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OHIO EDITION

Are You Doing Business As You on Facebook?

CONNECT BEYOND REAL ESTATE

to Attract Future Clients

COVER STORY

FEATURED AGENTS

KATY DIX BRAHLER CARLY THOMPSON NOAH ZIPKO

Samantha Kimes & Ashlie Day


OHIO EDITION

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21 CARLY THOMPSON 23 NOA KATY DIX BRAHLER

The lush, 564-square-mile Coshocton Successful real estate professionals she is during the proces How did County in East Central Ohio is athe place find their paths in various ways, but I was in Cleveland Ma of m of history, and ‘House innovation for some, like Katy Dix Brahler, real beauty on HGTV’s Hun in the Ci 22 longstanding rural townships and estate finds them. While a encompassing student at her dedica a Divisio villages where more than 36,000 people Ohio’s Kent State University in the named Womanofofwhat the Y c live, work play. In countymore seat 1980s, and working in furniture sales andsociety foritsraising after col the city of Coshocton, sits aalso rebuilt at the Wicker Company in Stow, Ohio, her husband servelog o suggested cabin fondly referred to as “the log Katy met John Simon. “I sold some land Clinic andgood Kent Sta ma cabinof on corner” and owned by him and at the end the the SAMANTHA KIMES KATY DIX BRAHLER furniture CARLYtoTHOMPSON NOAH ZIPKO interest w ® , Carly Thompson. Out of REALTOR process he told me I should be selling Because both of the cou setting hi & ASHLIE DAY that cabin, into which Carly and her husband relocated their busireal estate,” explains Katy. “John was an exceptional broker at so herafter husband miss them own boss graduation he ness, Grason Properties, LLC. & Construction, in 2016, Carly andm Karam and Simon Real Estate, and pivotal to my career.” Katy to do her things anfavorite agent.clients He so five agents with HER Realtorsbecame supportlicensed not onlyasreal estate ultimately earned her degree in real estate and financefor before the real estate bubble b in 2017County he w but also fellow local businessesthe thatindustry enable and Coshocton joining John’s brokerage in Akron; the rest is history! er’s 30 Under she30says. “Now, three awardCarly’s winners, sem to thrive. Upon completion of the cabin’s rebuild, office work out and coffe He was alsohave Realtor received the 2017 Coshocton worldwide! Community Improvement Award. As an independent agent, Katy offers close, personal Banker serviceCollege I callReal my Estate. ‘jazz friends.’ Now fi to every buyer or seller. She and her husband live in the West of early morning walks serves the Greater Cincinnati area. “The community here was driven by industry in years past and Suburbs of Cleveland and now for many years she has focused on estate scene. has flourished with small, independent businesses,” says 4) ARE YOU A the Kent/Akron area along18) CONNECT BEYOND with East West Cleveland. “Both renterspercent Seventy-five of his owners busine Carly, whoand represents buyers, sellers, and property my husband and I are also“That’s heavilywhy affiliated with Kent State Meanwhile, Katyhis plans our business works; it’s repeat clients, renters, propreferral clients. What keeps clie VALUE-ADDED University,” AGENT? REAL ESTATE TO ATTRACT she explains. Through that relationship, she has the real estate for quite a erty owners, Grason clientele, positive word-of-mouth,” she to and spread the word about Noah wh to FUTURE CLIENTS pleasure of serving as a local real estate expert for many people hope that hera daughter co says. “We work closely with our customers clients throughou “Anyone can and develop relationshi she makes her way thro 13) FIVE WAYS relocating TO to work at Kent State. the community. We take special pride working withhe oursays. tenants those relationships,” Noato after graduation. “It’s tim encourage them to build up their credit and financial portfolio so and cards to past clients for birthda INCREASE YOUR 22) AREright YOU DOING “I am focused on finding thethey, absolute home for my clients, business doubles and I’m too, can become homeowners.” anniversaries and holidays. E COMMISSION not just finding them a home,” BUSINESS AS YOUhome ON says Katy, who is forthright in the to handle al Facebook Live video everything explaining w warmest way possible. “If someone falls ininvestment love with aproperties house, I before exceed the needs of her Having owned earning her license real estate market during the previo FACEBOOK? step in with a critical, unemotional to suggest pros cons. must be doing somethin in 2014,eye Carly combines herand knowledge of Coshocton with attennation of old-fashioned methods a If I feel it’s not the right home; let them know.” In fact, Katy’s meetofsoeach many people, w tive,I personable service. Her key goal, that of the to and Noah’s success. agent “I believe daughter, who is in collegebrokerage, and has helped Katy with her efficient busi- or millionwith property! is to be personable, anda $2 effective every with the new school,” he explains. client. “Long longtime before developing these businesses, I completed ness, recently spoke with one of Katy’s clients. “He multiple years of formal higher education to understand business told my daughter that I have talked him out of numerous homes! When it comes to marketing, No and Business and human relations As much as I want to sell a technology, home, I stand outpersonal becauserelations. I’m detertailored approach. Before a prope Phone 888-461-3930 | Fax 310-751-7068 complete presence each interaction in order to know mined to find them the rightrequires home. Some homes on theinsurface aour Facebook Live video which he their unique goals; we make goals may look perfect; but underneath, they’re not what my client is and passions the same as mag@topagentmagazine.com | www.topagentmagazine.com Instagram. This quick preview of t our clients’.” looking for.”

