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 Michelle Flaherty Philbrook
A while back, I got a call on a condo listing of mine. The potential buyers were a retirement-age couple looking for a new place just large enough for their kids to stop by for a visit, but just small enough that their fledglings couldn’t fully return to the nest.
I showed the condo, and when it wasn’t a fit, I brought them on as buyer clients. After we became more comfortable with each other, this couple confided in me that they initially thought I looked “way too young to be [their] agent,” but that in the context of having met other agents both recently and over the years, they felt I was uniquely equipped help them meet their goals. I think the reasons we were so compatible can be applied rather universally, so if you don’t mind entertaining the occasional demographic stereotype, read on for how Gen Y traits can uniquely serve some common Baby Boomer needs.
Baby Boomer with a Sense of Urgency? Meet Gen Y with Fast Texting Fingers. As a general rule, most people don’t become more patient with age — a fact of life that works in favor of agents raised in the age of text messaging and real-time e-mail. When these buyers inquired via e-mail on my condo, I called them right away. And when the property didn’t work for them, I got their search set up the same day. They told me later that none of the other brokers came close to that level of responsiveness.
Baby Boomer with Intelligent Questions Based on Experience? Meet Gen Y with Fab Research Skills. The way that I was able to quickly aggregate property information from multiple (and at times obscure) sources beyond the MLS really impressed my boomer clients. The 2010 Census confirmed that the percentage of post-secondary graduates among the U.S. population is at an all-time high, so it follows that most YPNers can likely offer extensive research skills. And in an industry like ours with ever-changing guidelines, best practices, and technology, it is more valuable to be a quick study than a deep topic expert.
Baby Boomer with Very Specific Needs? Meet Gen Y Power Networking: Continue reading »
By Anand Patel
The invention of the DVR was a beautiful thing. According to ACNielson, the marketing research firm, by 2011 more than 40 percent of U.S. households had DVRs giving families the ability to breeze right over TV commercials and get right back into their favorite shows. Who wants to watch annoying commercials for products and services you have no interest in, right?
Just like fast forwarding television commercials we have no interest in watching, many residential agents pass up on perfect commercial real estate referral opportunities simply because they have no contact (or interest) with the commercial world. Instead of tapping an additional income source, they are skipping right over the commercial.
If you work exclusively as a residential sales agent, what do you do when your buyer, who just moved, to town asks you about commercial real estate because they want to open up a new business? Do you tell them you have no clue and wish them luck in their search? Or, do you have a basic understanding of the commercial market in your area and a great commercial REALTOR® you can refer them to?
In many markets, commercial real estate is picking up. Here in Tampa, Fla., we are seeing new businesses enter our market as they are in expansion mode. I have talked to several new entrepreneurs who are also looking to call Tampa home, as they are finding this to be prime time to make the move both personally and professionally. This scenario is playing out in many markets around the country.
This is a ripe opportunity for real estate professionals who only work in residential real estate to make referral income by partnering with a strong commercial agent. Here are some ideas:
- Attend introductory commercial real estate educational classes held at your local REALTOR® association. If they don’t offer any classes, now is a good time to encourage them to do so. Better yet, this may be an opportunity for your YPN group to offer a commercial 101 class, filling a void in your association’s current educational offerings.
- Attend networking events Continue reading »
By Dolores Esanu
It’s 2013 and we’re revamping our lives and even our closets. Some things fit, some things don’t, and some we hope will fit again. In business, the thinly veiled line of what’s acceptable is becoming even more transparent. One hundred years ago, for a businessman, nothing less was expected than a tailored three-piece suit. Post-war American, working women wore sweater sets and full skirts, always past the knee. The 1980s brought the “linebacker suits,” fully accompanied with the ever so flattering shoulder pads.
So what about today? In real estate, we can receive a call to show property only find ourselves trekking through 40 acres of muddy land. Business functions can even be challenging. A recent banquet invitation specifically stated “Business Formal,” and I went on to witness long formal gowns, pant suits, and even blue jeans!
Wondering If I’ve been guilty of these business fashion crimes, I begun to research. What is the definition of the main types of business attire? The list below confirmed my curiosity:
Business Casual – Men you can disregard the suit with this one, but you can’t put on jeans either. Polo, collared shirt, tucked in with khakis fit under this category. Ladies, you can sport anything from skirts, to dresses to dress pants with a button down or countless blouses.
Business Professional – Consider it one step above Business Casual. Real estate may not see this as a norm very often. But careers involving finance or law may have this stricter dress code. Blazer and skirt or suit pants for women and suit with any color/print tie for the guys.
Business Formal – Guys, you can bring out the cuff links with this one, but a tux is not necessary. A dark colored suit and tie would be more than acceptable. Ladies can adorn a suit and skirt with heels, preferably closed or a conservative dress.
Smart Casual – Ah, the one us REALTORS® can relate to. Men can wear crewneck tees, sweaters, dark colored jeans and loafers. Ladies have an advantage as the options are greater. Tailored jeans, fun colored blouses; anything that is harmonious and pulled together would suffice.
Each office is different, each agent is different, and each day is different. Our attire can change drastically in a day due to the unpredictability. But isn’t this what makes our industry so exciting?
By Cory Brewer
Last week I spent some time with my local YPN planting trees at a nearby park. Next week we are hosting an elegant networking event in ther 43rd floor penthouse at the newest condo tower in downtown Bellevue, Wash., complete with valet parking and a red carpet. In the past 12 months, we have also hosted free clock hour classes, educational panels, and “get to know you” happy hours in a casual environment.
