How to Incorporate Current Events to Your Email Blasts and STAY RELEVANT 4 Ways Mentoring Up-and-Coming Employees Makes You a BETTER AGENT
PROPERTIES: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly
Kelsey Brown COVER STORY
CONTENTS 4) HOW TO INCORPORATE CURRENT EVENTS TO YOUR EMAIL BLASTS AND STAY RELEVANT 13) 4 WAYS MENTORING UP-AND-COMING EMPLOYEES MAKES YOU A BETTER AGENT
17) 5 THINGS YOU CAN DO TO ACHIEVE YOUR BIGGEST GOALS 19) PROPERTIES: THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY 22) THINGS YOU CAN DO TO ANTICIPATE YOUR CLIENTâ€™S NEEDS
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How to Incorporate Current Events to Your Email Blasts and Stay Relevant Email marketing is a cost effective and straightforward method of getting your name and services in front of clients with just a few keystrokes. This tried-and-true approach to digital marketing is a favorite of many, and there are countless ways to customize (and maximize) your email blasts to reap superior results. Despite this, many real estate profes4
sionals are content to standardize their email advertising and take a broad, one-size-fits-all approach to capturing interest and leads. While an up-front sales pitch certainly has its uses and benefits, it doesnâ€™t hurt to shake up your routine and refresh your email marketing approach by adding specifics that draw renewed interest from your audience.
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One way to accomplish this is by tying in current events and local happenings to your email blasts. After all, your sphere of influence likely receives countless marketing emails per day. To cut through the noise, sharpen your message with a few specifics that separate your communications from the pack. Not every email should be focused on closing a sale, or else your audience will learn to stop listening. How do you build your brand, stay top of mind, and keep the lines of communication open with your clientele? Here are a few ideas to get you started.
against an old rival? Do they host themed fan days honoring veterans or catering to families? Tailoring your communications to a local sports franchise’s big news or next event can draw intrigue and provide added value for your clients. Remember, not every communication you send should be focused on pitching and closing a sale, otherwise your audience will tune out your emails altogether. Instead, incorporate fun, community-oriented content that lets readers know you’re a resource for much more than real estate.
Sports news makes a splash
Become a one-stop-shop for holiday fun and seasonal ideas.
People love to rally behind the home team. Is a regional, local university, or professional sports team in your area headed to the playoffs or the championship? Are they facing off
From Mother’s Day to Thanksgiving, anyone can send an email wishing clients a happy holiday. While the sentiment is a good one, you’ll be one of dozens flooding inboxes with
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your well-wishes. Instead, go beyond the traditional greetings and good tidings and become a hyper-specific resource for clients. Create a gift guide for Mother’s Day, outline family-friendly local events occurring in your area around the holidays, or engage in a promotional partnership with a local business who’s offering a holiday special of their own. In other words, don’t settle for just saying hello during certain times of the year. Instead, up the value of your email blast by offering clients curated information that relates to their interests and area. Doing so makes your emails a must-read, while demonstrating your ability to go the extra mile.
Pop culture serves as a fun and timely tie-in. Is a new gaming app sweeping the nation? Have your social media feeds been flooded with the same viral video? Is everyone gossiping about the same TV show premiere? Pop culture tie-ins in your email marketing campaigns can be extremely effective, but in order to for
them to work, you’ll need to move quickly and keep your focus on the phenomenon, rather than your service pitch. The goal behind pop culture marketing tie-ins is communicating the progressiveness and hip factor of your brand, while capturing timely, topical interest that’s at a fever pitch. Everyone wants to be in on a running joke or trend, and if you leverage trending pop culture moments in your email marketing, you’ll be able to draw views and clicks from a wide audience.
Plenty of services offer standardized email marketing templates and content for today’s real estate professionals, and while the motivation behind marketing is transactional, your communications don’t have to be. The surest way to make an impact in your clients’ inboxes is to add original value and break apart from the pack. Consider updating some of your routines with these current events oriented techniques and your email audience is sure to take a second look.
