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INDIANA EDITION

Keeping in touch –

GOOGLE ADWORDS:

How to Stay in Your Clients’ Lives for the Long Haul

How to Make Google Do the Work for You FEATURED AGENT

LYNDA CARPER COVER STORY

Binika Henderson


INDIANA EDITION

LYNDA CARPER 9

BINIKA HENDERSON

Binika Henderson

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LYNDA CARPER

Real estate is more than a job for Lynda Carper - it’s a way of life. “You don’t just go to work and done at 5 o’clock,” Lynda says. “You have to be there to take care of your clients, and that’s what I do - take care of my clients. I’m very hands on with my buyers and sellers. I’m very customer oriented.”

CONTENTS 4) 4 EASY WAYS TO REDECORATE YOUR OFFICE THAT WILL BOOST MORALE & IMPRESS CLIENTS 6) GOOGLE ADWORDS: HOW TO MAKE GOOGLE DO THE WORK FOR YOU

Accredited Buye Estate Specialist tion Expert (REN years,” she says. times - especially been kind of cra

That lifelong dedication to customer service has helped The key to that l as people. “My Lynda become one of the most successful Realtors® 15) INDeKalb, TOUCH HOWandTO “When you’re bu in her KEEPING area. She serves Allen,–Steuben the agent you’re Noble Counties, and she has built a career based on STAY YOUR with my clients, her focus IN on meeting herCLIENTS’ clients’ needs. LIVES A memberFOR of ® professionalism, the National Association of REALTORS , the Indiana THE LONG HAUL clients that have Regional Multiple Listing Service and the Upstate Alliwas such a part o ance of REALTORS®, Lynda has been recognized as an

22) 3 MIND–BENDING PHILOSOPHIES TO EXPAND YOUR PROFESSIONAL PERSPECTIVE

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4 Easy Ways to Redecorate Your Office that Will Boost Morale & Impress Clients Your office is a battle-station of sorts. It’s where you field business, launch your communications, and make the magic of your enterprise happen on a daily basis. While you’ll certainly need to have all the functional elements of an office in order to get your work done—desk, chair, internet—have you really considered the physical environment you’ve cultivated in the process? Think of it this way: working all day in a windowless, poorly lit room 4

wouldn’t exactly inspire productivity or morale, would it? The fact is humans take all sorts of social, behavioral, and emotional cues from our environments. And as a real estate professional, you likely already understand the power of the visual and the benefits of making a good impression. With all that in mind, how can you redecorate or retool your

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office space in a way that will boost your mood, productivity, and client relationships? For inspiration, here are a few tips to keep in mind as you consider the ambiance and environment in which you conduct business.

1. A little goes a long way Redecorating your office space doesn’t have to break the bank. Style and décor are often about tiny details adding up to make an overall impression. For instance, paint color, plant life, and lighting are all straightforward ways to rejuvenate a room without spending a fortune. Have dark, drab walls? Consider springing for a lighter, fresher color that will breathe new life into your space. Have bare window sills or empty corners? Buying and potting a few low-maintenance plants like ferns or succulents can add freshness and pops of color to a sparse room. Rely on fluorescent lighting? Consider sprucing up your space with a few well-chosen floor and table lamps that add accents of taste while warming up the tone in your office. A few intuitively placed items can inspire renewed energy.

2. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle One way to make a big change in your office environment without spending a penny is to declutter and reorder. Let’s say you have rows upon rows of crowded, bulky filing cabinets. Try digitizing your records and cut the clutter, opening up square footage in the process. Maybe your desk has faced the same wall for years. Have you considered rearranging your existing furniture and décor? Just by reorganizing the flow of your workspace, you can give your office the cheapest face-lift possible. You can also make work areas flow more intuitively, based on the processes and collaboration you’ve adapted to over time. Top Agent Magazine

3. Think like a client Imagine you’re walking into the office for the first time. As a client, what details would stick out? What red flags would come to mind? While you’re used to working in the same space every day, clients are coming into your office with no set expectations. With that in mind, complete a walkthrough of your office area to address eye sores, clutter, and whatever feels unprofessional or amateur. Half the battle of redecorating your space is finding opportunities and seeing things anew, instead of being content with the status quo.