The reason for this blog post is a simple one: Get involved!
You never know who you’re going to meet or connect with. Our local network is focused on bringing REALTORS® together along with professionals from other industries (law, finance, etc.) to foster relationships and help one another grow our businesses. We have taken many cues from other YPNs around the country, and their efforts have been a great inspiration to us.
So there you go — a shameless plug for YPN!
Keep up the great work, everyone. There is something for everybody – and the more you get involved, the more you can help make it what you want it to be. Invite your friends, invite your colleagues, and encourage them to attend your events. From community service, to athletics, to education, to parties…be there or be square!
Cory Brewer is a REALTOR® in the Seattle area and Operations Manager at Windermere Property Management / LGA in Bellevue. Connect with Cory at www.wpmnorthwest.com.
By Jennifer Klein
I’m a two-year chair of the Placer County Association of REALTORS® Young Professionals Network and I was recently nominated to the 2013 Placer County Association of REALTORS® Board of Directors. In my video below, I share why and how I became involved with the board, as well as the benefits of getting involved in your local association.
Jennifer Klein is a REALTOR® in Northern California who is experienced in short sales, investments, and property management. Connect with Jen at RosevilleAndRocklin.com, JenKlein.com, and @JenKleinSac.
By Jason O’Neil
Referrals, referrals, referrals. We all get them and we all want more. We want referrals from our lenders, our title reps, our barbers, our past clients, and we especially want them from other agents. We love referrals because they are easy leads. They are not faceless Internet leads or the sometimes abrupt sign calls; they are real people who are friends of someone.
Referrals are easy to talk to for two primary reasons: One, they are less guarded because you were referred by someone they trust. Two, you have something or someone in common.
Over the past 12 months, 85 percent of my business has come from referrals. I, too, love referrals.
We track our business sources, but do we track our referrals? When I say track our referrals, I mean the why. Why does someone refer you? What is your referability? High, low, middle? Do you have any idea? Why will some clients run to the top of a mountain and scream your name? And why do others, who have worked with you dozens of times, not feel comfortable referring you to their closest friends or relatives?
Sometimes we aren’t referred because referrals are risky. They really are. If I speak up and say you should work with my accountant because he does great work and you end up not liking him, I look bad. If you love my accountant, well, that was to be expected. If I say nothing or don’t refer an accountant, I likely stay unchanged in your mind’s eye. So there really is a downside risk to referrals. But referring people is fulfilling — it makes people feel good to help other people and to give their opinions.
So, why should people refer you? How do you become more referable?
I think it’s simple: Continue reading »
By Anand Patel
With conference season in full swing, I have met many new and seasoned real estate professionals debating if conferences are worth attending at all. For newer agents—the conference virgins—they look at the cost and automatically dismiss the events as too expensive to even consider. Some seasoned agents—those that have gotten rusty at it—are “too busy” to waste time at a conference. Is it worth attending conferences, events, and seminars? It all depends on your mindset going into it.
From my experience I have found that, in general, I learn more from fellow attendees than from those speaking on stage. This only happens if you make it a point to meet new people, share ideas with others, pick up tips from them, and then go home and IMPLEMENT something you learned. If you go in with an open mind and a clear intent on learning and sharing, you will find value in attending conferences. You may have heard the quote that “each person we encounter is a teacher,” well that rings true for those you encounter at conferences. Keep an open mind, filter out the bad traits and learn from the good you find in fellow attendees.
I just got back from our Florida REALTORS® Conference and can tell you I made some wonderful new connections (and referral opportunities) that will continue long after the conference ends as long as I work to foster those relationships. If I don’t keep in touch, then yes, it will have all been a waste of time. If I don’t implement anything new I learned, then yes, it was a waste of money. It’s all up to me to make it worthwhile.
Are you a conference virgin? If so, here are some tips for your first time (or if you are getting back into it): Continue reading »
By Brian Copeland
This week, I turn 40 and my future with you is, well, uncertain. While we’ve never defined “under 40” as what the Young Professional Network’s age limit is, it has turned into an awkward elephant in the room no one is willing to talk about. So, let’s talk about it.
We’ve heard “young and young at heart” as the basis for who we are and who we want to be. Is this program of NAR about youth, leadership entry or new, bright attitudes? I don’t know, but hopefully in this dialog today, I’ll have a clearer picture.
What if YPN is in the middle of turning the statement “60 is the new 30” on its head? What if 30 is the new 60? Huh? We’re in the middle of equipping, training and inspiring a new generation to have the knowledge, street-smarts and tatters of a seasoned veteran to this industry.
I look at REALTORS® like Tiffany Curry who is 32 years old. Already, she has been the REALTOR® of the Year for one of the largest associations in America. She has served as president of a major metropolitan’s Women’s Council of REALTORS® chapter. She has chaired her local YPN, served on a heavy-weight NAR Presidential Advisory Group (PAG), and sat on numerous NAR committees.
I see Kenny Parcell. Kenny hovers below that 40 mark with a resume that would support the “30 is the new 60” hypothesis perfectly. He’s been his local president, state president, NAR Leadership Academy graduate, NAR liaison, and chair of several leadership groups.
Are these examples the exception? They could be, but I would argue that this type of mentoring and nurturing is part of a new breed NAR has started to grow. So, that leads me to the most troubling question, should we be called the Young Professionals Network? Continue reading »