offer real value in their blogs.

“The good news is, even though we know how important content is, most real estate professionals still are not providing fresh and useful information on their websites,” wrote RealtorMag.org’s Stephanie Hahn.

“Focus on the neighborhoods you work in (or want to work in) often. Talk about the local market statistics or events around town, spotlight a business, try a ‘man on the street’ interview, or just showcase a subdivision or a section of a neighborhood.”

How is your website performing? Let us know your frustrations and triumphs in the comments below.

Six Ways to Start the New Year with a Bang!

New Year with a Bang

Who’s ready for a massive 2016?

Every results-driven Realtor® wants to improve each year. But that’s easier said than done.

So, let’s take a look at 6 high-impact/ low-cost ways to make 2016 your best year to date.

1. Stop Trying to Manage Time. Manage Yourself

This isn’t something that only Realtors® do. It’s a mistake people in every sector do.

It’s a simple mental tweak. Stop trying to get more out of the day; try to get more from yourself.

“When you view time as an external that must be managed, it’s common to feel as if you are constantly racing the clock. ‘Time’ is in control — not you. To take control, view your day as a series of choices,” advises Bernice Ross of Inman.com.

2. Reward Yourself with the Fun Tasks

Is there a task that you struggle with? Do you even struggle to get started on it, because you hate it? Get that out of the way, first thing in the morning, so you have the rest of the day to look forward to.

“If your day’s tasks require an activity that you aren’t fond of, do it first thing. Getting past it will give you a lift and make the rest of the day a pleasure. It’s also best to do those hated things when you’re fresh,” wrote expert James Kimmons.

“I always have to do the things I most want to avoid first on my list.  I can look forward to more fun things, rather than the other way around.”

3. Take Your Website Mobile

If you haven’t done this yet, get on it! You need to get this done as soon as possible. In 2015, Google reported that mobile internet traffic now exceeds desktop traffic. Your customers (or would-be customers) are looking at houses on their smartphones. Smart Realtors® have websites that can accommodate them.

“You cannot avoid it anymore. Your website and emails need to be designed for all devices and screen sizes and be responsive. Sixty-six percent of emails are opened on a phone or tablet. Facebook has more than 650 million daily active users on mobile devices,” said R. K. Shrivastaw in a recent LinkedIn post.

“In short, there are plenty of reasons why you need to be sure that your business is mobile ready.”

4. Write Better Headlines and Subject Lines

This is a big one. And should be your New Year’s Resolution every year.

Dull, templated or spammy subject lines are the quickest way for your emails to be ignored, or flagged as junk.

Remember, people don’t make rational decisions; they make emotional decisions and then rationalize them. So write headlines and leads that tap into the buyer/ seller’s emotions and pain points.

Don’t worry. It will take time. And there will always be room to improve.

5. Revisit Your Personal Brand

The New Year is the perfect time to revisit your brand.

It can be hard to brand yourself, but it’s not that different than branding a big company. Too many Realtors® use clichés and say that they’re “trustworthy” or that “they know the area.” These attributes are not only oversold, they’re also somewhat common sense.

Kelle Sparta recently explored her branding efforts and said, “My own strengths were educating my clients, having a deep understanding of them and their needs, and being a true advocate for them.”

“A part of any presentation I gave was the phrase, ‘I won’t always tell you what you want to hear, but I’ll always tell you what you need to know.’”

A great way to further your brand is to review and update your printed materials, especially your business cards. Update your picture, review your tagline, and get noticed!

6. Further Your Education

There is always an opportunity for Realtors’ to better themselves with more training. It’s not hard to find classes, seminars and networking events aimed at Realtors®. But, feel free to step outside the box a bit.

Maybe you could take part in an online training session about Twitter and small business? Anything to help you grow your reach.

 

How are you planning to make 2016 the best year ever? Let us know in the comments below.

