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How to Overcome Your WORKPLACE FEARS PLAYING THE REAL ESTATE MATCHMAKER— Follow These 8 Dating Rules to Ensure you Match Your Client with the Perfect Home for Them







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Playing the Real Estate Matchmaker –

Follow These 8 Dating Rules to Ensure You Match Your Client with the Perfect Home for Them When you think a bit more about it, the ultimate goal of a real estate agent serving a client is really to match them up with the perfect house for them, almost the way a matchmaker tries to find two people that will fit well together as a couple. When people are looking for a house, they often treat the process as a quest for “the one” house that will fulfill their dreams of living in the house of their dreams. Don’t be fooled. It is always a search for “the one”, at least when it comes to helping a couple or family find a home. When you look at your client’s search for a home in this manner, then you might begin to notice some pretty obvious similarities

between shopping for a home today and online dating. In this day and age most people live a substantial part entire lives online. People socialize with their friends on Facebook, they meet potential friends in forums and online communities, and we now even search for our perfect mate online. Shopping for a home also happens to usually start online. When they begin this search, make no mistake; they are looking for the “one.” These people then turn to you, the REALTOR® to play matchmaker for them. It is your job to wade through the pool of eligible homes (bachelors) and sort through all the ones that are too expensive, too nerdy, not cute enough, not smart enough, etc. until you find the “one.”


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It makes sense then to consult the tried and true practices in matchmaking that help those professionals find the right people for each other, and see if any of them could also apply for matching your clients with their dream home. You’ll find that these 8 dating rules may just show you the secret to matching your clients with the perfect home.

back to the store if you’re not happy with your new home. It’s best to first help your client get prequalified. This is a tangible step that shows they are ready to move on to a new home. You want to make sure they are completely over their love affair with their previous home. You can even ask them for a sign or proof that they’re ready to move on.

Who Is In and Not In Your Client’s League? Know Your Client’s Price Range:

Be Genuine, Not Superficial

When a person is looking for a mate, it is a waste of time for them to even consider those potential mates that are clearly out of their league. These people won’t even stop to give them the time of day. In the world of real estate the idea is the same. There is no point showing your clients houses that they can’t afford and will simply lust after without having any real chance of purchasing the house. It is your job to keep your client ground in reality, and help them be realistic in terms of price when choosing their next home.

When trying to manage the many pitfalls of online dating, on inevitably goes on a date where the other person looks nothing like their picture online. That can be just as big of a problem when looking for a house. When clients show you a particular house they want to visit, ask them to name something about the house that they like other than the aesthetics. This way you can see if they are simply infatuated with the way the house looks in those pictures, or if there is a deeper interest in the home that could become a deeper connection between your client and the house.

Never Let Your Client’s First Impression of a Home Rule Their Decisions

Make Sure Your Client is Ready to Move On From Their Last Dream Home You’re job is also to make sure that your client is truly ready to move on from their previous home. This is a long term commitment, and they need to be absolutely sure they actually want to buy a new house. You can’t simply take the receipt

When your client first sees a house they have already been lusting after in their mind, they’re often so excited to finally be looking at it, especially if it does in fact look as good as it did in the pictures. Make sure to encourage them to take some time before making such a big com-

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mitment, and don’t let their excitement push them into making a rash decision. It is your job to keep them grounded in reality. Push for your clients to do an inspection to make sure the house isn’t hiding any dark secrets. Sometimes the most charming facade can hide tons of slime and deadly mold.

Follow Your Heart (or Gut) People often laugh at and ridicule the idea of love at first sight, but when it comes to homes, the phenomenon can certainly happen. Your client may just find their perfect dream home at the very first place you take them. If you have a client that does insist this is the case, then you don’t want to try and rationalize with them or talk them out of their decision. You do, however, want to make sure you are watching out for their interest and make sure your clients take all the necessary precautions before they jump in headfirst.

See What Other People See in The Home – Do They See What Your Client Sees? Have you come to the conclusion that your clients are being blinded by all of the twinkling windows and crystal clear water glistening in the backyard pool, and can’t see that the house they’ve fallen in love with is really just a dirty animal (maybe a pig) dressed up in nice clothes and lipstick. Ask your client if they would be willing to look at the house again with 6

their close friends, family, and anyone else they trust for a second opinion there to see it with them. If the house really is a dud, they’ll be able to see past any personal bias your client might have to the truth. They will be able to help your client see through the shining facade

Celebrate the Happy Union! When a couple gets married they tend to throw a big party and celebrate their union. The same goes for the closing. Your clients have just essentially married the house of their dreams, and now it’s time to rejoice. Congratulate them on their new union. Show your support for their new homeowner status by going to their housewarming party.

Help Your Clients Maintain Their Dream Home & Ensure a Lifetime of Happiness You can’t just disappear after the transaction is finished. Become their realtor for life by showing your clients how to maintain their dream home. Act as their resource for other professionals they may need to maintain the house such as handymen, plumbers, electricians, etc. Show them how to keep up with home maintenance so they don’t ignore problems that surface and end up with a much larger issue than they started with. Help them make sure their dream home lasts so they can live happily ever after in their home for a lifetime.

