Archive for Past Clients

What Makes a Great Client Gift?

Great Client Gifts

It’s the time of year where we give gifts to our friends and family. All this gift-giving got me thinking about what constitutes a really great gift for real estate clients.

Generally, Realtors® focus on housewarming style gifts, but that doesn’t really stand out. It’s almost expected. So – what kind of present makes a really great appreciation gift that will make an impact on your client?

A  Great Gift is About the Recipient

Sometimes real estate agents are focused on promoting their brand and staying top-of-mind when they give items as a thank you. Unfortunately, this comes off really poorly and makes it clear that your focus is on yourself, not your client.

There’s certainly nothing wrong with giving away promotional items, but they need to be different than what you give as a client gift.

A great client gift is about the receiver. What do they love? What do they need? What achievement or quote is important to them that could be incorporated into the item? I once heard of an author who received a set of Cutco knives, and each knife had one of his well-known quotes engraved on the blade.

How can you really personalize and focus the gift so that the recipient is delighted and reminded of something they truly cherish?

A Great Gift Represents the Value of the Relationship

I agree with John Ruhlin, the author of Giftology, when he says that we should get rid of the idea of “token” mementos and presents. Is anyone you care to give a gift to really just a token to you? If so, maybe you shouldn’t be giving them a gift!

A great gift shows that you value the client beyond simply “doing what’s required”. It shows that you put some real thought into something that’s meaningful for them and really matters. You should definitely stay away from cheap, useless trinkets.

Instead, consider giving gifts that are highly useful, meaningful, or even experiential. Would someone who was focused on finding the perfect kitchen enjoy a behind-the-scenes look at a local high-end restaurant? Would a family with several children enjoy tickets to a local aquarium?

A Great Gift Includes the Family

If you really want to impress someone, you should bless the people they care the most about. There are famous entrepreneurs and public figures that are used to being wined and dined for almost every reason imaginable. However, their families are always left behind.

You can adapt this to your situation as a Realtor® as well. How can you include the whole family in a gift, not just the primary homebuyer? It doesn’t have to be a group event – sometimes getting entertainment for kids and a gift certificate to a nice restaurant for the parents is a great way to include the whole family while giving the adults a needed break.

Don’t overlook the people around your client. If you have a high-end client who works through their assistant, give the assistant an amazing gift as well as the client. You’ll make a big impression.

A Great Gift is Useful

Finally, if you want to get a gift for a client that they will really enjoy, it should be practical. A basket of exotic fruits for someone who rarely cooks? Nope. A great family trip to a zoo? Yes.

Experiences, gift certificates, and specific useful items are great gifts, but you can also choose a more long-term option. There are monthly subscriptions for almost everything now, and you can consider buying a subscription for a client as a thank you. Each time they receive it, they’ll think of you!

Magazines can be a really great option and are often overlooked. There are magazines for almost every niche known to man, so skip the “Good Housekeeping” and look for something truly relevant to the client’s interests. Golf, bicycling, and fantasy sports are a few of the well-known ones, but there are magazines focused on horsemanship, crochet, crafts, fantasy gaming, and more.

Monthly gift boxes are another great idea. Whether you choose Flower of the Month for a gardener, Rocksbox for a woman who rocks her jewelry, or Graze for health-focused clients, a monthly subscription can be a great personalized gift that keeps you top-of-mind for a full year.

A great client gift is about the client. It shouldn’t be something with your name or logo on it. It should be focused on their interests, involve the whole family, be useful, and reflect the value of the relationship. Do you give a $1 million listing the same gift as a $250,000 listing? If so, it’s time to up your game.

How do you choose client gifts? Share in the comments!

3 Ways to Build Relationships with Client Appreciation

Client Appreciation

Realtors® know that their relationship with clients doesn’t end when the deal is closed. It’s vital to build and maintain relationships with clients so that you can get consistent referrals and gain online reviews to build your business.

There are a lot of ways to show appreciation to your clients. Here are just a few ideas – and you can start soon since the holidays are almost here!

Holiday Postcards

In today’s world of Facebook and social media, sending an actual card in the mail is almost unheard of. As a result, you’ll really stand out when you do it!

