How personal marketing now will bring you success in 2017

We’ve been talking a lot lately about building your business up in 2017. Recent blogs have covered email marketing strategies, lead generation, and rebranding. Today we’re going to look at networking and personalized marketing strategies. These are the most time-intensive activities you are likely to do, but they also are most likely to create greater dividends for your business. All of these tips are touches; they demonstrate that you care about your community and your client base beyond your paycheck.

Invest in your community. When you are active in your community, you’ll get more top-of-mind referrals. You can do this by sponsoring local events. Remember that you don’t have to create or run the event to help. For instance, if your town has a medical waste drop off day, offer to promote the event by printing and distributing door hangers in neighborhoods or posters in local businesses. If your local chamber of commerce or Rotary Club is holding a luncheon or banquet, sponsor the centerpieces and then donate them after the event to a local retirement home or hospice (and be sure to announce this at the event so people don’t walk away with them). Look for ways to give back first.

Volunteer. Get involved with a local charity or community group. Volunteer frequently and whole-heartedly. You’ll feel great knowing that you are helping a worthy cause and you will engage with people on a deeper level than if you were only marketing to them. You are your brand, and doing good in the community will encourage people to recommend you to others. Take it one step further and offer to host, sponsor or help advertise or promote a fundraiser with your charity.

Attend Professional Events. Don’t be intimidated by other agents or view them as competition. Remember, chances are that you will be conducting deals with them at some point in the future, or if they’re not in your market area, you might be able to create referral sources. Transactions with agents you already know can be a whole lot easier to manage when the lines of communication are already open. Plus, you can pre-market your listings to a receptive audience. If there aren’t enough professional groups in your market area, create your own and invite other real estate professionals and members of affiliated industries to join.

Stay in touch with your base. Regularly host an event for your friends, current and past clients and their families. It’s a fun and casual way to organically grow your network and show your gratitude to the people in your life. Events can be simple. Think happy hour. They can be seasonal. Create a mini pumpkin patch at a park and let the kids pick out their own tiny pumpkin. They can be potluck. Start a dinner club and have everyone bring something to pass. They can be unique and locally focused. Find an artisan shop near you – a chocolatier, bakery, or coffee roaster for example, and host a tasting event. They can be trendy. Hire a food truck. They don’t have to be expensive events, but they should be scheduled on a predictable and regular basis. Have a friend from an affiliated industry help you plan events if you don’t want to do it alone.

Say thank you. Send a handwritten note to anyone who gives you a referral or closes a deal with you. In fact, send handwritten notes to everyone in your sphere on a regular basis. Thank them for being active in the community, or compliment them on a job well done. When your referral client sends you a referral, go back two steps and thank the person that sent you the original client in the first place. Don’t ask for anything in return, simply show gratitude.

Ask for referrals. When clients are referred to you, they come to you with a certain level of implicit trust in the relationship before you ever show them a house. Referrals also come with responsibility. If someone refers a friend to you, they want that friend to be treated well. Be responsive and communicate with them regularly. Treat them well and demonstrate to both the new client and the old that you are honored to have earned that business. Be sure to thank the people that refer you business and make it clear to new clients that referrals are the life-blood of your business. Don’t be afraid to ask, “How am I doing?” and “Can you think of a friend, family member or co-worker who could use my help?”

Remember your business relies on people. When you’re good to the people around you, others will return the favor. It’s not always easy to stay in touch with others when we get busy, but doing so really is a fundamental key to success in real estate. We all get busy, so even if you have to block time off in your calendar and force yourself away from your desk, do it. Your efforts will be appreciated by others. And the potential upside is infinite.

How To Set Expectations With Clients

Managing your work/life balance as a REALTOR can be tricky. You want to be there for your clients. You don’t want to miss out on a deal. You need to keep filling your pipeline. But you also need to have a life. Setting expectations early and maintaining good communication with your clients throughout the process will make for happier clients and more referrals. And you’ll have more control over your day-to-day business, too.

