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NEW MEXICO EDITION

IS FINDING A NICHE MARKET Right for You?

Are You a VALUE–ADDED AGENT?

I'LL TAKE 2 POUNDS OF CONFIDENCE and 3 Pounds of Self-Esteem

CONNECT BEYOND REAL ESTATE to Attract Future Clients

COVER STORY

LAURA JUAREZ DAVIS


NEW MEXICO EDITION

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LAURA JUAREZ DAVIS

CONTENTS 4) ARE YOU A VALUE– ADDED AGENT? 14) CONNECT BEYOND REAL ESTATE TO ATTRACT FUTURE CLIENTS

18) I'LL TAKE 2 POUNDS OF CONFIDENCE AND 3 POUNDS OF SELF-ESTEEM 22) IS FINDING A NICHE MARKET RIGHT FOR YOU?

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Are You a Value-Added Agent?

I’ll bet if I asked ten real estate agents, all ten would answer ‘yes’ to that question. Yet, when I ask agents how they are value-added, they say things like: • I communicate regularly with my clients. • I have a written listing presentation. • I am honest. • I am trustworthy. Are these ‘value-added’ attributes? Or, does the client expect these attributes and services? 4

Are these exceptional services or average services? I’m writing this article at the beginning of a New Year. It’s a perfect time to re-assess your professionalism and master being that ‘value-added’ agent.

Client Expectations are Higher than Ever Unfortunately, too many real estate agents assume they are ‘value-added’ because they are providing the services they want to provide— Top Agent Magazine


the services they think the client values. However, there’s a real client out there, and the client has different expectations. How do I know that? Because so few agents regularly survey their clients. In fact, when I’m speaking to an audience, I survey them, and find that less than 25 percent gather after-sale surveys! So, the majority of agents don’t know if the services they are providing are average or exceptional.

Why Bother Being Exceptional? • Because you want to set yourself apart. • You want to create client loyalty. • You want to create at least 50 percent of your business from client referrals (the latest National Association of Realtors survey Profile of Members found that the average Realtor got only 18 percent of their business from referrals. That’s a hard and expensive way to run a real estate business! • Because you want to run a more pleasant, profitable business.

Four Actions Value-Added Agents Take How can you identify value-added agents? By their actions. Here are four actions I believe show agents that are above just ‘average’. The principle here is:

Watch the actions, not the words. If I were a manager, or a seller or a buyer, and I wanted to find a value-added agent, here’s what I would look for: Top Agent Magazine

1. Has a database and populates it This agent is committed long-term to his clients and to his business. He uses a contact management program (CRM) to manage ‘leads’, so none are lost — and clients do not feel neglected. After all, it takes much longer today to convert a ‘lead’ to a sale than it used to take. Actively using and maintaining a CRM means the agent is committed to forming long-term professional relationships over time. Other demonstrable actions concerning the agent’s CRM are: • Has a rapid-response method to deal with Internet inquiries and other inquiries via email. (The average client expects a response within eight hours—but a recent survey showed the average agent responded in 50 hours!). • Has a method to follow up on all leads until they ‘buy or die’. As a client, that means I won’t get lost. As a seller, it means my agent will follow up with all leads and give it 100 percent to sell my home. 2. Invests in the technology and follow-up pros have This agent makes every decision based on their vision of their career at least three to five years in the future. For example, instead of selling someone a house anywhere just to get a sale, my value-added agent sells only in an area they define as their ‘target area’. That way, they’ll get known, and can build on their reputation. The value-added agent has the ‘guts’ to turn down business! Because they care more about the well-being of the client than getting one grimy commission check, they learn to 5


‘tell the truth attractively’, and work harder to retain the client than to make one commission.

Adding those Client Benefits to your Dialogue

3. Works for referrals, not just sales I said the agent learns to ‘tell the truth attractively’, even if the buyer or seller may not want to hear it. For example, if it’s in the best interests of the seller to list their home at a lower price, the value-added agent has the strategies and the statistics to prove that the seller won’t be well served by pricing higher.

Of course, it’s not enough to actually take these actions. You need to explain to the client why these actions are in their best interests, and how you stand apart from most agents by employing them. Why? Because your client won’t know you run your business so professionally. And, the client probably doesn’t know most agents don’t run their businesses this way!

And, this value-added agent has the intestinal fortitude to walk away if they know the home will not sell at the client’s desired price (but doesn’t have to too many times because they create a stellar reputation amongst their clientele).

TIP: Always show your clients, don’t just tell them. You do have a Professional Portfolio and evidence on your website, don’t you?

4. Keeps the buyers and sellers’ best interests in mind Our value-added agent makes every decision to grow trust, not just to make a fast buck. For example, the agent sits down with a prospective couple and finds out they can’t purchase right away and creates a plan with them to save for their down payment. Then, the agent keeps in touch over a period of months, offering helpful information and market updates.