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Kelsey Brown Top Agent Magazine
“I educate my clients and help them through every part of what could otherwise be stressful situations. It’s all about figuring out their priorities, how they want communicate and, ultimately, making sure they’re completely happy.”
KELSEY BROWN A relationship-based business built on creating the ideal customer experience can only succeed. Such is the case for Kelsey Brown, a REALTOR® representing buyers and sellers across a swath of Northeast Ohio along Lake Erie. “Before I started in real estate, I worked as a client experience manager at an international travel company; I had worked there for more than 14 years.” Wanting to find new ways to expand her career path, she took real estate classes, intending to sell part-time alongside her full-time career. “I did that for 8Copyright Top Agent Magazine
about six months and then started attending continuing education classes.” In those classes, the educators explained that while working in dual careers is not unheard of, most agents find they cannot build their real estate business while holding down another career. “I learned that at a Monday session and returned on Wednesday having already given my notice at my other job. In her first year, Kelsey gained success by representing mostly sellers, finding them the perfect homes. “Then, my second year was 100% through my sphere.” She decided to work out of the Howard Hanna in Madison, Ohio, with the majority of her business coming from Lake, Geauga and Ashtabula Counties, Top Agent Magazine
an area she knows well, having grown up in Northeast Ohio.
how they want communicate and, ultimately, making sure they’re completely happy.”
Listening skills, adaptability and compassion are key to Kelsey’s success. Clients’ reviews paint a picture of a professional who keeps them in the loop, taking care of their needs, no matter what. “I educate them and help them through every part of what could otherwise be stressful situations.” She tailors her service to every client’s unique expectations. “It’s all about figuring out their priorities,
In one example, when working with a couple, as soon their home went under contract, she immediately sent both the husband and wife a detailed explanation of what to expect next. “They said it was like I had read their mind, getting them the information right as they were starting to think about it; it removed the stress and worry and I was happy that they were so happy.”
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I’m happy to be a clients’ personal home concierge if they need me to be. I’ll understand exactly what they’re looking for and preview houses for them, tailoring my client experience expertise to what they really need in a home.” It’s all about providing details with Kelsey. “Some clients are more detail oriented than others, but knowing what makes people tick and what they respond to makes a huge difference.” Some clients, she explains, want to be closely involved in every detailed step of the process; they enjoy building mutual, lasting friendships that begin with her. Others, however, are “all business” and may just want to get through the process. Copyright Top Agent Magazine Copyright 10
“With my background in customer service and creating an ideal client experience, I’m happy to be a clients’ personal home concierge if they need me to be. I’ll understand exactly what they’re looking for and preview houses for them, tailoring my client experience expertise to what they really need in a home. Nothing is cookie-cutter,” she says, and her clients appreciate her effort. Top Agent Magazine
When marketing listings, Kelsey gives sellers useful pointers on what to do before listing and then she only uses professional a photographer, even having pictures updated through the seasons if necessary. â€œI also love Top Agent Magazine
social media marketing. On my Facebook business page, I do targeted marketing to the demographic that I know will be looking for that home, focusing on the areas where those buyers would live. â€œMy brokerage Copyright Top Agent Magazine 11
does a lot for us, such as postcards and some online marketing, and I do additional mailings to neighborhoods if I find that people from a certain area are looking for features that my listing possesses.” Because she is motivated by helping others and getting involved in the community, real estate is the perfect profession for Kelsey, who is also a mom of two young boys. She volunteers as
assistant coach for one of their soccer teams and regularly sponsors one of their teams. “At first they didn’t like having mom’s name all over their jerseys, and now they think it’s really cool!” Kelsey says she plans to double her business each year, but only while maintaining the loyalty of her existing client base. “Houses sell themselves. But real estate is a people and relationship business first.”