How and when will you communicate? Find out how the client prefers to communicate. If they prefer phone calls or texts over email, or if they can’t talk during business hours, you’ll need to know the best way to reach them. On the flip side, they’ll also need to know when to best reach you. Just because you’re in a service industry doesn’t mean you have to answer the phone 24 hours a day. Have a clear message in your voice mail detailing what your hours are and when you will call back – and stick with it. As long as you are consistent, your customers will by and large respect your parameters. Do follow up phone conversations with an email to keep a paper trail for your records.

When will showings happen? If you’re keeping a block schedule, explain to your clients when you are available for showings. Of course, you will also have to make some accommodations for their work schedules from time to time. Do explain to clients that most homeowners want at least a few hours’ notice before a showing. If you’re listing the house, find out their restrictions first. Explain to your clients that you will respect their needs, and thatthey need to try to be flexible because sometimes buyers can’t reschedule or make a second trip to a neighborhood – especially those relocating from out of town.

What expectations does the client have? Whatever they are, exceed them. Give your clients a weekly report outlining the homes they have seen or the number of showings they have had. If they are under contract, give them updates with a timeline of all of the milestones and when they are achieved. If your buyer wants you to preview homes, offer to Facetime or Skype with them for a streaming walkthrough.

What expectations do you have? Now is the time to explain things like office safety protocols, the importance of getting documents together, how to handle credit through the process, and a general timeline for buying and selling. Explain the representation agreement and how you are compensated. It’s also a good time to reiterate your commitment to them and getting the transaction handled with proper care and attention.

Always be open to questions and concerns. Reiterate to your clients that they should always feel that there are no questions too small or insignificant to ask. You are here to guide them through the process and want to be their trusted, lifelong real estate advisor. Be welcoming and open and encourage them to be frank in their discussions.

For more information about setting client expectations, check out our representation designation classes: Seller Representative Specialist (SRS), Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES), Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR), and Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist (CLHMS). Visit mymetrotex.com for a complete list of classes.

5 Networking Habits of Successful REALTORS

We all know we need to do it, but like diet and exercise, regular networking is a habit that can be hard to start and even harder to maintain. Like long-forgotten New Year’s resolutions, networking is one habit that REALTORS tend to get into when times are slow, and which fades off with the first taste of success. But in order to maintain that healthy glow, your business needs networking year-round. Keep your business steady through all kinds of market cycles and embrace the power of your network.


Listen to new clients. Obviously, the biggest point of networking is to meet new people and get them to use you. One of the best ways to do that is to train yourself to listen. Ask about families, challenges people are facing, work, milestones approaching. Elicit conversation from people and they will begin to trust and appreciate you more.

Bring clients together. You know people. That’s your job. Most of them probably either have a business or work for one. Find out what they do and what they need. Think about other people in your network. Could any of them fill that need or would they know someone who does?  Introduce them. You’ll gain referrals if you give referrals first. In fact, plan to give out more referrals than you receive. Actively look for opportunities to give out referrals.

Smoother transactions. Look, we all know a lot of real estate agents. And no, you’re not going to score both sides of every deal. At some point you’re going to have to work with other agents to get a deal done. So don’t shy away from talking to other agents and getting to know them. Negotiating is easier if there’s already a history of friendly conversation. Think of other agents as resources. After all, they’re only your competition if they’re better than you. And you are a master at networking, so there’s no problem, right?

Gain a mentor or two. Sometimes when you are networking you’ll run across someone whom you really begin to admire. They may or may not be in your industry, but they are successful in what they do. Harness that success. Take your would-be mentor out for coffee and ask about that success. Find out how you can incorporate their successes into your own life and business.

Collect cards. Collect more cards than you give out. If you are collecting a lot of cards, it means you’re talking to a lot of people. And that means that you are finding new connections to make. Remember, give referrals and make connections without expectations that you will receive an equal number in return. Your job is to make people feel like you value them, you listen to them, and you want them to succeed.

Get your head in the game and refocus your networking efforts for the year. Remember, we’re only halfway through 2015. There’s still plenty of time to make this your best year ever!

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