Put Yourself to the Test

How many of these actions P. S. Managers and team leaders—two tips do you exhibit? What do you want to work on to become a true 1. Call each of your agents’‘value-added’ phone mails. What’s the impre agent? Are they professional? Do they state the company n TIP: represent your culture and image? Managers, give your agents a 2. Create a quick class in phone messaging using the ‘test’ on these four points. In other words, this agent practices seller or buyHow many pass? this blog. er agency representation, not ‘agent agency’!

Copyright ©, 2016 Carla Cros

Carla Cross,CRB, CRB, MA, is theoffounder andSeminars, president Carla Cross & Carla Cross, MA, President Carla Cross Inc.,ofand Carla real management and sales. Herspecializing internationally s Crossestate Coaching, is an international speaker in realbest-selling estate management and Running business planning for all professionals. agents, Up and in 30 Days, is real nowestate going into its 5thHer edition sevenexperience internationallyas published books, including Up and Running in 30 Days , vast a top-selling agent and award-winning manage and 20 agent and management programs have helped thousands of real sales podium, blending her musical background with her proven estate professionals to the greater productivity and teaches profitability.someone Reach Carla strategies (she uses piano AND even to at play—f 425-392-6914 or www.carlacross.com. and practical). Find out more at www.carlacross.com. 6

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LAURA JUAREZ DAVIS

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In late 2015, Laura Davis took the leap and opened her independent brokerage, United Realty, LLC, in Hobbs (Southeast New Mexico) at the age of 29.

LAURA DAVIS Laura Juarez Davis encourages people to work hard, follow their dreams, and push through to success. She is a perfect example. Laura’s real estate roots run deep. Her mother was a real estate agent, and Laura worked for her as an assistant, sparking her interest in a real estate career. She received an opportunity with a local bank as a mortgage loan processor, where she learned the lending side of real estate for almost four years. Laura received her real estate license in 2010 and made a career move to full-time real estate agent in 2011. The down market conditions were not ideal, and many questioned her move, but Laura was ready to follow her dreams. Shortly after going full time in real estate, and despite being one of the youngest agents in the area, 8 Copyright Top Agent Magazine

the move proved to be the right one. Laura quickly began closing deals, and in her first year was honored with the Rookie of the Year Award from her local Board of Realtors. This was only the beginning. From 2012–15, Laura’s production continued to climb and her customer base increased quickly. Her knack for winning her client’s trust was undeniable, and her passion for her work began to draw one client after another. Being fluent in both English and Spanish also helped grow her client base. By the end of 2013, she won Salesperson of the Year and began to be recognized as a top broker in her area, finishing in the Top 5 year after year. As the next two years progressed, Laura knew her dream of owning her own brokerage was within reach, but the timing again was not ideal. There comes a time when you must make a jump if you ever want to accomplish Top Agent Magazine


your dreams. This would be the biggest leap of faith in Laura’s career. In late 2015, the Southeast New Mexico market was harshly affected by the oil bust, but Laura continued to close deal after deal. In December she took the leap and opened her independent brokerage, United Realty, LLC, in Hobbs (Southeast New Mexico) at the age of 29, and the rest, as they say, is history. Laura started her brokerage with eight brokers, three of whom were brand new real estate agents. Soon her leap of faith would give her wings to fly. Her small team had great success in resale Top Agent Magazine

and new construction, quickly becoming the leaders in real estate in Lea County. It was easy to see that United was doing things differently. They dominated social media advertising with cutting-edge 3D virtual tours and professional photography, and used Facebook to grow leads with every listing. Nobody else was doing this. Laura knew for her business to grow faster than others, she had to do things differently than the others. Today, United Realty’s Facebook page has more than 14,000 likes and is growing every day. Social media were the launchpad for her brokerage, and she has mastered social media marketing techniques. Laura plans to Copyright Top Agent Magazine9


launch her own United Realty Real Estate Listing Magazine in January 2018 to focus on her team’s listings and to better advertise her company and team. United is also wrapping up its first commercial, which will be on social media in January 2018. Copyright Top Agent Magazine 10

The number of agents working with Laura has multiplied as well. As of December 2017, more than 20 agents hang their license under her, along with an executive assistant, two transaction coordinators and a client coordinator. Laura believes that mentoring and training Top Agent Magazine


agents is a must and spends lots of time with each agent as they are hired. “There is nothing like investing your knowledge in other people,” she says. “There is nothing more rewarding than seeing others succeed because you helped them.” Laura’s reputation in Hobbs and the success of the brokerage are attractive to prospective agents. Laura is constantly being asked about the profession and interviewing people interested in a career in real estate and possibly working with her and her team. With all the success and training of new agents, Laura Top Agent Magazine

still manages to be a Top 5 Producer year after year. Reaching out to current and past clients and the community of Hobbs is another passion for Laura. Her brokerage hosts events to connect with past clients and mails Christmas Cards every year. She also helps make her buyers’ and sellers’ moves easier by offering free use of the company moving truck. She is also involved in supporting charitable organizations, such as Habitat for Humanity, Homes for Heroes (to which she donates Copyright Top Agent Magazine 11


