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MISSOURI EDITION

GOOGLE ADWORDS: How to Make Google do the Work for You 6 Things You Need to Do to BE A GREAT MENTOR Killing Clients with KINDNESS AND VALUE

COVER STORY

WENDY SWETZ

A STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE to Converting Internet Leads to a Real Life Sales


MISSOURI EDITION

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WENDY SWETZ

WENDY SWETZ CONTENTS 4) GOOGLE ADWORDS: HOW TO MAKE GOOGLE DO THE WORK FOR YOU 14) 6 THINGS YOU NEED TO DO TO BE A GREAT MENTOR

18) KILLING CLIENTS WITH KINDNESS AND VALUE 22) A STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE TO CONVERTING INTERNET LEADS TO A REAL LIFE SALES

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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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. 4

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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. 6

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WENDY SWETZ Top Agent Magazine

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WENDY SWETZ Wendy Swetz actually got started on the mortgage side of the industry, For nearly a decade, she was one of Missouri’s most in-demand mortgage professionals, but in 2007, Wendy became intrigued with the idea of becoming a Realtor®. “At the time I was dealing with a lot of agents, and although most were professional, I definitely saw that there was a need to provide a level of service that really went above and beyond. I knew I could offer an exceptional expe8Copyright Top Agent Magazine

rience and that my mortage background would give my clients an added advantage. I got my license right around the time the market crashed, but that ended up being a great way to start. I really had to work hard and think outside of the box. I couldn’t be happier with my decision. It has truly been a blessing.” Wendy currently serves Columbia, Missouri, and specializes in more high-end properties. Top Agent Magazine


A lifelong resident of Missouri, with 28 years in Columbia, Wendy really has an in-depth knowledge of the area she represents, and an extensive network throughout the community. Her reputation for integrity has earned her a remarkable 90% rate of repeat and referral business. Top Agent Magazine

Key to Wendy’s success has been her absolute dedication to providing a level of customer service that is truly unsurpassed. “My clients don’t forget me. I’m passionate about doing my job the right way and always put their needs first. I’m available to them, and I think I do things that other agents won’t do. Copyright Top Agent Magazine9


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They often tell me they feel like they’re my only client. I really become close to them and am completely invested in making their transaction a success. This is why our relationships go far beyond closing.” Another way Wendy goes above and beyond is with her comprehensive approach to marketing and selling listings. “The moment I take a listing I inspect the property and give my clients a detailed report about everything they need to do to their home to get top market value. I have an extensive list of vetted subcontractors and service people I can refer to them, and then I also help them Top Agent Magazine

stage or have a professional stager available if that’s warranted. Then we get professional photos taken and get the property maximum exposure. It’s all about the details when it comes to listing a property, and I’m on top of everything, which is why I sell homes for top price as quickly as possible.” It’s important for Wendy to give back to her community and she is involved with several organizations including NAR and a Young Professionals Network. She is also actively involved with several charitable organizations throughout the year. In her free time, Wendy enjoys being with her Copyright Top Agent Magazine 11


family, her amazing 22 year old son Todd, and her two bulldogs. She’s also passionate about interior design and not only has built and designed her own home, but enjoys helping friends create their dream homes and interiors, as well.

Wendy would like to expand her business into a few new states in the near future and couldn’t be happier with where she’s at in her career right now. “I really adore what I do, it’s one of the most rewarding careers out there. This doesn’t feel like a job to me, it feels like a privilege.”

To learn more about Wendy Swetz call 573-424-6623, email wendy@wendyswetz.com or visit Copperstonelifestyle.com or brooksidesquare.com www.

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First Midwest congratulates

Wendy Swetz on being featured in Top Agent Magazine!

onemidwest.com | 573-815-7500

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6 Things You Need to Do to Be a Great Mentor

Everyone reaches the point in their career where they feel they have gained enough experience and wisdom about business and what it takes to succeed, to actually help someone else achieve the same. Although you may have trained or given advice over the years, taking on the official status as a mentor to someone is a whole new ball game. 14

Although mentorship is an unpaid endeavor, you’ll be surprised to find out how much you’ll gain from the experience. You’ll also grow as a business person through the process of teaching someone else. It’s also an endeavor that many will pay forward one day, creating a business atmosphere that is based more on mutual success than competition, which is better for everyone.

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If you were mentored, you may already have an idea of what it entails, and what you liked or didn’t like in your mentor/mentee relationship. Although it is a personal relationship that will need an individual approach, there are certain things that are key when it comes to being a great mentor: 1. Be a good listener

est about your own failures. It can be a huge relief to find out someone they look up to has gone through similar experiences and still managed to come out on top. As we all know, oftentimes the greatest lessons come from failures, which can be times when our character is truly tested. Building trust through mutual respect and honesty will make every aspect of your mentorship more effective.

