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PENNSYLVANIA EDITION

5 Things You Can Do to ACHIEVE YOUR BIGGEST GOALS

FEATURED AGENTS

MAGEN BEDILLION & LAURISA MATHEWS MAX RANKIN CARYN CENTINI FRANK DEFAZIO

COVER STORY

MICHELE BELICE

HOW TO BUILD A TEAM THAT WILL WIN BIG No Matter It's Size REACHING THE MILLENNIAL MARKET through Social Media Making a 'LEAD GENERATOR' Work for You 6 Methods for BUILDING BETTER EMAIL LISTS


PENNSYLVANIA EDITION

mily Fullerton and Vicki Vento are proud to congratulate

Michele Belice

FRANK L. DeFAZIO

TruPro Contracting is proud to congratulate

MAX RANKIN

comin When he was studying to become a lawyer, Frank fieldi DeFazio never imagined that real estate would27 ulti22 31 “We mately become his life’s passion. As he witnessed buyer his wife’s career in real estate blossom, while still Equipped with a degree in interio of ou allowing her a desirable work-life balance, he architecture and design, Caryn Centin decided to satisfy his piqued interest. In 2005, he began her career working for a home As fo began practicing real estate on the side, soon enough builder, designing new construction began discovering his talent and love for the industry. Once homes. When new construction apply to slow at the onset of the downturn spent he consolidated his law firm and moved full-time Caryn decided it was time for a caree and w into real estate, Frank finally found his ideal propivot. Drawing upon her experience mark fessional path and resolved to give it his all. Today, and industry exposure, she earned he Frank is leading an auspicious career as the leader license MICHELE BELICE MAGEN BEDILLION & MAX RANKIN CARYN CENTINI FRANK DeFAZIO and began spearheading sure resale team of one of the nation’s top transactions real estate teams. HeThough has she’d found her new path unconven full-time. LAURISA MATHEWS tionally, soon realized she not only had a knack for her new equip line o earned a host of designations and she accolades to date, work, but had discovered a new professionalnition passion. Today, Caryn photography among them the America’s Best Realalso Estate Agents National has100 earned of and is at rise the in helm Ayears sure signhands-on of Max’sexperience impressively quick Twenty-four-year-old Max Rankin ofEstate technology,” he of expa Award, a rankingdynamo in the Top Realseven Agents Nationally at on being featured for the state of Pennsylvania blossoming career founded on the tenets of personalized service, accessi the business is his rate referral business that Marsha Marsh Real Estate Services in Erie, thing new. If it work Berkshire Hathaway, and the coveted local designation of Philain her clients’ successes. hoversinvestment around 70%. “I think people feel comPennsylvania may be a relative bility, noviceand in an theauthentic in Top Agent Magazine! and his team on the delphia Magazine’s Top Real Estate Agents. real estate industry, but he has already built for fortable referring me because I’m professional, up-to-date ser but I’mthe also very personable. I most like toof have a himself a solid reputation as one of the most serves Caryn primarily Pocono Mountain Region Pennsylvania his myriad marketin Though he’s licensed to serve the entirety of Pennsylvania, Frank people feel personable, dependable and trusted agents thefewgood Over the in past years,time she and has steadily builtcomfortable a productivebecause team, working advertisements and his team specialize inwith Philadelphia’s Center Cityyears area and they they can trust me. That really comes herfor state. an assistant for theknow past two and recently incorporating husl down to just a real person. I think my powerhouse clibandincluding to work exclusively asLine’s a being buyers’ agent. Together, their and Philly Magazin its adjacent neighborhoods, the Main western entsninety appreciate the support give them during After attending University, he began over trioenthusiastic completed transactions last Iyear. Likewise, Caryn ha into building a good suburbs. HeEdinboro leads a team of and knowledgeable prothe meaningful transaction process as much as they do my Moun a short stint working in the Social Work field with been bestowed accolades, including the Pocono clients for honest r fessionals whose combined efforts closed 163 deals and generated professionalism.” before deciding he needed a change. “I had a of tain alone. Association of theof Year Award for 2016. What’ credibility, while ai a total ofjob $81right million 2016 Frank’sRealtors team isRealtor comprised really decent out of in college, and my life more, Caryn’s diverse skillset distinguishes her as a professional. She wise, keeping in tou ambitious Millennials who are well-versed in all things digital. started to settle down a little. But serves then I realized For Max, the relationship with his clients does clients with expertise across fields, with knowledge and practica and Frank isWith always Accordingly, his team demonstrates TruPro Contracting (HIC# PA120015) endof at renovating, the availability closing reselling, table. “One ofbuilding. my favorsomething was missing and I just wasn’t happy.” experience inround-the-clock the not realms and 25% LERTON, Esq. ite things to do is to stay in touch with my past Having been interested in real estate since childand interested for their clients’ benefit, staying accessible into the evening and of her business stemming from repeat and referral business, Carynon hasina 724-554-0509 • truprocontracting@gmail.com VICKI VENTO Counsel clients.” he says. “It’swith one the most enjoyable hood, ultimatelythrough decided to try his emailing, hand on impression. his favorite aspe on he weekends texting, and calls. Perhaps the proven trackat record for leaving clients aofpositive Staying parts of the business for me. If I’m showing a the industry on a part-time basis. “I did it at first Facebook: Facebook.com/Truprocontracting Mortgage Loan Originator and Abstract accessible communicative are additional hallmarks herisapproach of my ofjob seeing surest testament to Frank’s incisiveand leadership and understandas a sort of hobby,” says Max. “But the hobby home in an area where a past client lives, I’ll Home Advisor: homeadvisor.com/rated.TruProContracting.50699136.html to service, instilling inand clients a sense of security and loyalty. “I’m alway homes, ing of the market is the 100% business Cell: 412-606-0400 412-696-0317 We are also Better business Accredited: ethicalwesternpa.com/trupro_contracting swing byreferral their home afterwards and stop towhile chat being quickly became a lucrative career, andrate it’s of nowrepeat there throughout the transaction,” Caryn says, “and I don’t ever let my team cultivated. Through maintaining longstanddrop off a small plant or new welcome mat. I myhe fulland timehis job, and have even more, it’s become a or vvento@howardhanna.com -272-5017 clientsonfeel like they’re and out of the loop.” Oftentimes, Caryn’s easygoing Outside of the office ing client relationships based friendliness lifestyle.” love to giveopen pop-bylines gifts,of and send handwritten personality and ability to cultivate a positive buying or selling experience NMLS#139588 owardhanna.com donating his time an communication, Frank and his team that business is amiable and naturally paves the way to become friends with those she’s served, allow Copyright Top Agent Magazine Licensed by the PA Dept. of Banking & Securities Pittsburgh, PA 15238 steady. While his team is highly professional and insightful,that they ing her to develop client relationships last longtime, after Frank closing.is a fam two sons and his w curate a buying or selling process that is both smooth and enjoywork sc able for clients. They keepAinfew touch with extensive network of her pasttheir clients offer their own estimation of and their school experience Caryn: “Caryn is an amazing havelife’s worked estate We is his p by sharing a beer with pastworking clientsalongside from time to time or staying in Realtor! with Realtors in the past. None were as professional else. As and for dedicated the futu contact and getting invited outseveral to social gatherings—additional as Caryn. forged She guided us through the home buyinga process every step o management role, evidence of the natural connection during the transactional way,”compared one client said. Another client recalls: “Caryn one of the few ascendis the ranks of process. “We’re a youngertheteam to the competition,” Realtors I’ve met who so easily and willingly communicates electroni enterprise’s steady Frank explains. “We work with a lot of first-time home buyers and cally. She stays on top of the latest trends in the market. She is absolutely a doing what they do we try to work with people that we gravitate toward. It makes the top-notch Realtor.” Another client remembers Caryn for her dependability Phone 888-461-3930 | Fax 310-751-7068 to hold transaction more natural and friendships evolve out that.” He’sthe stress abiding professionalism, and of ability to ease of theexcitement transactiona found that working withinprocess. their age demographic people caring Center City Team. “Caryn is one of thekeeps most knowledge, Realtors. I didn’ mag@topagentmagazine.com | www.topagentmagazine.com