To learn more about Kelsey Brown, visit kelseybrown.howardhanna.com or go to herhttps://www.facebook.com/kelseybrownhowardhanna/ Facebook page, http://
email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 440 - 241 - 1041
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4 Ways Mentoring Up-and-Coming Employees Makes You a Better Agent In the world of real estate, there are always new agents joining the ranks. Even if you’ve been practicing for just a few short years, you’ve likely learned your fair share of lesson along the way. As an agent, much of your working philosophy is derived from first-hand experience and your work on the ground. This means that new agents are less prepared for the inevitable curveballs of the industry. That’s where you come in. While mentorship is often pitched as a relationship that solely benefits the mentee, there is actually plenty to be gained from becoming a mentor. After all, personal growth goes hand-in-hand with professional growth, and becoming a mentor asks agents to thoughtTop Agent Magazine
fully explore and demonstrate their own ideologies, practices, and rationale. With that in mind, take a look at some of the benefits of mentorship below, and you’ll get a sense of why counseling new agents can be a boon to your own business. Teaching lessons to others reinforces your own professional values. Showing the ropes to young agents is a great way to brush-up on your foundational skills. Verbalizing and demonstrating processes, or walking through the rationale behind negotiation tactics—all cause mentors to think through their established practices and outline in detail why they’ve chosen this route over an
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alternative. This helps older agents fine-tune their routines, while getting back in touch with the critical thinking that went into constructing those habits. Mentorships allows you to see the big picture.
surely sharpen your ability as the head of a team. What’s more, you’ll be building skills of empathy, understanding, teaching, and constructive criticism. Working on those skills will better your practice and your ability to lead in your office.
After a lengthy industry tenure, it’s not uncommon for battle-worn agents to lose some steam and begin to burn out. By devoting some time to mentoring up-and-coming agents, you’ll get back in touch with your early days, remembering the excitement, the trials, and the hard lessons gleaned. Spending time with the next generation of real estate professionals can reinvigorate your practice, as seeing the business from the eyes of an eager amateur can inject energy into your working life. You’ll benefit from seeing things from a new perspective. Just as working with young agents can help you remember your career’s big picture, you may also benefit from working alongside someone with a new perspective. Young agents bring a different set of skills and awareness to their work, and established agents can benefit from a fresh take. If technology isn’t your strong suit, or you’re interested in tapping the Millennial homebuyer market, working with a younger agent is an excellent way to see through fresh eyes. Mentoring young agents makes you a better leader. As a mentor, you’ll often direct the flow of your professional relationship—figuring out which issues to tackle, making an agenda, and imparting lessons in a clear way. These are all characteristics of a leader, and acting in a position of authority as mentor can 14
While some may balk at the time commitment or energy required to take on a mentee or two, you might consider it an act of ongoing education or professional development. While your mentee will undoubtedly benefit from access to your expertise, there’s certainly much to be gained from taking the time to cultivate tomorrow’s real estate leaders.
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Angelia Holliday Top Agent Magazine
ANGELIA HOLLIDAY Top Agent Angelia Holliday of Key Realty in Columbus, Ohio brings a refreshing perspective to the real estate game. Her personal emphasis on a “family first” ethos carries over into her business practices, creating solid, lasting relationships with her many buyers and sellers. This, coupled with her deep reservoir of industry knowledge and a fierce determination to provide excellent advocacy for her clients has place her firmly head-and-shoulder above much of her competition. Angelia’s grandparents, along with the owner of a property she managed, played a huge role in her decision to become a Realtor. “My grandfather was a builder and always emphasized that I should be a Realtor and a Stock Broker. My other grandfather and grandmother were Brokers and exposed me to the industry from a young age,” says Angelia. “Then, with the constant turnover within the property management industry, an owner I worked for at that time supported and encouraged me to take the first step to become an agent.” Angelia hit the ground running, and was an almost instantaneous success. There are many reasons for this, among them the fact that she has lived in the Columbus area for over forty years. “I know the area really well,” explains Angelia. “I try to connect with my clients and their families and provide them with the knowledge I have regarding school systems, businesses and other local area information.” Angelia, who became a member of The Million Dollar Club in 2016, has developed a reputation as a Realtor who consistently goes above and beyond the call of duty. “I’m a go-getter,” she says, “in the sense that if there’s something my client needs done to their house before it goes on the market, for example having a flower bed ripped out, I’ll get right in there and do it for them. I go the extra mile to try and save my seller some money. I think that definitely makes me more appealing to them.” Her clear, consistent communication with her buyers and sellers has also endeared them to her. “My customer service approach, coupled with extensive follow-up is something clients have mentioned they appreciate. For buyers, my main goal is that they get the best for their situation. For example, for first-time home buyers, I like to educate
