2012 has ended and a new year has began. People like to create New Years resolutions and hopefully stick with them. It seems that more and more new years resolutions revolve around saving money, adding more to the IRA or 401K, paying off debt(s) and becoming more financially secure. Makes sense especially after our country went through a huge economic down turn at the end of 2007 that we are still feeling the effects. There is one New Years resolution you can get out of the way in January that not only will help you lower you bills but make you more financially secure. What is it you ask? Refinancing your Northern Virginia home….your largest asset. The process is not difficult…lets walk through how to get started to lower monthly expenses:
Going forward in your Real Estate business one way to start growing your business is to do one simple thing that will take you only a couple of minutes. That one thing is setting up a Gmail account…if you haven’t done so already. I know…I know, you are probably wondering why you should do that and how does that make you a better Realtor, or how does that help my business? Here’s how:
Christmas is here, as is the end of 2012. Every year for Christmas people ask to be with friends, family, gifts, and other things that bring them joy and celebrate the year. Ever ask Santa for a NEW Real Estate marketing strategy…and HOW to implement it correctly so you attract buyers, sellers, and other people that are trying to do business with you? It would be great if Santa could just bring that answer to you in your stocking! You see, in today’s Real Estate world it is not who the best Real Estate agent is…it is WHO is the best marketer. Consumers don’t search for Real Estate agents or companies in newspapers, phone books or on grocery store shopping carts. What consumers do is search for homes in certain subdivisions, near schools, amenities, in price ranges. Consumers then contact the Realtor who is “found” after that search. The scary statistic is that roughly 80% of consumers will use the first Real Estate agent they find that can answer their questions or solve their problems. You want to get on the right track of growing your Real Estate business? Be that first agent! So…do you need a NEW Real Estate Marketing plan?
The Field of Dreams…remember that movie? The one with Kevin Costner in Iowa (where I am from) and he hears these voices that say “Build it and he will come”? Then Kevin Costner proceeds to destroy a chunk of his crops and everyone around him thinks he is crazy for doing such a thing! Well, you will have to watch the movie to find out how it ends but let’s just say that what Kevin Costner did, and the sacrifices he made worked out amidst the disapproval of those around him.
Christmas time is here. The end of 2012 and Realtors and Lenders alike are looking back at what they did or didn’t do in 2012 and also set goals and aspirations for the year to come. As the Director of Sales and Marketing for Stewart Title in Northern Virginia/Washington DC I meet with Real Estate agents pretty much on a daily basis. I have heard and do hear everything in terms of needs, wants, and goals. The one saying in the Real Estate business that has always held true is “List to Last!” What that means is…to be a long term, successful Realtor you need to list properties. Buyers are nice…take them when you can, but Listings is where it’s at. Almost all the Realtors that I meet with ask me HOW can I get more listings? NEW Real Estate listings can be hard to obtain. How do you know WHO is ready to make move? What can be done to find out? What if I told you that I can not only tell you exactly WHO needs to sell their home but WHERE they are? Also…these people have an immediate need for a Realtor. Would you be interested?
The end is near…not the world, just the year 2012. Now is the time of year where we look back and see if our hard work paid off and we met our goals. Did you sell the amount of homes you were looking to sell? Did you gain more clients? Did you branch out in your Real Estate marketing and try something new like Video or a Blog? Did you make your money goal or GCI? Now is also the time where you as Realtors are being bombarded by people, Title Companies, and Mortgage Lenders offering to help you with “Goal Planning for 2013.” Should you goal plan? Of course! Its important to set goals and work to meet them. The real issues is WHERE you get your information and from WHOM. The way the consumer gets their information on pretty much anything has changed dramatically in the past few years and with it must the mindset of the Real Estate agent. So, going forward there are things you need to certainly Avoid in your Real Estate Business in 2013. Here they are:
I hope that everyone had a great Thanksgiving holiday! Now that you are done gorging yourself it is time to start ramping up your Real Estate marketing for 2013! If you have read my previous blogs there are 2 things that I am a huge proponent of…and that is WordPress being the platform in which to build and run your HUB…your Real Estate website. This is where 90% of consumers go to BEGIN their home buying search, and 80% of consumers will choose the first agent they find that answers their questions and solves their problems. This should be scary for all of the agents that either A: Don’t have a website or B: Have a website but don’t ever update it or add engaging content that their ideal client would look for online. The second marketing item that I am a big fan of is Video. Video is a great way to shorten your sales cycle and convey your value and a message. The good thing about video is it can last forever! Having said that, I want to combine the two in this blog and talk about AFTER your WordPress website built…now what? Lets talk about WordPress Plugins for your Real Estate website.
This week is Thanksgiving! Wow…how did 2012 fly by so quickly? In the Title business this is my least favorite time of the year. Not because I don’t like the holidays…I love them! The reason I don’t like this time of the year is because Realtors and Lenders usually take this 5 week span and do a big exhale in their business. They take time off…not working, or ramping up their marketing plan for the next year. When Realtors and Lenders don’t work that means slower months for the Title Company. What separates Top Agents from Mediocre Agents? These 5 weeks. In these next 5 weeks the top agents will be preparing and setting the table for 2013 ramping up so when Christmas ends…they hit the ground running in January. There are things that you can do to re-evaluate your current marketing plan…is it working? What needs to change? NOW is the time to ramp up your 2013 Real Estate Marketing plan …lets go!
In the Real Estate business there is a saying called “List to Last.” What that means in essence is to have a sustainable business in Real Estate you have to generate listings. Yes…buyers are good as well but they are like shooting deer in the woods. Once you sell them a house they are done and buyers can be very time consuming. Ever driven a buyer around for 3 weekends straight and they STILL didn’t buy anything? That can not only be super frustrating but also costly in terms of your time and wallet. In my 7.5yrs working in Title Insurance Sales it is also my experience that the agent that has the most listings…usually has the most buyers. When I meet with Real Estate agents on a daily basis helping them grow their business, what I hear often is “Wade…how can you help me get more listings?” There are a TON of ways to generate listings and as we move into the slower season in Real Estate…I also hear from Realtors…“I need Listings RIGHT NOW! How can you help?” Since I hear this fairly often, I thought I would share with you the fastest way to get a Real Estate listing right NOW!
We all have a reputation. Our reputation defines us…defines our business. You have a good reputation in Real Estate it can mean that others want to work with you, for some reason you don’t, it can mean bad things going forward. So how do we Really know if we have a good reputation online? We know that over 90% of consumers go online to start their home buying search. They also go online for pretty much everything else they wish to purchase or thinking about purchasing an item. But…before they decide to go to a certain restaurant, buy a car, home, or go see a new movie, consumers want to look up reviews to see what others are saying about the product or person…and WHY they should use them. When it comes to the Internet there are really no barriers to entry. Anyone can go on Yelp, Yahoo, Facebook, Twitter, Google, and write a review about someone or something. This can be and should be scary if you a Real Estate agent or Mortgage Lender…but there are steps you can take to protect your Real Estate brand and reputation where consumers go to look for your services…Online.