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FLORIDA EDITION

6 Ways to

GET YOUR CLIENT TO TRUST YOU

JUICE UP YOUR

OPEN HOUSE STRATEGY

INCORPORATING CHARITABLE GIVING IN YOUR REAL ESTATE PRACTICE

COVER STORY

KELLY RICHTER


FLORIDA EDITION

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KELLY RICHTER

KELLYCONTENTS RICHTER 4) 6 WAYS TO GET YOUR CLIENT TO TRUST YOU 6) INCORPORATING CHARITABLE GIVING IN YOUR REAL ESTATE PRACTICE

16) TOP 4 WAYS TO JUICE UP YOUR OPEN HOUSE STRATEGY 22) HOW TO SEND SMARTER EMAILS

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6 Ways to Get Your Client to Trust You The word “REALTOR®” can leave a sour taste in some people’s mouths. Many of today’s home buyers and sellers grew up during the 2009 recession. They are wary of anything 4

or anyone who comes off as too salesy, and they want to work with individuals who they can trust. But how do you prove to someone you’ve likely never met that you can be trusted?

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Put Testimonials or Case Studies on Your Website

When something goes wrong, own up to your mistakes. Don’t hide bad news from your clients. Be upfront and responsive.

Testimonials and case studies are social proof that you have both the experience and the skills to do the job your clients are hiring you for. People often leave testimonials when they are either incredibly disappointed or extremely happy with the service they were provided, so they’re a good indication to prospective clients of the treatment they’ll receive. Case studies, which you can post on your blog or website, have much of the same effect, but even more than testimonials, case studies demonstrate your real estate and finance expertise because they explain how you achieved a specific set of results.

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Be Responsive and Accessible

Can your clients reach you easily? That doesn’t mean you need to be available 24/7, but you should respond to your clients within a few hours of receiving their message. When agents don’t respond to their clients’ calls or emails for days on end or fail to provide them with a direct line of contact, their clients’ experience can quickly become frustrating. Agents are busy but so are their clients. If you constantly show up late to or reschedule meetings, your clients won’t feel like their time is respected or their business is valued. Make sure you set a realistic schedule for yourself rather than spreading yourself too thin.

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Be Honest and Transparent

Sometimes you don’t have the answer to a client’s question. Be honest about your strengths, weaknesses, and the limits of your knowledge. A good response might be, “I don’t know, but I can find out.” Be transparent with your clients, and they’ll respect you for it. You should always act in their best interest. Top Agent Magazine

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Go the Extra Mile

If you do the bare minimum, that’s what your clients will remember. Their experience won’t be memorable, and they won’t gush about you in online testimonials or in real life to people they know who could use your services. It’s that simple.

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Put Yourself in Your Client’s Shoes

Clients understand that you need to earn money, but that doesn’t mean they want to feel like they’re just a dollar sign to you. Be empathetic to your client’s concerns, even if you’ve heard it all before. Your clients should know that you are there for them.

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Be Consistent

Being responsive, friendly, and knowledgeable shouldn’t be an act. If you “turn on” your personality for clients and then suddenly become a different person when they leave the room, it’s likely that the cracks in your mask will eventually become apparent. But “faking it till you make it” is so common it’s become a cliché. When we are starting out, we don’t always have the systems or resources in place to create a smooth client journey, from onboarding to closing, so instead we constantly try to reinvent the wheel. Give yourself time to pause, slow down, and reevaluate your workflow. Creating systems creates

consistency, and those systems can and should be constantly updated.

Developing trust between you and your clients will take time, but doing these things can give you a running start.

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Incorporating Charitable Giving in Your Real Estate Practice

As real estate professionals, taking part in the community and serving others is central to a long-lasting practice. After all, agents are in the business of homeownership, building a financial future, and helping their clients begin new and fruitful chapters. With that in 6

mind, how might an agent deliver that spirit of service in a broader sphere? The truth is, charitable giving offers nothing but upsides. Contributing to a worthy cause is a noble and meaningful endeavor, but it

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Contributing to a worthy cause is a noble and meaningful endeavor, but it also presents positive byproducts for the giver: tax write-offs, name recognition in the community, and the ability to expand your network.

also presents positive byproducts for the giver: tax write-offs, name recognition in the community, and the ability to expand your network. If charitable giving is an idea you’ve toyed with, or a practice you’ve engaged in only now and again, here are a few ways to make it a foundational element of your business and a win-win for all.