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CARYN CENTINI

Magen Bedillion

being featured for the state sylvania in Top Agent Magazine!

CONTENTS

4) MAKING A 'LEAD GENERATOR' WORK FOR YOU

21) 5 THINGS YOU CAN DO TO ACHIEVE YOUR BIGGEST GOALS

15) HOW TO BUILD A TEAM THAT WILL WIN BIG NO MATTER ITS SIZE

24) 6 METHODS FOR BUILDING BETTER EMAIL LISTS

www.

www.

http://

28) REACHING THE MILLENNIAL MARKET THROUGH SOCIAL MEDIA

know anything about buying a house, and she spent countless hours on the

No portion of this issue may be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without phone prior consent of the publisher. Agent with me, and really explainedTop every detail step-by-step. Everyone kept telling how nervous I’d be buying a home. Not with Caryn! I’m Magazine is published by Feature Publications GA, Inc. Although precautions are taken to me ensure the accuracy of published in my and couldn’t happier. I can now call her my friend.” materials, Top Agent Magazine cannot be held responsible for opinions expressed or new factshome supplied by its be authors. To subscribe or change address, send inquiry to mag@topagentmagazine.com. As for marketing her listings, Caryn takes a tailored approach based on Published in the U.S. the individual needs of each property. Using high quality professiona

To learn more about Frank L. D visit CenterCityTeam.com, e-mail Frank@C or call (610) 636-4364 www.

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photography, immersive virtual tours, and design-conscious staging— Caryn works with sellers to create a customized plan to make propertie showcase ready. Utilizing her sphere of influence, listings are distrib

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Making A ‘Lead Generator’ Work For You by Carla Cross

When it comes to sales, some people just seem to have the ‘golden touch’. There are agents who seem to be able to convert ‘leads’ into appointments, while others struggle. I had an opportunity to observe this time and again as a manager. Jerry, in my office, seemed to be able to convert ‘floor time’ calls into appointments with ease. (Floor time, as you may remember, is a scheduled time when agents answer inquiry calls from consumers). George, on the other hand, seemed never to get an appointment while he was assigned floor time. In fact, George accused me of giving Jerry “all the good floor time”. From Jerry’s conversion rates of calls to appointments, it may have seemed like it. However, we simply rotated floor times with all the agents. No one got any better ‘floor time’ than any other agent! Why did Jerry convert calls to appointments, while George struggled? You would know the answer if you just listened to each 4