Your Facebook Page Doesn’t Count – The Case for Realtor® Websites

Realtor Website

Do you have a Realtor® website as the home base for your web presence? If not, you’ll want to read this article carefully. Unfortunately far too many Realtors® rely on a social media site – often Facebook – as their primary online platform. I’m here to give you some honest marketing feedback. Your Facebook page doesn’t count. Here are three reasons you really need a Realtor® website.

A Website Allows You to Make the Rules

You may not realize this, but when you use a social media platform, you are bound by their terms of service (TOS). The TOS is designed to be beneficial for the service owners, not necessarily you or your business. If you have a Realtor® website as the base of your business, you get to make the rules – you can do what you like, and not risk having your account restricted.

What does this mean, in practice? It means you can link or embed videos from YouTube without having your reach limited. (Facebook punishes any video that isn’t uploaded directly to the platform). You can run contests without fearing repercussions from the social media site. (Every social media TOS has rules and restrictions regarding contests). And you can create ads and promotions you want, rather than ones that abide by the strict advertising rules of Facebook or other platforms.

Your Reach Will Be FAR Better

Have you noticed that your posts aren’t going as far as they used to – especially on Facebook? You may be surprised to find out that only a very small percentage of your Facebook fans see any given post. Facebook claims this is because there’s “too much information” to share with people on their feeds, but the reality is that Facebook and other social media platforms are moving toward a paid-ad driven business model. If you want reach now, you have to pay for it.

On the other hand, when you have your own Realtor® website, you can keep all the fans and visitors you have – without anyone restricting the flow. The work you do to build visibility and reach won’t be throttled by someone else trying to make a buck off of you. The benefit of having your own platform when it comes to getting eyes on your message can’t be overstated.

You Can Control Graphics and Design on Your Website

Do you ever wish that you could show visitors a beautiful slideshow of your current listings, recently sold homes, and happy clients? With your own website, you can. In fact, you can create whatever you want to create. If web design is not your strong point, that’s not a problem – there are many freelance designers or web management companies that can help you set up a WordPress site and keep it up to date for you. I love Outstanding Setup personally – they are very affordable and very responsive when you need changes.

On the other hand, social media sites are designed by someone else, and not with your business in mind. On some platforms, it’s hard to display very many pictures. On others, there’s very little room for text. When you don’t have choices, you can find that your message gets garbled. When you have your own Realtor® website, you can choose a template that displays exactly what you want to show your prospects.

Having your own website doesn’t have to mean hours of coding and learning how to be a web designer. You can easily and affordably outsource the technical work. However, having your own platform allows you to make the rules, maintain your reach, and control your own layout. These three things make it very worthwhile to create a Realtor® website.

What’s your favorite thing about having a Realtor® website? Share in the comments!

Six Things That Could Be Sabotaging Your Sales Success

Sabotaging Sales Success

Did you just lose a big prospect and you’re left wondering why? Or do you feel that your sales could be better, but you’re just not sure what’s holding you back? Real estate is a hard business, no doubt about it. Fortunately, there are some common errors that Realtors® make that sabotage their sales success. After taking a look at these, you may know exactly what you need to do to improve your business.

Your Value Doesn’t Match Your Commission

Being a full-service broker means a lot, but it comes at a price. It’s amazing to me that the kind of scrutiny about pay that Realtors® get every day. But nonetheless, it’s there. So, if you have a higher commission than is common in your area, you need to provide the value and service that backs it up. This will help you handle objections as well, since you can point out exactly what you do that others don’t. If you can’t prove that you work up to your commission, you are losing business left and right.

You’re So Busy You Fall Behind

You can never have too many clients, right? WRONG! When you’re so busy that you fall behind and start dropping the ball, you’re giving your clients a terrible impression. Unfortunately, you will quickly develop a bad reputation that will hurt your business and make your sales plummet. It takes an unbelievably short amount of time to create a bad reputation – don’t do it to yourself! If you have too much business, work out a split with another agent or hire help.

Your Team Isn’t Solidly Identified With You

Having a team is a great help, but the marketing you do needs to reflect that team spirit. If you don’t identify closely enough with your team, the clients you refer to team members will feel slighted and may drop out of the deal. Make sure everyone has the same explanation of the sales process as you do, and introduce your clients to your team in a warm, integrated way. Don’t just hand them off and run! Having your team on the same page and using warm introductions will go a long way to keeping clients on board.