Find causes that speak to you. Donating funds or resources can feel anonymous if you’re divorced from the organization you’re working with. While national and international charitable organizations are certainly effective and worthwhile, you might consider partnering with local chapters of those organizations, or identifying hyper-local organizations that address need in your state, county, town, or even your own neighborhood. The first step to establishing a charitable relationship is to find a cause that you genuinely care about. For many, animal rescue is a tangible cause where resources and volunteership are always welcome. For others, children’s health and advocacy is a calling. Regardless Top Agent Magazine

of your personal passion, participation can be big or small. From sponsoring a local youth sports league to partnering with an area animal shelter for their annual spay-athon event—there are all sorts of ways to make a difference.

Unite your team for the common good. One way to make charitable giving a staple is to do it in arm and arm with others. Supporting a local cause is a great way to bring your team together in a unifying capacity. Hosting coat drives in winter, blanket drives for local animal shelters, or backpack drives for needy students at the start of the new school year— all are straightforward and highly useful, direct ways to give to your community as a team. It’s also important to set collective goals as a way of keeping people motivated and accountable over time. Offices are productive, but often hectic spaces. Injecting a collective goal with a positive, tangible result can create an ambiance of goodwill and generosity—both of which are worthwhile attributes to cultivate as

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the leader of your team. Lastly, consider timely giving as a way of connecting your team to their community. Natural disasters, local fundraising drives, and improvement funds are all direct ways your team can contribute, while they themselves reap the benefit in the community.

Include clients in the process. You’ve likely heard of charitable donations made in the name of your client as an alternative to the classic closing gift, but there are a few ways you might update this method of giving. For starters, consider including your clients in the selection process. Do they have a special cause that’s close to their hearts? Likewise, you might

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consider making regular, consistent giving a part of your routine post-closing. Instead of following up with your yearly poinsettia plant or pumpkin, you might find a cause in their neighborhood or township that you can support in their name. It’s wise to choose something apolitical, but a cause that’s hyperlocal to their area demonstrates unique thoughtfulness. There are plenty of ways in which society as a whole can benefit from charitable causes that build goodwill in the world, support those less fortunate, and bolster a positive future. Incorporating charitable giving in your business model is a generous way to make this mentality a central tenet of your team and a defining characteristic for your clients to remember.

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KELLY RICHTER

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KELLY RICHTER Kelly Richter came out of the gate swingingopening doors and closing deals! Just beginning her career in the real estate industry only three years ago, Kelly aggressively climbed to the number one realtor in gross closed commissions and the number one in sales volume for all of EXIT Realty in Florida, an entity with over 80 offices in the state of Florida. Kelly’s modality for success includes working solo. “It’s the way I maintain quality control. I’m proud of the name I’ve built. My reputation is important to me and I know the passion I invest and the standard I hold myself accountable to,” she shares. This mentality and work ethic is likely why EXIT nominated her for The Hustle Award in 2018 and The 10 Copyright Top Agent Magazine

Rookie Award in 2017 in addition to several more impressive Top Producer awards. And Kelly’s trajectory of success is only getting started. “I closed over $20 plus million last year,” she tells Top Agent. “It looks like I’ll be beating that this year. I am extremely blessed. Since the day I started, I have been strictly referral based. I can’t thank my clients, friends and family enough for referring me to everyone they know. Word of mouth is the biggest compliment a person/business can receive and I am so humbled by the daily referrals that I receive because of a current or past client.” Kelly’s blessings most definitely didn’t come effortlessly. “I’m unbelievably dedicated, patient, attentive, motivated, outgoing, detail-oriented and Top Agent Magazine


I am huge on customer service,” she explains. “The home buying process can be incredibly anxious for home buyers as well as for the sellers. Often livelihoods depend on the time it takes to sell a home and the purchase price for sellers. I find constant communication and keeping my clients informed every step of the process to be an effective method of reducing much of their stress. That means even if I am out in the field or attending to another client, on vacation, or at night well Top Agent Magazine

after hours, I am going to make sure my client is taken care of. This is a huge investment for people - the least I can do is be there to answer their questions as quickly as they come up and ease their minds, making the process as seamless as possible for them.” Treating one like family means protecting them like family would. “It is as important to me to be a fierce advocate for clients as it is to finding 11 Copyright Top Agent Magazine