Sending a holiday postcard doesn’t have to take a lot of time. You can simply have them printed, “I loved working with you this year! Please let me know if you have any friends who have talked about moving lately who might need a real estate agent. Have a great holiday!”

Of course, you should customize your message based on your own personality and the experience you had with the client. But the point is, you should send a physical card in the mail during the holiday season.

It’s a great way to stay in touch and keep your name top-of-mind – and to ask for a referral!

One Year Anniversary Thank You

Realtors® often send a note card thanking a client for their business right after a transaction ends. However, it can be fun to follow up again on the one-year anniversary!

Sending a thank you card with a quick, “Happy one year anniversary of closing on your home!” message can mean a lot to a former client. You can ask for a referral or online review in the card if you like.

You can even extend this practice to celebrate 5 year anniversaries as well. It’s a great way to send an unexpected but very timely message!

When you send a thank you card on key anniversaries, you’ll be reminding the client how great it was to work with you and proving that you have great customer service. You’ll be showing up as the kind of Realtor® they should work with again!

Customer Appreciation Events

Having an annual party for your current network, along with past clients, can be a great way to show yourself in a professional light.

Are you tired of your friends thinking of you as “that guy who loves the Philadelphia Eagles” when you want them to think of you as a real estate agent? Inviting them to an appreciation event can change their perspective.

If you really want to do a big party, allow your lender, closing attorney, and other strategic partners to co-sponsor the event. Allow them to invite their networks as well, and you’ll have a huge pool of potential clients having a great time.

Here are some different types of client appreciation events you can do:

  • Rent a nightclub before they open for the evening if you have a large crowd
  • Holiday events like “Pictures with Santa” or “Pictures with the Easter Bunny” – people can skip the lines at the mall!
  • Host a neighborhood BBQ at your home or office
  • Raise money at a combination fundraiser/client event

Remember, don’t just invite clients. Invite friends, family, anyone you want to make a great impression on and who could give you business or a referral.

Everyone moves sometime!

If you’re interested in setting up a holiday event or sending holiday postcards, you should start now! We have dozens of templates ready to go that can be quickly customized. We can even mail the postcards for you! Contact us right away for details.

What do you do to show appreciation to clients and build relationships? Share in the comments!

How to Get Consistent Referrals Month After Month

Consistent Referrals Month After Month

Now that the busy summer buying season is slowing down, focusing on getting new leads is more important than ever. It’s no secret that referrals are one of the most important sources of new leads for Realtors®. What may be more unclear is how to get referrals consistently, month after month.

The vast majority of consumers are willing to give a referral right after a transaction. How you ask, and how you follow up on your request, will make all the difference in actually getting those referrals.

Have Value Discussions

Value discussions are times when you sit down with your client and check in to ensure that they are getting the value they are looking for from working with you.

Many times as Realtors® we assume that if we do our real estate job, the customer will automatically be happy. But unfortunately, we’re missing the fact that each customer has different expectations.

Instead, sit down periodically with your clients and ask them if they have any concerns, and then ask them what they love about working with you. When you get them thinking about you in this way, they are much more likely to share that with others.

As an example, a manager asked Louisiana financial advisors to schedule 12 value discussions with clients in a six-week timeframe. The 14 advisors who did so generated 132 referrals from those discussions alone. It’s powerful!

Make Asking for Referrals Part of the System

You almost certainly have certain processes you follow in your business. For instance, you might gather certain information about someone before showing them a property or prequalify a new buyer before showing them a dozen homes.

You can set up referral requests to be part of your system as well. Make it part of the checklist – after closing, contact the customer to ask for a referral.

When you make it part of a system, you’ll be much more likely to do it 100% of the time. And that means you won’t leave money on the table by forgetting to ask.

Ask Multiple Ways

People are busy. They don’t always see a specific request, and even if they see it they don’t always respond the first time.

When you ask in multiple ways, you make it easier for the customer to say “yes” and actually refer someone to you. So, send an email, and then follow up with a postcard. Finally, when you deliver your closing gift, ask in person.

By using three different methods to ask, you’ll be not only reminding them of your request, you’ll be giving them three different opportunities to answer in different ways. No matter how they are comfortable communicating, you’ll hit it!

Give a Specific Context

Too many Realtors® ask very generically, “Do you know anyone who needs a Realtor®?” Many times, even if they do, your customers will say no.