4. Build out your brand Redecorating your space is about aesthetics, but it’s also about creating a unifying setting for your professional brand. If you’re catering to luxury clientele, it makes sense that your office space should appear elegant, high-end, and sophisticated. If you’re selling second homes out in the country, perhaps a more rugged but well-curated ambiance would set the right tone for your services. Maybe you’re courting the Millennial market or touting your tech-forward approach to real estate. In that case, a modern, sleek, progressive layout would speak to your company’s values and culture. Whatever the case may be, think of your office environment as an extension of your brand that communicates with clients, motivates your team, and sets the tone for your day-to-day operations. Even if decorating isn’t exactly in your wheelhouse, there are plenty of simple and philosophical shifts you can make to your space that will maximize your presence and productivity. What’s more, real estate is a business built on relationships—so it doesn’t hurt to create an office where clients are comfortable and confident in the environment you’ve built.

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Google AdWords:

How To Make Google Do the Work for You There is no denying that the internet is the first place a buyer begins looking for a new home in this digital age. Knowing how to put the powerful tools available on the internet to work for you can give you a decided advantage when it comes to attracting prospective buyers to your listings, as well as you as an agent. Google is easily one of the major superpowers of the internet, and they have one of the most powerful advertising tools available. Knowing how to utilize Google AdWords in the correct manner can make your internet advertising immensely powerful and possibly your best way to reach prospective buyers. Google AdWords is also extremely cost-effective. This multifaceted tool gives you much more control over your advertising campaign than other more traditional methods. You can target specific audiences, choose the specific search terms, also known as keywords, that will bring up your ad in someone’s search results, and you can set a budget for each campaign that will dictate it’s reach and how long the campaign will run. Here are some tips for how to put Google AdWords to work for you. 6

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ent websites. You want to set yourself apart from every other real estate website users are viewing in their search for a house.

MAKE SURE YOUR ADS ARE GOING TO SEND USERS TO A SITE THAT WILL CAPTURE THEIR ATTENTION

You can spend an infinite amount of money on Google advertising campaigns, but if those ads don’t send users to a site that will capture and hold their interest, then you’ve just wasted all that money. Don’t put your cart before the horse. Make sure you are considering exactly where these ads are going to send users. To set up your website for success, at the very least you want to make sure users are greeted by clear call-to-action, such as a message that will encourage them to sign up for your newsletter or subscribe to your blog. You want to set up your website to maximize and capture the leads the ad campaign sends your way.

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BUILD CUSTOMIZED OR CUSTOM-MADE WEBSITES RATHER THAN TEMPLATE WEBSITES It is easy and tempting to use template websites, or to offer your agents template websites if you are a real estate manager or broker. While this offers a cost-effective solution to providing every agent with a website, it does little to set you or your agents apart and capture the attention of users that are used to seeing a wealth of differ-

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MAKE SURE YOU ARE OFFERING VALUE ON YOUR WEBSITE

Don’t simply use your website as a kind of brag sheet. Let users know what makes your particular services valuable to them. Highlight your expertise in a certain location through tools such as blog posts, providing market updates, or giving pertinent information on a unique type of property. This will ensure that your online advertising campaigns are much more successful.

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LOCATION IS EVERYTHING!

Location is everything in real estate, and the same holds true for Google AdWords. You can target specific locations in your ad campaign. While one approach is to focus on the area around your location, a more advanced approach would be to link AdWords campaigns to your Google My Business account. This is a Google service that includes your address in the ad, allowing people to then click on it and see exactly where you are located on a map.