6765 Audubon Trail, Wellington , FL 33449 In the development of : Homeland Equestrian Community 7 bedrooms, 4.5 baths, 3 car garage, 4,154 SQ Feet, 5 acres $1,075,000

the perfect home for buyers, the best opportunity for investors, and getting the most for sellers. My relentless negation skills are imperative to the success of the sale.” Kelly’s commitment to sellers includes the use of current and traditional industry strategies. “I utilize the most modernized marketing such as social media and technologies available such as drones, 3D tours, and quality professional photos. I also help declutter and depersonalize the home so we create a blank Copyright Top Agent Magazine 12

canvas for potential buyers. That’s what guarantees us top dollar for every home.” That attitude and extensive knowledge of the entire transaction process, coupled with a natural aptitude for negotiations has seen Kelly close over 70 deals last year. Those deals were composed of selling, buying, building new construction, relocation sales, and assisting investors as they flip properties; just the same way her neighbor, DIY Network Top Agent Magazine


star of The Vanilla Ice Project, Robert Van Winkle, also known as “Vanilla Ice”, does. No home or sale is too big or too small for Kelly. Her dynamic range of properties vary from a cozy condo at $54,000 to a sprawling equestrian ranch for over $1.25 million dollars, with listings usually going under contract in less than 7 to 10 days. In addition to all of her aforementioned skills, Kelly holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Organizational Management from Palm Beach Atlantic University and is fluent in Spanish, serving her well in South Florida as she reigns over the real estate market from Broward and Palm Beach all the way to Martin County. Kelly’s client relationships run as deep as her local Florida roots. Being born in Miami and raised in Palm Beach County helped build her extensive network of connections and give her leverage on knowledge of local neighborhoods. Kelly shows Top Agent Magazine

the love for the community she grew up with by giving back. As a Military Veteran Wife and a Law Enforcement wife, Kelly initiated a Home for Heroes program. She gives a percentage of her commission back to any member of the Military, Law Enforcement, Fire Rescue, Teacher, Medical and members of the Clergy for their selfless heroic efforts. She sponsors local sports teams, businesses and charities and recently joined the Wellington Dinner Dance committee supporting the Neil Hirsch Boys and Girls Club. Some of her affiliated organizations and professional accolades include: NAR (National Association of Realtors), FR (Florida Realtors), RAPBC (Realtors Association of the Palm Beaches), American Institute of Real Estate Professionals, MLS (Multiple Listing Services), Florida Notary Association, International Association of Chiefs of Police, a Certified Military Relocation specialist, Copyright Top Agent Magazine 13


a Client Protection Expert; and she’s also preparing to team up with her preferred lender and teach a real estate course to over 800 teachers to the Palm Beach County School Board, certifying her as an expert in her field. Kelly rejuvenates when spending time with loved ones. Her high school sweetheart turned husband, a Lieutenant with the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s office, their two girls and golden-doodle puppy, make up her immediate family. Together they especially love taking advantage of Florida’s gorgeous waters with their professional fishing team on their family’s boat, Reel Assets.

Kelly’s future is bright. She’s laser focused on continuing to rapidly expand her business. She is currently in the Top 1% of Realtors nationally. “In this next year I want to double my production,” she says. “Right now, I’m on the right track. Beyond that, I’m deciding whether or not to start a team, and then from there I’m interested in becoming a broker and opening my own brokerage. But right now, I want to make sure I’m giving 100% to all of my clients and make their dreams come true. I’ve found a way to incorporate my two primary passions for business and helping others in real estate and I’m really enjoying that.”

To find out more about Kelly Richter visit her website at sellorbuywithkel.com or call her at 561-239-3783 or email her at sellorbuywithkel@gmail.com www.

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The staff of BlueLine Title Company congratulates

Kelly Richter

on being featured in Top Agent Magazine for the State of Florida!

LAKE WORTH

JUPITER

8401 Lake Worth Rd., Suite #224 Lake Worth, FL 33467 (561) 209-6005

601 Heritage Drive, Suite #460 Jupiter, FL 33458 (561) 203-6093

AMY J. OWENS www.

Chief Executive Officer, President | aowens@bluelinetitle.net facebook.com/BlueLine-Title-Company-LLC-1948944652035274

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Top 4 Ways to Juice Up Your Open House Strategy by Rob Flitton

I go to open houses, but not just because of my profession or interest in architecture and interior design. I go to open houses to see how effective real estate agents are at selling. It has been rather eyeopening because there is very little selling going on—the average open house strategy needs work.

1.Build a Dynamic Open House Booklet After they leave, open house visitors will discard a one-page for-sale info sheet naming a home’s features. But they will keep, and possibly use, a 6 or 8 page booklet loaded with interesting items that directly solve problems for them.

Perhaps “selling” is considered an outdated skill, or that it feels socially awkward for agents to be regarded as a salesperson. But if you’re a real estate agent, you are a salesperson. At most of the open houses I go, I see money floating out the door every time a visitor leaves because of the agent’s inability or refusal to sell.

