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INDIANA EDITION

COVER STORY

Patty Miller FEATURED AGENT

JOHN T. CREAMER

How to Incorporate Current Events to Your Email Blasts and Stay Relevant

SIX POWERFUL PROSPECTING TIPS to Build Your Business


INDIANA EDITION

Teresa Shultz-Miller is proud to congratulate

Patty Miller 7

PATTY MILLER

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JOHN T. CREAMER

JOHN T. CREAMER John Creamer got his start in the real estate business more than thirty years ago. When a friend asked him to host an open house, John was immediately intrigued by the industry and earned his license at the age of twenty-two. Now, thirty-three years later, he has built a substantial legacy steeped in attentive client care, lasting relationships, and regional marketplace knowledge that is unparalleled.

Today, John co-heads the Creamer Elson O’Brien REALTORS as a senior partner, serving northern Indianapolis and Marion County, and southern Hamilton County regions. Considering his lengthy industry tenure, John has been able to cultivate roughly 75% of his business through repeat and referral clientele—sure evidence of the lasting impression he imparts upon clients. To account for his success, John cites seasoned expertise and a personal touch Teresa Shultz-Miller SVP, Area Manager | NMLS 484901 as some of the primary drivers of his working style. “I’ve been 574.320.5692 in theTHE business for thirty-three and you get to know the 4) HOW TO INCORPO14) HOW teresa.shultz-miller@ruoff.com TO GET 19) SIXyears, POWERFUL neighborhoods pretty well,” John says. “Along the way, you www.ruoff.com/tshultzmiller RATE CURRENT EVENTS BIGGEST RECHARGE PROSPECTING TIPS apply a personal touch with your clients, and you also learn the home values and We’ve also nurtured wonderful TO YOUR EMAIL OUT OF YOUR area’s LUNCH TOtrends. BUILD YOUR relationships with our fellow Realtors in the area, and that can go BLASTS AND STAY HOUR a long way in makingBUSINESS a transaction progress smoothly.” Whether working with buyers or sellers, John focuses on creating a streamRELEVANT lined, low-stress transactional process attuned to his clients’ needs. “Working with buyers is exciting and fun, because you really get to know the buyer and sometimes their family during the process, and purchasing a house is really personal. We take this process seriously, and our buyers’ experiences have been so successful that they often stay where they are for a long time,” he says. “On the sellers’ side, we try our very best to make the expePhone 888-461-3930 | Fax 310-751-7068 rience enjoyable. It can be tough to have less control than on the buying side, but if the seller feels like every detail is accounted mag@topagentmagazine.com | www.topagentmagazine.com for, they’ll feel comfortable that we’ve prepared and done all we can and the market will takeofover from there.” No portion of this issue may be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without prior consent the publisher. Top Agent

for being featured in the state of Indiana’s Top Agent Magazine! CONTENTS

Magazine is published by Feature Publications GA, Inc. Although precautions are taken to ensure the accuracy of published When it comes to marketing, John and his team are exacting materials, Top Agent Magazine cannot be held responsible for opinions expressed or facts supplied by its authors. in their approach. First steps include professional photography To subscribe or change address, send inquiry to mag@topagentmagazine.com. and staging that showcase homes in their most refined light. Published in the U.S. From there, premium visibility is secured across the leading

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online listing platforms, followed by an open house that makes a first-hand impression upon prospective buyers. Whether aiding buyers or sellers alike, John’s extensive experience in the market makes him a veritable expert in the evolving intricacies of listing Top Agent Magazine presentations, marketing techniques, and negotiations. Accordingly, clients trust they are being steered by a capable steward


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How to Incorporate Current Events to Your Email Blasts and Stay Relevant Email marketing is a cost effective and straightforward method of getting your name and services in front of clients with just a few keystrokes. This tried-and-true approach to digital marketing is a favorite of many, and there are countless ways to customize (and maximize) your email blasts to reap superior results. Despite this, many real estate profes4

sionals are content to standardize their email advertising and take a broad, one-size-fits-all approach to capturing interest and leads. While an up-front sales pitch certainly has its uses and benefits, it doesn’t hurt to shake up your routine and refresh your email marketing approach by adding specifics that draw renewed interest from your audience.

