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LOS ANGELES EDITION

CONNECT BEYOND REAL ESTATE to Attract Future Clients 5 Things You Can Do to ACHIEVE YOUR BIGGEST GOALS CREATIVE MEDITATION for the Real Estate Professional How to Recognize TRUE LUXURY PROPERTIES

1 Billion-Plus Reasons Why You Should Be Active on FACEBOOK

COVER STORY:

MATTHEW O’KEEFE


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LOS ANGELES EDITION

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MATTHEW O'KEEFE

CONTENTS 4) CONNECT BEYOND REAL ESTATE TO ATTRACT FUTURE CLIENTS 13) HOW TO RECOGNIZE TRUE LUXURY PROPERTIES 16) 5 THINGS YOU CAN DO TO ACHIEVE YOUR BIGGEST GOALS

19) 1 BILLION-PLUS REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD BE ACTIVE ON FACEBOOK 22) CREATIVE MEDITATION FOR THE REAL ESTATE PROFESSIONAL

Phone 888-461-3930 | Fax 310-751-7068 mag@topagentmagazine.com | www.topagentmagazine.com No portion of this issue may be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without prior consent of the publisher. Top Agent Magazine is published by Feature Publications GA, Inc. Although precautions are taken to ensure the accuracy of published materials, Top Agent Magazine cannot be held responsible for opinions expressed or facts supplied by its authors. To subscribe or change address, send inquiry to mag@topagentmagazine.com. Published in the U.S.

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CONNECT BEYOND

REAL ESTATE

to Attract Future Clients What kind of content are you sharing on your blog, website, and social media? Does most of it have something to do with buying or selling a home? While sharing the latest market information or tips on how to qualify for a mortgage, or when someone should buy or sell is important and demonstrates your value as a REALTOR®, it shouldn’t be the only subject you cover. If you only focus on real estate, you’ll be missing the chance to connect with future clients that might not be ready to move just yet. By sharing a lot

of industry-heavy content, you are only going to appeal to those who are currently in the market rather than a broad base of potential clients. To pull in those other future clients you want to provide fresh, interesting content that will appeal to those possible future clients that aren’t quite ready to move yet. However, you also want to still tie this content back into your business goals. So, how do you share content that will speak to a wider audience, but also still be relevant to your business?

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Talk About Your Philanthropic Activities

The philanthropic work you do to support your community says a great deal about who you are as a person. Many people will be attracted to working with you because of the charitable works you are involved with. While you may be hesitant to share these efforts because you feel it may come across as bragging, you also need to remember that sharing information about the charitable organizations you support will actually help those organizations. Many of them have small marketing budgets, so any free exposure you can give them helps to promote their cause. In fact, they want and need you to promote them. And you can promote them without coming across as a braggart. Focus your content entirely on the organization. Talk about why you support them, how they help the community, and how others can also get involved. This turns what could have been bragging into something that benefits everyone. n

Your Local Community

We humans are connected to each other through our community – our local sports teams, parks, churches, schools, and much more. What better way is there to connect with people in your community than to talk about your community? Demonstrate that you are an expert on your community, and bring that community to your followers. Share information about a local event; perhaps even share the actual event through live-stream video. Interview city officials to get the low-down on the latest development project. Share information with your followers about things they didn’t know about their community. Consult with local historians or the historical society to share interesting information about your community that your followers will want to read. You could even turn it into a series of podcasts or videos. n

Use Your Creativity to Connect

Find creative ways to engage your followers on the topic of real estate. Try engaging your followers in an interactive project such as posting photos of interesting front doors. Doors are the entry point into our homes as well as our private lives. The way we adorn our front door can give someone a sense of our style and personality. Ask followers to submit photos and choose one to post each Friday. Make sure to watermark each photo with your logo at the bottom and include an inspirational quote that ties back to the importance of home. You could also ask your followers to provide a little story or caption to go along with the photo that tells something about them and their home. These kinds of projects are interesting and unique, and clearly connect back to your business. n

Share Your Hobbies

Are you an adrenalin junkie who has bungee jumped from some of the tallest bridges in the world? Are you a foodie that grows your own organic vegetables and fruit? Do you have a Top Agent Magazine

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secret passion for photography? Everyone has hobbies that they enjoy outside of work. When you look past the surface people become quite interesting. People also happen to find interesting people interesting, and tend to remember people based on their distinctive traits. We humans love discovering a person’s behind the scenes story, the mind behind the face. While you don’t want to talk too much about yourself, sharing pieces of your personal life and things that interest you can be a great way to connect with followers. By sharing interesting facts about your life, you will find that many followers will feel a strong, personal connection to you based on your hobbies and personal interests. n