It will require some strategic thought to nail the content and design, but perhaps include: (i) descriptives about the benefits of buying the property you’re showing, and not just data, (ii) compelling reasons why they should consider working with you along with a web link to search for listings on your website, (iii) a web link telling them how to get a prompt, written estimate on the value of their home, or to find out what other homes in their neighborhood sold for, (iv) possible discounts on real estate related services—maybe a reduction in fees from your preferred lender, or a reduced home inspection price, (v) possible discounts on non real estate related items.

An open house is a lucrative opportunity to find buyer or seller clients –selling the listing itself may also be the goal, but an agent should not pass up this chance. There are 4 distinct strategies an agent can immediately employ to juice up their open houses and get awesome leads. 16

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If you combine this dynamic booklet with properly trained closing language, as touched upon below, it is something the average person will either keep and use or pass along to someone they know. A well designed booklet can bring you a lot of business.

data—and they are void of interesting or problem-solving information.

2.Work The Neighborhood A few days prior to your open house, find the names and addresses (from tax records—or elsewhere) of, say, 20 homes in each direction from the Pre-internet, both open houses for open house. resale listings, and model homes for new construction, relied on strategic For the cost of postage and some collateral materials (handouts). Vis- sweat-equity, mail a postcard to these itors were ostensibly looking at sev- 80 homeowners inviting them to the eral competitors at the same time, so open house and offering something collateral materials had to have the unique and compelling—perhaps a power to bring them back to your drawing or giveaway for those willing site—a great call to action, eye- to provide their opinion on the asking catching color, identification of the price of the home (and the entry card, of course, will net you their email benefits of buying your product. address and phone number). People Yet at open houses today, I primarily are generally nosy and like to be see bland information sheets dis- validated, so asking for their opinion cussing features—the listing price, on something happening in their own the square footage, and the standard neighborhood is very appealing. Top Agent Magazine

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And, it is best to mail them again right after the open house to talk about what happened. “From our Saturday open house, we discovered 3 qualified and eager buyers that are now looking for a home in this neighborhood—if you would like to know what your home is worth for these buyers to consider, please give me a call.”

dynamic booklet and say: “Please enjoy our open house, and am hoping you’ll do me a favor. This booklet is loaded with great information about, and if you become interested at some point in buying or selling, would you please call and give me the opportunity to earn your business? Or if you happen to know someone now who is looking now, would you kindly pass this booklet onto them?”

Also, adding on door-knocking or If they reply with a “don’t know” type flyer-hanging to your mailings boosts of answer this usually means they are your neighborhood equity even more. indeed looking but are just not ready yet to reveal this to you, so you will 3.Close and Qualify need to work to make a connection. Engage every single visitor in closing Good consultative sales connections dialogue, because every single visitor are made when you can make them feel you’re not pushy and are able to is there for a reason. directly resolve their problem. While smiling, with shoulders erect, and maintaining suitable distance, A “yes” type of response is great, but look them in the eye and offer your you should take the qualifying step of handshake while stating your full asking them if they’re working with another agent. If they are, the dyname and company—and then ask: namic booklet comes in handy again: “Are you out looking to buy a home “If for any reason your agent is today?” unavailable to show you homes, I can be reached at the phone number in There are 4 categories of answers, this booklet. Plus, it contains fantastic and any answer they provide is an resources for searching online and a opportunity to get to the marrow of discount on financing.” what they need. There are “nos”, “don’t knows,” “yeses,” and “other.” If you can’t get a sandwich, get a bite. If they are definitive about looking, If they reply with a “no” variety of and don’t have an agent, then they are answer, then you can hand them your available for you to work with and 18

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here again you need the right type of closing and qualifying dialogue. The goal here is to evoke from them their home-buying goals so that you can match and narrow down to a single opportunity. It’s a mistake to present multiple listings to a buyer at once. Ask broad questions and then narrowing questions followed up by “if-then” questions. Example: “What types of functions do you want in your new home, or activities near your neighborhood?” Followed by something like, “is the number or size of bedrooms important to you?” Followed by, “so if I can show you the kind of home we just described, are you ready to go see it and possibly make an offer?”

4.Have Interactive Tech Tools Onsite It is the worst feeling to engage someone as a potential client at an open house and then have no tools available to solve their problem— don’t assume they aren’t going to want to do business right away. If you’re engaging a potential buyer, you better be able to instantly gratify their desire to see viable homes online so internet access and an easily view-able screen are necessary. They may ask you to go see other homes in-person, so you need to have a coagent available to either show them those homes, or spell you off as host while you do. You may be asked to write up an offer for them so you will need the tools and ability to create and e-sign documents.