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USE GOOGLE ADWORDS IN YOUR CAMPAIGN TO EXPAND YOUR BUSINESS IN GENERAL

Focus an AdWords campaign on expanding your business by incorporating specific zip codes and neighborhoods that will help you establish a presence in an area where you would like to increase your real estate business. Making sure that your ad appears in search results that are related to the real estate in a specific area will help shape the image and brand of your business as well as bring in new leads.

HARNESS THE POWER OF DATA

When you run a Google AdWords campaign Google Analytics captures a wealth of information about your target client demographic. You can gain real insight into your online visitors, such as when they visit, what they do and look at on your site once they get there, and what search terms they use. You can use all of this information to grow your business. Use Google Analytics to determine which users (location, gender, age) are utilizing specific aspects of your site, such as looking at multiple listings, reading your blog, etc. You can then use this information to target these specific demographics in your AdWord campaigns, Gmail ads, the Google Display Network, and other advertising.

Using the internet to help advertise your business and your listings is one of the smartest moves you can make as an agent in this modern age. However, you don’t want to simply go into the process blind or you’re wasting a lot of potential resources and data that could make all the difference. To reap the benefits of Google AdWords, you must apply an intelligent strategy to using these campaigns. 8

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Binika Henderson

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Binika Henderson How did Binika Henderson become one of the most inspiring real estate agents in Indiana? Fourteen years ago, Binika was working in corporate America. On her train commute, she read the book Rich Dad, Poor Dad, which opened her eyes to the possibility of a career in real estate. She purchased her first investment property and enrolled in real estate school and she soon had a thriving business. She’s now the managing broker of Heritage 10 Copyright Top Agent Magazine

Real Estate Services where she serves northwest Indiana and will soon be branching out into Illinois as well. An impressive 70% of her business comes from repeat and referral clients. What keeps her clients coming back? “My experience and my knowledge,” she says, “especially when I list properties. I started off as an investor first, and I flipped properties with another Top Agent Magazine


division that I co-owned. My clients really like that I can get them their highest value when I go to list their home.” After clients see her effective and innovative marketing strategies in action, they come back and they send their friends too! Top Agent Magazine

What sets Binika apart from other agents in the area? “We take pride in our social media marketing for our customers!” she says. “We also specialize in property management, and I have a whole division of staff focused on property management.” To give back to the 11 Copyright Top Agent Magazine


community, Binika works with Goodwill and WorkOne to give young people work experience as paid interns. “I train them on the property management side,” she says. “It’s a temporary role, but interns who are a good fit stay on. I have one who has been with me for over a year now.” To stay in touch with past clients, Binika hosts a fun well-attended customer appreciation event each year. She also sends out helpful emails and newsletters, or just picks up the phone to say hello. Copyright Top Agent Magazine Copyright 12

For Binika, marketing listings is one of the most fun parts of the job! She knows that in today’s market, most buyers start their search online, so for each listing she takes high quality photos and, for more luxury listings, she hires a local videographer to do drone and video footage. “When properties are in great shape or have been renovated for a flip, we love to showcase those efforts and get people excited about real estate!” she says. Top Agent Magazine


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What does Binika like most about her work? “I’m an executor. I like to get something from Point A to Point B. I like to complete something and check it off! And I love helping people. To see the joy in their eyes when they achieve their goals Top Agent Magazine

and are so excited and grateful is amazing. And then they share with their friends and tell everybody about us!” When she isn’t working, Binika loves to travel. “I love the West Coast. I just got back from San Diego and Vegas. I love San Francisco,” she says. Copyright Top Agent Magazine 13


She plans to travel to Paris soon for friends’ 40th and 50th birthdays. What are Binika’s plans for the future? In December, she and her team will be moving to a new office space with more visibility. “I want to start helping my agents develop more, get more experience, seize their financial goals, and provide for their fam-

ilies,” she says. She also wants to develop classes for entrepreneurs to help them succeed in business. “I want to give back and help women (and all people) know they can really change everything. Real estate is a great avenue for that!” Now those are worthy goals and ones that—with her energy, expertise and enthusiasm—she’s sure to achieve.