You Run Late

As an agent, it’s very important to be on time – preferably a few minutes early – to any appointment, lunch, etc. Is there likely to be a lot of traffic or construction? Leave plenty of time to navigate. Even if you have a great story or excuse as to why you were late, the fact is that the client doesn’t care. They only care about their own schedule, and if you disrupt it, you are definitely losing the sale.

You Seem Desperate

When someone is looking for a date in a desperate way, they scare off all but the extremely sleazy members of the opposite sex. The same is true in real estate. If you seem super desperate, hoping to turn everyone you meet into a sale, you’ll scare off the good prospects. The only people who will give you the time of day are the ones who will waste your time, take advantage, and probably never give you a sale in the end. Relax – let your marketing do its work, and don’t be looking for “fresh meat” everywhere you go!

Your Website is Horribly Outdated

Websites get better every day, it seems, because the technology used to build them gets easier and easier for even a novice to use. If you’re not using an up-to-date website builder, or if your website is nothing but a bunch of tiny text jammed together, I guarantee you’re losing sales. People look online for real estate before they ever call an agent, so make sure your website is dressed to impress.

None of these six common mistakes is impossible to overcome. The biggest obstacle is often recognizing what the problem is. Once you figure it out, it becomes easy to make the corrections and get the sales you deserve. So whether you need to update your website, coach your team, or set your watch ahead, get on it! Stop losing sales over silly mistakes.

Do you see Realtors® losing sales for common, silly reasons? 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!

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.

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!

 

Why you NEED to send out open house invites to the neighbors…More Secrets I Share With Friends

real estate listing flier sampleMy next door neighbor recently listed her home for sale and this Saturday it was held open for the first time. What a spectacular home! Over 5000 sq. ft. of pure beauty, and the agent who has the home listed had really nice marketing materials to match the elegance of the home.  Trust me when I tell you, my photos of his marketing materials don’t do them justice, but it is a 11X17 folded brochure, printed on 14 pt. cover stock and it’s beautiful.  This listing flier is so eye-catching that as my children passed by it on the kitchen counter, they all stopped and took note of it.  Each of them said “Wow, this is one of the nicest marketing pieces I’ve seen in a long time,”  and they see a lot of marketing pieces.  His business card is printed on a 16pt. matte finish with gold foil printing and they definitely stand out.

Here’s my one problem with his approach to marketing this house.  He didn’t let any of us (the neighbors) know it would be open on Saturday. This agent clearly understands that marketing is a necessary investment with the look of his marketing materials. They’re stunning!

My thoughts are that those marketing materials would impress a lot of the people in this neighborhood if they were invited to stop by. Open houses are “nosy neighbor magnets!” Nosy neighbors who are many times interested in home values, the market and in many cases trying to determine if it’s a good time to sell. Neighbors are like low hanging fruit on the tree of real estate agent leads, you just need to harvest them by inviting them to stop by.

Here’s some ideas on how to invite the neighbors:

  • Go door knocking and personally invite them, provide them with a listing flyer in the event they can’t make it.  Make sure to ask them if they have any questions about the market.
  • Use services like Cole Information Systems to get a current mailing list of the surrounding homes and call those that have phone numbers, invite them to stop by. (Mention this magazine/PrinterBees when contacting Cole and receive a 25% discount!)
  • Send out Just Listed/Open House postcards with an invitation to stop by. (Cole Information Systems provides the needed mailing list)
  • Use door hangers as you walk the neighborhood and become a familiar face.
  • Include a sign rider on your for sale sign saying “open this weekend.”
  • Hire some teenagers to hand out “Open House Fliers” to advertise the upcoming event and so they know they’re invited.

Activity breeds activity and people like doing business with someone they view as successful and busy. You’re missing out on a tremendous opportunity to grow real estate business if you’re not exploiting the opportunities you have to be in front of people, while you have the activity of a listing.