By Lynn Minnick
This post follows along the same idea as Cory Brewer’s last post about relationships. My office has a new office leader/manager and she recently put together an event that I thought was pretty genius AND helped build relationships.
She asked each of us to provide her with a list of the different real estate service-related vendors we use and would recommend (home inspectors, exterminators, electricians, septic installers, radon guys, landscapers, mold specialists, handymen, home stagers, etc. — all the professionals we turn to on a regular basis in my market.) Then, for a small donation to our company charity, The Sunshine Kids, she offered each of them a table at a vendor fair we hosted. She invited all of the REALTORS® in our town and surrounding towns, and served refreshments.
The event itself was only about two hours long, but it allowed us to meet face-to-face with these professionals, make introductions, and network. I suppose it was kind of like speed dating. Some of the businesses were more experienced with vendor fairs and came prepared with lots of handouts, giveaways, and raffles, while others greeted us with simple business cards and conversations, relying solely on their long-standing reputations.
The event was easy to organize and very well-received. A win-win-win, really, for us, the vendors, and our favorite charity!
By Cory Brewer
I was recently a guest on a local radio show to discuss my brokerage and our services. The platform for the show revolves around business, finance, and real estate…and the other two guests on the program were an investment fund manager and a representative from a non-profit group advocating cancer research. It was a well-rounded group and we had some good conversation before and after the show off-air.
Near the end of the program, after completing our individual interviews, they brought us all back on the air to have a round-table discussion to answer the question “How do you find a trustworthy professional to work with?” The gut reaction answer is “get a referral,” but the producer of the program told us specifically to come up with something a little more creative than that. My initial input was to “ask for a referral from a professional that you already know and trust in a related industry,” and the conversation stemmed from there.
Across the board, we agreed that the best way to find a trusted professional in one industry is to find someone you already know who has exposure to them in a professional capacity from a related industry. It’s great to ask Aunt Sally if she knows a good dentist…but wouldn’t it make more sense to ask your doctor for a good dentist referral? In the real estate world, I believe there’s a lot to be said for this sentiment. Anyone who has spent an appreciable amount of time in the real estate industry can’t help but to have built relationships with other professionals in related industries (and if you haven’t, you’re doing something wrong).
Align yourself with a professional network of people who are likely to have exposure to your would-be clients. Continue reading »
By Brooke Wolford
I recently received a really negative comment on one of my YPN Lounge posts. When I first received word of the comment, I was really taken aback. It seemed as if the person who commented had some personal issue with me. I was honestly very offended.
I debated over the weekend whether or not to address the individual who wrote the comment. Being the person that I am, I would normally address the person directly, in a professional manner. I could explain that I understood this reader’s opinion and not everyone feels the same way about this topic.
I never expect that everyone is going to like what I write or that they even understand where I am coming from. I completely understand that things of this nature could and will happen.
If I could give any advice to those of you who have a blog, I would say allow the comment to be published and address the comment directly on the post. I think this will show your readers that you have some class and that you can be professional when dealing with less-than-pleasant people or those who simply disagree with you.
Don’t get offended by how others feel. You can’t force anyone to understand your perspectives or opinions. Cherish the fact that what you have written has caused someone to be passionate enough about it to debate the issue.
Brooke Wolford is a real estate practitioner with Coldwell Banker Burnet in Woodbury, Minn. Follow her blog at adventuresinrookierealestate.com.
By Trisha Ocona Francis
Being a real estate professional is more than just helping people sell, buy, or rent property, but rather assisting them in achieving their real estate goals. One of the best ways in doing so is by narrowing down your practice of real estate to an area you know extremely well, enjoy doing, and are committed to furthering your knowledge on the topic. It allows you to focus, and shows your clients your commitment and dedication as an expert towards their particular issue.
There are many areas to choose from, such as the luxury market, commercial sales, office leasing, residential, investing, foreclosures, apartment rentals, government program housing placement, senior housing, relocation specialist, or you can always develop your own area of expertise.
You may decide to gear your real estate practice towards commercial real estate because you like analyzing the potential profits of a building, the adventure of negotiating, and helping your clients produce their desired results. Or you may work with seniors because you enjoyed helping your previous senior clients transition from homeownership of forty years to senior housing, loved their history stories, and learned a lot about senior housing programs in the process.
The road to becoming this “Specialized Real Estate Expert” is similar to a college student deciding on a major and ultimate career choice. Medical doctors and attorneys concentrate on a specific field to practice for the same reasons.
To begin, here are a few questions to ask yourself: Continue reading »
By Chris Nichols
I love the game of golf! Many lessons can be learned from the sport; and one was learned poignantly on Sunday at the Master’s in Augusta, Ga. Phil Mickelson was within striking distance of the lead in the final round when he was faced with a difficult decision due to an errant tee shot.
The choice he faced was to go back to the tee box and take a penalty or attempt the impossible and play the ball as it lied, covered by plants. Inexplicably, Phil played the ball and got a triple bogey. Had he taken the penalty and gone back to the tee box, he most likely would have shot a bogey on the hole, saving two shots and possibly tying him for the lead at the end of the round.
As I watched Phil play the remaining holes, it was easy to see that the triple bogey weighed heavy on him. He missed a few key putts that might have even put him in the lead. It became increasingly obvious that he should have chosen to reset and start over on that hole.
How many times in our businesses do we find ourselves down an errant path, and instead of taking the opportunity to reset and start over, we continue down the same path hoping it will turn around? Spring is a wonderful time of year when the planet seems to reset and start over fresh. Take this time to do the same with your business and don’t make the same mistake Phil made.
By Melissa Krchnak
We all have pieces of our business that can suck our time away from being successful: meetings that don’t feel productive, emptying our inbox, conflict resolution, admin tasks, and chatting with our friends and colleagues. Just yesterday I encountered the worst of the time sucker, the commitment-phobe. This particular person is an over-analyzer who uses that as an excuse for, you guessed it: Never. Making. A. Decision.
I’ve met with this person three-to-four times over the last couple of weeks with each meeting lasting an hour or so. Yesterday, when he was supposed to be signing on the dotted line, he again wanted to ask more questions. He knows this is the best decision, but can’t “buy in.” I worked through every objection masterfully until I was fed up. So, I gave an ultimatum. “You need to make a decision on how you want to move forward by Wednesday at 3 p.m.” No ifs, ands, or buts about it. I don’t know what Wednesday holds precisely, but one thing it certainly does possess is a resolution.
Melissa Krchnak is the assistant team leader for Keller Williams Realty in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. Connect with her at kwrancho.com.
By Jason O’Neil
One of the places where I have focused my business is on referrals and past clients. This isn’t unique. But the way I look at it is unique, and it has to do with what I call “The Gap.”
Here’s what I mean: According to NAR, in 2011, 69 percent of all sellers said that they definitely would use their agent again, yet in that same year only 22 percent of all sellers had previously worked with their listing agent.
Knowing that the average person moves every four-to-eight years, and moves 18 miles …what happened? Why would so many agents end the relationship brilliantly (presumably with a sale) yet fail to get the listing later on? I think there are only two real reasons for this: the agents goes out of business or the agent fails to talk to their clients.
- Have and use a database
- Develop a client touch program
- Minimum two touches per year
- Anniversaries (Home sale anniversary)
- Daylight Savings time
- Monthly Touch Program
- Monthly Mailings involving quotes and/or give-aways
- Vendor Partner Programs
The key is to be mindful of “The Gap” and develop strategies to avoid it. What are you doing in your business to Mind the Gap?
Jason O’Neil is a broker-owner of McKenzie Real Estate in Indianapolis. Visit his site: www.McKenzieListings.com