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One way to accomplish this is by tying in current events and local happenings to your email blasts. After all, your sphere of influence likely receives countless marketing emails per day. To cut through the noise, sharpen your message with a few specifics that separate your communications from the pack. Not every email should be focused on closing a sale, or else your audience will learn to stop listening. How do you build your brand, stay top of mind, and keep the lines of communication open with your clientele? Here are a few ideas to get you started.

against an old rival? Do they host themed fan days honoring veterans or catering to families? Tailoring your communications to a local sports franchise’s big news or next event can draw intrigue and provide added value for your clients. Remember, not every communication you send should be focused on pitching and closing a sale, otherwise your audience will tune out your emails altogether. Instead, incorporate fun, community-oriented content that lets readers know you’re a resource for much more than real estate.

Sports news makes a splash

Become a one-stop-shop for holiday fun and seasonal ideas.

People love to rally behind the home team. Is a regional, local university, or professional sports team in your area headed to the playoffs or the championship? Are they facing off

From Mother’s Day to Thanksgiving, anyone can send an email wishing clients a happy holiday. While the sentiment is a good one, you’ll be one of dozens flooding inboxes with

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your well-wishes. Instead, go beyond the traditional greetings and good tidings and become a hyper-specific resource for clients. Create a gift guide for Mother’s Day, outline family-friendly local events occurring in your area around the holidays, or engage in a promotional partnership with a local business who’s offering a holiday special of their own. In other words, don’t settle for just saying hello during certain times of the year. Instead, up the value of your email blast by offering clients curated information that relates to their interests and area. Doing so makes your emails a must-read, while demonstrating your ability to go the extra mile.

Pop culture serves as a fun and timely tie-in. Is a new gaming app sweeping the nation? Have your social media feeds been flooded with the same viral video? Is everyone gossiping about the same TV show premiere? Pop culture tie-ins in your email marketing campaigns can be extremely effective, but in order to for

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them to work, you’ll need to move quickly and keep your focus on the phenomenon, rather than your service pitch. The goal behind pop culture marketing tie-ins is communicating the progressiveness and hip factor of your brand, while capturing timely, topical interest that’s at a fever pitch. Everyone wants to be in on a running joke or trend, and if you leverage trending pop culture moments in your email marketing, you’ll be able to draw views and clicks from a wide audience.

Plenty of services offer standardized email marketing templates and content for today’s real estate professionals, and while the motivation behind marketing is transactional, your communications don’t have to be. The surest way to make an impact in your clients’ inboxes is to add original value and break apart from the pack. Consider updating some of your routines with these current events oriented techniques and your email audience is sure to take a second look.

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Patty Miller Top Agent Magazine

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PATTY MILLER “It goes back to good, old fashioned service — I answer people’s questions, I’m available, I get back to them in a timely manner and they know I have their best interests at heart.” People in Northern Indiana’s Elkhart County, St Joseph County and Kosciusko County can’t say enough about Patty Miller and how grateful they are for her. Calling her everything from “one of those people that you instantly feel comfortable with” to “a class 8 Copyright Top Agent Magazine

act who cares about our community,” they appreciate her passion for real estate and feed off the joy she brings to the processes of buying and selling homes. “Real estate can be stressful for people,” says Patty, an agent Century 21 Affiliated. “I put humor into it Top Agent Magazine


and have fun as we go, so I think they remember and appreciate my sense of humor!” After almost 15 years in the business, Patty has been through various market conditions and seen a variety of scenarios with buyers and sellers. All of this experience, along with her personable nature, positions her as a client advocate from the first meeting to far past the closing table. In addition to leading her office’s team, Patty individually covers a wide span of Northern Indiana, working Top Agent Magazine

with nearly 95% repeat and referral clients. “It goes back to good, old fashioned service,” she says, explaining her clients’ loyalty. “I answer people’s questions, I’m available, I get back to them in a timely manner and they know I have their best interests at heart.” Patty finds great pleasure in working with first-time home buyers. “One of my favorite things is seeing how first-time buyers at first think they can never make things work and then, when they do, I’m so happy to see them 9 Copyright Top Agent Magazine


achieve the American dream.” Meanwhile, she also lists numerous properties, keeping on top of the latest technology and offering in marketing.

photography in making the best possible impression online and describes how she leverages social media and the Internet to get excellent exposure for each listing.