Divulge Interesting Experiences

This is somewhat similar to the idea of sharing your hobbies. Sharing some of your more interesting personal experiences such as a fateful conversation with a stranger or an exciting adventure you had while in another country can be a great way to connect with followers as long as it also relates to some kind of life or business lesson. Talk about experiences you’ve had with clients or purchasing your own home. Experiences that relate to your business are great ways to connect with future clients in a manner that goes beyond the world of business. n

What and Who Inspires You

No matter what you’ve chosen to spend your life doing, you didn’t get there alone. You may have had a mentor that made a special impact on your life or someone already in the business that you looked up to and who perhaps inspired you to get into real estate. You may have found inspiration through a love of architecture or design. People want to know why others do the things they do. Sharing who or what influences you in your personal and business life is a great way to connect with followers. Recognizing that you didn’t get to where you are now by yourself shows humility, and talking about those people that had an influence on you shows others that you stay connected to the world and people around you. Connecting with potential clients is something that is essential to any REALTOR’S® business. If you’re doing the work to create interesting blog posts and make those connections, you want to make sure that you’re sharing the right kind of content to draw in those future clients. It takes a lot more than simply providing the latest market news. To get the most out of what you share, you need to provide a wide array of interesting content

that will draw in a broad range of followers. Providing the right kind of content can make all the difference when it comes to connecting with future clients and building the right kind of relationship with them right from the start. Connecting through your website or social media and sharing more than just real estate advice will help you build confidence and trust with future clients before you even meet them.

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MATTHEW O’KEEFE 7


MATTHEW O’KEEFE Matthew O’Keefe always had a knack for all things real estate and began his career as a mortgage lender with Washington Mutual. After seven years of learning the behind-thescenes processes of the business, Matthew decided to move into commercial real estate. Then, something unexpected happened. After selling a residential property as a favor to a friend, he realized that it was in the role of agent that he truly thrived. Now, with fourteen years of experience under his belt, Matthew is at the helm of a blossom8 Copyright Top Agent Magazine

ing career, providing his clients with five-star service, round-the-clock accessibility, and results-driven execution. In addition, he has collected numerous accolades along the way, including 2016’s Gibson International 2nd Highest Producing Agent distinction and a designation on 2017’s Real Trends America’s Best Agent List. Matthew leads a tightknit and efficient team. Together, they specialize in serving the Pacific Palisades, Santa Monica and the Brentwood. Top Agent Magazine


As a fourth generation Santa Monica resident, Matthew brings an insider’s insight to the area, affording his clients a much-needed edge in today’s competitive market. Understanding that clients in the process of buying or selling are often in the midst of a stressful process, Matthew does his best to ease tension by remaining accessible throughout a transaction. Staying readily available instills a sense of calm and security in his clients, who feel comfortable reaching out with questions and concerns. Likewise, Matthew has developed a reputation as a strong mediator, and acts as Top Agent Magazine

a positive emissary between parties. “I’ve got a level head, and when people are stressed on either side of the closing table, I’m able to analyze and explain things clearly and remove as much negative emotion from the process as possible,” he says. What’s more, Matthew makes it a point to focus on his clients’ long-term financial health, painting a holistic fiscal picture as clients make investment decisions. These people-first practices account for Matthew’s robust rate of repeat and referral clientele, which accounts for 95% of his business. Copyright Top Agent Magazine 9


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As for marketing his listings, Matthew notes that best practices are always evolving. Accordingly, he takes extra steps to prepare properties and ensure high visibility among the right potential buyers. Firstly, Matthew incorporates staging, professional photography, virtual tours, and drone photography services—ensuring that each property is documented in its best light. From there, Matthew and his team are premiere members of the leading listing platforms, allowing properties to reach the top of search results and stand apart from the pack. After properties go live, Matthew and his team send out an e-blast to over 2,500 realtors in the area to get the word out about new listings. Since Top Agent Magazine

Matthew becomes friends with most of those he serves, staying in touch with former clientele comes naturally. He regularly catches up over dinner and checks in by phone to see how progress at new properties is faring. In reflecting on what he enjoys most about his work, Matthew says: “I really enjoy the people and all the different personalities I get to meet. Through my work, I get to help people out, and that’s been really fulfilling.” Outside of the office, Matthew gives back to his local community in a myriad of ways. First and foremost, he and his family adopt a family in downtown L.A. each holiday season, giving gifts and food for their celebration. He is also Copyright Top Agent Magazine11


a member of Heal the Bay, and as a Santa Monica native, believes deeply in the importance of keeping our oceans clean. Matthew is a father of two, and in his free hours, he loves to take his children out on the water to surf and sail, and soak up the SoCal sun. When he finds some coveted spare time in his schedule, he enjoys skiing and exploring new places, as well.