To find out more about Binika Henderson, email sales@binika.realtor or call (219) 613-3968

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HOW TO STAY IN YOUR CLIENTS’ LIVES FOR THE LONG HAUL

One sign of a great real estate agent is there long list of loyal client following. Part of achieving a great referral base is being a great realtor during the transaction. But, that’s only half of the work. To truly be your client’s realtor for life and keep them coming back to you as well as referring others to you, you have to stay in their lives past the transaction. Keeping in touch with your past clients can be one of the most important parts of your business, and one that many realtors tend to push to the wayside. Do you stay in your client’s lives, or do you disappear? People refer people that they feel they know well and that they trust, people they consider friends. However, earning and keeping your client’s trust involves maintaining a delicate balance with how much you contact them. Experts recommend reaching out to your clients at least quarterly. But, it’s not just about how often you stay in touch. You also need to be mindful about how you are reaching out to them. Here are some tips on how to keep in touch with your clients for the long haul: Top Agent Magazine

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INDIVIDUAL PERSONAL CONTACT One of the best ways to keep in touch with your clients is to simply give them a call every once in a while. Follow up and see how your clients are doing. Offer them assistance if they need it. Personalized contact helps to ensure that you remain as important to your clients long after the sale as you were during the transaction. Giving your clients a call on special occasions such as birthdays or holidays also makes for a great personal touch. Of course, nothing beats face-to-face contact. Stopping by to say hello can be a great way to keep in contact. An even better way to catch up and maintain that friendship is to set up a lunch or coffee date with past clients. Giving individual clients your undivided attention goes a long way towards maintaining that bond you formed during the transaction and earning your client’s loyalty and trust. Interactions like this make a lasting impression on your clients. Of course, many busy REALTORS® may not have time to follow up with every client oneon-one. A great way to still give personal attention to your clients without meeting each and every one for lunch is to throw a client appreciation party. This allows you to get in some face-to-face time with each client and make sure they all get your undivided attention and quality time to catch up with you, even if it’s only for a short time. Now, if you have a lot of past clients, this can be difficult to manage during one party. One way to get around the numbers problem is to organize smaller events based on client’s inter-

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ests. Instead of throwing one giant party, host a pool party for the families with kids or a wine and cheese get together for single clients. Hosting special events like these ones goes a long way towards keeping your contact with past clients more personalized and setting you apart from those businesses that simply send them a calendar once a year.

PROVIDE CLIENTS WITH USEFUL NEWS PROVIDE CLIENTS WITH USEFUL NEWS One way that many REALTORSÂŽ keep in touch with their clients is by sending them newsletters. This form of contact can be a double-edged sword. You want to make sure you provide them with useful information that reminds them of your value as a real estate professional. Otherwise your communication will amount to nothing more than spam, and clients will think of you less as a trusted friend and more as a nuisance salesperson. Clients react much more positively to communication containing information that is pertinent to their lives. Update your clients on what is going on in their local community and housing market. Demonstrate your knowledge about the community and the things that are important to your clients. Include information about local cultural events, community news, housing statistics, information on the mortgage market, home maintenance advice, home design tips, and anything else that your clients will find personally useful. Your clients will always be interested in value.

SEND CLIENTS MEMORABLE AND PERSONAL CARDS Sending your clients cards related to important events in their lives and letting them know that you remember those events and care will go a long way towards building and maintaining a close personal relationship with them. You want to make sure your cards stand out, though. Sending popular holiday cards can be a mistake, as they will most likely get lost amongst all of your clients other holiday cards and will be quickly forgotten. Instead send something more personal such as: HOME ANNIVERSARY CARDS: Send cards to each client on the anniversary of the closing of their home.