man on the phone. Jerry immediately established rapport, asked great questions, and answered objections masterfully. He followed up immediately. He had awesome sales skills. George had no skills, seemed not to care much about the caller, and acted as though he was doing the caller a great favor simply by answering the phone! A “lead generator” is anyone or thing that generates leads for you. There are two types of lead generation: Pro-Active: You go find the lead (like calling on for sale by owners) Re-Active: You wait for the leads (like lead generating companies, floor time, and open houses) Too often, agents like George blame the re-active lead generating source for lack of quality of leads. On the other side, lead generating sources feel that agents don’t convert enough of the leads provided. Instead of blaming each other, we can take Top Agent Magazine


positive steps to assure that you can screen your leads effectively, and turn good leads into appointments. Now, both agents and lead generating sources are happy! The First Principle: Follow Up on the Lead Now! A web site lead costs $215 to generate, on average. Yet, a majority of real estate agents don’t even get back to a lead—ever! Why? I think there are three reasons:

you can’t just get back to a lead three days later. The consumer today expects to get a reply quickly. I’m constantly amazed when someone thanks me for responding quickly about a product or a question about our coaching. Our standard for answering product and coaching inquiries is within the day. What’s your standard for answering lead inquiries? (Which require much faster responses, in my opinion, than my ‘leads’).

There’s Competition For That Lead • Agents mistakenly think that the A few days ago, I was visiting with lead will be theirs forever—that my cousin, whose daughter just went there’s no time sensitivity to into real estate (she’s twenty-two). She has immediately put technology answering that lead to work, creating an awesome • Agents believe there’s no database and contact management system. She’s selling up a storm— competition for the lead and making the agents in the area • Agents don’t know the cost of a mad at her. Why? Because she’s lead—in both time and money so getting to the consumers before the they don’t treasure that lead as if it other agents do. They thought they ‘owned’ those consumers’. But, my were gold cousin’s daughter is proving that no With the instant information age, one owns the consumer. She’s Top Agent Magazine

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turn that lead into an appointment. In my coaching program, Carla Cross Coaching, we find that developing agents lack the sales skills to optimize their time and energies. So, we The Second Principle: Give provide sales skills training resources to shore up their motivation and desire the Lead Its Value to reach their goals. If you’ve ever spent time generating your own leads, you know what this Set Your Sites And Raise Your means. As a new agent, I knew Skills To Mastery about two people in the area. Because I had no built-in network, I Our high accountability training did every kind of lead generation program, Advantage, is helping new known to man. I worked all the and newer agents capture the sales time. I learned by all my mistakes and organizational skills it takes to how to generate leads—and the convert leads more often. But, value of a lead. Purchasing a lead is training is only the start. It takes so much easier than generating your coaching to master any skill, along own. But, you must treat that lead with your determination to get like the potential gold it is, so you’ll really good at lead conversion. be the Jerry of sales, not the George. Decide today your standards for performance, what you want to The Third Principle: Develop master, and how you’ll go about it. Now, you’re on your way to Your Sales Skills becoming a top producer! Following up on the lead immediately shows you value the lead. But, that’s Copyright©, Carla Cross. All rights not all. It takes specific sales skills to reserved. demonstrating that those who put technology to work effectively today capture the consumer’s attention and loyalty.

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MICHELE BELICE Top Agent Magazine

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MICHELE BELICE Top Agent Michele Belice of Howard Hanna Real Estate Services in Mt. Lebanon, Pennsylvania has been helping satisfied clients buy and sell homes for over eighteen years, and in the process has developed a reputation as a realtor who truly cares about her clients and providing them with the very best in customer service. Prior to entering the real estate world, Michele worked as a manicurist/massage therapist in the beauty and wellness industry. “I’d say 90% of my clients were real estate agents,” she says, “and a couple of them talked me into trying it. I thought I’d just do it for a little bit, but then I found it to be a really good fit and fell in love with it. So my career just kind of took off from 8Copyright Top Agent Magazine

“I think I’m a really hard worker, and I always make sure my clients know how important they are to me—they often express surprise at how available I am to them, and that I’m always on top of every situation.” there. It’s pretty fun because a lot of my former clients have become my colleagues, and it’s just a really good dynamic.” Currently working solo, though with the help of an assistant, Michele has a passion for helping those new to the industry get a leg up. “I think I make great agents out of my assistants,” says Michele, “which I think is wonderful. My first assistant is now the manager of another branch of our company. This is a difficult business, and I really enjoy sharing my years of experience with new agents when they’re first starting out.” With a staggering rate of repeat and referral business that hovers between 85 – 90%, Top Agent Magazine


Michele is clearly doing something right. Maintaining contact with past clients plays a huge role in her success. “I like to keep myself in front of them,” she says. “I do a lot of marketing, and another unique thing I do is that I take my list of clients and rotate through it, sending out personal notes, just touch base with them. They always feel like they’re in touch with me, and that’s a big part of what has made me successful.” A commitment to clear communication and speedy and efficient service is another factor that is paramount to Michele’s sucTop Agent Magazine

cess. “I think I’m a really hard worker,” she says, “and I always make sure my clients know how important they are to me. My clients often express surprise at how available I am to them, and that I’m always on top of every situation. They’ll sometimes ask if I ever sleep.” Her excellent client service skills have resulted in this glowing five-star review on Zillow: “Our experience in selling our home could not have gone any more smoothly with Michele. After an extremely disappointing experience with a different real estate agency and agent, Copyright Top Agent Magazine9


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“We knew from day one that Michele would be with us every step of the way to help us sell our home. From marketing, to negotiating, to coordinating repairs, to timely communication, Michele was top-notch.” we knew from day 1 that Michele would be with us every step of the way to help us sell our home. From marketing, to negotiating, to coordinating repairs, to timely communication, Michele was top-notch. It is no small task to sell a home in Pittsburgh in the middle of winter, but Michele Top Agent Magazine

got it done and helped us negotiate a favorable price for us. Michele is a consummate professional.” Giving back to her community is extremely important to Michele, and as a two-time cancer survivor the American Cancer SociCopyright Top Agent Magazine 11


ety is near and dear to her heart. To that end, for the past seven years she has participated in their fundraising event Relay for Life, and as captain of The Belice Squad, her crew has raised over $130,000 to help fight the disease. “Unfortunately, I had to go through some rough times, but I’ve been able to help a lot of other people because of that.”