Considering the future of his business, Matthew plans to continue his team’s steady growth, adding likeminded talent who share his values and dedication to hard work. Considering his proven record for client-centered care and his incisive eye toward the future, the years to come are bound to be sunny for Matthew O’Keefe and his team.

To learn more about Matthew O’Keefe, visit MatthewOkeefe.com, e-mail matthew@matthewokeefe.com, or call (310) 429-4552 www.

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How to Recognize True Luxury Properties What to Consider Other Than Location When luxury home buyers are looking for a new abode, they are often advised to pay most of their attention to location, location, location. And it’s true that good locations often have better properties, but if you’re only looking at location then you might be forgetting what it is in a luxury property that makes it luxury. You could view a property in a great location, and because you completely ignored any of the other factors that make a property high end, you might find that once you move in, you aren’t as pleased with the actual house itself as you thought you would be. Here are the other things you should look out for when purchasing a luxury home: • Architectural Uniqueness: The simple fact is that good

architecture retains its value. Do your homework on architects and find the ones that have a good track record of designing beautiful, but practical homes. Don’t simply pay attention to how the building looks today. Consider how it will look in a few decades. Keep an eye out for the “bones” of the building, and decide whether they will stand the test of time or not. Things such as a solid foundation, high-grade materials, unusual details, and artistic components are good aspects to consider. Will the structure hold up well or will it degrade and crumble without constant upkeep? That funky molding may look artistic today, but in ten years will it be considered artistic or just plain weird?

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• Practical Layout: Make sure you have enough room to live

in comfort. As a buyer of luxury property, you probably have quite a busy social schedule. You want to make sure that the layout will lend itself to helping you maintain clear separation between your social areas and private ones. You don’t want guests having to go back into your bedroom to use the bathroom. Look out for places with stairwells, awkward columns, long hallways, and other wastes of space.

• Unobstructed Views and Light: You want to live in

a home that gives you lots of natural light, such as one that is open to the outdoors. That natural light will improve your mood, as well as the resale value. The openness of a space filled with natural light will make you feel more comfortable and happy in your new home. What about the view? Do you see a Do you park, a bridge, a river, or a skyline? Is the see a park, fantastic view out your window protected? a bridge, You’ll need to understand the surrounding air a river, or a rights and zoning allowances of neighboring buildings to understand the possible risks. skyline?

• Windows: Windows are the primary source of losing heat and

cooling. Make sure they are double-paned with good insulation that will protect your home against weather and noise. Unless the windows are already like this, it is unlikely that the condo or co-op board will allow you to install your own.

• Ceiling Height: Consider the cubic footage of the property.

You want to look for high ceilings that increase the openness of a room. Of course, you don’t want to go too high. Above 14 feet will get you diminished marginal returns.

• Storage: If you’re a woman, you will understand this one. We need

lots of closets and additional storage room to fit all of our clothes, shoes, jackets, hats, purses, etc. However, lucky for you, your potential home’s existing closet square footage will not limit you from putting in more storage space. Custom closet companies can create any kind of storage

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space you desire. You will have to, however, make sure that your new home does have an area that you can turn into this storage space. • In-Unit Laundry: In-unit laundry has become necessary for

any luxury home or apartment. Do you really want to have to trek down flights of stairs to use the basement laundry? If you still consider it wasted space, you can convert it into more closet space.

• The Gym: Having a fitness area nearby is an amenity that is especially

important, particularly in winter when you don’t feel like walking to the gym a few blocks down. One thing to consider is the Do you really want of the gym in relation to have to trek down size to the size of the building in flights of stairs? light of common area fees. • Move-In Ready: I’d advise against buying time-consuming and

frustrating fixer-uppers no matter how much you want to add custom kitchens, finishes, fixtures, and other characteristics. Choose a property that already has all of these amenities taken care of. These properties have already had the same designers you would hire fashion the house at a fraction of the cost you would pay to have them do it after you move in. In this light, it is worthwhile to pay a little extra for the move-in ready home.

• Reputation: Pay attention to the reputation of the building. A

property that has a good reputation tends to retain its value. You can easily find this out online on posts, and established locals are likely to have an opinion.