Samantha Kimes & Ashlie Day

CONTENTS

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 Although working as independent producers, Carly and her agents When working with for sellers, Katy provides premier service. materials, Top Agent Magazine cannot be held responsible opinions expressed or facts supplied by its “I authors. support one another even better than some teams might. One of hireinquiry a professional stager who I send through the house if it needs To subscribe or change address, send to mag@topagentmagazine.com. greatest in real is working with her co-gents. “I some extra staging; I pay forCarly’s that,” she says.joys “I also hire estate a profesPublished in the U.S.

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teach them being personable really sional photographer; the pictures and that video absolutely have to works. By instilling in them the importance of respecting client’s be professional.” Katy then lists on the MLS, advertises on thefeelings and needs, while also having business skills, major search engines and real estatestrong portals (including hereveryone state- can succeed,” says Carly Success within her is never anTop “I”Agent situation, but a “we” situMagazine of-the-art website, www.katybrahler.com) andoffice conducts social ation between the agents. “We’re always supporting each other and media marketing on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and more. sharing skills so that each person’s success is everybody’s To learnsuccess.” more


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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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Samantha Kimes & Ashlie Day Top Agent Magazine

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SAMANTHA KIMES & ASHLIE DAY How did Samantha Kimes and Ashlie Day become one of the most trusted real estate teams in the Columbus area? The two met when they were in a real estate class together and immediately clicked. They’ve been partners since the day they finished their real estate class! They now run a thriving team of four with eXp Realty. “We’ve at least doubled our sales almost every year,” Samantha says with her characteristic smile. Samantha and Ashlie serve all of Columbus and the surrounding area with a strong focus in Hilliard, Westerville, and Marysville. “We’ll go anywhere we feel we can truly service that client” Samantha says. Clients always come first for this team! The majority of their business comes from repeat and referral customers. What keeps their clients coming back and eager to refer Samantha and Ashlie to their friends and family? “We make sure a member of our team is available at all times to answer questions and to be there every second of 8Copyright Top Agent Magazine

every day,” Ashlie says. “We take really good care of our clients and as a result, most of our business is referral based—that means everything to us!” Samantha and Ashlie are partnered with excellent lenders and title companies that help them ensure their clients are well taken care of throughout the process. They also have one of the top marketing programs for sellers! “We make sure our people are 100% trained and ready to go before sending them on the field,” Samantha says. She and Ashlie work directly with sellers, referring most buyers to their expert team members. “Our main focus is helping sellers get the best possible financial return,” Samantha says. This dream team makes it easy for sellers to sell quickly and at the highest price possible. Internet marketing and a strong social media presence on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are what the team focuses on! Along with Samantha and Ashlie, there are two other important people who help make this team what it is! Top Agent Magazine