As for the future, Michele is content with the status quo. “I really love being an agent,” she says. “I love helping people move on to the next stage of their lives. “The calmer you are, and the more you gain their trust, it’s makes it much easier because you’re doing it with them.” Photos by Kristin Firewicz, Urban Willow Studio.

For more information about

MICHELE BELICE, please call 412-414-7105 or email mbelice@howardhanna.com Copyright Top Agent Magazine 12

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Paul J. Juliano is proud to congratulate

Michele Belice

on being featured for the state of Pennsylvania in Top Agent Magazine!

Paul J. Juliano | Senior Loan Officer Holland Mortgage Advisors (412) 339-1236 direct | (724) 816-7225 cell (412) 531-1884 fax pjuliano@hmamortgage.com 4640 Campbells Run Rd Pittsburgh, PA 15205 | Company NMLS # 139164 Individual NMLS # 133245 Licensed by the Pennsylvania Department of Banking Top Agent Magazine

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Emily Fullerton and Vicki Vento are proud to congratulate

Michele Belice

on being featured for the state of Pennsylvania in Top Agent Magazine!

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EMILY M. FULLERTON, Esq. General Counsel Barristers Land Abstract Direct Dial: 412-696-0317 Cell: 724-272-5017 emilyfullerton@howardhanna.com

VICKI VENTO Mortgage Loan Originator Cell: 412-606-0400 vvento@howardhanna.com NMLS#139588

1000 Gamma Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15238

Licensed by the PA Dept. of Banking & Securities Top Agent Magazine


How to Build a Team That Will Win Big No Matter its Size In the real estate world building a team is a goal almost every agent strives towards achieving. Doing business with a team as opposed to solo has numerous advantages. With more agents handling clients as well as other employees specialized in areas such as marketing and administrative support there to assist you; you can greatly increase your business and sales. Top Agent Magazine

So, when creating a team, logic would tell us that the bigger it is, the better, right? Wrong. When it comes to real estate teams, size doesn’t matter so much as the players you bring onto that team to work with you. A team doesn’t have to be big to win big, and here are the secrets to building a team that wins big no matter its size.

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Hire the Right Team Members

Put Your Team Members in the Right Positions to Win

You’ve probably heard the saying, “you’re only as strong as you’re weakest link.” That idea holds true for any kind of team, including those in real estate. If you have weak members on your team, then it’s not possible to have a strong team. Drawing strong team members to your business is essential.

Finding strong team members is just one part of the equation. As the leader of your team, you now have to assess each member’s strengths and weaknesses and position them appropriately. You want the best player for each role playing that part and catering to their strengths. Choose your team member’s roles wisely, and place each individual in the position where their strengths can shine and they can best contribute to a win for the entire team. Every role is important to the team working smoothly and winning as a whole, so it is important to place each team member in the role most suited to his or her skills.

To better understand what kind of person would make a strong addition to your team, you need to ask yourself what skills and characteristics you want your team members to possess. The strongest members are often ones that share their leader’s values. When you share values with your teammates, you are all running along the same course towards the same goal as one. Your definition of a victory in this case is also your teammates’ definition of it. This helps strengthen even the smallest of numbers because you are all working together toward a common goal. Another characteristic too look out for in potential team members is a positive attitude. You can teach someone the skills needed in real estate, but you can’t teach someone how to have a positive attitude. Positive members tend to achieve more due to their optimistic nature, but more importantly, they spread that positive attitude to the rest of the team, which improves every members’ performance. 16

Communicating Your Vision to Your Team

Your team members are the key ingredients to ultimate victory, but what recipe do you follow now to lead them to victory? That is what communication is for a winning team; the recipe you will use to

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help best utilize each team member and instruct them on how they need to work together to fulfill the recipe that will lead them to be a winning team. Your team members need to know the plan and you must give them the tools to successfully execute it. It is up to the leader of a team to help your players see your vision and help them understand what a victory looks like. The goal may seem simple and obvious to you, but you must communicate it over and over again to your team members, so they understand it as well as you do. With different personalities coming together to form a unit, you are going to be dealing with numerous challenges such as competing agendas. You will find this on any team. You must keep the goal and at the forefront of your player’s minds in order to encourage them to put aside their own personal desires in order to come together as one cohesive, single-minded unit and push towards the team’s goal.

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Give Your Team Members the Tools to Help Them Perform at Their Best The final thing all great leaders do is equip their team members with the proper tools and training needed for them to succeed. You have to show them how they can each come together with their different strengths to work as a team towards one unified goal. This involves more than simple skills training, but also endurance, so they can last as a team and win even those matches that seem unending and impossible. Think of all the challenges that they could possibly face ahead, and clear their path to victory by giving them the necessary training and tools they will need to get past any obstacle. As the leader, you must be prepared to continually communicate the team’s goal and your vision. Use that vision to motivate your team members throughout the journey towards victory.