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SARITA DUA Sarita Dua has a keen understanding of customer service and provides it at the highest level. She knows that to be a good Realtor, you have to have market knowledge, experience and relationships. You have to clearly understand the process. Sarita does.

She means it. If she’s showing a house on a main road on Sunday afternoon, she’ll alert the buyer to the fact that it may be quiet now, but they should come back on Monday morning to be sure. Her clients trust her and appreciate that she treats them like family members.

“As Realtors, we’re coaches and educators of our clients,” she says. “To be able to do that, you have to be a student of the craft as well, always committed to learning and sharing your experiences. Beginning to end, my business is customer focused. I care more about them than the transaction.”

Prior to 2003, Sarita couldn’t have predicted she’d find her perfect career path in real estate. She earned an MBA and had worked in project management and sales. After 9/11, many Oregonians were being laid off. As “unemployment insurance,” Sarita got her real estate license in late 2003. With two small children at

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Sarita is the AskSarita team leader at Keller Williams Realty Professionals in Portland, serving the entire metro area. home, she never wanted to be at the mercy of the job market again. She began interviewing companies and realized that real estate could be a good fit for her. Top Agent Magazine

Today Sarita is the AskSarita team leader at Keller Williams Realty Professionals in Portland, serving the entire metro area with an 80 percent repeat and referral rate. “We’re very Copyright Top Agent Magazine9

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small for the amount of business we do!” she says. Her team—two buyers agents, a transaction coordinator, a listing project manager and herself—sells between 140–150 houses a year. Sarita goes all out for clients: she’s responsive, smart, authentic and enthusiastic. Her technology background is helpful, but it never replaces her client relationships. To keep those referrals coming, she stays in touch by hosting events such as summer bowling and barbeques, holiday parties and pumpkin pie giveaways; connecting on Facebook, and new this year, sending educational videos such as remodeling tips or market reports. For listings, Sarita begins with a walkthrough of the home and staging consultation, then creates a master strategy with the sellers. This is followed by beautiful photography, a virTop Agent Magazine

tual tour and 3D Matterport technology, and an appraiser to measure the home and determine square footage for the floor plan. Then, in addition to signs and flyers, she posts the home everywhere, including on Facebook ads and Zillow. Finally, she calls her network of agents to let them know it’s coming. Sarita’s efforts pay off. Her awards include being named 2014 Broker of the Year by the Portland Metropolitan Association of Realtors (PMAR). “I’m here to help,” she says. “Clients can ask me any question. I share my opinion, research, our trusted service providers . . . that’s why my website is Ask Sarita.” Equally enthusiastic about life, she served on the board of the PMAR Master Circle for several years and currently volunteers on the MLS Copyright Top Agent Magazine 11

Technology Committee, coaches agents and is an industry speaker for companies such as Inman, and Zillow. Personally, she and her family are travel junkies and go on trips whenever they can. Fun also includes gadgets, photography, the Portland Trailblazers and walking half-marathons.

As long as she’s making a difference in her clients’ lives, Sarita can’t see herself doing anything other than real estate for a very long time. She plans to continue minimizing risk and managing the process so it’s as stress-free for clients as possible. Ask Sarita. She’ll have an answer!

To learn more about Sarita Dua, email or visit and on facebook here


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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 14

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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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How To Overcome Your Workplace Fears Fear is something that can help protect us from danger, but it is also something that can be a hindrance to us in our lives, especially when it keeps us from potentially thriving and growing as a person. This is especially true in the workplace. Here’ a look at some proven ways to overcome common workplace fears.



Really owning the emotions that are putting you in a place of fear, is the first step. By just naming it and then talking it out in your head, what exactly you’re feeling and why, it can help deflate the fear. Think of it as releasing some of the fear into the ether. Yes, you’ll still be nervous about your presentation, but a lot of what was holding you back is gone. You’ll feel lighter, and hopefully have just enough butterflies to make your soar.



Nothing can make you feel more isolated than going down the path of “This is something that only happens to me.” Trust me, it doesn’t, and you might be surprised to find out that some people have had it even worse. Talking to someone you trust and admire, hearing their own fear horror stories and how they overcame them, will help normalize what you’re feeling. Releasing yourself from the idea that it’s something about you, will be an enormous relief.



Although it might seem counter-productive, truly assessing what the worse outcome of the situation you’re afraid of serves two purposes. It might lead you to realize the worst case scenario isn’t that bad Top Agent Magazine

after all. Of course it could also lead you to a really uncomfortable thought, you could lose your job. As bad as that is, it also gives you an opportunity to start focusing on what really matters, and how you might grow from the experience and possibly end up better off. Countless people in their dream jobs now, were once fired and thought it was the end of the world. Hopefully, that won’t happen to you, but learning to have confidence in your abilities to always find a way, will be a great tool in overcoming fears.



If you’re a super-organized type, you might try actually setting aside time in your day to focus on your fears. It might seem odd, but it will let you NOT focus on your fears during the other hours of your day. Think of it as a task, you aren’t just sitting there worrying, you’re taking in your fears and figuring out ways to overcome them.



