Email marketing done right

If you want to maintain a steady flow in your transaction pipeline, you need a strong email strategy. Use effective email tools to stay top of mind and gain referrals and earn repeat business. Follow our strategies to improve your drip campaign and watch your business grow.

Build your database. Of course you’ll market to your sphere, your past clients and people you know. Don’t be afraid to collect email addresses everywhere you go. Have an opt-in feature on your website and ask at open houses. Collect addresses while you network and don’t be afraid to ask in conversation. The larger your database, the more likely your audience will either be in the market or know someone who is.

Be strategic. Make sure your email content is relevant and personal. Offer useful tips or reminders in a conversational tone. Be consistent and predictable with your timing. Monday mornings are big catch up days for people, so try emailing at off times, like afternoons midweek.

Get to the point. Try to avoid sounding like clickbait in your subject line. Avoid “Top 5 AMAZING Secrets to Homeownership” in favor of “Fall Home Maintenance Tips.” Be direct in your email, too. You don’t need a lot of fluffy language to get your message across and still be useful. Try to use emotional storytelling to create a particularly compelling message. This works well to promote charitable events you are sponsoring or supporting.

Be personal. Make sure that little touches, like adding the recipient’s name or subdivision are included. Make them feel like the message is something you wanted to share with them specifically.

Have fun. A touch of humor every now and then keeps the tone conversational. For instance, use a fun animated to add some personality to your message. You can find a variety of existing GIFs or make your own at Or include a short video announcing a local event, new business, or even a market report.

Be Reachable. Make sure your email signature block includes your full name, all phone numbers, email and web addresses and links.

Be shareable. Just like your webpage, you should have links to your social media accounts in your signature block or at the top of the message. If you need help, there are free online templates using these features.

Be grateful. Use autoresponders to send out thank you notes and confirmations. Thank clients for contacting you and assure them that you will respond quickly to their message. If they are responding to a specific event RSVP request, send a confirmation that they are on the guest list.

Spend a little time setting up your email drip campaign and you’ll keep your pipeline flowing at a predictable pace!

Listen to your FOMO: Register today for Forecast 2017 and you won’t miss a thing!

You’re a REALTOR, and you know that our local economy is critical to the ebbs and flows of your business. Prepare yourself for changing market conditions in 2017 by attending our perennial favorite Forecast event. Forces Shaping Tomorrow’s Economy will consider the DFW economy from many angles.

Will there be housing for all? With the rise in median prices quickly outpacing income levels, the ability to obtain housing is becoming increasingly difficult for hard-working families. Did you know that in Dallas, the median household income is $50,118? That equates to a home purchase price of less than $200,000 for the average buyer, a prospect that is becoming increasingly difficult. Join us as we welcome Bill Hall, CEO Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity to discuss the housing needs in this area and what is being done to ensure safe, affordable housing for all.

What about the economy? The DFW area is experiencing tremendous growth in business and in population. What lies ahead and what factors will influence our future economy? Jonathan Smoke, Chief Economist will be here to address the dynamics of the North Texas economy.

Who needs Houston? With the rapid expansion and development of Texas on the whole, it’s no surprise that the triangle formed by San Antonio, Houston and DFW is quickly becoming a vital part of the nation’s economy. Meet David Winans, author of Texaplex and listen to what he has to say about the vibrant, vital and interdependent Texaplex economy. (For a video previewing his book ,visit

What will the real estate market do? The always popular Dr. Jim Gaines, CEO Real Estate Center at Texas A&M will be discussing future real estate trends for Texas as a whole and North Texas in particular. Know the current market and what to expect in the coming years.

Friday, October 21, 2016 at the Marriott Las Colinas from 8:30 – 12:00. Includes continental breakfast and 3 hours CE credit. $35 for members and $45 for non-members. Register today at or call our Professional Development Dept. at 214-540-2751

What’s the difference between a real estate agent and a Realtor?