Angela Ciriaco got into real estate after 16 years of staying home and raising her four children, Sophia, Zachary, Mara and Anthony. “I had no idea how rewarding it would be! I feel honored every time someone trusts me to help buy or sell a home. The most exciting part is sitting at the closing table with first time homebuyers!� Angela says. Getting a seller top dollar for their home brings her a Top Agent Magazine

true feeling of accomplishment as well. It doesn’t take long to see that Angela thrives on helping those around her! She has laughed with her clients, cried with her clients, fought for their best interests and always puts them first! The other trusted member of the team is Hayes Garner. Hayes is a licensed agent who stands as the backbone of this team. Not only does Hayes field all the leads, he Copyright Top Agent Magazine9


also sets appointments, communicates with clients and offers the team full support. Hayes has a beautiful family consisting of his wife, Lori, daughter Alli and son Jake. “My favorite part of the job is connecting with people and hearing each of their individual, unique stories!” Hayes says. The Day & Kimes Group has a knack for staying in touch with past clients. Every year they host a fun client appreciation party, which allows them to create a strong sense of community and catch up with any clients they haven’t seen face-to-face. They send personalized cards for special occasions and a welcome present when clients move into a new home. They also reach out to past clients on a yearly Copyright Top Agent Magazine Copyright 10

basis to see how things are going in their new home and if they need referrals to any trusted vendors for home maintenance, repair or renovation. Samantha and Ashlie’s favorite part of the job is being around excited homebuyers. “We take a lot of pride in working with first time homebuyers. We work with a lot of low down payment programs that can help first time buyers. We can get a lot of people approved who think they might not even qualify. Those are the people who appreciate it the most!” Samantha says. To stay involved with the community, Samantha and Ashlie host events in Hilliard and Plain City, and participate in local parades and other festivals. They always participate Top Agent Magazine


in Toys for Tots each year, with the support of their clients. When she’s not working, Samantha enjoys spending time with her husband and six-year old daughter. “We just moved to Plain City, so we’ve been getting to know the community. I spend as much time as possible with my family when I am not at work,” she says. As far as personal hobbies go, Samantha and Ashlie both have a love for working out and trying new things! Ashlie loves Top Agent Magazine

to spend her free time shopping, going to Buckeyes games, planning social events and helping the community. For the future, Samantha and Ashlie plan to grow one of the top teams in Columbus. To that end, they are currently recruiting new team members. “We just want to make our name as big as possible in the area, and just help as many people as we can!” Ashlie says. Now those are worthy goals sure to benefit their clients and community! Copyright Top Agent Magazine 11


For more about Samantha Kimes and Ashlie Day, contact them at: Samanthakimes7@gmail.com or (614) 813 - 0605 and ashlieday@gmail.com or (614) 400 - 1777. You can also check them out online on Instagram @daykimesgroup, @samkimes_realtor and @angelaciriacorealestate, on Facebook as Day & Kimes Group or search for properties and request a free home value at samkimes.cbr.exprealty.com www.

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Five Ways To Increase Your Commission By Walter Sanford

Sanford Systems has the best systems for making money in real estate. Sometimes, our clients forget how to stop discounting and to instead raise their “fee.” This month, we’ll cover five ideas. Here we go:

1

Raise it. Before the listing appointment, fill out all paperwork with the new rate and make it business as usual. Scared? Well, make a great listing presentation. Don’t leave until you get the objection. Learn how to overcome the objection. If you have to, drop it back down to your old retail rate but only after much hesitation.

2

Email new listings. Send new listings to your database immediately, hours before it hits the MLS. This is a two-fer: #1 - Keep your database informed with secret, prelisting information that they are reluctant to spam and in the email tell them to forward this hot info to their sphere. #2 - You make more double ends with new people.

3

Institute a cancellation fee. Many agents allow sellers to cancel listings with a guarantee stating

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they can cancel if they are not happy with the process. If you offer this guarantee, you will always be worried about offending sellers who are serial cement heads with a bent toward overpricing. You won’t try hard enough to get the price reduction, thinking they are going to cancel the listing. On the other hand, sometimes sellers have a legitimate reason for needing to cancel, and, as upsetting as that is, you can’t sell a property that the seller does not want sold. Offer them an out and you get paid for your time, while working with a chance to get the listing back. “I offer an ‘any reason to cancel’ clause. It is $1000 in the first month and goes up an additional $500 a month after that. (Adjust for your price range.) It is fully refundable should you ever re-list the property with me and I am successful in contributing to its close.”

4

Gain limited partnership as commission. I carried many of my commissions due from builders as a limited partnership interest in their next project, rather than giving them discounts.