them to search for a home where they can live comfortably for a few years and gain some equity they can use towards the down payment or purchase price for their next home.” The level of appreciation those clients feel for Angelia is perhaps best evidenced by the glowing reviews she has received on industry website Zillow.com, on which site she holds a perfect five-star overall rating. One testimonial perfectly illustrates the exceptional level of service she provides: “Angelia was wonderful and so supportive. I had never sold a home before so her expertise and knowledge of the process meant to much to me. Her advice, resources and constant answering of my questions was extraordinary. She was always pleasant and caring. I was very pleased with the entire process and the sale price of my home. I would recommend Angelia to family and friends.” Angelia is an expert marketer who employs both cutting-edge and more traditional methods. Professional photography, virtual tours, postcards and open houses are among the tools in her marketing arsenal. A robust social media presence also ensures that her listings are seen by as many potential buyers as possible, usually achieving quick sales for top dollar. When she’s not working, Angelia enjoys traveling and spending time with her husband, Murad (they celebrate their fourteenth wedding anniversary this year), and their six-year-old son, Camren. She also loves spending quality time and shopping with her mom, Bonnie. Angelia is also committed to giving back to her community, and does so through giving to athletic programs, including one that her husband is involved with as a coach. She also donates a significant portion of her commissions to different homeless charities every six weeks, and is active with a few different school’s academic and athletic programs, among other endeavors. Angelia and her family have also started an Annual Backpack program to provide backpacks and school supplies to families in need. Looking to the future, Angelia’s plans are to stay abreast of industry trends, to grow her business, and to begin forming a team to support her ever-growing roster of buyers and sellers. Still, her focus will stay the same as it has always been: cultivating and nurturing solid relationship with her clients, and providing the very best customer service available in the Columbus area.
For more information about Angelia Holliday, please call 614 - 735 - 2528 or email AHollidayRealty@gmail.com 16
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5 Things You Can Do To Achieve Your Biggest Goals If there’s one thing successful people can agree on, it’s that setting goals has been key to their success. Whether you’re creating a five year plan or just settling on what you want to achieve by the end of the day, setting goals gives you the focus and direction you need to complete even the biggest tasks. But there is a method to setting them. It’s a process that takes careful thought and consideration up front, which is then combined with the hard work necessary to implement your plan. Luckily there are proven methods to goal setting that you can start using immediately. 1. MAKE YOUR GOALS SPECIFIC Yes, it’s fun to think in grand terms of where you want to end up in life and in your career, but it’s better to have a specific goal like “Increase my sales by 25%”, than “Get rich.” When a goal is clear and specific, it allows you to figure out the exact steps you need to take to accomplish it. The more general it is, the more paralyzed you might be when it comes to figuring out what to do since, the choices may be overwhelming. 2. MAKE IT ATTAINABLE Making attainable goals might seem boring, I mean afterall, you want to dream big! But you don’t want to suffer through the disappointment of not reaching your goal, something that may not even be possible at this stage in your life to begin with. One solution to that is creating goal levels. You can have the dream goal, but underneath that you have the realistic goals that are setting up a foundation for achieving the big one. Things that are attainable still take work and effort to achieve. Those small victories will keep you motivated and encouraged to go for the bigger dreams. And don’t forget, those Top Agent Magazine
little goals may have been things you wouldn’t have gotten done if you didn’t set out to achieve them, so be proud! 3. PUT A PLAN OF ACTION IN WRITING Your plan of action should include daily, weekly, monthly and yearly goals. There is something about seeing things in writing and crossing them off the list that is oddly satisfying.The daily goals are especially important in regards to building up those good habits. The first few weeks of your plan of action are critical when it comes to your long term success. Reaching a goal is something you are doing every day, all throughout the day, in numerous ways. Achieving goals is all about creating good new habits. 4. MAKE IT MEASURABLE This is key, since you definitely want to reward yourself for a job well done, and having a goal that is measurable in some way is a sure way to know. Maybe it’s to increase your lead generation or to cut expenses, whatever the case, have a measurable test you need to meet, as well as a time frame. Then calculate what you have to do to reach that goal. Not only should your goal be specific, but the plan and the measure of success should also be set in stone. 5. ADJUST AS YOU GO You can have all the best laid plans, and you still might quickly realize that what you thought would help you reach your goal, might not be cutting it. Commitment to reaching your goals is good, but commitment to a plan you know isn’t going to work is not only a waste of time, but will be a devastating blow to your motivation. Sticking to a plan everyday means adjusting it accordingly.