Can you explain the difference to your clients about the difference between a real estate agent and a Realtor to your clients? There’s a difference between the two, and the difference matters.

Becoming a Realtor

Before a person can sell real estate in Texas, he must be licensed by the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) as a salesperson and sponsored by an established broker. He must also take 180 hours of required educational courses and pass the real estate licensing exam. Within two years, the licensee must complete an additional 90 classroom hours of real estate education.

But holding a real estate salesperson or broker’s license from TREC does not make someone a Texas Realtor. After earning the license, many agents elect to join their local association of Realtors, the state-level association, and the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Only after all these steps are taken can a person be called a Realtor. Membership in this three-level system gives Realtors (and their clients) advantages over agents who don’t join.

Why use a Realtor?

Realtors must adhere to NAR’s Realtor Code of Ethics, which clearly identifies their responsibilities to the consumer. The Code of Ethics is the cornerstone of what it means to be a Realtor. Realtors pledge that they will treat all parties fairly and protect their clients’ interests. It’s a consumer-oriented code that holds Realtors to a higher standard of professional behavior.

Adhering to the Code of Ethics isn’t the only way Realtors are set apart from real estate licensees. Texas Realtors in particular have a long track record of working with state and local officials, as well as other regulatory bodies. These highly organized and effective efforts are focused on four main areas: keeping the cost associated with real estate transactions reasonable; preserving private-property rights; protecting consumers from proposals that make homeownership more difficult; and maintaining the overall health of the real estate economy.

If that’s not enough, Texas Realtors are plugged into the best information and education, so they know more about the process of buying and selling real estate. The MetroTex Association of Realtors provides educational opportunities for members to further their real estate knowledge and become more proficient in their industry.

Plus, Texas Realtors have exclusive access to more than 100 forms for every type of real estate situation imaginable, which can help keep you out of legal trouble when you’re dealing in real estate transactions. Texas Realtors even have Spanish translations of many of the most widely used forms. Although not legally binding documents, these translations help explain the forms to Spanish-speaking consumers.

It’s a difference that counts

Working with a Texas Realtor can make a huge difference in the level of professionalism and skill clients will receive during the process. Tell them to expect a smoother transaction by working with a knowledgeable practitioner who puts the needs of her clients first.

Committee Spotlight: Public Education Committee

If you want tangible ways MetroTex Realtors make a difference in our communities, a great place to start is to take a look at the Public Education Committee. This group of MetroTex members is dedicated to supporting public education in the region. By establishing the MetroTex Charitable Trust, the Public Education Committee is able to provide program grants to schools every year. In the short time since 2010, the Committee has distributed more than $85,000 in educational grants through the Charitable Trust. These grants have been made to 18 different area school districts and charter schools to fund 33 different programs. This year, the Committee awarded seven grants from the 63 applications received. The educational programs support kids of all ages through high school.

The MetroTex Charitable Trust raises funds through ticket sales to the annual MetroTex Awards Banquet. Public Education Committee members promote the event and select grant recipients in the spring. The Committee also monitors school board activities and conducts candidate interviews during school board elections. We recommend and provide political endorsement and/or financial support of the candidates who uphold our mission to the MetroTex Board of Directors.

The Public Education Committee needs your help! Support our efforts by encouraging everyone in your office to attend the annual banquet, or make a direct donation to the Charitable Trust. Join the Committee and help select grant recipients. And if you know any great schools or teachers who could use a grant, watch for next year’s call for submissions in February.

For more information, contact Susan Kaplan at and join the Committee in our monthly meetings. A calendar of meeting dates can be found here.

Upcoming MetroTex Classes and Events

3 Not-to-be-Missed Classes in July

With the market as active as it is, getting the price right the first time is more important than ever before. Whether you’re representing buyers or sellers, you need to have the depth of knowledge to give your clients the very best advice. Fortunately, MetroTex is offering three classes in July to improve your CMA skills.