“It’s extremely important to get professional photography,” Patty explains. “When I meet a client for the listing appointment, we go over what they should do and shouldn’t do, both with the house and during the showings,” She explains the importance of professional

As a REALTOR®, Patty stays involved with local chambers of commerce and events. She even gives back on a personal level by serving as a CASA volunteer. “I’m a Court Appointed Special Advocate for children who have been taken out of their homes,”

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she explains. “That’s really important to me because there a lot of children in need in our country right now.” Speaking of children, as a mother of two grown children and the grandmother to five, she cherishes family time, but also makes Top Agent Magazine

time for herself. “I love the outdoors and I love music,” she says. If the weather is nice enough, she can be found attending concerts, music around a bonfire, or motorcycle riding. In recent years, Patty has grown increasingly active with seniors, advising them and Copyright Top Agent Magazine 11


working with them to ensure they are well-informed and that they have anticipated and addressed their needs for their continued homeownership. She holds her Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES) and works closely with seniors to help them either age in-place at the home they’re in now or to show them what’s involved with downsizing. “I still always love the first-time home buyers, but

I’m gearing toward the seniors a little bit for my future.” Patty thoroughly loves being a REALTOR®. “This a great career,” she says. “It is also very important that those of us in real estate are out getting involved in our communities on a regular basis. We want our communities to thrive. When communities thrive, we all do.”

To learn more about Patty Miller, visit c21affiliated.com/pmiller or go to her Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/pattymillerrealestate/

www.

email realtorpattymiller@gmail.com or call 574.202.1778

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Teresa Shultz-Miller is proud to congratulate

Patty Miller

for being featured in the state of Indiana’s Top Agent Magazine! Teresa Shultz-Miller

SVP, Area Manager | NMLS 484901

574.320.5692

teresa.shultz-miller@ruoff.com www.ruoff.com/tshultzmiller Top Agent Magazine

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How to Get the Biggest Recharge

Out of Your Lunch Hour When things get busy, it’s typical to find a grab-and-go lunch and keep plugging away on the tasks at hand. While some days demand this kind of hustle, your lunch hour can be a valuable window in which to recharge and set the tone for the latter half of your day. In fact, taking a mindful break at midday can create 14

mental space for extended productivity and provide the morale boost necessary to take on a new task for the afternoon. But how do you maximize that hourlong reprieve amidst a busy schedule? Here are a few ideas for inspiration, no matter what your tastes or preferred habits may be.

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Taking a mindful break at midday can create mental space for extended productivity and provide the morale boost necessary to take on a new task for the afternoon.

GET MOVING Just ten minutes of light exercise can get your blood pumping and your energy renewed. Step outside and take a brisk walk around the block, or walk to your favorite sandwich shop instead of hopping in your car. Find ways to incorporate light exercise into your lunch hour routine and you’ll not only enjoy a chance to stretch your legs and get your eyes off of screens, but you’ll also reap the health and mood benefits of endorphins. Even extended stretching or mild calisthenics can provide rejuvenating relief in short order. Top Agent Magazine

PLAY CATCH UP Sometimes catching up with an old friend or family member can brighten your day and give you a morale-boosting outlet beyond the office. During your next lunch hour, why not combine a jaunt around the block with a call to catch up with your sibling or college buddy? Shifting your focus from work and centering instead on a comforting interpersonal relationship can really boost your mood and reinforce your personal values.

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CHANGE YOUR TUNE

SOAK UP THE SUN If you’re tempted to eat your lunch at your desk while staring into the same computer screen that you’ve been working on for hours—think again. Sure, a busy schedule sometimes means making that sacrifice, but when your schedule and weather permits, try to take your lunch outside and disconnect from your office setting. Soak up the sun, feel the breeze, and lift your gaze to the horizon instead of toward your phone or computer screen. The mood-boosting benefits of time spent recharging outside are well-documented, and a change of scenery can give you the boost you need to power through your afternoon to-do list. 16

Use your lunch hour to treat your senses. As you eat or get active, try queuing up your favorite music or the latest episode of your favorite podcast. If you focus on the same tasks and stimuli for too long, your brain will fatigue and your focus will erode steadily over time. Shift gears and treat your mind to some music or stimulation outside of your daily tasks. You’ll help yourself relax, recharge, and create a natural transition point for your ensuing afternoon workflow. Your lunch hour isn’t just about being purely functional. If you want to maintain a steady rate of productivity and leave the office satisfied by the progress of your day—use your lunch hour wisely. As important as it is to nourish your body, also consider nourishing your mind. No matter what your chosen outlet may be, don’t overlook the power of a well-spent lunch hour and the positive benefits that are sure to follow.

