By Scott Newman
Every real estate professional has experienced it: those slow times, the off-months, the hot streaks that suddenly go cold… call them what you will but when things turn sluggish at the office, it can not only be a confidence and momentum-killer but also a disaster for your business plan. So how do you avoid the roller coaster of income fluctuations typical of our industry? For me, that question can be answered with one word: networking.
But merely handing out business cards or posting flyers to community bulletin boards won’t put money in the bank. To really make networking your solution to spotty earnings, I propose thinking outside the box. With a little creativity, you can truly use the practice to generate a more consistent flow of business.
As REALTORS®, we all love to schmooze. It’s basically written into the job description. It’s also one of the best ways to meet new people and generate leads. Who’s to say you’ve got to wait for the next Facebook invite to come through before you have an opportunity to stretch your schmoozing skills? Imagine for a moment that you were the one organizing the party instead of just being an attendee. In fact, why wait for an event when you can plan one of your own at the very time your business needs a little boost?
Along with some referral partners, I’ve been hosting a quarterly networking event for the past year that’s gotten rave reviews. Setting up the event is relatively painless; I partner with a local bar or restaurant and bring in sponsors to cover the bulk of the costs. Then, I invite a wonderful mix of local prospects, business connections, and past clients. Everyone has a few drinks and a bite to eat and it’s a great way to stay top-of-mind when it comes time for people to recommend your services. In fact, I have closed several deals with people I’ve met at my networking events already! Continue reading »
By Brett Caviness
From the first year I got my license as a college student, I knew I wanted to be involved in the real estate business as much as possible. I started by attending the Iowa REALTORS® Legislative Bus-in where I quickly realized the power we as individuals have to take part in the political landscape that is our real estate industry. Real estate took a bit of a back seat while I finished my degree. As I made my way back home to another market, I again jumped in full-force as an active member of the Iowa Great Lakes Board of REALTORS®. After less than a year in my current market, I was elected secretary/treasury of our board. Since taking office, I have been involved in many programs and organizations.
During my first trip to state meetings this past winter, I was immersed into the exciting culture of passionate real estate professionals from across the state who take an active role in their profession at the state and sometimes national level. I quickly realized that we do have the power to interact, develop ideas, and implement strategies that affect not only our business, but the real estate industry for buyers and sellers.
After the energizing sessions we attended at the state level, I found myself asking, “Why doesn’t everyone want to attend these meetings? If nothing else, why don’t more brokers attend to take back this valuable knowledge and experience to their agents?” The president of our board responded quickly, “There are givers and there are takers.” Continue reading »
By Brittney A. Bissett
As REALTORS®, we are discouraged from discussing the quality of a school system when helping buyers find a home. Unfortunately for REALTORS® in Northeast Ohio this week, that discussion will be a rough one to handle. I work in an office that is located 15 minutes away from Chardon High School. Chardon is part of the area my office covers and I have been through the area extensively. I drive past the exit from Interstate 90 to State Route 44 that runs right through the heart of Chardon every time I drive to my office. I grew up in this area and my school was in the same athletic conference as Chardon.
I haven’t had a client ask me yet about Chardon and what the school system is like, I would have to be honest and say not only is Chardon an amazing school system but an amazing community as well. From the children, to the parents, administrators, and the officials involved, everyone has been a class-act, supportive, and professional considering the circumstances. It is a sad fact that this tragedy, that no one has really had any clear explanation for yet, will be a black mark on the community for years to come. However, I will say this. If you looked around on Tuesday in the surrounding communities, there were so many people who wore Chardon’s school color red to show their love and support for their neighbors. Even in the midst of tragedy, the community rallied.
I can imagine that real estate in Chardon will be stigmatized for a while, but in all honesty I hope not. In my opinion the local area has sold itself in demonstrating its pride and how close knit the people really are. I am proud to say that I live and work with these people and I know this community will pick up the pieces and continue to be a great place to live.
R.I.P. to those who lost their lives. We love you Chardon Hilltoppers! One Heartbeat 2/27/12
By Anand Patel
I have a wonderful agent in West Palm Beach, Fla., who decided he wanted to give back by getting involved with his local chapter of Habitat for Humanity. While on site at his first project, he struck up a conversation with a fellow volunteer working along side him. As they carried on their conversations throughout the day, it turned out his new-found friend was an investor residing predominantly in Europe but looking to buy, rehab, and sell residential real estate while in the West Palm Beach area. To make a long story short, my agent ended up finding a property for his new volunteer buddy, who in turn rehabbed the property and had my agent list it and eventually sell the property for him. His new client enjoyed the experience so much he wants to purchase a few more properties with my agent. Who would have thought giving back would have paid off so well!