CMA v. Appraisal, July 8: Provide your clients with the best possible comparables and learn the differences between comps and appraisal. This course will look at legal, ethical and regulatory requirements needed for appraisals as well as help you develop a process for determining the best comps. It will also explain lender requirements when it comes to appraisal, so you can better handle a successful resolution to the deal when the appraisal doesn’t land where you thought it should. July 8, 2016. 9 AM – 12 PM at MetroTex Dallas and via interactive simulcast to Grapevine, Garland, Lewisville, and Duncanville locations.

Next Level CMA, July 8: Take your CMA skills to new heights when you learn how to properly make adjustments to your comps. Price the property correctly for buyers and sellers alike. July 8, 2016. 1 PM – 4 PM at MetroTex Dallas and via interactive simulcast to Grapevine, Garland, Lewisville, and Duncanville locations.

Pricing Strategies: Mastering the CMA, July 12: Earn the Certification! The Pricing Strategy Advisor (PSA) certification is specifically designed to enhance your skills in pricing properties, creating CMAs, working with appraisers, and guiding clients through the anxieties and misperceptions they often have about home values. This robust course will teach you how to price homes properly, make adjustments to comps, how to work with appraisers and more. At the end of the session, you will have the skills needed in this fast-moving market to get the price right.  July 12, 2016. 8:30 AM – 5 PM at MetroTex Dallas location.

MetroTex is offering more than 50 classes and webinars in July. Check out our full schedule at

MetroTex Association of REALTORS Partners with The CE Shop!

We've recently partnered with The CE Shop, the leader in online real estate education.  We know our members' time is valuable and trying to stay on top of business and family priorities can be a challenge--especially as your license expiration date nears. 

That's why we've partnered with The CE Shop--to give you more flexibility and control over how to meet your Continuing Education requirements.  All our Members benefit from our co-branded course website.  This means you have a one-stop shop that lists the courses you need and describes them in full detail so you know what's offered before you enroll.  Go to at any time to review and purchase the courses you need.  You can start your course immediately or come back to it later.

The CE Shop's courses not only provide the most relevant and current information, and are delivered in user-friendly language, but you can pause and bookmark any time where you left off in a course.  Return to your learning environment when you have the free time to do so.  Go to to check out the site and to leverage our partnership's monthly promotional discount.

If you can’t make the in-house live course for Texas Legal 1 & 2 you can take it with our new partners at The CE Shop.

Student Loan Debt Causes Homeownership Ripple Effect

For some time, housing industry experts have been discussing the impact of student loans on the ability of many to purchase a home, especially since the number of first-time homebuyers in recent years has dropped and remained lower than usual. In Texas, nearly two-thirds of graduates emerge from college with debt. That’s a lot of potential homeowners waiting longer to buy homes. 

Thanks to a paper by Federal Reserve Board economists, the industry now has a better idea of just how much homeownership is impacted by student loan debt. According to authors Drs. Daniel Ringo and Alvaro Mezza, a 10 percent increase in student loan debt cuts the homeownership rate by 1-2 percentage points 24 months out of school. Additionally, that 10 percent increase in student loan debt increases the probability that a borrower falls into the subprime category (a credit score of 620 or less).

In Texas, students graduating with a bachelor’s degree leave school with an average debt of $26,250. That’s lower than the national average of $37,172 but more than $10,000 higher than it was a decade ago. 

College grads shouldn’t let the news get them down, though. With proper credit management and a bit of financial planning, grads can still find a way to buy a home sooner rather than later. It still makes sense to buy in many cases, too. After all, mortgage rates remain historically low and the cost of rent is rising quickly. If you’re thinking of buying a home in the next few years, it makes sense to speak with a credit counselor and a local lender who can advise you on the best ways to protect and build your credit rating, how much to save for closing costs and down payments, and incentive programs available to first time homebuyers. Do this long before you plan to buy and you’ll have a better idea of what to expect when you’re ready.

For more information about buying or selling a home, visit or speak to a MetroTex Realtor. 