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Properties: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly by Denise Lones
I was shocked. There it was. An expensive property near a busy intersection that had stayed on the market for almost a year. I asked one of my agents, “Why hasn’t this one sold?”
But none of these are reasons to put this property on the back shelf. In fact, there is a market for every market, no matter its location or condition. Too often, we make the mistake of shortchanging sellers who don’t have manicured lawns on cul-de-sacs with perfect houses. We prejudge our own listings to the detriment of the people we’re supposed to be serving.
He said, “Because it’s a dog. Look at it. Nobody wants those turrets that stick out like that. And besides, it’s at that intersection where there’s traffic all day long.” I’ve been there. I’ve driven to properties hoping for a terraced I couldn’t believe what I was masterpiece with a stunning garden, hearing. This agent had “classified” and then felt that sick dropping this property in his own mind as feeling in the pit of my stomach something that wasn’t worth the when I finally saw it. trouble to market—pretending to service his customer while doing What do most agents do? They’re nothing. True, it wasn’t as beautiful polite, they take the listing, and they or pristine as surrounding neigh- get out of there fast. They rely too borhoods. True, it was in a not-so- much on their own opinion of the prime location. True, it could use property rather than pulling statistics to determine its true market value. some handyman work. Top Agent Magazine
OR they tell the seller, “This house isn’t going to sell unless you change the carpet, fix the paint, install new roofing, etc.” Beware! This could lead into a legal nightmare. While on the surface this agent is giving generic advice, what if the seller does everything the agent suggests—and the house still doesn’t sell? That agent might want to call a good lawyer.
If a property needs work, that’s never a reason it won’t sell. There are investors, handypersons, contractors, and do-it-yourselfers who love these properties. Go to your local real estate investment club meeting and you’ll find people searching frantically for such properties. Advertise it as a “Handyman’s Special.” Target these people directly. You may be amazed how many of them are out there.
Here’s the truth: Every property— True, you may have to advise the good, bad, and ugly—will sell if seller they won’t get top-dollar if priced right. It is always about price. a lot of work needs to be done. There is always someone in the But this is the true issue here—not market ready and willing to buy the work itself. It’s always about right now for the right price. price. 20
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Let’s talk ugly. A house is in pristine condition, but has a rather peculiar look. Well, I have news for you: Just because you think a house is ugly doesn’t mean there isn’t someone out there who will say, “This is the home I’ve been looking for all my life!”
cannot tell you how many times my jaw dropped when someone told me, “Perfect! We love it!” So, I’ve learned never to judge a house by its paint job, landscaping, or design.