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MAGEN BEDILLION & LAURISA MATHEWS Top Agents Magen Bedillion and Laurisa Mathews of Berkshire Hathaway Home Services [Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania] bring to the table a combined 13 years of experience and have established themselves as the go-to team for those looking to buy or sell a home. Their combination of authenticity, commitment and enthusiasm for helping their clients has positioned them solidly at the top of their profession. Magen got her start in the industry when she was searching for a property of her own and had less than stellar representation. “My second agent was awesome, though. I took her to lunch and asked her if she thought I would make a good agent. Once licensed I became her assistant temporarily, and have been at this for eight years now.” Laurisa was always interested in real estate. “Before becoming an agent, I was working as a Case Manager and Public Relations representative for a chiropractic office. My job was to go into grocery stores and local public events to talk to people about chiropractic care and convince them to make appointments. I didn’t enjoy it though. One day my husband told me that if I could talk people into making an appointment to get their spine adjusted, I could certainly sell them homes. So I took the leap and have been selling real estate full time for five years now.” Currently boasting a rate of repeat and referral business of nearly 90%, this dynamic duo is clearly doing something right. Says Magen, “We are part of an underrepresented millennial demographic among real estate agents, and as a result, we bring a unique viewpoint and energy to the process. We are still hungry and we will do whatever it takes to help our clients and get to the closing table.” Among the many standout practices the team employs is commitment to marketing and showing their properties in the best

light available. “Staging is a huge part of our business,” says Laurisa, “and we offer it for free. We keep the home staged through the appraisal process, particularly when it’s a flip and there is quite a gap to bridge. We try to explain the benefits of staging to clients using statistics, to help them understand that they are going to get, on average, 17% more in their offer and will sell 87% faster.” Their dedication to their clients has resulted in five-star ratings on Zillow for each of them. Reads one review for Magen: “Magen is an absolute delight to work with. She’s gone out of her way for us time and time again. We feel truly blessed to have had her as our agent after the nightmarish experiences we’ve had in the past. I’ll never deal in real estate again without her!” Says one satisfied client of Laurisa: “Laurisa is by far the best real estate agent I’ve ever dealt with. After purchasing and selling 2 homes with other agents and finding their performances just enough to collect the commission. Laurisa went far above and beyond even my lofty expectations.” Despite the financial rewards inherent in their field of work, it’s not the commissions that motivate the team. “It’s so fulfilling to see the smile on people’s faces at the end of the transaction,” says Magen. The process starts out warm and fuzzy, then everyone is going crazy, and then at the end to see the look of satisfaction on their faces makes it all worthwhile. It’s so rewarding.” Says Laurisa, “I would say that with a lot of our clients, we feel like we’re friends with them by the end. One agent once described us doing too much for our clients, and it wasn’t a compliment. But that’s how we look at every project we enter into: how can we best help. We sit down, we collaborate, then figure out the problem and attack it.”

For more information about Magen Bedillion and Laurisa Matthews, please call 724 - 288 - 7007 or email magenbedillion@thepreferredrealty.com 18

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TruPro Contracting is proud to congratulate

Magen Bedillion

on being featured for the state of Pennsylvania in Top Agent Magazine!

TruPro Contracting (HIC# PA120015) 724-554-0509 • truprocontracting@gmail.com Facebook: Facebook.com/Truprocontracting Home Advisor: homeadvisor.com/rated.TruProContracting.50699136.html We are also Better business Accredited: ethicalwesternpa.com/trupro_contracting www.

www.

http://

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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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MAX RANKIN

Twenty-four-year-old dynamo Max Rankin of Marsha Marsh Real Estate Services in Erie, Pennsylvania may be a relative novice in the real estate industry, but he has already built for himself a solid reputation as one of the most personable, dependable and trusted agents in the state. After attending Edinboro University, he began a short stint working in the Social Work field before deciding he needed a change. “I had a really decent job right out of college, and my life started to settle down a little. But then I realized something was missing and I just wasn’t happy.” Having been interested in real estate since childhood, he ultimately decided to try his hand at the industry on a part-time basis. “I did it at first as a sort of hobby,” says Max. “But the hobby quickly became a lucrative career, and it’s now my full time job, and even more, it’s become a lifestyle.” 22

A sure sign of Max’s impressively quick rise in the business is his rate of referral business that hovers around 70%. “I think people feel comfortable referring me because I’m professional, but I’m also very personable. I like to have a good time and people feel comfortable because they know they can trust me. That really comes down to just being a real person. I think my clients appreciate the support I give them during the transaction process as much as they do my professionalism.” For Max, the relationship with his clients does not end at the closing table. “One of my favorite things to do is to stay in touch with my past clients.” he says. “It’s one of the most enjoyable parts of the business for me. If I’m showing a home in an area where a past client lives, I’ll swing by their home afterwards and stop to chat or drop off a small plant or new welcome mat. I love to give pop-by gifts, and send handwritten Copyright Top Agent Magazine


notes. I think people find that meaningful. I just like to stay involved in their lives and remind them that I think of them often.” The gratitude his clients feel for his services is made evident by his many five-star reviews on Zillow and Facebook. Among the glowing testimonials is this one: “I recently worked with Max and bought my first home. Max is very good at what he does and is able to answer any/all questions in a timely manner. He was flexible, reachable and truly a joy to work with. His energy paired with the knowledge he has in reality was a breath of fresh air. I trusted him and he really worked hard to get me what I wanted. I would recommend him a million times over.” Despite his rapid success, it’s not the financial remuneration that Max finds the most satisfying. “It’s interesting,” he muses, “that I got into real estate because I loved houses and architecture. But now that I’m in the business and I’ve gotten my feet wet, I enjoy the people the most. Buying or selling a home has a large impact on people, and to be a part of that process is both meaningful and special to me.” Looking to the future, Max plans on continuing the rapid growth of his business while continuing to provide the very best in client service. “I truly love what I do,” he says. “There’s a part of me that’s excited to wake up every day. Ever since I made the switch to real estate, I feel like I have so much opportunity to be happy, do things that I really love, and meet extraordinary people.” Top Agent Magazine