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JOHN T. CREAMER John Creamer got his start in the real estate business more than thirty years ago. When a friend asked him to host an open house, John was immediately intrigued by the industry and earned his license at the age of twenty-two. Now, thirty-three years later, he has built a substantial legacy steeped in attentive client care, lasting relationships, and regional marketplace knowledge that is unparalleled. Today, John co-heads the Creamer Elson O’Brien REALTORS as a senior partner, serving northern Indianapolis and Marion County, and southern Hamilton County regions. Considering his lengthy industry tenure, John has been able to cultivate roughly 75% of his business through repeat and referral clientele—sure evidence of the lasting impression he imparts upon clients. To account for his success, John cites seasoned expertise and a personal touch as some of the primary drivers of his working style. “I’ve been in the business for thirty-three years, and you get to know the neighborhoods pretty well,” John says. “Along the way, you apply a personal touch with your clients, and you also learn the area’s home values and trends. We’ve also nurtured wonderful relationships with our fellow Realtors in the area, and that can go a long way in making a transaction progress smoothly.” Whether working with buyers or sellers, John focuses on creating a streamlined, low-stress transactional process attuned to his clients’ needs. “Working with buyers is exciting and fun, because you really get to know the buyer and sometimes their family during the process, and purchasing a house is really personal. We take this process seriously, and our buyers’ experiences have been so successful that they often stay where they are for a long time,” he says. “On the sellers’ side, we try our very best to make the experience enjoyable. It can be tough to have less control than on the buying side, but if the seller feels like every detail is accounted for, they’ll feel comfortable that we’ve prepared and done all we can and the market will take over from there.” When it comes to marketing, John and his team are exacting in their approach. First steps include professional photography and staging that showcase homes in their most refined light. From there, premium visibility is secured across the leading online listing platforms, followed by an open house that makes a first-hand impression upon prospective buyers. Whether aiding buyers or sellers alike, John’s extensive experience in the market makes him a veritable expert in the evolving intricacies of listing presentations, marketing techniques, and negotiations. Accordingly, clients trust they are being steered by a capable steward who has their best interests at heart. Top Agent Magazine

Beyond the office, John has been active in his professional and local communities for decades. In the Indianapolis area, he served as a past president of the Knights of Columbus and grew the organization’s legacy and positive influence in the community. John has volunteered at his church, serving on the pastoral council, ushering and working on the parish festival. Likewise, he served as the Chairman of the United Way Committee and as a past president of the Metropolitan Indianapolis Board of Realtors. He has also participated in the Executive Committee of the state-level Indiana Association of Realtors, as well as on the board for the National Association of Realtors. John is a co-founding member of the Century 21 Foundation, which now provides up to $150,000 a year in aid to families experiencing unexpected lapses in housing. Beyond the office, John most enjoys time spent with family and loved ones, as well as visits to the family lake cottage, boating, and the returns of his yard work. As for the future, John intends to continue his business’s growth, with a focus on helping more clients, further streamlining existing systems, and staying abreast of technological advances in the industry. Now, with more than three decades of insight, John considers what he enjoys most about his career as an agent. “I really enjoy encountering new clients anywhere,” he says. “From working in the community, to social events and fundraisers—there’s always an opportunity to meet people who you wind up helping. Of course, I also enjoy the service aspect of what I do. In most cases, buying or selling a home is an exciting time of transition, whether it’s a first home, next home, or a dream home. That’s what makes my work so enjoyable, when we get to the closing and my client has a new place to call home.”

To learn more about John T. Creamer email JCreamer@C21Scheetz.com, visithttp://www.century21scheetz.com/creamerelsonobrienteam his website here, or call (317) 250 – 5646

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Six Powerful Prospecting Tips to Build Your Business By John Boe Why is it that some sales reps consistently earn a six-figure annual income while other reps, putting in the same hours, selling the same products, and trained by the same sales manager struggle each month financially to make ends meet? The answer to this question is painfully simple; the six-figure sales reps understand the importance of business development and never forget to ask for referrals. Top producing sales reps set high standards for themselves and spend the majority of their time either actively prospecting for new business or closing sales. Successful sales reps set productivity goals, establish priorities, and don’t waste their precious time hanging out in the break room or taking twohour lunch breaks. Top producers don’t need to be reminded to ask for referrals on a daily basis or follow-up on hot leads, because they understand that prospecting for new business is a necessity and not just an activity. The good news is that prospecting for new business, like any other learned skill set, can be trained and developed into a habit. Top Agent Magazine