If you want to buy luxury property that is really worth it’s price, then I would suggest adding these points to your list of things your new home must have. If you want to get a high quality home that is a true luxury, you’ll want to watch out for these aspects as well as the location. Some properties might claim to be luxury based on their location, but when compared against this list, they don’t make the cut. So, don’t be fooled by imposters, and make sure you find a true high-end property. Top Agent Magazine

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5 Things You Can Do To Achieve Your Biggest Goals If there’s one thing successful people can agree on, it’s that setting goals has been key to their success. Whether you’re creating a five year plan or just settling on what you want to achieve by the end of the day, setting goals gives you the focus and direction you need to complete even the biggest tasks. But there is a method to setting them. It’s a process that takes careful thought and consideration up front, which is then combined with the hard work necessary to implement your plan. Luckily there are proven methods to goal setting that you can start using immediately. 1. MAKE YOUR GOALS SPECIFIC Yes, it’s fun to think in grand terms of where you want to end up in life and in your career, but it’s better to have a specific goal like “Increase my sales by 25%”, than “Get rich.” When a goal is clear and specific, it allows you to figure out the exact steps you need to take to accomplish it. The more general it is, the more paralyzed you might be when it comes to figuring out what to do since, the choices may be overwhelming. 2. MAKE IT ATTAINABLE Making attainable goals might seem boring, I mean afterall, you want to dream big! But you don’t want to suffer through the disappointment of not reaching your goal, something that may not even be possible at this stage in your life to begin with. One solution to that is creating goal levels. You can have the dream goal, but underneath that you have the realistic goals that are setting up a foundation for achieving the big one. Things that are attainable still take work and effort to achieve. Those small victories will keep you motivated and encouraged to go for the bigger dreams. And don’t forget, those 16

little goals may have been things you wouldn’t have gotten done if you didn’t set out to achieve them, so be proud! 3. PUT A PLAN OF ACTION IN WRITING Your plan of action should include daily, weekly, monthly and yearly goals. There is something about seeing things in writing and crossing them off the list that is oddly satisfying.The daily goals are especially important in regards to building up those good habits. The first few weeks of your plan of action are critical when it comes to your long term success. Reaching a goal is something you are doing every day, all throughout the day, in numerous ways. Achieving goals is all about creating good new habits. 4. MAKE IT MEASURABLE This is key, since you definitely want to reward yourself for a job well done, and having a goal that is measurable in some way is a sure way to know. Maybe it’s to increase your lead generation or to cut expenses, whatever the case, have a measurable test you need to meet, as well as a time frame. Then calculate what you have to do to reach that goal. Not only should your goal be specific, but the plan and the measure of success should also be set in stone. 5. ADJUST AS YOU GO You can have all the best laid plans, and you still might quickly realize that what you thought would help you reach your goal, might not be cutting it. Commitment to reaching your goals is good, but commitment to a plan you know isn’t going to work is not only a waste of time, but will be a devastating blow to your motivation. Sticking to a plan everyday means adjusting it accordingly.

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1 Billion-Plus Reasons Why You Should Be Active on Facebook By Bubba Mills

The number is staggering and potentially career ending for REALTORS® who ignore it: 1,440,000,000. That’s the total number of monthly active users on the social medium Facebook. That number alone is reason enough to use it regularly in your real estate business. But Facebook can also help turn you into the expert in your community. Just by sharing knowledge and relevant events about the community you can become the go-to source for all things local – a perfect way to capture the attention of prospective buyers. Plus, Facebook advertising also gives you tons of targeting layers like age, location, recent life events and interests. Plus, it constantly adds new targeting filters and functions that help you reach even more niche prospects who closely meet your customer criteria. Talk about pinpointing a target audience. Top Agent Magazine

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Another Facebook real estate ad tool is Website Custom Audiences that lets you create Facebook ads that target users who have visited your website. And several apps specifically for Facebook have emerged. Consider these: • Heyo.com: Helps you host contests, showcase promotions and high-

light special offers. • Woobox.com: Let’s you easily create quizzes and other fun tools for engaging content. • Pagemodo.com: Helps you make your Facebook business page both sleek and stylish and tabs allow for easy lead capture. But the latest offering is just as cool. It’s called Facebook Live and it lets you stream live video on the internet. I recently wrote about Periscope, another live video streaming app, but when you use Facebook Live you’re automatically featured at the top of Facebook users’ news feed. What’s more, statistics show that live video is viewed more than recorded video. How can REALTORS® use Facebook Live? Open Houses: Broadcast a walk-through of a new listing

and highlight all the great features.

Webinars: Host live webinars targeted to buyers and sellers. They can sub-

mit questions just like a real-life seminar.