Because it’s out of context! You’re asking them to think of the whole universe of people they know and figure out who might need a Realtor®. Instead, make it very easy:

“Do you know anyone that you work with who has talked about moving lately?”

Now, they have context. They can think about folks they talk to at work and think about who has discussed moving. You’re much, much more likely to get a yes.

Obviously, you can choose the context that makes the most sense to your client. If they don’t work, ask about their parenting group, or church, or whatever type of community they are most active in.

Getting consistent referrals month after month isn’t rocket science. It’s a matter of talking about the value you provide, asking for referrals 100% of the time, and using different methods of communication. Finally, ensure you give your clients a specific context.

Get started today – order postcards to ask for referrals. Add that to email and in-person requests, and your referrals will be consistent and profitable!

The Power of a Written Note

Power of a Written Note

When was the last time you received a written note? Not an email or a text message, but a genuine, real handwritten note.

It’s probably been quite a while, but try your best to think back. How did receiving something so personal and so thoughtful make you feel?

Valued? Appreciated? Connected?

Often times those are the very feelings that are lost, or at the very least not conveyed well, through the standard text messages of our digital world. Don’t get me wrong, technology can definitely be a wonderful thing, but sometimes it’s important to take a step back and refocus on the basics.

Like sending handwritten notes to your current and potential clients.

Take a look at these four great reasons for sending handwritten notes – especially thank you notes – to you clients:

Your Clients will Feel Valued

This is a big one because how your client feels towards you can make or break future deals with them. Plus, it’s always a good thing to be kind and try your best to make people feel valued and appreciated. A handwritten note shows your clients that you took the time to do something personal just for them. If a client feels that they are more than a number, that they actually mean something to you, they will be much more likely to come back and work with you again in the future.

Gain Additional Referral Business

Going right along with valuing your clients, if you make a point to make them feel special, they’ll not only be more likely to use you in the future but also refer you to their family and friends whenever they are in the market for a good Realtor®.

The real estate business is one that works well (and often depends on) referrals, so the more you can get your name out there and connect with potential clients, the better for your own business. Never underestimate the power of a referral – and that power often begins with a handwritten thank you note.

Wow Possible Prospects


Some folks will send written thank you notes to those who have worked with them. But very few put that much effort forward for someone who is still a prospect. If a prospect receives a handwritten note from you, just checking in on them or wishing them well on a holiday, it will make a big impact.

Most marketing and interaction takes place online – social media, email, or even text messages. Getting something in the physical mail is rare. Getting something handwritten is almost unheard of, and it is sure to wow your prospects.

It Only Takes a Minute

Sending a handwritten note doesn’t take hours of your time. So what do you have to lose? Taking a few minutes out of your day to write a couple of thank you notes to clients isn’t going to set you back too far on the productivity scale, and your clients will love you for it.

And if you’re short on time or are just looking for an easy way to stock up on note cards, you can order them in advance online at – that way, the next time you find yourself wanting to write a note to a client, you’ll be more than prepared.

Even in our fast-paced, digital world, taking the time to write a personalized note is a worthwhile gesture. Not only will doing so help make your clients feel valued, appreciated and connected, but it will also wow prospects and give your business a much-needed boost in the right direction – and you can’t argue the value in that!

When was the last time you received a handwritten note? Share in the comments!


How Easy Are You to Do Business With?

Realtor Easy to Do Business With

Realtors® have many stories about nightmare clients. Clients who say they want to buy right away, but then want to see 24 houses over 2 months and still can’t decide. Buyers who claim to be in great financial shape but then can’t get approved for financing. Sellers who insist on pricing using a Zestimate rather than real market conditions.

But the truth is, buyers and sellers have their own horror stories. They often struggle to work with US, and tell their friends and family about how terrible it is to try to deal with a Realtor®. Why? Because sometimes, Realtors® make a key mistake – they fail to communicate well with clients. As a result, buyers and sellers have expectations that aren’t met, are dissatisfied with their experience, and spread bad press about real estate agents. Here’s how not to be “that Realtor®”.

Set Expectations Up Front

We do real estate transactions every day, but the reality is that almost all of our clients do a real estate transaction once every 5 – 20 years. The industry changes tremendously in that amount of time, and buyers and sellers rarely know what to expect. As a professional agent, our first job is to lay out the process for clients and help them know what to expect, when the waiting times will be, and what the average timeframe is for each part of the process.