For more information about

MAX RANKIN,

please call 814 - 860 - 6139 or email max.rankin@marshamarsh.com Copyright Top Agent Magazine 23


6 Methods for Building Better Email Lists By Kendra Lee

Email lists can be a blessing or a curse. When they’re composed of real email addresses of people in your target micro-segment, and those people recognize you or your company by name, an email list is an invaluable lead generation resource. When the list is filled with contacts who don’t know of you or your company, i.e. a cold list, lead generation can be though – really tough. Likewise, if your list is populated with fake, inactive, or irrelevant accounts you’re at risk of being banned by your email software provider. Not surprisingly, I hear from clients all the time asking how to build an email list that will get results for their campaigns. Should they purchase? Should they attempt to build their own? Remember that with email list building your goal is to build a list of people within your micro-segment, so quality is more important than quantity. The more similar the contacts, the easier it is to tailor your nurturing and lead generation content to their specific needs. Here are six methods that will help you build a quality email list. 24

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1

Nurturing and lead generation activities: When you engage in social media, nurturing activities, SEO, and Adwords, those mediums provide forums for you to drive people to your website, start a conversation via a social channel, attend an event you’re hosting, and add people to your list. People who respond really do want to be part of your list.

2

Membership organizations: Whether it’s through industry associations, mastermind groups, or networking events, these types of organizations provide an excellent means for collecting contact information. Generally, people will update or provide their own information because they want other members to have easy access to them so you know the data is current.

3

Shared lists: By finding a peer who targets a similar microsegment with a non-competitive offering, you may be able to forge a partnership in which you promote to each other’s lists. This happens frequently within the high tech space, with consultants, and with professional services organization where they understand the value of collaboration.

4

Research the web and build your own: Increasingly, we’re seeing companies comb LinkedIn, Zoominfo. com, InsideView.com, DiscoverOrg.com and other websites for contact information, and then follow-up with companies to confirm the validity of that information. This approach is time consuming, but it can be very effective. A client who we coached through this process recently got a 41% open rate on their email nurturing campaign. I really like DiscoverOrg for the detailed information they have if you’re selling in the IT or telecom industry.

5

Purchase lists: There are numerous companies that sell email lists, but you need to be careful which vendor you buy from

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and how much you spend. Prices typically range from hundreds to several thousand dollars depending on list specificity and size. One warning: Expect higher bounce rates with these lists and negotiate for that issue when you purchase. To avoid high bounce rates, look for a list company that validates the information. In this way I’ve been very pleased with ExchangeLeads for new lists and validation of current lists. If you don’t have any list, this may be the way to get started.

6

Trade information for information: Sites like ExchangeLeads and Data.com community give you credit for providing contact information for companies you’ve worked with in the past. As you earn credit, you can use it to acquire lists for free. These services generally have a fee option as well, and the data integrity is dependent upon users keeping it current. Again, look for companies that validate data to reduce bounce rates and wasted time. I really like ExchangeLeads for trading information as well as purchasing it. Ultimately, my advice would be to focus as much on the organic list building methods (#s 1-4) as possible, and supplement with the purchased methods (#s 5 and 6) when necessary. If you start with a purchased list, plan to nurture it and build your recognition. Don’t toss it away if you don’t get immediate results. At the end of the day, you want to strive for list quality over list quantity. Pushing your messaging out to unwitting, uninterested, or unsuspecting prospects won’t do anything to help you close more deals.

Contact details for Kendra Lee: Phone: 303-741-6636 (Old fashioned, but very effective.) Email: Info@klagroup.com (Yes, I get every one of these personally.) Twitter: @KendraLeeKLA (And I do follow all direct messages on Twitter!) KLA Group is a sales consulting and training firm focused on helping clients get more customers in the Small and Midmarket Business (SMB) segment through lead generation, prospecting, hiring and onboarding strategies. Copyright©, 2016 Kendra Lee. All rights reserved. 26