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Tip One: Don’t Forget to Ask for Referrals. When it comes to asking for referrals, timing is everything. Research indicates that the most effective time to ask for referrals is right after you’ve made the sale or provided a valuable service for your customer. Asking for referrals prior to closing the sale is a big mistake and may even jeopardize the sale itself. Once the sale has been completed, your customer will be on an “emotional high” and far more receptive to the idea of providing you referrals. When you ask for referrals, your goal is to get as many names written down as you can. Just keep asking... Who else? Once your advocate has given you all of his or her referrals, then go back over the list of names to get details on each prospect. Tip Two: Train and Reward Your Advocates. An advocate is a person who’s willing to go out of his or her way to recommend you to a friend or associate. Most customers are initially reluctant to provide referrals without some basic training and motivation.

Once you’re given a prospect, Asking for it’s a good idea to take the time to role-play with your advocate referrals prior to to demonstrate how to approach and talk to their referral. A brief closing the sale is a role-playing exercise will build your advocate’s confidence and big mistake and keep them from over-educating may even jeopardize their referrals. During your roleplay session, be sure to prepare the sale itself. your advocate to expect some initial resistance. This training will pay big dividends by making your advocate more effective and less likely to become discouraged when faced with rejection. Always take the time to thank your advocates and give them feedback on the status of their referrals. I recommend that you call them and then follow up by sending a thank you card and or gift. 20

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Tip Three: Strike While the Iron is HOT. Prospects, like food in your refrigerator, are perishable and therefore need to be contacted quickly. Each day you let slip by without making initial contact with your referral dramatically reduces the probability of you making the sale. Develop the habit of contacting your referrals within two-business days or sooner. Have a system to keep track of your referrals so they don’t end up falling through the cracks. It’s critical to have a computerized client contact management system to record your remarks and track future contacts and appointments. Relying on your memory alone is a very poor business decision that will cost you dearly. Tip Four: Schedule a Minimum of Two-Hours a Day for Phone Calling. Make your phone calls in the morning while you and your referrals are both fresh and alert. Treat your prospecting time with the same respect you would give to any other important appointment. This Treat your prospecting is not the time to check your e-mails, play solitaire on the time with the same computer, make personal phone calls or chat with your respect you would give associates.

to any other important appointment.

Avoid the temptation to try and sell your product or service over the phone. Your objective for every phone call is to create interest, gather information and make an appointment. If your prospect asks you a question, get in the habit of going for an appointment rather than giving a quick response.

Don’t shoot from the hip use a script. It’s important to use a phone script when you contact your prospect so you don’t leave out any key information. It’s a good idea to role-play your script over the phone with your sales manager until he or she feels you sound confident and professional. Top Agent Magazine

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Tip Five: Qualify Your Prospect at Maximum Range. Unfortunately, not every prospect will be interested or qualified financially to purchase your products or services. Successful sales reps don’t waste time chasing after low-probability prospects and know when it’s time to cut their losses and move on. Tip Six: Don’t Take Rejection Personally. Selling, like baseball, is a numbers game pure and simple. Rejection is to be anticipated as a natural aspect of the qualification process, so don’t take it personally. Learn from rejection by using it as a valuable feedback mechanism. Salespeople who take rejection personally lack perseverance Salespeople and seldom make the sale.

who take rejection personally lack perseverance and seldom make the sale.

For the majority of salespeople, prospecting for new business is without a doubt the most challenging and stressful aspect of the selling process. Selling is a contact sport and daily prospecting for new business is the key to every salesperson’s long-term financial success. By integrating these six powerful prospecting tips into your daily business routine, you’ll be able to keep your appointment calendar packed with qualified prospects! “Sales are contingent upon the attitude of the salesman, not the attitude of the prospect.” – W. Clement Stone Copyright ©, John Boe. All rights reserved.

John Boe presents a wide variety of motivational and sales-oriented keynotes and seminar programs for sales meetings and conventions. John is a nationally recognized sales trainer and business motivational speaker with an impeccable track record in the meeting industry. To have John speak at your next event, visit www.johnboe.com or call 937-299-9001. Free Newsletter available on website. 22

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