CONGRATULATORY CARDS: Remember important events such as wedding anniversaries, graduations, new babies, etc.

SPECIAL BIRTHDAY CARDS: Instead of just sending your typical birthday card, add something special to yours that will stand out. Include a $1 scratch off ticket or a $5 gift certificate to Starbucks. Make sure to include a handwritten personal note. Top Agent Magazine

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GIVE CLIENTS AN UNUSUAL GIFT Make sure the gifts you send your past clients stand out. Send your past clients an odd gift at the beginning of the year or on a holiday. Think outside the box and send things like funny magnets, customized mugs, a personalized piece of wall décor, and other fun and unusual items. A great way to make your gift stand out even more is to include a funny note with it that will catch their attention as well as make them think of you. For example, one cute idea is to send clients a bag of popcorn with the note, “Real estate is popping, give me a call.” You could send a bag of goldfish with a note attached that says, “I’m fishing for your referrals.” Get creative and have a little fun with it, your clients will notice and remember you for it.

TAKE ADVANTAGE OF SOCIAL NETWORKS

Social networking sites make staying in contact with past clients in a more informal and friendly basis much easier. Connect with your past clients on Facebook. This will help you stay up to date on the important things happening in your pact clients’ lives. In return, it provides you a great platform for keeping those past clients up to date with what is going on in your business as well as keep in contact in a more informal manner. Use Facebook to remind past clients to check their basement after a heavy rain or that they can contact you for help during tax time. 18

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You can even organize your contacts on Facebook into customized lists such as “past clients,” “industry contacts,” etc. This will help you better manage your Facebook contacts. This will also allow you to view specific news feeds based on these lists and send messages to a particular list of contacts. Don’t forget about the many other social networking sites such as Twitter or LinkedIn either. Utilize this technology to drive personal contact with your clients.

STAY ORGANIZED

No matter how you choose to keep in contact with past clients, make sure to be consistent. Consistency will help you stay organized and diligent about reaching out to your past clients regularly. A tool used by many real estate professionals to stay organized is a customer relationship management solution. Whether you use one that is online or a computer software program, this will help you stay organized when managing your contacts and allow you to set notifications to alert you when you need to contact certain clients, send out gifts, plan a client appreciation event, and many other things throughout the year. Staying organized and consistent in your contact with past clients will help you continue to build and manage your referral base, as well as open the door to repeat and referral business. Top Agent Magazine

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LYNDA CARPER

Real estate is more than a job for Lynda Carper - it’s a way of life. “You don’t just go to work and done at 5 o’clock,” Lynda says. “You have to be there to take care of your clients, and that’s what I do - take care of my clients. I’m very hands on with my buyers and sellers. I’m very customer oriented.”

Accredited Buyer Representative (ABR), Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES) and a Real Estate Negotiation Expert (RENE). “I’ve been doing this for over 20 years,” she says. “I’ve made it through the high and low times - especially the last 15 years, where real estate has been kind of crazy.”

That lifelong dedication to customer service has helped Lynda become one of the most successful Realtors® in her area. She serves DeKalb, Allen, Steuben and Noble Counties, and she has built a career based on her focus on meeting her clients’ needs. A member of the National Association of REALTORS®, the Indiana Regional Multiple Listing Service and the Upstate Alliance of REALTORS®, Lynda has been recognized as an

The key to that longevity is getting to know her clients as people. “My clients know Lynda Carper,” she says. “When you’re buying or selling a house you need to like the agent you’re going to work with. I spend a lot of time with my clients, and while I want the respect and the professionalism, I also want them to like me. I’ve had clients that have children who run up to me because I was such a part of their life when the family were buying or selling their home.” For Lynda all of that can be summed up in her personal motto: “The Right Agent Makes All the Difference.” Even with 22 years of experience behind her, Lynda knows she can always learn more. “You have to evolve as the years go by,” she says, and for Lynda part of that evolution was selling the real estate company