REALTOR Challenge: How Well Do You Know the Industry?

2016 MetroTex Leadership Academy Grads to Shape the Association, Industry in an Era of Massive Growth for North Texas

If you’re not familiar with the MetroTex Leadership Academy graduates, you should be. They are the movers and shakers of North Texas real estate and they are shaping the future of the industry both in North Texas and nationwide. Designed to identify and develop future leaders for the Association, the Leadership Academy pushes members to become active in their communities, to get to know the legislative issues arising that impact homeowners, to become active in leadership roles within the Association and to become their best selves.

Leadership Academy students are expected to commit a significant amount of time and effort in the program; some participants go beyond the strict requirements to graduate with honors. These dedicated members embody the spirit of the Leadership Academy in a special way.
This year’s graduating class produced four amazing honors candidates. They’ve devoted hours to attend civic meetings, volunteer in our community, participated in MetroTex and TAR meetings, and read the words of respected business leaders, all while participating in the program and, oh by the way, running their businesses. 

So kudos to you, 2016 honors grads. You’ve accomplished a lot in 10 months! And congratulations to all of our 2016 MetroTex Leadership Academy graduates. We know you have a bright future ahead of you. 

There are 28 new graduates of the MetroTex Leadership Academy this year. Congratulations to the Class of 2016!

Aundrea Allen*                                                              Tamaria Johns*                                 
Ericka Alvarez                                                        Brenda Kronenberg*
Wanda Arias*                                                         David Lee*
Beth Arnold                                                           Kyle Lyo
Brandon Arnold*                                                   Paulette Mahome*
Kyle Baugh                                                            Chris Martinez*
Andrea Bell* Summa Cum Laude                         Gwen Moore* Cum Laude
Sabrina Bell Summa Cum Laude                          Grant Myers*
Carol Blair                                                              Amy Rakoczy
Matthew Byrd                                                        Leti Ramos Cum Laude
Jennifer Clark*                                                       Laura Stuckey*
Diane Davis*                                                          Chelsea Walley*
Ronnie Eckel*                                                         Maria Ward*
Laneal Ernest*
Jeff Fielde                                                              *Denotes perfect attendance.




Buyers Agents! Get your Offer Noticed!

It’s tough to be a buyer’s agent these days! You’ll spend a lot of time showing every house that comes on the market as soon as it lists and writing offer after offer only to lose out to the competition. But there are some things you can do to get your offer noticed in the stack.

Network in Your Area
Get to know listing agents in your area. Give them a call and see if they have anything coming to market that meets your client’s needs. Join social media platforms that discuss properties coming to market (a simple search for “Coming Soon” and your town on Facebook will likely reveal a few groups in existence. If not, start one and invite all of the agents you know to join). They’re a great way to get a heads up on properties that will be listed, so you can see them as soon as they are active.

Call the Listing Agent
If the house looks good on paper, call the agent before you see the property. Ask what the seller’s circumstances are. Do they need a leaseback or a longer close? Are they planning on painting or changing carpet while the house is listed? Are there any special features that might not be apparent at a glance? Or, have they had a recent appraisal or inspection? Develop a relationship with the listing agent before you show the property. That way, when your buyers have questions, you’re better prepared.

Check for Documents on the MLS
Take the time to check for additional information in the MLS – things like average utility bills, seller’s disclosure, or a list of upgrades are great tools and shouldn’t be overlooked in your rush to get to a property first. The more information you have, the better.

Have Financing in Place
Make sure your buyers go through the pre-approval process and that their lender has a reliable history of closing on time. Remember that a pre-approval is much stronger than a pre-qualification letter because it demonstrates that all of the necessary documents have already been reviewed and closing won’t be held up because of things like missing tax returns or paystubs. Also, having a really good lender that understands the new closing documents and timelines is crucial. If you’ve got a good relationship with your lender and you’ve got pre-approval in place, you should be able to close reliably within 30 days even with the new lending procedures.