You should also share your normal working hours and when the best time is to reach you, along with any days or times you won’t be available at all. When you lay out the process very clearly, and then make sure your client doesn’t have questions, you avoid a lot of heartache down the road. Your client doesn’t have unrealistic expectations, and you have your boundaries. If your client starts to stray outside the lines, you can reign them in by reminding them of the expectations you laid out at the beginning.

Communicate Regularly Regarding Progress

Buying or selling a home is a really big deal to real estate customers, and they get very nervous when they feel their Realtor® has “disappeared” or hasn’t given an update in a while. They may or may not understand how many other clients you are serving, but regardless, they deserve regular reassurance. A simple email or phone call – five minutes at most – can help clients understand if you’re still waiting for someone, or where the process is at the moment.

This doesn’t mean you’ll never have a client who pesters you. However, it will take the anxiety off of your normal clients, who will have more faith in you because you are giving them regular updates on the process. You’ll also build more rapport, which will be a great asset when you ask them for referrals.

Stay in Touch After the Transaction

No one likes to feel like a number, and sometimes Realtors® give buyers or sellers that impression by simply vanishing after a transaction has finished. While it’s true that you have active clients that need more of your time, there’s no reason you can’t check in with your former buyers and sellers occasionally. An automated email system can help a lot with that, as can holiday postcards or other marketing mailings.

If you follow these steps, you’ll never be the Realtor® everyone warns their friends about. It doesn’t mean you’ll never have another difficult client – there’s always someone out there with crazy ideas about real estate. But, it does mean that your normal buyers and sellers won’t become problem clients. When you set expectations, give frequent updates, and keep in touch after the sale, you’ll be doing your part to make our industry look great.

How do you keep communication flowing with your clients? Share in the comments!

Four Ways to Get More Referrals for Your Real Estate Business

Real estate referrals

All agents know that referrals are the best leads you can possibly get. Folks that are referred to you are not only ready to buy or sell a home, but they already are warm to your services and style. The question is, how do you get more referrals sent to you? Here are four simple tips.

Ask Current Clients

Many of us don’t think to ask for referrals until we’ve finished the deal. But why wait until a client has moved on in their lives and loses touch with us? Instead, ask during the process if they have any friends or family that need a Realtor®. The rapport you’ve built will be very fresh in their minds if they’re still working with you on a regular basis, and they will already be discussing their real estate search with everyone they know. Why not ask them to put in a good word for their amazing Realtor® as they share the process with their friends and family?

Follow Up With Past Clients

Past clients are, of course, a rich source of referrals. Keep in mind, however, that you may need to invite them to refer others to you multiple times before they follow through. This is often because real estate is no longer on the top of their mind, and they have other things to think about now that the deal is over. One way to get an immediate recommendation from them, even if they don’t send a direct referral, is to have them write an online review for you. You can use it on your website in addition to having them post directly on the review site.


Do you ever feel frustrated because you left a networking even without meeting anyone who needed a Realtor® right now? I know I have. However, remember that all of those networking contacts probably have someone they know who needs a Realtor®, either now or in the near future. Don’t end a conversation if someone doesn’t want to buy or sell a home – instead, ask about who they know that’s involved in moving into or out of your farm neighborhoods. Don’t just get a name – have them pass you along as a recommendation to their friend or family member.

Business and Social Connections

Being approachable and friendly can go a long way toward not only getting leads, but getting referrals as well. Always have your business cards on you, and keep your horizons wide. Just because someone isn’t a perfect fit for you doesn’t mean they don’t know someone who is! We literally meet enough people in a single day to reach out to tens of thousands indirectly. When you strike up conversations, get to know people and find out what they enjoy. Once you’ve built a great rapport, you can ask them to refer to you someone they know and give them your business card to pass along.

Once someone sends you a referral, be sure to treat that person like gold. Even if they don’t work with you in the end, the great experience will certainly get back to the person who referred them! Also, be sure to thank the referral source, even if the prospect doesn’t sign a contract with you. It’s important to show appreciation, even if it doesn’t work out – next time, maybe it will!!

Where do you look for referrals besides past customers? Share in the comments!