Naturally, any objections or “nos” you receive in this process are just fan- When a potential listing client is in tastic opportunities to learn about their front of you, you need to be able to needs and earn a connected trust. show them recent comparable sales and may even be asked to list their The “other” thing they might tell you home and will need the tools and is that they’re not a buyer at all, but a ability to create and e-sign documents potential seller. Potential sellers often for taking that listing. go to open houses to find out how their home stacks up, but are you It happens sometimes—but it never aware what the number one reason happens if you’re not ready. they attend open houses is? Potential sellers go to open houses to Rob Flitton is a Seattle Real Estate Mardirectly or indirectly interview you, a keting specialist helping independent agents to increase their income. Email Rob potential listing agent. And they hire robflitton@gmail.com at any time or call/ confident, prepared professionals. text him at 206-612-2314. Top Agent Magazine

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Laughs!

Graham Harrop Graham Harrop Cartoons Cartoons

Putting the power of humour to work for you!

Putting the power of humour to work for you! grahamharrop.com 

grahamharrop.com  20

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How To Send

SMARTER EMAILS

Email is a great tool for agents to use when trying to stay in touch with their past clients, as well as for reaching out to prospective clients. However, used incorrectly it can make your attempts to reach out seem like spam. The secret to using email effectively is making sure that everything you send out does one thing: ensure that you remain relevant to your contacts. To do this you have to get personal. Personalization will go far to ensure that your contacts are actually clicking on your emails. This means that if you do reply on an automated drip email campaign to build business, you need to customize your content so that it delivers something meaningful to each individual recipient. Here are some steps that will help you do exactly that:

1. SEND A WELCOME EMAIL TO

NEW CLIENTS AND PROSPECTS Rather than simply add new contacts to your automated email drip campaign, make sure to send each new contact receives a warm welcome as well. Sending a welcome email along with adding new contacts to your drip campaign is proven to be 86 percent more effective at catching your contact’s attention. Let them know they are welcome and that you appreciate their interest. 22

2. NURTURE YOUR RELATIONSHIP

THROUGH YOUR EMAIL To let your potential client know that you are thinking about them by sending them useful content that relates to the process of buying or selling a house. Some great topics include credit score information, ways to save money, regular market updates, what buying in your market is like, information about the neighborhood, tips on how they can prepare their home for sale, and other relevant information. A great way to

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add to these emails’ punch is to time them so that they coincide with what that individual is going through and dealing with at that time on their path through the buying or selling process.

3. CELEBRATE IMPORTANT DATES

Everyone loves to be noticed and appreciated. Schedule emails to go to each client that celebrate their purchase anniversary or birthday. Make sure you include a personal note and your own wishes that the year ahead goes well for them. If you’ve been a bit out of touch with your contacts, you might want to send them a friendly hello.

4.

MOBILE-FRIENDLY EMAILS With our phones being akin to mini computers, most people read their emails on their phone these days. So, it is particularly important to make sure that your emails are rendering well on the smaller screens. If you want to make any kind of impact, you have to run a mobile-friendly email campaign in today’s world. You are going to lose a lot of your audience if they can’t read your email on their phones.

5.

TRACK THE PERFORMANCE OF YOUR EMAILS AND ALTER ACCORDINGLY The best way to make sure your emails are being read and making the kind of impact you desire is to consistently monitor the analytics,

and see what your readers are actually clicking on and what elements are most popular with your contacts. Going forward you can alter different elements of your email campaign such as content, images, graphics, and even smaller elements like your subject line to draw in more clicks from your readers, and cater to what grabs their attention. You also want to follow a targeted email strategy. The best way to do this is segment your email list based on the data from your CRM and the demographics of your contacts. Different clients are going to be interested in different content. Long-time clients looking to buy a second home or possibly downsize are going to be interested in completely different content than your first-time buyers. A good way to filter your contacts is by looking at which ones are looking to buy or sell, how far along in the process they are, as well as other important information about them.

6.

DON’T SPAM UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES You probably already know that flooding your clients’ emails is big no-no. However, different people have different ideas about what is too much contact. One great way to approach this problem is to ask your clients whether they would prefer weekly, monthly, or occasional emails from you. This way you can cater to each client’s preference.

The emails you send your clients can often be a double-edged sword when it comes to how well they work to bring in business. Following these simple rules will help your emails be as successful as they can possibly be, and will make your contacts much happier with you. So, don’t just send out emails without doing your homework about how to do it right. Your email campaigns can be a powerful tool if you know how to create and utilize them in the right manner. Top Agent Magazine

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