5

Skip the discounts. Instead of discounts, carry your commission as part of any seller carry back. It is better than taking a beating on the amount. I coach top agents on a limited basis. If you are interested in coaching or a speaking engagement, please call our office at 800.792.5837. Be sure to ask about the half-off sale on our already discounted internet prices for training systems. Don’t re-invent the wheel. Use 30 years of real estate wisdom and experience to your benefit! Copyright©, 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. 14

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KATY DIX BRAHLER Successful real estate professionals find their paths in various ways, but for some, like Katy Dix Brahler, real estate finds them. While a student at Ohio’s Kent State University in the 1980s, and working in furniture sales at the Wicker Company in Stow, Ohio, Katy met John Simon. “I sold some furniture to him and at the end of the process he told me I should be selling real estate,” explains Katy. “John was an exceptional broker at Karam and Simon Real Estate, and pivotal to my career.” Katy ultimately earned her degree in real estate and finance before joining John’s brokerage in Akron; the rest is history! As an independent agent, Katy offers close, personal service to every buyer or seller. She and her husband live in the West Suburbs of Cleveland and for many years she has focused on the Kent/Akron area along with East and West Cleveland. “Both my husband and I are also heavily affiliated with Kent State University,” she explains. Through that relationship, she has the pleasure of serving as a local real estate expert for many people relocating to work at Kent State. “I am focused on finding the absolute right home for my clients, not just finding them a home,” says Katy, who is forthright in the warmest way possible. “If someone falls in love with a house, I step in with a critical, unemotional eye to suggest pros and cons. If I feel it’s not the right home; I let them know.” In fact, Katy’s daughter, who is in college and has helped Katy with her business, recently spoke with one of Katy’s longtime clients. “He told my daughter that I have talked him out of numerous homes! As much as I want to sell a home, I stand out because I’m determined to find them the right home. Some homes on the surface may look perfect; but underneath, they’re not what my client is looking for.”

she is during the process. “I also advertise in the local papers; I was in Cleveland Magazine 2018, Top Agent and I’ve been on HGTV’s ‘House Hunters’ twice.” Even more meaningful is her longstanding dedication to worthy causes. In 2015, she was named Woman of the Year by the Leukemia and Lymphoma society for raising more than $80,000 in 10 weeks’ time. She and her husband also serve on the Capital Campaign for both Cleveland Clinic and Kent State University. Because both of the couple’s children are in college and she and her husband miss them, Katy now more than ever finds time to do her favorite things and recharge from work. “Back when the real estate bubble burst, I became a Jazzercise instructor!” she says. “Now, three mornings a week, I still get together to work out and have coffee with that very close group of friends I call my ‘jazz friends.’” The other days, she makes a priority of early morning walks with her husband before hitting the real estate scene. Meanwhile, Katy plans to build her business. “I expect to be in real estate for quite a while because I love it,” she says. She holds hope that her daughter continues to show interest in real estate as she makes her way through college and that she may join Katy after graduation. “It’s time to start building a team. Every year, business doubles and I’m reaching a point where I won’t be able to handle everything alone.” Her primary goal, after all, is to exceed the needs of her clients. “I keep getting referrals, so I must be doing something right,” she says. “I love that I get to meet so many people, whether they’re buying a $40,000 condo or a $2 million property!”

When working with sellers, Katy provides premier service. “I hire a professional stager who I send through the house if it needs some extra staging; I pay for that,” she says. “I also hire a professional photographer; the pictures and video absolutely have to be professional.” Katy then lists on the MLS, advertises on the major search engines and real estate portals (including her stateof-the-art website, www.katybrahler.com) and conducts social media marketing on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and more. Katy’s high rate of repeat and referral business results from her attentive, client-focused service as well as her visibility. People appreciate how comfortable they feel with her and how caring

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To learn more about Katy Dix Brahler, visit https://www.facebook.com/remaxbeyond2000katybrahler/ katybrahler.com or go to her Facebook page, email katybrahler@yahoo.com or call 440.724.4313 Copyright Top Agent Magazine 15


Laughs!

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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 18

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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n

