By: Sabrina Lapointe
Have you ever watched a TED Talk and left feeling revitalized and empowered to go forward and crush your goals? Well, imagine a Ted Talk on steroids, and you have the annual MAR Conference and Trade Show. This year features 13 impactful speakers with expertise and focus in all different areas of real estate. This conference and trade show is a tool for you no matter what your role or position is. Below you will find tips and tricks from three of the conference speakers on how to grow your client base with an important emphasis on finishing the fourth quarter on a strong note.
Each of the speakers were asked to provide information for either: “The New Realtor®,” “The Seasoned Realtor®,” or the “Broker-Owner.” Hopefully you’re attending the conference and will leave with lots of new ideas, contacts, and energy, but just in case you can’t make it to the conference, this is a chance for you to get a little taste of what is being offered.
The New Realtor® (0-5 years)
Marketing expert Marki Lemons Ryhal has earned several sales awards, the Realtor® Achievement Award, and the President’s Award from the Chicago Association of Realtors®. Always up to speed on the latest and greatest social media trends, Lemons Ryhal shares some wisdom new agents like yourself can apply to start off your careers on a strong note and keep it going. Lemons Ryhal says new agents can level up their social media game by focusing on one thing in particular: video. “Nothing performs like live streaming video, period. So, in Facebook and Instagram, you have both. Right now, stories are the fastest growing form of content you have stories on Facebook, and you have stories on Instagram.”
With the fourth quarter is coming to a close, you are looking to end the year on the strongest note possible. This can be done in a number of ways including, “sitting down to create your business plan for the next year,” said Lemons Ryhal. “You don't want to start your business planning January 1st, you actually want to start at the end of the year, plan that content, build the momentum. So come January 1st, you're actually running with a plan and not just starting to run.”
After hashing out your business plan, Lemons-Ryhal also encourages you to do one minute of vertical or horizontal video content per day. One minute of video content is equivalent to 1.8 million words. So, every single day you should create a minimum of one minute of video content. Decide whether it's going to be vertical or horizontal. The value of vertical video is that in order to be relevant in the news feed, you have to add content to a story once every 24 hours or they will not see you there.”
She continues, “video and vertical video are things that we need to focus on now and into the future in order to build content that's engaging. Using Facebook, because that's where consumers are telling you all of their business and in real time.”
The value of using Facebook goes beyond reaching just your Facebook audience, “not only does Facebook own Facebook, they also own Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp. So, if we look at the largest platforms with the most engagement and what is trending now, Facebook essentially controls or has the biggest market share.”
The Seasoned Realtor® (5+ years)
Jared James, owner of coaching company Jared James Enterprises and author of Get out of YOUR Way, is recognized as one of the most influential people in the real estate industry. He has built one of the largest training programs in North America and has all the tips for you to succeed.
No matter your situation as a seasoned Realtor®, Jared James, has some tips and tricks about how to polish your skills and compete.
“It's important to follow and stay in tune with your consumers and their needs and wants. It's amazing to me how long it took so many seasoned agents to adopt e-signatures as a normal way of doing business and kept giving their clients their fax numbers, because it was what the agents were used to,” said James.
Beyond adapting to new technology, it is important to consider your customer’s needs before they seek another agent.
“We are living through a time right now when all that matters is the experience your customer has with you because if it isn't easy and concise, they have way too many other options to choose from and aren't nearly as loyal as they used to have to be. Pay attention to what they want, what you lack and what you need to adopt into your business for their sake, not just your own.”
Going into the fourth quarter, James says putting in the effort to work on your CRM is a necessity. “If you do nothing else before this year ends, get a CRM in place in your business, get fully trained on it and make it the central hub of everything you do. With all the competition in the marketplace now, if you aren't following up with your leads in the long term and staying in touch with your past clients every few months, they will almost definitely use another agent the next time they buy or sell because there are just so many options available to them at all times.
Another important component is putting in the necessary effort to maintain a relationship with everyone in your CRM. “Your relationship has to run deeper than just being the person that helped them buy or sell their last house. They need to see that you have consistently made an effort to serve them past the closing table for them to feel any real loyalty and obligation to you. The lifetime value of a client runs far beyond their current purchase, but you won't see that value if you sit back and expect your book of business to call on you anymore. The times are changing.”
Whether you work independently or employ other agents, you have put in your due diligence getting to know the ins and outs of the industry. Residential Realtor® in Charlottesville, Virginia and Vice President of Montague Miller & Company, Realtors®, Sasha Farmer weighs in with some tips.
Farmer has experience implementing aggressive marketing strategies to help give broker-owners a leg up on their competition.
As you know, a large part of being a broker-owner is leading a team of people and keeping them motivated. The question is, how do we keep our agents motivated? Farmer encourages goal setting, “Don’t be afraid to set expectations and then to uphold them. The most fulfilling part of the broker-owner role for me is watching everyone on the team surpass their own expectations of themselves and of their income.”
Farmer shared how she helps her agents grow and retain their client base. “Our biggest tip is just to develop as many relationships as possible and to always be out and about in the community, at networking events, and filling free time with seeing people and deepening our connections with them.”
Broker-owners heading into the fourth quarter may want to consider an approach Farmer has found beneficial, “We do a semi-annual retreat, and quarterly meetings to get everyone re-focused and back on track after seasons of burn-out, vacations, life events, and chaos. Our weekly coaching of the agents and holding them accountable, and then holding ourselves accountable to each other has been the most beneficial practice we’ve found.”
Be selective about who you have join your team and make sure to establish strong relationships with those you choose, “[in our business] we do not want to have lots of agents – we want to have lots of deep relationships with the agents we have, and we hand-select the people we invite to join based on balancing strengths, weaknesses, availability, team mentality, and experience.”
The more passionate you are about your work as an agent, the more that will show through to your clients. “Watching what people need, what motivates them, and what they are looking for out of their career, and then catering your coaching style is both rewarding for everyone, but also fulfilling. It’s fun to bring other people up with you and to mentor/guide them, and I think that mentality and attitude truly resonates with our clients, as our agents truly love what they do.”