You’re basically a sounding board who needs to hear your mentee’s ideas, plans and goals in order to advise them. Strong, constant and clear communication is key to any successful mentoring relationship. Sometimes just letting them talk things out with you, will lead to them to discovering the solution they were looking for. 2. Set expectations and goals at the start When listening to your mentee in your first meeting about the potential relationship, it’s important to establish the parameters of what that relationship will be: What can you give them? What do they need or expect from you? Once the terms are agreed upon, you may want to set specific goals you’ll be working on together so that there’s a defined plan of action, timeline and result you can both expect. 3. Be honest This is important when it comes to offering them constructive criticism or tough love, but more importantly, you need to be honTop Agent Magazine

4. Get them to think, don’t make decisions for them Sometimes being a mentor is being a bit like a psychologist. By asking certain ques-

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tions you can lead your mentee to their own conclusions about their business dilemmas and strategies to reach their goals. Being a mentor is all about guidance. Build confidence by drawing out the best in your mentee rather than just presenting them with solutions. 5. Look at the situation objectively One of the key strengths you offer your mentee is a complete emotional detachment to their business. You have no sentimental attachment to doing things a certain way or working with an incompetent vendor because you ‘go way back’. Your only motive is what’s best for your mentee and their business. Although emotions cans still get in the way sometimes, having a detached perspective on hand to guide you is invaluable. 6. Don’t just offer constructive criticism, be supportive Yes, being a mentor is sometimes advising your mentee that he’s doing something ineffectively, but your main purpose is to alway approach everything like cheerleader. You need to let them know that through it 16

all, you are a reliable support to them and have a complete belief in their abilities. Make sure to always praise their accomplishments. Remember: your job as a mentor is more about guidance than constant feedback. Your goal is to help someone become the best they can be, not someone who just does everything the way you do it. You’re helping them build confidence in their own intuition, which will hopefully lead to a lifetime of success, and one day, they too might be a valuable resource to another mentee down the road.

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Killing Clients with Kindness and Value By Walter Sanford

Sometimes, we need to “kill” our clients with kindness and offer value. I know it goes against everything in our nature to turn the other cheek when they are being mean. Recently, a coaching client had some challenges with a particular client, and I’m sure you have also worked with the kind of client who discourages you so much that you just want to hit the delete button! How about offering a response that increases your fame and makes the client always wonder what they may be missing? They might not list with you, but they will never forget you. Included in the balance of this article are the email from the client, the request for help from my coaching client, and then my suggested response. Email from the Potential Client: Sorry, I have been really busy. Let me tell you where I’m at with everything. You may or may not be interested. I am definitely putting the house on the market. The house has been rented for the last 5 years with the same family. They originally signed a rent to own lease. Three years ago, they decided they didn’t want to buy it. 18

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Anyway, I recently informed them that I’m going to put the house on the market. Now, they are reconsidering buying the house. I don’t think they will buy the house, but I guess you never know. If they do buy the house, it would be for sale by owner. I will not let them drag their feet. We happen to know a lot of REALTORS® in (area). Some are pretty good friends and with that comes opportunities at rates way under the norm. One of them did sell our last house quickly but circumstances have changed. I know you are a very good REALTOR®, because I have heard other REALTORS® talk about you. You may not be interested at this point anymore. If you are still interested, let me know what your best rate is. Let me know if you are okay with the current tenants on a “for sale by owner” agreement, if that happens. I would want a short-term agreement. The current rent is higher than my mortgage payment so I’m okay if they don’t buy and I’m not forced to sell at a low price. However, I want to sell ASAP. I’m wanting to purchase another property so I’m not going to overprice the house and I will negotiate. Email from Coaching Client to Me: Walter, this guy is a college basketball coach. I want to help him, but I need to have a chance to run a successful business, too! How do I answer this? Email from Me to Coaching Client (to share with potential client): Thank you so much for the nice words. It is very exciting to hear that our hard work is creating some buzz. I think we can accommodate you and exceed your expectations: Top Agent Magazine

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1. We believe that we exceed client expectations more often than most agents, because we spend the time to understand what the client needs. Then we develop a customized program to meet and exceed that goal. We would love to help you in accomplishing your real estate needs. 2. We would be happy to exclude the current residents from the listing agreement for 30 days. This would help in motivating the current residents to buy in that they can see the price discounted by the commission, if they commit to buy within the 30 day period. We would like to offer you our closing service that handles everything for a flat fee of $4,000. This handles the contract phase, aligning the team of affiliates, and the closing. This, of course, is at your option. 3..Our commissions are normal for our market, but we save you money over any commission discounter. Our specialty is increasing your net proceeds. We do this by bringing you more buyers with more effective marketing, better negotiating, better systems for handling inspections, better pre-approval tools for your buyer, better contracts, and less post-seller litigation from better contracts. Commission discounts usually cost you money because of the agent’s lack of emphasis on your net proceeds check. It is like a basketball player who is playing with no heart, only for the scholarship. 4. Our rate is retail 6%. This may eliminate us, but that would be a shortsided conclusion. Here are 5 of the ways we can beat any commission discount: A. We beat the average List to sell ratio in (area) by a larger margin than any discount. B. We beat the days on market, which affects your carrying costs and lost opportunity costs on your equity. C. We have a low litigation rate as compared to national standards. D. We can market your home a little over retail due to our marketing. 20