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 20

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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CARLY THOMPSON The lush, 564-square-mile Coshocton County in East Central Ohio is a place of history, beauty and innovation encompassing 22 rural townships and villages where more than 36,000 people live, work and play. In its county seat, the city of Coshocton, sits a rebuilt log cabin fondly referred to as “the log cabin on the corner” and owned by REALTOR®, Carly Thompson. Out of that cabin, into which Carly and her husband relocated their business, Grason Properties, LLC. & Construction, in 2016, Carly and five agents with HER Realtors support not only real estate clients, but also fellow local businesses that enable Coshocton County to thrive. Upon completion of the cabin’s rebuild, Carly’s office received the 2017 Coshocton Community Improvement Award. “The community here was driven by industry in years past and now has flourished with small, independent businesses,” says Carly, who represents buyers, sellers, renters and property owners. “That’s why our business works; it’s repeat clients, renters, property owners, Grason clientele, and positive word-of-mouth,” she says. “We work closely with our customers and clients throughout the community. We take special pride working with our tenants to encourage them to build up their credit and financial portfolio so they, too, can become homeowners.” Having owned investment properties before earning her license in 2014, Carly combines her knowledge of Coshocton with attentive, personable service. Her goal, and that of each agent of the brokerage, is to be personable, efficient and effective with every client. “Long before developing these businesses, I completed multiple years of formal higher education to understand business, technology, and personal relations. Business and human relations requires complete presence in each interaction in order to know their unique goals; we make our goals and passions the same as our clients’.” Although working as independent producers, Carly and her agents support one another even better than some teams might. One of Carly’s greatest joys in real estate is working with her co-gents. “I teach them that being personable really works. By instilling in them the importance of respecting client’s feelings and needs, while also having strong business skills, everyone can succeed,” says Carly. Success within her office is never an “I” situation, but a “we” situation between the agents. “We’re always supporting each other and sharing skills so that each person’s success is everybody’s success.” This group effort is especially key for listings. “With six of us in the office, sellers essentially have five additional avenues for marketing.” Each agent starts with a marketing plan that incorporates the client’s input. “In this social media and Internet age, Top Agent Magazine

people have more perspective of what real estate can do, so they have certain expectations; but we also have tools they might not be aware of.” By combining clients’ expectations and Carly’s tools, they exceed the client’s needs. “There is always a plan from the start, whether the client is buying or selling,” she adds. Meanwhile, Carly’s philosophy of understanding, empathy and passion extends to all corners of real estate and into her leadership roles within the community. As an alumni of the Coshocton County Leadership Class of 2018, she is committed to learning about Coshocton and understanding the dynamics of its history and growth, with the goal of helping all residents and business owners. She has also been involved with several boards of directors throughout the county since moving to Coshocton in 2006. Through Carly’s office and Grason Properties, she and her husband also support children within the county, donating and sponsoring the local schools academically and athletically, and at the annual local Junior Fair. “I am so happy to be able to be doing this work,” says Carly. “I feel that this is exactly where I need to be. Being able to support people in finding a home or selling, and being a presence and supporting fellow local business, is so important to me.” Her heart is with the people of her community; she plans to continue building up her agents and expanding throughout the county. “There’s a lot of pride in Coshocton County so we want to be able to meet them where there are geographically and support their needs in their location.” Along with being a multi-million dollar producer, Carly has also received awards for Excellent Customer Satisfaction from 20162018, the HER Realtor’s Directors Award in 2017, and OAR Presidential Award in 2018.

To learn more about Carly Thompson, visit herrealtors.com/carlythompson or go to herhttps://www.facebook.com/carly.griffith.HERrealtors/ Facebook page, email Carly.Thompson@HERrealtors.com or call 740.202.0258 www.

Copyright Top Agent Magazine 21


Are You Doing Business As YOU On Facebook? Are you ‘Doing Business As YOU’ on your personal Facebook page? In other words, are you posting your business content from your personal page? Yesterday a REALTOR® asked us, “Why should I bother with a company Facebook page? Can’t I just post everything from my profile page?” The answer lies in what we call division of content. As you may be aware, social media began as just that… social. It was never truly intended for business use. Over time, as businesses began to see the potential in reaching the masses in a new way, they began to intrude on this communication. Today, it is widely accepted that business will be conducted on all social platforms, but the manner in which we do so (and in which we are received) is still a touchy subject at times. We believe it’s important to be transparent on social media. Draw the line between communicating as the Person and the Professional. Not only does this help you keep your content separate and appropriate, it also gives the control to your network of family, friends, colleagues, acquaintances and customers. They get to decide whether to ‘like’ or ‘follow’ your company page. They get to decide whether they want to see your business related posts. User control is the #1 reason you need a business page if you’re conducting business on Facebook. Wouldn’t you rather have a willing and engaged audience over a forced, potentially reluctant one? We have personally eliminated many of the ‘DBA’ offenders from our news feeds and you have likely done the same.