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CARYN CENTINI Equipped with a degree in interior architecture and design, Caryn Centini began her career working for a home builder, designing new construction homes. When new construction began to slow at the onset of the downturn, Caryn decided it was time for a career pivot. Drawing upon her experience and industry exposure, she earned her license and began spearheading resale transactions full-time. Though she’d found her new path unconventionally, she soon realized she not only had a knack for her new line of work, but had also discovered a new professional passion. Today, Caryn has earned seven years of hands-on experience and is at the helm of a blossoming career founded on the tenets of personalized service, accessibility, and an authentic investment in her clients’ successes. Caryn primarily serves the Pocono Mountain Region of Pennsylvania. Over the past few years, she has steadily built a productive team, working with an assistant for the past two years and recently incorporating her husband to work exclusively as a buyers’ agent. Together, their powerhouse trio completed over ninety transactions last year. Likewise, Caryn has been bestowed with meaningful accolades, including the Pocono Mountain Association of Realtors Realtor of the Year Award for 2016. What’s more, Caryn’s diverse skillset distinguishes her as a professional. She serves clients with expertise across fields, with knowledge and practical experience in the realms of renovating, reselling, and building. With 25% of her business stemming from repeat and referral business, Caryn has a proven track record for leaving clients with a positive impression. Staying accessible and communicative are additional hallmarks of her approach to service, instilling in clients a sense of security and loyalty. “I’m always there throughout the transaction,” Caryn says, “and I don’t ever let my clients feel like they’re out of the loop.” Oftentimes, Caryn’s easygoing personality and ability to cultivate a positive buying or selling experience naturally paves the way to become friends with those she’s served, allowing her to develop client relationships that last long after closing. A few of her past clients offer their own estimation of their experience working alongside Caryn: “Caryn is an amazing Realtor! We have worked with several Realtors in the past. None were as professional and dedicated as Caryn. She guided us through the home buying process every step of the way,” one client said. Another client recalls: “Caryn is one of the few Realtors I’ve met who so easily and willingly communicates electronically. She stays on top of the latest trends in the market. She is absolutely a top-notch Realtor.” Another client remembers Caryn for her dependability, abiding professionalism, and ability to ease the stress of the transactional process. “Caryn is one of the most knowledge, caring Realtors. I didn’t know anything about buying a house, and she spent countless hours on the phone with me, and really explained every detail step-by-step. Everyone kept telling me how nervous I’d be buying a home. Not with Caryn! I’m in my new home and couldn’t be happier. I can now call her my friend.” As for marketing her listings, Caryn takes a tailored approach based on the individual needs of each property. Using high quality professional photography, immersive virtual tours, and design-conscious staging— Caryn works with sellers to create a customized plan to make properties showcase ready. Utilizing her sphere of influence, listings are distribTop Agent Magazine

uted directly to her database and other agents, while door-knocking and speaking directly to people in the neighborhood gets the word out in the area. She also leverages properties across the leading digital listing platforms, ensuring maximum visibility online. As for staying in touch with past clients, Caryn prefers a personal approach, following up with handwritten cards and occasional phone calls to see how her clients are faring, and to make herself available as a resource. Reflecting on what she loves most about her career, Caryn explains: “I love that no two days are alike. There’s nothing more fulfilling than helping someone with the biggest purchase of their life, and I’m energized when people on all sides are happy and excited.” Within the office, Caryn stays involved in the Keller Williams Agent Leadership Council and is an active member of its Cultural Committee. Through the committee, she donates her time to worthy outreach efforts in the area—in fact, she was just named the Regional Cultural Ambassador for Keller Williams. As an animal lover, Caryn also gives of her time and resources to fundraise for dog rescues, and recently adopted a fifteen-year-old pit bull. In her free hours, she’s taken up golf over the last few years, but mostly enjoys relaxing, visiting local wineries, and spending quality time with her friends and family. In considering the future of her business, Caryn hopes to add a few additional agents to her team’s roster, in order to accommodate her ever-increasing volume. She’s also developing relationships with area buyers to continue her interest and experience working with new construction projects. Seven years after her real estate career launched, Caryn has made the most of her professional foray, bringing a calculated, creative eye to every transaction. Bolstered by a decidedly client-centric focus and an abiding passion for her daily work, the path ahead is paved with possibility for Caryn Centini and her team.

To learn more about Caryn Centini, visit ccentini.KWrealty.com, e-mail ccentini@kw.com, or call (570) 239 - 0556 www.

Copyright Top Agent Magazine 27


#Reaching the Millennial Market Through Social Media by Bubba Mills

The old adage in marketing says if you aim at everyone you’ll miss them all. I know REALTORS® sometimes fall into the trap of attempting to reach everyone and then scratch their heads when they only hear crickets chirping. If you’re one of those (or even if you’re not), stick with me and I might be able to help you.

know how to reach them. For that part, I’ll share two words: social media. Many surveys have confirmed that social media is the Millennials’ dominant source of information, even above search engines. So the best way to build relationships and trust with Millennials is through social media.

The true beauty of social media is not only its reach but its implied advocacy. When Millennials find content they relate to, they share it with their The National Association of REAL- peers. So if one person shares your TORS® has found that Millennials message, it could instantly go to hunrepresent the largest share of recent dreds (or even thousands) of people buyers (32 percent of all buyers last with the inferred praise of the person year were Millennials). But here’s sharing it. the kicker: the overwhelming majority use real estate agents. Are If you’re not using social media, lights and bells going off in your again, check your pulse. Then start learning about social media and get head? If not, check your pulse. active on it. I promise it’ll be well So a great place to sharpen your worth your time. The big ones are marketing aim is with Millennials. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr That’s half the equation—knowing and Instagram. You can Google each who to go after. The second half is to and get a feel for which ones make Let me start with one word: Millennials—those between the ages of 18 and 34.

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Many surveys have confirmed that social media is the Millennials’ dominant source of information. the most sense for you, but all of them have something to offer REALTORS®.

I’m proud of that because I know in this day and age anyone who sells anything must use social media.

Now I’m not one to toot my own horn, but for this topic I will only with the hope that you give what I say a little more weight. Last year, a national magazine named me to its 25 most connected professionals list.