30 percent of her commission) and Expecting Hearts Inc., focusing on PPCM, a heart condition that affects pregnant women. Laura has also served as a director on the Hobbs Board of Realtors since she began her real estate career in 2011 and now serves on various committees. Her brokerage is also a member of the Hobbs Chamber of Commerce and Hobbs Hispano Chamber of Commerce, which awarded her the Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2016.

In addition to all that Laura is doing in her career, she is also a new mom. She and her husband, Rodney, who is also a real estate agent, are having so much fun with their daughter. When there is time, Laura loves to travel with her family and do canvas painting. Looking forward, Laura intends to stay on the cutting edge of real estate and marketing techniques and grow her successful business into a long-standing company.

You can reach Laura Juarez Davis by phone at 575-631-9443, by email at laura@unitedrealtynm.com or visit her brokerage website at unitedrealtynm.com. http://

Her social media address is @unitedrealtynm on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Copyright Top Agent Magazine 12

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Jack L. Skiles would like to congratulate

Laura Davis

on being featured for the state of New Mexico in Top Agent Magazine! Jack L. Skiles Home and Commercial Inspection Service, LLC 5114 West Big Red Road, Hobbs, NM 88240 402-990-3387 | jlskiles1@Hotmail.com

www.

AICA Certified Reliable, Respectful, Integrity, Trustworthy Top Agent Magazine

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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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I’ll Take 2 Pounds of Confidence and 3 Pounds of Self-Esteem! By Barry Eisen

At least a few times per month I get emails and/or calls asking me to help develop confidence and a positive self-esteem. When you’re hot you’re hot and when you’re not, you’re not. Life has its ups and downs and occasionally everyone feels like they’ve run out of gas and nothing they seem to do works. When you’re in a slump the world can look overwhelming and against you. The more you think about you’re victimhood, the more out of control you feel.What you focus upon becomes larger. Confidence, positive self-esteem...these are just words and something experienced many moons ago. Talk it out with your spouse? Sure. See a therapist? Maybe. Get a coach? Good idea. Call a hypnotist...that’s where I come in, but maybe not in an obvious way. 18

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Hypnosis can be of help in so many areas such as controlling weight, memory improvement, reading faster, stopping smoking, becoming a great public speaker, prospecting and growing a business, eliminating fears, becoming a better golfer/tennis player/baseball player etc., sleeping and energy, controlling pain control in dentistry and child birthing, improving wellness, passing tests and so much more. This is not an over statement. Hypnosis is a performance enhancer because it taps into the best parts of who we are to make the changes necessary to make the changes to evolve ourselves. But “programming” ones mind for confidence and positive self-esteem is not something I’ve seen done effectively. The subconscious says, “What does that mean?” “Give me a picture, what do you want?” Read any neuroscience to know (or simply use common sense) that the subconscious needs specific direction (words, pictures and supportive feelings) for these clear messages to be acted upon. A general business plan is usually a recipe for disaster. A poor teaching plan will confuse students. Mixed general messages given to a 3 year old will produce erratic behavior. A loose navigation plan will have ships traveling in circles. Just like many people. Instead of working on confidence and positive self-esteem, does it make sense to instead, work on a solid business target of success and develop a business plan that will get you there? If you’re planning for the future, is it not a better idea to set an end result and develop strategies that will make it happen? If you’re looking for better health, doesn’t it make sense to set a target for excellence and back it up with a realistic exercise and eating approach that will insure success? The confidence and self-esteem will come along automatically. Create the goal, take action, do the work, be consistent. Your business will never grow more than you do. Your health will never get better without you stretching out beyond who you now are. Your relationships will never be more secure and supportive than you are of yourself. Your confidence and self-esteem will never grow without a reason. Top Agent Magazine

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Before you therapy or drug yourself into confidence and self-esteem, at least try (Oh! I hate that word) the 10 organic following ideas for 2-3 weeks.

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Set goals that stretch you out and force you to grow. You can’t be depressed when you’re learning something. Learning takes you out of your egocentric predicament.

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Create timelines/target dates for goal accomplishments. This establishes a sense of urgency. It puts a little “gitty up” in your step and mind.