As in all controversial social media topics, there is some gray area. And that gray area is often subjective, so consider this post food for thought and decide for yourself. We try our best to keep professional content on our business pages, with a couple of exceptions: 1. Philanthropic Promotion: We’re in favor of posting anything that will help an organization in need on both your personal and business pages. Nonprofits often have little to no marketing budget and rely on all of us to promote their good works, so we believe that’s a good line to cross (as long as it’s about the organization, and not you). 2. Recognition Tagging: Facebook does not allow you to tag an individual on your business page. Yes, there are some tricky work-arounds, but they are inconsistent at best. So when it’s truly important for us to recognize and tag an individual, especially someone who has done something nice for us (inviting us as guests on their radio show or podcast, for instance), we will generally post that on the business page first, then share it from our personal pages, along with a comment recognizing and tagging the individual(s) or business who helped us. Either way (personal or business), remember to be true to the social aspect. Our participation on social media should be about giving, helping, recognizing and connecting…especially when it comes to your business.

Tonya Eberhart is the Branding Agent to Business Stars and founder of BrandFace®, LLC. Michael Carr is America’s Top Selling Real Estate Auctioneer & BrandFace® partner. Together, they focus on personal branding and marketing designed to help real estate professionals become the face of their business & a star in their market. BrandFace® for Real Estate Professionals is a book, professional speaking series and an exclusive workshop for agents, and is currently active in 18 U.S. states, Canada and New Zealand. For more information, visit www.BrandFaceRealEstate.com. 22

Top Agent Magazine

Top Agent Magazine


NOAH ZIPKO How did Noah Zipko become one of the most well respected agents in the Cincinnati area? Noah was a Division 1 baseball player unsure of what career path he would take after college graduation. His dad suggested real estate might be a good match for his talents. His interest was piqued by the idea of setting his own hours and being his own boss so after graduation he moved home to Ohio and became licensed as an agent. He soon found he had a passion for the industry and in 2017 he was one of Coldwell Banker’s 30 Under 30 award winners, selected out of 88,000 agents worldwide! He was also Realtor of the Year for Coldwell Banker College Real Estate. Now five years into his career, he serves the Greater Cincinnati area. Seventy-five percent of his business comes from repeat and referral clients. What keeps his clients coming back and eager to spread the word about Noah to their friends and families? “Anyone can develop a relationship. My goal is to maintain those relationships,” he says. Noah sends handwritten notes and cards to past clients for birthdays, wedding anniversaries, home anniversaries and holidays. Every Monday, he creates a Facebook Live video explaining what’s happened in the local real estate market during the previous seven days. This combination of old-fashioned methods and new technologies are a key to Noah’s success. “I believe in blending the old school with the new school,” he explains. When it comes to marketing, Noah takes a thorough and tailored approach. Before a property is listed, Noah creates a Facebook Live video which he posts on Facebook and Instagram. This quick preview of the property drives a flurry

of interest. Noah has a social media manager who carefully targets the demographic likely to be interested in buying a home in that particular area. “We know that when our listing is getting seen, it’s going to the people who are looking to buy,” Noah says. He understands that most buyers start their search online, so he hires a professional photographer to take high quality photos of each listing. For some properties he includes drone video and 3D Matterport tours. “This helps the listing to stand out when we post it on social media, because my goal is to have, not just great looking listings, but great looking listings that everyone knows about.” This approach has proven results: Noah has closed 36 transactions in the last twelve months and seven deals in the last month. One of his listings was even featured in The Week, a national magazine with a circulation of over half a million, as “The Steal of the Week.” What’s his favorite part of the job? “I really enjoy the relationships that I build and maintain,” he says. He also loves the flexibility of the job. “I get to live my life and make my living while doing it. I’m never thinking about being on or off the clock. Instead I think: ‘What adventure lies ahead today?” he says. For the last five years, Noah has been a high school varsity baseball coach. “I’ve been at two high schools and I’m looking to go back to my alma mater as a volunteer assistant,” he explains. He also gives private baseball lessons. “My favorite part of coaching is getting to do one-on-one with kids. You can see a bigger improvement in an hour than you can in a week of practice with 20 students.” In his free time, he likes to be outdoors, fishing, camping and hunting. “I live out on 40 acres and I enjoy being in nature where it’s peaceful and quiet,” he says. For the future, he plans to grow his team, starting with an assistant and a buyers’ agent, who will help him to be of service to even more people in his community.

To find out more about Noah Zipko, email zipkosells@gmail.com or call (513) 255 - 0851 Top Agent Magazine

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