So here are some tips you can start using to reach Millennials on their terms:

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1. First, take time to understand social media. Join them (they’re free!) 29


Millennials under stand marketers and they’re open to their messages on social media—if the messages are relevant to their lives. Otherwise, they simply ignore it.

and just take it all in. See what it’s all about and what kind of information people share. Spend at least several days learning before you share info. 2. Make sure what you share fits the specific social media outlet. For example, Facebook and Twitter are primarily personal tidbits, news and they’re both fairly casual, while Instagram is geared almost exclusively for visuals and photos. 3. Make sure your information is relevant and useful to improve the chance it gets shared. Millennials understand marketers and they’re open to their messages on social media—if the messages are relevant to their lives. Otherwise, they simply ignore it. 30

4. Make it interesting. Instead of saying, ‘Gee, I have this great listing.’ Why not just share a picture of a cool looking wrap-around front porch of a house (that just happens to be one of your listings) that was built in the 1940s. Bubba Mills is co-owner and executive vice president of Corcoran Consulting and Coaching Inc. (www.corcorancoaching. com/programs, 800-957-8353), an international consulting and coaching company that specializes in performance coaching and the implementation of sound business systems into Real Estate Companies, Mortgage Companies and Small Businesses. Bubba Mills is a nationally recognized inspirational and education speaker, coach and mentor to the top real estate agents and mortgage companies. To find out more about Corcoran Consulting & Coaching, call 1800-957-8353 or visit us at www.Corcoran Coaching.com. Top Agent Magazine


FRANK L. DeFAZIO When he was studying to become a lawyer, Frank DeFazio never imagined that real estate would ultimately become his life’s passion. As he witnessed his wife’s career in real estate blossom, while still allowing her a desirable work-life balance, he decided to satisfy his piqued interest. In 2005, he began practicing real estate on the side, soon enough discovering his talent and love for the industry. Once he consolidated his law firm and moved full-time into real estate, Frank finally found his ideal professional path and resolved to give it his all. Today, Frank is leading an auspicious career as the leader of one of the nation’s top real estate teams. He has earned a host of designations and accolades to date, among them the America’s Best Real Estate Agents National Award, a ranking in the Top 100 Real Estate Agents Nationally at Berkshire Hathaway, and the coveted local designation of Philadelphia Magazine’s Top Real Estate Agents. Though he’s licensed to serve the entirety of Pennsylvania, Frank and his team specialize in Philadelphia’s Center City area and its adjacent neighborhoods, including the Main Line’s western suburbs. He leads a team of enthusiastic and knowledgeable professionals whose combined efforts closed 163 deals and generated a total of $81 million in 2016 alone. Frank’s team is comprised of ambitious Millennials who are well-versed in all things digital. Accordingly, his team demonstrates round-the-clock availability for their clients’ benefit, staying accessible into the evening and on weekends through texting, emailing, and calls. Perhaps the surest testament to Frank’s incisive leadership and understanding of the market is the 100% rate of repeat and referral business he and his team have cultivated. Through maintaining longstanding client relationships based on friendliness and open lines of communication, Frank and his team that business is amiable and steady. While his team is highly professional and insightful, they curate a buying or selling process that is both smooth and enjoyable for clients. They keep in touch with their extensive network by sharing a beer with past clients from time to time or staying in contact and getting invited out to social gatherings—additional evidence of the natural connection forged during the transactional process. “We’re a younger team compared to the competition,” Frank explains. “We work with a lot of first-time home buyers and we try to work with people that we gravitate toward. It makes the transaction more natural and friendships evolve out of that.” He’s found that working within their age demographic keeps people

coming back, as he and his team are comfortable fielding today’s modern communication methods. “We really enjoy working with first-time home buyers,” he reflects. “They’re the bread and butter of our business.” As for his marketing efforts, Frank and his team apply their digital native statuses wisely. Frank has spent years developing a strong online presence, and with such an enormous database of followers, marketing listings online allows for impactful exposure with high visibility. Likewise, Frank and his team list premier on all the major online platforms, equipping each listing with professional, high-definition photography and 3D HDVideo tours. “I’m very into new technology,” he explains. “I’m open and will always try something new. If it works, we’ll use it.” This approach has kept Frank and his team on the cutting edge, offering their clients the best and most up-to-date service the industry has to offer. To supplement his myriad marketing campaigns online, Frank also incorporates advertisements for listings in local magazines, such as Philly Style and Philly Magazine. He’s dedicated substantial time and energy into building a good virtual reputation, and always reaches out to clients for honest reviews. This practice ultimately bolsters his credibility, while aiding in the expansions of his network. Likewise, keeping in touch with past clients takes place largely online, and Frank is always posting new content to keep people informed and interested on industry developments and beyond. He reflects on his favorite aspect of his day to day, saying: “The best part of my job is seeing new inventory, walking through condos and homes, while being able to socialize with my clients.” Outside of the office, Frank gives back to his local community by donating his time and resources to worthy causes. As for his free time, Frank is a family man who enjoys spending time with his two sons and his wife, going to the pool and traveling whenever work and school schedules permit. Otherwise, he feels that real estate is his life’s passion and he can’t imagine doing anything else. As for the future of his business, Frank hopes to shift into a management role, helping his agents grow their talents as they ascend the ranks of the industry. While he plans to maintain his enterprise’s steady growth, he and team will surely continue on doing what they do best. With all that in mind, the future is sure to hold excitement and prosperity for Frank DeFazio and the Center City Team.

To learn more about Frank L. DeFazio, visit CenterCityTeam.com, e-mail Frank@CenterCityTeam.com, or call (610) 636-43645 www.

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