Real Estate Talk Show: Offer the latest news in the industry plus share lo-

cal events and your newest listings. In short, become the Lester Holt or Diane Sawyer of real estate in your town with your own “TV” show! Facebook offers these tips for using Facebook Live: Promote: Tease upcoming Facebook Live broadcasts for more viewers. Plan better: Take time to plan what you want to do in the video, whether

it’s a few key talking points or to have a few questions ready ahead of time in a Q&A, in case incoming comments slow down.

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Invest in some equipment: A shaky live stream turns off viewers so con-

sider a tripod or other stabilizing tools, especially if you’re taking viewers on a tour of an open house. And check the shot before going live.

Get the lighting right: If you’re indoors be sure you have plenty of good

lighting and avoid a lot of light directly behind you because it’ll wash you out.

Sound good: A common mistake for beginners is overlooking sound.

Consider an external microphone to make sure your viewers can actually hear you. And if the live option makes you a little nervous, you can also stream pre-recorded videos. Hey, that has worked like a charm for TV for decades. Some businesses promote their web series to “air” on Facebook Live at a certain time like TV shows. After they are streamed, Facebook Live videos function as normal Facebook videos. Some business owners believe videos may perform better if they begin as live ones. NowThis, a news company that publishes entirely on social platforms, experimented by streaming a 38-minute compilation of its favorite viral videos via Facebook Live. The stream received over 20,000 views and over 500 comments, according to Facebook’s counters. Yes, all the new-fangled internet tools, apps and options for REALTORS® can be a bit overwhelming. Just take it one step at a time and you’ll slowly be right there in the business-winning mix. E-mail me today at Article@CorcoranCoaching.com and I’ll send you more free information about how technology can help your real estate business. Copyright©, 2016 Bubba Mills. All rights reserved.

Bubba Mills is the CEO of Corcoran Consulting and Coaching Inc. (www.corcorancoaching.com/programs, 800-957-8353), an international Real Estate, Mortgage, and Small Business coaching company committed to helping clients balance success in business, while building value in life. Bubba Mills is a nationally recognized inspirational and education speaker, coach and mentor to the top real estate agents and mortgage companies. To find out more about Corcoran Consulting & Coaching, call 1-800-957-8353 or visit us at www.CorcoranCoaching.com. Top Agent Magazine

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Creative Meditation

for the Real Estate Professional The real estate world can be an industry of intense emotional and psychological pressure. Deadlines, meetings, employee needs, client needs and a hundred other items on which one needs to focus on a daily basis can create an environment that is not only not conducive to mental well-being, but can be outright detrimental. Learning to quiet the mind has been the focus of meditation for millennia. While those not familiar with the concept of meditation may instinctively think of yoga mats, incense, and chanting when the word “meditation” arises, there are in fact, many forms of meditation that can integrate quite 22

easily into the daily hustle & bustle world of the busy real estate agent. First, think about when you are alone each day. Here are some possible times to practice mediation during the work day: • When driving to the office in the morning • When driving to a showing or to meet a client • Before your open house begins • After the open house • Driving home in the evening Top Agent Magazine


Repeating a mantra can be very calming, particularly when you are trying to rid yourself of negative, self-defeating thoughts. These are just five examples of times when you can take advantage of meditation techniques to quiet your mind and, by extension, increase productivity. A calm mind is a more thoughtful, better tuned instrument. Here are some examples of meditations you can try.

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For when you’re driving, download and listen to any number of audio Guided Meditations available on the internet. YouTube has a generous selection of these, many of which are geared towards success in business.

2 Repeating a mantra can be very calm-

ing, particularly when you are trying to rid yourself of negative, self-defeating thoughts. It doesn’t matter what words you choose, as long as you feel good about your choice. “I am a success” or “I will approach all of my clients with love today” are two examples. Whatever works for you and gets you into the desired mindset.

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3 Something as simple as listening to pleasant music in your car can be considered meditation, provided it brings you to a place of comfort as opposed to one of spiritual discordance.

4 The most important thing, however, is to take time to find gratitude in everything you do. Count your blessings, be grateful the exciting career in real estate you have built for yourself.

Once you’ve mastered some of these techniques at quieting your mind, you can attempt to find some that work even better for you. Walking, plain silence, or even exercise can have meditative qualities and benefits if practiced on a regular basis. When you’re truly feeling calm, your clients can sense this. And with this comes the feeling that you can be relied upon to stay focused and calm in any unforeseen circumstances. And in the world of real estate, that’s a highly prized commodity. 23


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