You have a job to do: sell the house at top-market price. You are hired to be the market expert. Sellers don’t Did you know there are people out have the time to do so themselves. there who prefer ugly houses? Yes, That’s why you have a career. ugly houses! Some people don’t care about the outside of a property. It’s always the market that They’re only interested in the determines what sells. No matter the inside, where they know they will shape, size, or condition. And you be spending most of their time. are not in charge of the market, These are people who don’t buy to which as always is based on supply impress others, but rather to please and demand. Whatever is in demand themselves. Thank goodness for will sell, whether it’s a beachfront these people. Without them, we’d mansion or a shack in the woods. Be creative. Use your marketing to have to tear down half the planet! target people who truly want these I’ve seen houses that look like properties. But most importantly, something from a Stephen King price the property correctly for the novel sell overnight while another market. that could be on the cover of Home and Garden languishes on the market Know thy market and thou shalt for weeks. Why? Because somebody know what sells—good, bad, or ugly. wanted that house. Period. You are not the world’s taste critic. Copyright©, Denise Lones. You cannot tell what people want. I All rights reserved. Top Agent Magazine
Things You Can Do to Anticipate Your Cleint’s Needs First and foremost, the real estate industry is a customer service business. The key to any successful real estate business is one that can build a reputation by providing an unsurpassed level of care. That usually means a transaction that is seamless and stress-free as possible throughout the whole process. Your client’s experience is what keeps them not only coming back, but gets them to recommend you to their friend and family.
tise. By showing you can not only anticipate their needs, but have insight into any potential problems that might arise, they will have complete confidence in you. Achieving that level of trust is the key to a transaction that is as stress-free as possible.
The key to creating a great experience is anticipating your client’s needs. They are relying on your professionalism and exper-
From the moment, you meet a po-tential client, your goal should be to find out not only what they are looking for as far as their real estate
GET TO KNOW YOUR CLIENTS ON A PERSONAL LEVEL
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goals, but who they are as a person. Listening and asking the right questions from the start is one of the most important aspects of the job. You almost have to become an amateur psychologist, really honing in on the emotional reasons behind their real estate transaction. Taking time upfront not only gives you valuable insight into your client, but it is the first impression your clients have that you truly care about them, and that this isn’t just another commission check for you. This goes miles in helping them feel comfortable enough to rely on your guidance. Knowing who your client is on a deep level will help you navigate the transition ups and downs, allowing you to anticipate the best way to handle it.
SPOT POTENTIAL PROBLEMS AND PROVIDE SOLUTIONS Having insight into your client’s per-sonality type will come in handy when you anticipate an upcoming snag in the transaction. Most people find the process to be stressful even under the best of circumstances. One of the best rules of thumb is to always provide the solutions to anticipated problems when you present them to the client. This should be the case even when the problem isn’t on you. Anything that can ruin a client’s overall experience can reflect poorly on you, whether you deserve it or not. This is a business philosophy called “zero risk”. You don’t want to take any chances with having an unsatisfied customer. This is where your experience in the business pays off. You’ve probably seen most things and can easily anticipate problems that are Top Agent Magazine
likely to delay the process. Remember you are in charge. You are the expert. And, remember, part of avoiding potential problems is making sure your client knows what to expect upfront, always communicate openly and honestly. Telling people what they want to hear and knowing you can’t deliver it, is destined to fail, and will always reflect poorly on you.
FIND WAYS TO EXCEED EXPECTATIONS Recognizing ways to exceed a cus-tomer’s needs is just as important as looking out for potential problems, when it comes to creating an exceptional experience. Have a vetted list of trusted service providers. Be hands on. There are Realtors® who are out there helping clients pack, mowing lawns, and picking kids up from school. They are there for a client in ways that are unexpected. Having one thing taken off your plate during a stressful period in your life can feel like a lifesaver and is not soon forgotten. It is those “little” things that will turn a client into a lifelong advocate for your business.
TAKE IN FEEDBACK A good service provider is always trying to do better. Many Realtors® have clients fill out surveys after the transaction is over. This serves two purposes. It helps you become better at your job and it shows your clients that you care about them and their opinions. You can also use social media to get feedback via analytics and interactions. All of this information can then be used to create better customer experiences in the future. After all, this is a customer service industry. Treat it like one and you’re bound to succeed. 23
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