A View from the Beach
Branding is the name of the game in this era of social media, email and online marketing – and let’s face it, you have a business to build.
There are so many different ways to brand yourself, but you many want to consider doing something different from what all the other agents are doing.
So, I have a few suggestions for you:
- Bring donuts, bagels, sandwiches to local police and firefighters on a quarterly basis. Include your business cards and a sign “compliments of….”
- Hang out at a local coffee shop with a sign on the back of your laptop that says “Ask Me Anything About Real Estate”.
- Change your phone message on your voice mail every 3 months and try to make it more humorous.
- Sponsor a cause that matters to you. Make it part of your brand for the entire year, and convey to your clients and on social media why you are passionate about the cause.
- Join a club or organization. Invite me to join with you. Join a committee with the goal of becoming chairperson of that committee.
- Connect more offline than online with calls, snail mail newsletters, postcards.
- Ask for testimonials and post them everywhere (FB, Active Rain, website, your listing booklet).
- Sponsor a family-friendly movie night. Invite past clients, loan officers, title reps. Provide popcorn and health snacks.
- Record a 2-minute videos about real estate. Why getting pre-approved is critical when buying a home. Why you need a home inspection. About title insurance. The closing process. Home owners insurance. Certified funds at closing.
- Instead of celebrating traditional holidays, send out on less recognized days. Valentine’s Day. National Donut Day.
- Create a list of “fun facts” that most people don’t know about you. You speak fluent Spanish. You are a cancer survivor. You love oysters. This will help you connect with people who can relate to you and make you more “human” in their eyes.
Please let me know if you’d like to meet to talk about some of these strategies – and maybe we can do some joint marketing together.
A View from the Beach
I know from experience as a mortgage lender that low inventory and multiple offers creates stress, not only for buyers who are pre-approved and whose offers are outbid by others, but for real estate agents too.
So I found a list of tips compiled by real estate agents throughout the US that may help increase your chances of helping your clients get their offer accepted.
- Brush up on your negotiating skills.
- Be proactive and encourage your buyers not to wait until the weekend to view new listings.
- Get a strong pre-approval letter from me, your mortgage loan officer.
- Talk to the listing agent to find out what’s important to the seller (i.e., quick closing, extended move out date).
- Based on other offers in that particular neighborhood, determine how much over the listing price the buyer should offer.
- Minimize contingencies.
- Make sure that when presenting the offer, you have all the correct forms, including disclosures and counter-offer forms.
- Ask the buyer to write a letter to the seller stating what they like about the home and why they want to buy it.
- Include photos of the buyers (and maybe their children) so the seller visually sees them.
- Call the listing agent and let them know an offer is on its way.
- A large earnest money deposit conveys that the buyer is committed to buying the home.
- Ask for a quick response time to show the urgency of making a decision before any other offers arrive.
- The less complicated the offer, the more willing the seller will be to accept it.
One last thought. Try to find out as much as you can about the seller and the property. You’ll find a ton of information online just by entering their name and property address.
Oh, and be sure to contact me so I can help you with our 15 Day Closing Guarantee through our 321 Go Program – see below for details.
I recently read an article from a nationally recognized real estate agent where she posed a series of questions to ask yourself to see if you are truly the “expert” in the local real estate market.
Most of the information can be found within your MLS system. She checks it daily and has even listed it as a “task” in her calendar. And while she is at it, she checks expired and withdrawn listings.
So, here are the questions. By knowing the answers, you will be able to laser-focus your marketing.
- How many total properties are in your market area?
- What’s the average price?
- What’s the average days on the market?
- What’s the median price?
- How many properties were sold last month? Last 6 months? Last 12 months?
- How many properties are currently under contract?
- How many of those properties were either short sales or foreclosures?
- What is the percentage of listed to sold price ratio?
- Are values increasing or declining?
- Is inventory increasing or declining?
- What agent/real estate company has the most listings?
- What types of mortgage programs are most prevalent (FHA, VA, USDA, Conventional, Cash)?
This one daily exercise will help keep you up to date. Spot trends. Immediately share with home buyers. And by knowing the answers to these questions, you will become the go-to expert in your corner of the real estate world.