Start thinking of fears as challenges. As scary as it might seem to face them, for the most part they are things that can be fixed. A lot of fear is based on inexperience which leads to a lack of confidence. A common fear is workplace evaluations. Instead of looking at it as hearing everything that is wrong about you, think of it as an opportunity to see where you can improve. Going into it with a positive attitude rather than a defensive posture, will make the whole thing better for both parties. Overcoming fears is oftentimes about a simple attitude adjustment. Like anything it takes practice, but the results of that practice will lead to a life that you’re able to thrive in both personally and professionally.

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Why Millennials Are Now the Hottest Segment of the Buyers Market

and How You Can Attract Them to Your Home There are many factors when it comes to knowing how to sell your home to the Millennial generation. Millennials are becoming an important part of the buyer market, and to fail to cater to their needs will cut you off from a large and important segment. But, why have Millennials all of a sudden become interested in buying houses when they were perfectly content to rent for the rest of their lives? 18

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A number of factors contribute to what has recently made Millennials the hottest segment of the Buyers market. One factor is the improved job outlook for Millennials. Millennials took a serious blow during the recession. Unemployment in this group soared to 14 percent, compared to the 9.6 percent for the population as a whole. But, in recent years that number has been decreasing, with unemployment for Millennials being 9.3 percent this past year. Rising rents are also contributing to making Millennials more interested in purchasing homes now. Rents have risen so much that buying a home now just makes more sense. Half of all renters spend more than 30 percent of their income on housing. Millennials are becoming increasingly stressed over the constantly increasing financial obligation to something that isn’t even theirs to own. The near-historic low mortgage rates are luring Millennials towards purchasing a home with their promise of affordability. When compared with the skyrocketing rental rates, buying a house looks even more enticing. Another factor helping Millennials get over the hump of purchasing a house is the lower down payment requirements. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are now offering new loan programs that require as little as a 3 percent down payment. This may just be the last push the Millennials needed to turn toward buying a home rather than rent. So, now that we’ve established that Millennials are finally joining the Buyers market, the next thing that it is important to understand is what exactly Millennials are looking for in a home. What kind of floorplans do they prefer? What locations are they interested in? Here are some of the essentials that Millennials are looking for in a home: • Updated Kitchens and Baths: Almost everyone wants to buy a

home with new kitchen and bath fixtures, but this is especially true for Millennials Buyers. Millennials are going to spend most of their savings on the down payment and furnishings, leaving little room to update the Kitchen and Bath, which are also the most expensive parts of a home to

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update. Millennials who are on a budget simply won’t have the money to sink into those areas. An updated Kitchen and Bath is sure to bring in a younger crowd. • Big Kitchen with Open Floor Plan: For Millennials, the kitchen has

become the room where they hangout in addition to the family room. This is why having an open space that can transition easily from the kitchen to the TV room is high on the list of things Millennials are looking for in a home. Along a similar vein, Millennials are attracted to an open floor plan rather than one that compartmentalizes the home. This has to do with how Millennials entertain. Millennials want their guests to flow through the rooms and mingle together, rather than be sectioned off in different rooms.

• Home Office: More than 13 million Americans now work from home,

and if you look at the trend, that number is only going to increase as the time goes on. With technology steadily increasing, more Millennials than ever have the flexibility to work from home. But, the home office isn’t just for someone working from home full time. Having a separate space dedicated to work helps people concentrate and focus on work while they are at home. They can separate themselves from the activities going on around the house and have a quiet space where they can set up their workday, plan a presentation, hold a meeting on Skype, or even pay bills.


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• Less Maintenance: Many Millennials work different schedules that

don’t conform to the 9 to 5 workday, as well as full social calendars. This doesn’t leave them much time to clean a big house. Lawn services and low-maintenance front yards are particularly appealing, as they take less responsibility to still keep the curb appeal high.

• Energy-Efficient Appliances: Millennials have been educated on

keeping the Earth clean from the time they were born. They want to do their part to help the environment and appreciate the long-term cost savings that come with it. Energy-efficient appliances and greener ways to heat and cool the home might end up being the tipping point that makes them choose one house over another.

• Hardwood Floors: Millennials don’t have the time or patience to clean

dirty carpets, especially those that own pets. Hardwood and laminate flooring is easy to mop up if there’s been a mess. The more time they can conserve, the better.

• Good Location: Millennial buyers are looking for homes that are in

proximity to public transportation and have a good walking score. Young Millennial buyers without children are more likely to want a location closer to the action of the city, while Millennials with children would prefer more residential areas.

• Technology: Technology rules the Millennial’s life. They do work on

their computers through an Internet connection and solely use cellphones for communication. They are going to ask about how strong the cell service is and about the Internet service provider. While these amenities are out of the seller’s hands, Millennials are still going to ask these questions, and you will need to know how to answer them.

Knowing what Millennials are looking for in a home will ultimately help you make the necessary changes that will attract these buyers to your home. Since they are the a serious segment of the market now, updating your home to fit their needs will lead to more buyers and better offers. So, get with the times and embrace the Millennial buyer. Top Agent Magazine

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A Step-by-Step Guide to

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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