List your actions of the day on your To-Do list and prioritize all items. Doing the A’s and crossing each off as done, will put a smile on your face and a jolt of small energy in your life. (Accomplishment feels good. Could you use some “feel good”/self-esteem?) You’ll start looking forward 20

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to these little positive jolts and do what is necessary to have them. If I was talking cocaine...that would be a bad thing, but since I’m talking non drug human motivation...that would be a good thing.

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If you’re just feeling flat for no obvious reason, take on an interest/ hobby/project that’s been on your mind in the past. Learning stimulates blood flow to different parts of the brain and increases endorphin flow. (E.g. Calligraphy, sailing, martial arts, reading sci-fi, etc.)

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Follow through like your hair’s on fire. Show yourself what you CAN DO! Create some appropriate reward for the accomplishment. Balance your life with goals in physical, financial, emotional, educational, family, social and spiritual areas. Sometimes more is better. Purposely smile more, laugh easier, hold eye contact a little more (obviously, not in a creepy way) and present a stronger posture.

Learn to relax to slow down, put things in perspective, ask yourself how you feel and how you’re doing 2 or 3 times during your day. Don’t let the day rule you. Be present. Pay attention.

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Act “AS IF” you were already doing things with confidence, making decisions with authority and living the life you want to live. You become what you think about. Barry Eisen teaches personal development seminars and coaches Southern California top producing REALTORS®. “Your business will never grow more than you do” is the theme; self hypnosis and behavior modification are the tools for playing a bigger game. barryeisen.com, barryeisen@LA.twcbc.com 818-769-4300

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Is Finding A Niche Market Right for You?

A lot of Realtors® take the ‘jack of all trades’ approach to their businesses, and some are extremely successful with doing it all and doing it well. But taking that approach can also make it hard to stand out if there are a lot of agents in your area taking the same approach. If you’re looking for a way to stand out from the rest, finding a niche market might be the way to go. Although it might sound limiting at first, with the right branding and marketing, your specialty and expertise may help you lock up a market after you become well known for being the ‘go to’ Realtor® in a certain demographic. Having a niche helps you target your marketing, making it more effective, until eventually people are seeking you out as you build your reputation as the foremost expert in your particular niche. 22

Despite the benefits of taking on a specialty, it’s still something that only a small percentage of Realtors® do, which means you have a great opportunity to get in on the ground floor in your area by being ahead of what is sure to be a looming real estate trend. You want to claim your stake on the niche that best fits not only your passions, but something that fills a void in your market. If this all sounds good to you, the next step is finding your niche! Here are a few things you need to consider:

There are two approaches to having a specialty, one that is truly your all-consuming passion or a sort of revolving niche, one that changes with the market Top Agent Magazine


In addition to creating a thriving business, finding a niche may even unlock a hidden passion. Does your area have a large historic home inventory? Are you passionate about helping first time home buyers realize their dreams? Having a personal connection to what you specialize in is always a great way to start out. If you’re passionate about something, you’re almost guaranteed to have the work ethic it takes to have success in a niche market. Once you hone in on a niche, make sure the market data backs up your focus. Another approach is changing with the market. If you’re truly an expert in a few areas of the business, it might be good to have sort of a revolving niche. In a down market you might specialize in short sales and foreclosures. When things pick up, you may take your innovative approaches and start applying them to luxury homes. Whether you take the consistent niche approach or the flexible one, it’s really all about figuring out what best suits you and your market.

Fill a void in your market Maybe you don’t have an instant passion for one particular niche. In that case, there are several areas you can consider. A lot of it will start with really researching and analyzing your market and having a good eye for what future trends will be. Is there a certain demographic that is surging in your area? Cater your business to serve them. Maybe you are fluent in Spanish and your area is seeing a rise in a Latino population, who are emigrating from other countries. Or perhaps, you live in an area that has a larger retirement population. There Top Agent Magazine

are numerous demographics that truly need expert real estate advice. Be the one to fill it. You can also focus on a particular neighborhood or gated community. Helping people navigate the ins and outs of a particular HOA can be a lifesaver.

Are you already serving a niche? Of course, sometimes you may already have a niche and are unaware of it. Maybe you are already dealing with a lot of first-time homebuyers. Look over your sales records and see what might already be there, then make it official. Figure out why you’re drawn to that area and then nail down the reasons you’ve excelled with that niche and use it to create a marketing plan and branding.

Find ways to really sell your expertise Once you figure out your niche, get the training, designations, and certifications that will enhance your expertise. Another way to let it be known that you are the ‘go to’ Realtor® in your particular niche is to become a resource online. Create a website with informative blogs and marketing information. Make a mark on social media where you can link back to your site, so potential clients can actually interact with you. There is a lot to consider when you’re thinking of going the niche market way with your business, but if you consider everything carefully and focus in on something you can be passionate about, the rewards could be a major win for you and for your clients. 23


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