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she co-owned for almost 15 years and made the move to Century 21 Bradley Realty specializing in Residential Sales and Representing both sellers and buyers at all price points. “I want to take care of my clients,” she explains. “Century 21 Bradley Realty has opened me up to so many new opportunities for my clients, and I’m able to give more to my buyers and sellers.” Lynda maintains a life outside work. “We have a 1971 Monte Carlo and we go to a lot of cruise-ins and car shows,” she says. “And I love to travel. Whether it’s near or distant, I love visiting our country’s landmarks.” She also spends time giving back to the community in which she has lived her whole life. “I’m a part of the DeKalb County United Way Power of the Purse

event, which funds childhood education and I give to the DeKalb Humane Shelter, which is fully funded by donations.” For Lynda making money is one thing, but she judges her success by different metrics.”It’s very heartwarming when you see a family or an individual and they’re like, ‘Oh my gosh, we love our house!’ I love to run into past clients and find out how their lives are growing, and knowing they’re doing it in a home I helped them find.” Lynda’s plans for the future are simple: “I plan on doing real estate until I can’t do real estate anymore!” she says. “I just love people, and I love being able to help people with all their real estate needs.”

To find out more about Lynda Carper visit century21bradley.com/lynda.carper, call 260-413-2018 or email lyndacarper@gmail.com www.

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3 Mind-Bending Philosophies to Expand Your Professional Perspective

Beyond the day-to-day duties that make your business tick, so much of success is derived from the principles you put in place to guide your business. The foundational tenets you subscribe to can make or break your business for the long-term; they not only influence how you complete routine 22

tasks, but also impact your growth, your ability to manage a team, and what the future might hold. With all that in mind, here are three philosophies to remember as you strategize your professional life—whether you’re mapping your monthly goals or creating an overarching plan for growth.

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Treat Your Business Like a Business

One of the perks of working in real estate is that you’re often able to create and manage your own schedule and volume, but that doesn’t mean you can skimp on the technical details of being your own boss. No real estate professional worth his or her salt would forgo empowering tools like a business and marketing plan, or spreadsheets to track cash flow and expenses, or regular profit-and-loss statements, or fiscal year budgets and projections. Taking these measures may appear daunting at first— and completing them will certainly require discipline and a learning curve—but harnessing valuable data and information can intelligently inform your professional decisions, strategies, and long-term growth.

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Achieve a Holistic Understanding

When schedules are busy, it sometimes feels like enough to reach the end of the week’s to-do list. But, if you’re planning on a lasting career built on year-to-year growth, it’s not enough to account for the short-term. By creating daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, yearly, and five-year goals, you’re outlining and quantifying your progress. While your quarterly and yearly goals may be clear in your mind, what about five years from now? Perhaps you’d like to add to your designations, or incorporate a new team member, or add an additional branch. No matter how you envision your profesTop Agent Magazine

sional future, the first order of business is to create a timeline. Once you have a clear deadline in mind, it’s far easier to build out the steps and calendar necessary to achieve your goals.

3 Specificity is Empowering While you may have a general sense of where you’d like to see your business go in the next few months or years, it’s hard to work toward or attain a goal that’s abstract. To make the most of your time and efforts, you must identify and understand precisely what you’re aiming toward. For instance, instead of planning to add volume to your enterprise, outline a specific, attainable number to work toward. Or, if you’d like to add an administrative staff in the years to come, consider the details of this decision—the money it would take, the type of people you’d want to hire, how many hours per week they’d work, what tasks they would complete, etc. Adding hard details to your goals not only makes them more realistic, but progress is more easily made when you have specific items you can cross off your to-do list along the way. While there are no 100% fool-proof or guaranteed routes to success, shifting your mindset from the present and the abstract, to the specific and the long-term can have a major impact on your chances of success. Instead of dreaming of being more productive or successful, do yourself a favor and craft a gameplan you can bank on.

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