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D. We urge a pre-inspection plan to get rid of the little and big problems before a buyer is involved and wants everything built new. 5. Our agreements are 6 months, but that is not what sells properties. Marketing and price sell property. If we are wrong about those two items, we will adjust every week based upon showings and consultations with you. 6. I would also like to advise you on a misconception. Rental costs average about 35% of market rent in our area. Add in lost opportunity costs on your equity that is not doing anything at this point. I can show you how your current position is losing you money every month. I think our next step is a presentation of the tools we bring to achieve your goals. Listing with friends is loyal, but is it the best business decision? Do they have the tools and will you hold their feet to the fire when the results are not what you need? (Client’s name), you know the difference superstars make on a team. Let’s go for the win. It’s not so much whether my coaching client obtained the listing, but he needed to stand up for a profitable, long term business. Never sell yourself short to get business. You will never be happy. In these situations, I cannot guarantee an outcome, but I can guarantee the client will never forget you. You are planting seeds of discontentment with the small amount of money saved in a commission compared to not achieving their goal. Whether he/she admits it or not, he/she will have respect for you. Do more lead generation so you won’t have to work so hard on leads like these. Copyright©, 2015 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

Walter Sanford has been designing and implementing real estate systems for 30 years. One of the most successful REALTORS® and now wealthy from his systems, Sanford teaches his systems and strategies through his products, seminars, and personal coaching producing the best results in the industry. Do what works, do what is proven. Hire Walter Sanford. Call our office at 800.792.5837, email walter@waltersanford.com, or chat with us online at www.waltersanford.com. Top Agent Magazine

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A Step-by-Step Guide to

Converting Internet Leads to Real Life Sales In the era of apps, instantaneous social platforms, and text messaging, it’s little surprise that the modern homebuyer begins his or her search for real estate representation online. Even if you’ve got a top-notch website or an influential social media presence, how do you connect with web surfers who have yet to commit to the services you offer? Take a look below to learn a few key techniques to bridge the gap between digital interest and real-world sales. 22

RESPONSIVENESS IS KEY Like it or not, our digital culture relishes immediacy and instant gratification. With that in mind, be sure to stay on top of online interest forms, e-mails, or newsletter signups. Don’t let an online lead go to waste by taking too long to engage and follow-up. Things move fast, and it’s easy for potential clientele to forget which websites they’ve visited. Even if your lead isn’t ready to commit then and there, you demonstrate your

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Mastering the fundamentals of digital communication is the first step to converting digital interest into concrete business. accessibility and attentiveness by following up swiftly—a characteristic anyone would seek in an agent or lender.

ENGAGE WITH OPEN-ENDED CONVERSATION When online back-and-forth goes stale, communication drops off quickly. If you’re following up via e-mail, social media, or text, be sure to keep topics focused squarely on the potential client. Ask open-ended questions to give your lead the opportunity to loosen up and engage on a personal level. There’s no better way to cement a digital lead than to take a pointed interest in the specifics of their situation. Doing so transforms the impersonal invisibility of the internet into a true connection.

GIVE ADDED VALUE Plenty of businesses send impersonal, automated messages in response to an online inquiry, but establishing a true connection may mean providing your lead with something of value. Perhaps you’re forwarding a property for sale that fits the interests of your lead, or a relevant article, or maybe you take the time to send a personal message—demonstrable value and a personal touch separate your follow-up response from spam. Other ideas to consider when Top Agent Magazine

adding value to your follow-up technique: incorporate area promotions and access to local events, make a date for coffee, or offer a brief consultation free of charge to make the first move.

DON’T STOP MAKING CONTACT If you don’t connect with your internet lead right off the bat—don’t be discouraged. It often takes multiple tries before a follow-up interaction sticks. Folks are busy and frequently flooded with e-mail blasts and junk mail. A lead may not engage without a little prodding that shows you’re committed to their business. Remember: it’s the squeaky wheel that gets the grease. Digital leads don’t have to be difficult to capture. The internet plays a powerful role in funneling modern clientele your way, but in order to take full advantage of the web’s reach, you’ll need to tailor your follow-up technique. Mastering the fundamentals of digital communication is the first step to converting digital interest into concrete business. Keep these tips top-of-mind as you build your online presence and mine the vast world wide web for an endless wealth of clientele. Earning a command of digital lead conversion is the surest way to bolster your business in the ever-evolving digital era.

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