By Amy Steele
I love to take photos. Love. It has been one of my passions and creative outlets since moving up here to paradise (Crestline region of California). I bought a Canon Rebel EOS about a year and a half ago and I have enjoyed taking some great pictures with it.
One day when shooting in sports mode and taking about five frames per second of my son, I went home and noticed that the autofocus wouldn’t work anymore. Gasp and horror — what did I do to break my still new, expensive camera???!!! I fiddled with it for a bit and realized that it was the lens and not the camera. I gently tried to focus it manually while still in autofocus mode and then took some shots. It worked again! Two days later when I went out to shoot again it stopped. It seemed that the autofocus is sticking. So I tried manual mode, which I’d never done before. I hated it. I haven’t ever really learned how to use this fancy camera and relied on autofocus to get my shots quickly.
Well today I was out taking shots of some beautiful ice formations and I had to use manual because the autofocus was sticking again. I realized that I could really get the shot I wanted that autofocus never would have allowed. I could change the field of view much easier and take closer shots than I ever could before. Suddenly I love manual focus.
How does this relate to real estate some of you may be asking? I realized this year that my business has all been on auto. I take advantage of online leads coming to me — people finding me online to be their REALTOR®. I know that I need to be much more proactive to really set myself apart and provide more personal service, not only to clients, but also to potential clients. I have been fortunate to have some pretty fabulous clients who have all become friends and neighbors. What if I showed that to potential clients? Wouldn’t they want to work with someone that was more personal to them and their needs? I say yes.
So my shift is now manually focused. I am providing a more personal touch with the help of some new automated systems that I’m getting into place. I’m working to set myself apart in the mind of my potential clients as the one they couldn’t forget and would love to do business with over my competition. Thanks, camera, for a lesson I’ll not forget.
Amy Steele is a full-time real estate practitioner with Coldwell Banker Sky Ridge Realty in Crestline, Calif. Visit her Web site: www.CrestlineHomeForSale.com.
By Michelle Flaherty
Having grown up in a family real estate business, I have seen my parents conduct themselves in certain ways. Now that I’m a REALTOR(R), I try to model their behavior as much as possible. In almost every instance, this has been invaluable to me – I’ve been able to use them as resources for uncharted situations and have adopted the principles and systems on which they’ve built their success.
However, I learned this weekend that the way they actually attract their clients (a pretty important step) is not a strategy that can work for me. My parents grew up in Portland at a time when life was slower. The Internet did not exist, and the only way to socialize was face-to-face. Most of the people they grew up with still live in town, and to this day, my parents remain known, respected, and thought of when people think of real estate. Because of this, they don’t “prospect” at all, yet still enjoy a steady stream of referrals from people they know.
This weekend, I saw an old friend from high school at a barbecue – someone who is my Facebook friend but who I don’t see very often. She filled me in on what she’s been up to, that she and her husband are looking for homes, and asked me what I’ve been doing lately. I told her work’s been really busy, and when it occurred to her that I sell real estate she was genuinely surprised, and bummed that she didn’t know before she signed up with a broker. She was like, “You need to get the word out – everyone would go through you!!” Continue reading »
I’m looking for clever prospecting ideas, and I want to hear from you. What’s your best marketing strategy for reaching out to new customers? Do you sponsor an event to lure buyers and sellers, or maybe you have a creative giveaway that you send clients to stay top-of-mind? How do you gain more clients through your marketing?
Some of the best ideas submitted will be featured in an upcoming slideshow at REALTOR® Magazine online.
Submit your clever prospecting idea to Melissa Dittmann Tracey at firstname.lastname@example.org, along with information about your prospecting idea, your name, company, and city.
By Jeremy Williams
I encourage you today to fit in your schedule a time to drive to a parking lot of one of the most trafficked places in your community. Park your car. Turn off your cell phone. Clear your mind from your daily activities. This is an activity where the requirements are simple. Open your eyes and watch. What do you see? You see people from all walks of life, a “portfolio” of career types, and all dealing with different life situations.
What does it mean to you? Everyone of these persons could be a potential client. If they are not a potential client, then what are they to you? These people could be prospects, referral sources, and maybe even a future friend. You never know how life works. The key is to realize the potential and to keep an open mind.
So how does this correlate with the title of this post, “Market Does Not Matter?” In up or down markets, there will always be people needing the services of a REALTOR®. Realizing the potential in the market is key to your success as a REALTOR®. Look at all the people moving in and out of your market area. Go meet them in the places they congregate. You always here, “Everyone knows someone.” Why can’t this person be you? Realize that millions of potential dollars pass by you each day as a REALTOR® whether the real estate market is considered “good” or “bad” in your area. You just have to find your unfair share.
So again, I challenge you when you think the real estate market is tough, go through the exercise I mentioned above. Your potential is only set by the ceiling your create. Look at all the people that pass by you each day as either a direct piece of business or a referral source. Now the real estate market in the new perspective seems great all the time whether “up” or “down.”
Jeremy Williams of Keller Williams Realty NE in Kingwood, Texas specializes in the residential real estate market of Kingwood, Atascocita, and Humble, Texas. Visit his Web site at www.williams4yourhome.com.