Call the Listing Agent Before You Write the Offer
When your clients are interested in making an offer, call the listing agent first. Ask if the sellers have a preferred closing date, if they need a lease back, and whether there are other offers. Let the agent know when to expect your offer – and meet or beat that deadline. And – tell the agent a bit about your clients – how much they love the home, how they have been looking in the neighborhood for some time, or how important it is to them to send their kids to that school. The listing agent wants to know that your buyers are motivated and serious. Make sure you have the correct email address to submit the offer. Express to your buyers that time is of the essence in this stage of the game.

Use Care When Writing an Offer
Nothing turns a seller or a listing agent away from your offer faster than an offer with mistakes. If you check a box that an addendum is attached, it had better be included the first time. Make sure all fields are addressed and that the math is right. Pay attention to the third party lender addendum, dates and conditions. Sellers want to work with an agent who will the most likely to ensure a smooth and drama-free transaction. And a big red flag is raised when a contract comes with little errors or inconsistencies.

Think hard how your structure the offer: Things like a larger earnest deposit and a larger down payment signal to the buyer that your buyers are serious and are more likely to be able to close the loan. Cash offers are great, but they won’t necessarily win the day if the other terms aren’t as good. If you’re putting in an offer that is well over list and you don’t have comps to justify that high of a sales price, make sure that it is clear that the buyer is willing to pay over appraisal value and has funds to cover the portion that the lender won’t.

Don't Request Favors.
If there are items specifically listed as included with the house, then by all means, put them in the contract offer. But don’t ask the seller to leave non-realty items without compensation, or to perform cosmetic fixes that weren’t part of the listing. If your buyers insist on some of these items, at least float it past the listing agent first to see what kind of reception that type of condition would receive. It could be that the sellers were planning on selling items before the move and it would be beneficial to them to negotiate them. Just verify before you write it.

CE Classes Can Help
Classes like Write it Right (coming up on July 10) and Secrets of Top Buyers Agents (Aug. 23) are a great way to really hone your skills and offer a chance to network with fellow agents. Register online 

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!

Agents, now is the time to register and upgrade for free with Claim your leads and give your clients the most accurate listing information available.


Buyers Agents! Are you doing everything you can for your Buyers?

Capture the buyers’ market and earn both referrals and customers for life.

Are you going the extra mile for your buyers after you close? Are you employing all of the best strategies for actually getting them to close in the first place?

Sometimes the best way to give your clients the best possible service is the small gestures you make after the sale. An offer to arrange for a babysitter or a dog walker in the first day or two of moving if they’re new to the area goes a long way to helping out without getting in the way. Or, send them a link to their neighborhood online newsgroup (NextDoor is a popular choice) gets your clients into the loop. A month or so after they’ve settled in is the best time write a thank you note with a little extra thrown in, like a lottery ticket or a gift card to a local restaurant, nursery or pet groomer.

Little touches show you care and reinforce the relationship you’ve formed with your clients.

Want more? MetroTex offers a suite of classes just for buyers’ agents. In fact, there are several on the calendar in May. So come on out and find out how to become your very best with MetroTex! Want to know what class to take next? Call our CE Sleuth hotline at 214-540-2716 and ask Amy.

Register online at

Here is a sample of just some of the classes we’re offering in May:

Business Development:

·         5/17/2016        8:30am - 5pm     Senior Real Estate Specialist

·         5/18/2016        11:30am - 12:30pm   Buy & Hold Real Estate

·         5/19/2016        8:30am - 5pm  Generate Buyer & Seller Leads

·         5/24/2016        9:00 AM -  1:00 PM  Secrets of Top Buyers’ Agents

Understanding the Industry:

·         5/10/2016        10am - 12pm   New Construction: Porch-Patio

·         5/14/2016        1:30pm - 5:30pm   From Sold to Close

·         5/14/2016        8:30am -12:30pm   Write it Right

Tech Tools to Increase Efficiency:

·         5/10/2016        1pm - 4pm      Introduction to RPR

·         5/12/2016        9am - 12pm    MLS-Accessing PropertyTax Info

·         5/12/2016        1pm - 4pm      MLS-ZipForm On Line

·         5/13/2016        1pm - 4pm       MLS Advance Matrix

·         5/18/2016        1pm - 4pm        MLS-NTREIS Find

·         5/31/2016        11:30am - 1:30pm   iPad for Buyers' Agent

Be More Successful By Creating a Better You

Business experts, motivational speakers and career counselors agree. You can’t be the best in your business if you haven’t worked on becoming your best self. You can work harder than anyone else, but if you’re not improving your personal skill set, you’ll find it nearly impossible to keep improving your business.

You could spend a lot of time and money on coaches, self-help books, and seminars. But a better way to stay laser-focused on developing your real estate skill set is by pursuing coursework that is specifically designed for your needs. And no one understands the needs of Realtors better than other Realtors and your Association. That’s why our classes and certifications are carefully designed to help you achieve your dreams by offering you classroom mentoring by people who have been through it too.

A great way to improve your personal  skill set is by achieving certifications. Take our new Real Estate Negotiation Expert (RENE) certification, for instance. This brand new program from the National Association of REALTORS includes both The Power Negotiator’s Playbook and Advanced Field Negotiations. Imagine how many more referrals you’ll win when your clients see how you handled that tough situation for them.

MetroTex Association of REALTORS is offering a tremendous variety of certifications this spring to help you become better at your game, open new pipelines, find new markets and become an expert in your field. From learning how to capitalize on the burgeoning international marketplace (CIPS), picking up some expertise on the exciting revitalization movement going on in established neighborhoods in Dallas (HHS), to taking your business to the next level with a broker’s license (ABR), MetroTex has the solution. New agents will benefit from the Leader Choice Listing Bootcamp and Seller Rep Specialist. Agents who want to maximize their online presence will love e-Pro Certification.

As Jim Rohn once said, “What you become directly influences what you get.” Become a better you and watch the skills you develop grow your business with purpose.

Find out more about the many certifications MetroTex will be offering this spring at See you in class this spring!

What are you doing to achieve your goals tomorrow?

If you’re still breathing then you probably haven’t accomplished everything you want to do in life just yet. The thing is, if you’re not actively trying to reach your goals, then they’re most likely going to stay wishes than realities.

Write down your goals. Do it. Right now. We’ll wait. How big is your list? Write more. Go big and write down 100 things you’d like to see in your life. Make them big and small and in some cases wildly audacious. If you cant’ think of 100 things, then keep stretching until you’re close. When you write things down, you not only have a visual reminder, but you also form a more concrete vision for yourself in your mind.

Now, that’s a lot of ideas. You probably can’t imagine how you’d ever possibly accomplish all of those things, much less get started. Don’t worry. We’re going to break these down into manageable chunks.

Pick 10 things from your list that you want to work towards this month. Pick a mix of long term goals and more immediate ones. Now, break each one down into micro steps you could take toward meeting that goal. Want to lose a few pounds? Break it down into small bits, setting your micro-goals in increments in ounces rather than pounds, or finding an app to log your food consumption, or adding 10 minutes of walking to your day. How about that goal of getting organized? Tackle one desk drawer, shelf or even one file folder this week. Do this for all of your goals. Write all of the micro goals down, too.

Now for the fun part. When you accomplish a micro goal, acknowledge it. Cross it off the list, take a picture, give yourself a gold star. Whatever makes you enjoy that sense of accomplishment. Every month go back and look at your accomplishments and see how much closer you are to achieving that one big thing. In a year, you’ll be able to look back and see that you really have been productive and you’ll feel great about it. Audit as you go. Add more goals to your Top Ten as old ones are reached. Modify the steps you need to take to reach your bigger goal if they don’t seem to be getting you closer. And remember to celebrate your big wins. You’ve earned the