Leads over Lunch – Using Your Sphere of Influence

Leads Over Lunch

Many of us while away our lunch hour chatting with colleagues in our brokerage, running errands, or just zoning out. But what if you put your lunch to work? Lunch can be a great time to develop leads and connect with your sphere of influence.

The key here is to not be pushy or salesy. Building leads over lunch is more about the relationship building, person-to-person aspect of having lunch together. With that said, don’t be shy about mentioning your desire for their business or referrals if it comes up!

Here are three different types of lunch dates you can use to develop your sphere of influence and cultivate leads.

Business Partners

You can – and should – have lunch with business partners who could be a great source of referrals to you. You probably have a team of people who help you with staging, repairs, mortgage reviews, and inspections. Make it a point to take them out to lunch, chat with them about how business is going, and ask for referrals.

You should also ask for permission to put them on you mailing or email list, so that they receive your newsletters and keep up with you. Offer to join their mailing lists as well. Be sure that you give them referrals of people who might need their help. Finally, don’t forget to offer to answer any of their real estate questions or help them if they need to buy or sell!

After a lunch of this type, a handwritten note thanking them for their time and expressing how much you enjoy working with them is a great touch. It cements the relationship in a personal way.

Past Clients

Taking a past client to lunch is a great way to check in with them and see how things are going. If they took on renovations, you may be able to refer to one of your business partners if they need help. If not, you can still keep up with their family’s accomplishments and other small things going on.

Many people are immediately forgotten by a Realtor® as soon as the commission clears. Continuing the relationship will be a great way to establish you as different from others, as well as allowing you to learn things about the neighborhood and other families in the area. Of course, previous clients should be on your email list – if they are not, ask them if you could keep in touch that way.

Finally, all past clients are a great source of referrals. Don’t make the lunch all about what they can do for you, but do ask at some point if they know anyone else that has questions about real estate or is considering buying or selling.

Friends and Acquaintances

Having lunch with friends and acquaintances is another good way to build leads. Some of those you associate with may not know you’re a Realtor®. Lunch is a great time to have more casual conversations with people you may normally only see at homeowner’s associate meetings or PTA events. You can talk more fully about what you each do. Keep track of any referrals you may have for their type of work.

Even with friends who know you’re a Realtor®, you can use a lunch date to break the ice a little bit and reestablish yourself as both a professional and a friend. Assure them that you won’t try to sell them if they ask you real estate questions, and let them talk about their curiosities.

If it’s appropriate, you can of course ask friends and acquaintances to join your email list to keep up with happenings in the neighborhoods you serve. And let them know that if they or their friends or family need a Realtor®, you’re here to serve.

Don’t let lunch be a dead zone of unproductivity. Rejuvenate and reconnect with a casual lunch date, and build leads and relationships in the process.

Do you use your lunch to build leads? Why or why not? Share in the comments!

Why You Should Care About Online Reviews

Realtor ReviewsWord of mouth is a powerful marketing tool. Referrals are the cheapest way to gain business, and having happy clients can bring you an amazing amount of business. Unfortunately, word-of-mouth can be an anti-marketing tool as well – especially in our hyper-connected time.

The Impact of Online Reviews

The importance of Zillow, Trulia, and in today’s real estate market cannot be overstated. In early 2014, these three online portals alone were capturing one-third of all desktop visits in the real estate category. Zillow had the lion’s share by far, capturing 16.53% of real estate traffic by itself. The recent Zillow-Trulia merger only makes this platform more powerful.

The reason this is important is that since 2010 Zillow has offered unfiltered reviews of agents, lenders, home improvement pros, and more. Over 780,000 real estate agents have Zillow profiles, hoping to capture leads from the thousands of visitors to the site. Each of these agent profiles – including yours, if you’re one of them – has unfiltered reviews from customers available.

Reviews are intensely important to online buyers, and with many prospects using them as a form of interview without actually contacting the agent. Unfortunately this means that you don’t have an opportunity to craft your message or present your best side. You reviewers do that for you – and not always the way you wish they would.

How to Impact Your Review Profile

Because Zillow’s reviews are unfiltered, you don’t have a chance to approve or deny someone’s comments. However, you can use the profile feedback to your advantage – in fact, it can become an important marketing tool if you have a large number of positive reviews.