The point of my story is that we all prefer working with people with similar interests, right? Isn’t it easier to work with a client who supports the same causes, charities, clubs, foundations, associations and organizations that you do? Volunteering is a great way to connect with these like-minded individuals. Keep in mind that one should only volunteer when they truly have a genuine interest in getting involved and giving back. We all know people who volunteer with the pure intention of getting new business — others read right through this. Sharing a common bond and genuine interest with someone makes the decision for them to do business with you so much easier.
Here are some ideas:
- Volunteer with charities or causes you want to support. You will meet people from all different backgrounds and professions. You’ll learn new perspectives about yourself, the way you run your business, and how you view your community. Not only will you feel good in supporting your favorite cause, but you are also indirectly helping yourself grow as an individual.
- Volunteer to serve on committees at your association, various organizations you may belong to, at your place of worship, or your child’s school. Continue reading »
By Anand Patel
Earlier this year I gave a presentation locally that I entitled “The Pipsqueak Principles” — three lessons my now 2 ½-year-old daughter inadvertently taught me during her first year. You see, before her birth (as those of you who are new parents may attest to) I lived in my own bubble and didn’t pay much attention to anything that didn’t affect me personally. But during the first twelve months after my daughter was born, I began to see things around me in a very different perspective. Three principles in particular that I learned from my little “pipsqueak” (in addition to changing dirty diapers!) were to 1.) Love unconditionally, 2.) Give back to the community, and 3.) Connect with others.
Love what you do. To truly be successful in real estate — not just financially, but for it to be personally fulfilling, you really need to love your profession. If you don’t love being a REALTOR®, you inevitably will be unhappy, no matter how much money you make doing it.
Give back to your community and profession. As a real estate professional in the field, you see firsthand the amount of change that needs to take place in our communities. We all want safer neighborhoods, affordable housing for the poor, better transportation options …well WE need to get involved and do something about it. The same holds true for the professional associations we belong to — by giving back and getting involved, everyone benefits.
Connect with your peers. By networking and connecting Continue reading »
By Toby Boyce
I’ve had the fortune of serving on committees for the Delaware County Board of REALTORS®, Ohio Association of REALTORS®, and National Association of REALTORS®. By far, whenever the topic comes up around agent and non-agent friends alike, the focus is shifted towards NAR and how “cool” that is.
Sure, I’m a big fan of the work NAR’s Professional Development Committee does, and it has a large impact on members, but how does that really help my buyers and sellers? OAR is in the same boat. Discussing issues as the vice-chair of the communications committee is great. Yet, how much does that really impact the people that I’m working with as buyers and sellers?
When it comes to my community, I get the most out of working as a member on the public relations committee for the DCBR. Why? Because this is where the decisions and time commitment I have made are make a real impact on those I serve. Such as the bowl-a-thon that has donated about $3,000 a year to a local hospice. The ideas and action we take at that local level make our communities better places to live and work.
So, the next time your local board needs volunteers. Remember those hours will have the greatest direct impact on your community.
Toby Boyce, MBA, is a real estate practitioner with Keller Williams Consultants Realty in Westerville, Ohio. Visit his Web site: www.delawareohrealestate.com.
By Cory Brewer
Here is a quick story to inspire my fellow REALTORS® to keep after it (prospecting), even when it feels like a lost cause:
This past winter I volunteered to coach a youth league basketball team at my local Boys & Girls Club. My interest in volunteering was two-fold: 1.) I love basketball and have always wanted to coach, but I don’t have kids yet. I was ready/able to do it this year and there was a coaching spot open. 2.) What better way to forge relationships with potential clients in the community?
The experience was very fulfilling on a personal level for me, and at the end of the season most of the parents told me they will request me as their coach next season. That was the best compliment I could have received. It came as “icing on the cake” when after the season one of those parents told me he’d be checking in with me soon about some real estate related matters. In the back of my mind I was thinking, “Wow, it worked!”
Long story short, he had already been out looking around at open houses on his own and figured it was time to “get serious” so he brought up the subject with me. After following up a couple of times, I didn’t really hear back from him until a few weeks later when he informed me that he’d found a place that he liked during an open house and made an offer with the listing agent. Continue reading »