One of the primary Great online reviews matterways to impact your review profile, of course, is to provide the best service you can to every single customer. We’re all already doing that. To stand out, take these additional steps:

  • Contact anyone who leaves a poor review and see if you can resolve their concerns. If you do, ask them to update their review with the steps that were taken or consider revising their rating of you.
  • Include a request for a positive review on Zillow as a standard part of your customer follow-up routine. The more happy customers you can get to share on your profile, the less impactful a negative review will seem.
  • If you feel someone is spamming your profile or has left completely inappropriate feedback, or you didn’t actually work with the person who left a negative comment, use the ‘flag’ feature to report the issue to Zillow. The inappropriate or spam review will likely be removed.

There are many real estate agents who are unaware that their Zillow profiles have unfiltered reviews attached. As a Realtor®, take advantage of the opportunity to strengthen your marketing position by asking for positive reviews from clients. Try to resolve any negative concerns that are shared. By doing so, you’ll have a whole new way to appeal to clients that doesn’t cost you any additional time or money. That’s a win!

How do you handle Zillow reviews? Do you actively solicit them? Share in the comments!

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 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!


What kind of response rates can I expect on my postcard marketing campaign

One of the most common questions we receive when a Realtor® is considering a postcard marketing campaign is “what kind of response rates can I expect?”  It’s not an easy question to answer because there are so many different factors that come in to play with any postcard marketing campaign, the most important being “how committed are you?”  While we aren’t in a position to promise results, we can  provide some hard core facts about direct mail marketing and the standard response rates as reported by the Direct Marketing Association (DMA).

The DMA studies every marketing medium out there and provides an annual report based on their findings.  This report provides the answers to ALL of your marketing questions.  We’re happy to send you a copy of this year’s report, it’s everything you need to know about where to focus your real estate marketing efforts.

I think before digging in to the “stats” its important to note the factors that play such a significant role in the success of your mailing campaign.

  • A postcard mailing will NOT yield results, a postcard campaign will yield results.  The difference between the two being a one-shot marketing piece vs. a campaign that keeps going until… (The “until” in my own mind is “until I don’t want to be in business anymore”)
  • The quality of your database will substantially impact your results.  (Visit Cole Realty for information on Databases, mention Real Estate Marketing Magazine and receive a 25% discount on services)
  • Your audience needs to match your marketing efforts.  If you are marketing daycare services in a retirement community, chances are you won’t get good results.  A first-time home buyer (FTHB) marketing piece is not likely a good fit in a neighborhood where home values are high, it would get much better results in an apartment/town-home type community.
  • You’ll have a dramatically higher success rate by mailing to a list of people you know vs. a list of strangers.  (Check out these free letters you can download to help you get back in touch with your sphere)
  • Real estate is a relationship based business, it’s not a quick sale like ordering a pizza.  People move on average of once every 5-7 years according to the latest studies and your marketing needs to be present at the time a person is ready to move, which indicates a five year commitment.  (93% of American families eat pizza at least once per month)
  • The average cost of a postcard marketing campaign for one home, once per month over a five year period is approximately $30.  Based on a 3% commission rate and average home prices, the average real estate commission check is approximately $2700. I’d say you’re looking an a great return on your marketing investment, would you?
  • The quality of your postcard, your messaging, your call-to-action and your accessibility, be it on-line, email, telephone, text are also factors.  If I can connect with you on Facebook or follow you on Twitter to keep in touch, that too will improve your response rates.

Below are excerpts from the report.

Direct mail is one of the most cost effective means of marketing to your list.

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Postcards have the highest response rate

Screen Shot 2013-11-21 at 10.57.55 AMPostcards work best with both prospects and your sphere of influence (House File).  House Files have double the response rates. 
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Your marketing dollars are best spent on past clients and those who are familiar with you.  There’s nearly a 15% difference with familiarity! 

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The moral of the story:  There’s no guarantee when it comes to marketing, but some options work better than others.  Some methods cost less than others, postcard marketing being the most cost effective from a cost per lead/transaction.  The only way you’ll find real success in your real estate marketing efforts is if you commit to your marketing and the relationship your marketing builds with the people receiving it.

We’re happy to send you the report, please provide your information below and we’ll get it right out.  It really is so fascinating!